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The 1972 D Kennedy Half Dollar: A Guide to Errors and Mintages

Introduction

In 1972, the United States Mint released the Kennedy Half Dollar, marking only the second year that these coins were minted without any silver content. While these coins are not valuable for their silver content, they are still worth exploring for their unique errors and mintages. In this article, we will delve into the various errors that can be found in the 1972 Half Dollar and discuss its mintages.

Errors in the 1972 Half Dollar

1. Struck on the Wrong Planchet

One of the notable errors in the 1972 Half Dollar is being struck on the wrong planchet. This error occurred due to the Mint using incorrect planchets for this year’s production. For instance, there are instances of 1972 S Half Dollars struck on cent planchets, resulting in a coin with a large portion missing and a red or orange color. Similarly, both 1972 D and S Half Dollars were mistakenly struck on 5C (nickel) planchets, leading to a portion of the coin missing due to the smaller size of the planchet.

2. Struck on 25C (Quarter) Planchet

Another fascinating error is the 1972 D Half Dollar struck on a 25C (quarter) planchet. This error gives the impression of a misalignment, as the die struck only a portion of the planchet. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that the error occurred because the die struck a quarter planchet instead of a half dollar planchet. It is easy to overlook this error, as the weight of the coin is consistent with a regular post-1964 quarter.

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3. Missing Clad Layer

The 1972 Half Dollar with missing clad layer is another intriguing error to watch out for. These coins may resemble those struck on penny planchets, as the center of the coin is made of a similar material. However, the main difference lies in the outermost portion of the planchet, called the clad layer. While the coin struck on a penny planchet will have missing lettering and rim, the missing clad layer error will have all its lettering and rim intact.

4. More Common Half Dollar Errors

Apart from the aforementioned errors, there are a few more common errors that can be found in the 1972 Half Dollar. These include:

  • DDO / DDR Half Dollar: This error occurs when the planchet is struck more than once on the same face by the die, resulting in a double die error. DDO represents the front, while DDR represents the reverse.
  • Clipped Planchet 50C: When a round die clips the edge of a coin, it creates a cookie-cutter appearance on the edge, causing a portion of the half dollar in the shape of a crescent to be missing.
  • Off Center Strike: This error occurs when the die strikes an improperly seated planchet off-center. The degree of off-center can range from 5% to 95%, and the more off-center the strike, the more blank planchet will remain.

Mintages

In 1972, the United States Mint faced some challenges during the transition from 40% silver content to a new blend of 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel. This change necessitated the creation of new planchets, resulting in several instances of Half Dollars from 1971 and 1972 being struck on the wrong planchet.

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For a more comprehensive guide on the 1972 Half Dollar errors, refer to the image below:

1972 Half Dollar Error Guide

Conclusion

The 1972 D Kennedy Half Dollar offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of coin errors. From being struck on the wrong planchets to experiencing double die errors and off-center strikes, these coins showcase the intricate craftsmanship and occasional anomalies of the Minting process. If you come across a 1972 Half Dollar, keep an eye out for these errors, as they can add uniqueness and value to your collection.

Remember, collecting coins is not just about their value but also about appreciating the artistry and history behind each piece. So, happy hunting and may your numismatic journey be filled with intriguing discoveries!

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