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The Everlasting Appeal of the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar

The Kennedy half dollar holds a special place in the hearts of coin enthusiasts. Created as a tribute to the late President John F. Kennedy, this coin has become a beloved symbol of American history. But what is the 1964 Kennedy half dollar worth in today’s market?

Unveiling the Value of the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar

Let’s dive into the different variations of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar and explore what makes them unique and valuable. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear idea of how much your 1964 half dollar is worth today.

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Value Chart

Mint MarkExtremely FineAU58 UncirculatedMS62 UncirculatedMS65 Gem UncirculatedMS67 Superb Gem UncirculatedMS67+ Superb Gem Uncirculated
1964 No Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Value$11$11.50$14$40$950$5,200
1964 “D” Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Value$11$11.50$15$42$915$2,950

The Legacy of the 1964 No Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Value for No Mint Mark (P)
Image Credit: USA Coin Book

The tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy led to widespread mourning across the nation. In honor of his legacy, the U.S. Treasury decided to create a silver half dollar featuring Kennedy’s portrait. Designed by Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro, the 1964 half dollar became an iconic piece of American numismatic history.

The obverse of the 1964 half dollar showcases Kennedy’s profile, carefully crafted to emphasize his handsome features and signature smile. The rim of the coin bears the inscriptions “LIBERTY” and “1964,” while the phrase “In God We Trust” rests beneath Kennedy’s neck.

On the reverse, we find the presidential seal of JFK. An American eagle, wings spread wide, clutches an olive branch in its left talon and 13 arrows in its right. Encircling the reverse are the words “United States of America” and “Half Dollar,” with 50 stars symbolizing the 50 states.

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Minted at the Philadelphia Mint, over 273.3 million 1964 Kennedy half dollars were produced. Composed of 90% silver and 10% copper, these coins hold significant value due to their silver content alone. Remarkably, 1964 is the only year when the Kennedy half dollar was made with 90% silver.

Coin collectors were quick to hoard the first circulated 1964 (P) Kennedy half dollars, resulting in an abundance of uncirculated gems available today. Apart from their rarity and sentimental value, these coins also hold substantial worth based on their silver melt value. As of March 2023, the melt value of a Kennedy half dollar is nearly $8, ensuring that no 1964 half dollar falls below this price.

Even in their most worn and circulated state, a 1964 (P) half dollar holds a value of more than $8. In extremely fine condition, a circulated 1964 (P) half dollar can be sold for $11. At an almost-uncirculated grade of AU58, the value rises slightly to $11.50.

The value of these coins skyrockets in mint state grades. A lower-end mint grade like MS62 can fetch $13.50. However, mint errors can significantly increase their value. For example, a 1964 (P) half dollar struck on the wrong planchet can command a price of over $500.

Among all the mint grades, the 1964 (P) Kennedy half dollar is most commonly found in MS64 to MS66 conditions. In MS64 grade, the coin can sell for at least $25. At MS65, the value rises to $40. A superb gem in MS66 can reach a price of $120.

For those seeking the ultimate rarity, a coveted MS67 half dollar may be valued at a staggering $950. And in the near-perfect grade of MS67+, the price soars to an astonishing $5,200.

The Enigma of the 1964 “D” Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Value for “D” Mint Mark

The Denver Mint struck over 156 million 1964 Kennedy half dollars. If you find a tiny “D” mint mark below the eagle’s talon on the reverse, you’ll know your coin hails from Denver.

Similar to their Philadelphia counterparts, 1964 D half dollars were promptly hoarded by coin enthusiasts. These hoarded rolls spent so much time in trading bags that they acquired contact marks, even on uncirculated pieces.

Interestingly, it is the circulated coins from the Denver issue that are most challenging to find today. From good condition to about uncirculated (AU55), these coins are valued at least $11. The value increases slightly to $11.50 at AU58.

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While MS63 to MS66 grades offer a fair share of 1964 D Kennedy half dollars, higher grades like MS67 can be more difficult to obtain. In MS63 condition, a 1964 D Kennedy half dollar can fetch around $17. At MS65, the price rises to $42. Mint errors, such as a repunched mint mark, can further enhance the coin’s value. An MS65 1964 D half dollar with a repunched mint mark has been known to sell for over $180.

At the MS67 grade, a Denver-minted 1964 half dollar can be sold for nearly $1,000. In the rare and shimmering grade of MS68, the value soars to over $23,000.

The Denver issue of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar has its fair share of mint errors, including the doubled-die variety and repunched mint marks. But we’ll delve into those later!

