Americans have long considered the signing that the Declaration of Independence top top July 4, 1776 as the date of birth of the joined States. And also 1976 was a one-of-a-kind year: the 200th anniversary, or bicentennial, of our nation’s founding.

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But Congress and the U.S. Mint to be still leery of what they viewed as the abuses that what we now call the Classic Commemorative series.

So for the country’s Bicentennial in 1976, the U.S. Mint released unique versions of 3 of our circulating coins: the Washington quarter, the Kennedy fifty percent dollar and the Eisenhower dollar. Bicentennial coinage was issued for two years (1975-76), and coins approve in both year featured the dual date the “1776-1976”. Wanting brand-new “Bicentennial-themed” designs for the reverse of every denomination, the Treasury Department hosted a design competition open to all American citizens. The end of 884 entries, 12 semifinalists were chosen; a five-judge dashboard of specialists then selected the to win designs.

All three were produced by artists the were either currently working professionally or were about to. Jack Ahr, designer the the Bicentennial quarter reverse, to be the owner the his own commercial art company. Seth G. Huntington, designer that the half dollar reverse, operated as the head the the art department in ~ the marketing for sure of Brown & Bigelow. And Dennis R. Williams, the designer that the Eisenhower dollar’s Bicentennial reverse, was an arts student in ~ the Columbus university of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. Each got a $5,000 prize and also struck the an initial of their corresponding coins at a awareness in Philadelphia. Coin none of them had ever worked because that the Mint before, and none of them have since.

The Bicentennial Kennedy fifty percent dollar was the very first of the 3 coins to it is in issued, in ~ a awareness in Huntington’s hometown of Minneapolis held on July 7, 1975. End the following year and also a half, a full of 521,873,248 clad service strike Bicentennial halves would be to win in Philadelphia and also Denver, through 7,059,099 proof clads produced in mountain Francisco. Throwback 40% silver clad half dollars were additionally minted in san Francisco, with approximately 11,000,000 service strikes and also approximately 4,000,000 proof strikes manufactured. It is difficult to recognize for sure how many of this still survive since many were without doubt lost come the good Silver Melt of the late 1970s and also early ’80s.

Like many Kennedy fifty percent dollars of any period, significant contact marks can be discovered on the Bicentennial concern – specifically on the President’s cheek, approximately his eyes and in his hair. If you’re lucky enough to uncover a silver clad version, the soft of the metal relative to the copper-nickel composition renders for depth and much more frequent scratches and also marks.

Quality Mint State pieces often tend to be middle of the road, v 64 and 65 qualities being many common. And also even despite finding among these coins in circulation is a lot less usual now than it was, say, 20 years ago, the coins room still “common” follow to any objective measure up of rarity. The remains one of the more popular problems of the modern clad era of United says coinage.


On every Kennedy half dollars, including the Bicentennial issue, the obverse was designed through Gilroy Roberts, chief Engraver in ~ the United states Mint native July 22, 1948 to February 11, 1965. Roberts’ medal because that President Kennedy’s inauguration served as the basis of the coin’s design.

The central motif is a portrait that the 35th president of the united States, the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A battle hero and (at the time) the youngest person ever before to offer as president, Kennedy to be inaugurated top top January 20, 1961 and assassinated top top November 22, 1963. The nation’s grief was such that Congress and also the U.S. Mint rushed through a design change on the half dollar denomination come commemorate the bereaved president.

Atop the upper half of the rim is the inscription LIBERTY, through Kennedy’s hair extending the bottom sections of the letter “B”, “E” and also “R”. The dual date 1776 * 1976 is cradled at the bottom the the coin, with the character “1” the “1776” inserted beneath the “G” in “GOD” and also the “6” in “1976” situated under the “R” in “TRUST”. The national motto IN GOD us TRUST is inscribed in a straight line above the year however divided by the harp truncation the Kennedy’s neck. For the 1976-D and 1976-S half dollars, the mint mark “D” or “S” is discovered on the best side the the allude of this truncation.

Gilroy Roberts’ initials have the right to be discovered on the truncation heat of Kennedy’s bust, over the “WE” ~ above the bottom best side that the coin.


The reverse functions a symmetrical front view of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. That was constructed in 1753 and served together the meeting place of the Second continent Congress (1775-1783) and the Constitutional Convention (1787). Both the explanation of Independence and the United says Constitution to be signed here. The engraving UNITED says OF AMERICA wraps about the top fifty percent of the rim, when the denomination fifty percent DOLLAR is uncovered at the bottom. Thirteen tiny stars space lined up above the denomination, complying with its curvature. The expression 200 year OF freedom is situated on the left of self-reliance Hall, and also the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out the Many, One”) is ~ above the right. The surname of the structure runs automatically underneath.

A spire atop the room inserts itself between the last 2 letters of words “STATES” and practically touches the leaf of the coin. Seth Huntington’s initials “SGH” are found at the reduced right edge of the hall, listed below E PLURIBUS UNUM.


The leaf of the 1976 Bicentennial Kennedy half dollar is reeded.

Designer(s): Gilroy Roberts was the ninth Chief Engraver the the U.S. Mint, serving from 1948-1965. The is primarily remembered for his style of the Kennedy half dollar obverse. At the time his architecture was selected, Seth Huntington was the head artist the Minneapolis, Minnesota marketing firm Brown & Bigelow.

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Coin Specifications:

Year of Issue:1975-76
Denomination:Half Dollar
Mint Mark:None (Philadelphia), D (Denver), & S (San Francisco)
Mintage:Clad service Strike (P & D): 521,873,248; Clad evidence (S): 7,059,099; silver- Clad (S): 11,000,000; silver- Clad proof (S): 4,000,000
Alloy:Clad: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel clad end pure Copper center; silver- Clad: 40% Silver, %60 Copper
Weight:Clad: 11.34 g; silver- Clad: 11.50 g
Diameter:30.6 mm
OBV DesignerGilroy Roberts
REV DesignerSeth G. Huntington
Quality:Business Strike, Proof

Keep up v all the recent coin releases indigenous the United says Mint by clicking on ubraintv-jp.com’sModern U.S. Coin file Page.