By CoinWeek IQ …..
With the United States Mint moving at lightning speed, the Kennedy half dollar was designed, stuck, and placed in circulation just over four months after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. These coins sparked instant demand from a grieving nation. Despite being struck in substantial numbers until 1976, the total mintages of Kennedy halves steadily declined until the early 2000s when it stabilized at between four and 10 million pieces.
As part of the Mint’s 50th-anniversary celebration of the Kennedy half dollar, a series of special half dollar sets were struck: A four-piece silver coin collector set; a two-piece uncirculated coin set with a high relief strike; a .9999 fine gold Proof coin; and a standard strike clad issue for circulation.
While the Philadelphia Mint struck only 200,000 examples of the high relief clad coins and 221,135 pieces of the silver Proof coins, they stuck 2,500,000 of the standard clad coins. The standard strike pieces were not released into circulation, instead the Mint offered them in two-roll sets for $32.95 and 200-coin bags for $139.95. or 70 cents per coin. These coins featured a restored obverse design that was faithful to the original version produced in 1964. This process was completed by electronically scanning both a one-sided Galvano bronze electroform created through electrolysis and an original 1964 die.
The 2014-P Kennedy Half in Today’s Market
In the past year, certified first-day-of-issue examples in high grade (MS 67 – MS 68) have sold for between $25 to $40. These prices are comparable to the MS 64+ High Relief examples. Standard strike examples certified as MS 66 and MS 67 can generally be purchased for $15 to $25, and collector sets of the 2014-P and 2014-D Kennedy Halves in mid-to-high Mint State are valued between $45 to $55. While examples not in Mint State are only worth face value, prices spike in the highest grades (MS 68 to MS 70). In 2020 and 2019, respectively, Heritage Auctions sold two examples certified as MS 68 by PCGS for $660 and $492.
The obverse of the Kennedy half dollar was designed by Gilroy Roberts, Chief Engraver at the United States Mint from July 22, 1948, to February 11, 1965.
The central motif is an effigy of the 35th President, the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Kennedy was inaugurated on January 20, 1961, and assassinated on November 22, 1963. The nation’s grief was such that Congress and the United States Mint rushed through a design change on the half dollar denomination to commemorate the bereaved president.
Atop the upper half of the rim is the inscription LIBERTY, with Kennedy’s hair covering the bottom portions of the letters “B”, “E” and “R”. The date 2014 is cradled at the bottom of the coin, while the national motto IN GOD WE TRUST is inscribed in a straight line above the year but divided by the sharp truncation of Kennedy’s neck. The mint mark “P” is found on the right side of the point of this truncation.
Gilroy Roberts’ initials are located on the truncation line of Kennedy’s bust, above the “WE” on the bottom right side of the coin.
Roberts’ assistant Frank Gasparro designed the reverse. He based the eagle on the presidential coat of arms from the Seal of the President of the United States, which itself is based on the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States. The presidential seal in its current form was finalized by President Harry S. Truman in 1945, though the number of stars on the seal (and hence the coin) went from 48 to 50 as the states of Alaska and Hawaii entered the Union.
The heraldic eagle’s wings and legs are spread in four directions. The left talon (viewer’s right) holds a bunch of arrows, a symbol of war, while the right claw (viewer’s left) holds an olive branch, a symbol of peace. It is tradition to have the eagle face one side or the other relative to national circumstances at the time of striking: in this instance, the eagle faces towards the olive branch despite America’s involvement in Vietnam and other conflicts around the world.
Frank Gasparro’s initials (“FG”) are located between the eagle’s left leg and its tail feathers.
A Union shield covers the eagle’s breast. Vertical bars representing the 13 red and white stripes of the American flag run down most of its face, the stripes representing the original 13 colonies of the United States. The top of the shield (a horizontal band is otherwise known in heraldry as a “chief”) features no stars.
Above the eagle is a scroll featuring the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. The design behind and above the eagle consists of 15 rays, nine stars, and a mass of clouds. This motif is called a “glory”.
The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA runs along the top rim while the denomination HALF DOLLAR runs along the bottom. Dots are placed between the two inscriptions at both ends. Surrounding the eagle is a ring of 50 stars, representing the 50 US states.
The edge of the 2014-P Kennedy half dollar is reeded with 150 reeds.
Gilroy Roberts was the ninth Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, serving from 1948-1965. He is best remembered for his design of the Kennedy half dollar obverse.
Frank Gasparro was an American medalist and coin designer. He became Chief Engraver of the United States Mint on February 11, 1965, after Roberts’ work with the Franklin Mint caused the U.S. Mint to let Roberts go. Having served as an assistant engraver to Roberts for three years, he was the 10th Chief Engraver of the United States Mint until his retirement in 1981 (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2014|
|Mint Mark:||P (Philadelphia)|
|Alloy:||75% Copper and 25% Nickel over a 100% Copper core|
|OBV Designer||Gilroy Roberts|
|REV Designer||Frank Gasparro|