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    Silver Half Dollars

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    Silver Half Dollars from JM Bullion

    Silver half dollars are a popular item in the United States. These coins are usable as legal tender, and they are also valuable to collectors and investors. Silver half dollars produced before 1970 contained actual silver; however, the tender we know as silver half dollars that were minted after 1970 don’t actually contain any of the precious metal.

    Silver Half Dollar Production

    Silver half dollars were produced for a number of reasons. First, this was the standard at the time of the minting. Precious metals were used around the world at the time for regular currency. In addition to this, silver was the cheapest and easiest precious metal to mint into currency until the 1960s.

    The silver half dollars in the United States have been minted in several different cities. You can tell where the coin was minted by the mint mark on the coin. If there is no mint mark, it was produced in Philadelphia. An O means that it was minted in New Orleans, an S means San Francisco, a D indicates Denver, and a CC is Carson City.

    A Brief History of The US Silver Half Dollar

    The production of silver half dollars in the United States started in the early 1790s. These pieces have a face value of $0.50; however, depending on the year the coin was minted, it may be worth much more than this. From 1790 to 1965 every single coin in the mint was made with 90% pure silver. From 1965 to 1970, this dropped to 40% silver. However, since 1970 the coins have been made without silver.

    The coins were particularly popular in the first half of the 20th century. They were popular for gaming, as well as spending on consumer items. Over time, they have become less popular due to the rise of paper money and eventually the use of cards for all types of transactions.

    In 1964, the half dollars were taken from circulation. This is because they had the Kennedy design, and they were pulled from circulation for sentimental reasons. On top of this, the pre-1960 coins were collected and kept, because of the amount of silver used. As the prices of silver continued going up, more of the silver half dollar coins started being hoarded.

    Design Changes

    Over the years, there have been several different designs for the silver half dollar. The first design was the Flowing Hair design. This was minted from 1794-1795. After this, the Draped Bust was popular from 1796-1807. This design offered two variations – the Small Eagle and the Heraldic Eagle. The Capped Bust came next, from 1807-1839, and also offered two variations, one with a motto and one without. The Seated Liberty, both with and without a motto came from 1839-1891. After that was the Barber design from 1892-1915. 1916-1947 offered an image of Walking Liberty. Franklin took the place of Liberty from 1948-1963. After this, Kennedy was the last 90% silver half dollar available in 1964. The Kennedy design has been used in the 40% silver and the no-silver options since then.

    Significance of Silver Half Dollars

    In the 1960s, it became clearly evident that the silver half dollar was no longer going to be worth the cost of the silver. With the rising cost of silver, the coins became more expensive to produce than their face value. Because of this, the government decided to start minting the coins with a smaller silver percentage. This helped save money on the minting.

    There are many different reasons that investors and collectors love silver half dollars today. Any of these coins minted before 1965 offer a high concentration of good quality silver. For collectors, finding these coins can be challenging, making it a fun and interesting piece. Even the coins from 1965-1970 offer real silver that you can’t get in today’s silver half dollars.

    On top of the silver in the coins, many collectors find these interesting due to the history behind them. Finding the coins from a specific mint and year isn’t always easy. In most cases the older the coin, the more valuable it is to collectors, as long as it is still in good condition.

    Availability and Pricing

    Silver half dollars that are from the pre-1965 era are hard to come by. This, combined with the fact that the pricing on these coins changes depending on the silver market, makes them valuable pieces. While you can find silver half dollars from after 1970 fairly easily, those with 90% or even 40% silver are rare. This is because many people over the years decided to hold onto them, due to the rising price of silver.

    When you’re looking for a great collection piece or a way to diversify your portfolio of precious metals, silver half dollars have what you need. These pieces hold an interesting place in the history of the United States Mint and the country itself. Be sure to browse our wide selection of silver half dollars which are available in 40% and 90% silver. If you have any questions you can reach one of our helpful representatives at 800-276-6508.