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Community Voice Responses (11/13/12)

 

From the October 19th Numismatic e-newsletter: Should the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half dollar be celebrated in 2014? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

Yes to the commemorative in 2014. Just the reverse.
Richard Gaetano
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Absolutely. The Kennedy half dollar should be celebrated in an upcoming 50th anniversary. My personal opinion is that the JFK half is the greatest minted coin of my generation.
I know my personal connection with this coin has to do with “where were you when the President was shot?” moment. And what affects that the assassination had on our generation and having to relive it year after year through the media.
Another bond would include the history of the Kennedy family, one of America’s greatest families. This is to include not only a great story, but also a sad one.
All said, to me this coin is more of a personal loved coin rather than a numismatic love.
Michael Chirchirillo
Roscoe, Ill.

Yes, yes, yes.
Lester Self
Lebanon, Tenn.

Why are we still minting this coin? Casinos?
Yes, we should honor Kennedy’s 50th on this coin in 2014 and JFK’s centennial in 2017, and then put an end to this series and any future so-called “circulating” half dollars.
Ross MacCallum
Dumfries, Va.

I can hardly believe it has been 50 years! Of course the anniversary should be celebrated! I would like to see a Kennedy half dollar-size coin of a similar design made of 90 percent gold! The 90 percent silver version was extremely attractive, so a gold version would be splendid! To deter counterfeiting and alterations, don’t make base metal halves in 2014.
I also would like to see the Mint strike reverse proofs and at least 5 other varieties of a Kennedy half so we can read letters to the editor from collectors complaining about all the varieties!
On the front, show Kennedy’s traditional half dollar portrait. On the reverse, show important scenes of important people and places in his life like his wife and kids, boating in Hyannisport, sitting in the oval office, and riding in a PT boat. Give collectors of Kennedy memorabilia something to treasure!
Bruce R. Frohman
Modesto, Calif.

Yes, it should be. It would further be great to have a total coin redesign and have it placed in general circulation as a one year circulating commemorative for all to enjoy.
What a great way to possibly reintroduce the half dollar to a new generation of collectors.
Bryan New
Columbia, Ky.

The 50th year of Kennedy should be celebrated then shelved. Time for a new half-dollar with maybe President Reagan. They shelved the grand Memorial Lincoln after ‘09 and can do the same with Kennedy.
Len Burger
Fairfax, Va.

This anniversary should be recognized with a reverse proof with maximum mintage of 100,000. Kennedy is much more noteworthy than First Spouses and other useless coins. It should be .999 silver and the size of a silver Eagle for collector’s. Make it special as this was a very special person in the history of the U.S.
Bill Peyton
St. Petersburg, Fla.

I recently cherry-picked the best of each year and mintmark of my Kennedy Halves for my new Whitman folder, the rest went into rolls which I took to the bank for deposit into my account. I also saved a roll of the better dates in MS-63, and of course, the 40 percent silver ones.
These coins have been using up real estate in my closet for years, and I just don’t see the purpose in keeping them any longer. I think 50 years is a good run for any circulating coin, and since they are obviously now made for collectors only, I see no reason why the Kennedy halves should be made for any other reason.
It seems that mostly sentimentality is keeping the Lincoln cent and Kennedy half in circulation.
James Porter
Las Vegas, Nev.

No. In fact, its time for a complete overhaul and design change to get half dollars circulating again.
Mike White
Lake Dallas, Texas

I’ve given it a lot of thought, and yes, I do think that the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half dollar should be celebrated in 2014. And on top of that, I have that celebration all planned out, if they’re interested.
My take on it is this: the Mint should produce a special half dollar similar to the way it fashioned the bicentennial quarter, but with a reverse that celebrates Kennedy’s inauguration as President. But what really makes this anniversary special, will be the fact that this anniversary issue, will be the last production issue of the Kennedy half dollar.
And, get this, in place of the half dollar, from 2015 and beyond, the Mint will need to begin the production of a Kennedy “dollar coin.” Now this Kennedy dollar is to be minted for circulation in the hope that someday, (unlike the Presidential dollar) it will replace the one dollar note.
I for my part would consider it an honor to keep in my pocket a Kennedy “dollar coin” for use as an alternative to the one dollar note. And if the respected George Washington dollar bill should ever be replaced by a one dollar coin, then it will take the portrait of a man like John F. Kennedy to do it, in my opinion.
Mercury R. Williams
Seattle, Wash.

I say yes, there should be an anniversary 50th in 2014 for the Kennedy half.
Edward Davoly
Philadelphia, Pa.

Like the penny and nickel, the half should be discontinued. Our Congress will never do it because they don’t work and don’t understand the economics of production cost versus face value of the coin. Also, most people under 40 don’t care about coins, they prefer debit and credit cards. Let’s move to the future.
J. Marasia
Miramar Beach, Fla.

Well, yeah! Besides some collector business strikes, (keep my collection whole) might I suggest a simple date change like the bicentennial 1964-2014.
Fritz Clemens
Twinsburg, Ohio

I do remember being one of those people being glad to get several Kennedy half dollars shortly after release. My dad had his corner drug store, yes, family run! This is where I had taken many in as cashier. Many a find came my way as well.
On the 40th anniversary, why not a double-dated half (1964-2014)? This would be another great way to enjoy the milestone, as with the bicentennial coinage. Perhaps a three-coin set with each of the Kennedy brothers in the set. Readers, what is your take on this?
Gary Kess
Berker en Rodenrijs, The Netherlands

Yes 2014 would be a good choice.
David L. Williams
Palmer, Texas

Yes, I think the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half should be celebrated. It unfortunately should also be the last year. If you are surprised that people are unfamiliar with dollar coins, try spending a half dollar and see what kind of puzzled look you get.
Kelly Finnegan
Utah

Yes! JFK was one of the great Presidents. He had guts and stood up for his beliefs. I believe he is more worthy to be honored than many of the Presidents that followed him.
R. Miller
York, Pa.

It does not matter what the collector thinks, if the Mint smells money it will happen. So if a matte finish set, like in the year 1998, makes a “rarity” no doubt it will happen. After all look at how many silver Eagles are made each year now that have to be collected to keep one’s set complete!
Alan Hepler
Laytonsville, Md.

I am in favor of a final year in 90 percent silver from all three mints, proof and uncirculated and then termination of the series. Proof sets should then be combined silver and clad as follows:
Washington quarter, Roosevelt dime ,Jefferson nickel all in silver composition with the Lincoln cent in the standard copper configuration as is 1909.
Washington quarter, Roosevelt dime in clad or business strike composition with the Jefferson nickel all in normal nickel composition with the Lincoln cent in the standard zinc with copper coating.
This would provide the collector an efficient smaller package for set storage once the mint stops producing the worthless collectible quarters series.
Steve Kamieniecki
Address withheld

Regarding my opinion on the possibility of the 2014 issue of a 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half, I absolutely agree there should be one. Additionally, it should be like the Silver Eagles lately, all with 90 percent silver and a proof, reverse proof and satin finish set, limited to 50,000 sets, but also a 90 percent silver MS coin with say a 500,000 limited release. (1,000 per each of the 50 years!)
Mike Rothwell
Address withheld

The 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half dollar should be celebrated in 2014 by being its last year of issue. The coin does not circulate any more and has no commercial use. 2014 would be a good time to end the series.
Richard Jozefiak
Madison, Ala.

I would like to see a matte finish with a dual date.
Donald Cantrell

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