It’s numismania, brother! Yesterday, crowds of capitalists jammed the U.S. Mint on Independence Mall to purchase a limited-edition Kennedy half-dollar for $1,240. The gold half-dollar commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half-dollar, minted the year following JFK’s assassination.
First-day editions of coins are sought-after. Customers were limited to one. And this Kennedy coin was supposedly better than previous models: “There’s more of a fullness or a life-likeness about it that was lacking in some of the models that had occurred over the years,” Mint spokesman Tom Jurkowski told KYW 1060. Hence the huge crowd outside the mint, a place that doesn’t usually have the long release lines usually associated with sneakers or concert tickets.
— Inquirer Biz News (@InkyBiz) August 6, 2014
Naturally, most of the men in line were dealers. Or, rather, they were proxies for dealers. Philly.com's Peter Mucha reports "most" of the people in line were being paid by coin dealers at $300 to $600 a pop to collect wristbands and wait in line for the coins. Some of the line waiters were hired after reading a Facebook page from a casting firm — they were paid $400 to wait overnight.
A quick scan of eBay shows coins selling for well over face value.