40% Silver Kennedy Half Dollars
When the US Mint abandoned silver coinage, they didn't do it all at once. The Kennedy half dollars, or 50 cent pieces, were minted using 40% silver from 1965 - 1970. Meanwhile, dimes and quarters which had been 90% silver otherwise referred to as a junk silver coin, were produced as clad coins with zero silver content starting in 1965.
The Kennedy half dollar silver coins featuring John F. Kennedy were first issued in 1964, at 90% purity. Production began just prior to the decision to eliminate the silver standard in United States Mint coins. These circulating coins were designed to honor Kennedy who was assassinated in November 1963. Congress authorized the new design within a month of Kennedy's death and the Mint began production in January 1964.
Kennedy Half Dollar Coins did not circulate very successfully. Americans tended to hoard the Kennedy silver coins, because of the precious metals content, making the coin values increase. They also felt that the JFK Half Dollars, were a memento of the popular president and therefore considered them to be more of a commemorative coin versus money. Later, the rising silver price resulted in many of these coins being melted and converted to other silver bullion products.
The good news for silver investors is that these Kennedy Silver Half Dollar coins often have less wear than the more popular 90% silver coins, which circulated more widely over a longer period of time. And they are almost always the cheapest option when it comes to silver, especially when it comes to official US silver coinage.
The 40% half dollar coin will often sell at a discount to their melt value. That's right, 40% Kennedy halves are just about the only way for someone coin collecting or investing in precious metals. They are not always available, but when inventory is available it tends to move quickly!