1964 Kennedy Half Dollar value
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The 11 Most Valuable Kennedy Half Dollars


Have you ever wondered why some coins – mere pieces of metal – can hold such tremendous value? The secret lies not just in their material but also in their unique history, scarcity, and the stories they tell. As you delve into the world of numismatics, you’ll find an arena where beauty, history, and value combine in fascinating ways. For instance, the Kennedy Half Dollar, a seemingly ordinary piece of U.S. currency, carries with it a potent blend of history and rarity that has captivated collectors for years. Dive deeper into the most valuable Kennedy Half Dollars to uncover how these coins have become some of the most prized and sought-after collectibles. Whether you’re a seasoned numismatist or a beginner, understanding the significance of these coins and how they are graded and valued will undoubtedly enrich your collecting journey. Let’s embark on this exciting exploration now – time is of the essence as the hunt for these treasures is always on! Check out the other valuable half dollars that may be lurking in your change.

CoinHighest Known Sale Price
1974-D Doubled Die Kennedy Half Dollar$575
1982-P Kennedy Half Dollar$2,820
1998-S Matte Finish Kennedy Half Dollar$1,495
2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin$4,993.75
1979-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar$3,738
1981-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar$4,025
1972-D Kennedy Half Dollar$2,485.13
1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar$7,495
1966 Special Mint Set Kennedy Half Dollar$47,000
1964 Enhanced Hair Kennedy Half Dollar$19,975
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar$108,000

The Most Expensive Kennedy Half Dollars

11. 1974-D Doubled Die Kennedy Half Dollar – $575

The 1974-D Doubled Die Obverse Kennedy Half Dollar is notable for its doubled die error, which occurs when a die is accidentally impressed twice by a hub during its creation, resulting in a doubled image on the die surface. This is different from machine doubling, where a coin is struck twice by a die during its minting, causing a distorted image on the coin surface. A doubled die error can affect either the obverse or the reverse of a coin, or both sides in rare cases.

The 1974-D Doubled Die Obverse Kennedy Half Dollar is the only major doubled die variety in the entire Kennedy Half Dollar series. The doubling on the obverse is most prominent on the words “WE TRUST” in the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. The upper-right tip of the letter “T” in “LIBERTY” also has noticeable doubling, as does the right tip of the “4” in the 1974 date. This coin is highly collectible for series enthusiasts, variety collectors, and error coin fans alike. The highest known value or sale price for a 1974-D Doubled Die Obverse Kennedy Half Dollar is $575, paid for a coin graded as MS66 by PCGS in September 2005. The average value of an uncirculated coin is about $46, while a poor condition coin is worth about $8.

10. 1982-P Kennedy Half Dollar – $2,820

The 1982-P Kennedy Half Dollar is known for its “no FG” error. This error occurs when the designer’s initials “FG” (for Frank Gasparro) are either missing or appear weak on the reverse of the coin, specifically under the right leg of the eagle. This error results from die polishing or overuse, leading to the erasure or reduction of the initials from the die surface. Although the 1982-P no FG Kennedy Half Dollar is the most common type of no FG half dollar with an estimated 1,000 or more struck, it remains a popular piece among collectors, particularly those specializing in Kennedy Half Dollar varieties and error coins. The highest known value or sale price for a 1982-P no FG Kennedy Half Dollar is $2,820, paid for a coin graded as MS67 by PCGS in April 2016. On average, an uncirculated coin is worth about $50, while a coin in poor condition is worth around $8.

9. 1998-S Matte Finish Kennedy Half Dollar – $1,495

The 1998-S Kennedy Half Dollar, with its unique Matte Finish, presents a special frosted appearance that contrasts with the mirror-like fields typically seen on proof coins. This particular finish was used in 1998 to produce a special two-piece set containing a silver Robert F. Kennedy commemorative dollar and a silver Kennedy half dollar. Both coins carry an “S” mint mark, indicating their origin from San Francisco. The mintage of the 1998-S Matte Finish Kennedy Half Dollar was 62,000, making it one of the rarest Kennedy half dollars. Despite originally being sold as part of a two-piece set, many of these sets have been broken up to obtain the individual coins, enhancing the coin’s collectability. The highest recorded sale price for a 1998-S Matte Finish Kennedy Half Dollar is $1,495, which was paid for a coin graded as SP70 by PCGS in April 2006. The average value of a special strike coin is approximately $200, while a coin in poor condition is valued around $8.

