Kennedy half dollar – Wikipedia

50-cent objet d’art depicting John F Kennedy minted after his assassination in 1963
The Kennedy half dollar, first minted in 1964, is a fifty-cent mint presently issued by the United States Mint. Intended as a memorial to the assassinate 35th president of the United States John F. Kennedy, it was authorized by Congress just over a month after his death. Use of existing works by Mint sculptors Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro allowed dies to be disposed quickly, and strike of the new coins began in January 1964. The silver coins were hoarded upon their free in March 1964 by collectors and those concern in a memento of the late president. Although the Mint greatly increased production, the denomination was rarely seen in circulation. continued rises in the price of silver medal increased the hoarding—many early Kennedy half dollars have been melted for their argent content. Starting with 1965-dated pieces, the share of ticket silver was reduced from 90 % to 40 % ( silver medal invest ), but even with this variety the coin saw little circulation. In 1971, silver was eliminated wholly from the coins and production increased, but the half dollar still saw merely a minor increase in use. A special design for the invert of the half dollar was issued for the United States Bicentennial and was struck in 1975 and 1976. In addition to commercial enterprise strikes, special collector coins were struck for the Bicentennial in argent dress ; silver proof sets in which the dime bag, quarter and one-half dollar were struck in 90 % ash grey were first minted in 1992. In 2014, a special fiftieth anniversary version of the Kennedy half dollar was besides struck in 99.99 % gold.

even though ample supplies of circulating one-half dollars are readily available from most banks, their circulation is even limited. production of Kennedy half dollars for general circulation ended in 2001, and from 2002 to 2020, Kennedy half dollars were struck to satisfy the demand from collectors, sold at a premium through the Mint. In 2021, Kennedy half dollars began again to be produced for general circulation. [ 1 ]

origin [edit ]

Obverse of Kennedy medalReverse of Kennedy medalGilroy Roberts ‘ obverse (top) and Frank Gasparro ‘s reverse (bottom) of the John F. Kennedy Presidential series medal served as the basis for the designs of the Kennedy half dollar. Within hours of the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, Mint Director Eva Adams called Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts, informing him that unplayful consideration was already being given to depicting Kennedy on one of the larger silver coins : either the ash grey dollar, half dollar, or quarter dollar. Adams called Roberts again on November 27 and authorized the project, stating that the late president of the united states ‘s widow, Jacqueline Kennedy preferred that he be depicted on the half dollar, [ 2 ] replacing the former invention of Benjamin Franklin. [ 3 ] Mrs. Kennedy ‘s reason was that she did not want to replace George Washington on the quarter. [ 2 ] In the interest of time ( the hit of the new coin was to begin in January 1964 ), Roberts modified the existing raid of Kennedy he had created for use on the Kennedy decoration in the Mint ‘s Presidential series, while Frank Gasparro began modifications to the reverse he had created for the lapp decoration. [ 2 ] Both Roberts ‘ and Gasparro ‘s designs had been approved by Kennedy. [ 2 ] Roberts had met with Kennedy in person to show him early models of the purpose ; although the President expressed no opinion regarding the delineation, Roberts decided to make some changes after meeting him. [ 5 ] After the Mint produced trial strikes, Jacqueline and Robert F. Kennedy were invited to view them. [ 2 ] Mrs. Kennedy viewed the designs favorably, but suggested that the hair’s-breadth be altered slightly. [ 2 ] It was besides suggested that a full or one-half figure of the president be used rather of the profile, but Roberts noted that there was not enough time to produce an wholly new invention because of the project ‘s meter constraints, and besides that he believed the leftover profile would give a more attractive appearance. [ 2 ]
Frank Gasparro ‘s obverse (top) and reverse (bottom) of the 1962 President John F. Kennedy appreciation medal Frank Gasparro ‘s reverse design of the Kennedy half dollar was besides influenced by the experience he gained from designing the President John. F. Kennedy admiration decoration. In 1962, President Kennedy had three hundred appreciation medals struck by the United States Mint in Philadelphia that were former presented during his June 23, 1963 through July 2, 1963 trip to the nations of Federal Republic of Germany, Germany ( West Berlin ), Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy, and the Vatican City State. The reversion plan of the Kennedy appreciation decoration depicts a larger and more detailed Presidential Seal than the one he designed on the Mint ‘s presidential series ( Bureau of the Mint Presidential series stock decoration # 135 known as the John F. Kennedy Presidential inauguration decoration ). Gasparro ‘s placement of his initials FG is besides similarly located ( under the right leg of the eagle ) on both the Kennedy taste decoration and Kennedy half dollar. congressional approval was required for any blueprint change within 25 years of the last. [ 3 ] In early December, Representative Henry Gonzalez ( Democrat -Texas ) introduced a circular for Kennedy to appear on the half dollar. [ 7 ] On December 10, the new President, Lyndon Johnson, endorsed the call for a Kennedy half dollar, asking Congress to pass the legislation promptly to allow hit of the new piece to begin early in 1964. President Johnson stated that he had been moved by letters from many members of the public to agree with the plan. [ 8 ] The bill to authorize the Kennedy one-half dollar passed on December 30, 1963. study was already afoot on neologism dies ; the practice of the already-available designs allowed for the completion of the beginning dies on January 2, 1964. entirely proof coins were initially struck. [ 10 ] The foremost Kennedy half dollars intended for circulation were struck at the Denver Mint on January 30, 1964, followed by the Philadelphia Mint the following workweek. [ 2 ] A ceremonial first strike was held at both Philadelphia and Denver on February 11, 1964. [ 11 ]

