On Friday I exchanged emails with a longtime collector, reader and gold fan.
The proof gold Kennedy half dollar was on his mind.
“Do you think that the Kennedy 50th anniversary half dollar gold coin is a good buy from the U.S. Mint?" He asked.
"It has three-quarters of an ounce of pure gold in it.
“What value would you estimate this coin to be in 10 years? I doubt if another one like this is ever made so it could be a unique coin type in proof.
“I do not think that the total proofs made are yet known for this gold coin. We might know in early 2015."
Considering the short-term interest in the gold Kennedy, I think it is refreshing to get a question that looks 10 years down the road.
We in numismatics have not been known lately for looking that far ahead.
This is how I replied:
“I expect the mintage to end up somewhere between the present 66,000 or so and the 75,000 that the Mint said it could easily make.
“You are right about the coin probably remaining a unique type coin. That should help hold up its value.
“However, if gold soars to $2,000 or $2,500 an ounce someday, I expect the coin will turn into just another piece of bullion.”
Whether my views are right or wrong, I know that since the late 1970s we have had experiences of coins that once had numismatic premiums losing them in massive precious metals price upswings.
It is this I was thinking of when I made my reply.
If gold stays steady for a number of years, a purely numismatic base of interest could indeed be established as it has been for the 2009 High Relief Saint-Gaudens.
My thoughts elicited a reply:
“We shall see because I plan to buy this coin from the U.S. Mint. If 11 million U.S. coin collectors want to own this special gold coin, then the price will head toward the moon. Time will give us the answer.”
I can’t fault the logic. If there are indeed 11 million collectors of gold coins, prices should rise.
I think that is an optimistic number, but as I wrote at the beginning, it is a pleasant thought to think of the hobby 10 years down the road.
A decade from now I might be enjoying numismatics from a beach somewhere in Florida chuckling about early snow of the kind that we northerners already are experiencing today.
If I can daydream about future gold Kennedy prices, I can also daydream about a future where I am not scraping snow off my car.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."