PCGS - The 1964 Kennedy half dollars are among the most sought after of all 90% silver coins. These half dollars, the first to feature the now-familiar portrait of President John F. Kennedy, have been beloved as souvenirs and vessels of silver bullion among generations of Americans. Struck within weeks of the president's assassination in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, and introduced to the public by March 1964, these early Kennedy half dollars remain one of the top collectibles in United States numismatics.
The Kennedy half dollar was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on December 30, 1963 - barely six weeks after the president was killed at the age of 46 during his motorcade procession in Dealey Plaza. The numismatic move wiped the bust of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin from the obverse of the half dollar, where he had been seen since 1948, and replaced by a JFK bust designed by then-Chief Engraver of the United States Mint Gilroy Roberts; the reverse was anchored with a depiction of the Seal of the President of the United States as designed by Sculptor-Engraver Frank Gasparro.
I remember standing in line at the Collin County National Bank in McKinney, Texas in early 1964 waiting to exchange a paper dollar for two of the new Kennedy half dollars. They had a VP of the bank sitting at a desk in the lobby with a 1000$ bag of the new coins in front of him. You handed his secretary a dollar and he handed you two of the coins. This was a limit of two coins per person. The line moved pretty quick. Remember it like it was yesterday.
Because the 90% silver '64 Kennedy is a one year type, I have included it with my other US silver commemorative coins, even though it isn't a commemorative.
For me 1964 is the last year to collect American coins. It is after about 1960 that silver was withdrawn from World circulating coinage, and the US is no exception. I don't collect modern base metal coinage or NCLT from any country after about 1960, (except for very obvious major errors).
That makes the '64 90% silver Kennedy important in it's own right.