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    

2016 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf70 Early Releases Signature Label2016 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf70 Early Releases Signature Label2016 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf70 Early Releases Signature Label1992 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf69 Signature Label1992 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf69 Signature Label1996 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf69 Signature Label1993 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar 50c Ngc Pf692014-w 50th Anniversary Kennedy Camelot Gold Proof Half-dollar Pcgs Pr70dcam2014 W Gold Kennedy 3/4 Oz. Half Dollar Anniversary Proof Coin - W/ Coa Gorgeous2012 S Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Pf70 Ultra Cameo Proof Silver Coin2012 S Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Pf70 Ultra Cameo Proof Silver Coin1965 Silver Kennedy Ngc Sms 66 Ultra Cameo * Monster - Price Guide $2,600 *2014 S Pcgs Pr68dcam Superb Gem Colorful Toned Silver Proof Kennedy Half Dollar2014 W Gold Kennedy Half Dollar 50th Anniv High Relief Ngc Pf70uc Early Releases1964 Half Roll Proof 90% Silver Kennedy Halfs Half Dollars – 10 Proof Coins!!Lot Of 340 Kennedy Half Dollars 40% Silver 1965-69 Half Dollar Us Silver Coins1967 Sms Silver Kennedy Ngc Ms-67 Ultra Cameo: Very Rare Auction - Guide: $1,0751964-2007 P & D Kennedy Half Dollar 8 Silver 50c (80) Coins P & D Collection54 Silver 1964 Kennedy Half DollarsOriginal "bank Wrapped" Roll 1964 Silver John F. Kennedy Halves.. Gem Bu45 -- 1965-1969 Kennedy Half Dollars 40% Silver Coins1964 90% Xf-au Kennedy Half Dollar Roll (20 Coins $10 Face) 90% Silver .9002012-s Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Proof1964 Choice+/choice++ B.u Original Roll Kennedy Halves, 90% Silver, 20 Coins1966 Obw Original Bank Wrapped Roll Bu Uncirculated Silver Kennedy Half Dollars5 X 1964 Us Kennedy Half Dollars 90 % Silver CoinsA Full Roll Of 20 Bank Wrapped 1964 Kennedy 90% Silver Half Dollars ObwComplete Set Of Unc Kennedy Half Dollars 1964-2012 With 1998 S Matte Proof2016-p Kennedy Half Ngc Ms 68 * Rare! - Top Pop! *1968 D Obw Original Bank Wrap Roll Bu Uncirculated Silver Kennedy Half Dollars2016 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Pf70 Ultra Cameo (signature)1967 Obw Original Bank Wrapped Roll Bu Uncirculated Silver Kennedy Half Dollars1966 Sms Silver Kennedy Ngc Ms-68: Exceptional Eye Appeal - Guide: $3751966 Kennedy Fs-106 Double Die Obverse Ngc Sms 67 Cameo Fs-106 * Rare! *1965 Silver Kennedy Ngc Sms 67 Cameo * Price Guide $750 Rare! *1977-s Kennedy Half Ngc Pf-70 Ucam - Excellent Eye Appeal - Guide: $2601969 D Obw Original Bank Wrap Roll Bu Uncirculated Silver Kennedy Half DollarsVintage M.k. Summers Silver Coin "numismatic Clock" 1964 Bu TypesMatte 1998-s San Francisco Kennedy Silver 50¢ Half Dollar Matte Finished Proof1965-1969 $10 Face-value Roll 40%silver Kennedy Half-dollars (bu) 1964 P/d Kennedy Half Dollar 20 Coin Roll, 90%silver, $10 Face Value ~ Us Coins (20) Jfk Kennedy 90% Silver 1964 Half Dollars (1 Roll) ~1 Roll Of 1964 D 90% Silver Kennedy Half Dollars From Coin Collection 20 Halves1967 Silver Kennedy Ngc Sms 67 Ultra Cameo * Monster - Price Guide $1,075 *1965-1969 $10 Face-value Roll 40%silver Kennedy Half-dollars (bu)1968-s Double Die Obverse Kennedy Half Fs-101 Ngc Pf 69 * Top Pop 3/0 *78 Coins 73-98 Kennedy Half Dollar Collection All Coins Ms Bu Ex Dealer Blowout5 Lot Of 1976-s 50c Pcgs Pr69dcam Coins 5 X Graded Proof Jfk Half Dollars #76-141970-d *uncirculated* Kennedy Half Dollar Out Of Mint Set *no Reserve*free Ship2014 D Kennedy Half Dollar 50th Anniversary Gem Bu 90% Silver Roll In Capsule1966 Kennedy Vp-004 Double Die Obverse Ngc Sms 68 Vp-004 * Rare! *1964 Choice++ B.u Original Roll Kennedy Halves, 90% Silver, 20 Coins1966 Half Roll Special Mint Set 40% Silver Kennedy Halfs Dollars – 10 Sms Coins!(5)1964 Kennedy Half Dollars -90% Silver 2016 S Kennedy Silver Half Ngc Pf70 Ultra Cameo 1st Day IssueFour 1964 Bu Kennedy Half Dollars 90% Silver Lot B, Free Shipping1974-d 50¢ Doubled Die Pcgs1992-s Silver Proof Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Pf70 Ultra Cameo Portrait Label1979 S Kennedy Half Dollar Roll Type 1 Gem Deep Cameo Cn-clad Proof 20 Us Coins2016 S Silver Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Pf70 Ultra Cameo (signature)