2014 is the year of the Kennedy – half dollar that is.
The year marks the golden anniversary of the inaugural release of the Kennedy half dollar into circulation.
By the time the year ends, collectors will have had the opportunity to acquire directly from the U.S. Mint at least nine different Kennedy half dollar composition, Mint mark, finish and design/relief combinations.
Premier among the highly anticipated options is the dual-dated 1964-2014 Proof version containing approximately 0.75 ounces of .9999 fine gold.
Collectors are speculating when it and two other versions – one in .900 fine silver and one in copper-nickel clad -- bearing U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts original 1963 sculpt of the slain president will be released.
The popular bet is that the three special Kennedy commemoratives could be released during the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money the first week of August in Rosemont, Ill.
The U.S. Mint has previously released special numismatic commemoratives during the ANA’s conventions – the 2012 American Buffalo, Reverse Proof $50 coin and 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set among them.
While it is known the gold version of the Kennedy half dollar will be struck with the W Mint at the West Point Mint, many questions remain unanswered.
What finish will the high relief silver and copper-nickel clad versions bear? Which facility or facilities will strike these issues? Will mintages reflect striking to order during a set or open-ended ordering period, or will they be limited editions?
Except for the gold version, the obverse of all Kennedy half dollar versions in 2014 will bear the single date 2014. The reverse design on all options, including the gold, will bear the lower relief Heraldic Eagle reverse last used on 2013-dated Kennedy half dollars.
Collectors seeking to assemble a complete collection of Kennedy half dollars dated 2014 will need the following, with price from U.S. Mint:
The three high relief commemoratives (prices unknown)
Circulation quality copper-nickel clad Denver Mint (D) and Philadelphia Mint (P) strikes (two-roll set, $32.95)
Copper-nickel clad Denver and Philadelphia strikes in the 2014 Uncirculated Mint set ($27.95)
Copper-nickel clad San Francisco Mint (S) strike in 2014-S Proof set ($31.95)
.900 fine silver San Francisco Mint strike in 2014-S Silver Proof set ($53.95)
Collectors may lower their cash output by trying to acquire single examples of the coins, where available, on the secondary market.
Visit the U.S. Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov.