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Promoted item:Lot of 2 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars $1.00 Face 90% Silver Coins

Lot of 2 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars $1.00 Face 90% Silver Coins

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About Kennedy Half

The story of the Kennedy half dollar is intimately entwined with the circumstances of President John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 23, 1963. Following Kennedy's sudden death, the nation strove to express its grief in some tangible way. Plans to put Kennedy's portrait on a new US silver coin were immediately put in motion. The half dollar was chosen, partly because Mrs. Kennedy did not want her husband's portrait to replace Washington's on the quarter. Congress rushed through legislation allowing the Kennedy half dollar to replace the then-current Benjamin Franklin half dollar. By March 24, 1964, the new coins were released to the public. Reaction was quick. Individuals kept Kennedy half dollars as keepsakes and mementos, preventing the coins from reaching wide circulation. Even today, the Kennedy half dollar remains mostly the province of collectors, with the coin seeing little day-to-day use. The metallic composition of the Kennedy half dollar has changed over the years. The original half dollar was 90 percent silver. By 1965, the percentage of silver was downgraded to 40 percent. In 1971, silver was removed from the coin altogether. The composition of the coin today is the same as that of the dime and the quarter: an inner core of pure copper with an overlay of copper and nickel. In 1976, silver clad Kennedy half dollars commemorating the nation's bicentennial were released to collectors in uncirculated and proof editions. Prices for Kennedy half dollars vary widely, for the coin's appeal as a collectible is based not only on price or rarity, but also on its original function as a memorial to a fallen president.