The bicentennial of American Independence was recognized on the Kennedy Half Dollar with a special reverse design as well as the issuance in a special composition of 40% silver. These “silver clad” versions were not released for general circulation, but only issued within three coin uncirculated or proof sets sold by the United States Mint. To differentiate coins not in the original packaging, examine the edge of the coin. The silver versions will show an edge colored completely silver, while the copper-nickel clad coins will show the copper core at the center.
The 1976-S Silver Kennedy Half Dollars were included in uncirculated version within the three coin Bicentennial Silver Uncirculated Set. These sets were originally priced at $9.00 each and contained 40% silver versions of the quarter, half dollar, and dollar coins. Sales took place from 1975 all the way until 1982, with a total of 4,908,319 sets sold.
The proof version was included in a Bicentennial Silver Proof Set, which included the quarter, half dollar, and dollar coins. Originally priced at $15.00 each, these sets also remained available for multiple years, with final sales eventually reaching 3,998,621.
Although all of these coins are generally encountered in high grades, collectors pay premiums for coins in an exceptional state of preservation. For uncirculated versions this is grades MS68 or higher. For proof versions, a number have been graded PCGS PR70DCAM Silver and command a significant premium.
1976 Silver Kennedy Half Dollar Mintage and Specifications
- Uncirculated Mintage: 4,908,319
- Proof Mintage: 3,998,621
- Mint Marks: S (San Francisco)
- Composition: 40% silver, 60% copper
- Weight: 11.50 grams
- Diameter: 30.61 mm