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Kennedy gold goes off sale

It looks like the popular 2014 John F. Kennedy gold half dollar has finally gone off sale.

It was available for more than a year, but getting to the final 75,000 announced mintage proved to be difficult if not impossible.

I look forward to seeing the final numbers.

It was a tribute to the late President and to the many collectors who remembered him that so many buyers were willing to part with $1,200 or more to buy a coin that contains three-quarter ounces of gold.

Sales went like a house afire in the opening couple of weeks.

The 2014 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money was disrupted by these sales in such a way that a generation will recall the hundreds of eager buyers, including street people, were lined up all around the bourse floor.

ANA felt threatened that security wouldn’t be up to snuff. Dealers felt the same apprehension on seeing outsiders.

For a hobby that claims to want to attract newcomers, it is a shame that outsiders make so many people nervous.

But that is life in 21st century numismatics.

All of this comes to mind as we see where the final gold Kennedy total stands.

In last week’s Mint Statistics, the number reported was 73,222.

But after all that trouble, this coin will likely trade for bullion value more or less for all time in the future.

Melt value is around $63 million.

That is quite a chunk of value that many original buyers will sooner or later begin to want to cash in for other uses.

The first ones out are probably already gone, the speculators.

But the demands of ordinary life on collectors will assure that more and more of the coins they own will find their way to market.

Even without a top price, I will think fondly of the coin and its release, warts and all and hope the experience will lead us to find more effective ways to attract newcomers without making the old-timers nervous.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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