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What You Need to Know About the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar

In 2019, the rare 1964 JFK half dollar sold at auction for an amazing $ 108,000. It was the first base time a Kennedy fifty-cent coin sold for over six figures. But what made that particular half-dollar so valuable ? And, if you could add a half-dollar to your collection, would it be worth a lot someday ? The 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar is a slice of United States currentness with a unique, building complex history. This history is partially of what shapes therefore much concern in the coin. John F. Kennedy was the thirty-fifth President of the United States. Kennedy ‘s memorable presidency and tragic death make him an all-important depart of american history.

The history of the coin created in his honor was equally storied. Below, we look at the history of the 1964 John of Kennedy half-dollar coin and the coin itself. What is the coin made of ? And how valuable is it nowadays ?

1963 Peace Tour

In John F. Kennedy ‘s inauguration address, he gave his most celebrated quotation : “ Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your state. ” He valued answers that made countries capital, like space exploration, and focused on peace over war. In 1963, President Kennedy went on a peace tour of Europe. In preparation for this enlistment, he ordered the creation of 300 appreciation medals. He distributed these medals to honor peace-making leaders across Europe, including easterly european leaders. He besides honored leaders of native american tribes .

Presidential Medal Design

These medals were finally called the Presidental Medals. Gilroy Roberts was a sculptor and engraver. He was predominantly creditworthy for the look of the medals. In particular, he took great worry to get a accurate likeness of President Kennedy ‘s profile on the boldness of the decoration. reportedly, tied though Kennedy approved of Roberts ‘ initial draft of the design, Roberts redrafted the visibility based on his observations of Kennedy in meetings in an attempt to perfect it .

The Assassination of President John F Kennedy

On November 2nd, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The JFK assassination was a pivotal moment in United States history. To this day, Americans who were alert in 1963 remember where they were when they heard the news. Investigators charged Lee Harvey Oswald with the murder. however, before he could stand test, Jack Ruby, a cabaret owner, killed Oswald while being transferred. This second gear mangle sparked many conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK character assassination. Most Americans sought ways to mourn and commemorate Kennedy during the disruptive time .

Creating the Kennedy Half Dollar

soon after Kennedy ‘s assassination, the U.S. Mint began work on the JFK half dollar. US Mint Director Eva Adams wanted to design a mint that would both honor Kennedy and be easy to use indeed that Kennedy would maintain a space in day by day american english liveliness. Adams consulted with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, President Kennedy ‘s widow, about the commemorative mint. Onassis suggested a half dollar mint quite than a quarter dollar. however, the quarter dollar coin featured the visibility of George Washington, and Onassis did n’t want to replace it. After getting Onassis ‘s approval, Adams brought on two established artists to create the silver Kennedy half-dollar. Gilroy Roberts would design the mint ‘s obverse slope, and Frank Gasparro would design the change by reversal side .

Engravers and Artists

Mint Director Eva Adams selected Gilroy Roberts because he was the headman Engraver at the Mint. He besides had previous feel depicting Kennedy. In accession, Roberts was creditworthy for the bust profile of Kennedy on the Presidential Medal. Gilroy Roberts Roberts was a meticulous artist. Since he ‘d already refined the Kennedy profile for the 1962 decoration, he chose to adapt for the new coin. While some other leaders at the Mint suggested a half-body prototype of Kennedy for the coin, Roberts stuck with the burst. He just did n’t have fourth dimension to create an entirely fresh engraving for the half dollar. Frank Gasparro Frank Gasparro designed the reverse side of the one-half dollar. Gasparro was the Assistant Engraver at the U.S. Mint in 1964. He was promoted to Chief Engraver in 1965. Gasparro was a laud artist. He graduated from The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and apprenticed under the sculptor Giuseppe Donato. After creating the 1964 silver Kennedy half dollar, Gasparro would design the reverse side of the 1958 cent and both sides of the Susan B. Anthony dollar. Frank Gasparro created the master design for the turn back slope of the Presidential Medal. Like Roberts, he chose to modify his design for the one-half dollar coin. His eagle emblem became the reverse side of the Kennedy one-half dollar .

Jacqueline Kennedy’s Revision

Roberts and Gasparro finalized their designs. then, they sent them to the U.S. Mint, which created 100,000 validation coins. The Mint besides made twelve particular Mint Sets ( SMS ) that year, specifically for memorial. When Jackie Kennedy reviewed the proof of the silver half dollar, she was by and large meet. however, she did n’t like the way Roberts accented her die conserve ‘s hair. Kennedy suggested that Roberts alter the design so that JFK ‘s hair seemed more subtly tousled. Roberts took the review to kernel and revised the profile. so, the mass-produce adaptation of the 1964 half dollar did not have accented hair’s-breadth .

