13 Most Valuable Kennedy Half Dollar

Are you considering adding Kennedy half dollars to your coin collection?

Do you have an uncirculated half-dollar that could be worth some good money?

You have come to the right place!

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the most valuable Kennedy half dollar. As you will discover, Kennedy fifty cent coins are quite common and inexpensive, but some can be worth a fortune depending on key dates and the coin’s condition.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

History of The Kennedy Half Dollar

The United States Mint first minted the Kennedy half dollar in 1964, a few months after the assassination of the beloved president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The Kennedy half dollar, which replaced the Benjamin Franklin half dollar, was made from 90% silver and 10% copper.

However, this metal composition changed from 1965 to 1970, with the Mint striking coins made from a 79% copper core and an outer layer of 80% silver and 20% copper. The metal changes resulted from the copper shortage experienced at the time.

From 1971, all half dollars comprised 75% copper and 25% copper, with an inner core made from pure copper.

The coin’s design has remained the same from the first time it was struck in 1964. The obverse features President Kennedy’s left-facing portrait, while on the reverse, you will find the heraldic eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and a bunch of arrows in the other to symbolize independence.

The San Francisco, Denver and Philadelphia minting facilities minted the Kennedy half dollars. In 1964 alone, an estimated 156,205,446 half dollars were struck. From 2002 onwards, the Mint slowed down the production of these coins and only struck Kennedy dollars for collectors, which anyone could buy for face value.

At the start of 1992, the Mint struck a special Kennedy Half dollar proof containing 90% silver for collectors. In 1998, the half dollars containing 90% silver were released as matte and brilliant proof.

The most notable variety of the Kennedy dollar is the Accented Hair struck in 1964. Kennedy’s hair is deeply defined on these initial coins, but Jacqueline Kennedy, the president’s widow, did not like the design, requiring the Mint to make the hair appear softer. The Mint made the necessary changes, but a certain number of proof coins had already been struck

In 2022, after over two decades, the Federal Reserve ordered the Mint to produce more Kennedy coins for circulation. So, today you can easily acquire modern Kennedy half dollars. That said, the most valuable are silver Kennedy half dollars struck from 1964 to 1970.

Let’s now take a deeper look at Kennedy half dollars that are worth money.

Most Valuable Kennedy Half Dollar Worth Money

1. 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Special Strike

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Special Strike

The 1964 Special Strike Kennedy half dollar is the rarest, non-error example in the series. This coin has unique qualities that distinguish it from other coins struck in the same year.

You will tell a 1964 special strike half dollar by its satiny finish, sharp obverse, and reverse design details. The rims are also exceptionally sharp and well-grounded.

These special coins typically won’t have contact marks, indicating that they were carefully minted and preserved to retain their special status. Unlike proof coins, the Kennedy half-dollar special strike has a matte finish, with the only visible marks being die-polishing lines.

To date, the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has certified only a dozen special strike Kennedy half dollars from 1964, highlighting that this is the rarest of all special strike coins struck in 1964.

The most expensive 1964 Kennedy half-dollar special strike was graded SP68 and auctioned for $156,000 at a Stack’s Bowers auction.

2. 1968 Kennedy Half-Dollar Proof

1968 Kennedy Half-Dollar Proof

The Mint began striking proof Kennedy half dollars in 1968, with these coins displaying the mint mark S to indicate their San Francisco origin. Before then, the Mint had only struck proofs in 1964, and these were produced at the Philadelphia facility.

The 1968 Kennedy half-dollar proofs are of superior quality compared to the ones struck in 1964. As such, many of the available examples can be found in higher grades. Cameos are readily available, but deep cameos are increasingly rare and difficult to find.

A super rare deep cameo specimen graded PF70 was sold for $21,600 in a 2017 Heritage auction.

3. 1964 Kennedy Half-Dollar Proof

1964 Kennedy Half-Dollar Proof

The 1964 proof was the first in the Kennedy half-dollar series. This collectors’ coin was struck in Philadelphia, and the finish is noticeably inferior.