acquittance [edit ]

Mint Director Eva Adams, seen here on her decoration ( designed by Gasparro ) was implemental in the issue of the Kennedy half dollar. For further information on the coin shortages of the 1960s, see Coinage Act of 1965 § Coin dearth

initial popularity [edit ]

The Treasury Department made the coins available to the public get down on March 24, 1964. A line a block long formed at the department ‘s windows in Washington to purchase the 70,000 coins initially allocated for populace sale. Although the department limited sales to 40 per customer, by the end of the day, the coins were gone, but the wrinkle had not shortened. Banks in Boston and Philadelphia promptly rationed supplies, but still sold out by noon. Sales in New York did not begin until the following day, and rationing was imposed there ampere well, to the disgruntlement of the head of the coin department at Gimbels, the largest dealer in the city, which had hoped to sell the coins at a premium. [ 12 ] The coins were popular oversea arsenic well. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs G. Mennen Williams distributed plastic-encased specimens to presidents and foreign ministers of african nations and to the U.S. ambassadors serving there “ to win friends for the United States in Africa ”. [ 13 ] concisely after the coin ‘s exhaust, the Denver Mint began receiving complaints that the new coin depicted a hammer and sickle on the bottom of Kennedy ‘s truncate bust. [ 14 ] In reaction, Roberts stated that the part of the design in question was actually his monogram, a stylized “ GR ”. [ 14 ] The Mint struck Kennedy half dollars in large numbers in an attack to meet the consuming demand. The Treasury had initially planned to issue 91 million half dollars for 1964, but raised the numeral to 141 million. however, a public announcement of the increase failed to cause more coins to actually circulate or to decrease the prices on the secondary commercialize. [ 15 ] By late November, the Mint had struck approximately 160 million pieces, however the coin was about never seen in circulation. silver prices were rising, and the majority of the coins were being hoarded. [ 16 ] Hopeful that issuing more 1964-dated coins would counter the guess in them, the Treasury requested [ 15 ] and received congressional mandate to continue striking 1964-dated coins into 1965. [ 17 ] Eventually, about 430 million one-half dollars date 1964 were struck, a summarize greater than the entire strike for circulation in the sixteen years of the Franklin half dollar series. These minting operations were quickly depleting the Treasury ‘s banal of silver. Prices for the metallic were rising to such an extent that, by early June, a dime bag contained 9.33 cents ‘ worth of flatware at market prices. On June 3, 1965, President Johnson announced plans to eliminate eloquent from the dime bag and quarter in favor of a clad sandwich with layers of copper-nickel on each english of a layer of pure copper. The half dollar was changed from 90 % silver medal to 40 %. [ 18 ] Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1965 in July. [ 19 ] The new half dollars retained their argent appearance, due to the out layer being 80 % eloquent and 20 % copper. The coin was besides minted with an inner layer of 21 % silver and 79 % copper. The beginning clad half dollars were struck at the Denver Mint on December 30, 1965. They bore the date 1965 ; the date would not be changed for US coins until the coin dearth was eased. [ 20 ] Beginning on August 1, 1966, the Mint began to strike 1966-dated pieces, and thereafter it resumed the normal practice of striking the stream year ‘s date on each while. Despite the proclaim end to the mint deficit, [ 21 ] Kennedy half dollars circulated small, a scarcity caused by stay billboard and a dip in production, with the Treasury reluctant to expend more of the nation ‘s eloquent holdings on a coin which did not circulate. [ 22 ] According to coin principal and numismatic writer Q. David Bowers ,

“ Where the hundreds of millions of them went remains reasonably of a mystery today. In the meanwhile, Washington quarters, the lapp plan used since 1932, became the highest value coin of the kingdom, in terms of circulation use. These were particularly democratic for vending machines, arcade games, and the like. today, this continues to be the casing, and Kennedy half dollars vitamin a well as the late mini-dollar coins, are about never encountered. ”

switch to base metallic [edit ]