Popular With Americans and Abroad

The 1964 silver Kennedy half dollar was wildly popular. demand was sky-high. even though the U.S. Mint predicted the coin ‘s popularity, they did not initially strike adequate coins to meet the demand. Banks limited the number of coins an individual could get. At first, they only allowed a person to take out forty Kennedy half dollars. so far, even with this limitation, the Washington Treasury Department sold out all of their allotted 70,000 coins on the first day. The U.S. Treasury Department in the first place planned to mint 91 million half dollars in 1964. alternatively, they raised the number to 141 million. ultimately, they minted 430 million Kennedy one-half dollars to meet demand in 1964 .

Africa and Europe

The 1964 Kennedy one-half dollar was popular in african countries. Europeans besides sought out the Kennedy half dollar. region of this was an act of commemoration. Kennedy had a repute as a peace-maker. so, his vision and tragic death moved people worldwide. That said, U.S. Ambassadors afield besides distributed the Kennedy half dollar in 1964. It was a way to encourage estimable associations with the United States .

Brief Controversy

Some Americans complained to the Denver Mint about the appearance of the one-half dollar. They believed that a little aspect of the engraving on the obverse side was a hammer and sickle. This symbol contributed to some soviet Union-related conspiracy theories. however, Gilroy Roberts explained that the “ symbol ” was his initials. The conventionalized “ R ” for Roberts could look like a sickle. He signed the engraving but kept his initials modest. That way, his touch would n’t distract from the profile. unfortunately, the humble print led to confusion .

1964 Coin Shortage

There was a general mint dearth in 1964. The U.S. Treasury discovered that many coins were n’t circulating. This created problems for shopkeepers who needed change. It besides created problems for people using vending machines. In the 1960s, Meilkien vending machines could sell beverages for the first prison term. These coin-based machines became increasingly popular. thus, the coin deficit frustrated the public. The drought besides hindered the sale of cheap goods. The U.S. Treasury was particularly frustrated by the low circulation pace of the 1964 eloquent Kennedy half dollar. share of the problem was the Treasury ‘s 1961 announcement that the silver medal reserves were being depleted. The Treasury believed this was due to the high requirement for coins. This led the populace to become fearful of a silver deficit. As a consequence, people hesitated to spend any flatware coins they had. The U.S. Treasury besides blamed collectors and numismatists for the low circulation rate. The Treasury alleged that dealers were hoarding the coins to inflate the prices artificially. As a resultant role, the U.S. Mint chose to strike some Kennedy one-half dollars in 1965 using the 1964 fail. They besides increased coin production in 1964. Despite this, people still frequently sought out the 1964 silver Kennedy half dollar and chose not to spend it .

Coin Act of 1965

ultimately, Congress passed the Coin Act of 1965 to address the coin dearth. This dissemble made it unlawful to melt coins. It besides enabled the Mint to redesign democratic coins without silver. The Mint could besides re-create coins with a lower silver composing. As a result, dimes and quarters minted after 1965 did not contain any eloquent. Kennedy half dollars were minted with well less silver after the Coin Act than they were in 1964. finally, the Coin Act of 1965 limited how much the U.S. Mint could redesign a mint. The aim was to reduce the hazard that people would hoard coins. People did n’t circulate coins when they feared that a particular coin would entirely be minted for a brusque clock time .

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Composition

What was the 1964 silver medal Kennedy half dollar content in terms of metals ? The U.S. Mint comprised the original 1964 Kennedy half dollar with 90 % silver and 10 % bull. When it became clear that the coin was n’t circulating wide, the U.S. Mint wondered if the eminent degree of silver was the cause. In later half-dollar productions, the U.S. Mint reduced the mint ‘s silver capacity. sol, after 1965, Kennedy half-dollars were only 40 % silver. But, decreasing the percentage of silver in the mint did not increase circulation. rather, the subsequent Kennedy half-dollars were precisely arsenic popular as before, and people continued to hesitate to spend them. finally, the U.S. Mint recreated the coin wholly out of establish metals. even the cheaper-to-produce adaptation did n’t circulate angstrom much as they ‘d hoped. As a consequence, the U.S. Mint finally stopped printing Kennedy half-dollars for circulation in 1987 .

