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    40% Silver

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    40% Silver Kennedy Half Dollars ($1 FV, Circulated)
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    40% Silver Kennedy Half Dollars ($10 FV, Circulated)
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    40% Silver US Coins Available at JM Bullion

    From roughly 1836 until 1964, all denominations of US silver coins were issued with 90% silver content. These coins included the US dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar. Each coin had 90% silver content and 10% copper content. With the price of silver rising in the 1960s, the US Mint transitioned all of these coins to a new cupro-nickel alloy that was more durable in circulation and more affordable to use in the production of the coins. This applied to all denominations, but not all denominations adopted the new alloy at the same time. Two types of US coins continued with 40% silver content through the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s before moving to the cupro-nickel alloy as well.

    About 40% Silver Coins

    When the United States began to move away from 90% silver content in its coins, the Kennedy Half Dollar was the only coin then in production that continued on using 40% silver content instead. The coins were struck from 1965 to 1970 with 40% silver and 60% copper, lowering the silver content enough to not vastly exceed the value of the silver compared to the face value of the coins. The only other coin issued with 40% silver was the Eisenhower Dollar that was introduced in 1971 and available only as a collectible specimen.

    Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coins

    The Kennedy Half Dollar design was introduced in 1964 as the last 90% silver coin to debut at the United States Mint. It was conceived in late 1963 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The US Mint moved quickly to place Kennedy on the half dollar in place of Benjamin Franklin. The design was approved in January 1964 and new coins with Kennedy’s bust were available for distribution by March 1964. Designed by Gilroy Roberts and John R. Sinnock, the images on this coin include:

    • Obverse: The obverse field of the Kennedy Half Dollar showcases a left-profile bust of John F. Kennedy. This design was modified from his presidential series medal and features an image of a young President Kennedy. “Liberty” is inscribed above his head with “In God We Trust” split two words on each side of his neckline. The coin’s date mark is below the bust.
    • Reverse: On the reverse side is a design based on the Great Seal of the United States. It features the heraldic eagle of the United States at its core, with a ring of 50 stars immediately around it. The eagle has the US national shield on its chest, arrows of war in one talon, and the olive branch of peace in the other. The inscriptions on this side include “United States of America,” “E Pluribus Unum,” and “Half Dollar.”

    Eisenhower Dollar Silver Coins

    The last time the United States of America issued a silver dollar was in 1935 when the final Peace Silver Dollars were struck. In 1971, the United States reintroduced a silver dollar with the debut of the Eisenhower Dollar coin. The US Mint contemplated issuing the coins, which were struck from 1971 to 1978, with 40% silver for circulation. However, the mint opted against issuing 40% silver for circulation, instead opting to use the new cupro-nickel alloy. In the end, the Eisenhower Dollar was eventually released with 40% silver content as a collectible piece only through 1978. The design of the coin included:

    • Obverse: Designed by Frank Gasparro, this side of the Eisenhower Dollar bears a left-profile bust of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The image is accompanied by inscriptions of “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and the date mark.
    • Reverse: Also created by Gasparro, the reverse face of the Eisenhower Dollar bears a depiction of the mission patch from Apollo 11. The Apollo 11 mission was the first successful spaceflight in human history to send mankind to another celestial body and return those individuals safely back to Earth. The design showcases an American bald eagle touching down on the lunar surface, a nod to the Eagle lunar lander of Apollo 11. Earth is visible in the background and inscriptions throughout the design field read “United States of America,” “E Pluribus Unum,” and “One Dollar.”

    Buying 40% Silver with JM Bullion

    When you look to buy silver from JM Bullion, you will find 40% silver available amidst our inventory. Please feel free to reach out to JM Bullion customer service with any questions at 800-276-6508. You can also connect with us online through our live chat and email address.