Modern Coin Scene: U.S. Mint Lowers Some JFK Coin Sales Limit to One

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US Mint lowers some in-person JFK Coin Sales limit

JFL Gold Commemorative | Goldmart.comOn July 31 the U.S. Mint issued a special note to members of the numismatic media announcing that the limit for over-the-counter sales of the Kennedy gold half dollars next Tuesday has been lowered from two to one per person.

This is a welcome move, one that I and many other people, have been recommending for some time.

The Mint said it acted “because of expected overwhelming response” and dialog with its customers and others, and that the move will essentially double the number of customer able to purchase the coin at the ANA show and in Washington, DC and Philadelphia.  Continue reading

Modern Coin Scene: JFK Coins a Major Test of Unlimited Mintage

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JFK Coins a Major Test of Unlimited Mintage 

Ever since they found out the U.S. Mint would be issuing special JFK coins to mark the 50th anniversary of the release in 1964 of the first Kennedy half dollars, collectors have been eagerly anticipating the coins.  They also have been keen to find out how the coins would be released, especially because the manner in which that is done has such a major impact on the long-term value of a coin.

The Mint’s prime objectives are to sell as many coins as possible while also trying to ensure a fair and wide distribution of the coins and to avoid receiving complaints from collectors that they were locked out by dealers.  Collectors want to enjoy the coins, while also seeing their value at least maintain itself and preferably increase, while dealers and speculators want to make quick profits.

Most people agree there is plenty of opportunity for quick profits with the gold JFK coins that will be launched on Tuesday online, at the Mint’s Philadelphia and Washington, DC sales facilities, and at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois, the biggest coin show of the year, where PCGS and NGC will do on-site grading of the coins.

Although many individuals not going to the show were disappointed to learn the coins have no mintage limit, others are relieved that they will be able to get a coin from the Mint.  But the key factors here are that the coins will have an initial household limit of five, and two for in-person sales, and that 40,000 coins have already been minted.

Household limits are critical to spreading out the distribution of the coins, giving the individual buyer a greater role in shaping prices, and will hopefully be maintained for as long as the coins are available from the Mint.  There will be an early frenzy because of high demand and the fact that buyers know the initial inventory will go quickly.  They do not want to wait for the next batch of coins to be made.

Good luck to all buyers!

Modern Coin Scene: CCAC Endorses Mint Proposal for 2015 UHR Set

CCAC Endorses Mint Proposal for 2015 UHR Set  UHR Set

The CACC agreed with the Mint regarding the 2015 UHR Set. This week the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee held an important meeting during which it was announced that the U.S. Mint has:

  • declined to move forward with the committee’s recommendation from April for a new reverse design on the American silver eagle depicting a classic flying eagle;
  • proposed issuing a set next year that would consist of an ultra high relief 1-ounce gold coin and accompanying 1-ounce silver medal.

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Modern Coin Scene: Orion Coin Launched

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Royal Australian Mint releases the 2014 Orion Coin

2014 Orion Coin | Goldmart.comOne of the most eagerly anticipated world coins of 2014 has just been released by the Royal Australian Mint, and is now available for ordering from various Australian dealers, e-Bay, etc.
The coin is the third in the highly popular, domed and colored Southern Sky star constellation series.  This time the Orion constellation is depicted against a brown and purple background.  The previous two coins in the series were blue and green and depicted the Southern Crux and Pavo constellations respectively.  The first was released in 2012 and the second in 2013.Goldmart.com | America's low-cost precious metals dealer
Orion, which is also known as the Hunter, is different from the other Southern Sky star constellations because it is on the celestial equator that makes it visible all over the world.
The coins feature a  convex/concave shape, are made of one ounce of 99.9% silver with a proof finish, and have a diameter of 39.62 millimeters.
The Southern Crux coin was a runaway success, selling out of its 10,000 mintage quickly, probably because it was only the second major curved coin ever minted by a world mint and because it was the first in a series, which always adds to the appeal for collectors.  Initially available for about $120, today it goes for close to $500 in original packaging
or in graded PF70.  That kind of increase in a two year period is very unusual for a modern world coin.
The Pavo issue, second in the set, has sold 90% of its mintage according to Australian dealer, Downies.
I would not be surprised to see a quick sell-out of the Orion coin and ordered two myself the day it was announced, July 21.  I may even pick up a graded PF70 later if the price is right.

 

Modern Coin Scene: Is the London Gold Fix Going to be Scrapped?

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Is the London Gold Fix Going to be Scrapped?

In May, as I discussed recently, London Silver Market Fixing announced that the London silver fix will end on August 15.  Since then many precious metal watchers have been asking if the London gold fix will also come to an end.

In addition, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority or FCA said recently that while it is possible manipulation of gold prices has taken place, it found “no clear evidence” that the major banks involved in setting the gold fix were colluding with each other.

A new article in Gold Investing News explains that there are three basic perspectives on the gold fix: “those who think the gold fix needs replacing, those who think it should be modernized, and those who believe it is fine as it is.”

The article also notes that during a recent discussion of gold industry members at the World Gold Council, “there was no real view from anyone in the room that the gold fix should be abandoned and we should start redesigning it from scratch.”

So it appears that reform of the gold fix is the most likely outcome, especially since gold market participants play such a major role in this area.

In a survey of readers of Gold Investing News, 64.7% favored getting rid of the gold fix, 29.41% said get rid of it, and about 6% said either leave it as it, or other, as of July 11.  These results, when compared to what market players favor, show how opinion is strongly divided on the issue, depending on whether you are in or outside the market.

It is also worth noting, or reinforcing, a point I have made before, which is that many observers have always argued that manipulation of silver prices has been more blatant than gold price fixing, something which regulators on both sides of the Atlantic seem to agree with.