2017 Kennedy Half-Dollars Released in Rolls and Bags

by Darrin Lee Unser on February 22, 2017 · 10 comments

Honoring the 35th President of the United States, rolls and bags of 2017 Kennedy Half-Dollars are now available from the U.S. Mint.

2017 Kennedy-half-dollar-rolls and bags

The United States Mint is now selling rolls and bags of 2017 P&D John F. Kennedy Half-Dollars

These coins are produced to circulation-quality at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints with pricing for a two-roll set of 40 coins at $32.95 and bags of 200 coins at $139.95 each. They have either the ‘P’ or ‘D’ mint mark to denote their origin, and the same goes for their U.S. Mint-branded packaging.

2017 Kennedy-half-dollar, obverse

Since their introduction in 1964, coin obverses feature a left-facing portrait of President John F. Kennedy by Gilroy Roberts. Inscriptions read LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, 2017 and a mintmark of ‘P’ or ‘D’ denoting their production facility of Philadelphia or Denver. The photo above is of a proof JFK half-dollar from a set issued by the U.S. Mint earlier this year.

2017 Kennedy-half-dollar, reverse

Reverses offer a modified Presidential Seal as designed by Frank Gasparro. Inscribed above is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA with HALF DOLLAR appearing below. This design also debuted with the half-dollar in 1964, although it was temporarily replaced in 1975 and 1976 with an image of Independence Hall in Philadelphia to celebrate the Bicentennial of the United States.

New half-dollars were authorized by Congress just weeks after Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963 and they have been released annually since 1964. However, because of declining demand, they have not been made for circulation since 2001. They are produced now only for numismatic purposes such as for these roll and bag products. The table below illustrates how 50c mintages have mostly dropped since that change.

2000 – 2016 Kennedy Half-Dollar Mintages

  Total Mintage
2000 42,070,000
2001 40,700,000
2002 5,600,000
2003 5,000,000
2004 5,800,000
2005 7,300,000
2006 4,400,000
2007 4,800,000
2008 3,400,000
2009 3,800,000
2010 3,500,000
2011 3,450,000
2012 3,500,000
2013 9,600,000
2014 4,600,000
2015 4,600,000
2016 4,200,000
2017 3,600,000

 

The 3.6 million mintage total of 2017 Kennedy halves includes 1.8 million from Denver and 1.8 million from Philadelphia. Those figures are through January, but the amount produced early in a year is usually enough to satisfy collector demand for all of it.

Recent Sales of 50c Rolls and Bags

The U.S. Mint continues to sell 2015-and 2106-dated halves. The following table offers the latest sales figures for them as of Feb. 12, plus those of other 50-cent roll and bag products since 2011.

  Latest Sales Total Coins
2016 P&D 200-Coin Bag 10,000 2,857,200
2016 P&D Two-Roll Set 21,430
2015 P&D 200-Coin Bag 13,593 3,829,520
2015 P&D Two-Roll Set 27,773
2014 P&D 200-Coin Bag 12,967 3,806,640
2014 P&D Two-Roll Set 30,331
2013 P&D 200-Coin Bag 9,980 2,992,720
2013 P&D Two-Roll Set 24,918
2012 P&D 200-Coin Bag 10,323 3,415,240
2012 P&D Two-Roll Set 33,766
2011 P&D 200-Coin Bag 9,455 3,002,280
2011 P&D Two-Roll Set 27,782

 

Ordering

Order coin rolls and bags from the U.S. Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov. A link to its page of 50-cent products is right here. There are no household ordering limits.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Danny Morano February 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

I take it these are clad and no 40% silver.
DrWho7

Gary Lomax February 22, 2017 at 8:47 pm

Yes, clad.

Seth Riesling February 22, 2017 at 9:00 pm

No silver coins have been made for circulation in the USA since 1969.

-NumisDudeTX

Danny Morano February 23, 2017 at 7:07 am

Seth,
Where can I get the Magical Congress coin with the Eagle GILDED in 24k? I saw it briefly but lost it when I hit the wrong button. I would appreciate your help. Thank you.
DrWho7

Munzen February 23, 2017 at 4:39 pm

I’ve always liked the Kennedy design, and Mint’s decision to return to Frank Gasparro’s original sculpting is a big improvement.

That said, maybe it’s time for a new design on a smaller coin that would return the denomination to regular use. We’re down to only three functional denominations; certainly a more-practical sized 50¢ piece would cut down on the flood of quarters filling cash registers.

