The Franklin half dollar was introduced in 1948, and would probably have continued in circulation well into the 1960s and beyond were it not for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. While a shocked nation mourned, some considered steps that could be taken to help it heal. One of those people was Mint director Eva Adams. Just three days after the national tragedy, on November 25, she contacted Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts with some news: The Treasury department was going to ask Congress to pass a bill authorizing the slain president's portrait on one of the nation's silver coins—Roberts should begin work on a design so the Mint would be ready. Two days later, after learning that Mrs. Kennedy did not like the idea of displacing Washington's portrait on the quarter (with their portraits of FDR, dimes were obviously out of the question), Adams gave Roberts some more direction: The coin would be the half dollar, and the presidential coat of arms would go on the coin's reverse. Roberts tasked Frank Gasparro to design that side of the coin, and two rounds of proofs for the coin's final design were submitted to Mrs. Kennedy and Treasury Secretary Dillon during December. Congress passed a bill authorizing the new coin on December 30, 1963, and the first coins minted in Denver and Philadelphia were shipped on March 5, 1964.

More than 425 million Kennedy half dollars were minted that year, and each had the same silver content as the Franklin coins that preceded them (.36169 ounces per coin). Of these, the 100,000 or so Kennedy half dollars with "accented" hair command a premium over the rest. In fact, circulated 1964 Kennedy half dollars are more sought after than other Kennedy half dollars of the 1960s, even though the mintage in 1965, for example, is much lower. That's because from 1965 through 1970, Kennedy half dollars were silver clad (which is a bit of a misnomer since the insides of the coins also contained some silver), reducing the total silver net weight to just .1479 ounces.

Kennedy half dollars minted from 1971 to the present, with the exception of bicentennial half dollars in 1976, contain no silver at all, which does not mean they are entirely lacking in numismatic value. For example, in 1974, some of the 79 million half dollars minted in Denver have a double-die obverse, which can usually be spotted on the words "WE TRUST." In 1976, to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States, the presidential seal was replaced by a view of Independence Hall, designed by Seth Huntington. These bicentennial half dollars were actually minted in 1975 and 1976, but there is no way to distinguish the coins from each other since they all bear the same date, 1776-1976. And even though as many as half of the 11 million silver-clad versions of these coins were melted down in 1982 when the value of silver content eclipsed the value of the denomination itself, the coins are easily acquired and inexpensive.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Legendary Coins and Currency

Legendary Coins and Currency

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is a great way to get an overview… [read review or visit site]

