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20th Century Silver Half Dollar Collection
Silver Half Dollars were once part of American coinage – but silver coins disappeared generations ago, and circulating Half Dollars are now a long-forgotten memory. This unique collection brings back the romance and history of the Silver Half Dollar with the last four types of Silver Half Dollars.
Until 1964, America’s Half Dollars were struck in .900 pure silver. Then, due to the rising cost of silver bullion, the Silver Half Dollar disappeared from circulation.
The collection starts with a Barber Silver Half Dollar that was struck between 1892 and 1915. This beautiful coin is named after its designer, Charles E. Barber, who was Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint and one of the most famous and prolific coin designers in United States Mint history. The obverse shows Liberty with a triple headdress of cap, laurel wreath, and a tiny coronet inscribed with the word “Liberty.”
The second coin is the Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollar that replaced the Barber coin in 1916. It is considered one of America’s most beautiful coins and was struck only between 1916 and 1947. This is the coin that was used in America from World War I through the “Roaring Twenties,” the Great Depression, and World War II. The obverse depicts Lady Liberty wrapped in a U.S. flag and walking towards the rising sun. The reverse shows a magnificent eagle with its wings stretched.
The third coin is the Franklin Silver Half Dollar that replaced the Walking Liberty and was struck from 1948 until 1963. The obverse features colonial patriot and inventor Benjamin Franklin. He was the first actual person other than a President to appear on a circulating U.S. coin. The reverse shows the Liberty Bell that was originally housed atop Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration was drafted and signed. There is a very small eagle to the right of the bell. By law, this coin had to show an eagle as the symbol of the United States – but Franklin thought the wild turkey should be the national bird, so out of respect for him the eagle was made very small!
The final coin is also the last .900 Silver Half Dollar ever made for circulation – the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar. The first coins were struck in early 1964, just weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The portrait first appeared on Kennedy’s presidential medal struck by the U.S. Mint to honor his inauguration in 1961; it was personally approved for the coin by Jacqueline Kennedy, the President’s widow. The back depicts the Presidential coat of arms. The 1964 coin is the first and only Kennedy Half Dollar made in .900 silver for circulation
All four of these silver coins disappeared from circulation generations ago, so they are rarely seen today. The Barber coin is up to 112 years old, while the Kennedy coin is now 40 years old. What’s more, most coins were worn out or damaged in circulation, leaving just a fraction in collectible quality like those in this collection.
Each coin contains over 1/3 ounce of silver bullion – and millions of coins were melted for the precious silver in 1979-80 when silver reached a record $50.35 an ounce … leaving even fewer coins for today’s collectors.
all coins are in VG condition or better
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