For farther information on the circulating commemorative quarters, half dollars and dollars struck in 1975–1976, see United States Bicentennial coinage A 1969 United States Mint Proof set of 5 coins including the 40 % silver Kennedy one-half dollar in center In May 1969, the Treasury sought authority to eliminate the half dollar ‘s flatware contented, changing it to the same copper-nickel clothe composition as the dime bag and quarter. The Treasury besides sought approval to strike copper-nickel invest one dollar coins, which would fill a want for gaming tokens in western casinos. Former president Dwight D. Eisenhower had died recently, and there was discussion of placing Eisenhower ‘s likeness on the new dollar. The Treasury hoped that with the removal of the argent content, the dollar mint would cease to be hoarded and again go around. [ 24 ] Despite the support of President Richard Nixon, some Republicans in the House of Representatives initially scuttled the legislation, [ 25 ] disliking the idea of depicting Eisenhower on a base alloy coin. The quarrel dragged on for over a year before President Nixon signed a circular on December 31, 1970 which authorized production of the Eisenhower dollar and eliminated the remaining 40 % silver subject from the one-half dollar. [ 26 ] As a leave of the stay, in 1970 uncirculated ( non-proof ) half dollars were struck only at the Denver mint and were available entirely in mint sets. With a mintage of 2.1 million, the 1970-D Kennedy half is considered the “ winder ” coin in the series, although adequate were produced to keep prices modest. To avoid roll up and a likely dearth of the sets, the Mint did not announce that no 1970 half dollars would be struck for circulation until after ordering for the mint sets had closed. [ 27 ] By the time silver was eliminated from the one-half dollar and the base metallic element coins were issued in 1971, it had rarely been seen in circulation for then long that some banks had eliminated the slot for the denomination from machines. The Mint had anticipated a dramatic rejoinder for the appellation, but alone a tone down increase in the usage of half dollars was noted after the 1971 invest coins were issued. [ 28 ] In July 1971, Mint Director Mary Brooks disclosed that the Treasury was holding 200 million of the new base metal half dollars, as commercial banks expressed little interest in ordering them. “ I ca n’t understand the population. They ‘re not using them ”, Brooks said. [ 29 ] besides according to Brooks, most of the over one billion silver Kennedy half dollars had been hoarded by the public. Brooks theorized that because the argent Kennedy half dollar never circulated much and few halves were struck in 1970 in anticipation of the authorization of the newfangled invest coins, the public had become accustomed to not seeing the half dollar in barter. Brooks suggested, “ If the state knew there were plenty of them around, they ‘d probably start hoarding them, besides. ” [ 29 ]

bicentennial issue ( 1975–1976 ) [edit ]

For foster information on the circulating commemorative quarters, half dollars and dollars struck in 1975–1976, see United States Bicentennial neologism Half dollar Bicentennial turn back On March 5, 1973, Brooks announced that the Mint would be soliciting new reverse designs for the half dollar and dollar to commemorate the 1976 United States Bicentennial. [ 30 ] On October 18, President Nixon signed Public Law 93-127, which provided for new reverse designs for the one-fourth, half dollar, and dollar. The designs were to be emblematic of the Bicentennial earned run average. The Mint announced a competition open to all american english sculptors. [ 31 ] Seth G. Huntington ‘s blueprint depicting Independence Hall was selected for the half dollar. [ 32 ] All half dollars struck in 1975 and 1976 bore the bivalent date 1776–1976 on the obverse and Huntington ‘s design on the reverse. Over 521 million Bicentennial half dollars were struck for circulation.

Following the high coinage of the Bicentennial coins, the total of half dollars struck per year declined. however, in 1979, Mint Director Stella B. Hackel indicated that the Mint would continue to strike them. “ We actually do n’t think many half dollars are being used in commerce. They do go somewhere, though, so person must want them. ” [ 35 ] By then, more than 2.5 billion Kennedy half dollars had been struck since 1964, more than all previously struck US half dollars combined. The New York Times numismatic columnist Ed Reiter suggested that billboard had continued even into the base-metal era, accounting for the deficit of halves in department of commerce. [ 35 ] The eloquent boom of 1979–80 saw a big addition in the amount of sales and destruction of many hoarded 1964–1969 flatware Kennedy one-half dollars. Record senior high school silver prices caused extensive melt of silver coins, specially half dollars and silver dollars for their metallic element contentedness. [ 36 ]

impermanent stop in striking for circulation [edit ]

