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Gold Kennedy Half Dollar Hoopla- Keeping Perspective

Gold Kennedy Half Dollar Hoopla- Keeping Perspective
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Posted: 08-11-2014

A perspective by John Maben on the problems faced by the dealers, the ANA, and the U.S. Mint regarding the sales of Kennedy gold coins.

Kennedy Gold Sales

I was unable to attend the recent Chicago ANA convention, however we did have several staff members on hand at the show. We were prepared to buy 100 or so of the gold Kennedy half dollars at a big premium from others that took the time to stand in line however I cautioned my staff that we would not get caught up in any temporary craziness and pay more than we were comfortable with to get them. Sure enough, at the conclusion of the show, we bought exactly one, that's right one coin which we paid over double the US Mint's selling price to get.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that there should be no purchasing limits at all on any products that are being minted to demand. Why should there be? I honestly can't think of a single reason. First come will be first served and if you don't get one on the first wave eventually you will. The limits create artificial demand and changing those limits and other rules creates additional confusion.

Recently, I saw some condemnation of the entire modern coin market (on an internet blog) brought on by the sale of gold Kennedy's at the ANA, that created temporary chaos and a disorderly market for that coin. I would be just as happy as anyone to see them sold in a more sensible manner that does not promote wild speculation. The modern coin market is legitimate and here to stay. It's many segments can't be lumped into one category of greed and speculation. There are far more collectors of modern coins than classic coins in this country and most know exactly what they are doing, enjoy it, and should not as a group be scolded for the choice they have made that suits their collecting interests. There are also many honest dealers that specialize or at least dabble in modern coins, including many of the largest dealers in the country.

Besides selling precious metals, my company, ModernCoinMart, sells a nice selection of Modern Coins. We are mainly known for having the latest items that come out year after year and graded by NGC and PCGS. The majority of these current year products like Silver Eagles, Gold Eagles, Gold Buffalo's, and First Spouse Gold coins are sold by us at what typically amounts to between a 5% and 15% profit after expenses such as grading fees, but there are exceptions. We chose not to sell the ANA certified Baseball coins despite demand because I personally could not justify the price difference vs non-ANA coins in my mind.

That was a choice, and I am not judging anyone else that did sell them to their customers. As dealers, we all work within our own comfort zones and this was out of range for me.

I do share others feelings of disgust regarding short term wild speculation driven by limited supply and agree we would all be better served without it. On the other hand, the over-riding point here is that one event or even multiple events of wild speculation does not delegitimize the remaining 99% of the modern coin market or it's participants.

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