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Kennedy half: Was it an entry wound?

Many times bizarre rumors emerge about coins and continue to be repeated and repeated and repeated. When the Franklin half appeared, in 1948, some came to believe that 1967o.jpgthe “JRS” initials on the front of coin represented Joseph Stalin. A version of this tale was that a Communist was lurking in the U.S. Mint, who secretly placed Stalin’s initials on the coin.

A more plausible explanation, and the correct one, is that “JRS” stood for the coin’s designer, John R. Sinnock.

When the Kennedy half hit the streets, in 1964, some thought the stylized initials of Gilroy Roberts, designer of the coin’s obverse, looked like Russia’s hammer and sickle.

More stunning, however, was the claim that the placement of the stylized “GR” at truncation of the bust of Kennedy (above the “WE” in “IN GOD WE TRUST” marked the spot where one of Lee Harvey Oswald’s bullets struck the president. Or, could the shot have come from someone on the grassy knoll?

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