First minted in 1794, half dollars were an important part of America's monetary system, particularly during the frequent periods when production of silver dollars was suspended. Over time the quarter dollar came to compete with it, and in the late 1960's a combination of rising silver prices and saving of memorabilia featuring the late John F. Kennedy, led to its decline as a circulating coin. Still produced by the United States Mint, the half dollar is currently the largest coin they strike for circulation, even if few serve that purpose. A collection of half dollars features artistic designs that benefit from the coin's large diameter.
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