Kennedy half dollar product somewhat of a fluke
United States Mint has not struck Kennedy half dollars for general circulation
since 2001, but that still hasn’t stopped hobbyists from adding such coins from
the series to their collections. These are in addition to any Kennedy half
dollar strikes produced for inclusion in annual Proof, Silver Proof and Uncirculated
Philadelphia and Denver Mints are still striking circulation-quality
copper-nickel clad Kennedy half dollars in 2017, but the coins are being
offered by the U.S. Mint to collectors at a numismatic premium above face value
in 20-coin rolls and 200-coin mixed bags.
those numismatic products came about is somewhat of a fluke.
the Philadelphia Mint produced 21.2 million Kennedy half dollars for
circulation, with the Denver Mint contributing another 19.504 million coins.
Much of that production was executed during the waning months of the 2001
calendar year. Philadelphia didn’t start production until September, with 20
million coins struck that month toward the eventual 21.2 million total.
of the 2001-D Kennedy half dollar production was pushed out into general
circulation through the Federal Reserve, the Philadelphia Mint output was
withheld from circulation release.
until an enterprising dealer from Tennessee arranged to secure 100,000 of the
Kennedy half dollars from the Philadelphia Mint production was there any chance
of the issue in circulation-quality seeing the light of day.
were made by the dealer to have the coins shipped to the Nashville Branch of
the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for pickup. Once U.S. Mint officials
learned of the transaction, Treasury moved quickly and had the coins returned
to Mint vaults from Nashville.
millions of Kennedy half dollars from 2001 and earlier sitting in Mint vaults,
in November 2002, U.S. Mint
officials announced the bureau would offer numismatic sales of circulation-quality
2002-dated Kennedy half dollars, and has done so annually since. The U.S. Mint
never offered the 2001-dated half dollars as a numismatic product.
Kennedy half dollars that languished in Mint vaults for more than two years slowly
began entering circulation from Mint vaults through the Federal Reserve
beginning in October 2003, closing that chapter in U.S. Mint history.