Paul Gilkes, senior editor, U.S. coins, is a Long Island native who has written for Coin World since 1988. While covering the U.S. Mint, Paul has reported many memorable 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.Visit one of our other blogs:
Denver Mint 'stampede' atypical for gold half dollar purchasers
But you can’t blame them, as the safety of the general public and Mint employees was of major concern. While it appears the literal stampede of potential coin buyers waiting in line at the Denver Mint for Aug. 7 sales was the likely culprit for sales suspensions at all outlets, the incident was an isolated one.
Aug. 7 was the last day of sales at the three Mint facility locations, leaving 100 unsold coins at each location to be returned to the Mint’s order fulfillment center. And the 500 coins each day for both Aug. 8 and 9 at the ANA venue were also returned.
At $1,240 per coin, the U.S. Mint gave up $1,612,000 in retail sales at the four venues combined in the name of public safety.
No one could have anticipated the size of the crowds at each site. I was present at the ANA venue, and checked the line activity throughout each day, beginning with the line assembling the evening of Aug. 4 waiting for inaugurals.
From what I witnessed, except for some line jumpers, the crowd was orderly and policed themselves. It was repeated each day a new line assembled.
I also monitored activity at the other three venues through my sources on-site, who experienced similar orderly behavior,
The sales of the gold Proof Kennedy 50th Anniversary half dollars was THE story of the show, making national headlines.
There was more positive publicity and feedback generated for the hobby from the coin launch that no amount of money could buy.
The U.S. Mint is planning to sit down for internal discussions to determine what officials felt was done right, what glitches there might have been and what things can be improved upon.
The Mint is already looking at the release of an undisclosed numismatic product at the 2015 ANA convention, to be held at the same venue in Rosemont, Ill.
It will be interesting to see what the product will be, and how the launch will be handled. I know I’m looking forward to it.
By the way, as of Aug. 10, the U.S. Mint recorded sales of 112,134 of the gold Proof Kennedy 50th Anniversary half dollars.