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Olevian Numismatic Rarities

20th Century U.S. Half Dollar Collection // Relics of a Bygone Era Series // Deluxe Collector's Pouch

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Product Description

The half dollar is a U.S. fifty-cent coin first issued for circulation in 1794 and is currently the largest circulating coin in both size and weight. Once extremely popular, half dollars eventually fell out of favor and production for general circulation ceased in 2002. This comprehensive 6-coin set features one of every major type and composition of circulating U.S. half dollars issued during the 20th century. The coins in this collection were hand-selected by professional numismatists after screening thousands of coins for quality and eye-appeal. Included is a Barber half dollar (1892-1915), Walking Liberty half dollar (1916-1947), Franklin half dollar (1948-1963), and three Kennedy half dollars— one struck in the original 90% silver alloy (1964), one in the modified 40% silver alloy (1965-1970), and one in the contemporary copper-nickel alloy (1971-Present). Each coin is housed in an airtight capsule. The entire set is presented in a luxurious, plush-lined wood box with embossed metallic gold lettering, piano-black finish, and certificate of authenticity.

By 1891, the public had grown weary of the Seated Liberty coinage that had clinked in their pockets for over 50 years. Consequently, U.S. Mint director Leech instructed Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber to prepare designs for the coins that now bear his name. The result was a new dime, quarter, and half dollar rendered in a distinctly neoclassical Roman design that drew influence from contemporary French coinage circulating in Europe. The Barber obverse features Liberty, facing right, wearing an olive branch crown termed a pileus, as well as a headband inscribed with LIBERTY. The Barber quarter and half dollar reverse designs depict a heraldic eagle with shield, modeled after the Great Seal of the United States. It holds a scroll in its beak inscribed with E PLURIBUS UNUM as well an olive branch and arrows in its talons. Above the eagle are 13 stars, the name of the country, and the denomination. This design is more elaborate than the Barber dime, which bears a simple wreath on the Reverse. Barber coins were produced from 1892 through the middle of the first World War in 1916, except for the half dollar, which ended one year earlier.

The Walking Liberty half dollar is an enduring classic engraved by Adolph A. Weinman, the designer of the Mercury dime. This graceful coin features Lady Liberty adorned in an American Flag and striding towards the rising sun with her right arm outstretched, carrying branches of laurel and oak. The reverse features a powerful perched eagle with open wings and a branch of Mountain Pine, symbolic of America. The design was exceptionally detailed compared to previous coins, which lead to persistent problems with sharpness of strike and production quality— accelerating its replacement by the Franklin half dollar in 1948. The lasting beauty of this unique design was immortalized in 1986 when the U.S. Mint chose to adopt the Walking Liberty obverse for the American Silver Eagle bullion coin, which has become one of the most widely distributed silver bullion coins in the world. Today, many of the Walking Liberty half dollar issues are scare in high grades and completion of an entire collection of these coins in uncirculated condition remains a formidable challenge for collectors and investors alike.

Within a few days of Kennedy’s tragic death, serious consideration was already underway to place the President’s portrait on a new silver coin. The plans were discussed with Mrs. Kennedy, who asked that her husband’s portrait not replace George Washington on the quarter. President Johnson requested that JFK’s portrait be employed on the half dollar that currently featured Benjamin Franklin. However, U.S. law stipulated that coin designs could not be changed more often than every 25 years and the Franklin half was then only 15 years old. A special act of Congress was needed, and on December 30th, 1963, Public Law 88-256 made the Kennedy half dollar a reality. The depiction of Kennedy that appeared on his inaugural medal was chosen for the obverse of the coin, one that Kennedy had personally approved. The presidential seal appearing on the same medal was chosen for the coin’s reverse. Production began in early 1964 and the coins were struck in 90% silver. On March 24th, Americans waited in line for hours at banks across the country to acquire the new coin but supplies quickly ran out. Mintage continued at enormous levels, yet few of the coins every achieved actual circulation.