Cameo and deep cameo examples are extremely rare, but proofs graded PF68 and lower are generally easier to find. As expected, cameo and deep cameo examples can be very expensive.

One exceptional example of a 1964 Kennedy half-dollar proof was graded PF70 and sold for $9,400.

4. 1964 Accented Hair Kennedy Half Dollar

1964 Accented Hair Kennedy Half Dollar

The Accented Hair is the best-known variety in the Kennedy half-dollar series. The Mint used this design first to strike that year’s proof coins.

The design features extra hair above the president’s ear. On circulation 1964 Kennedy half dollars, the hair is softer and sparser. Another outstanding feature of the Accented Hair proof coin is the missing serif on the left of the letter I in LIBERTY.

The Accented Hair proof coin was struck for one year before the modified variety replaced it. Being a one-year issue coin makes the 1964 Accented Hair proof coin noticeably rare compared to the half-dollar circulation. Less than 5% of the coins struck that year have the Accented Hair design.

A regular Accented Hair proof with at least a PR69 rating can fetch as much as $3,100, while cameo and deep cameo examples are extremely rare. One deep cameo example graded PF68 was auctioned for $19,975.

5. 1976 (D) Kennedy Half Dollar

1976 (D) Kennedy Half Dollar

The Denver mint struck over 200 Kennedy half dollars in 1976, making these coins common. You will easily find 1976 D half dollars in your piggy bank or pocket change, which will usually be worth more or less their face value.

The 1976 Kennedy half dollars were a one-year issue, and being the country’s bicentennial year, many collectors hoarded these coins believing they were extremely valuable. Despite the hoarding, many more coins remained in circulation and are only worth their face value.

The population begins to dwindle for half dollars graded MS64. 1976 D Kennedy half dollars graded MS67 and above are exceptionally rare, and less than a dozen examples are certified.

One example, certified as GENUINE by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), was sold for a whopping $10,000 in 2021 at an online auction.

6. 1971 D Kennedy Half Dollar

1971 D Kennedy Half Dollar

The year 1971 is significant in the numismatic world; it is when the Mint changed the metal composition of Kennedy dollars from 90% silver to 40%.

Millions of Kennedy half dollars were struck at the Denver facility, making this coin very common. You can easily find them in home coin jars and banks, and most of the circulated varieties are only worth their face value.

The value of 1971 D Kennedy half dollars begins to increase at MS67. These coins are pointedly scarce in high-grade mint state, with less than 500 examples known. In grades higher than MS68, 1971 D Kennedy half dollars are almost impossible; any lucky finds would be worth a fortune.

The most expensive example was graded MS61 and fetched a clean $13,000 at an eBay auction in 2018.

7. 1969 D Kennedy Half Dollar

1969 D Kennedy Half Dollar

The 1969 D Kennedy half dollar contained reduced silver from 90% to 40%, with copper making up the rest of the coin’s metal composition.

This particular issue is relatively common in circulated conditions, with examples only worth more or less their face value. Like other silver Kennedy half dollars minted between 1965 and 1970, collectors hoarded quite several 1969 Kennedy half dollars.

Because newly minted coins were pulled out of circulation, it is possible to obtain Kennedy half dollars dated 1969 in mint state. But starting from grade MS65, the population begins to dwindle, and at MS67, examples are extremely hard to obtain, with fewer than 50 pieces known to exist.

In 2017, a collector paid $15,600 at an auction for a 1969 Kennedy half-dollar graded MS67, making this the most expensive example from 1969.

8. 1966 P Kennedy Half Dollar

1966 P Kennedy Half Dollar

The 1966 Kennedy half dollar has one of the lowest mintage in the silver-clad series struck between 1965 and 1970.

Half dollars from this year are common in low-grade mint state but become harder to obtain as you go up the grading scale. There are fewer than 200 known examples in MS66, and less than 15 in grade MS67 and above are certified.

You would definitely be lucky to obtain a 1966 no-mint mark in gem condition. Half dollars from Philadelphia were generally of a lower quality compared to those minted in Denver and San Francisco.

