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Half Dollars

Half Dollars

Vast Selection of Half Dollar Coins for your Collection

Since the 1700s there have been multitudes of Half Dollars for various reasons. Some were born out of new technology while others were produced to honor the memory of people and places. With several selections available, collectors can own a piece of history in their hands.

Early Half Dollars

The extensive history of the U.S. Half Dollar dates back as far as the 1700s. In 1794, the Half Dollar history began with the Flowing Hair Half Dollar, created by Robert Scot. In addition to the Flowing Hair Half Dollar, Scot designed the Draped Bust Half Dollar. The Draped Bust type has two distinct styles, the Small Eagle reverse and the Heraldic Eagle reverse. In 1807, John Reich designed the Capped Bust design that is incredibly popular with collectors today.

The Reeded Edge Half Dollar

In 1836, Christian Gobrecht designed the Reeded Edge Half Dollar, the first U.S. coin made for circulation on the new steam press instead of the then-dated manual screw press. The steam press ensured that each coin received the same strike and diameter every time a press was made. At this point in history, this was a far unique Silver half dollar because of its production.

The Liberty Seated Half Dollar

The Liberty Seated Half Dollar was the last denomination to bear Lady Liberty whom was seated upon a rock, holding a shield in her right hand and a pole with a liberty cap in her left hand. By popular demand to replace the Liberty Seated Half Dollar, a competition was held to design the next coin in 1891. However, the judges of the competition deemed that no design was worthy of the honor. Later that year, Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber designed the Barber Half Dollar.

Barber Half Dollar

The Barber Half Dollar was in existence until 1915, but its long run as a circulated Half Dollar Silver coin was something to be admired. The Barber Half Dollars are a rare item today because of its rarity and its place in history as the coin produced and designed after the famous coin design contest where there were no winners.

Walking Liberty Half Dollar

1916 brought forth the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. Designed by Adolph A. Weinman, many believed the Walking Liberty Half Dollar to be America’s most beautiful Silver coin. However, the elegant design of Lady Liberty walking toward the sun eventually proved difficult to strike. The Walking Liberty Half Dollar was one of the most popular from 1916 – 1947.

Franklin Half Dollar

Even though the Walking Liberty Half Dollar was difficult to strike, a new coin was established in 1948, the Franklin Half Dollar. Widely considered to have ended the “golden age of coinage art”, the Franklin Half Dollar was unique because it was the first of its kind to represent historical figures instead of the allegorical depictions of earlier Half Dollar Silver coins.

Kennedy Half Dollar

The last and current coin minted is the Kennedy Half Dollar. After Kennedy's death in 1963, the public cried out for a coin to honor his legacy. The 1963 Half Dollar Silver is a perfect commemorative piece for collectors. As a result, the U.S. Mint produced the Kennedy Half Dollar. The Kennedy Half Dollar is a high collectible item today. It is the last Half Dollar with a composition of 90% Silver. In early 1964, the public began hoarding Kennedy Halves as a memento of the late president and, consequently, the U.S. Mint adjusted the composition of the coin to 40% Silver and 60% copper clad in 1965 and eventually a copper-nickel clad with no Silver in 1971. In 1992, Kennedy Half Dollars were once again purchasable at its original 90% Silver composition to the general public. To this day, Kennedy Half Dollars are highly sought after by collectors everywhere.

What are half dollars worth? Contemporary half dollars are worth the face value of fifty cents. Older half dollars are worth more due to their Silver content, while certain half dollars have numismatic value above that of legal tender or Precious Metal content.

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