For the second year of the half dollar series, the silver content was reduced from the previous 90% to 40% purity. Other denominations would see their silver content completely removed. As the nation struggled with a coin shortage, mint marks were not utilized this year and the production of the typical proof sets and mint sets was suspended.
The 1965 Kennedy Half Dollar had a mintage of 65,879,366 pieces for circulation. Each coin has a net weight of 0.1479 troy ounces of pure silver, which provides premium to face value even for circulated examples. This issue can be difficult to find in higher mint state grades. There are fewer than 20 pieces graded MS67 by PCGS and NGC, with none graded finer.
The version of the coin included in1965 Special Mint Set will have reflective surfaces and striking characteristics that are of better quality than a typical circulation strike, but not quite up to the standards of proof coinage. The US Mint recorded sales of 2,360,000 of the sets, providing ample supply for present day collectors. Significant premiums can be attached to SMS coins which exhibit cameo or deep cameo contrast.
1965 Kennedy Half Dollar Mintage and Specifications
- Circulation Mintage: 65,879,366
- SMS Mintage: 2,360,000
- Mint Marks: none
- Composition: 40% silver, 60% copper
- Weight: 11.50 grams
- Diameter: 30.61 mm