8. 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin – $4,993.75

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Kennedy half dollar in 1964, the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin holds significant commemorative value. The U.S. Mint issued this coin, made of 99.99% pure gold, with a face value of $50. Weighing 0.75 troy ounces and measuring 30.61 millimeters in diameter, it features an “W” mint mark, signifying its origin from West Point. The coin showcases the original portrait of President John F. Kennedy by Gilroy Roberts on the obverse, and the modified presidential seal by Frank Gasparro on the reverse, both designs mirroring the 1964 version of the coin. Although the coin’s value based on its gold content depends on the current market price of gold, it is also influenced by its numismatic premium, referring to the additional value derived from its rarity, condition, and historical significance. The highest known value or sale price for a 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin is $4,993.75, paid for a coin graded as PR70 by PCGS in August 2014. The average value of a proof coin is approximately $1,200, while a poor condition coin is worth about $1,000.

7. 1979-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar – $3,738

The 1979-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar is a rare variety that features a slim, clean-cut “S” mintmark on the obverse, contrasting with the filled-in “S” of the Type I. This distinction in mintmark clarity comes from a change in the mintmark punch used by the San Francisco Mint late in 1979. The new punch resulted in a narrower and deeper “S,” consistent with the other letters on the coin, with open spaces within the “S”.

Its rarity contributes significantly to its collectability, with only about 1%-3% of the 1979-S Proof coins falling into this category. This makes it a sought-after item among Kennedy Half Dollar collectors. Additionally, the coin represents an intriguing transitional change in the mintmark style used by the San Francisco Mint, adding to its allure. The highest known value or sale price for a 1979-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar is $3,738, which was paid for a coin graded as PR70 by PCGS in March 2007. The average value of a proof coin of this variety is about $35, while a coin in poor condition is estimated at around $8.

6. 1981-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar – $4,025

Similarly, the 1981-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar is a special variety, again featuring a slim, clean-cut “S” mintmark on the obverse, differing from the filled-in “S” of the Type I. The Type II Proof carries over the clear, sharp mintmark of the late 1979 punch, but in early 1981, the San Francisco Mint reverted to an older punch style with a wider and shallower “S”, resulting in two types of proofs for that year.

The collectability of the 1981-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar is linked to its rarity and its status as a representative of a transitional period in mintmark style at the San Francisco Mint. An estimated 10%-15% of the 1981-S Proof coins belong to this variety, marking it as a desirable piece among collectors. The highest known value or sale price for a 1981-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollar is $4,025, a sum paid for a coin graded as PR70 by PCGS in September 2007. The average value of a proof coin of this type is approximately $18, while a coin in poor condition is valued around $8.

5. 1972-D Kennedy Half Dollar – $2,485.13

The 1972-D Kennedy Half Dollar is known for the no FG error, where the designer initials “FG” (for Frank Gasparro) are missing or weak on the reverse of the coin, under the right leg of the eagle. This error is caused by die polishing or overuse, which erases or reduces the initials from the die surface. The no FG error is more noticeable and dramatic than other minor errors or varieties.

The 1972-D no FG Kennedy Half Dollar is the rarest of these errors, with perhaps only a few hundred existing. This rarity makes the coin highly sought-after by collectors, especially those who specialize in Kennedy Half Dollar varieties and error coin enthusiasts. The highest known value or sale price for a 1972-D no FG Kennedy Half Dollar is $2,485.13, paid for a coin graded as MS63 by PCGS in January 2018. The average value of an almost uncirculated coin is about $1,000, while a poor condition coin is worth about $8.

4. 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar – $7,495

The 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar holds a unique position as it was only sold in Mint Sets in 1970 and was not released for circulation. The mintage of the 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar was 2,150,000, which makes it the lowest mintage business strike Kennedy Half Dollar from 1964 to 2005. The issue price of a 1970 Mint Set was about $2.50, with each 1970 Mint Set containing 10 coins with a face value of $1.33. Many sets have been opened to retrieve the 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar, reducing the number of original sets available.

This coin was the last year the Mint produced business strike half dollars containing silver, which adds to its significance. It has a composition of 40% silver and 60% copper, resulting in a silver weight of 0.1479 troy ounces. The silver content makes the coin attractive for both collectors and bullion investors. The highest known value or sale price for a 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar is $7,495, which was paid for a coin graded as MS67 by PCGS in March 2023. The average value of a mint state coin is about $16, while a poor condition coin is worth about $8.

