Fifty Years of the Kennedy Half-Dollar

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This year marks the coin’s 50th anniversary, and on Tuesday, August 5th, a new Kennedy half-dollar coin was revealed at the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois.

Over 50 years ago, an event took place that changed American history. In its wake, a special coin was issued: the Kennedy half-dollar. This year marks the coin’s 50th anniversary, and on Tuesday, August 5th, a new Kennedy half-dollar coin was revealed at the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois. The .9999 fine gold proofs were debuted following much fanfare in the coin world.

Its obvious historical and numismatic value aren’t the only things the coin has going for it. One attribute that makes this coin so sought after is its limited mintage. Buyers at the ANA World’s Fair of Money were limited to one coin per household. The coins will be minted according to demand. As of now, only 40,000 gold coins have been issued. More orders for the coins will be made based on the first week’s sales. An unknown final mint amount usually drives the price higher.

Commemorative coins are generally issued to honor the anniversary of a major event. The Kennedy anniversary half-dollar marks the first time a commemorative coin has been issued to honor a coin. Many numismatic experts thought it was an interesting choice to strike the coin in 2014, rather than last year, which marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved president’s passing. The somewhat unconventional choice only adds to the coin’s appeal.

The U.S. Mint’s constitutional right to issue a gold half-dollar coin isn’t exactly clear. Congress has previously stated that the Mint didn’t have the constitutional authority to mint a gold dollar coin in reference to the Mint’s attempt to issue a gold Sacajawea dollar coin.

The total Kennedy anniversary set includes seven coins. As of now, the gold coin and the 2014 Anniversary Kennedy Two-Coin Clad Set are the only coins to be released. The clad set also has no mint limit, and buyers are allowed up to five of each product per household. The rest of the Kennedy anniversary coins are scheduled for release in the fall. The last coins in the series will be the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Silver Coin Collection containing four silver coins that are 90% silver.

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