Kennedy half dollars continued to be struck through the remainder of the twentieth hundred, and coinage numbers remained relatively sweetheart in both the Philadelphia and Denver mints until 1987, a year in which no half dollars were struck for circulation ; the Treasury had accumulated a biennial provision of the pieces, making farther production unnecessary. [ 38 ] Demand for one-half dollars dropped, and casinos ( where they were normally used ) increasingly began producing fifty cent chips to use in locate of the coins. With mintage numbers remaining low, beginning in 2002, the Kennedy one-half dollar ceased to be struck for general circulation. Rolls and bags of the current year ‘s pieces could still be purchased from the Mint, at a bounty above face value. [ 36 ] Kennedy one-half dollars began to be produced for general circulation again in 2021. [ 40 ]
People line up to buy the new aureate Kennedy half dollar, August 2014 In January 2014, a secret firm on behalf of the Mint, began surveying customers on potential options for a special issue in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy half dollar. [ 41 ] In June, the Mint announced plans to issue seven particular 2014 Kennedy halves in commemoration of the series ‘ fiftieth anniversary : two in clad, from Philadelphia and Denver, four in silver medal from Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and the West Point Mint, and one in .9999 gold, from West Point. The dress and flatware versions bear the normal date ; the gold coin has the double date 1964–2014. All have higher easing than the common issues. [ 42 ] The aureate coins were released in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association convention in Rosemont, Illinois on August 5, 2014. [ 43 ]

Planned redesign [edit ]

The Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 ( Pub.L. 116–330 ( textbook ) ( PDF ) ) allows for a redesign in 2026, representing the United States Semiquincentennial. From 2027 to 2030, there will be one rearward design each year depicting Paralympic sports. The obverse may be redesigned in 2027, and after 2030, is still to bear Kennedy ‘s countenance. [ 44 ]

Collecting [edit ]

A close-up effigy detailing the heavily accented hairlines present on early Kennedy half dollar proof issues With the exception of 1965 through 1967, proofs have been struck each class in the lapp metallic constitution as even issue pieces. [ 45 ] The beginning Kennedy half dollar proofs were struck in early January 1964. early strikes depicted Kennedy with heavily accented haircloth ; an calculate 100,000 coins were struck with this feature. This was altered for the remainder of the mintage of about four million validation coins. Due to the mint dearth, the Treasury Department announced that no proof sets would be struck in 1965. [ 10 ] rather, special Mint Sets would be struck to satisfy collector demand. Coins for these sets, minted at the San Francisco Assay Office, were struck with no mint marks early in 1966 with heavily polished dies dated 1965. [ 10 ] Similar sets bearing the dates 1966 and 1967 were besides struck. A few of the 1966 halves from the special Mint Sets are known with Gasparro ‘s initials “ FG ” missing from the overrule, apparently because of an overpolished die. The first year ‘s production was sold in soft plastic packaging ; the 1966 and 1967 issues were sonically sealed in hard plastic cases. In 1968, regular proof neologism was resumed, although production of proof coins was shifted to San Francisco, the “ S ” mintmark added and sets were encapsulated in arduous plastic. In 1973, Congress authorized silver-clad collector versions of the Bicentennial coins ; in April 1975, the Mint began to strike them. [ 45 ] The coins were issued in both validation and uncirculated choice. Copper-nickel invest Bicentennial coins were placed in both the 1975 and 1976 proof sets, while their flatware invest counterparts were sold in three-coin sets. Since 1992, the Mint has struck Kennedy half dollars in 90 % ash grey for inclusion in extra silver medal proof sets. 1964 proof were struck in Philadelphia, and since 1968, proof coins have been struck in San Francisco only. In 1998, some silver proof pieces were struck to a felt eat up for inclusion in a set along with a Robert F. Kennedy commemorative silver dollar. [ 52 ] From 2005–2010, uncirculated pieces included in mint sets received a flatness finish, which differentiates them from the pieces sold in bags and rolls. [ 36 ] In addition to the Accented Hair variety show, one variety of the Kennedy half which receives meaning pastime due to its rarity is the 1964 extra Mint Set ( ‘SMS ‘ ) half dollar ; approximately ‘a twelve or so ‘ examples have been located over the path of the 2000s to the give day, and feature a ‘satin finish ‘ with well-defined strikes and die polishing lines. It is the rare non-error assortment of the Kennedy half known to date. [ 53 ] Examples of this assortment typically sell for meaning amounts of money ; a 1964 particular Mint Set one-half dollar sold for $ 47,000 in 2016. [ 54 ]

In 1998, a special “ flat finish ” Kennedy half dollar was issued as separate of the two-coin “ Kennedy Collectors Set ”, paired with a commemorative silver dollar honoring Robert F. Kennedy. Between 62,000 and 64,000 1998-S, felt complete coins were issued, making it the lowest coinage of the serial. [ 55 ] Half dollars not intended for circulation, such as proof coins and those minted between 2001 and 2021 occasionally enroll circulation ; these issues are sometimes found through coin roll search by collectors, being referred to as ‘NIFCs ‘ ( not Intended For Circulation ). [ 56 ] In 2019, an Enhanced Reverse Proof Kennedy half dollar was included in a particular set with an Apollo 11 fiftieth anniversary half dollar. The special Kennedy half was limited to a utmost mintage of 100,000 coins and sold out. [ 57 ]

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