2014 Kennedy Half Dollars – Celebrating 50 Years of Numismatic Allurement

2014 Kenned Half Dollar

The latest release from the United States Mint celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic Kennedy Half Dollar coin. Since its initial launch in 1964, the Kennedy Half Dollar has proved to be a favorite of collectors year-after-year, with more than 4.1 billion having been struck by the US Mint.

The special 2014 releases of the Kennedy Half Dollars are taking the popularity of the coin to a whole new level. The first version to be released was the uncirculated clad coin set, which continues to enjoy a high level of interest from collectors. More recently, for the first time ever, a 99.99% gold coin was issued in the Kennedy Half Dollar series. This release had people lining up in droves outside of the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) World’s Fair of Money in Chicago, at the various US Mint retail locations, and even hanging out in virtual "waiting rooms" online and over the phone.

The yet-to-be-released silver proof set is sure to continue this trend of excitement surrounding the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollars. Launching later this Fall, the 2014 Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Proof Set is expected to include one reverse proof silver coin, one proof silver coin, one enhanced uncirculated coin and one uncirculated coin.

The original Kennedy fifty cent piece was approved just over a month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Proposed by newly installed President Lyndon Johnson, the new design had to be approved by Congress in quick order to meet the target mint date of early 1964. Congressional approval was required as an exception to a law that stated a design on any given coin could only be changed after 25 years in production (the Benjamin Franklin design featured on the fifty cent piece at that time had only been in place for 15 years). This exception was approved allowing the design to move forward.

The obverse of Kennedy Half Dollars was designed by Gilroy Roberts and depicts a forceful bust of John F. Kennedy’s profile. The original 1964 design that First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy had helped select has been updated with minor detail changes over the years, but the 2014 releases feature the original design. Obverse inscriptions on the new coins include LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and the year 2014. On the commemorative gold coin however, there is a year range of 1964-2014 depicting the 50 year run of the Kennedy Half Dollar. A dual date has only been featured on the Kennedy coins one other time, during the Nation's Bicentennial celebration in 1976 when the coins were minted with a date of 1776-1976 on the obverse.

That bicentennial release also saw the only significant change to the original reverse design featuring an image of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall (rather than the usual representative image of the coat of arms from the Presidential Seal). For all other years, including the 2014 commemorative releases, the reverse of the coin features the Presidential Coat of Arms - consisting of a heraldic eagle holding a bundle of 13 arrows and a symbolic olive branch, with a shield on its breast and surrounded by a ring of 50 stars. This classic design was created by Frank Gasparro. Inscriptions on the reverse include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and HALF DOLLAR. Additional inscriptions on the reverse of the gold version are a "W" mint mark and 3/4 OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD.

Don’t miss out on these exciting new 2014 releases from the United States Mint - Buy Your Commemorative 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Coins Today! If you don’t already collect Kennedy coins – why not get started today? Previous releases of Kennedy Half Dollars also make great additions to any coin collection.