Pilgrim Tercentenary, 1920 Half Dollar

Composition: 90.0% silver, 10.0% copper

Silver 0.36169 troy oz

Years of minting: 1920–21

1920: 200,112 including 112 pieces for the Assay Commission (48,000 melted)
1921: 100,053 including 53 assay pieces (80,000 melted)

Mint marks None, all pieces struck at the Philadelphia Mint without mint mark.  Note a small, incuse D underneath the Pilgrim's elbow.  While this might appear to be a mintmark (for Denver) to the uninitiated, this was put on the coin to indicate the designer, Cyrus Dallin, and the D represents his last name. 


Ref # LL_24

Kennedy Half Dollar, 1964   (90% silver)

Mint marks P, D, S, W. "W" mint mark only on 2014 commemorative issue. Mint mark located beneath where the eagle's claws grasp the olive branch on reverse for 1964 coins and for 1964-2014-W gold issue; above the date on the obverse for all other issues. Mint mark omitted on all coins from 1965 to 1967 and on Philadelphia Mint issues before 1980.
Obverse Design: Left profile of John F. Kennedy
Reverse Design: Modified presidential seal

The Kennedy half dollar, first minted in 1964, is a fifty-cent coin currently issued by the United States Mint. Intended as a memorial to the assassinated President John F. Kennedy, it was authorized by Congress just over a month after his death. Use of existing works by Mint sculptors Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro allowed dies to be prepared quickly, and striking of the new coins began in January 1964.

The silver coins were hoarded upon their release in March 1964 by collectors and those interested in a memento of the late president. Although the Mint greatly increased production, the denomination was seldom seen in circulation. Continued rises in the price of silver increased the hoarding—many early Kennedy half dollars have been melted for their silver. Starting with 1965-dated pieces, the percentage of fine silver was reduced from 90% to 40% (silver clad), but even with this change the coin saw little circulation.


Ref # LL_25