2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection

Today, October 28, 2014 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection. This will represent the third and perhaps most eagerly anticipated of the three special numismatic products issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the series.

The series was authorized shortly following the assassination of President Kennedy and the first coins were issued in 1964. The obverse was designed by Gilroy Roberts and features a portrait of President Kennedy based on his inaugural medal. The reverse was designed by Frank Gasparro based on the Presidential Seal. Upon the coin’s initial release, a large proportion of the mintage was hoarded by the public as mementos, which limited the number of pieces which actually circulated. The tendency to save rather than spend the new half dollars contributed to the decline in circulation for the denomination. Since 2002, the half dollar has only been struck to fulfill demand from collectors and not minted for general circulation.

Since the beginning of the series, the coins have undergone some changes. The original portrait design by Gilroy Roberts has been modified over the years resulting in a very different appearance of the modern portrait compared to the original. The composition of the coins has also changed from the original 90% silver to copper-nickel clad, which has been used for circulation strikes since 1971.

The release of the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection brings the series back to its roots by restoring the original portrait design and issuing the coins in the original 90% silver composition. This portrait and composition are used across four half dollars struck at four different mints with different finishes.

kennedy-collection

The set includes one reverse proof coin from the West Point Mint, one proof coin from the Philadelphia Mint, one enhanced uncirculated coin from the San Francisco Mint, and one uncirculated coin from the Denver Mint. Each of these coins has not been offered previously and represents a distinct and separate issue from the 2014 Kennedy Half Dollars included in other numismatic products.

2014-w Reverse Proof Kennedy Half Dollar

Of the four coins, two issues feature finishes never before seen within the Kennedy Half dollar series. The 2014-W Reverse Proof Kennedy Half Dollar features mirrored raised design elements and inscriptions against a frosted background. This is the opposite of the appearance of the traditional proof coin. The reverse proof finish has previously been used for the American Silver Eagle, American Gold Eagle, American Platinum Eagle, and American Gold Buffalo within special numismatic products.

2014-S Enhanced Uncirculated Kennedy Half Dollar

The 2014-S Enhanced Uncirculated Kennedy Half Dollar uses different degrees of laser frosting to create a unique appearance. On the obverse, the portrait, lettering, and border will receive a heavy laser frosting treatment. On the reverse, the lettering and border will receive a heavy laser frosting treatment. The eagle will receive a moderate laser frosting treatment, and the stars will receive a laser polish technique to accentuate them against the field. An enhanced uncirculated finish has only been used on one previous occasion for an American Silver Eagle issued within a special set.

The four coins of the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection are packaged within an embossed faux leather folder which includes an image of President Kennedy from the original half dollar design along with flag imagery. Each set also includes a booklet on the development and design of the half dollar and a separate printed certificate of authenticity.

The sets are priced at $99.95 plus applicable shipping and handling. Sales are conducted through the US Mint’s website at http://catalog.usmint.gov and by phone at 1-800-USA-MINT.

Just days ahead of the on-sale date, the US Mint announced a product limit of 300,000 units. The Mint indicated that they would have more than 180,000 units immediately available for the start of sales. There is an ordering limit of 5 sets per household imposed.

Unexpected Product Limit

Establishing a product limit for the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection was an unexpected development and was announced only days before the product release.

Ever since the one-day sell out of the 2011 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set, the US Mint has shied away from establishing specific product limits for high demand products. (The exception is the case of commemorative coins such as the Baseball Hall of Fame Coins which have mintage limits established by Congress.) Instead of setting product limits, the US Mint has used limited four week ordering windows or left mintage levels open ended and based on demand.

When the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Silver Set was first announced, there was no specific product limit in place. In fact, I had asked the Mint if they ever planned on going back to establishing maximum mintages for special products and at the time they indicated their preference for no mintage limits due to the difficulty in gauging customer demand.

Since the US Mint typically aims for broad product distribution, they likely established the 300,000 product limit as their approximation of the total collector demand for the collection. Will this prove too little, too high, or just right?

For anyone contemplating the product limit, here are some figures to consider from other special Kennedy products and somewhat comparable special silver numismatic sets.