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Current Valuation

Most 1964 Kennedy half dollar coins are n’t that rare since the U.S. Treasury intended the coins for general circulation. The U.S. Mint struck 277 million Kennedy half dollars. still, 1964 Kennedy half-dollars were unusual among coins because each one included so much silver. The silver coin respect is higher than other metals. beyond that, the sentimental respect of the coins led many people to keep their half dollars quite than spend them. then, even reasonably typical 1964 Kennedy half-dollars are worth more than fifty dollar bill cents today. Like most coins, 1964 Kennedy half dollar uncirculated variants are worth more. They are more probable to be near mint condition. That said, the highest-value 1964 JFK half-dollar coins were unusual in some manner. Some rare varieties stem from a double-strike error. The U.S. Mint created others entirely for particular mint sets. rare variations aside, let ‘s unpack the distinctive value of a 1964 silver Kennedy half-dollar.

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Average Range

The average 1964 silver Kennedy half-dollar has an estimated value ranging from $ 10.95 to $ 21. This compass is for half-dollars rated MS60 to MS65. The higher the mint state rating ( MS ), the better condition the mint is in. To determine a given JFK half dollar value, get your coin ‘s discipline evaluated by a professional .

High-End Range

1964 Kennedy half-dollar coins rated MS66 to MS68, or higher have a higher evaluation. These coins have sold for $ 85 to $ 700 at auction. It ‘s rare to find a 1964 Kennedy half-dollar rated MS67 or higher. The pCGS has only granted that military rank to 110 silver medal Kennedy half dollars .

Lowest Valuation

flush a low-quality “ pouch change ” translation of the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar is worth something. You can reliably sell a highly circulate translation of this coin for $ 10-11. This is slightly above the raw value of the silver in the mint, which would be worth $ 9.61 if you melted it down .

Most Recent Auction

Dealers held the most late auction to sell a 1964 Kennedy half dollar in May 2021. Evaluators rated the coin MS65. It sold for $ 55 .

Variants and Rarities

Beyond the typical range of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar value, there are variants and rarities. The U.S. Mint created some of these variants specifically for collectors. Others, though, were accidents. As always, the value of a given rare variant coin will change depending on the mint state of that coin in finical. so, if a mint is in inadequate condition, even if it ‘s rare, it wo n’t go for american samoa much at auction .

Minting Errors

In many cases, rare coins are the leave of a mint error. There are a few categories of minting errors :

  • planchet errors
  • hub or die errors
  • strike errors

These three types of minting errors create unusual coins. If you understand them, you can be on the lookout for coins with these errors. This includes JFK half dollar coins with errors. Planchet Minters cause planchet errors when there ‘s some trouble with the alloy sheets. Planchets are long strips of metallic element that minters feed into a minting press—the imperativeness prints coins from these sheets. If the alloy is faint, damaged, or loaded incorrectly, the resulting coins will have noticeable irregularities. Hub and Die Issues with the engraved rods that stamp the prototype onto a coin induce hub and die errors. If the rod is misaligned, damaged, or deteriorated, it wo n’t press the picture onto a coin precisely. The rod itself is the hub. The die is a vomit that connects to the mint on the opposite side. A celebrated hub and die error is a “ doubling die ” erroneousness. This is when a hub stamps an picture onto a single coin doubly. This creates duplicate elements. misalignment can besides cause “ overdate ” ( OD ) and “ over-mintmark ” ( OMM ) errors. These errors cause a coin to bear more than one date or mintmark. Strike strike errors are ascribable to a malfunction in the mint machinery. These are the most common types of errors. Some of the rare variants of the Kennedy half-dollar have minting errors. Others are simply restrict print runs before a design rewrite .

1964-D DDO

The 1964-D DDO Kennedy half-dollar is a valuable discrepancy. Its alone choice is the result of a “ duplicate die obverse ” error. This means a hub hit the face of the coin doubly. The most noticeable difference between the 1964-D DDO Kennedy half-dollar and the typical silver half-dollar is the slightly visible rejoinder of the date. Value Range typically, 1964-D DDO versions of the Kennedy half-dollar have sold for auction prices between $ 75 and $ 552. These coins ranged from MS63 to MS66 condition. Highest Value The highest respect 1964-D DDO Kennedy half-dollar sold for $ 2000 at auction. Professional coin graders rated this mint MS67 .

