If you could earn $20,000 by waiting all night outside the convention center hosting the American Numismatic Association's World Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., you would probably do it.
That's the value of being first in line to buy the proof gold Kennedy half dollars that the Mint was to put on sale at the show at 11 a.m. central time.
Waiting in line was simply the first step of a gauntlet of requirements, but it was something that Nick Yadgarov, a coin collector from Los Angeles willingly did. He was accompanied by his girlfriend, Callie Hohlfeld, his sister Rina Maya and his brother Daniel Yadgarov.
The four showed up at the main entrance of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center at 11 p.m. Aug. 4, the night before the coins were to go on sale. They obtained the coveted first four places in a line that ultimately stretched a couple of blocks down River Road. That was the first step to obtain the gold coins.
The line of people was to be admitted to a holding area outside the bourse room of the convention center. In this holding area at approximately 10:30 a.m. the Mint was to give out tickets entitling the bearer to buy one of the proof gold Kennedy halves.
Only 500 tickets were to be given out on the first day of sales. Crowd estimates by the Rosemont police and others put the number waiting in line at around 1,100 persons.
Dealer Bob Campbell of Salt Lake City, Utah, estimated that as many as three-quarters of the people in line had been bused in by dealers who had hired them for $100 or $200 apiece to make the purchases for them.
There was no way to confirm, that, but what could be confirmed was that many of the people in line did not have the proper credentials to be admitted to the bourse floor where the U.S. Mint booth was located. That offered hope to those toward the end who did have convention credentials.
The disappointment a person would feel after being told they would not be admitted to the bourse floor was of great concern to ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick. She conferred with Rosemont police officers to keep the line safe and orderly.
But persons having the proper credentials had a ticket to a gold mine, almost literally.
Like a daytime TV gameshow, there was still more. The $20,000 sum is to buy the first four proof gold Kennedy half dollars sold at the U.S. Mint booth Aug. 5. It was being paid by David Hendrickson of SilverTowne in partnership with Kevin Lipton.
The deal for those valuable first four gold Kennedy coins also includes giving the lucky four collectors four other proof gold Kennedy half dollars sold further down the line.
So Nick, Callie, Rina and Daniel will also have the opportunity to slab those later four coins and sell them or keep them as they choose.
Ultimately, what is the full value of the deal? Thoughts of $20,000 and four gold coins that could potentially slab Proof-70 slabbed grades assigned to them would be the dream of every collector.
Is this worth a night without sleep?
Do I even need to ask the question?