No bulk discount for Jacqueline Kennedy First Spouse gold coins
- Published: Jul 7, 2015, 5 AM
A bulk discount purchasing option for dealers that would have offered a competitive advantage over collectors was not in effect when the Proof and Uncirculated 2015-W Jacqueline Kennedy, First Spouse gold $10 coins went on sale from the U.S. Mint for the first time at noon Eastern Time June 25.
“The coin was not offered through the bulk dealer program and there was no household order limit,” Adam Stump, the U.S. Mint’s deputy director for the Office of Corporate Communications, said via email July 7. “Normally, First Spouse gold coins are part of the bulk dealer program, but the Mint intentionally made the decision to pull the Kennedy First Spouse gold coin because of potential for high demand.
“A key point to highlight is we raised the mintage limit from 10,000 to 30,000. Had the Mint not raised the limit, we would have sold out on the first day. Because we raised the mintage limit, customers can still buy the coin.”
The Mint recorded first-day sales June 25 of 7,102 of the Proof coins at $790 each and 3,792 of the Uncirculated version at $770 each.
According to the Mint, sales through June 28 reached 7,936 of the Proof and 4,072 of the Uncirculated coins.
A sales update was expected from the Mint by close of business July 7.
The orders received June 25 by the U.S. Mint for the Kennedy First Spouse coins were sufficient to place both ordering options into backorder status.
Despite a notice on the Mint’s website that shipping would be delayed until Sept. 1, the Mint’s contracted fulfillment center in Memphis, Tenn., began shipping packaged stock already in inventory almost immediately to the customers that ordered them.
Some collectors questioned, through online numismatic chat rooms, how some dealers were able to obtain quantities of the Kennedy coin and offer them certified by a third-party grading service within days of their June 25 release.
SilverTowne President David Hendrickson said the Winchester, Ind., firm had company staff at the sales center at Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C., for the first-day sales.
SilverTowne was able to acquire between 170 and 200 of the Kennedy First Spouse coins, with all but 30 of the coins being Proofs.
The coins were sent by overnight delivery to Numismatic Guaranty Corp. in Sarasota, Fla., for certification and encapsulation with grading labels designating the coins from first day of sales, Hendrickson said.
Stump credits implementation of the Mint’s multimillion dollar, state-of-the-art website in October 2014 for the bureau’s sales success.
“One of the reasons we are selling items so fast is our improved website,” Stump said via email. “The Truman Coins & Chronicles set sold all available inventory in less than 15 minutes [June 30].
“If you recall the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame gold coin, customers were in the [online] waiting room for hours [March 27, 2014] before being able to order.
“The [new] website doesn’t have that backlog, but customers should be aware if there’s a high-demand item, they need to be on the website at the date and time of the product drop.
“If customers have an account and are logged in, they can usually complete their purchase in under two minutes. The website can handle thousands of customers at a time, so it is the fastest method to get an order in the system.”
Stump re-emphasized that collectors still interested in the Kennedy First Spouse gold coins can still purchase them from the Mint.
“There’s plenty available. We’re not close to the maximum mintage,” Stump said. “If a collector orders today, there will be a wait, but he will get a coin, just like someone who ordered at noon June 25 on the web site or at one of the sales counters June 25.”