Authorized by the Act of April 2nd, 1792, the Half Dollar was first issued in 1794 when the United States Mint became operational. Although rarely seen in circulation today, it was heavily circulated during the first half of the 20th Century. Produced with a silver and copper alloy until the Coinage Act of 1965, the half dollar was the last circulating United States coin to actually contain silver. From 1965 until 1970, Kennedy Half Dollars were produced from an alloy that consisted of 40 percent silver and 60 percent copper. Although rolls of half dollars can be ordered at your local bank, they are rarely seen in circulation.