|Value||0.50 U.S. dollar|
|Mass||11.340 g (0.365 troy oz)|
|Diameter||30.61 mm (1.205 in)|
|Thickness||2.15 mm (0.085 in)|
|Composition||1964: 90% Ag 10% Cu; 1965-1970: 60% Cu 40% Ag 1971-Present: 91.67% Cu 8.33% Ni|
|Years of minting||1794–1797, 1801–1803, 1805–1815, 1817–1921, 1923, 1927–1929, 1933–present|
|Design||John F. Kennedy|
The half dollar, sometimes referred to as the half for short or 50-cent piece, is a United States coin worth 50 cents, or one half of a dollar. It is the largest United States circulating coin currently produced 1.205 inches (30.61 millimeters) in diameter and 0.085 in (2.16 mm) in thickness, and is twice the weight of the quarter. The coin's design has undergone a number of changes throughout its history. Since 1964, the half dollar depicts the profile of President John F. Kennedy on the obverse and the Seal of the President of the United States on the reverse.in both size and weight, being
Though not commonly used today, half-dollar coins have a long history of heavy use alongside other denominations of coinage, but have faded out of general circulation for many reasons. They were produced in fairly large quantities until the year 2002, when the U.S. Mint ceased production of the coin for general circulation. As a result of its decreasing usage, many pre-2002 half dollars remain in Federal Reserve vaults, prompting the change in production. Presently, collector half dollars can be ordered directly from the U.S. Mint,and pre-2002 circulation half dollars may be ordered through most American banks and credit unions. In 2021, half dollars began to be produced for general circulation again.
Half-dollar coins once saw heavy use, particularly in the first half of the 20th century. For many years, they were (and in many areas still are) commonly used by gamblers at casinos and other venues with slot machines. Rolls of half dollars may still be kept on hand in cardrooms for games requiring 50-cent antes or bring-in bets, for dealers to pay winning naturals in blackjack, or where the house collects a rake in increments. Additionally, some concession vendors at sporting events distribute half-dollar coins as change for convenience.
By the early 1960s, the rising price of silver neared the point where the bullion value of U.S. silver coins would exceed face value. In 1965, the U.S. introduced layered-composition coins made of a pure copper core sandwiched between two cupronickel outer faces. The silver content of dimes and quarters was eliminated, but the Kennedy half-dollar composition contained silver (reduced from 90% to 40%) from 1965 to 1970. Even with its reduced silver content, the half dollar attracted widespread interest from speculators and collectors, and that interest led to widespread hoarding of half dollars dated 1970 and earlier. In 1971, the half's composition was changed to match that of the clad dimes and quarters, and with an increase in production, the coin saw a moderate increase in usage; by this time however, many businesses and the public had begun to lose interest in the coin and it gradually became uncommon in circulation by the end of the 1970s. Merchants stopped ordering half dollars from their banks, and many banks stopped ordering half dollars from the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. mints sharply reduced production of the coins.
Since 2002, half dollars have been minted only for collectors, due to large Federal Reserve and government inventories on hand of pre-2001 pieces; this is mostly due to lack of demand and large quantity returns from casino slot machines that now operate "coinless". Eventually, when the reserve supply runs low, the mint will again fill orders for circulation half dollars. [ citation needed ] Modern-date half dollars can be purchased in proof sets, mint sets, rolls, and bags from the U.S. Mint, and existing inventory circulation pieces can be ordered through most U.S. banks and credit unions. All collector issues since 2001 have had much lower mintages than in previous years. Although intended only for collectors, these post-2001 half dollars often find their way into circulation, with examples occurring in change or as payment for small transactions.It took about 18 years (1981–1999) for the large inventory stockpile of a similar low-demand circulation coin, the $1 coin, to reach reserve levels low enough to again produce circulation pieces.
