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The Kennedy half dollar was created to honor America's 35th President, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. The design of the coin was finalized just weeks after President Kennedy's untimely death, and the necessary legislation authorizing the new half dollar breezed through Congress. Regular-issue production of the new coins was under way by the end of January 1964, a mere two months after that fateful day in Dallas.
Because of severe time constraints, it was decided to base the half dollar's obverse design on Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts's Kennedy inaugural medal, incorporating some suggestions offered by the president's widow, Jackie. The coin's reverse, an adaptation of the Presidential Seal, was designed by Frank Gasparro, a U.S. Mint Engraver who later became Chief Engraver.
Regular-issue Kennedy half dollars were struck in 90% pure silver in 1964, in a 40% silver-clad material during 1965-1970, and in copper-nickel clad metal from 1971 onward. The mint mark on coins dated 1964 is on the reverse, to the left of the olive branch stem that is grasped in the eagle's claw. Mint marks do not appear on coins dated 1965-1967, but can be found beginning in 1968 on the obverse, just below the truncation of Kennedy's neck.
To celebrate America's Bicentennial, Kennedy half dollars produced in 1975 and 1976 were minted with special dual dating (1776-1976) on the obverse and a commemorative design by Seth Huntington on the reverse, with a view of Independence Hall.
|Publisher:||Littleton Coin Company, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)|