U.S. Mint Edges Closer To a Sell Out of the 2014 Special
50th Anniversary John F. Kennedy Coins
Posted: JUNE 28, 2015
The United States Mint is closing in on selling out all of the three different special 50th Anniversary John F. Kennedy coin offerings from 2014. Let’s take a closer look at them.
The first of these three U.S. Mint products is the 50th Anniversary Kennedy 4-Piece Silver Set (U.S. Mint product code K13) (the “Silver Set”), which has reported sales through June 28, 2015 of 213,856 sets out of the total maximum mintage of 225,000. We have been monitoring the Mint’s weekly sales of this set and over the past -120- days, the Mint has sold about 12,500 sets. Assuming that pace was to continue until all of the authorized sets were all sold, it would take the U.S. Mint approximately 90-120 days from now for the sellout of this product.
The Silver Set is a very interesting product. When the Mint sells out of these sets, all (4) of the silver Kennedy Half Dollars contained in this set will have a mintage of a mere 225,000 each. It should be noted that the original mintage on the Silver Set was placed at 300,000, but was later reduced when early sales were slower than anticipated. At a mintage of just 225,000, all (4) of the coins in the Silver Set will be among the lowest-minted Kennedy Half Dollars ever produced. For example, compare these (4) coins to the 2012-S Silver Kennedy from the 2012 United States Silver Proof Set. The silver Kennedy Half in that set had a mintage of approximately 395,000, but an additional roughly 50,000 of these coins were also sold in a separate U.S. Mint offering called the 2012 “Limited Edition” Silver Proof Set. Hence, the very scarce 2012-S Proof Kennedy Silver Half Dollar has a combined mintage of roughly 445,000 and it sells today for approximately $90 as a raw (ungraded) coin.
Again, all of the (4) silver Kennedy Half Dollars in the Silver Set have mintages of just over HALF of the 2012-S Silver Proof Kennedy and are still available for just $25/coin from the U.S. Mint. Despite the much smaller mintage, if the four different Kennedy Half Dollars from the Silver Set ever even reach par value with the 2012-S Silver Proof Kennedy coin, that could potentially result in a 300% increase in value from the current U.S. Mint offering price on the Silver Set! It is the authors’ belief that interest in the Silver Set may rise once the Mint sells out of its remaining ( < 5%) stock. Interestingly, even though there are potentially still about 11,000 sets left to purchase at the Mint price of about $100 (minus however many sets the Mint has sold in the past -9- days) , the Silver Sets are trading even now as high as $125/set in the marketplace.
It is also worth noting that the roughly 90-120 day sellout estimate we mentioned above (from the past four months of sales figures) may be on the high-end. In these authors’ opinion, as the Mint gets closer to selling out this set entirely, one or two larger numismatic firms may decide to gobble up the remaining available sets as a speculative play on the sets possibly moving up “out of the gate”.
Finally, the Silver Set contains a very neat coin that should do quite well even as a standalone collectible piece. One of the four coins in the Silver Set is the 2014-W “Reverse Proof” Kennedy. The U.S. Mint has produced less than ten different reverse proof coins in its history to date starting with the special reverse proof silver eagle and gold eagle in 2006. After that, the Mint produced a reverse proof coin struck in platinum in 2007 and, thereafter, additional silver eagle reverse proof coins a few years back.. Then the Mint struck this (unique to this point) Silver Kennedy Half Dollar from 2014 to join this special group of reverse proof coins (followed by some interesting reverse proof coins in 2015 which will be the subject of another article). We have already seen sales of this one coin from the 4-pc. Silver set at $50 and higher (ungraded) in the marketplace. These authors believe this silver Kennedy Reverse Proof coin should prove to be a highly collectible coin in the years ahead, especially with its relatively low 225,000 mintage in connection with the overall Kennedy Half Dollar series.
