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Rush for gold Kennedy half dollar at ANA show?

The gold Kennedy half dollar will be first released by the U.S. Mint at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in August.

Is it worth it for collectors to show up and buy those coins just so they can get them authenticated by third-party graders as first released coins?

Obverse to the 1964-2014 gold Kennedy half dollar to be released at the ANA World's Fair of Money

Obverse to the 1964-2014 gold Kennedy half dollar to be released at the ANA World's Fair of Money

“I think we’ve gotten a lot of interest at the beginning of the year and people will get excited as the show release gets closer,” said Matt Crane of L&C Coins, Los Alamitos, Calif., regarding the gold half dollar.

“I would imagine the Mint will promote the snot out of it and dealers will pay stupid money for it at the ANA show,” said Mike Schiller, owner of Allouez Rare Coins in Allouez, Wis.

Will he participate?

“No,” Schiller said.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Richard Lecce, President of Robert B. Lecce Numismatist Inc. in Boca Raton, Fla., about the gold Kennedy half dollar. “Kennedy was a popular President and the Kennedy half dollar is a popular coin.

“I know I’ll put one in my collection.”

Collectors who purchase the Kennedy commemoratives at the ANA World’s Fair of Money Aug. 5 in Rosemont, Ill., will have benefits to buying in person.

In addition to receiving the coin right away and avoiding any shipping costs, collectors can also submit their Kennedy commemoratives to either the Professional Coin Grading Service or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation to receive a special show label for the coin.

This coin show first release label can increase prices for the coin on the secondary market in the long-term.

PCGS and NGC have also announced they would offer a special label for the Kennedy half dollar commemoratives submitted later and for those sold through select retailers.Special deals for grading and same-day grading will be offered at the show as well.

Interest in commemorating President Kennedy and the circulation coin that honored him will no doubt drive sales.

“I’m sure a lot of people love JFK, and I’m sure people will spend money on it,” Schiller admitted.

“I could see the gold half selling out within a week of release,” said Crane.

Lecce was even more optimistic. “I think they will sell out immediately,” he suggested.

After the release, however, prices are anyone’s guess.

“I imagine the Mint will put a household limit on sales, which will drive up the market,” said Crane. He pointed to the Baseball Hall of Fame coins, where the gold and silver versions saw increased prices on the secondary market due to selling out.

“I think a good amount of dealers will buy them up,” Lecce said. “With limits, a good amount should go to the public. The dealers can buy just as many as collectors can.”

Limits for sales both at the show and for ordering have yet to be announced by the Mint.

If dealers have large stocks of the gold Kennedy once it sells out, collectors who missed their opportunity to purchase one will have to go through the market to find one to purchase. Those coins will have higher premiums, especially those that are graded and feature first strike or first release labels.

When asked if he believed the gold Kennedy half dollars would be melted down if gold went above the purchase price, Schiller said, “Absolutely. If you want to buy gold, look at gold coins minted before 1933.”

But Crane thinks the coins will hold their collector value.

“I think this will be popular to hold its prices and numismatic value,” Crane said. “These kind of things depend on how the collectors view it.”

As many customers of the Mint are concerned with shipping delays while ordering their commemoratives online, Crane said the best way to order online was to be on the website right as they go on sale.

“I think if you are going to play the game right and are on the website early, you can get the first shipment on out,” he said.

The gold half dollar will be dual-dated 1964-2014. It will be struck in .9999 fine gold. Weighing in at three-quarters of an ounce of gold, the coin will be the same size as the original 1964 Kennedy half dollar. The reverse design, with the Presidential seal, will be shrunk slightly to place the .9999 fine gold inscription. The coin will feature the “W” mintmark for West Point.

Also marking the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half dollar, the Mint has announced plans to issue a two-coin clad set to be released on July 24 and a four-coin silver set to be released later.

The silver half dollar set will be comprised of a proof from Philadelphia, a reverse proof from West Point, an enhanced uncirculated from San Francisco and an uncirculated coin from Denver.