Sales began yesterday for the John F. Kennedy Presidential dollar.
The portrait on the coin shows him looking down and to the viewer’s left.
Many collectors don’t like it.
Will this translate into fewer sales of the various products the Mint offers, or will memories propel sales despite the design quibbles?
Rolls containing 25 coins each of the “P” or “D” mintmarked coins are available for $32.95 each.
Bags of 100 coins from either mint are $111.95 each.
Boxes of 250 coins are $275.95 each.
These bulk sales options have found a niche with some collectors.
Buyers seem to want 100,000 of the rolls, or 50,000 from each mint, if sales figures for recent Presidential offers are any guide.
Buyers also take around 4,000 100-coin bags and 12,000 250-coin boxes.
The boxes are probably purchased by third-party sales outfits.
It will be interesting to see what kind of marketing that will be done with the Kennedy dollar.
Whatever might be thought of the portrait, the memory of the President still resonates in the minds of many people.
In the hands of marketers, that memory, can trigger a lot of sales.
Kennedy is the first President that I recall being President.
My memories of Eisenhower were of a kindly retired old man who painted. He was a national hero, but that was the resume not the impression made on a kid.
When Kennedy was President there always seemed to be a lot of action going on, even if I did not fully understand why he was on television as often as he was.
There were silly songs.
Ultimately, there was tragedy.
I was motivated enough to stand in a long line at a bank to get two Kennedy half dollars when they were released in March of 1964
These experiences made a lasting impression on me as I am sure they did on many others.
I will not have the opportunity to acquire the Kennedy dollar from the bank. Presidential dollars have not been struck for circulation for years.
In this case, that is a shame.
The question, therefore, becomes one of how many of us will pay up for the coins offered for sale by the Mint?
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."