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Jackie Kennedy Gold Coins Coming Soon to ModernCoinMart (MCM)

Jackie Kennedy Gold Coins Coming Soon to ModernCoinMart (MCM)
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Posted: 06-05-2015

Both President and Mrs. Kennedy continue to be popular with Americans of all political stripes and generations. Americans old enough to have been around when President and Mrs. Kennedy were alive, and millions of others who are familiar with them, are still fascinated by this period of U.S. history that was in many ways defined by their legacy. 

Gold First Spouse coins have been issued by the U.S. Mint since 2007, and the series will be ending next year with the Nancy Reagan coin. The coins are made of one half ounce of 24-karat gold and are minted at the West Point Mint.

Sales of these coins by the Mint have declined steadily over the course of the past decade as a result of rising gold prices and declining interest among collectors. The first two coins sold out of their mintage of 40,000 coins the day they were issued, but today, only about 5,000 of most issues are sold, and those figures include proof and uncirculated versions.

Back in 2007, the coins cost about half what they do today, and the Mint was not producing the vast range of precious metal products it does now.

In addition, many collectors have expressed disappointment with a lot of the designs that have appeared on these coins, although some designs are popular with collectors such as the so-called Liberty subset issued for presidents who were bachelors while in office. Those coins use images of Liberty that appeared on coins which circulated during their terms.

This situation has resulted in a number of coins with incredibly low mintages – the lowest, in fact, of any coin issued in the past 100 years. And the series as a whole is the lowest mintage modern coin series of all time.

Opinion remains divided as to whether this will result in significant future premiums for coins in the series. Values have ebbed and flowed for the more popular and lowest mintage coins over the years, and a number of them continue to command a premium.

But even among those who neither collect the coins nor necessarily believe the series should have been minted in the first place there has always been a consensus that the coin for Jacqueline Kennedy would be a big seller, especially if the Mint’s artists came up with a compelling design.

Last year, we learned that the coin's design, which has since been approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, is one that most people find to be very attractive. They feel it captures the beauty and grace of Mrs. Kennedy. 

The coin’s obverse profile was designed by Mint artist Susan Gamble and engraved by Phoebe Hemphill. The reverse depicts saucer magnolia, which Mrs. Kennedy had planted in the White House garden and near the eternal flame at her husband’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery, and it was designed by Benjamin Sowards and engraved by Jim Licaretz.  The petals of the flower are set against a backdrop of the globe -- its tips connecting the locations of some of her most notable diplomatic visits. 

The Mint announced on October 16 last year that maximum authorized mintage levels for the 2015 spouse coins would be set at 10,000 each, but for the Jackie Kennedy coin it said it is prepared to mint as many as 30,000 coins provided the demand exists. The Mint typically produces coins in batches in response to sale levels.

When the Mint announced its plans to produce as many as 30,000 Jackie Kennedy coins, it noted that some people may want to pair the coin with the 2014 50th anniversary John F. Kennedy gold half dollar.

The Mint will begin accepting orders for both the proof and uncirculated versions of the coin on June 25, and their price will fluctuate weekly on the basis of a formula based on the average price of spot gold during the previous week and other factors.

The Mint is releasing several coin products in the weeks prior to the gold coin’s release that include the 2015 presidential $1 coin for President John F. Kennedy. The legislation that created both series calls for the release of each spouse coin to coincide with the release of the corresponding presidential $1 coin, though in recent years the release of the spouse coins has been delayed several times.

Both President and Mrs. Kennedy continue to be popular with Americans of all political stripes and generations. Americans old enough to have been around when President and Mrs. Kennedy were alive, and millions of others who are familiar with them, are still fascinated by this period of U.S. history that was in many ways defined by their legacy. 

And although it is expected to have a higher final mintage than any spouse coin has since 2007, the Jackie Kennedy coin may be a long-term winner. 

Many modern coin collectors understandably place great emphasis on mintage levels when trying to gauge the long-term potential for appreciation of particular coins. But numismatists regularly remind us that demand is as important as supply.

Certain coins that depict popular and iconic images like the 2001 American Buffalo silver dollar sold out of a large mintage quickly, remain in high demand today, and continue to command a premium. 

Mrs. Kennedy is a universally admired figure, which may result in demand for the coin outside of the coin collecting community. These factors should support strong sales of the coin, possibly resulting in a sell-out at the Mint, especially if gold prices remain at or below their current level of about $1200 per ounce. 

Finally, some of the other spouse coins being issued in 2015 and 2016 for more recent first ladies that are familiar to a broader cross-section of the population may sell better than other issues. And the Jackie Kennedy coin could bring in new collectors to the series. 

MCM will offer NGC and PCGS-graded examples of this coin in both Mint State 69 and 70 and Proof 69 and 70.  You can sign-up now for pre-order notifications, and the coins are expected to begin shipping on June 30th.

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About The Author

Louis Golino Louis is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer specializing on modern coins. He has been writing a weekly column for CoinWeek since May 2011 called “The Coin Analyst,” which focuses primarily on modern U.S. and world coins and developments at major world mints. In August 2015 he received the Numismatic Literary Guild’s award for Best Website Column for “The Coin Analyst.” He is also a contributor to several magazines, including Coin World, where he writes a bimonthly feature;The Numismatist, the American Numismatic Association’s monthly publication, where he writes a monthly column on modern world coins; and American Hard Assets. He began writing about coins in 2009. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum hosted by ModernCoinMart and has written articles for MCM since 2014. He has collected classic and modern U.S. and world coins since he was about 10 and first joined the ANA in the 1970’s. He was previously a congressional relations specialist and policy analyst at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and a syndicated columnist and news analyst on international politics and national security for a wide variety of publications. He has been writing professionally since the early 1980s.

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