Paul Gilkes

Mint State

Paul Gilkes

Paul A. Gilkes, senior editor, U.S. coins, joined Coin World in 1988. Paul covers the U.S. Mint and has memorably reported for more than two decades on many of the hobby's most important stories including the record sale of the Farouk/Fenton 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle, the legal proceedings involving the Langbord 1933 double eagles, the aluminum 1974-D Lincoln cent, and the development of the concave/convex 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame coins. Other prominent stories covered include the 2000-P Washington quarter/Sacagawea dollar mule error coins and the government’s pursuit and prosecution of Bernard von NotHaus, creator of the Liberty Dollar private voluntary barter currency. Paul was the 2013 recipient of The Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing sponsored by F&W Publications and presented under the auspices of the ANA and the American Numismatic Society, with the participation of the Numismatic Literary Guild.

At around age 8 he began accompanying his dad, a circulation supervisor with Long Island's premier newspaper, Newsday, each Saturday as the newspaper delivery boys and girls paid their weekly paper bills. His dad allowed him to comb through the change received, picking out coins he wanted and replacing those he selected with other cash. Paul received a bachelor of arts degree from Grove City College in Pennsylvania in 1976. Paul has a strong background in newspaper reporting and was bureau chief for the Times Publishing Co. (headquartered in Erie, Pa.), in its Meadville, Pa., office, from 1980 until his move to Coin World. Paul collects autographs and memorabilia from The Andy Griffith Show.

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Golden opportunity: Will U.S. Mint debut gold Kennedy half at ANA?

2014 is the year of the Kennedy – half dollar that is.

The year marks the golden anniversary of the inaugural release of the Kennedy half dollar into circulation.

By the time the year ends, collectors will have had the opportunity to acquire directly from the U.S. Mint at least nine different Kennedy half dollar composition, Mint mark, finish and design/relief combinations.

Premier among the highly anticipated options is the dual-dated 1964-2014 Proof version containing approximately 0.75 ounces of .9999 fine gold.

Collectors are speculating when it and two other versions – one in .900 fine silver and one in copper-nickel clad -- bearing U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts original 1963 sculpt of the slain president will be released.

The popular bet is that the three special Kennedy commemoratives could be released during the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money the first week of August in Rosemont, Ill.

The U.S. Mint has previously released special numismatic commemoratives during the ANA’s conventions – the 2012 American Buffalo, Reverse Proof $50 coin and 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set among them.

While it is known the gold version of the Kennedy half dollar will be struck with the W Mint at the West Point Mint, many questions remain unanswered.

What finish will the high relief silver and copper-nickel clad versions bear? Which facility or facilities will strike these issues? Will mintages reflect striking to order during a set or open-ended ordering period, or will they be limited editions?

Except for the gold version, the obverse of all Kennedy half dollar versions in 2014 will bear the single date 2014. The reverse design on all options, including the gold, will bear the lower relief Heraldic Eagle reverse last used on 2013-dated Kennedy half dollars.

Collectors seeking to assemble a complete collection of Kennedy half dollars dated 2014 will need the following, with price from U.S. Mint:

The three high relief commemoratives (prices unknown)

Circulation quality copper-nickel clad Denver Mint (D) and Philadelphia Mint (P) strikes (two-roll set, $32.95)

Copper-nickel clad Denver and Philadelphia strikes in the 2014 Uncirculated Mint set ($27.95)

Copper-nickel clad San Francisco Mint (S) strike in 2014-S Proof set ($31.95)

.900 fine silver San Francisco Mint strike in 2014-S Silver Proof set ($53.95)

Collectors may lower their cash output by trying to acquire single examples of the coins, where available, on the secondary market.

Visit the U.S. Mint’s website at

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