Kennedy half dollars hit circulation in 1964. The was simply months after ~ President john F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

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The coins were saved by the millions top top their release by a mourning public. The Kennedy half dollar remains among the many widely well-known and accumulated coins around.


Image: USA CoinBook

There is no well-known mintage because that the 1964 greatly Accented Hair half dollar. However, it’s approximated that less than 5% of the whole proof mintage is that this early on variety. That a full mintage of 3,950,762 pieces, 5% is approximately 197,500 pieces.

1966 SMS No FG

The United says Mint end making proof sets and also uncirculated to adjust in the mid-1960s. In your place, it available collectors a distinctive form of coin product. Struck on polished dies and also planchets, this coins possessed a finish superior to traditional uncirculated coins.

These distinct Mint Sets were struck indigenous 1965 v 1967, yielding a few interesting varieties. This had the 1966 SMS Kennedy fifty percent dollar missing the "FG" initials of designer open minded Gasparro. The initials are claimed to appear under the eagle"s left thigh on the lower-right quadrant of the reverse design. Numerous other days in the Kennedy series also exhibition this variety. It mirrors absolutely no map of the "FG" initials—inadvertently removed throughout die polishing.

1966 SMS Doubled dice Obverse

Another 1966 SMS fifty percent dollar variety is this piece, which shows doubling in the native “IN GOD us TRUST” and throughout much that Kennedy’s profile.


The last of the original-period 40% silver Kennedy fifty percent dollars. This piece was issued just in uncirculated sets. It is among the scarcest of the regular-issue, circulation-era strikes. Just 2,150,000 were produced.

(We"ve mentioned 40% silver coins a few times therefore far. You can read more about exactly how these coins have the right to be tricky, or shop for 40% silver- at Gainesville Coins.)

1972-D No FG

Perhaps the rarest that the no-FG Kennedy half dollars. This 1972-D concern is highly sought ~ among selection collectors.

Be wary as soon as buying no-FG half dollars. They should additionally show part strike weakness in other areas of the reverse, specifically in the feather details around the eagle"s left leg.

1974-D Doubled die Obverse


Image: USA CoinBook

The most far-reaching doubled dice of the Kennedy half dollar collection is the 1974-D obverse double die. That exhibits copy most heavily in the motto IN GOD us TRUST. A an exact mintage figure for this piece is unknown but perhaps a couple of thousand examples exist.

1979-S form II Proof

Significant changes were made come the “S” mintmark on proof 1979 Kennedy fifty percent dollars. This caused two ranges for the year—a blobby looking “S” mintmark (Type i mintmark) and a more refined “S” through sharper details (Type II).


Image: USA CoinBook

The form II is much less usual than the type I, representing possibly 15 to 20% the the entire proof mintage because that the year. That"s roughly a full of 550,000 that the 3,677,175 proof halves made in 1979.

1981-S type II Proof

A couple years after ~ the 1979-S mintmark was changed, along came much more modifications to the “S” mintmark in 1981. This time, the form II “S” mintmark supplied in 1979 was being replaced and also served together the type I “S” mintmark for 1981.


Image: USA CoinBook

A lot clearer “S” mintmark with bulbous serifs is the kind II here. It"s lot scarcer 보다 the 1981-S form I, through perhaps only 10 to 15% the the 1981-S proofs represented by the type II mintmark. That"s around 500,000 the the 4,063,083 proof half dollars do in 1981.

1982-P No FG

Another significant entry amongst the no-FG Kennedy half dollars. This variety is fairly popular and widely collected by collection enthusiasts. It’s also much an ext common than the 1966 SMS and also 1972-D no-FG pieces.

1998-S silver Matte Finish

This one-of-a-kind 1998-S proof half dollar was contained in the two-coin Kennedy Collector’s Set, which likewise contains a 1998-S Robert F. Kennedy commemorative silver dollar.

Only 62,000 examples of the 1998-S matte proof fifty percent dollar were made. Thus much that is the lowest-mintage non-variety Kennedy half dollar in the series.

2014-W 50th Anniversary Gold

While not normally consisted of in a usual run that Kennedy half dollars, this three-quarter oz 24 karat gold Kennedy half dollar commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Kennedy half dollar in 1964. It was struck at the West suggest Mint come the track of 73,772 pieces. Its worth is largely dependent ~ above the prevailing winds the the yellow bullion market.

Collecting Kennedy half Dollars

The Kennedy half dollar series doesn"t only appeal to collectors of contemporary coins. It also attracts those that admire man F. Kennedy and the nostalgic “Camelot” period marked by JFK’s tenure in the White home from 1961 v 1963.

While the collection lacks any kind of major key dates or pricey rarities, that is however a huge draw for collectors of high-end coins. Plenty of of the business-strike issues are conditional rarities in grades above MS-66 and especially past MS-67.

A complete, simple date-and-mintmark set of service strikes and also proofs have the right to be developed for less than $2,000. Include varieties and other inexplicable offerings, including the 2014-W gold half dollar, and also the price have the right to quickly technique $7,500 or more.

Those that wish to construct a collection in the highest-known grades can conveniently run their prices into the high five figures. In various other words, the sky’s the limit with how challenging one can make the Kennedy fifty percent dollar series.

Given the particularly popularity and also versatility that the Kennedy half dollar series, there are plenty of alternatives for collectors who wish to go after this set. Completing a repertoire of Kennedy half dollars uses exciting opportunities for everyone. It"s additionally within the financial with of most collectors. Yet the myriad avenues for progressed collectors to customize their sets and include premium-quality examples and unusual ranges offer obstacles to also the most progressed numismatists.

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Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez is a journalist, editor, and also blogger who has actually won lot of awards from the Numismatic literature Guild. The has additionally authored numerous books, including works profiling the history of the United states Mint and United says coinage.