  • In 1998, the US Mint offered a special Kennedy Collector’s Set, which included the 1998-S Robert F. Kennedy Silver Dollar and a special matte finish 1998-S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar. The set was priced at $59.95 and sold approximately 62,000 units during a four week ordering window.
  • In 2006, the 20th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set was offered and included three Silver Eagle coins with proof, burnished, and reverse proof finishes. The sets were priced at $100 each and limited to 250,000 units with an initial ordering limit of ten sets per household. A sell out occurred after approximately two and a half months.
  • The 2011 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set contained five Silver Eagles including two coins unique to the sets. Priced at $300 per set, there was a product limit of 100,000 and ordering limit of five per household. A sell out occurred in less than 5 hours.
  • The 2012 San Francisco Silver Eagle Set contained proof and reverse proof Silver Eagles with the “S” mint mark. One of the coins remained unique to the set. The product was offered during a four week ordering window and priced at $149.95. Opening day sales reached 85,341 units. Final sales reached 251,302, which was later adjusted to a final audited mintage of 224,935 sets.
  • The 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set contained a reverse proof and enhanced uncirculated Silver Eagle with the “W” mint mark. Both coins were unique to the set and this represented the first use of the enhanced uncirculated finish. The sets were priced at $139.95 each and offered during a four week ordering window. Opening day orders reached 140,648 units. Final sales reached 281,310 units, although this was subsequently adjusted to 235,689.
  • The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Silver Dollars featured an innovative design for a popular theme. The coins were priced at$47.95 for the uncirculated and $52.95 for the proof with a maximum mintage of 400,000 across both versions and ordering limit of 100 coins per version. Opening day sales reached 156,675 silver dollars. A sell out occurred in just under two weeks.
  • The 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set was originally offered with no stated product limit and an ordering limit of five per household. The set was priced at $9.95. Opening day sales reached 68,974 and have now risen to 134,631. A product limit of 200,000 was just announced.
  • The 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Gold Proof Coin was originally priced at $1,240 per coin and had an ordering limit of five coins per household. Opening day sales reached 56,694 and have since risen to 64,303. The ordering limit has been removed, no product limit has been imposed.

New US Mint Website

Today’s high profile release will represent the first big test for the United States Mint’s new retail website and order management system which launched on October 1, 2014. In addition to improvements to the design and functionality, the new system features dynamic scaling to meet peak capacity.

For past major releases, the US Mint’s website has slowed to a crawl or even crashed. To temporarily deal with the issue, the US Mint had utilized an online waiting room which during times of high traffic queued customers to enter the website. Neither of these situations was ideal and I am sure customers are hoping for a better experience this time around.

Good luck to all readers today who plan to order the set!

Facebook Twitter Email

Comments

  1. GoldFishin says

    @Tinto- I also have a PO BOX, my CC was pinged but no shipment for me today either(still processing), even though I saw much later order’s that were shipped today. I am not worried about it this time, it may just be an anomaly.

  2. rob says

    I have UPS ( not Fed Ex or USPS) tracking that says my K13 sets are expected by Thursday the 30th. Order paced by phone at 12:04 EST

  3. says

    @eagle one and @Sith

    Thanks for the replies, can’t wait for the First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gold coin next year to complete the entire set!

  4. US Marine says

    I have a tracking number for my two sets, They are leaving Memphis, My tracking # starts with USM0259 Hope you guys get yours soon. I was done ordering by 9:03 west coast time, I could of been out of there sooner, but they didn’t keep my credit card on site when they launched the new site……..

  5. Jerry Diekmann says

    I tried the on-line system this morning, and everything went smooth until the final tab, which was to place the order. I was trying to order 5 of the JFK silver sets, 1 FS medal set, and 2 FDR-Eleanor coin & medal sets. Thesystem came back with an “I’m sorry … can’t’ process at this time… try again later… thank you for yor patience. I admit I wasn’t surprised, as I figured the system would become overloaded and the Mint apparently again had not prepared for that probabbility. After several more tries of re-entering the required info, I gave up and tried the CS phone. The first try was a busy signal, but the second time the call went through and I was able to speak to a nice CS lady. I asked her if everyone was totally busy and she said there were several hundred reps taking calls today. I placed the order through her, but then an unexpected problem popped up. She couldn’t process my credit card info because she was receiving an error that the “maximum order amount bhad been reached”. I asked her why this error occurred and she said that my unsuccessful attempts on the on-line system triggered a message that maybe I was trying to order more than the maximum limit of coins. I can appreciate the Mint wanting to limit cheating, but in this case, the on-line order hadn’t even processed, so I didn’t know why the CS people would receive this message – I was only requesting one order which contained the 5 sets – all I would ever want, as I am a collector, not a flipper or seller. She said another department would have to review my order now before processing it, and they would telephone me within 24 to 48 hours to confirm their action. I was concerned that I could easily fall between the cracks in the next couple of days, as it is probably a zoo at the Mint now, so I did request and received a confirmation number which is supposed to ensure that my order will be processed. So I am on hold for the next couple of days. She did say that the same problem had occurred with other buyers, I guess those of us who like me had tried unsuccessfulkly to order on-line first and then called CS. It’s not over until the fat lady sings, so I can only hope that everything goes well, which is not always what happens when you are dealing with the Mint. Good luck to all you buyers and hopefully this information may be helpful to you as you try and place your orders.