Grading the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar

Grading coins is crucial in determining their true value. While composition and historical significance contribute to a coin’s popularity, its condition is the ultimate factor in defining its modern-day worth.

Not sure how to grade a 1964 Kennedy half dollar? Here are some key characteristics to consider when assessing the condition of circulated coins and uncirculated gems:

  • Very Fine: Heavy wear and smoothness along JFK’s jaw and cheekbone. Arrows on the reverse appear more worn and less distinct.
  • MS60 Uncirculated: Little to no wear but may exhibit blemishes and contact marks. Small abrasions may be present on high points, such as JFK’s cheeks and neck.
  • MS65 Choice Uncirculated: Excellent eye appeal with only two or three contact marks. The coin’s luster remains intact, appearing untouched.

If you’re new to coin grading, a detailed guide on grading a Kennedy half dollar can be immensely helpful.

Unlocking the Extraordinary Rarity of the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar

The 1964 Kennedy half dollar is already highly valuable due to its silver content and historical significance. However, what adds even more value to these treasured coins are rare mint errors.

Curious about the mint errors that increase the worth of your coins? Let’s explore some of them:

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Quadruple Die Obverse Error

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Quadruple Die Obverse Error
Image Credit: eBay

The 1964 Kennedy half dollar is known for having various doubled die obverse (DDO) errors. However, it also boasts an exceptionally unique quadruple die obverse (QDO) error. Unlike the usual double image, the QDO error showcases the same letters or numbers struck four times on a single coin.

One remarkable example is an MS66 1964 D Kennedy half dollar. The quadrupling is most evident in certain letters, particularly the “U” in “Trust.” This rare error propelled the coin’s value to over $880.

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1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Repunched Mint Mark Error

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Repunched Mint Mark Error

A common error found among 1964 Kennedy half dollars is the repunched mint mark, exclusive to the Denver issue. The Philadelphia-minted half dollars lack a mint mark.

A repunched mint mark occurs when the die stamps two different impressions of the letter “D” on a single coin. This error can result from the die bouncing back a second time onto the planchet or correcting an initial misaligned punch.

One MS65 Denver-minted 1964 Kennedy half dollar with a repunched mint mark sold for almost $200 in 2016. At a higher grade like MS66, this error can increase the coin’s value to approximately $800.

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Struck on 25-Cent Planchet Error

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Struck on 25-Cent Planchet Error
Image Credit: Heritage Auctions

Another intriguing error discovered in 1964 Kennedy half dollars involves being struck on a 25-cent planchet. One such coin, an MS64 1964 (P) half dollar, sold for $1,320. This price is over fifty times the value of a regular MS64 coin, which typically sells for $25.

A Kennedy half dollar struck on a 25-cent planchet exhibits noticeable differences in size. As a result, the design elements on the coin do not fit properly. On the obverse, the upper rim cuts off at the top of JFK’s head, while the bottom only reveals the upper halves of the numerals 1, 9, 6, and 4.

This error was also found in an MS62 half dollar, which surprisingly sold for over $4,000 in 2020. Its golden toning, precise strike, and clear date contributed to its enhanced value.

Satisfying Curiosities: 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar FAQs

What makes a 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar rare?

A 1964 Kennedy half dollar is rare for two reasons. Firstly, it is the only year when the Kennedy half dollar contained 90% silver, making it the most valuable coin in terms of melt value within the series. Secondly, it was the inaugural year of the Kennedy half dollar, leading collectors to hoard these coins and resulting in their scarcity today.

Are all 1964 Kennedy half dollars silver?

Yes, all 1964 Kennedy half dollars are silver. The 1964 issue stands out as the only year within the Kennedy half dollar series to boast a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper. Subsequently, the silver content was reduced to a silver-clad copper composition (60% copper and 40% silver) in subsequent years.

How can you tell if a 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar is silver?

To determine whether your Kennedy half dollar is composed of silver or a silver-clad copper alloy, examine its edge. If you observe a faint copper line along the coin’s edge, it signifies a silver-clad copper Kennedy half dollar minted from 1965 onwards.

Can I sell Kennedy half dollars?

Absolutely! Selling Kennedy half dollars, particularly those minted in 1964, can be a wise decision. Their 90% silver composition ensures inherent value. Engaging in the search for rare and valuable Kennedy half dollars can prove rewarding when it comes time to sell.

The 1964 Kennedy half dollar exudes an everlasting appeal that captures the imagination of countless collectors. With its rich history, remarkable value, and intriguing mint errors, this coin continues to shine as a cherished piece of American numismatic heritage.

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