The second of these 50th Anniversary products is the Kennedy Uncirculated 2-Piece Set (U.S. Mint product code K14) (“Unc. Set”). Reported sales on this set (through the middle of February, 2015) were 197,629 out of the maximum mintage of 200,000. These sets showed on the Mint site as “Out of Stock” for some time prior to mid-February, 2015 (and one week in February the Mint reported sales of -7- sets). By March 29, 2015 (and again on April 5, 2015), the Mint reported sales of 197,608, so these authors assume some returns had been processed to account for the lower mintage figure as compared to February, 2015. These authors further assume the U.S. Mint may have ceased sales prior to reaching the full 200,000 sold units or possibly sold the final couple thousand sets privately to a bulk customer in order to achieve the sellout at 200,000 sets. We will likely get an audited final mintage figure on this set later this year as the Mint site now shows this product as “sold out”.
The two mint state Kennedy Half Dollars contained in the Unc. Set also rank among the lowest-minted Kennedys to date with its sparse 200,000 mintage per coin. At a cost basis of only $5 a coin from the U.S. Mint, it would not surprise these authors if interest in these two coins also intensified in the years ahead; and this may already be the case. Currently, the Unc. Set is trading in the marketplace for approximately $14 - $15/set or about a 45% increase from the U.S. Mint issue price. The authors see no reason why this set cannot continue to perform nicely over the next few years given the low mintage on both coins in the set.
Additionally, collectors and dealers alike continue to be on the hunt for the very first “perfect” MS70 coin to be graded from the Unc. Sets. Unlike the Silver Sets, which have a large percentage of the coins struck perfectly by the U.S. Mint, virtually no coins from the Unc. Sets are perfect by PCGS’ standards. As collectors hunt for a near perfect, or perfect, specimen from the Unc Sets, this might also help increase demand for the sets in the months and years ahead. These authors have personally inspected close to 1,300 of these sets already and have only found a coin or two that are truly “knocking on the door” of perfection as PCGS defines the MS70 standard.
The third and final of these 2014 Kennedy products is the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Gold ¾ oz. coin (U.S. Mint product code K15) (the “Gold Kennedy”) which now has reported sales of 72,661 out of the maximum mintage of 75,000. Back in February, 2015, the Mint had sales of 71,080 on this product. So, the Mint has only sold about 1,500 units in the past (120) days. Assuming that pace were to continue until all of the unsold product (2,339 coins) was fully sold out, it might take the Mint all of 2015 for a possible sellout.
While most people agree that the Gold Kennedy is a stunning coin, these authors believe a mintage of closer to 50,000 (as opposed to 75,000) would have potentially made this coin a real “winner” rather than simply (as it appears right now) another precious metal coin from the Mint that essentially tracks spot gold. There was speculation earlier this year that the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Gold Spouse coin in Proof gold, as part of the United States continuing Gold Spouse series, might spark interest in the Gold Kennedy. Again, the Gold Kennedy is comprised of three-quarter ounces of pure 24-karat gold and will nicely complement the half-ounce Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis half-ounce gold spouse coins. Yet, in the early going, now that the “Jackie” coins are released, these authors see very little added excitement for the Gold Kennedy and, at the moment, the Gold Kennedy is trading for no premium (or even a slight loss) to the Mint’s current asking price, which helps explain their slow sellout from the Mint.
For example, a coin in the U.S. Mint packaging recently sold in the marketplace for under $1,100, while the current U.S. Mint price on the coin is $1,165, down from the initial release price of $1,240 last year. At the 75,000 mintage, in these authors’ opinion, dollar for dollar, the Gold Kennedy coins are the least favorite product from among the three different 50th Anniversary Kennedy products offered by the Mint in 2014/15 and discussed in this article.
As the Mint edges closer to a sellout of all of these special 50th Anniversary John F. Kennedy coins, a few of these low mintage Kennedys look very exciting to these authors for the long haul. In particular, these authors are a fan of the Silver Set, particularly because of the Reverse Proof silver Kennedy coin. That coin is a beauty and may likely be on the “want list” of many future collectors.
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