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Gold limit reduction could change things

The Mint’s last-minute decision yesterday to cut its gold Kennedy half dollar sales limit in half doubles the number of people it will be able to sell a coin to at the American Numismatic Association convention next week.

Motivating this change was the Mint’s assessment of reactions it had been receiving to its previous decision to set the limit at two coins per person at the Mint booth starting Aug. 5.

The decision is probably the only one that could be reasonably made by a public institution like the Mint, which still answers to Congress even though it has some attributes of a private business.

That being the case, would-be speculators have just had their potential profits halved as well.

Grading services on the floor of the ANA probably will have their paperwork related to these coins doubled as clients who would have been turning over to them two coins for every transaction will now have just one. I know the grading services will have the staff present to handle it.

How close to 100 percent coverage will the major grading services achieve on those first 500 coins on the first day of issue? And then on the subsequent quantities of 500 a day for five days?

I expect the services will slab a quite high percentage of the gold coins. There is likely no potential buyer of the gold Kennedy coins who is unaware of the rocketing prices for slabbed baseball coins after they went on sale March 27 in Baltimore.

Slabbing is now required to achieve top profitability by the speculators. Dreams of fantastic profits will probably guarantee that there will be 500 people to take up those first 500 coins.

Any of those 500 coins sold on the first day of the ANA that achieve a Proof-70 grade will start appearing on eBay and elsewhere online. We then can stand back and assess price action on the secondary market.

How these coins do on the secondary market might very well influence whether there will still be 500 people eagerly buying the day’s allotment of coins at the Mint booth on the final day of the convention Aug. 9.

Any signs of secondary market uncertainty that appears from first day to last could have a strong impact on behavior in real time at the convention. That is something to watch for.

Special show grading labels have put us in new territory.

Ordinarily, the knowledge that the Mint already has 40,000 of the gold Kennedy halves ready to go would dampen levels of buyer enthusiasm with such a high issue price of $1,240. But the special show label slashes this to no more than 2,500 pieces.

That’s a horse of a different color. In this case, it is a golden color.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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One Response to Gold limit reduction could change things

  1. hrlaser says:

    The Gold Kennedy Half is insanely over-priced, but those lucky enough to buy them at the ANA show and get them slabbed on-site, and get back PR70 DCAM coins (especially from PCGS), will probably be able to realize somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000.00 to $5000.00 on eBay, if they sell them immediately.. just a wild guess based on watching very hot, perfect grade, relatively low Mintage, one-year-only coins that have gone through this process before.. of course, if the average Joe only gets to buy ONE, has it slabbed, and immediately flips it for a huge profit, what are his / her chances of ever owning another one?.. very slim, I’d guess.. remember the 2000 Library of Congress Bi-Metallic Uncs?.. The US Mint sold those for $350.00 14 years ago.. at that time, if I disremember incorrectly, Gold was at $600.00 an ounce or less.. I forget what platnimum was, but the Mintage was insanely low because the $350.00 price actually scared off collectors.. hard to believe, eh?.. if you got one of those LOCs into an NGC or PCGS MS70 slab, about two years later, you could get close to $2000.00 for them on eBay (I know this for a fact, because I had four of them, bought at cost, and had NGC slab all four at a Long Beach show, and got back two MS69s and two MS70s, and sold all four of them on eBay around 2003, and realized about $1600 each for the MS69s, and $2000.00 each for the MS70s.. these days, that same coin, of which 6683 were sold by the Mint (don’t ask me how I remember that number, but it’s etched in my brain forever).. where was I.. oh.. if I had held onto them for 14 years instead of two or three years, I could get between $5000.00 and $6000.00 EACH for them now.. even a RAW one in OGP will fetch close to $4000.00 these days.. how hard do you think I’ve been kicking myself for not even keeping ONE of them?.. but at that time, I needed the money, and I got top $ for them on eBay.. little did I imagine at the time that I’d be able to sell them for triple what I sold them for if I had waited about ten years.. so even though there will be roughly seven times as many of the Gold Kennedys in existence (40,000 vs. 6683), I think they will be an instant sell-out when they go up on the Mint’s Web site the same time people line up at the ANA show to buy them.. in fact, I’ll be surprised if the Mint’s site doesn’t explode, as it has done so often in the past, and all 40,000 (2500 at the show, and the rest online), will sell-out in maybe under two hours.. unfortunately, my wallet isn’t as fat as it used to be, so all I’ll be able to do is to watch.. I’ll wait for the $99.95 multi-coin Silver JFK set, and try to grab one of those whenever the Mint puts them on sale.. as of a couple of days ago, the Mint’s site still said the release date for the multi-coin Silver JFK set was “TBD”.. I shouldn’t be spending anything on coins, but I can probably dig up a hundred bucks somewhere.. just some random musings.. take them for whatever they’re worth 😉 ..

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