US Coins

Kennedy gold Proof half certification sales mismatch

NGC required proof of purchase receipts along with Proof Kennedy gold half dollars submitted to the firm, for the coins to receive a special grading label tying the coin to a specific sales venue or identifying it as from the first day of sales.

Coin World images.

The numbers just don’t add up.

The cumulative totals of Proof 1964–2014-W Kennedy 50th Anniversary gold half dollars reported graded and encapsulated by Professional Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and ANACS during Aug. 5 to 7 sales at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., exceed the number of coins offered and reported sold by the U.S. Mint by 613 coins.

The ANA-show grading numbers, 1,136 coins for NGC, 947 coins for PCGS and 30 gold half dollars for ANACS, total 2,113 — 613 coins more than the 1,500 coins the U.S. Mint offered and sold at the show.

The discrepancy is apparently the result of coins being submitted at the ANA show for certification that likely had actually been purchased at one of the three other sales outlets offering the coins and then forwarded to the Rosemont location for grading and encapsulation. Grading services certifying coins sold at the ANA convention operated under different policies, with two requiring sales receipts showing that the coins had been sold at the show, and one firm not requiring the receipts.

The numbers discrepancies were first reported online in an Aug. 22 article by Charles Morgan on CoinWeek.com.

By the numbers

At the ANA convention, the U.S. Mint was scheduled to offer 500 of the Proof Kennedy gold half dollars each of the five days of the show, Aug. 5 through Aug. 9, for a total of 2,500 coins. 

Sales outlets at U.S. Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C., and contracted operations at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints offered and sold 500 coins each on Aug. 5, as planned. Each Mint location then sold, also as planned, 100 pieces each day on Aug. 6 and 7. 

The three non-ANA sales outlets were scheduled to offer 100 coins at each venue for one more day. However, the U.S. Mint suspended on-site sales set for the ANA on Aug. 8 and 9, and Aug. 8 at the Mint sales outlets, after crowd unruliness outside the Denver Mint threatened the safety of the public and Mint employees. 

Because of the truncated sales, of the 4,900 coins the U.S. Mint planned to offer at all four venues, it only offered 3,600, with all of those coins reported sold.

U.S. Mint officials reported that Aug. 5 sales at the ANA totaled 493 of the 500 coins offered, and 488 of the 500 coins offered Aug. 6 were sold that day. The additional coins not sold Aug. 5 and 6 were offered and sold with the 500 offered and sold Aug. 7, according to Lateefah Simms, public affairs specialist in the U.S. Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications.

“The reason why the numbers were off the first two days was because some people didn’t have the proper credentials (e.g. no valid ID, lost ticket, credit card limit issues) to purchase the coin and were asked to step out of line,” according to an email statement Simms provided to Coin World, Aug. 28.

NGC encapsulated pieces

Max Spiegel, vice president of sales and marketing for Certified Collectibles Group, NGC’s parent company, confirmed the following numbers of Proof Kennedy gold half dollars that NGC certified:

??ANA Inaugural Releases: 709; First Day — Chicago ANA: 427; total 1,136 for two labeling options.

??First Day — Philadelphia: 402.

??First Day — Denver: 366.

??First Day — Washington: 251.

“Note that the original purchase receipt was required for these designations, and we had other restrictions in place to help ensure accuracy,” Spiegel said. “For example, First Day — Chicago ANA coins had to be received before 11 a.m. on Wednesday [Aug. 6] along with the original purchase receipt.”

As of Aug. 27, NGC had not yet posted the breakdown of grades for the Proof Kennedy gold half dollars submitted to the grading service and certified, but expected to do so the week beginning Sept. 1, Spiegel said.

ANACS encapsulated pieces

Paul DeFelice, vice president of marketing and client relations for ANACS, confirmed to Coin World Aug. 22 that the grading service had graded 30 Proof Kennedy gold half dollars that were purchased and submitted at the Chicago ANA with the proper sales receipt.

Of those coins, 15 graded Proof 70, and the other 15 Proof 69.

Another nine Proof gold half dollars that were sold at the Mint headquarters sales center in Washington, D.C., and were accompanied by the Washington sales receipt were also graded by ANACS.

Of those nine, five graded Proof 70 and four Proof 69, DeFelice said.

PCGS encapsulated pieces

PCGS did not require proof of purchase. PCGS reported grading 947 of the Proof Kennedy gold half dollars with the ANA Chicago label designation. Another 90 coins were certified from Aug. 5 sales at the Denver Mint sales outlet, 112 coins from the Philadelphia Mint and 101 coins from the Washington location.

In his response to CoinWeek, PCGS President Don Willis said: “All JFK coins graded by PCGS in Chicago were submitted in Chicago. We believe all these coins were sold in Chicago, but we can guarantee only that they were submitted in Chicago.

“We did not require a proof of purchase.”

Willis further stated, according to Morgan’s Aug. 22 article, that “Any JFK coins that received a First Day of Issue label, regardless of the mint, had to adhere to very strict chain of custody requirements. We can guarantee that those coins were sold in those locations on that day.”

PCGS’s responses to Coin World — which included providing overall certification numbers — concerning these discrepancies did not clarify the matter of the number of ANA coins PCGS graded.

More number mysteries

Although 500 coins were offered and sold Aug. 5 at the Philadelphia Mint sales outlet, NGC recorded grading and encapsulating 402 receipted coins from that venue and PCGS reported 112. The total from the two services is 14 coins more than the U.S. Mint reported selling at the Philadelphia location.

Morgan’s original online article Aug. 22 can be found here.  ¦


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