Buyers line up to purchase gold JFK commemorative coin from US Mint in Denver

DENVER - Hundreds flocked to the U.S. Mint in Denver to buy gold coins commemorating the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy half dollar Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 24-karat gold coin went on sale Tuesday morning. But it cost a lot more than 50 cents -- the coins were sold for $1,240.

Lines of buyers in downtown Denver began early in the morning Tuesday and Wednesday as they gathered to get tickets to allow them to purchase the coins. Several in the line said they were being paid up to $600 by coin dealers.

"Basically, they're giving away free money," said Demarko Anderson. "I camped out last night and I just made more money than I would make at my job at Coors Field."

Five hundred of the proof sets were available for sale in Denver Tuesday, and then 100 each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

One side of the coin bears a portrait of JFK designed by former United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Gilroy Roberts. The Mint says the profile was based on a portrait prepared for Kennedy's presidential medal and was originally designed shortly after Kennedy's assassination.

The other side is based on United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Frank Gasparro's rendition of the Presidential Seal, surrounded by a ring of 50 stars.

According to the Mint, the coins are contain three-quarters of a troy ounce of .9999 fine, 24-karat gold and were struck at the United States Mint's facility in West Point.

The coins also went on sale at U.S. Mints in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

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