Half dollars rarely in my thoughts
by Dave Harper
I donít find myself thinking about half
dollars very often. They are almost never seen in circulation. If I
happen to get one it is because someone at the Crystal Cafe was short
of funds and happened to spend one for coffee.
My habit if I get a half dollar in change is to immediately turn it
around by leaving it as part of the tip. I really donít want to take
There are so few uses for half dollars. They are not spendable in the
average vending machine, so I cannot buy a morning coffee here in the
break room with it.
The Mint, though, still sells rolls and bags of the coins and even
though totals are small, there are some collectors who continue to buy
I bought a bag back in 2002. I wanted to see what might be in it.
There really was nothing of interest in it for me, so over time, they
gradually found their way into circulation. Yes, I took the loss for
the amount I paid over face value, but that was better than storing
the bag for the rest of my life.
So far this year, 4,072 bags of 200 coins have been sold. The price is
$130.95 plus the $4.95 shipping charge. This gives the Mint revenue of
more than $550,000. There have been 21,101 two-roll sets sold, which
yield the Mint another $800,000 in revenue.
Of the roughly $1.35 million of revenue so far this year, about half a
million is the amount over the face value of the coins sold.
Thatís not a bad small business profit margin. And, the best part for
the government is the face value of the coins is like a permanent loan
to help keep the Treasury solvent.
So collect away from the Mintís point of view, and any buyers of these
coins out there please tell me what appeals to you about these half