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1964 to Date Kennedy Half Dollars

The story of the Kennedy Half Dollar began the moment President Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. Miss Eva Adams, the Director of the Mint, anounced a few days later that serious consideration was being given to placing President Kennedy's portrait on a new design U.S. silver coin and that the half dollar was under discussion.

This work was undertaken immediately, Gilroy Roberts sculpting the portrait obverse, while his longtime Assistant Engraver, Frank Gasparro, prepared the reverse model bearing the presidential seal.

Under existing law, U. S. coin designs could not be changed more often than every 25 years. The Franklin half was then only 15 years old, and its replacement would quite literally require an act of Congress.

Congress managed to pass legislation permitting a change in the half dollar’s design with only a few weeks’ debate. The Act of December 30, 1963 made the Kennedy half dollar a reality.

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar      1964 Kennedy Half Dollar reverse

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar

The first Kennedy half dollars made for distribution were proofs coined early in 1964. The number of Kennedy halves produced during 1964 was enormous. Despite this, the coins continued to disappear as fast as they were issued.

When Congress decided to eliminate silver from the dime and quarter beginning in 1965, it reached a compromise with the half dollar: Its silver content, while greatly reduced overall, was placed almost entirely at the coin’s surface by bonding three strips of metal, the innermost one being primarily copper. These silver-clad pieces were coined from 1965 through 1970.

For the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, a special reverse was prepared. There are no rare date or mint combinations in the Kennedy half dollar series, although some pieces saw limited distribution.

Because the Kennedy Half is so easily affordable even in better grades, the series is widely collected by date and mint. The best place to purchase Kennedy Half Dollar is at eBay. You can assemble a complete set in average condition for very little money and most can be found in circulation except the sivler clads mentioned above. Buy your Kennedy Half Dollars in Mixed Lots, rolls or groups of 10 to 20 and save.

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