  6. fmtransmitter says

    u tried to buy 10 sets admit it! j/k…
    hey…
    Mintage Limit: None
    Product Limit: 300,000
    Household Order Limit: 5
    it should say 75k for ML?

  7. VA Bob says

    Jerry – Looks like there are a few bugs in the system yet, that they will have to work out. I don’t believe you are in any danger of not getting your sets. Good thing you called anyway though.

  8. Rich the elder says

    loged in placed order 2set complete at 12:04 ,done no glitches.I believe those with issues were self imposed!!!!!!!

  9. VA Bob says

    2013 JFK two roll set on back order. Really? Are they digging them out of the warehouse to fill orders? Some day there is going to be another GSA auction.

  10. Jerry Diekmann says

    frmtransmitter – Hi! I know you’re just kidding – 5 sets are plenty for me, at $99.95 a set – that’s quite a dent in my wallet and quite a high price given the actual value of the silver in the coins. But with 4 different silver coins, it should be a nice set to keep and refer to for a long time. I do hope there aren’t any more options of striking coins – 4 varieties are enough.

  11. GoldFishin says

    @ Cagcrisp, Eagle One -Just placed an order at 12:00 am EST for one 5 oz sub. Order number was 02628xxx, Closer to 9000 than 8000. Orders slowed to an average of around 700 orders per hour last 3 hours.

    First Reported Order# 025919xx
    Last Reported Order #02628xxx

    Total Orders First Day Sales= Approx. 36,600 or round to 37K orders.

    At 6:55 PM est I guessed 36,213 orders, wasn’t too far off. Crunch the numbers and see what you come up with.

  12. Eagle One says

    GF,

    1,500 order invoices were placed between 8PM (EST) and 12AM (EST). That is an average of 375 order invoices per hour.

    A total of 36,100 order invoices were placed from 12PM (EST) and 12AM (EST). Assuming an average of 3 K13 sets per order invoice; the total number of individual K13 sets sold is estimated to be 108,300.

    Raw Data

    T0: # 2,591,900: Diff =0 invoices
    T+3 Hrs: # 2,613,000: Diff = 21,100 invoices
    T+5 Hrs: #2,619,113: Diff = 6,113 invoices
    T+8 Hrs: #2,626,500: Diff = 7,387 invoices
    T+12 Hrs: #2,628,000: Diff = 1,500 invoices

    *Assumption: The average number of sets included in an order is an estimate. It could be higher or lower and some invoices may include no K13 sets.

  13. Eagle One says

    Lucky,

    The order numbers were provided by MNB posters that reported their order status in real-time from the start of todays sale.

    GF,

    Thanks for that critical data point. We will see how things compare when the Mint releases their numbers on Wednesday.

    All,

    If I get two more data points on Wednesday; I can extrapolate to an approximate sell out date and time.

  14. cagcrisp says

    @GoldFishin and Eagle One, Thanks for the Numbers. Estimated 36,600 orders. Here are the Guys I Think have the best shot:

    • TimTom 55,000 10/14….. 1.50/order
    • Dustyroads 64,000 08/09…..1.75/order
    • CaptainOverkill 75,000 08/08…..2.05/order
    • thePhelps 85,500 08/08…..2.34/order

  15. VA Rich says

    Oh no…, it’s definitely 3.743 sets per order.., that’s how we’re going to end up at 137,000 sets sold day 1!

  16. thePhelps says

    Well – I waited all day for my “shipped” notice. It didn’t show up so I went to bed…ok It really wasn’t that important. I did look in my email this morning and find my order had shipped as well – I got the notice late last night.

    @cag…I think mine will be low – since the impact of the mintage limit appears to have driven several to order who hadn’t planned on it – and others to order who were going to wait. It’ll be interesting to see how it played out!

  17. GoldFishin says

    @Cagcrisp- I am thinking a little higher, maybe closer to between 2.34 and 3.1, but you could be right. I still have a chance if it as the lower end. I thought maybe VA BOB was going to be in the right range. It will be fun to find out. Have a nice day all>>

  18. halfpint says

    checked order this morning says shipped,on the kennedy 4 coin set ,only ordered yesterday about 30 seconds after 12:00 ,hope this is true seems very fast for the mint

  19. pigiron says

    placed order at 12:15 , on the 28th, order shipped fed-ex 11:15. 28th. scheduled delivery 11-1-14.

  20. CasualCollector says

    Regarding the Kennedy Silver sets that shipped “UPS Ground Sig Adult” — does anyone know if this is the type of shipping that UPS actually delivers to my house, or is it the one where UPS Delivers to local Post Office, and then the USPS Mailman delivers it to the house?

  21. vaughnster says

    CasualCollector–UPS Ground/Sig means the UPS driver delivers it and requires that someone sign for it at the time of delivery.

