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News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Friday, September 25, 2009

2009 Kennedy Half Dollar Bags and Rolls Approaching Sell Out?


The 2009 Kennedy Half Dollar bags and rolls originally went on sale at the US Mint on January 22, 2009. Now is a good time to revisit the offering since the number of coins sold by the US Mint is approaching the total number of coins they have produced to date.

Since 2002, the US Mint has not minted the Kennedy Half Dollar for circulation, but instead produced a limited number of coins for collectors. "Circulation strike" coins have been sold in various bags and rolls offerings at a premium to face value. Sales have generally fallen over time, prompting the US Mint to produce fewer coins each year.

Last year, the US Mint produced 3.4 million 2008 Kennedy Halves, divided evenly between the Philadelphia and Denver Mint. They ultimately sold 9,701 200-coin bags and 33,413 Two Roll Sets. If you multiply out to individual coins, this represented 3.27 million coins sold.

So far this year, the US Mint has produced 3.4 million 2009 Kennedy Halves, also divided evenly between the Philadelphia and Denver Mint facilities. Figures from this week's Mint Stats show 8,463 200-coin bags sold and 34,934 Two Roll Sets sold. This represents a total of nearly 3.09 million coins sold in bags and rolls.

The current pace of sales indicates that the remaining 300,000 or so coins will not last much longer. Over the past two weeks, the US Mint sold 489 200-coin bags and 1,359 Two Roll Sets. This comes out to 152,160 coins. If sales of the coins continue at this pace, the US Mint's current supply would be exhausted within about a month.

The US Mint will have two options. They can produce more 2009 Kennedy Half Dollars and continue selling them to collectors in bags and rolls, or they can simply end the offering. I think the second option is the more likely.

This year the US Mint seems to be making a concerted effort to avoid over producing products. They have shown a preference to slightly under produce a product and have it sell out early, rather than over to over produce a product and leave it lingering within their product catalog. If the US Mint continues this preference, it seems likely that the 2009 Kennedy Half Dollars will sell out soon.

Thanks to a few anonymous readers who left comments about the 2009 Kennedy Half Dollars, which prompted this post.

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35 Comments:

At September 25, 2009 at 11:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick Question: Is the mintage for 2009 for the Kennedy Half exceptionally low?

 
At September 25, 2009 at 12:42 PM , Anonymous Brad said...

Compared to the 1960's and 70's, INSANELY low. By recent standards, it's a typical mintage amount.

If you could tell anyone in the 1960's that mintage of circulation strike Kennedy Half Dollars would one day be as low as 3.4 million coins, they would have told you that you were absolutely NUTS! :)

 
At September 25, 2009 at 1:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If, as expected, the final 2009 Kennedy MS mintages match the 2008's then this would tie as an historic low for the series.
50 cent coins really haven't circulated well since the early 1970's and since that time were used primarily in the gaming industry and in some vending machines. Now the gaming industry accepts ATM cards etc. and pays off in vouchers also vending machines aren't set up to accept half dollars due to the extra cost of the mechanics and sorting. How cost effective it is for the mint to continue making paltry amounts for the collectors is debatable, however given that Sen. Kennedy has recently passed there might be reluctance in certain quarters (no pun intended) to end this in the near future.

Jim L.

 
At September 26, 2009 at 9:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the 2009 Kennedy rolls a good buy? I'm not so sure, even with the low mintages. Sales of the 2008 Kennedy rolls are somewhat higher, but not significantly higher than the US Mint's price for wrapped rolls.

Take a chance?

 
At September 26, 2009 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mintages are not as low as they appear, if the annual Mint Sets are added in. There were about 745,000 Mint Sets produced bearing the 2008 date. Each set contains one each of the P and D Kennedy halves. Granted these are "Satin Finish" coins, but most collectors don't differentiate between them and the regular circulation strikes. If the Mint Set Kennedys are considered distinct coins, then the "Satin Finish" coins are the true keys, not the circulation strikes issued in rolls and bags.

 
At September 26, 2009 at 2:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

High grade circulation strikes do command a premium. Same is true of the satin finish, but usually at one grade point higher.

 
At September 26, 2009 at 6:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi neighbor, you said "most collectors don't differentiate between them and the regular circulation strikes". I tend to agree with that, but might qualify the comment to say "some collectors". Anyone assembling a set who lays out coins by year would see clear and distinct differences scaning across a proof, regular circulation strike, and a "satin" finish from an unc. set. The eye can clearly note they are not similar as to their finishes or eye appeal. Further to your comment, most definitly the "Satin" finish strikes contained in all uncirculated mint sets since 2005 are in a class by themselves and NO series is complete without them as a type finish for the year is unique. The real "value", scarcity and worth for Kennedy halves as a set item lies in the 2005- present Satin finish uncirculated coins.

Without going overboard concerning the 2005 - present Satins, they can be collected as a "type finish" collection of all regular issuance coins. All coins from cents to dollars for each of 4 years, all business Mints are still present to build collections and are still available for reasonable prices. Do I love them......you betcha!.