On December 1, 1794, the first half dollars, approximately 5,300 pieces, were delivered. Another 18,000 were produced in January 1795 using dies of 1794, to save the expense of making new ones.Another 30,000 pieces were struck by the end of 1801. The coin had the Heraldic Eagle, based on the Great Seal of the United States on the reverse. 150,000 were minted in 1804 but struck with dies from 1803, so no 1804 specimens exist, though there were some pieces dated 1805 that carried a "5 over 4" overdate.
In 1838, half-dollar dies were produced in the Philadelphia Mint for the newly established New Orleans Mint, and ten test samples of the 1838 half dollars were made at the main Philadelphia mint. These samples were put into the mint safe along with other rarities like the 1804 silver dollar. The dies were then shipped to New Orleans for the regular production of 1838 half dollars. However, New Orleans production of the half dollars was delayed due to the priority of producing half dimes and dimes. The large press for half-dollar production was not used in New Orleans until January 1839 to produce 1838 half dollars, but the reverse die could not be properly secured, and only ten samples were produced before the dies failed. Rufus Tyler, chief coiner of the New Orleans mint, wrote to Mint Director Patterson of the problem on February 25, 1839.The Orleans mint samples all had a double stamped reverse as a result of this production problem and they also showed dramatic signs of die rust, neither of which are present on the Philadelphia produced test samples. While eight Philadelphia minted samples survive to this day, there is only one known New Orleans minted specimen with the tell-tale double stamped reverse and die rust. This is the famous coin that Rufus Tyler presented to Alexander Dallas Bache (great grandson of Benjamin Franklin) in the summer of 1839 and was later purchased in June 1894 by A. G. Heaton, the father of mint mark coin collecting. The 1838 Philadelphia-produced half dollars are extremely rare, with two separate specimens having sold for $632,500 in Heritage auctions in 2005 and 2008 respectively. The sole surviving Orleans minted 1838 is one of the rarest of all American coins. In 1840, this mint produced nearly 180,000 half dollars.
In 1861, the New Orleans mint produced coins for three different governments. A total of 330,000 were struck under the United States government, 1,240,000 for the State of Louisiana after it seceded from the Union, and 962,633 after it joined the Confederacy. Since the same die was used for all strikings, the output looks identical. However the Confederate States of America actually minted four half dollars with a CSA (rather than USA) reverse and the obverse die they used had a small die crack. Thus "regular" 1861 half dollars with this crack probably were used by the Confederates for some of the mass striking.
There are two varieties of Kennedy half dollars in the proof set issues of 1964. Initially, the die was used with accented hair, showing deeper lines than the president's widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, preferred. New dies were prepared to smooth out some of the details. It is estimated that about 1 to 3% (40,000 to 100,000) of the proof halves are of the earlier type, making them somewhat more expensive for collectors.
The quarter, short for quarter dollar, is a United States coin worth 25 cents, one-quarter of a dollar. The coin sports the profile of George Washington on its obverse, and after 1998 its reverse design has changed frequently. It has been produced on and off since 1796 and consistently since 1831.
The United States Mint is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury responsible for producing coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce, as well as controlling the movement of bullion. It does not produce paper money; that responsibility belongs to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The first United States Mint was created in Philadelphia in 1792, and soon joined by other centers, whose coins were identified by their own mint marks. There are currently four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point.
The dime, in United States usage, is a ten-cent coin, one tenth of a United States dollar, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792.
The United States Mint has minted numerous commemorative coins to commemorate persons, places, events, and institutions since 1848. Many of these coins are not intended for general circulation, but are still legal tender. The mint also produces commemorative medals, which are similar to coins but do not have a face value, and therefore are not legal tender.
The dollar coin is a United States coin with a face value of one United States dollar. Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in gold, silver, and base metal versions. Dollar coins were first minted in the United States in 1794.
Proof coinage refers to special early samples of a coin issue, historically made for checking the dies and for archival purposes, but nowadays often struck in greater numbers specially for coin collectors (numismatists). Nearly all countries have issued proof coinage.
The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.
