In 1964, the U.S. Mint introduced the Kennedy Half Dollar as a tribute to John F. Kennedy. It replaced the Franklin Half Dollar, and it also became the last 90% silver Half Dollar ever made for circulation. This collection includes both of these historic coins – the last two 90% silver Half Dollars ever made for circulation.
The Franklin Half Dollar honors Benjamin Franklin, the legendary colonial patriot, inventor, and statesman. Franklin was the first historical person other than a President to appear on a circulating U.S. coin. The reverse of the coin shows the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. According to tradition, the Liberty Bell was rung to announce the Declaration of Independence to the people of Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. Due to the unexpected end of the series, few people were able to save the last coin in 1963. Later, untold numbers of Franklin Silver Half Dollars – including the 1963 coins – were melted for the precious silver, leaving even fewer for collectors.
The 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar is a key U.S. coin because it was the first Kennedy Half Dollar as well as the only Kennedy Half Dollar issued in 90% silver for circulation. The portrait on the obverse was first used on Kennedy’s official Presidential Medal struck by the U.S. Mint. Jacqueline Kennedy, the President’s widow, personally approved the coin design. The reverse depicts the Presidential coat of arms. Both classic silver Half Dollars are presented in a custom coin folder with a story card that explains the historical background and importance of the coins. This is a rare chance to own both coins in a single collection. The coins are now over 50 years old!