 
At September 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I'm seeing, no recent uncertified Kennedy halves issued during the past few years are selling for high prices. It seems that there is simply little demand for this once-popular coin. Perhaps it will go the way of the S-mint proof coins. Once popular, regular S-mint proofs have become so common, that there is little demand for the coins (unless there's an error or variation to be found).

 
At September 27, 2009 at 7:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might agree that the once very popular S mint single item proofs were in high demand, causing tens of thousands of Mint issued sets to be broken apart for certain coins. As a result, that spawned a whole new focus and addition to collectors want lists.

You can't get overly excited about most coins ona singular basis, but those same coins take on a desirable tone when one sees ability to score a large set of proofs spanning several decades at reasonable prices. Then there are the set collectors who accumulate a sample of every years common coins in proof condition. The unknown factor of sound - unbroken yearly sets remains a speculation. No one is able to accurately report on exisiting survived sets. Only guesses.

 
At September 28, 2009 at 7:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael,
I read on one of the forums that the chronicles set is due the 15th. A photograph is also published. Any word?

 
At September 28, 2009 at 9:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coin World is also reporting October 15th, with household limit of 5.

 
At September 28, 2009 at 9:30 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

I strongly disagree with the comments that ""most collectors don't differentiate between them and the regular circulation strikes" in regards to satin finish.

It is EASY to get a high grade satin finish coin for the sole reason that the only place to get them is by breaking open an uncirculated set. Certified versions of said coins go for a lot less than the same grade for their business-strike brethren. If you want long-term real value for your dollar, collecting high grade non-satin-finish business-strike versions of each coin for that year is the way to go.
At least, I definitely believe that will be so for all coins from 2005 onwards when the change was made in the uncirculated sets.

 
At September 28, 2009 at 11:57 AM , Anonymous Brad said...

Well said, Lasloo. I couldn't agree more.

 
At September 28, 2009 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any chance that the mint is issuing these "America the beautiful" coins because Ken Burns is showing his pictures on PBS?

Could be a little meeting of the minds going on here...

Cahoot! Gasenheit! What ever works...

Goldilocks

 
At September 28, 2009 at 4:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone besides me find "goldilocks" annoying? Just wondering.

 
At September 28, 2009 at 5:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oct. 15 Lincoln C & C set. $55.95 + S&H from the mint. Makes me wish I hadn't plunked down even more money on the secondary for an ungraded one. This set will be hot.

Jim L.

 
At September 28, 2009 at 7:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lincoln C & C set is limited to 1 per household. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Since the pennies and Lincoln Silver Dollar are available through other means, will the packaging on this one be what makes the C & C set valuable? If NGC and PCGS puts this set together, doesn't the coins have to come from the SET and not individually?

 
At September 28, 2009 at 7:38 PM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Yeah, I just saw the one per household limit on the Mint page as well. I guess CoinWorld got it wrong. Honestly, I was shocked when they said five earlier this morning. With only 50,000 sets, how can you sell something this popular with this low of a production and actually allow five to a household??

I can't see how PCGS or NGC can make much money off this one. Since, you can get all the coins in this set in other ways, the value in this one IS the packaging. PCGS would have to figure out a way to slab the actual case!! And at only $55.95, its only $14 more than the original price the Mint put on the proof commemorative. Add with the four proof pennies (which sell separately for almost $8), that leaves the actual packaging costing you only $6. Thats a pretty good deal.

But will the airtite capsules they use to package the commemorative coin going to look different from the one you would get from the normal commemorative set? In other words, can I easily switch one coin for another?

None the less, if the LP1s and WHHs have taught us anything... on the secondary market, the real money makers will be those selling this in unopened Mint boxes. But with only one to a household, how many are really going to want to NOT open it? :-)

People, this one's a hands-down winner. You just need to figure out how to get your hands on more than one and within the only day or so that it'll be available before it sells out.

 
At September 28, 2009 at 8:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What TPGs have done in the past is to put on the label that the coin(s) is from such and such set. Which makes them more valuable. Notice the Buffalo $ from the coin and currency set is worth a premium. As is the 2006-W Anniversary ASE. AMAZING!!!

 
At September 29, 2009 at 8:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the packaging is the key on the C&C set. Just like the Prez mint rolls. It's the packaging. Funny, the mint says after 30 days they will reevaluate the limit on this one!

 
At September 29, 2009 at 8:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 30 days, I would be shocked if any were left. It's just bureaucratic boiler-plate language.

 
At September 29, 2009 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure that Micheal will have something on this but the braille educ. set is 25k mintage...what are eveyones thoughts on this. I thought this would not be a winner but with the low mintage, lower then the chronicles, its going to be interesting.

 
At September 29, 2009 at 10:00 AM , Anonymous Brad said...

I was thinking about that, too. The Braille Education Set just MAY be a surprise winner, especially since it contains the UNCIRCULATED version of the coin versus the proof. Again, the PACKAGING is key.

I think I will take a chance on the Braille Education Set. Worst case scenario is that I'll end up with an additional silver coin in my collection, complete with a nice, limited-edition package.

