Kennedy Half Dollars
The Kennedy Half Dollar was introduced shortly after the tragic death of President John F. Kennedy. The new series would feature Kennedy's portrait on the obverse as designed by Gilroy Roberts and the Presidential Seal on the reverse designed by Frank Gasparro. The coin were immediately popular with the public, still coping with the assassination of their leader.
Kennedy Half Dollars have been issued from 1964 to present. During this time the series has undergone some changes and the half dollar has fallen out of use within general circulation. Since 2002, the half dollar has not been struck for circulation, but only in quantities needed to fulfill collector demand.
For the first year of issue in 1964, the coins were struck from a composition of 90% silver. For the following years from 1965 to 1970, the coins were struck in only 40% silver, as precious metals were phased out of circulating coins. From 1971 to present, coins issued for circulation have been struck in a composition of copper and nickel. In 1976 and from 1992 to present, certain collector versions of the coins have been struck with silver content.
Some of the most sought after issues of the series are the 1970-D, which was only issued in the annual mint set and long considered to be a key date, and the matte proof 1998-S, which was included only in a special Kennedy Collectors Set. There are many conditional rarities within the series, such as earlier issues in high grades with deep cameo contrast and circulation strikes in grades MS67 or MS68.
As a modern series, many collectors will pursue collections of Kennedy Half Dollars in high grades, certified by third party grading services PCGS and NGC. The advent of registry collections has added a competitive element as different collectors compete for a small number of top graded coins.
This website provides further information about the Kennedy Half series, and presents a selection of PCGS and NGC certified coins available for sale. Enjoy collecting and studying this historically significant series.