By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
Get your cellphones, tablets and laptops ready and fully charged tonight, because the 2015 John F. Kennedy Coin & Chronicles Set goes on sale tomorrow.
At noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Wednesday, September 16, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2015 Coin & Chronicles Set – John F. Kennedy (product number AX3). The third of four Coin & Chronicles Sets to be released this year, the Kennedy set is considered by many the most anticipated in the series due to President Kennedy’s enduring appeal and the recent popularity of reverse proofs.
The set consists of one Reverse Proof Presidential $1 coin (Philadelphia), one five-cent postage stamp from 1964 honoring the late president, one 1 5/16″ John F. Kennedy .999 silver medal, and a booklet summarizing Kennedy’s life and work. The silver medal lacks a Philadelphia mint mark but was struck there as well. And so far, 2015 Reverse Proof Presidential dollars have been exclusive to their respective sets–the main reason, perhaps, for the success of the 2015 Coin & Chronicles program.
To date, the Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower Coin & Chronicles Sets have both came close to selling out of their mintage limits of 17,000. As of the latest sales figures from the U.S. Mint, 16,811 Eisenhower sets and 16,800 Truman sets have been sold.
It must be noted, however, that both of these products became “Unavailable” almost immediately upon release; the Truman Coin & Chronicles Set “sold out” within 15 minutes, and the Eisenhower Coin & Chronicles Set was unavailable by 12:16 PM. Further complicating the matter, issues with the online catalog that the Mint asserts were independent of the unusually high traffic resulting from customers attempting to order the sets prevented many collectors from doing so.
Both the Eisenhower and Truman sets are still listed as “Unavailable” from the Mint’s online catalog as of publication (click here and here), but customers are free to sign up for email notifications if and when more stock becomes available in the future.
Anecdotally, there has also been some controversy as to whether or not the United States Mint’s ordering process for the Coin & Chronicles sets has been fair to the average consumer. Some collectors believe that dealers are somehow buying more than their fair share, resulting in much higher prices on the secondary market.
To alleviate these concerns perhaps, and in response to anticipated demand for all things Kennedy, the Treasury Department exercised its discretion and increased the maximum mintage for Kennedy Coin & Chronicles Sets to 50,000. An order limit of two per household is also in effect.
The retail price of $57.95 remains the same.
And while demand may appear to drop relative to the Kennedy set, the fourth and final entry for the year–the 2015 Lyndon B. Johnson Coin & Chronicles Set–will be available at noon EST on October 27.
CoinWeek will keep you posted as the Kennedy Coin & Chronicles Set goes live.