 
At September 29, 2009 at 11:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Braille set should be interesting in that on the one hand they're only making 25K plus the coin will be uncirc. in satin finish which I do like. Given the crap job the mint does on proofs I'm becoming more of a MS unc. collector these days as it is, a thing that I never envisioned. The other side is that the Braille proof has not been too popular so down the road that whole series might be a loser. Even the Lincoln dollars in ungraded form are much more available today at lower prices than they were in early summer, even before the C&C price announcement. I think that the 2005 uncirc. mint sets are nifty too with the Westward Nickels and first satin fin. Kennedy yet I was able to buy a P-D set on EBay recently at half what the mint originally charged.


Jim L.

 
At September 29, 2009 at 11:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the 2005 Uncirculated Mint Set is a real loser these days, barely worth more than the face value of the coins it contains. I'm glad I unloaded all of mine back in 2006 when you could still get around $20-25 each for them. It's so sad. I doubt if that set will EVER recover.

 
At September 29, 2009 at 5:17 PM , Anonymous Brad said...

Unless tomorrow's London Gold AM Fix is at $1,024.21 or higher, we will be getting a price decrease for gold coins at the U.S. Mint this week. But, how much do you want to bet that they will make us wait until Thursday morning for the price drop? I'm thinking they will adhere to their written policy in the case of a decrease.

 
At September 30, 2009 at 1:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The value of any item, whether it is a coin, stamp, or other collectible is not based on rarity, but on demand. Or to put it another way, the value of an item is what someone is willing to pay for it.

With that being said, if only 10 Braille sets were produced and no one wanted one, then its value would only be worth the coin melt value of the silver and the paper the set is printed on. Which is just a fraction of the cost the U.S. Mint charging collectors.

Demand is the big driver in determining values. Scarcity is secondary. Sure, demand can change with time (that's why you see gains or decreases in values), but if you're into quick profits in the short-term, think twice before buying First Spouse coins, the Braille commemorative, or other low-demand coins....

 
At September 30, 2009 at 5:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a rather sad observation that cardboard, plastic or celephane packaging might some day govern the "worth" of a coin or set. The Madison Ave. crowd has taken over swaying formerly intelligent people into actions which are beyond absurd. Much the same as all those secretaries prancing down the street with a phone in one hand, and bottle of water in the other. No fashionista would be caught dead not carrying her water - who knows when there could be an instant drought. That's the advertising line they feed the dull minded. Pathetic.

 
At September 30, 2009 at 5:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that Samoa has suffered a terrible earthquake - tsunami disaster, how long will it take Chattanoga Coin Co. to place an ad in Coin World proclaiming everyone will need to buy their stock of quarters as a tribute? Yes, I think that CCC is a low brow outfit, and does just about anything to sucker the unsuspecting public in search of a sale. Prayers to the Samoans.

 
At September 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Is not the design itself on a coin a way of packaging the silver/gold/metal-alloy on which it is made?

Yes packaging is important. Always has been. Always will.

 
At September 30, 2009 at 4:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's not a question of demand vs. scarcity - scarcity is one of the factors that drive demand - the others being the perceived beauty of the coin, the popularity of whoever/whatever the coin honors/commemorates and, lastly precious metal. I think beauty is where many of the mint coins fall flat - the spouse coins are simply not artistically attractive -EXCEPT for the Liberty versions which reuse classic Liberty versions.

Of course the Liberty's are designed to be artistic.

 
At October 1, 2009 at 10:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question for the group: Pros and Cons of opening and grading Kennedy bags versus just putting them away unopened?

Jim L.

 
At October 2, 2009 at 8:24 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

You can't get Kennedy's anywhere except directly through the Mint, so you would think that would make them special. However Kennedy's have long NOT been a very popular coin to collect. That was the case even before they stopped putting them in general circulation. But it might have hurt it more, with it only being available from the Mint.

So, while they are not individually worth a lot... people still want to "complete" full-year collections. Especially those of us who like to collect slabbed versions of each coin for each year. So, in that vein, if you can find high quality ones, you may be able to get a return.

If you really want to get value for your Kennedy's, I suggest opening the bag and inspect as many as possible. Pick out the ones that look the best... least bag marks, shiny, etc. Then send them to be slabbed. Denver mint MS66's are going for about $50 to $70. If you can get one graded MS67, you're talking $300 or more.

 
At October 2, 2009 at 10:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lazloo, for your common sense perspectives. May I assume the dollar values you indicate are for the 2009's?

Jim L.

 
At October 2, 2009 at 10:17 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Actually, the prices I gave are the ones I'm seeing for 2008 Kennedys. As we speak, I'm actually looking for a good reasonably priced 2008 Denver Mint PCGS Kennedy Halve. I really want a MS67, and PCGS says $300... but the only guy selling one wants almost $600. Not buying it for $600.

I'm tempted to buy a couple rolls myself, search 'em, and send them in for slabbing. Its what I did for the 2009 pennies. However, from experience, time and costs are always prohibitive though.

 

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