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Who Speaks for the Half Dollar?
March 16, 2012



Three decades ago Bob Wilhite, now the retired editor of the Coin Market price guide, transferred a telephone call to me from someone he knew to be a regular caller.

“Regular caller” doesn’t begin to describe the man.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up the phone.

The caller was simply fixated on the half dollar. Was the U.S. Mint going to stop production of the coin?

It was a fair question. Since the coin saw its silver content reduced and then eliminated and went out of common usage in the 1960s, the future of the half dollar has prompted lively debate and speculation among collectors over the years.

Yet even today, it is still being made for collectors.

So far so normal.

However, the caller’s level of concern was such that he called multiple times during the year. Apparently every letter to the editor on the topic elevated his concern. He always asked for me by name when he phoned.

He also started mentioning other details of his life, such as the neighbors shooting laser beams at him.

Remember, this was 30 years ago.

I got used to it.

He was born in Brazil and had been moved to the United States as a young child. His father had abandoned them somewhere along the way.

Year after year there were calls and little tidbits of additional information would come my way interspersed with the inquiries about the future prospects of the half dollar.

It has been a number of years since the last phone call. In fact, he might have been the last person who cared about the half dollar.

The fate of the circulating half dollar no longer inspires much discussion among collectors at all.

Does this mean it is time for the coin to finally disappear?





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Recent Comments
On March 17, 2012 Chuck Schroeder said
The fate of the circulating half dollar no longer inspires much discussion among collectors at all.

Does this mean it is time for the coin to finally disappear?.


Not is we can save them. These coins are a must for young collectors. We have many at our shows to.


Come in and see for yourself.


Coin, Currency and Collectibles Extravaganza

The St. Petersburg Coin Club non-profit organization will hold its  "SECOND SATURDAY"  family event to inform the public about the art of collecting US Coins, Currency and World Countries currencies and coins.    Featuring free information about our hobby.  You can also purchase these items from our Club Member's.   "FREE STUFF"  for the Children.    2nd Saturday always -  Next Show on April. 14th, 2012.    More "FREE PARKING" right across the street at the Church Parking lot, and, free parking around the building at the DAV.  Dealers welcome.   Directions:  get on I 275, exit at 54th Ave. N. cross over 34th St (U.S. 19) and turn south on 37th St. N.   Contact for more info:   Wayne 727-418-4225  Jane 727-403-8662 landjhester@yahoo.com or Robert Wiley 727-580-4108, Club President Bert Jones 813-971-2577.    Free appraisals. Bring the whole Family.   Cost/Cover: FREE.   Take a kid to this Extravaganza.   Disabled American Veterans  4801 37th Street N.  St. Petersburg, Florida  33714.  Directions:  get on I 275, exit at 54th Ave. N. cross over 34th St (U.S. 19) and turn south on 37th St. N.    Hours:  9 AM - 3 PM ?.
  
Web Page: http://www.coinclubatstpete.com/  


The Family Show's.

Something to add? Notice an error? Comment on this blog.
  


About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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