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United States Half Dollar Information

This page contains general and historical information about United States Half Dollars. The fifty cent pieces that we have available for purchase are divided into three sections: 1916-1947 Walking Liberty Half Dollars, 1948-1963 Silver Frankin Half Dollars and 1964-2009 Kennedy Half Dollars. You can click the links, select the sub-category or use the search function to browse our products.

History of the United States Half Dollars

The United States Fifty Cent Piece is a unit of currency equal to 50/100 or 1/2 of a dollar.

The first half dollars issued in America are referred to as Flowing Hair type (1794–1795).

The Draped Bust Half was produced from 1796-1807.

Capped Bust Half (1807-1839)

 

 

 

 

Seated Liberty Half (1839-1891)

 

 

 

 

Barber Half (1892-1916)

 

 

 

 

Walking Liberty Half (1917-1947)

 

 

 

 

The coin is named after its representation of Liberty on the obverse. The coin was designed by Adolph A. Weinman and his mark, "AAW", appears under the eagle's wing feathers on the reverse.

Franklin Half (1948-1963)

 

 

 

 

The Franklin Half features Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse. This coin was short lived after the assassination of John F Kennedy when Congress authorized the change to the Kennedy half dollar in February 1964.

Kennedy Half (1964-Present)

 

 

 

 

The Kennedy half dollar replaced the Franklin half dollar within three months of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Gilroy Roberts, the former chief engraver of the mint, and Frank Gasparro, the Mint's chief engraver at the time, designed the coin within five days of Kennedy's death based on Kennedy's inaugural medal from two years earlier. The Kennedy half dollar was 90% silver in 1964. The following year, this was changed to silver-clad, with the silver content lowered to 40%. In 1971, the circulation coinage composition was changed a final time, eliminating the silver, and using the copper-nickel clad standard common to the dollar, quarter, and dime.