People tripped, fell and were trampled on in the rush to get in line at the U.S. Mint in Denver on 7th August. They were all after one coin – the John F. Kennedy 50th Anniversary Gold Half Dollar.
After the official launch at the ANA World Money Fair in Chicago, thousands of collectors queued up at U.S. Mint locations each day in the hope of securing one of the 500 coins due to be released daily, with most selling out in just a few hours.
The rush was so intense that the police had to be called to calm things down. The US Mint were eventually forced to suspend in-person sales of the coin and released the following statement:
“The United States Mint and the American Numismatic Association (ANA) announced today that sales of the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin have been suspended at the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill. The Mint and the ANA made the decision to ensure the safety of those wanting to purchase the coin and the safety of their own employees.”
Why did this coin cause such a frenzy?
Issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Kennedy half dollar, it is the first ever US half dollar to be issued in 24 Carat gold. The reverse design also features a ring of 50 stars – more than any other US coin produced for circulation.
In fact, dealers were so keen to get hold of the first release coins they were buying the coin straight back off members of the public and some were even offering people $600 to queue and buy the coin for them.
If you are interested…
The Westminster Collection managed to beat the rush and reserve a limited number of 2014 Anniversary JFK Gold Proof Half Dollars.
NOW SOLD OUT
A rare 1794 Silver Dollar, thought to be among the first silver dollars ever struck by The US Mint, has set a new world-record by becoming the first ever coin to be sold for over $10 million.
The ‘Flowing Head’ was auctioned at Stack’s Bowers Galleries in New York earlier this year in front of a packed crowd of collectors, investors and dealers. Chairman David Bowers said the fact it was one of the first of its kind ever struck combined with its quality and scarcity helped to push up the price among bidders.
A new world record
The coin was eventually sold to Legend Numismatics for a record $10,016,875 –
the highest price ever paid for any coin – smashing the current record of $7,590,020 paid for a 1933 Double Eagle in 2002. A spokesman for the US-based company which specialises in rare coins said afterwards it had been prepared to bid even higher for such a rare piece of American numismatic history.
One of the finest of its kind
The record-breaking coin, one of the finest known, was part of the Cardinal Collection which includes some of the oldest and rarest American coins. It features a profile of Liberty facing right with stars around the edge representing US states, a design only used in 1794 and briefly in 1795.
Although the 1794 Silver Dollar was the highlight of the auction, the total amount made from the sale of rare coins topped almost $27m.
A selection of America’s most famous and iconic coins is available here.