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Kennedy Commemorative Coin Will Appear in 2020

July 31, 2017 0 Comments

If all goes to plan, another Kennedy coin will be released by the US Mint in 2020. On July 17, 2017, a bill was introduced by Senators Markey and McCain and Representatives McCarthy and Kennedy, calling for 500,000 coins to be minted, with a design recalling President Kennedy’s life and legacy. The Kennedy who co-introduced the bill is Joseph P. Kennedy III, a great-nephew of President Kennedy and a grandson of Bobby Kennedy.

Kennedy Half Dollar

The coin will join several other Kennedy coins, the most notable being the half-dollar. The first 70,000 of this coin was released within 4 months of the assassination, and sold out before the first day was over. It was said the First Lady chose the half-dollar because she did not want to displace George Washington, who appeared on the quarter-dollar. So it was Benjamin Franklin who lost his traditional place on the silver half-dollar. The first coins were 90% silver, and most were hoarded as mementos of Kennedy, and later for their silver value, so few made it into circulation. In 1960 the silver content was reduced to 40%, and from 1971 it was eliminated entirely. None the less, even today these coins are rarely seen in circulation, and sell at a premium.

Kennedy-Bus-Strk-obv

Kennedy Commemoration

This last May 29, 2017 was the 100th anniversary of Kennedy’s birth, and many people had been expecting the issue of a commemorative coin to mark the event. While the Mint was busy commemorating relatively minor anniversaries, such as Boy’s Town, and Lions Club International, they seemed to have let Kennedy slip by, so this release may be a case of ‘better late than never’. The details of the coin are at this point a little hazy. What is known, from the Bill, is that it will be a $1 circulation coin, weighing 26.73 grams, and at least 90% silver. The diameter will be 1.500 inches, and besides the value, and the year 2020, the coin shall have all the standard inscriptions of, “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “United States of America”, and “E Pluribus Unum”. All 500,000 will be minted at a single facility, and completed within the year 2020.

The big interest will undoubtedly be the design, which is simply to be, “Emblematic of the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy.” How the Mint will proceed with this, through a competition, by a designer in the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, or by using one of the Mint’s own designer-engravers, remains to be seen.

One interesting feature of the legislation is the presence of a $10 surcharge on each coin sold, to support the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. With silver selling right now for $0.54 a gram, the coin will be worth $13 for its silver content alone, and probably more by the time the release date comes. This makes it unlikely, despite being a circulation coin, that it will be turning up in pocket-change anytime soon. Whatever the outcome, given the continuing interest in President Kennedy, this coin is sure to receive a warm welcome from both collectors and the general public, for whom Kennedy continues to hold a fascination.

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