  22. TMMSR says

    Does anyone know/ remember the average number of 2011 25th silver eagle anniversary sets sold per order. It would be interesting to compare the number of 2011 25th anniversary sets sold per order to the number of 2014 50th anniversary Kennedy sets sold per order. My thoughts are that the Kennedy may prove to be higher – I base this on the fact that to buy the maximum number of Kennedy sets, it will cost $500. But if the maximum number of 2011 25th silver eagle anniversary sets were purchased, it would have cost $1500.

  23. Kerry says

    Tried to order through the Mint website several times this morning and couldn’t get the order to go through (I had already reset my password, etc. last week). Called the Mint and waited for over 30 minutes to get a live operator. Was told that the two-coin special Kennedy half-dollar uncirculated set is now sold out, but fortunately I was able to order two of the Kennedy four-coin sets. I’m not happy that the mintage for the two-coin set is lower than the mintage for the four-coin set. I had been waiting to order both types of sets together in order to save on shipping. Now I’ll have to go into the secondary market and pay much more than the extra shipping charge to get these sets. Thank you, United States Mint for another lousy buying experience!

  24. Brad says

    Scrooge,

    Is the 1975 version of the bicentennial half able to be told apart from the 1976 version, similar to the Ike Dollar? I think the Ike Dollar has the wide lettering on the back of the coins struck in 1975, and the narrow lettering on the 1976 version. I thought all the half dollars were the same though. Or, maybe you were just joking about the whole thing!

  25. Louis says

    Bear in mind that you can not bring your sets to Baltimore for grading according to the NGC site. It appears they need to be mailed in. They made an exception for the Chicago show but these kind of sets normally must be sent in. But I also don’t recommend doing it that way. Buy a graded set if you want one.

  26. Sith says

    @Kerry – Thank you for letting us know about the sell out, but is listed as “out of stock,” not “sold out” on the website. But that just sounds like a formality. Fortunately for me I got my set yesterday.

  27. Ikaika says

    @ Kerry

    Last time I checked it was out of stock, which does not mean soldout. Did CS confirm soldout?

  28. Sith says

    For those following sales, about 65K of the 2 coin set remained after the 26th…I image that the bulk of those sales happened in the last 24 hours.

  29. Ikaika says

    @ Sith

    I agree with you. Yesterday when I purchased the silver set, I picked another clad set to save on shipping. I think many did the same 🙂

  30. Small time collector says

    ordered after 6pm est and this morning order is shown as shipped!
    I ordered two sets, update shows 1 item shipped, yet charged for 2.
    Not sure what to expect. I ordered std ship to ground address ($4.95 option) it stated 1 to 2 week delivery. I’ll update when received on the left coast.

  31. VA Bob says

    STC – The mint now calls multiple physical items of the same stock number as ONE item. I don’t like that at all, it will lead to confusion as people will believe they are not getting the number of the same items they ordered. It also makes searching one’s history much more difficult. Hope they change that.

  32. Mr. Kairu says

    Does anyone else have trouble with this website some? A “Gatorhost” keeps popping up every now and again when I try to get on here. Wonder if it is with my work computer or with something else… and the site seems really slow (compared to any other site right now).

  33. cagcrisp says

    Ding, Ding, Ding…Johnny we have a Winner ….Actual Day 1 Sales for 12 hours ——-85,670

    The Winner —– thePhelps 85,500 08/08

    Dang…That is Close…Good Job Man!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. says

    Mr. Kairu and Blair,

    I think this happens often when Michael’s site is experiencing high traffic, and I imagine that right now, with such heavy collector interest in the Kennedy release, the site is being flooded with curious onlookers. I imagine things will get back to normal shortly.

  35. VA Bob says

    Well it good to know the Mint still takes it’s time if you order different items. It makes me wonder if the quick shipping was for the JFK only and we can expect the “normal” progress for everything else? I’m not in a hurry, but thoughts of “hope and change” at the Mint are still under consideration, lol. Yeah, I went there.

  36. A different Jeff says

    I’m sure many ordered the 2 coin K14 set with the 4 coin K13 set. I ordered 3 of each, due on Nov 4 via ground.

    @Brad – the only way you can tell a 1975 Kennedy from a 1976 Kennedy is by the mint or proof set they are in. Other than that, there is no difference. Only the dollar has a distinct reverse, but it is not strictly identifiable as being 1975 or 1976. Only the heavy lettering variety was produced in 1975; both the heavy and fine lettering were produced in both years. The silver coins were only produced in 1975, so I suppose that is what is being alluded to. And those sets were available for 6 years before remainders were melted.

  37. A different Jeff says

    Said that wrong – “…both the heavy and fine lettering were produced in both years…” Should be – Both varieties were produced in 1975, fine lettering was 1976.

  38. Cochisz says

    Received my silver sets of the Kennedy halfs today they are beautiful. Saving for my grandchildren know they will love lhem also.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *