Kennedy Half Dollar’s Story in Short

Kennedy Half Dollar’s Story

After the assassination of the 35th President of the United States  John F. Kennedy on December 1963,  the US congress authorized the US mint to produce new 50 cent coins in memorial to the late president. The US Mint started the process of producing Kennedy Half Dollars  in January 1964 with a very tight timeline after the congress approval. The coin designed by the US mint engravers Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro. Production  of the first Kennedy Half Dollar Proofs started at the Denver Mint  from 30 January 1964. Philadelphia Mint started the production of regular half dollar coins in early February 1964 . On February 11, 1964  1000’s of American’s attended the coin release  event event held at both the  Philadelphia and Denver Mints as its an emotional event despite the the sudden loss of President John Kennedy.

By March 1964, the Kennedy Half Dollars were released to public.  About 430 million 1964 Kennedy half dollars were issued (more than half of these were actually struck in 1965 and 1966). These coins having 90% silver content and this is not enough to meet the public demand as  most of them are kept as a  memento to the Late President John F. Kennedy.   Many of the 1965 & 1966 strikes  are not released to pubic as well. From 1965 to 1970 the silver content of the Kennedy half dollars are reduced to 40% due to silver shortages.  Copper- Nickel alloy used to produce the the dime and quarters there after.  From 1971 to the present, the circulation issues of Kennedy Half Dollars have been made of Copper- Nickel alloy. In 1976 United States celebrated its  bicentennial birthday, to commemorate  it  the reverse of the Dollar, half Dollar and  quarter coins were replaced by bicentennial themes for all for the 1975 and 1976 issues.

Kennedy Half Dollars have never circulated as the Benjamin Franklin half’s, mostly because  they are kept as a souvenir. Since the Kennedy half’s are not commonly used in circulation, they are not rare as well. There are not any Kennedy Half Dollars that can be classified as rare or  key dates.  Most of the Kennedy half  Dollars worth no more than face value but there are examples of coins produced  in 1972  that have  the designer’s initials reversed , which is a rare error.  Also there are some high graded coins  1968-S, 1973-S, 1974-S, and 1776-1976-S (40% silver type) are worth approx $3000 each.  Other highly collectible Kennedy Half dollars are 1988 S, 1996 S 1999 S, 2000 S  etc. This is a partial list and the value depends on the scarcity, demand and condition of the coins.

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