Americans have long considered the signing the the Declaration that Independence ~ above July 4, 1776 together the birthday of the joined States. And also 1976 to be a unique 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 that what they viewed as the abuses that what we now speak to the Classic Commemorative series.

So for the country’s Bicentennial in 1976, the U.S. Mint released unique versions of three of ours circulating coins: the Washington quarter, the Kennedy half dollar and also the Eisenhower dollar. Bicentennial coinage to be issued for 2 years (1975-76), and coins authorize in both year featured the dual date of “1776-1976”. Wanting brand-new “Bicentennial-themed” designs for the reverse of each denomination, the Treasury Department hosted a style competition open up to every American citizens. Out of 884 entries, 12 semifinalists to be chosen; a five-judge dashboard of experts then selected the winning designs.

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

The Bicentennial Kennedy half dollar to be the an initial of the three coins to be issued, at a ceremony in Huntington’s hometown the Minneapolis hosted on July 7, 1975. End the next year and a half, a full of 521,873,248 clad company strike Bicentennial halves would certainly be to win in Philadelphia and Denver, v 7,059,099 proof clads developed in mountain Francisco. Throwback 40% silver clad half dollars were also minted in san Francisco, with roughly 11,000,000 company strikes and approximately 4,000,000 proof strikes manufactured. The is challenging to understand for certain how plenty of of this still survive due to the fact that many were undoubtedly lost to the good Silver Melt that the late 1970s and early ’80s.

Like many Kennedy half dollars of any type of period, far-ranging contact marks deserve to be found on the Bicentennial problem – particularly on the President’s cheek, approximately his eyes and in his hair. If you’re lucky sufficient to discover a silver- clad version, the softness of the metal relative come the copper-nickel composition renders for depth and an ext frequent scratches and marks.

Quality Mint State pieces have tendency to be middle of the road, through 64 and 65 grades being most common. And even though finding among these coins in circulation is a lot of less usual now than it was, say, twenty years ago, the coins space still “common” according to any objective measure of rarity. It remains one of the an ext popular problems of the contemporary clad era that United states coinage.


On every Kennedy fifty percent dollars, including the Bicentennial issue, the obverse to be designed by Gilroy Roberts, chief Engraver in ~ the United states Mint from July 22, 1948 to February 11, 1965. Roberts’ medal for President Kennedy’s inauguration served as the basis of the coin’s design.

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

Atop the upper fifty percent of the rim is the engraving LIBERTY, through Kennedy’s hair spanning the bottom sections of the letter “B”, “E” and also “R”. The dual date 1776 * 1976 is crib at the bottom the the coin, through the numeral “1” the “1776” inserted beneath the “G” in “GOD” and also the “6” in “1976” located under the “R” in “TRUST”. The nationwide motto IN GOD us TRUST is inscribed in a directly line above the year however divided by the harp truncation of Kennedy’s neck. Because that the 1976-D and 1976-S half dollars, the mint note “D” or “S” is discovered on the right side of the point of this truncation.

Gilroy Roberts’ initials have the right to be uncovered on the truncation line of Kennedy’s bust, above the “WE” ~ above the bottom ideal side that the coin.


The reverse functions a symmetry front check out of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The was constructed in 1753 and also served together the meeting place of the Second continent Congress (1775-1783) and also the Constitutional Convention (1787). Both the explanation of Independence and the United claims Constitution were signed here. The engraving UNITED says OF AMERICA wraps roughly the top fifty percent of the rim, when the denomination fifty percent DOLLAR is uncovered at the bottom. Thirteen small stars are lined up over the denomination, adhering to its curvature. The expression 200 years OF freedom is located on the left of self-reliance Hall, and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out of Many, One”) is ~ above the right. The surname of the structure runs instantly underneath.

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


The leaf of the 1976 Bicentennial Kennedy fifty percent dollar is reeded.

Designer(s): Gilroy Roberts to be the nine Chief Engraver the the U.S. Mint, serving from 1948-1965. That is generally remembered for his design of the Kennedy fifty percent dollar obverse. At the moment his design was selected, Seth Huntington was the head artist that Minneapolis, Minnesota marketing for sure 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 proof (S): 7,059,099; silver Clad (S): 11,000,000; silver Clad evidence (S): 4,000,000
Alloy:Clad: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel clad over 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

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