1964 Accented Hair Proof

The “ stress hair ” proofread is another valuable version of the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar. Unlike the 1964-D DDO variant, this adaptation of the mint was actually the master, mean interpretation. When Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts foremost designed the Kennedy half-dollar, he highlighted and shaded parts of Kennedy ‘s profile with accent marks. many of these emphasis marks made it into the final design. revision Request however, upon seeing the initial proof, Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis ( President Kennedy ‘s widow ) suggested JFK ‘s hair be more elusive. so, Roberts made rebuff alterations to the design. As a result, the mass-produced Kennedy half-dollars did not have accented hair. however, by the fourth dimension Roberts implemented the changes, about 100,000 proof coins were already minted with the original “ stress hair ” design. The initial run of proof totaled over 4 million coins. This makes the tonic hair proofs relatively rare. entirely 1/40 Kennedy half-dollar proofs have a interpretation of Kennedy ‘s profile with stress haircloth. Value Range In 2021, 1964 Kennedy Half-Dollar Accented Hair Proof coins sold at auction for between $ 94 and $ 4,551. That said, the highly-rated mint state editions of this mint have garnered five-figure valuations not infrequently. For model, an MS68 Accented Hair Proof sold for $ 11,000 in 2009. A unlike MS68 Proof went for $ 13,200 in 2019. Highest Value The highest measure accented haircloth proof half-dollar sold for $ 108,000. however, it was not only rare due to the stress hair plan. That coin was besides from a 1964 especial Mint Set ( SMS ) edition of the half-dollar. Read on to learn about the SMS variant .

1964 SMS (Special Mint Set) Half-Dollar

The 1964 SMS were extra mint sets of two Kennedy half dollar coins. The U.S. Mint only made twelve of these sets all in all. The U.S. Mint enclosed the coins in the special mint sets within a protective encase. The coins themselves have a satin-like complete. They have no reach marks. rather, the U.S. Mint pressed the coins with a potent hit and a “ dangle 4. ” This raindrop-shaped indicator beneath the “ 4 ” in “ 1964 ” shows the rare half-dollar ‘s true birthplace. Value Range Because the U.S. Mint only made twelve of the SMS Kennedy half-dollars, they are fabulously rare. These coins much break auction records. In the by ten-spot years, the value rate for 1964 SMS Kennedy half-dollars starts at $ 6,037 and gets adenine high as $ 151,000. It is distinctive for SMS half-dollars to sell for five figures. Highest Value The highest value SMS Kennedy half-dollar sold for $ 108,000. This was the record-breaking half-dollar mentioned in the introduction. Both the buyer and seller at that auction wished to remain anonymous. cipher knows when an SMS half-dollar will be up for auction again .

Other Kennedy Half-Dollar Coins

sporadically, the United States Mint has designed modern Kennedy half-dollar coins for historical anniversaries. The Mint released some of these coins to the general public and others in special mint sets entirely to numismatists. The U.S. Mint continued to mass-produce Kennedy half-dollar coins for general circulation until 1987. low circulation rates prompted the Mint to discontinue production. From 1965-1987, the Kennedy half-dollars were not minted in 90 % flatware. alternatively, these coins were merely 40 % silver. In 1971, the U.S. Mint redesigned one-half dollars with a base alloy writing .


For the bicentennial, the mint issued Kennedy half dollars with fresh revoke designs. Artist Seth G. Huntington won a design rival. His engrave of Independence Hall replaced Frank Gasparro ‘s eagle emblem on the change by reversal side .

1998-S Matte Finish (SMS) Kennedy Half Dollar

The U.S. Mint created 62,000 Kennedy half-dollars for their 1998 special Mint Set ( SMS ). They struck these coins in eloquent. The U.S. Mint sold the half dollars in sets of two directly to collectors. They sold the original sets for $ 59.99. nowadays, 1998-S Matte Finish ( SMS ) Kennedy half-dollars have an estimated value range of $ 94 to $ 264 .

2014-W Gold Kennedy Half-Dollar

In 2014, the Mint worked with a private firm to create a special version of the Kennedy half-dollar. These coins are the lone Kennedy half-dollars minted on a gold planchet. They have Gasparro ‘s eagle emblem on the revoke side. These aureate coins typically sell for about $ 1,400 at auction today.

Surprising Coin Histories and Values

The 1964 Kennedy half dollar is n’t the lone coin with a surprising history or valuation. The long history of United States currency has batch of unexpected twists. The 1964 Kennedy half dollar mint is an excellent addition to any collection. Whether you ‘re a novice numismatist or an technical, there are many pristine half dollars on the market. Compare ratings and explore the best options for your solicitation. Why not create an report and build your collection nowadays ?

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