U.S. Mint goes JFK crazy!

U.S. Mint mock-up of the 24 karat gold 50th anniversary Kennedy half dollar

U.S. Mint mock-up of the 24 karat gold 50th anniversary Kennedy half dollar

Those waiting for the U.S. Mint to release the Kennedy Half-Dollar coin 50th Anniversary Products will be happy to learn that the U.S. Mint announced the products that will be available.

The coin that seems to be the most anticipated is the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin (U.S. Mint product code K15) that will be struct at the West Point facility using three-quarters of a troy ounce of .9999 fine, 24-karat gold. The dual-dated coin will be encapsulated and issued in a wood box, probably similar to the wood boxes used for past special issue gold coins starting with the 2009 Ultra High Relief Gold Coin.

Sales of the gold coin will begin on August 5, 2014 at noon Eastern Daylight Time through the U.S. Mint’s online catalog or by phone. They will also sell the coin at the 2014 Chicago World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont. The price will be set based on the prevailing price of gold when the sale begins. If you want to anticipate the costs, you can see the U.S. Mint 2014 Pricing of Numismatic and Commemorative Gold and Platinum Products. [PDF]

Fans of silver coins and the variations on the silver design will have to wait until the Fall for the release of the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Silver Coin Collection. The four coin set will include 90-percent silver coins from each of the U.S. Mint’s facilities in four different styles:

  • One reverse proof coin from West Point
  • One proof coin from Philadelphia
  • One enhanced uncirculated coin from San Francisco, and
  • One uncirculated coin from Denver.

The press release says that the “encapsulated coins are secured in coin wells within an embossed leatherette-type folder that includes the same image of John F. Kennedy that appears on the coins in this set, with patriotic imagery of stars and stripes.” Since this sounds like a new packaging style, we may have to wait until the set is released to truly understand the presentation.

Finally, for the budget conscious, the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set will feature two uncirculated half-dollars from Philadelphia and Denver in a commemorative folder. Although the set will go on sale on July 24, 2014, the U.S. Mint has created a catalog page for the set.

50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set

50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set

Are you going to buy any of the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar tribute coins?

Yes, I am buying all three sets! (30%, 40 Votes)
Yes, I am buying the silver coin set only. (24%, 32 Votes)
No, I am just not interested. (16%, 21 Votes)
Yes, I am buying the gold coin and silver coin set. (14%, 18 Votes)
Yes, I am buying the gold coin only. (13%, 17 Votes)
Yes, I am buying the uncirculated set only. (3%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 132

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All images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

POLL: A Kennedy half-dollar tribute

Last week, when the U.S. Mint announced a meeting of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee will be held on February 11, they included an agenda item mentioning a discussion regarding a 24-karat gold Kennedy half-dollar special product for 2014.

No further information is available from the U.S. Mint prior to the CCAC meeting.

1964 JFK Half-DollarShortly after Kennedy’s, U.S. Mint Director Eva Adams and Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts reported that there was discussions about putting Kennedy’s portrait on a silver coin. Since Jacqueline Kennedy did not want to replace Washington’s portrait on the quarter, it was decided to use the half-dollar. Roberts used models from the inaugural medal for the obverse design and Assistant Engraver Frank Gasparro prepared the reverse design using the Presidential Seal.

Since the law stated that coinage design could not be changed more often than 25 years, and that the Franklin Half was only 15 years old, it required Congress to authorize the change. The Act of December 30, 1963 allowed the design to be changed.

When the coin was released in 1964, the 90-percent silver coin was saved by a grieving nation wanting something that represented the fallen President. Over 273 million coins were struck in Philadelphia and 156 million in Denver.

This year, the Kennedy half-dollar will celebrate its 50th anniversary. It appears that as part of that anniversary, the U.S. Mint will use the authorization it has to strike 24-karat gold Buffalo coins and use it to create a Kennedy half-dollar tribute.

Today’s poll asks if you like the idea of a gold tribute coin and whether you would buy one?

What do you think about the idea that the U.S. Mint will produce a 24-karat gold tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half-dollar?

