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BU Kennedy Half Dollar
BU Kennedy Half Dollar: Product Info
Both Congress and the U.S. Mint scrambled to create the coin memorializing our nation's 35th President following President Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. Under existing law, coin designs could not be changed more often than every 25 years, and the Franklin-Liberty Bell Half-Dollar had only been minted for 15 years. Committed to minting the Kennedy Half-Dollar for the new year, Congress passed an act authorizing the Kennedy Half-Dollar on December 30, 1963.
Design of the Silver Kennedy Half-Dollar - The obverse (front) of the silver Kennedy Half-Dollar features a bust portrait of President Kennedy surrounded by the word 'L I B E R T Y'. The motto 'IN GOD WE TRUST' crosses his neckline. At the bottom of the coin appears the date of issue, except for coins minted in 1975 and 1976. In these years, the dates '1776-1976' appeared to commemorate our nation's Bicentennial. The coin's reverse (back) features the Presidential Coat of Arms which the United States Mint has used on various medals that it has minted. The denomination of the coin is listed at the bottom. The only years that did not feature this design were 1975-76. Kennedy Half-Dollar coins minted during these years featured the Independence Hall in Philadelphia to commemorate the Bicentennial. Flanking the Hall are the phrases '200 YEARS OF FREEDOM' and 'E PLURIBUS UNUM.' The words 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA' and 'HALF DOLLAR' encircle the coin.
Kennedy Half-Dollar Coin Minting Information - Kennedy halves have been minted using three separate compositions. Their first year of mintage was the last for 90 percent silver circulating coins in the United States. In 1965, Congress decided not to remove all silver from the half-dollar as it did with the quarter-dollar and dime. Through 1970, Kennedy Half-Dollars were minted in the silver-clad style outlined below. This was also the style for the Bicentennial Kennedy halves of 1975-76. The third composition type of Kennedy contains no silver at all. Mint Marks have been placed in two separate locations throughout the Kennedy Half-Dollar's mintage. From 1964-67, this mark appears above the 'L' in 'HALF' on the reverse. The next year, it moved below Kennedy's bust on the obverse, directly below the 'W' in the motto.