Last year the United States Mint restored the original obverse portrait design of the Kennedy Half Dollar for use on the coins to be included within special 50th anniversary products. This year, the Mint will be using the original portrait design across all 2015-dated Kennedy Half Dollars.
This week, I received one of the 2015 Happy Birthday Sets offered by the Mint starting on January 13 and can confirm that the included 2015 Kennedy Half Dollar features the original portrait design. Along with the 2015 Birth Set, this represents the first release of the coin.
Shown below is close up scan of the 2015 Proof Kennedy Half Dollar included in my set. The US Mint has also posted coin images of the proof and uncirculated 2015-dated half dollars on their website showing the restoration of the original obverse design. Separately, Coin World has an article confirming that the restored design will be used across all products including the proof, silver proof, uncirculated, and circulating quality versions.
This is the third denomination which has seen the obverse reverted to the original design after years of small changes had compounded to transform the portraits.
In 2010, Victor D. Brenner’s original obverse portrait for the Lincoln Cent was restored. This coincided with the adoption of the new reverse design featuring the Union Shield.
Also in 2010, John Flanagan’s original obverse portrait for the Washington Quarter was restored. This coincided with the launch of the new America the Beautiful Quarters Program with a series of rotating reverse designs depicting national parks and sites.