I like the idea and will buy at least one of the coins. (40%, 28 Votes)
I like the idea but gold is too expensive for me. (24%, 17 Votes)
Why don't they strike a silver half-dollar like the silver coin that came out in 1964? (21%, 15 Votes)
i do not like the idea (7%, 5 Votes)
Where's the reverse proof? I want a reverse proof! (6%, 4 Votes)
It doesn't matter what the U.S. Mint does. I don't buy any of their products! (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 70

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A solemn 50

It was the modern day “Shot heard ’round the world.” At 12:30 PM Central Time, while the motorcade carrying President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally’s wife Nellie was twice fired upon while passing through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald fired two shots from the Texas School Book Repository at the convertible. The first shot hit the President under his arm which was held up as he waved at the crowd. The bullet passed through his body and struck Governor Connally. The second bullet struck the President in the head.

At 1:00 PM, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital.

Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson refused to leave Dallas for Washington without the Jacqueline Kennedy or the body of the president. At 2:38 PM, Johnson took the oath of office aboard Air Force One with Mrs. Kennedy at his side. She wore the blood-splattered coat to remind people of the tragedy that just occurred.

Fifty years later, those who experienced the assassination as part of the American family continues to remember the sadness and grieving by everyone, even those that did not support Kennedy. Some have described the feeling as more profound than what we experienced on September 11, 2001 because while both were tragedies, Kennedy was the living symbol of a bright future.

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

—John F. Kennedy
Sept. 12, 1962

Kennedy became the youngest person to ever be elected as President and the first Roman Catholic. At 43, Kennedy was the promise of a new vision that would have the United States leading the world in fighting the “common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” In his inaugural address, he called the nation to arms for its own sake when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Kennedy made an impact on this country in such a short period of time that one can wonder what would have happened if….

1964 JFK Half-DollarA few days after Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, U.S. Mint Director Eva Adams, Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts reported that there was discussions about putting Kennedy’s portrait on a silver coin. Since Jacqueline Kennedy did not want to replace Washington’s portrait on the quarter, it was decided to use the half-dollar. Roberts used models from the inaugural medal for the obverse design and Assistant Engraver Frank Gasparro prepared the reverse design using the Presidential Seal.

Since the law stated that coinage design could not be changed more often than 25 years, and that the Franklin Half was only 15 years old, it required Congress to authorize the change. The Act of December 30, 1963 allowed the design to be changed.

When the coin was released in 1964, the 90-percent silver coin was saved by a grieving nation wanting something that represented the fallen President. Over 273 million coins were struck in Philadelphia and 156 million in Denver. The composition was changed in 1965 with the introduction of clad coinage. Half-dollars consisted of 40-percent silver that included a core made from 79-percent copper and 21-percent silver. In 1971, the composition was changed to current copper-nickel clad that is in use today.

1976-S JFK Silver Proof Half-DollarThere has been one design change to the coin and that occurred in 1975 and 1976 in honor of the American Revolution Bicentennial. A special reverse depicting Independence Hall in Philadelphia was designed by Seth G. Huntington. For both years, the obverse featured the dual date 1776-1976 in celebration.

On the 50th anniversary of his assassination, we salute President John Fitzgerald Kennedy for his service and mourn the loss to this country.

2013 Will Be Interesting

We end numismatic 2012 almost the same way as we began, discussing what to do about the one-dollar coins. The over production lead to a quite a number of bills introduced in congress to try to fix the perceived problem but none ever made it to a hearing, let alone out of a hearing. Rather, the U.S. Mint hired Current Technologies Corp. (CTC) to perform an alternative metals study required by congress.

When the U.S. Mint finally published the report and a summary they made a recommendation to study the problems further because they could not find suitable alternatives to the current alloys used. While reading the summary gives the impression that the request is reasonable, the full 400-page report describes the extensive testing and analysis that the U.S. Mint and CTC performed leaving the reader curious as to why they were unable to come to some sort of conclusion—except that there is no “perfect” solution. This is a story that will continue into 2013 and be on the agenda for the 113th congress when it is seated on January 3, 2013.

The other part of the discussion is whether or not to end the production of the one-dollar Federal Reserve Note. It was the last hearing before the House Financial Services subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology for Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and the 112th congress that will certainly carry over into 2013.

