40% Clad Halves
U.S. 90% silver coins were last minted for circulation in 1964. Since 1965, dimes and quarters have been made of a cupro-nickel alloy. However, for five years, 1965-1969, the Mint made half-dollars (still carrying President Kennedy's image) of a 40% silver/60% copper alloy. Each coin contains 0.1479 ounce silver; a $1,000 face bag contains 295 ounces of silver.
These coins, commonly called 40% clads or Kennedy clads, are not nearly as popular as 90% silver coins. This is because a bag of 40% Kennedy clads takes up the same space and weighs nearly as much as a bag of 90%. Yet, a bag of 40% clads contains only 295 ounces of silver, versus 715 for a bag of circulated 90% dimes or quarters, or 718-720 for a bag of 90% halves. So, to store the same wealth, it takes almost 2-1/2 times the space with Kennedy clads as with 90% coins.
Still, 40% clads have one advantage over 90% silver coins. 40% clads sell at small premiums over their face value. This means that a $1,000 face value bag has an absolute floor of $1,000. For investors who fear deflation, here meaning falling prices, clads are ideal. If silver goes up, they will rise in price because of the 295 ounces of silver a bag contains. If the price of silver were to collapse (highly unlikely in CMI's opinion, but a possibility), the coins could be spent. For Kennedy clads to sell at face value, silver would have to drop to $3.39 an ounce.