1971 Kennedy Half Dollar

Different from previous coins in the series, the 1971 Kennedy Half Dollar (Buy on eBay) was struck in copper nickel clad composition. This consisted of an outer layer of 75% copper and 25% nickel bonded to a core of pure copper. This composition had been used for quarters and dimes since 1965, however, the half dollar had continued to include silver within the composition until this year.

1971-D Kennedy Half Dollar
1971-D Kennedy Half Dollar

Not only did the composition of the half dollar change, but other minor changes were made to the coin in 1971. These changes included sharpening of various details, lowering of relief, and other modifications.

The 1971-D Kennedy Half Dollar had the highest mintage of the entire series with over 300 million produced. This issue is frequently encountered in high mint state grades, compared to other issues of the era. PCGS and NGC have graded more than 200 examples in MS67 with a few pieces even graded MS68.

On the other hand, the 1971-S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar is the most difficult Proof issue of the series to acquire in the grade PCGS PR69DCAM or NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo. The coin is rarely found with deep cameo devices on both the obverse and reverse. Collectors pay significant premiums for coins certified as such.

1971 Kennedy Half Dollar Specifications:

  • Denomination: $0.50
  • Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel
  • Weight: 11.34 grams
  • Diameter: 30.61 mm
  • Edge: reeded
  • Mint Mark: none (Philadelphia), “D” (Denver), “S” (San Francisco)

1971 Kennedy Half Dollar Mintages:

  • 1971: 155,164,000
  • 1971-D: 141,890,000
  • 1971-S Proof: 3,220,733

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