The most expensive 1966 P Kennedy half-dollar was graded MS67 and sold for $15,100 in 2020 at an eBay auction.

9. 1977 Kennedy Half Dollar

1977 Kennedy Half Dollar

By the late 1970s, the quality of the coin had significantly improved. It is common to come across 1977 Kennedy half-dollar examples in grades MS66 and MS67.

Coins graded MS68 to MS70 are also obtainable though you might have to look around more for these as less than 200 specimens are certified.

If you find a 1977 Kennedy half-dollar graded MS64 and above, you should consider yourself lucky, as these are the most valuable for that year. One example fetched $9,200 at a Bowers and Merena auction in 2005.

10. 1970 D Kennedy Half Dollar

1970 D Kennedy Half Dollar

The 1970 Kennedy half dollar with a mint mark D was only available to collectors and was sold in Mint Sets containing nine other coins. With the Mint striking about 2 million coins, this year’s half dollar had the lowest mintage for Kenedy half dollars from 1964 to 2005.

The Denver facility was the only one that minted business strike Kennedy half dollars in 1970. Meanwhile, the San Francisco mint struck the proof coins bearing an S mint mark.

This year was also significant as it was the last time the Mint struck business strike Kennedy half dollars in silver. The next silver proofs made a comeback in 1992.

The most expensive 1970 D Kennedy half dollar sold for $7,495 in a 2023 online auction.

11. 1970 S Kennedy Half Dollar

1970 S Kennedy Half Dollar

The San Francisco mint struck about 2.6 million proof Kennedy half dollar. Since these were proof coins, they were not intended for circulation and are extremely rare. Only a few individuals and coins-related companies obtained the 1970 proof half dollars.

Examples in 1967 and above are easily obtainable. The fact that this was the last year the Mint struck  Kennedy half-dollar proofs in silver (production resumed 20 years later) makes 1970 a key date in the Kennedy half-dollar series.

The most expensive example, graded PF67, fetched $7,475 in a 2007 Heritage auction.

12. 1980 D Kennedy Half Dollar

1980 D Kennedy Half Dollar

The Denver mint struck an estimated 33 million Kennedy half dollars in 1980. Coins coming from the Denver facility were noticeably of a higher quality than those struck in Philadelphia.

Given the considerably high mintage, the 1980 D Kennedy half dollar is easy to obtain circulated condition. But the population decreases at MS66, with most examples found in Mint Sets and unopened rolls.

This coin is particularly difficult to find in higher mint state grades. At MS67, there are less than 100 known examples, and the population dwindles further in MS68 and above, with fewer than a dozen in existence.

In 2015, a collector paid 49835 for a 1980 D Kennedy half-dollar graded MS68.

13. 1976 S Bicentennial Kennedy Half Dollar

1976 S Bicentennial Kennedy Half Dollar

In 1976, the Mint struck a set of circulating bicentennial coins to commemorate the country’s 200 years of independence. The set consisted of the Eisenhower dollar, Kennedy half dollar, and Washington quarter.

These coins featured the date 1776-1976 and were a one-year issue. That same year, the Mint struck three separate circulation strike Kennedy half dollars and two sets of proofs.

Aside from the 1776-1976 Bicentennial half dollar, the other two circulation strike half dollars in the series included the clad 1976 P and D Bicentennial Kennedy half dollars.

In addition to the regular clad coins, the Mint struck a silver proof 1976 S Kennedy half dollar and a clad proof.

Unlike the 1776-1976 Bicentennial half dollar, reserved for collectors, the Mint released the clad coins into circulation, making them harder to find in the uncirculated mint state.

A rare MS69 1976 S regular strike fetched an impressive $9,600 in 2022.


Kennedy half dollars are quite common, and although most won’t fetch a premium, some key dates are worth investing in. In particular, the Accented Hair variety and the 1964 Special Strike are highly coveted, but the Bicentennial, 1966 P and 1970 S Kennedy half dollars are equally worth a fortune if you are fortunate enough to obtain them.

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