Kennedy Half Dollars Mintage

The Kennedy Half Dollar was created to memorialize President John F. Kennedy. The mintages for the coin were immense in the early years of the series as many members of the public saved the coin as a memento. Over the years, this actually led to a decline in use for the denomination, which resulted in dwindling mintages for the duration of the series, which continues to the present day.

Kennedy Half Dollar

The design of the coin features a portrait of the President, facing left. The inscription “Liberty” is widely spaced above and “In God We Trust” is across the neck line. The date appears below. On the reverse is an eagle based on the Presidential Seal. There is an olive branch and arrows in its talons and fifty stars surrounding. A banner above the eagle reads “E Pluribus Unum”, while the inscriptions “United States of America” and “Half Dollar” surround the image. For the 1976 Kennedy Half Dollar the reverse image was changed to depict Independence Hall and the date on the obverse was “1776-1976”.

Capped Bust Half Dollars Mintage

The Capped Bust Half Dollar was designed by John Reich. A similar design was used on most other circulating silver coinage for the next several decades, providing a uniform appearance. The mintages for this denomination were relatively high as the half dollar had become a staple within the currency system, since silver dollars ceased being produced in 1804.

Capped Bust Half Dollar

The design features Liberty, facing left with curled hair contained under a cap. There are seven stars in front with six stars in back, and the date in curved fashion below. The cap contains the word “LIBERTY”. On the reverse of the coin is a bald eagle with a shield at its chest and a bundle of arrows and olive branch in its claws. A scroll above reads “E PLURIBUS UNUM” with additional inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and the denomination, which would appear alternatively as “50 C.”, “FIFTY CENTS”, or “HALF DOL.” In an updated version of the design the scroll would also be removed.

Draped Bust Half Dollars Mintage

The second design issued for the denomination, the Draped Bust Half Dollar was issued from 1796 to 1807. During this time the reverse design of the coins was changed, creating two distinct subtypes. The initial reverse featuring a small eagle had an extremely limited mintage, making it an important type coin. The second reverse type featuring a heraldic eagle is relatively more available.

Draped Bust Half Dollar

Walking Liberty Half Dollars Mintage

The Walking Liberty Half Dollar was first released in 1916, following a contest held to select a new design for the denomination. The winner of the contest was Adolph A. Weinman, who created a striking and iconic image of Liberty to grace the new half dollar. The obverse features Liberty’s full figure, walking towards the left. One hand holds olive branches and the other is outstretched. The reverse design features an eagle with wings raised in a confident stance.

Walking Liberty Half Dollar

The popularity of the design makes the Walking Liberty Half Dollar series a favorite of collectors. While a short set of the coins from 1941 to 1947 can be assembled without much difficulty, collecting the full series from 1916 to 1947 can be a challenge, particularly for mint state coins. There are a number of low mintage coins such as the 1921, 1921-D, and 1938-D, and conditionally rare coins such as the 1921-S.

Franklin Half Dollars Mintage

The Franklin Half Dollar was introduced in 1948, replacing the prior depiction of Liberty. The coin was designed by John Sinnock, who had also created the new design for the ten cent denomination a few years earlier. The obverse of the Franklin Half Dollar features a right-facing portrait of Benjamin Franklin. The reverse of the coin features a large, central depiction of the Liberty Bell. A diminutive eagle with wings outstretched apperas to the right of the bell.

Franklin Half Dollar Mintage

One of the most important considerations for the Franklin Half series is the strike quality. The coin features overall low relief and many broad, flat surfaces. The designation Full Bell Lines is awarded to sharply struck coins, which display full and uninterrupted horizontal lines on the lower portion of the Liberty Bell.