Anyone from the United States of America has a special connection to July 4 each and every year. More than just a day for picnics and fireworks it is a celebration of the birth of a country and a new political system.
The conviction of our Founding Fathers, in face of British retaliation, forfeited their wealth and security in exchange for liberty. Their actions have provided the freedoms & rights enjoyed by one and all Americans of today.
Their sacrifice obviously did not go unnoticed nor appreciated as we celebrate their actions every year on the 4th of July. So momentous in U.S. history the moment is even captured on coinage.
On October 1973, President Nixon signed the Bicentennial coinage design legislation and the search for new designs began when the Department of the Treasury presented an award of $5,000 for the winners of a national competition for reverse designs for quarter, half and dollar coins.
By March of 1974, reverse designs were selected and the U.S. Mint released three newly designed coins emblematic of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution beginning July 4, 1975 and ending in 1976.
The Bicentennial Half features the original Gilroy Roberts obverse design with only a change to carry a dual date to mark the Bicentennial (1776-1976) where the date is separated by a dot. The dual date was used for both years of mintage (1975 & 1976) and there is no way of determining if a coin was from 1975 or 1976. A mint mark for Denver (D) or San Francisco (S) issues can be found just below the bust design. Note: There were no mint marks for Philadelphia issues.
The reverse design and one of three winners of the reverse design competition was Seth Huntington. The reverse design portrays Independence Hall. To the left of Independence hall are the words 200 YEARS OF FREEDOM and to the right are the words E PLURIBUS UNUM and the designer's initials. Just below the hall design are the words "INDEPENDENCE HALL" with 13 stars located below. On the outer periphery are the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR.
General Market Notes
The Bicentennial Half was produced with two different metal compositions, copper-nickel for circulation and a special silver clad collector issue.
Circulation strikes were produced in large numbers and are still readily available. You may even find one occasionally in half dollar rolls from your local bank.
Though silver clad varieties were not issued for circulation they were made in large numbers and are easily available at most coin dealers for a very modest cost.