Louis Golino

Modern Numismatics

Louis Golino

Louis Golino has been a collector of American and world coins since childhood and has written about coins since 2009. In addition to writing about modern coins and other numismatic issues for Coin World, he also has written a regular column for CoinWeek.com since 2011, writes a monthy column for The Numismatist magazine and has written for other coin publications. In 2015, for his CoinWeek column “The Coin Analyst,” he was presented with the Numismatic Literary Guild's award for best online column. He is also a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum. 

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Truman Sets and Jackie Kennedy Gold Coins: An Update

Last week I discussed the release of two of the year’s most popular U.S. Mint products, the Harry S. Truman coin and chronicles sets and the Jacqueline Kennedy $10 gold coin.

The Truman sets, which had an issue price of $57.95, are doing very well on the secondary market, hitting an initial peak of $150 and still bringing very close to that amount.  Often when the Mint finishes shipping orders out, prices decline somewhat, but that may not happen in this case because the Mint was well prepared for this release and began shipping orders immediately. 

Not everyone, including some dealers, understood what all the fuss was about these sets, but when you have the first reverse proof presidential dollar ever, and a non-precious metal modern issue with a mintage of only 17,000, that means the coin becomes an instant key, and I expect demand to remain strong for these sets.  And high-grade examples of the Truman reverse proof dollar will fetch hundreds or more.

Some collectors believe the mintages for these sets should have been higher to ensure a more equitable distribution.  But the fact remains that the web site functioned smoothly at least for most people when the sets went on sale, and for the first time I can recall some collectors compared the Mint to Amazon and similar retailers known for their efficiency.


In the time since my article appeared I have been able to obtain additional information about the events surrounding the release of the Kennedy coin.  I believe I was right to raise questions about the proof coin since no matter what demand expectations anyone had, it seemed odd that no coins would be ready to ship yet dealers had them in stock days later.

But two important facts have emerged to clarify the situation.  First, as Adam Stump, the U.S. Mint’s Deputy Director for the Office of Corporate Communications explained to me, proof and uncirculated coins were sold at all three of the Mint’s retail locations in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Denver.  And I have learned that a number of major dealers sent representatives to those locations to purchase coins. 

Second, the Mint’s initial estimate that backordered proofs would not ship until September 1 was incorrect as orders began shipping by the middle of last week.  From my discussions with the Mint and with collectors, I would say that most early orders for the proof coin have already been filled.

In addition, some collectors have noted that the release of images of the 2015 American Liberty high relief gold coin just days before the Kennedy coin was launched, and the announcement that the high relief coin will be released on July 30, may have negatively impacted demand for the Kennedy gold coin.

But dealers such as Andrew Salzberg, who runs Modern Coin Mart, told me that demand has been strong at their companies for both ungraded and graded coins despite the planned release of the Liberty coin and the fact that it is summer, when the disposable income of many collectors is going towards other things such as vacations. 



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1 comment
Mint Gift Shop availability does not explain sales of all in stock coins. Surely the entire stock was not sent to Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Denver with nothing left to phone and internet orders. Really? All Proof examples were sold in person to dealer bused in line standers? Again? After the bad experience of the Gold Kennedy Halves? Really? Come on Adam. Dribs and drabs of half truths just doesn't cut it.
It's been reported that the Philly outlet had 10 proofs available for in person sale . Assuming the same for Denver and DC, is Adam asking us to believe that only 30 Proofs were ready to go at noon? 5 or 6 days later hundreds of graded coins were being offered for sale by dealers. Are you saying these dealers had Quantum Computers that were so fast they ordered every available coin in less than a second after noon? Then took delivery, had them graded and sent to their store in 5 days? Really Adam? You have such contempt for collectors that you expect them to believe this?
Please Louis, get to the bottom of this and don't let Adam off the hook. Collectors are depending on you.