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    

2014-w Kennedy Gold Half Dollar - Ngc Pr70 Ultra Cameo - First Releases!!!Ten (10) Original Rolls 1964 John F. Kennedy Silver Halves.. Gem Bu2014 W Silver Reverse Proof Kennedy Half Ngc Pf70 Er 50th Anniversary! 2014 S Enhanced Dpl High Relief Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Sp 70 Deep Prooflike2014 4-coin 50th Anniversary Kennedy Silver Set Pcgs Ms70, Ms70pl, Pr70 FsProof 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Pf 69 W Cameo2014-w Gold 50c Kennedy Half Dollar, Pcgs Pr69 Dcam First Strike, Chicago AnaRoll Bu 1964 Kennedy 90% Silver Half Dollars 20 Coins Halves Bullion Lot .01 Nr!2014-w Gold Kennedy Half Dollar Pcgs First Strike Pr69dcam W/original Mint PackNoblespirit No Reserve Xxxx/12/3 Wonderful Kennedy Half Dollar Colorized Space 1964 Kennedy Accented Hair Ngc Graded Pf-68! Free Shipping2014 Kennedy Silver Half Dollar Coin Set 50th Anniversary P, D, S, W Mints (k13)2014 S Silver Enhanced Kennedy Half Ngc Sp70 Pl Er 50th Anniversary! Limited!2014 W Silver Reverse Proof Kennedy Half Ngc Pf70 Er 50th Anniversary! 2014 P Silver Proof Kennedy Half Ngc Pf70 Uc Er 50th Anniversary! High Relief!2014-s 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Enhanced Ms69dmpl Pcgs Fs2014-pr70-ms70pl-pcgs-1st-strike-50th-anniversary Silver Kennedy 4 Coin Set99 Cent Auction! Nice (bag) Roll 20-1964 Kennedy 90% Junk Silver Bullion Halves1968-s Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Pf69 Ultra Cameo*top Pop*****2014 S Silver Enhanced Kennedy Half Ngc Sp70 Pl Er 50th Anniversary! Limited!27 Silver 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars1964 Kennedy Accented Hair Proof Silver Half Dollar Pcgs Pr661990 Ken 50¢ Struck 20% Off-center Pcgs Ms-65 2014 P Silver Proof Kennedy Half Ngc Pf70 Uc Er 50th Anniversary! High Relief!1998 S Kennedy Half Dollar Sms Matte Finish Pcgs Sp 70 Slight Trace Of Toning2014-s High Relief Kennedy Silver Half Dollar Enhanced Finish ~ Ngc Sp 69 Dpl1995-s Silver Kennedy Ngc Pf 70 Ultra Cameo * Beauty! No Reserve *2012-s Silver Kennedy Half Pr69dcam Pcgs Proof Deep Cameo Limited Edition Pr Set2014 W Silver Reverse Proof Kennedy Half Ngc Pf70 Er 50th Anniversary! Four (4) 2014 Kennedy 50th Anniversary Silver Coins~ngc Sp/pf 70~ Early Releases1995-s Silver Kennedy Half Pr69dcam Pcgs Proof 69 Deep Cameo2014 W Silver Kennedy 50th Anniversary Pcgs Pr69 Reverse Proof Half First Strike2014 W 3/4oz Gold 50th Aniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Ngc Pf69/uc-er W/box & Coa1964 Kennedy Silver Half Dollar Lot Of 52 Coins, Old Bank Bag Halves, No ReserveFull Roll (40) Uncirculated 1964 Washington 90% Silver Quarters 7.25 Ounces Asw2014 Kennedy 50th Anniv. Silver Half Dollar Set High Relief Graded 70 By Ngc1996-s Silver Kennedy Ngc Pf 70 Ultra Cameo * Beauty! No Reserve *2014-s Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Pcgs Enhanced Mint State 70 Proof Like Fs$10 Face Value 1964 D Kennedy Half Dollars 90% Silver 20-coin Roll (uncirculated1999-p Kennedy Ngc Ms 68 * Rare! - Ngc Price Guide $750 *1964 Kennedy Toned Ends Half Dollar 90% Silver Original Wrapped Roll Unc (ggs1993-s Silver Kennedy Ngc Pf 70 Ultra Cameo * Beauty! No Reserve *2014 S Proof Silver Kennedy Half Dollar Pcgs Pr70 Dcam First Strike Flag Fs 50c2013-s Silver Kennedy Half Pr69dcam Pcgs Proof Deep Cameo Limited Edition Pr Set2014 Kennedy 50th Anniv. Silver Half Dollar Set High Relief Graded 70 By Ngc1976 S Kennedy Half Dollar Gem Dcam Proof 40% Silver Roll 20 Us Coins2014-s Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Pcgs Enhanced Mint State 70 Ms70 Fs1964 Accented Hair Kennedy Half Dollar Coin - Proof Pr 66 Wow ~ Free Shipping!2014 W Silver Reverse Proof Kennedy Half Ngc Pf70 Er 50th Anniversary! 1964-p Kennedy Accent Hair Silver Half Dollar - Ngc Pf64 - $2.00 S&h - 0152014 D Silver Uncirculated Kennedy Half Ngc Sp70 Er 50th Anniversary! Pcgs 50c Kennedy Half 1974 D Ms64 Ddo Fs-015 Cherrypicker Pcgs Price $70 St 99c2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-dollar 4 Coin Silver Set, Ngc 70 (s - Pl), Er1964 P Kennedy Silver Half Dollar Roll 20 Bu Gem Uncirculated $10 Face ValueRoll Of 20 2000-s Proof Kennedy 90% Silver Half Dollars1964 Full Accent Hair Proof+++++++ Kennedy Half Dollar From Big Collection1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Pcgs Pr 67 Accented Hair Rare Variety1967 Sms Kennedy 50c Ms67 Cameo! Clean, Problem-free Sms 2014 S Silver Kennedy 50th Anniversary Ngc Sp70 Enhanced High Relief Half Dollar2014 P Silver Proof Kennedy Half Ngc Pf70 Uc Er 50th Anniversary! High Relief!