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Kennedy Half Dollar History

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The Kennedy Half Dollar was minted to be a memorial of John F. Kennedy after his assassination. The Kennedy half dollar was released to the public on March 24, 1964. The release of the coin was met with huge demand and immediately became a huge success. The lines for the Kennedy Half dollar were seemingly endless and sold out by the end of the first day.

The obverse design of the Kennedy Half Dollar featured our late President John F. Kennedy, with the word “Liberty” arched over him, and the phrase “In God we trust” underneath him. The reverse of the coin contained the presidential seal surrounded by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, and underneath the seal stated “HALF DOLLAR”. The Kennedy Half Dollar was designed by Frank Gasparo.

The Kennedy Half Dollar was minted in Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and was only minted in West Point in 2014. The original mintage year of the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar was the only year to have coins minted with a 90% silver content. Thereafter, from 1965 through 1970 the coin contained only 40% silver content. Finally, after 1970 the Kennedy Half Dollar became completely clad, meaning there was no silver content at all. However, there are some exceptions of special Kennedy Half Dollars that have been minted that do have some silver content.

The most common way people collect Kennedy Half Dollars are in rolls. More often then not, collectors buy the rolls of 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars in brilliant uncirculated condition. 20 coins typically come in each one of these rolls. A fan favorite amongst the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars are the rolls of the Denver Mint marks. The Denver 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar is half the mintage of the Philadelphia version, making it more scarce. Another way collectors buy Kennedy Half Dollars is individually to complete a album or the entire album at once. Furthermore, collectors appreciate the Kennedy Half Dollar because it is a inexpensive set to complete. A complete set of brilliant uncirculated Kennedy Half Dollars and Proof Kennedy Half Dollars can be completed for around $1,500 for almost 200 coins. 

Kennedy Half Dollar Mintages and Values

Date Mintage MS-60 MS-63 MS-65 PF-65
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar 273,304,004 $11.00 $12.00 $24.00 $20.00
1964-D Kennedy Half Dollar 156,205,446 $11.00 $12.00 $26.00 N/A
1965 Kennedy Half Dollar 65,879,366 N/A $6.00 $30.00 N/A
1966 Kennedy Half Dollar 108,984,932 N/A $6.00 $35.00 N/A
1967 Kennedy Half Dollar 295,046,978 N/A $6.00 $33.00 N/A
1968-D Kennedy Half Dollar 546,951,930 N/A $6.00 $18.00 N/A
1968-S Kennedy Half Dollar 3,041,506 N/A N/A N/A $8.00
1969-D Kennedy Half Dollar 129,881,800 N/A $6.00 $30.00 N/A
1969-S Kennedy Half Dollar 2,934,631 N/A N/A N/A $8.00
1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar 2,150,000 N/A $20.00 $45.00 N/A
1970-S Kennedy Half Dollar 2,632,810 N/A N/A N/A $15.00

*Source 2020 Red Book