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Starting a Kennedy Half Dollar Collection? Follow These 5 Easy Steps

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Collecting a Kennedy Half Dollars is a fun and interesting hobby for both new and experienced coin collectors. These coins, first minted in 1964 to honor President John F. Kennedy, come in various designs and materials. This makes them a great choice for anyone interested in coin collecting. Here are five simple steps to help you start your Kennedy Half Dollar collection.

1. Educate Yourself About Kennedy Half Dollars

Before you start collecting, it’s important to learn about the history and different types of Kennedy Half Dollars.


Key Points to Know

  • 1964: The first Kennedy Half Dollars were made from 90% silver.
  • 1965-1970: These coins were made from 40% silver.
  • 1971-Present: Kennedy Half Dollars are made from copper-nickel.
  • Special Issues: There have been special versions over the years, like the 1976 Bicentennial coin and various anniversary editions.

Understanding these differences will help you make smart choices as you build your collection. Books, online resources, and coin clubs can provide lots of useful information.

2. Set a Budget and Goals

Having a budget is important to avoid spending too much. Kennedy Half Dollars can cost anywhere from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on their rarity and condition.


Considerations for Your Budget

  • Frequency of Purchases: Decide how often you want to buy coins – weekly, monthly, or as you find them.
  • Types of Coins: Think about whether you want circulated coins (used), uncirculated coins (new), proofs, or a mix.
  • Long-Term Goals: Are you aiming to collect every date and mint mark, or are you focusing on rare coins?

Setting clear goals will help you stay organized and focused.

3. Acquire Essential Tools and Supplies

To protect and organize your collection, you’ll need some basic tools and supplies.


Essential Tools and Supplies

  • Coin Albums and Holders: These help store and display your coins safely. Albums often have labeled slots for each coin, making it easy to track your progress.
  • Magnifying Glass: A magnifying glass helps you inspect coins closely, looking for mint marks, wear, and flaws.
  • Digital Scale: A scale lets you verify the weight of your coins, which is important for spotting fakes.
  • Gloves: Use clean cotton gloves to handle coins without getting oils and dirt on them.
  • Reference Books: A good coin guide provides detailed information about each year’s coins, including varieties and values.

These tools will help keep your coins in good condition and make it easier to identify and assess them.

4. Start Acquiring Coins

With your budget, goals, and supplies in place, you’re ready to start collecting Kennedy Half Dollars.


Strategies for Acquiring Coins

  • Local Coin Shops: Visiting local shops lets you see coins in person and get advice from knowledgeable dealers.
  • Coin Shows and Auctions: These events offer opportunities to find rare and high-quality coins. Auctions can be exciting places to get special pieces.
  • Online Marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Heritage Auctions, and coin dealer sites have a wide selection of Kennedy Half Dollars. Make sure to buy from reputable sellers and check reviews.
  • Coin Clubs and Forums: Joining a coin club or online forum connects you with other collectors. These communities often have members willing to sell, trade, or offer advice.

When buying coins, pay close attention to their condition (graded from Poor to Mint State) and authenticity. Start with common and affordable coins, then gradually work towards rarer pieces.

5. Document and Preserve Your Collection

Keeping good records of your collection is essential for tracking your progress and ensuring your coins are well-preserved.


Tips for Managing Your Collection

  • Create a Catalog: Write down each coin’s date, mint mark, grade, purchase price, and other details. Use a notebook, spreadsheet, or coin-collecting software.
  • Photograph Your Coins: Take high-quality photos of your coins for a visual record and for insurance purposes.
  • Store Coins Properly: Use coin albums, holders, and other supplies to store your coins in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and humidity.
  • Regularly Review and Update: Periodically check your collection and update your records. This helps you stay organized and spot any gaps or duplicates.

By carefully documenting and preserving your collection, you ensure it remains in good condition and retains its value.


Starting a Kennedy Half Dollar collection can be a fun and educational hobby. By learning about the coins, setting a budget and goals, getting the right tools, buying coins smartly, and keeping good records, you can build a valuable and enjoyable collection. Whether you’re collecting for fun or as an investment, the journey of putting together a Kennedy Half Dollar collection offers endless opportunities for discovery and satisfaction.


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