3. 1966 Special Mint Set Kennedy Half Dollar – $47,000

The 1966 Special Mint Set (SMS) Kennedy Half Dollar is a product of the U.S. Mint’s response to the coin shortage during 1965-1967. Instead of regular proof sets, the Mint produced these Special Mint Sets. The SMS coins possess a higher quality than regular circulation coins but fall short of proof coins’ standards. They bear a sharper strike and a satin finish.

Despite being struck at the San Francisco Mint, SMS coins lack any mint marks. Among these, coins missing the designer’s initials “FG” (for Frank Gasparro) on the reverse are considered the no FG error coins. These errors result from either die polishing or overuse, which erases or reduces the initials from the die surface.

The SMS Kennedy Half Dollar is desirable for its uniqueness, being part of a special set only produced for three years and having a lower mintage than regular circulation coins. Additionally, it provides a better quality and appearance than regular circulation coins, and yet isn’t as expensive as proof coins. The no FG error coins further add variety and rarity to the series, increasing their desirability. The highest known value or sale price for a 1966 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar is $47,000 for a coin graded as SP68 by PCGS, while the no FG Kennedy Half Dollar reached $6,462.50 for a coin graded as SP66 by PCGS.

2. 1964 Enhanced Hair Kennedy Half Dollar – $19,975

The 1964 Enhanced Hair Kennedy Half Dollar is a rare variant of the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar and stands out due to its slightly different hair design on the obverse. This variety, known as the “Enhanced Hair” type, features longer and thicker strands of hair above the ear and a missing serif on the letter I of LIBERTY.

In coin collecting, this variety has particular importance as it is among the rarest and most sought-after varieties of the Kennedy Half Dollar series. With only 1%-3% of the 1964 proof coins of this variety, it is highly prized by collectors. Furthermore, it represents the original design intended for the coin before its modification. The highest known value or sale price for this variant is $19,975 for a coin graded as PR68DC by PCGS.

1. 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar – $108,000

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar value

The 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar is a significant piece in coinage history, born out of tribute to the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. With Congress authorizing its production in December 1963, this coin was first minted and released to the public in March 1964. It holds a unique place in the series as the only year the coin was made of 90% silver and 10% copper. This half dollar, devoid of any mint mark and struck at the Philadelphia Mint, weighs 12.5 grams and has a diameter of 30.6 mm. It features a reeded edge and a modified presidential seal on the reverse.

This coin is valuable for several reasons. First, it’s a one-year type coin that commemorates a beloved president. Second, its high silver content makes it attractive to both collectors and bullion investors. Lastly, it was widely hoarded as a souvenir and a source of silver bullion, which has led to its scarcity in circulation. The highest known sale price for a 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar is a staggering $108,000 for the SMS (Special Mint Strike) variety, which boasts a sharper strike and a satin finish. Only 15 to 20 pieces of this variety are estimated to have been minted.

Kennedy Half Dollar Key Dates

  1. 1964-D/D Kennedy Half Dollar: This is a rare coin that has an “Inverted Mintmark” or repunched mintmark error. These are quite scarce and command higher prices due to the rarity.
  2. 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar: This coin is notable for its low mintage, as only 2,150,000 were produced. This was the last year 40% silver half dollars were produced for circulation. It was also only released in mint sets, adding to its rarity.
  3. 1974-D Doubled Die Obverse: This coin, struck at the Denver mint, has a unique error where the obverse design is doubled. It’s most noticeable on the words “WE TRUST,” making it a popular coin for collectors.
  4. 1982 No FG Kennedy Half Dollar: This coin features an error where the initials of the coin’s designer, Frank Gasparro, are missing from the eagle’s tail feathers on the coin’s reverse. This error was caused by excessive die polishing.
  5. 1998-S Matte Finish Kennedy Half Dollar: This coin features a special Matte finish and was only sold as part of the Robert F. Kennedy Collectors Set. The mintage for this coin was just 62,000, making it one of the rarest Kennedy Half Dollars.
  6. 1979-S and 1981-S Type II Proof Kennedy Half Dollars: These are special proof coins that have a clear “S” mint mark, unlike the filled “S” seen on Type I coins. These are quite rare and valuable.
  7. 2002-Present Kennedy Half Dollar: Beginning in 2002, Kennedy Half Dollars were no longer minted for general circulation and could only be obtained directly from the U.S. Mint in coin rolls, coin bags, or as part of annual coin sets. This has resulted in significantly lower mintage figures for these later years, increasing their scarcity and potential value.

