Americans have actually long considered the signing the the Declaration that Independence on July 4, 1776 as the birthday of the united States. And also 1976 was a unique year: the 200th anniversary, or bicentennial, of our nation’s founding.

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But Congress and also the U.S. Mint to be still leery the what they viewed as the abuses that what us now speak to the Classic Commemorative series.

So because that the country’s Bicentennial in 1976, the U.S. Mint released unique versions of three of our circulating coins: the Washington quarter, the Kennedy half dollar and the Eisenhower dollar. Bicentennial coinage was issued for two years (1975-76), and coins issued in both year featured the double date the “1776-1976”. Wanting brand-new “Bicentennial-themed” designs for the reverse of every denomination, the Treasury Department held a design competition open to every American citizens. Out of 884 entries, 12 semifinalists were chosen; a five-judge panel of specialists then selected the to win designs.

All 3 were created by artists the were either currently working professionally or were around to. Jack Ahr, designer that the Bicentennial quarter reverse, was the owner the his very own commercial art company. Seth G. Huntington, designer the the fifty percent dollar reverse, worked as the head of the art department in ~ the marketing certain of Brown & Bigelow. And Dennis R. Williams, the designer of the Eisenhower dollar’s Bicentennial reverse, was an art student at the Columbus college of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. Each received a $5,000 prize and also struck the an initial of their corresponding coins at a consciousness in Philadelphia. Coin none of them had ever worked for the Mint before, and also none of them have since.

The Bicentennial Kennedy fifty percent dollar to be the very first of the 3 coins to be issued, at a awareness in Huntington’s hometown the Minneapolis organized on July 7, 1975. Over the following year and a half, a complete of 521,873,248 clad organization strike Bicentennial halves would be to win in Philadelphia and Denver, with 7,059,099 proof clads produced in mountain Francisco. Throwback 40% silver clad fifty percent dollars were likewise minted in san Francisco, with about 11,000,000 business strikes and approximately 4,000,000 proof strikes manufactured. It is complicated to understand for certain how numerous of these still survive since many were without doubt lost to the great Silver Melt that the so late 1970s and also early ’80s.

Like most Kennedy fifty percent dollars of any period, far-ranging contact marks can be uncovered on the Bicentennial problem – especially on the President’s cheek, roughly his eyes and in his hair. If you’re lucky sufficient to discover a silver- clad version, the softness of the metal relative come the copper-nickel composition makes for deeper and more frequent scratches and marks.

Quality Mint State pieces often tend to be middle of the road, through 64 and 65 grades being many common. And even though finding one of these coins in circulation is a lot of less typical now than it was, say, twenty years ago, the coins space still “common” according to any type of objective measure of rarity. That remains one of the much more popular issues of the modern-day clad era of United claims coinage.


On every Kennedy half dollars, including the Bicentennial issue, the obverse was designed through Gilroy Roberts, chief Engraver at the United claims Mint from July 22, 1948 come February 11, 1965. Roberts’ medal for President Kennedy’s inauguration offered as the communication of the coin’s design.

The central motif is a portrait of the 35th president of the joined States, the so late John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A battle hero and (at the time) the youngest person ever to offer as president, Kennedy was inaugurated on January 20, 1961 and assassinated on November 22, 1963. The nation’s grief to be such the Congress and the U.S. Mint rushed through a design readjust on the half dollar denomination come commemorate the bereaved president.

Atop the upper fifty percent of the in salt is the inscription LIBERTY, with Kennedy’s hair extending the bottom parts of the letter “B”, “E” and also “R”. The twin date 1776 * 1976 is crib at the bottom of the coin, with the numeral “1” the “1776” put beneath the “G” in “GOD” and the “6” in “1976” located under the “R” in “TRUST”. The national motto IN GOD us TRUST is enrolled in a right line over the year however divided through the harp truncation of Kennedy’s neck. For the 1976-D and also 1976-S half dollars, the mint note “D” or “S” is discovered on the appropriate side of the point of this truncation.

Gilroy Roberts’ initials have the right to be found on the truncation line of Kennedy’s bust, over the “WE” top top the bottom ideal side that the coin.


The reverse features a symmetry front check out of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The was constructed in 1753 and also served together the meeting location of the Second continental Congress (1775-1783) and also the Constitutional Convention (1787). Both the explanation of Independence and the United claims Constitution to be signed here. The engraving UNITED claims OF AMERICA wraps roughly the top half of the rim, when the denomination fifty percent DOLLAR is discovered at the bottom. Thirteen little stars room lined up above the denomination, complying with its curvature. The expression 200 year OF flexibility is located on the left of freedom Hall, and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out of Many, One”) is top top the right. The surname of the structure runs immediately underneath.

A spire atop the room inserts itself in between the last two letters of the word “STATES” and practically touches the leaf of the coin. Seth Huntington’s initials “SGH” are discovered at the lower right edge of the hall, listed below E PLURIBUS UNUM.


The edge of the 1976 Bicentennial Kennedy fifty percent dollar is reeded.

Designer(s): Gilroy Roberts was the nine Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, offer from 1948-1965. He is generally remembered for his style of the Kennedy fifty percent dollar obverse. At the time his design was selected, Seth Huntington to be the head artist that Minneapolis, Minnesota marketing certain Brown & Bigelow.

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Coin Specifications:

Year the Issue:1975-76
Denomination:Half Dollar
Mint Mark:None (Philadelphia), D (Denver), & S (San Francisco)
Mintage:Clad service Strike (P & D): 521,873,248; Clad proof (S): 7,059,099; silver- Clad (S): 11,000,000; silver- Clad proof (S): 4,000,000
Alloy:Clad: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel clad over pure Copper center; silver- Clad: 40% Silver, %60 Copper
Weight:Clad: 11.34 g; silver- Clad: 11.50 g
Diameter:30.6 mm
OBV DesignerGilroy Roberts
REV DesignerSeth G. Huntington
Quality:Business Strike, Proof

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