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Half Dollar History

We carry six different types of half dollars, all of them have a face value of .50c. Although each of them has the same face value, all of their designs differ. The half dollar is currently the largest U.S. coin in circulation.

The Bust Half Dollar was the first half dollar ever minted in the United States. It was first minted in 1794. The next half dollar minted by the U.S. mint was the Seated Liberty Half Dollar. Like all other Seated Liberty coinage, the Seated Liberty Half Dollar was extremely popular. Next in line was the Barber Half Dollar. After the Barber Half Dollar was the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. The Walking Liberty Half Dollar was the only half dollar with a full body on its obverse. Thereafter was the Franklin Half Dollar which came to be because mint director Nellie Tayloe Ross was an admirer of Franklin. The last half dollar to be produced and what is currently in circulation is the Kennedy Half Dollar. 

All of the half dollars prior to 1965 contained 90% silver, after that from 1965-1970 all half dollars only contained 40% silver. In 1971 no more half dollars with the intent of circulation were produced with a silver content.

Here are all of U.S. half dollars and the years of the mintage:

Bust half dollar: 1794-1839

Seated Liberty half dollar: 1839-1891

Barber half dollar: 1892-1915

Walking Liberty half dollar: 1916-1947

Franklin half dollar: 1948-1963

Kennedy half dollar: 1964-1970 (from 1971 on were no longer silver, the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar was the only year minted in 90% silver)