This does not mean the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is without its controversy. In order to comply with the court order as part of American Council for the Blind v. Paulson (No. 07-5063; D.C. Cir. May 20, 2008 [PDF]) and the subsequent injunction (No. 02-0864 (JR); D.C. Cir. October 3, 2008 [PDF]), the BEP has been working to provide “Meaningful Access” to United States currency.

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner approved the methods that will be used to assist the blind and visually impaired to U.S. currency on May 31, 2011. In addition to examining tactile features, high contrast printing, and currency readers, the BEP issued a Request for Information for additional information to implement their plan. The BEP will be participating at stakeholder organization meetings to socialize and refine their plans. There will probably be few announcements before the conventions of the National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind this summer.

Another building controversy from the BEP is whether the redesigned $100 notes will find its way into circulation. Introduced in April 2010, full production has been delayed because of folding during the printing process. The situation has to be so severe that the BEP has not announced a new release date and delayed releasing the 2011 CFO Report [PDF] to the end of Fiscal Year 2012 while finding a way to bury the scope and costs of the delays. Will the redesigned $100 Federal Reserve Note be issued in 2013? Stay tuned!

Staying with currency issues, there should be a new series of notes when a new Secretary of the Treasury is appointed. It is known that the current Secretary Timothy F. Geithner wants to pursue other options. If the BEP follows its past practice, notes with the new Secretary of the Treasury’s signature would be Series 2009A notes. There have been no reports as to whether Treasurer Rosie Rios will continue in her position.

As for other products, the BEP will continue to issue specially packaged notes using serial numbers that are either lucky numbers (i.e., “777”) or ones that begin with “2013” as part of their premium products. Of course they will continue to issue their sets of uncut currency.

Another carry over from 2012 will be whether the U.S. Mint will issue palladium coins that were authorized by the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 (Public Law No: 111-303 [Text] [PDF]). The law requires that the U.S. Mint study of the viability of issuing palladium bullion coins under the Act. That report was due to congress on December 14, 2012 but has not been made public at this time.

Bibiana Boerio was nominate to be the Director of the U.S. Mint.

Bibiana Boerio was nominated to be the Director of the U.S. Mint.

One final bit of unfinished business from 2012 is the nomination of Bibi Boerio to be the 39th Director of the U.S. Mint. The former Chief Financial Officer of Ford Motor Credit and Managing Director of Jaguar Cars Ltd. has recently been a Special Advisor to the President of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce while waiting for the Senate to confirm her nomination. The Senate will have quite a few presidential nominations on its agenda that will he taken up in the new congress.

Other than the higher prices for silver products, the U.S. Mint should not generate controversies for its 2013 coin offerings. There will be no changes for the cent, nickel, dime, and half dollar with the half dollar only being struck for collectors since it has not been needed for circulation since 2002. These coins will be seen in uncirculated and proof sets with silver versions for the silver sets.

For the sets with the changing designs, the reverse of the 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters Program will honor:

There has been no confirmation from the U.S. Mint whether they will strike San Francisco “S” Mint quarters for the collector community as they did in 2012.

The 2013 Presidential $1 Coins ends the 19th century and begins the 20th century with some of the more interesting Presidents of the United States in history:

If we honor the Presidents we have to honor their spouses. In 2013, the First Spouse Gold Coins will honor:

  • Ida McKinley
  • Edith Roosevelt
  • Helen Taft
  • Ellen Wilson (died 1914)
  • Edith Wilson (married Woodrow Wilson 1915)

The U.S. Mint has not released designs for these coins at the time of this writing.

2013 Native American Dollar Reverse Design

2013 Native American Dollar Reverse Design

The 2013 Native American $1 Coin will feature a reverse commemorates the Delaware Treaty of 1778. Since the dollar coin does not circulate, only collectors have enjoyed the great designs of this series since it began in 2009.

