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Collecting Kennedy Half Dollars

Updated on April 17, 2016

Quick Discussion on the Kennedy Half Dollar

Collecting Kennedy Half Dollars for the Beginner

Collecting Kennedy half dollars can be a great place for a beginner collector to start and challenging for an experienced collector as well.

Kennedy half dollars are great for a beginner because most of the coins can be found in circulation and locating them can still be challenging, yet fun.

Here is a fun and exciting way to start collecting Kennedy halves with just a little bit of money. To start, simply visit banks in your area and ask the teller if they have any half dollars. If they have any loose halves, ask to see them and you can pick out a few that you want. Sometimes the bank may even have a few rolls of halves in the vault.

You can buy as many rolls as you can afford to take home and sort through. This is often where you may find some hidden treasures. It is not uncommon to find Kennedy halves from 1965 to 1969, which are comprised of 40% silver. The silver content in these coins alone are worth many times more than the face value of the coin. This can prove to be quite lucrative.

However, it is not all that uncommon to find a 1964 Kennedy half which is 90% silver or even a Franklin half every now and then. You could even be lucky enough to find a Walking Liberty half. Sometimes, you may even find proof halves.

It is these hidden treasures that make collecting Kennedy halves exciting. The best part is, you’ll only have invested the face value of the coin. The remaining coins that you don’t want, you can simply roll back up and redeposit into the bank.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of coins in the series that are very unlikely to be found by searching rolls. The key coin in the Kennedy set is the 1970-D, which is 40% silver and was only released in mint sets. The good news is that it is still relatively inexpensive to purchase, especially to be a key coin in a collection. The 1970-D Kennedy half is valued at around $35 to $40 in MS65.

Another coin in the series that will be difficult to find in rolls is the 1987 Kennedy halves. These coins were not made for circulation but only for inclusion in the mint sets. The good news is that there was a high production number of mint sets in 1987 and the P and D mintmarks can be purchased individually for less than $15 each.

With some patience, and a little luck, you can put together a nice collection of Kennedy halves at face value, and even make a little money in the process!

Kennedy Half Dollar

Kennedy Half Obverse
Kennedy Half Obverse
Kennedy Half Reverse
Kennedy Half Reverse

Kennedy Half Dollars for the Advanced Collector

The Kennedy half dollar is a great coin for beginners to collect, but it can be equally rewarding for the advanced collector as well.

Putting together a complete collection of Kennedy halves is not too challenging as that many of the coins can be found in circulation with the exception of a couple of coins. The 1970-D is 40% silver and was only produced for inclusion in mint sets. It is considered the key coin in the series but can purchased in MS65 for around $35 to $40. The 1987 series was also only created for inclusion in mint sets as well. Both the P and D mintmarks can be purchased for less than $15 each.

Despite the relative ease of putting together a complete collection of Kennedy halves, the challenge can be to put together a quality set of coins graded at MS66 or higher. There are also a number of varieties in the set that can be equally challenging to find.

Finding Kennedy halves in higher grades can be difficult as the series is notorious for weak strikes. Many of the coins in higher grades demand a premium.

A variety of the 1964 proof coin is known as the Accented Hair. These coins were produced early in the production before a few changes were made to the design. It is believed that were about 40,000 to 120,000 of these produced. Finding these coins in higher grades is even more difficult. An Accented Hair in MS67 can range from $1200 to $2800. Finding the Accented Hair in higher grades in Cameo and Ultra Cameo is even harder. An Accented Hair graded Proof 68 Ultra Cameo can command up to $5000. Compare this to a regular Kennedy half graded Proof 69 Ultra Cameo that can command prices up to $3600.

Another coin in the series that can command a premium is the 1998-S Matte Proof Kennedy half dollar. This coin was only released in a two-coin set that originally sold for $59.95 and has relatively low mintages at around 62,000. Since the coin was only sold in the set and great care was taken in their production, the coins often grade 69 and 70 in MS and SP. This coin can command premiums of $300 to $400 or more.

There is also a variety of the 1982-P that has no FG on the reverse that is hard to find. It is relatively inexpensive but commands around $60 in MS66.

There are also a large number of proof coins and silver proof coins in the series. If you include these into your collection, it can be quite challenging to put together a complete collection of Kennedy halves.

So, whether you’re a beginner or advanced collector, the Kennedy half dollar can be a fun, exciting, and challenging series to collect.

1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar
1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar


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