United States Mint to evaluate handling of Proof Kennedy gold half dollar sales at public venues

Officials ended in-person sales on safety concerns
By , Coin World
Published : 08/18/14
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The United States Mint will evaluate its handling of the inaugural in-person sales of Proof 1964–2014-W Kennedy gold half dollars at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money and three other venues Aug. 5 to 7, as it anticipates releasing an undisclosed numismatic product at the 2015 ANA convention. 

Retail sales at the ANA show had been scheduled to also run Aug. 8 and 9, and Aug. 8 at sales centers at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints and Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C.  U.S. Mint officials discontinued sales those remaining days, amid concerns for the safety of the public and U.S. Mint employees.

READ: Denver TV affiliate catches stampede for gold Kennedy half dollars at Mint facility on tape

The Mint’s decision to suspend the sales was made in conjunction with ANA officials, said Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications.

The U.S. Mint returned more than 1,300 gold Kennedy half dollars to fulfillment inventory with the sales suspension. The retail value of that inventory, at $1,240 per coin, was more than $1.6 million.

“The United States Mint fully intends on evaluating its recent presence at the World’s Fair of Money and the launch of the John F. Kennedy Gold Proof Half-Dollar,” Jurkowsky said Aug. 11 by email. “Appropriate staff members will convene to discuss lessons learned and how best to proceed with similar coin launches in the future.

“It would be inappropriate at this time to discuss a timetable for when these internal discussions will occur. The Mint will announce decisions on how it will handle future coin launches at the appropriate time.”

As of Aug. 10, the U.S. Mint reported sales of 62,341 of the Proof Kennedy gold half dollars online, by phone and at the four in-person venues.

U.S. Mint and ANA officials were caught off guard by the size of the crowds seeking the coins, which numbered in the high hundreds at each venue. 

READ: Wait for first gold Proof Kennedy 'worth every second,' while 'chaos' described further down the line

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