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Kennedy Half Dollars for the Beginner

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The Kennedy Half Dollar first made its debut in 1964 to commemorate President John F. Kennedy Jr. after his assassination. The 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar was met with tremendous success as many Americans wanted to save the coin as a memento. As a result, the Kennedy Half Dollar became one of the most successful half dollar coin programs in the history of the U.S. Mint. A total of 273,304,004 mint state 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars were minted at the Philadelphia Mint and 156,205,446 were minted at the Denver Mint. The U.S Mint also made a proof version of the Kennedy Half Dollar in 1964. The total mintage of the 1964 Proof Kennedy Half Dollar came in at 3,950,762, which is one of the highest mintages for any proof half dollar.

How Much Silver is in a Kennedy Half Dollar?

The silver content in a Kennedy Half Dollar depends on the year. In 1964, both the mint state and proof version of the Kennedy Half Dollar were composed of 90% silver. The rest of the content in the coin was copper. The 90% Silver Kennedy Half Dollar contains a total of .3617 troy ounces of silver. From 1965-1970, the Kennedy Half Dollar’s silver content was reduced to 40%. 40% Silver Kennedy Half Dollars are also quite popular in the coin collecting community Kennedy Half Dollars minted from 1971 to present day are considered to be "clad," meaning they contain no silver content. Although, the U.S. Mint has made special Kennedy Half Dollars that contain silver after 1971, the standard issue each year is clad.

What U.S. Mint Locations Have Made Kennedy Half Dollars?

The U.S. Mint has produced Kennedy Half Dollars at the Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point Mints. However, most of the coins have been minted at the Philadelphia and Denver Mint. The West Point mint only made a Kennedy Half Dollar in 2014. The 2014 Kennedy Half Dollar was minted as a special commemorative strike. To determine where a 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar was minted, one can look underneath where the eagle on the reverse of the coin where it grasps the olive branch. Kennedy Half Dollars minted after 1964 have their mintmark under the neck of Kennedy on the obverse of the coin. Don’t be confused if you do not see a mint mark, as Philadelphia minted Kennedy Half Dollars do not carry a mint mark.

What Kennedy Half Dollar is Best to Buy?

Although there is no definite answer to this question, many rare coin collectors and rare coin dealers believe that the 1964 Denver Kennedy Half Dollar gives you the best bang for your buck. The 1964 Denver Kennedy Half Dollar is 90% silver , therefore you get the most silver content for your dollar out of any other Kennedy. The 1964 Denver Kennedy Half Dollar is twice as rare as the 1964 Philadelphia Kennedy since half as many were minted. Since you can typically buy the Denver version for only a little bit more than the Philadelphia version, it makes sense to buy the lower mintage piece.

Bullion Shark makes it easy to buy Kennedy Half Dollars. Check out our inventory of Kennedy Half Dollars here.

*These are solely the opinions of Bullion Shark, LLC and are not intended to be used as investment advice. Please consult an investment advisor before investing.