Welcome from overcast Rosemont, Ill., where I'm looking out my hotel room at 7:11 am. at the long line of people waiting to get into the convention center and obtain one of 500 coveted tickets that will allow them to buy the new Kennedy half.
Dave Harper, who is an earlier riser than I am, talked to some of the first in line, a group of four young people who had flown in from Los Angeles for the chance to buy the coin. They told him they had gotten in line at 11 o'clock last night.
Well, they've still got a long wait ahead of them. Although the group will be allowed in the convention center at 8 a.m., the tickets won't be handed out by U.S. Mint staff until 10:30 a.m. The coins go on sale at the Mint booth at 11 a.m. And I'm pretty sure there are already more than 500 people in line.
The U.S. Mint decided to give tickets to potential buyers of the Kennedy halves to avoid the long lines and congestion at the Mint booth in Baltimore when it sold the first of the Baseball Hall of Fame coins.
Ian Russell of GreatCollections said he had never seen anything like it before.
"It looks more like people waiting to attend a rock concert than a coin show," said Numismatic News editor Dave Harper.