A Dave's Collectible Coins Article

The History of the Kennedy Half Dollar

The Kennedy half dollar has been one of the most recognizable and one of the most iconic coins in the United States of America. It has been minted year after year as a commemoration to a kind man and great presidents who was taken from us before his time. John F. Kennedy’s assassination was a sad tragedy for the United States that caused an immense amount of turmoil and upset to say the least, and a lot of things were done to remember him, one of which was a U.S. currency coin that was made for him.

About John F. Kennedy

As the Kennedy half dollar coin is all for the president and the man itself, it’s important to understand him a bit. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (known by many as JFK) was born on May 29, 1917 in the state of Massachusetts. His father, Joseph, was a politically connected and very successful businessman in the American marketplace at that time. In the year of 1941 John F. Kennedy joined the Navy and commanded the famous naval ship PT-109 which was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in the Pacific Ocean during the Second World War. Kennedy was honored for his heroism and bravery for leading his men to safety and holding his cool in life-threatening situations. On January 30, if 1961 he was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States and a war hero. Sadly, on November 22, 1963 Kennedy was assassinated in the city of Dallas, Texas.

The History of the Coin

It did not take long for the U.S. government to recognize that they needed to remember this man and all he stood for. As a result, Congress moved very quickly to immortalize the popular president on the half dollar of the U.S. currency and coinage. Congressional authorization was necessary in order to replace the Franklin half dollar because it was only minted for 16 years, well short of the mandatory 25 year requirement before a coin design is replaced with something else. Essentially, special work had to be done in Congress to ensure that Kennedy received his recognition immediately. Approval came quickly, and the mint began coining the new Kennedy half dollar in January of 1964 and once it was released the coin was extremely popular with the public which was still in mourning over the president’s recent death.

For some details on the mintage numbers for these coins, the Philadelphia mint struck over 273 million Kennedy half dollars dated 1964, while the Denver mint minted 156 million, making for a hefty sum of these coins. The new coin, once it was released, was well received by the public and people were snatching them up as quickly as they got to the banks. They became instant keepsakes, and they still are in fact.

A Wise Purchase for Collectors and a Favored Coin

There is a certain appeal to the Kennedy half dollars that is rare. These coins really meant something, and they are often desired each and every year to this day. Kennedy half dollars can be found all across the nation as they are still used for circulation and sometimes a curious coin collector can find a really special Kennedy half in with all of the rest of these stable, heartfelt, and overall pleasant coins.

The Kennedy half dollar is still made, and in different years since its initial production there have been different commemorations and special editions of the coin. 2014 was a big year for this coin as that was the fiftieth anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Without hardly any discussion the U.S. Mint cranked out many different types of Kennedy half dollars that year just to really recognize and make a point of remembering Mister President John F Kennedy.

This iconic coin was intended to be a memorial to the assassinated President John F. Kennedy, and it has held a place in our hearts ever since it was first made. This coin was authorized by Congress in just over a month after President Kennedy’s death, one of the quickest authorization times ever in Congress. To add to the speed in getting this coin out, use of existing works by Mint sculptors Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro allowed dies to be prepared quickly and efficiently, making for a lovely and sentimental coin that was put into use very quickly.

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