The Significance of the Kennedy Half Dollar A. Historical Background and Significance

The Kennedy Half Dollar is more than just a coin – it is a cherished part of American history. Introduced in 1964, it was minted to honor the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, following his assassination in November 1963. The portrait of Kennedy that appears on the coin was designed by Gilroy Roberts, a renowned Chief Engraver at the United States Mint. The coin’s reverse features a modified presidential seal designed by Frank Gasparro. This coin is particularly significant as it was the last coin series for which the U.S. Mint used 90% silver.

The Impact of President Kennedy’s Assassination on the Coin’s Creation

The creation of the Kennedy Half Dollar was largely prompted by the assassination of President Kennedy. Following his death, there was an outpouring of grief and a desire to commemorate his life and legacy. As a result, Jacqueline Kennedy, his widow, agreed to the idea of replacing the Franklin Half Dollar with a coin bearing her late husband’s image. The entire process, from design approval to the start of production, was completed with unprecedented speed, taking just over a month.

The Evolution of the Coin Over the Years

Over the years, the Kennedy Half Dollar has undergone several changes, primarily in its metal composition. The 1964 issue was made of 90% silver and 10% copper, but from 1965 to 1970, the silver content was reduced to 40% in response to rising silver prices. Starting in 1971, the coin was minted in a clad composition of copper-nickel, with no silver content except for some special issues. Another significant change occurred in 2002 when the Mint ceased the general circulation of the coin due to its decreasing demand. Since then, Kennedy Half Dollars have primarily been produced for collectors.

Understanding Coin Grading and Valuation A. Explanation of Coin Grading Standards

Coin grading is a process used to determine the condition of a coin, which in turn affects its value. The primary grading scale used in the United States is the Sheldon scale, which ranges from 1 (poor) to 70 (perfect). Grades under 60 are for circulated coins, and grades 60 and above are for uncirculated coins. Factors such as wear, damage, striking quality, and luster are taken into account in coin grading.

Professional grading is crucial for high-value coins for several reasons. First, professional grading provides an unbiased, third-party assessment of a coin’s condition, which can give both buyers and sellers confidence in the coin’s value. Professional grading can also help to identify any issues with a coin that might affect its value, such as cleaning, alterations, or damage. Finally, coins that have been professionally graded are typically encapsulated in a protective holder, preserving their condition.

The demand for a particular coin plays a significant role in its pricing. If a coin is rare but there is little demand for it, it may not command a high price. Conversely, even relatively common coins can become valuable if they are highly sought after. Factors affecting demand can include the coin’s rarity, its historical significance, its condition, and trends in the coin collecting market. For example, the Kennedy Half Dollar series is popular among collectors due to its historical significance and the range of rare and error varieties it offers.

How much is a 1776-1976 half dollar worth?

The 1776-1976 Kennedy Half Dollar is a bicentennial edition issued to commemorate America’s 200th birthday. Most of these coins, produced in large quantities, are worth only their face value of 50 cents in worn condition. If uncirculated, their value may increase a bit but typically not significantly. Special silver editions were also made, which can be worth significantly more, especially in higher grades or in their original packaging.

What makes a 1971 Kennedy Half Dollar rare?

The 1971 Kennedy Half Dollar is generally not considered rare as many millions were produced. However, there are specific variants or error coins that can be more valuable. For instance, a 1971-D (Denver Mint) Kennedy Half Dollar with a double die obverse (meaning the design was accidentally stamped twice) is worth considerably more than the standard version, especially in uncirculated condition.

What makes a 1967 Kennedy Half Dollar rare?

The 1967 Kennedy Half Dollar itself is not particularly rare as it was minted in large quantities. However, it’s composed of 40% silver, which makes it more valuable than later non-silver issues. A specific error or variety, such as a double die, could add value. Furthermore, coins in particularly high grades (very little wear) can command higher prices.

Is a 1974 Kennedy Half Dollar worth anything?

A standard 1974 Kennedy Half Dollar in circulated condition is usually worth only its face value. In uncirculated condition, it might fetch a few dollars. However, the 1974-D Doubled Die Obverse variant is significantly more valuable, with the highest known sale price reaching $575. The value of such a coin would depend on its condition and grade.

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