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In the 1960s, the US Mint replaced silver coins with silver clad versions. Due to the Coinage Act of 1965, 90 percent silver alloy was no longer in use. Instead, the Act determined the dime and quarter would receive a copper and nickel clad composition while the silver half dollar would contain just 40 percent silver. The change subsequently affected proof coins. For instance, proof Eisenhower dollars from 1971 to 1974 became silver clad dollars and were nicknamed “Brown Ike” coins. The last silver clad dollars were the Bicentennial coins. They entered circulation in July of 1975. Among these pieces were 4 million three coin sets containing Proof Bicentennial silver clad coins from the San Francisco Mint. Because of the number of coins minted, silver clad proof coins are very affordable. A complete set of Proof 64 Kennedy silver clad half dollars costs about $62.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|