US Coins

United States Mint defends Proof gold Kennedy half dollar

U.S. Mint officials contend they have the statutory authorization to issue the 1964-2014 gold Proof Kennedy 50th Anniversary half dollar.

Images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

Despite some Coin World readers' contentions that the U.S. Mint does not have the legal authority to issue a Proof Kennedy half dollar in gold, Mint officials say they possess statutory authority.

Among the numismatic products already scheduled to mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Kennedy half dollar is the .9999 fine gold Proof 1964-2014 Kennedy half dollar to be struck at the West Point Mint. The obverse will bear U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts' original 1963 sculpt of the president that was introduced on the half dollar in 1964.

The gold coins are to be struck on planchets containing approximately 0.75 troy ounce of gold and will be 30.61 millimeters in diameter.

Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint's Office of Corporate Communications, said via email June 18 that "the statutory authority for us to produce gold Kennedy half dollars is 31 U.S.C. § 5112(i)(4)(C)."

The United States Code citation reads: "(C) The Secretary may continue to mint and issue coins in accordance with the specifications contained in paragraphs (7), (8), (9), and (10) of subsection (a) and paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection at the same time the Secretary is minting and issuing other bullion and proof gold coins under this subsection in accordance with such program procedures and coin specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time."

31 U.S.C. § 5112 can be found here.

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