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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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1883 Kingdom Of Hawaii Half Dollar NGC - MS63
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CDT
1883 Kingdom Of Hawaii Half Dollar NGC - MS63
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $100- $10,000
$1908 Bids
Original 1859-O SS Republic Seated Liberty Half Dollar
Nov 27, 10:00 AM EST
Original 1859-O SS Republic Seated Liberty Half Dollar
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1208 Bids
Kennedy half dollars 1965-1970, 340 total.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
Kennedy half dollars 1965-1970, 340 total.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $800- $850
$6806 Bids
***Auction Highlight*** 1804 C-13 Draped Bust Half Cent 1/2c Graded au55 By SEGS (fc)
Oct 25, 5:45 PM EDT
***Auction Highlight*** 1804 C-13 Draped Bust Half Cent 1/2c Graded au55 By SEGS (fc)
by Key Date Coins, Inc.
Est: $452- $905
$3755 Bids
90% US SILVER COINS WALKING LIBERTY HALF $8 FACE
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
90% US SILVER COINS WALKING LIBERTY HALF $8 FACE
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $80- $160
$504 Bids
$15 FACE 90% SILVER US COIN LOT OF HALF DOLLARS
Nov 10, 9:00 AM EST
$15 FACE 90% SILVER US COIN LOT OF HALF DOLLARS
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $150- $200
$1904 Bids
***Auction Highlight*** 1796 No Pole C-1 Liberty Cap half cent 1/2c Graded vf25 details By SEGS (fc)
Oct 25, 5:45 PM EDT
***Auction Highlight*** 1796 No Pole C-1 Liberty Cap half cent 1/2c Graded vf25 details By SEGS (fc)
by Key Date Coins, Inc.
Est: $105,000- $210,000
$1104 Bids
1915-S Barber Half Dollar PCGS VF25 Wonderful Color Last Year
Nov 01, 5:00 PM EDT
1915-S Barber Half Dollar PCGS VF25 Wonderful Color Last Year
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$344 Bids
Twenty-Two U.S. Silver Half Dollars and Four U.S. Kennedy Silver Clad Half Dollars
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Twenty-Two U.S. Silver Half Dollars and Four U.S. Kennedy Silver Clad Half Dollars
by Weschler's
Est: $150- $250
$2254 Bids
COLLECTION OF 6 CAPPED BUST HALF DOLLAR COINS,
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
COLLECTION OF 6 CAPPED BUST HALF DOLLAR COINS,
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$2003 Bids
1962 D US Franklin Half Dollar Coin
Oct 27, 1:00 PM CDT
1962 D US Franklin Half Dollar Coin
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$23 Bids
1908-S Barber Half Dollar **VF!!**
Oct 29, 7:00 PM EDT
1908-S Barber Half Dollar **VF!!**
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$73 Bids
1877-S w/ Motto Seated Liberty Half Dollar - ** XF/AU **
Oct 29, 7:00 PM EDT
1877-S w/ Motto Seated Liberty Half Dollar - ** XF/AU **
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$273 Bids
FRANKLIN MINT STERLING SILVER ANTIQUE CAR COIN LOT
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
FRANKLIN MINT STERLING SILVER ANTIQUE CAR COIN LOT
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $80- $150
$203 Bids
1806 PTD 6, STEM BUST HALF DOLLAR CH ORIG UNC
Oct 26, 11:00 AM EDT
1806 PTD 6, STEM BUST HALF DOLLAR CH ORIG UNC
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $8,000- $9,000
$3703 Bids
1964 US Silver Kennedy Half Dollar Coin
Oct 27, 1:00 PM CDT
1964 US Silver Kennedy Half Dollar Coin
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$43 Bids
1962 PCGS MS65 Franklin Silver Half Dollar Wonderful Luster
Nov 01, 5:00 PM EDT
1962 PCGS MS65 Franklin Silver Half Dollar Wonderful Luster
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$123 Bids
Forty-three silver half dollars.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
Forty-three silver half dollars.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $240- $280
$2203 Bids
1898, 98-O & 98-S BARBER HALF DOLLARS
Oct 26, 11:00 AM EDT
1898, 98-O & 98-S BARBER HALF DOLLARS
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $85- $95
$102 Bids
Two Seated Liberty half dollars, 1854 and 1876.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
Two Seated Liberty half dollars, 1854 and 1876.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $40- $60
$502 Bids
US silver coins
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
US silver coins
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $70- $90
$602 Bids
1913 Indian Head two and a half dollar gold coin
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
1913 Indian Head two and a half dollar gold coin
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $160- $180
$1202 Bids
(35) Franklin Half Dollars
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
(35) Franklin Half Dollars
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$202 Bids

Sellers Who Sell United States Half Dollar Coins


Gold Standard Auctions

Gold Standard Auctions

Silver City Auctions

Silver City Auctions

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers