No overnight sellout was recorded by the 50th Anniversary Kennedy half dollar set when it went on sale Oct. 28.
This might dampen prospects for instant profits of a kind that made the gold Kennedy half dollar famous in August.
In the first 12 hours of sales, the Mint reported 85,670 of the four-coin silver sets were taken by buyers for $99.95 each.
This is less than 30 percent of the quantity that the Mint has chosen to make available.
Just four days before sales began, the Mint announced it would impose a maximum sales figure of 300,000 sets.
Each household was limited to purchasing five sets.
Numismatic News readers were pleased with their experience on the Mint’s new website, which went live on Oct. 1.
“I think the Mint has finally figured out how to build a functional website. I signed on at 11 a.m. Central Time. I purchased my 5 sets, and had a receipt time stamped at 11:05 a.m. 10 minutes later, I had a thank you/confirmation email from the Mint. Now let’s see how fast they can deliver,” wrote Bill Rodgers of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.
“Will miracles never cease?” asked Dan Sowards of Austin, Texas.
“I was online with the Mint at 11 a.m., clicked on the product (Kennedy set), and lo and behold, my order went through immediately. Already have my confirmation and order number. I still can’t believe it,” he wrote.
Happy collectors obviously make the Mint happy.
“The U.S. Mint is very pleased about yesterday’s overwhelmingly positive reaction by our customers regarding our new online catalog and order management system,” the Mint said the day after silver Kennedy sales began.
In addition to the initials sales total, the Mint also provided several other statistics:
• As of 12:10 p.m., the site processed at 14 orders per second. By day’s end the number peaked to 24.9 orders per second.
• By 12:30 p.m., the system processed approximately $3.6 million in sales and 36,000 units sold. (That’s a half hour’s worth.)
• Between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., the online catalog handled more than 272,000 page views.
• As of 8:30 p.m., approximately 14,000 orders had been shipped from the distribution center.
The last statistic was confirmed by Rodgers in a second email sent to Numismatic News about 12 hours after his first.
“I am shocked. I received another email today, the 28th, that my 5 sets shipped out today, the 28th! Could it be that the Mint has finally grabbed the golden ring and entered the 21st century?”
Perhaps the Mint has grabbed a silver ring.
The four-coin set features .900 fine half dollars with the 1964 Kennedy portrait.
There is a proof from Philadelphia, an unicirculated from Denver, a reverse proof from West Point and an enhanced uncirculated from San Francisco.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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