Mint Dates: 1964
Designer: Obverse, features left profile of President John F. Kennedy; Reverse, Modified presidential seal
Thickness: 2.15 mm
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Silver Content: 0.36169 troy oz.
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The Kennedy half dollar, first minted in 1964, is a fifty-cent coin currently issued by the United States Mint. Intended as a memorial to the assassinated 35th president of the United States John F. Kennedy, it was authorized by Congress just over a month after his death. Use of existing works by Mint sculptors Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro allowed dies to be prepared quickly, and striking of the new coins began in January 1964.
The silver coins were hoarded upon their release in March 1964 by collectors and those interested in a memento of the late president. Although the Mint greatly increased production, the denomination was seldom seen in circulation.
The Treasury Department made the coins available to the public beginning on March 24, 1964. A line a block long formed at the department’s windows in Washington to purchase the 70,000 coins initially allocated for public sale. Although the department limited sales to 40 per customer, by the end of the day, the coins were gone, but the line had not shortened. Banks in Boston and Philadelphia quickly rationed supplies, but still sold out by noon. Sales in New York did not begin until the following day, and rationing was imposed there as well, to the disgruntlement of the head of the coin department at Gimbels, the largest dealer in the city, which had hoped to sell the coins at a premium.
Today, the Kennedy half dollar is one of the most popular and sought-after silver coins produced by the United States Mint. Many collectors and investors purchase these coins for their silver holdings because of the history and tradability associated with this coin.
For current pricing and more information on the Kennedy Half Dollar, please call us at (877) 444-0923.