It has been over 50 years since President John F. Kennedy served in the White House, and the half-dollar was created to honor and memorialize his service. To further honor President Kennedy, the United States Mint has struck a three-quarter ounce gold proof coin. On August 5, 2014, the Mint started selling the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Gold Proof Coin. This gold coin is one of three new coins being issued on the 50th anniversary.
Throughout the years, President Kennedy's image on the half-dollar has gone through slight modifications. For this gold coin, the Mint restored the image to its original portrait design. This idea to restore the image was conceived by Michael Levin who is an employee at the San Francisco Mint. Changes on the image have included details that represent the President's face and hair. To truly represent the image of President Kennedy, Mr. Levin felt that the original portrait would reflect the real man. Deputy Director Richard Peterson agreed and started a process of redesign which led to the coin that you see today.
All of the gold proof coins will be struck at the West Point Mint in 24 karat gold. The coins replicate the thickness and diameter of the standard half-dollar, and the price will be based on a floating grid that follows the value of spot gold. Initially, coins are being sold for $1240. These prices will change if spot gold fluctuates.
Mintage for this coin is being set without a maximum amount. The Mint has already struck an inventory of 40,000 coins, but those coins have been sold.
On the obverse side of this beautiful coin, an original portrait of President Kennedy is featured. The coin was designed by Gilroy Roberts who is a Chief Engraver at the United States Mint. Around the edges of the gold coin are the words, “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and the dual date “1964-2014.″ This dual date signifies the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half-dollar, and the gold coin is the only numismatic product to have this distinction.
The reverse image is based on the Presidential Seal. It was created by United States Mint Engraver and Sculptor Frank Gasparro. In the center of the image, a Herasldic Eagle appears. It's adorned with a shield and clasping a bundle of arrows and an olive branch. 50 stars surround the Eagle and represent the 50 states of the Republic. The precious metal weight of three-quarter ounces is listed as well as the designation of .9999 fine gold.
The 2014 Kennedy Half Dollar Gold Proof Coin is packaged in a hardwood presentation case constructed of brown mahogany hardwood. Each coin comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and can be removed from the enclosure.
Opening day sales for the JFK Gold Coin reached 56,694 units. There was definitely demand for the coin, and the initial inventory of 40,000 coins was quickly snatched up. As stated before, the coins have no maximum mintage and will be produced to meet demand. Some investors and coin collectors frown on this decision as it usually holds down premiums for coins. It does however, allow the coin collecting community a chance to purchase this numismatic unit if they so desire--no one should be locked out of buying it.
In the future, the United States Mint will be offering a Jacqueline Kennedy First Spouse Gold Coin. That coin will also weigh three quarters of an ounce and would make an excellent pairing with the 2014 Kennedy Half Dollar Gold Proof Coin. If you are a member of the coin collecting community, be sure to keep your eyes open for that offering.
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