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Home to the Society of U.S. Pattern collectors, this well-organized site provides in-depth information on pattern c… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1999 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf69 Ultra Cameo1964 Pcgs Ms66 Gem Colorful Toned Kennedy Half Dollar Lot 2 10x Bu 1964 P D Kennedy Half Dollar Rolls 90% Silver 200 Coins $100 F.v. 1964 D Pcgs Ms66 Gem Rainbow Toned Kennedy Half Dollar 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar **lot Of 80 Excellent Coins**90% Silver..free Shipping!Lot Of 40 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar 90% Silver Uncirculated Ungraded CoinsCool 1969 D Pcgs Pr67 Superb Gem Rainbow Toned Kennedy Half Dollar 2013 S Silver Kennedy Half Pcgs Pr70 Limited Edition Proof Set First Strike 50cLot Of 20 Coins/roll 90% Silver Bu Kennedy Half Dollars (u.s. Mint, 1964) Nr!1967 Ngc Ms67 Ultra Cameo Sms Silver Kennedy Half Dollar1964 Pcgs Au58 Colorful Toned Kennedy Half Dollar 1992 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf70 Signature LabelLot Of 150 1964 Kennedy 90% Silver Half-dollars 50¢ Us Coins L3191968-s Ngc Pf69 Ultra Cameo Proof Silver Kennedy Half Dollar1966 Pcgs Sp66 Sms Gem Colorful Toned Specimen Kennedy Half Dollar 1967 Silver Sms Kennedy Pcgs Sp 67 Cameo * Pq Gorgeous! Rare! *1965 Kennedy Silver Half Dollar Business Strike Ngc Ms 661968-s Ngc Pf69 Ultra Cameo Proof Silver Kennedy Half Dollar2012 S Gem Proof Kennedy Half Dollar 90% Silver1964 50c Proof Kennedy W/accented Hair1966 Sms Silver Kennedy Pcgs Sp 68 * Price Guide $220 - Rare! *Roll Of 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars Uncirculated 90% Silver Coin90% Silver 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars 1- Roll - 20-coins $10 Face Value⚖1973 P Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Ms671968 S Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Pf69 Ultra Cameo1965 Silver Sms Kennedy Pcgs Sp 66 Cameo * Super Nice! Rare! *U.s. Mint 2009 Kennedy $10 Philadelphia And Denver Half Dollar Rolls1968-s Double Die Obv. Kennedy Half Fs-101 Pcgs Pr 67 * Price Guide $300 Rare! *2006 D Kennedy Half Dollar, Pcgs Ms69 - Satin Finish1964 Silver Proof Kennedy Half Dollar, Grade ProofRoll Of 20 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar 90% Silver Us CoinsNrfs! Roll 20 1964 Kennedy 90% Silver Bullion Half Dollar Coins1964 Ddo Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Pf67 - Doubled Die Obverse, Vp-0011988-s Ddo Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Pf68 Ultra Cameo, Doubled Die Obverse Vp-0011976-s Silver Bicentennial Kennedy Ngc Pf 69 Ultra Cameo * Rare! *1969 S Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Pf69 Ultra CameoFull 20 Coin Roll Kennedy 40% Silver Half Dollars 1966 1967 1968 19691971 P Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Ms661966 Kennedy Double Die Obv - Doubled Profile Ngc Sms 68 * Top Pop - Rare! *1964 & 2014 United States Kennedy Half Dollar - Lot Of 7 (ln112)1964 Pcgs Kennedy Half Dollar Proof, Pcgs Pr 65 ** Old Green Rattler!1967 Sms Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Ms67 Cameo1967 Pcgs Sp67 Sms Superb Gem Colorful Rim Toned Specimen Kennedy Half Dollar 1966 Ddo Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Ms63, Doubled Die Obverse - Fs-101One(1)1970-d Kennedy Half Dollar, Encased BeautyNrfs! Roll 20 1964 Kennedy 90% Silver Bullion Half Dollar CoinsNrfs! Roll 20 1964 Kennedy 90% Silver Bullion Half Dollar CoinsUncirculated Roll (20) Coins Of 1967 Kennedy Silver Half Dollars (67.7)1976 S Kennedy Silver Half Dollar, Pcgs Ms681969 D Kennedy Half Dollars ~ Full Roll/lot Of 20 ~ 40% Silver Roll Of 20 Circulated 40% Silver Kennedy Half Dollars Assorted Dates 1965-1969Full Roll Of 20 Bu Silver 1968 Jfk Proof 50c Uncirculated Proof Kennedy CoinsRoll Of 20 Uncirculated & Circulated 40% Silver Kennedy Half Dollars 1965-19691966 Sms Kennedy Half Dollar, Ngc Ms681996 50¢ Struck Off-center Pcgs Ms-641964 Kennedy Half Dollar- Proof !! Accented Hair !! #r2941964 Pcgs Pr68 Kennedy Silver Half Dollar Coin - No Reserve1964 John F Kennedy Silver Half Dollar Graded Pcgs Pr67dcam Amazing Eye AppealLot Of Ten Kennedy Half Dollars - 40% Silver - 1965 To 1969 - Us Mint, Collector1981-s Type 1 Kennedy Ngc Pf 70 Ultra Cameo * Price Guide $145 - No Reserve! *