Congress has authorized two commemorative coin programs for 2013:

American Eagle coin programs will continue with the bullion, collector uncirculated, and proof coins for both the silver and gold. The American Eagle Platinum bullion coin will continue to use its regular reverse while the American Eagle Platinum Proof will continue with the Preamble Series. The Preamble Series is a six year program to commemorate the core concepts of the American democracy as outline in the preamble of the U.S. constitution. For 2013, the reverse will be emblematic of the principle “To Promote the General Welfare.” The U.S. Mint has not issued a design at this time.

Currently, there are no announced special products or sets using American Eagle coins and no announced plan for special strikings such as reverse proofs or “S” mint marks.

Finally, we cannot forget the American Buffalo 24-Karat Gold Coins that will be available as an uncirculated coin for the bullion/investor market and a proof coin for collectors.

And I bet you thought that 2013 would be a mundane numismatic year!

Weekend Coin Finds Part I

I know there has been a lot of news on the numismatic front. I know the spot price of gold closed at over $800 per ounce. But it is the weekend and it is time for some fun. Since this is my blog, I want to show off some recent finds—especially since I have not done that in a while.

In a previous post, I discussed competitive collecting 1976 coinage. These are the Washington Quarters, Kennedy Halves, and Eisenhower Dollars with the special reverse to commemorate the American Revolution Bicentennial. These coins are of great interest because they are the first change in coinage following my interest in collecting. In fact, I continue to search change looking for the Jack Ahr Drummer Boy design on the reverse of the Washington Quarter. Not including commemorative coinage, the change in location of mint marks, or a change in alloys, this was the first temporary change in coin design on a continuing series.

Aside from competitive collecting, I would like to put together a competitive exhibit for an ANA convention about the 1976 coinage. In order to do that, I need a few “wow” items. Sure, I have the history—including copies of the laws that authorized that various coins—but there has to be a real eye catcher. I think I found it. How about three PCGS slabbed, gem proof coins with the labels autographed by the artists who designed the reverses!

These are three beautiful coins with very deep cameos placed in the slabs with the reverse facing the front and the autograph of the artists on the label. After winning the quarter and half-dollar very easily in a Teletrade online auction, it had taken another three months to win the Dennis Williams designed dollar. But looking at this set, it was worth the wait!

This is the first coin find posts of this weekend. Have a good weekend and stay tuned for a few other items that fit my “oh neat” criteria.

Happy 90th Mr. Kennedy

As our 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the youngest person to ever be elected as President and the first Roman Catholic. At 43, Kennedy was the promise of a new future; a new vision that would have the United States leading the world in fighting the “common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” In his inaugural address, he called the nation to arm when he said, “ Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

From standing up to the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev, to the success of the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the failures of the Bay of Pigs, the starting of the Peace Corps, and challenging the United States’ resolve using the space program by proclaiming, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” In over two years, Kennedy made an impact on this country in such a short period of time that one can wonder what would had happened if….

A few days after Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, US Mint Director Eva Adams, Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts reported that there was discussions about putting Kennedy’s portrait on a silver coin. Since Jacqueline Kennedy did not want to replace Washington’s portrait on the quarter, it was decided to use the half-dollar. Roberts used models from the inaugural medal for the obverse design and Assistant Engraver Frank Gasparro prepared the reverse design using the Presidential Seal.

Since the law stated that coinage design could not be changed more often than 25 years, and that the Franklin Half was only 15 years old, it required Congress to authorize the change. The Act of December 30, 1963 allowed the design to be changed.

When the coin was released in 1964, the 90-percent silver coin was saved by a grieving nation wanting something that represented the fallen President. Over 273 million coins were struck in Philadelphia and 156 million in Denver. The composition was changed in 1965 with the introduction of clad coinage. Half dollars consisted of 40-percent silver that included a core made from 79-percent copper and 21-percent silver. In 1971, the composition was changed to current copper-nickel clad that is in use today.

There has been one design change to the coin and that occurred in 1975 and 1976 in honor of the American Revolution Bicentennial. A special reverse depicting Independence Hall in Philadelphia was designed by Seth G. Huntington. For both years, the obverse featured the dual date 1776-1976 in celebration.

On what would have been Kennedy’s 90th birthday, we salute this great president with the coin minted in his honor. Happy Birthday, Mr. President from a grateful nation.

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