From its very inception, the Kennedy half dollar became a keepsake, cherished by generations of Americans. Due to rising silver costs, the composition of Kennedy half dollars was reduced to 40% silver in 1965 and eventually changed to copper-nickel clad in 1971. For the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, a special reverse depicting Independence Hall was issued and all coins featured the dual date of 1776-1976. Since 2002, Kennedy half dollars have only been struck in small quantities and sold to collectors at a premium. They are seldom encountered in circulation and have become one of the most widely collected coins in U.S. history.

Product Details
  • Measurements
    8"L x 6"W x 2"H
  • OriginUnited States

— Includes Certificate Of Authenticity

Coin 1:
— Type: Barber Half Dollar (1892-1915)
— Designer: Charles E. Barber
— Weight: 12.5 grams
— Diameter: 30.0 mm
— Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
— Net silver weight: 0.36169 oz pure silver
— Obverse Design: Liberty, facing right, with pileus and headband / 13 stars
— Obverse Inscription: IN GOD WE TRUST / LIBERTY / DATE
— Reverse Design: Heraldic eagle with shield, scroll, olive branch, and 13 arrows / 13 stars
— Reverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / E PLURIBUS UNUM / HALF DOLLAR

Coin 2:
— Type: Walking Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947)
— Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
— Weight: 12.5 grams
— Diameter: 30.6 mm
— Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
— Net silver weight: 0.36169 oz pure silver
— Obverse Design: Liberty wearing an American flag dress with outstretched arm and carrying branches of laurel and oak / Mountain with rising sun in distance
— Obverse Inscription: LIBERTY / IN GOD WE TRUST / DATE
— Reverse Design: Perched eagle with open wings carrying branch of Mountain Pine
— Reverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / E PLURIBUS UNUM / HALF DOLLAR

Coin 3:
— Type: Franklin Half Dollar (1948-1963)
— Designer: John R. Sinnock
— Weight: 12.5 grams
— Diameter: 30.6 mm
— Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
— Net silver weight: 0.36169 oz pure silver
— Obverse Design: Bust of Benjamin Franklin, facing right
— Obverse Inscription: LIBERTY / IN GOD WE TRUST / DATE
— Reverse Design: Liberty Bell / Eagle with open wings
— Reverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / E PLURIBUS UNUM / HALF DOLLAR

Coin 4:
— Type: Kennedy Half Dollar (1964-Present)
— Variety: 90% Silver
— Designer: Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro
— Weight: 11.50 grams
— Diameter: 30.61 mm
— Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
— Net silver weight: 0.36169 oz pure silver
— Obverse Design: John F. Kennedy, facing left
— Obverse Inscription: IN GOD WE TRUST / LIBERTY / DATE
— Reverse Design: Presidential seal
— Reverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / HALF DOLLAR

Coin 5:
— Type: Kennedy Half Dollar (1964-Present)
— Variety: 40% Silver Clad (1965-1970)
— Designer: Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro
— Weight: 11.50 grams
— Diameter: 30.61 mm
— Composition: 0.400 silver, 0.600 copper
— Net silver weight: 0.147893 oz pure silver
— Obverse Design: John F. Kennedy, facing left
— Obverse Inscription: IN GOD WE TRUST / LIBERTY / DATE
— Reverse Design: Presidential seal
— Reverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / HALF DOLLAR

Coin 6:
— Type: Kennedy Half Dollar (1964-Present)
— Variety: Copper Nickel Clad (1971-Present)
— Designer: Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro
— Weight: 11.3 grams
— Diameter: 30.61 mm
— Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel over a pure copper center
— Obverse Design: John F. Kennedy, facing left
— Obverse Inscription: IN GOD WE TRUST / LIBERTY / DATE
— Reverse Design: Presidential seal
— Reverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / HALF DOLLAR

Please Note: The item(s) you receive will match the quality of the one shown, but may vary slightly due to the nature of original historical artifacts.

Shipping Information
  • Shipping Availability
    Canada, United States
  • Shipping Policy
    Discounted Shipping
  • Discounted Shipping
    $14.99 first item / $14.99 each additional
  • Ship In
    2-3 weeks
  • Return Policy
    Final sale, not eligible for return or cancellation

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