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United States Half Dollar Coins

Half dollars are one of the longest running and most consistently minted coins in the United States, losing out to only the half dime for age, and only the penny for consistency. In recent years, demand for half dollars has fallen off significantly. This is mostly due to the historical popularity of the coin in casinos and other gambling arenas, which now operate largely without coins. The last circulation issue half dollar was minted in 2001 with more recent dates created for collector interest. Despite this, the coin is not discontinued. Large reserve supplies exist, and once these supplies run low, the half dollar will once again be struck for circulation.

Over its lifespan, the half dollar has had eight different designs. The flowing hair design was the shortest lived of these and was only issued in 1794 and 1795. In 2016, the currently-running Kennedy series tied the seated Liberty series for longest-running half dollar. The Kennedy half dollar replaced the short-lived Benjamin Franklin half dollar after just 15 years, largely due to the popularity of President Kennedy and the nation's reaction to his assassination.

The half dollar denomination's history includes one of the rarest and most interesting stories in American coinage: the 1838-O capped bust half dollar. The Philadelphia Mint created dies to ship to the newly established New Orleans Mint and created 10 sample coins to prove that the dies worked. By the time the dies reached New Orleans, however, they were on the verge of failing due to rust. The New Orleans Mint could only produce 10 half dollars before the dies completely failed. Eight of the Philadelphia samples have survived to the present day, but only one New Orleans-minted 1838-O half dollar exists today.


Quick Facts

  • While dimes and quarters lost all of their silver content in 1965, half dollars retained a 40 percent silver composition until 1970 when they moved to a copper-nickel sandwich-style composition
  • The current record for a half dollar sold at auction is held by a 1797 coin that sold for just over $1.5 million in 2015
  • The half dollar is one of the most popular coins in the world for stage magicians who perform sleight-of-hand tricks due to the specifics of its size and weight

Recommended Items at Auction

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Silver Half Dollars and Copper-Nickel Eisenhower Dollars.
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
Silver Half Dollars and Copper-Nickel Eisenhower Dollars.
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$18010 Bids
1826 NGC XF45 CAPPED BUST SILVER HALF DOLLAR
Mar 09, 7:00 PM EST
1826 NGC XF45 CAPPED BUST SILVER HALF DOLLAR
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$3810 Bids
(1 ROLL) BANK WRAPPED 1964 KENNEDY HALF DOLLARS BU
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
(1 ROLL) BANK WRAPPED 1964 KENNEDY HALF DOLLARS BU
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $210- $260
$20010 Bids
1854-O w/ Arrows Seated Liberty Silver Half Dollar **GOOD**
Mar 09, 7:00 PM EST
1854-O w/ Arrows Seated Liberty Silver Half Dollar **GOOD**
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$179 Bids
1809 Half Cent. VF.
Mar 06, 5:00 PM EST
1809 Half Cent. VF.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$488 Bids
1834 Capped Bust Half Dollar
Mar 05, 5:00 PM EST
1834 Capped Bust Half Dollar
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$248 Bids
**XF!!** 1912 Barber Silver Half Dollar
Mar 09, 7:00 PM EST
**XF!!** 1912 Barber Silver Half Dollar
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$137 Bids
1854-O SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR XF+
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
1854-O SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR XF+
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $200- $250
$807 Bids
1859-O SEATED HALF DOLLAR
Mar 06, 12:00 PM EST
1859-O SEATED HALF DOLLAR
by R Howard Collectibles
Est: $13,000- $14,000
$457 Bids
1830 Capped Bust Half Dollar
Mar 05, 5:00 PM EST
1830 Capped Bust Half Dollar
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$327 Bids
1913 Barber 50c.RARE KEY DATE. Only 188k Minted
Mar 05, 5:00 PM EST
1913 Barber 50c.RARE KEY DATE. Only 188k Minted
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$447 Bids
1834 Capped Bust Half Dollar. VG+.
Mar 06, 5:00 PM EST
1834 Capped Bust Half Dollar. VG+.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$56 Bids
A 1965 Half Dollar "Original" Roll.
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
A 1965 Half Dollar "Original" Roll.
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$456 Bids
1864-S SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR VF
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
1864-S SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR VF
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $300- $350
$456 Bids
1853 ARROWS & RAYS SEATED HALF DOLLAR XF/AU
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
1853 ARROWS & RAYS SEATED HALF DOLLAR XF/AU
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $350- $400
$406 Bids
(8pc) U.S. Proof Silver Dollar & Half Dollar Coins
Mar 09, 10:00 AM MST
(8pc) U.S. Proof Silver Dollar & Half Dollar Coins
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$756 Bids
57 US Ben Franklin Half Dollar Silver Coins
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
57 US Ben Franklin Half Dollar Silver Coins
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $400- $600
$2105 Bids
14 uncirculated US Kennedy Silver Half Dollars
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
14 uncirculated US Kennedy Silver Half Dollars
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $100- $200
$805 Bids
1828 NGC XF45 CAPPED BUST SILVER HALF DOLLAR
Mar 09, 7:00 PM EST
1828 NGC XF45 CAPPED BUST SILVER HALF DOLLAR
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$155 Bids
1823 Capped Bust Half Dollar. Fine.
Mar 06, 5:00 PM EST
1823 Capped Bust Half Dollar. Fine.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$405 Bids
1846 SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR AU/UNC
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
1846 SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR AU/UNC
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $400- $450
$655 Bids
1849-O SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR AU/BU
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
1849-O SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR AU/BU
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $800- $900
$755 Bids
1861-O SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR XF+
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
1861-O SEATED LIBERTY HALF DOLLAR XF+
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $600- $700
$505 Bids
1830 Capped Bust Half Dollar. Fine Details.
Mar 06, 5:00 PM EST
1830 Capped Bust Half Dollar. Fine Details.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$65 Bids

Sellers Who Sell United States Half Dollar Coins


Gold Standard Auctions

Gold Standard Auctions

Key Date Coins

Key Date Coins

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Silver City Auctions

Silver City Auctions