The story of the modern day gold rush

The incredible demand for the special centenary version of the Mercury Dime, which saw it sell out inside 45 minutes as I reported last week, reminded me of something similar from a couple of years ago.

On that occasion the Mint had to suspend sales for because of safety reasons. The coin caused a modern day gold rush when it was launched at an international coin show.

But what was all the fuss about?

n739 obvrev - The story of the modern day gold rushThe first ever pure gold Half Dollar issued by the US Mint was struck to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous Kennedy Half Dollar.

They launched the coin at the ANA World Money Fair in August 2014 and at a few mint sites like Denver. What happened next was nothing short of remarkable.

Hundreds of people lined up at dawn for a chance to buy one.

With sales limited to one per person and capped at 500 a day, people tripped, fell and were trampled as hundreds rushed to get in line. You can see a sample of the carnage on the video below.

Some collectors were buying one, going towards the back of the huge queue and selling it for double the price they paid like prospectors in a modern day gold rush.

The Mint made the only decision it could. It suspended sales of the coin to ensure the safety of those wanting to purchase one and the safety of its own employees.

By the end of the year the US Mint had capped sales of the coin at 75,000 pieces.

Unsurprisingly, demand for this coin has remained strong, but with so many tucked away in collections, supply is very limited.

That’s why they sell for £2,000 each.

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