Seth Riesling February 23, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Munzen –

The only place I ever saw Kennedy half dollars “circulate” was on my 14 trips to Las Vegas over a 12 year period in the 1990s & early 2000 (I am NOT an addictive gambler & it never appealed to me till my best female friend convinced me it would be “fun” & I fell for it & it was fun watching my money disappear in slot machines! Like a 1-armed bandit magician taking my money LOL). But by that time period there were only a few 50-cent slots in the casinos as the $1 slots are the most popular. Once they got rid of them, they no longer ordered half dollars from their district Fed bank & 2001 was the last year they were released for circulation. Vegas killed that circulating coin denomination almost single handedly.

-NumisDudeTX

Munzen February 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Hi Seth,

I was thinking more about half dollars in general rather than the Kennedy design specifically. I started collecting in elementary school – more years ago than I care to admit, but well before 1964 – and at that time halves circulated regularly. I was able to assemble a nearly-complete set of Franklins and about 60% of all Walkers just by going through the change drawer in my grandfather’s store in Philly. However in the grief following the tragedy in Dallas any memento of the late president was snapped up almost immediately, and the new halves were the most accessible of all. Very few showed up in change because they were grabbed as soon as they hit the banks.

Also, there were factors beyond Vegas: When silver was deregulated everything except nickels and cents vanished into melting pots, including halves regardless of design. (I remember my mother complaining about coming home from shopping with a purse full of nickels!) The Mint then made a fatal blunder by continuing the half in clad silver instead of cupronickel; by 1968 the Hunt brothers’ speculation had pushed prices to the point where even 40% halves were worth more than face and the few that were in circulation also disappeared. Even though the Mint finally woke up and changed the half to Cu-Ni clad as well, people had become used to making change with multiple quarters which effectively shut the door on the half.

I have a collector friend from Down Under who told me that they had similar problems with silver halves in the mid-1960s but dealt with it proactively by replacing them with Cu-Ni coins almost immediately. People didn’t have time to change their habits and the denomination continues to circulate, albeit not as widely as some others.

Seth Riesling February 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Munzen –

Thanks for your reflections on the half dollar. Canada stopped making the half dollar for circulation also about the year 2000. I was born the year before JFK was assassinated, & fast forward to 1976 my father got assigned to a very small NSA base in Bavaria (about an hour bus ride south of Munich) & I was going on 14 yo & was in full collector mode. I was a bit surprised at the time talking with German nationals who worked on our post that they all had at least one roll of Kennedy half dollars due to his famous “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech. The very small coin & stamp shop about 2 miles away was run by a young married couple who were both numismatists & in their home (& in many German Catholic homes) they had a framed portrait of JFK next to a portrait of the Pope! I learned quickly of President Kennedy’s impact on the world by that experience & by my two fantastic history teachers at Munich American High School.
I never found a silver half in circulation. It is great that you were at that period of time to see the switchover in the half & fill your albums from circulation!

Happy collecting!

-NumisDudeTX

Munzen February 25, 2017 at 9:24 am

Seth, thanks for your kind comments. At the risk of moving away from coins for a couple of lines: I envy the opportunities you had growing up. When I was that age my dad was starting a new business so travel was pretty limited except for one camping trip through the northeast US and Canada. Since then I’ve been abroad several times, mostly to places in northern Europe where parts of my and my wife’s families originated. I also spent a week in Normandy to honor a cousin who gave his life at St-Lô, and like you I found a palpable sense of gratitude for the sacrifices it took to defeat totalitarianism. It was a trip that I feel a lot more people, regardless of political affiliation, should make.

Anyway I don’t recall any particular reasons why the half fell out of use in Canada, except maybe “habit spill-over” from the US. Their half of course didn’t have the same history, plus they’d downsized it to make it less bulky. In any case there’s been a recent proposal to revive the half dollar as part of a broader coinage revision. Now that the cent’s been eliminated the RCM’s looking at whether the 5¢ piece should go as well. Because the quarter isn’t a true decimal denomination it would be replaced by a 20¢ piece and a new 50¢ coin. So far, just speculation though.

Vachon February 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

Half dollars could probably be pushed back into circulation if the Federal Banking System only allowed banks to order “fractional dollars” for a couple years (i.e. their order would be given to them as 50% quarters and 50% halves). People would grumble at first, but they’d get used to it and the coin would be resurrected. Outside that kind of push, Walmart could probably single-handedly revive the denomination if they started using it in their stores.

And keeping the “fractional dollar” idea in mind, had the Mint made the 50 State program a half-dollar program and the Fed forced the banks to order that way…who knows. But a 50/50 State program (i.e. 50 cents/50 states) might’ve been more interesting at least. But that’s for an alternate universe now 😉

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