Don’t be surprised if you get a roll of Half Dollar coins from your local bank and find a 2021 Kennedy Half Dollar in them. The Federal Reserve, for the first time since 2001, has ordered the half dollar coin for circulation and the Mint is happily producing them. The Kennedy half dollars will bare the Denver and Philadelphia mint marks.
For the first part of 2021, the Kennedy half had only been produced for collectors as part of bags and rolls being sold, at a premium, by the United States Mint. However, the Fed ordered more of the coins and the Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia are now producing them for circulation. As of the August Circulating Coin Production Report, 13.8 million of the half dollar coins had been produced. This is up substantially from the roughly 4 million produced in previous years to satisfy collectors.
There are question marks around this move of course. Namely, why? The Mint has been vocal about getting coins in the country circulating again as the country continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning and height of the pandemic in 2020, circulation of coins came to a virtual standstill with many business simply not able to get coins from their banks who were not able to get them from customers. That has eased slightly as the pandemic has eased but is still an issue. It is possible, although speculation on my part, that the introduction of the half dollar is to help spur people on to try to find the coins in circulation.
Whatever the case may be, if you do go to your local bank and order half dollar rolls, you have a better-than-zero chance of finding a 2021 Kennedy amongst the coins. Or perhaps even a complete roll.