The Franklin half dollar is a coin that was struck by the United States Mint from 1948 to 1963. The fifty-cent piece pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse. A small eagle was placed to the right of the bell to fulfill the legal requirement that half dollars depict the figure of an eagle. Produced in 90 percent silver with a reeded edge, the coin was struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints. As of December 30, 2021, the melt value of the $0.50 coin was approximately $8.37.
The United States Bicentennial coinage is a set of circulating commemorative coins, consisting of a quarter, half dollar and dollar struck by the United States Mint in 1975 and 1976. Regardless of when struck, each coin bears the double date 1776–1976 on the normal obverses for the Washington quarter, Kennedy half dollar and Eisenhower dollar. No coins dated 1975 of any of the three denominations were minted.
The Eisenhower dollar was a one-dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1971 to 1978; it was the first coin of that denomination issued by the Mint since the Peace dollar series ended in 1935. The coin depicts President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse, and on the reverse a stylized image honoring the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon mission based on the mission patch designed by astronaut Michael Collins. Both sides were designed by Frank Gasparro. It is the only large-size U.S. dollar coin whose circulation strikes contained no silver.
The Kennedy half dollar, first minted in 1964, is a fifty-cent coin currently issued by the United States Mint. Intended as a memorial to the assassinated 35th president of the United States John F. Kennedy, it was authorized by Congress just over a month after his death. Use of existing works by Mint sculptors Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro allowed dies to be prepared quickly, and striking of the new coins began in January 1964.
The West Point Mint is a U.S. Mint production and depository facility erected in 1937 near the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, United States. As of 2019 the mint holds 22% of the United States' gold reserves, or approximately 54 million ounces. The mint at West Point is second only to the gold reserves held in secure storage at Fort Knox. Originally, the West Point Mint was called the West Point Bullion Depository. At one point it had the highest concentration of silver of any U.S. mint facility, and for 12 years produced circulating Lincoln cents. It has since minted mostly commemorative coins and stored gold.
The half eagle is a United States coin that was produced for circulation from 1795 to 1929 and in commemorative and bullion coins since 1983. Composed almost entirely of gold, its face value of five dollars is half that of the eagle coin. Production of the half eagle was authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792, and it was the first gold coin minted by the United States.
The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The coin was first struck in 1932; the original version was designed by sculptor John Flanagan.
The America the Beautiful quarters were a series of 56 25-cent pieces (quarters) issued by the United States Mint, which began in 2010 and lasted until 2021. The obverse (front) of all the coins depicts George Washington in a modified version of the portrait used for the original 1932 Washington quarter. There were five new reverse (back) designs each year, each commemorating a national natural or historic site such as national parks, national historic site, or national forests – one from each state, the federal district, and each territory. The program was authorized by the America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 (Pub.L. 110–456 .
The Lincoln cent is a one-cent coin that has been struck by the United States Mint since 1909. The obverse or heads side was designed by Victor David Brenner, as was the original reverse, depicting two stalks of wheat. The coin has seen several reverse, or tails, designs and now bears one by Lyndall Bass depicting a Union shield. All coins struck by the United States government with a value of 1⁄100 of a dollar are called cents because the United States has always minted coins using decimals. The penny nickname is a carryover from the coins struck in England, which went to decimals for coins in 1971.
The United States Mint has released annual collections of coins most years since 1936.
The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1979 to 1981 when production was suspended due to poor public acceptance, and then again in 1999. Intended as a replacement for the larger Eisenhower dollar, the new smaller one-dollar coin went through testing of several shapes and compositions, but all were opposed by the vending machine industry, a powerful lobby affecting coin legislation. Finally, a round planchet with an eleven-sided inner border was chosen for the smaller dollar.
The United States Mint Proof Set, commonly known as the Proof Set in the United States, is a set of proof coins sold by the United States Mint. The proof set is popular with coin collectors as it is an affordable way to collect examples of United States coinage in proof condition.
The United States Uncirculated Coin Set, known as the Uncirculated Set or Mint Set in the United States, is an annual coin set sold by the United States Mint. The set is marketed towards coin collectors as a way to obtain circulation coins in mint condition.