1964 Kennedy Half Dollar: Rarity & Value
The Kennedy half dollar is a numismatic treasure that holds both historical and sentimental value for many collectors and enthusiasts. Minted between 1964 and 1970, the 1964 Kennedy half dollar is particularly noteworthy because of its unique design and silver content.
While over 423 million coins were produced, certain varieties and mint errors make some 1964 Kennedy half dollars rare and valuable. However, some may argue that the coin's value is merely based on arbitrary rarity and does not necessarily reflect its true worth.
Despite this potential objection, it is important to recognize that the value of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar extends beyond its rarity alone. The design of the coin, featuring the portrait of President John F. Kennedy, holds immense historical significance and serves as a poignant reminder of a tragic event in American history.
Additionally, the silver content of the coin provides a tangible connection to the past and reflects the economic and political climate of the time. Thus, while rarity may play a role in determining the value of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar, it is not the only factor at play.
This article will explore the coin's rarity and value in depth, examining factors such as mintmarks, grading systems, and historical significance.
What is it?
The Kennedy half dollar is a coin that was minted in 1964 to honor President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in November 1963. The coin bears Kennedy's portrait on the obverse and the presidential seal on the reverse. It was made of 90% silver and 10% copper, but the silver content was reduced to 40% in 1965 due to rising silver prices.
The Kennedy half dollar was produced for almost two years, with a total of over 273 million coins struck at the Philadelphia mint and over 150 million at the Denver mint. Despite being in circulation for many years, the Kennedy half dollar remains desirable to collectors due to its rarity and sentimental value.
The coin's value varies based on its condition, certification, and mint mark. The rarest variety is the SMS 1964, with only six certified by NGC and twelve by PCGS. The Kennedy half dollar is also valued for its historical significance as it honors a critical event in America's history.
Design and Minting
Minted to commemorate a significant event in American history, the 1964 Kennedy half dollar's design features unique details such as softened hairlines and accented hair, with the latter being a rare and valuable feature.
The obverse of the coin features a left-facing bust of President John F. Kennedy, with the word 'LIBERTY'above his head and the date of minting below.
The reverse design depicts the presidential seal with an eagle, a shield, and olive branches. The coin measures 31 millimeters in diameter and weighs 12.5 grams, with a reeded edge.
The Kennedy half dollar replaced the Franklin half-dollar design and was produced for almost two years. The total number of coins struck was over 273 million from the Philadelphia mint and over 150 million from the Denver mint.
The value of the coin varies based on condition, certification, and mintmark. Mint marks and grading systems can greatly influence the buying price and selling value of the coin. Proof coins have a higher value due to their almost mint condition, while the most valuable Kennedy half-dollars are those minted in 1970 and those with the Denver Mint mark (D).
Significant varieties include double die obverse variations and repunched mintmarks. Additionally, rare 1964 SMS Special Strike and mint errors associated with 1964 half dollar coins exist, with only a dozen or so known to exist.
Additional info on 1963 Half Dollar
Varieties and Errors
Various significant varieties and errors can be found in the 1964 silver half dollar coins, making them highly collectible among enthusiasts.
One of the most notable varieties includes the double die obverse, which features doubling of the letters on the obverse side of the coin. This variety is highly sought after by collectors and can command a premium price.
Another significant variety is the repunched mintmark, which occurs when the mintmark is stamped more than once and the additional impressions are visible on the coin's surface. This variety is also highly collectible and can add value to the coin.
In addition to these varieties, there are also several rare errors associated with the 1964 half dollar coins. One of the rarest is the SMS (Special Mint Set) 1964 variety, which was created when the mint experimented with a new method of producing coins. Only a few dozen of these coins are known to exist, making them highly valuable and sought after by collectors.
Other errors include the 1964 Proof Heavily Accented Hair, which features a missing serif on the 'I'in 'LIBERTY,'and the 1964 Double Die and Double Strike, which exhibit slight doubling or smudged letters.
Overall, the various varieties and errors associated with the 1964 silver half dollar coins add to their collectibility and historical significance.
Collectibility and Historical Significance
Collectibility and historical significance are important factors that contribute to the continued popularity and demand for the 1964 silver half dollar coins. Despite being over half a century old, these coins are still sought after by collectors and enthusiasts due to their connection to a critical event in American history and their silver content.
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 deeply impacted the country, and the minting of the Kennedy half dollar just a year later was a way to honor his memory and legacy. This historical significance makes the 1964 silver half dollar a highly collectible item, as it represents a pivotal moment in American history.
In addition to its historical significance, the 1964 silver half dollar is also valued for its silver content. The coins are made of 90% silver and have a bullion value in addition to their numismatic value. This means that they are not only collectible for their rarity and historical significance, but also for their intrinsic value.
As such, many collectors and investors are drawn to these coins as a way to invest in precious metals while also owning a piece of American history. Overall, the collectibility and historical significance of the 1964 silver half dollar make it a valuable and sought-after item for collectors and investors alike.
Proof Coins and Auction Records
The 1964 silver half dollar coins in proof condition have been known to fetch high prices at auctions due to their near-mint condition and overall rarity. Proof coins are produced using a specialized minting process that involves striking the coin multiple times with specially polished dies. This results in a coin with a highly reflective surface and sharp details. Proof coins were not intended for circulation and were instead sold directly to collectors.
The 1964 Kennedy half dollar in proof condition is particularly valuable due to its historical significance and the unique design of the coin, which features accented hair details that were later softened at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy.
The auction record for a 1964 Kennedy half dollar in proof condition with accented hair was set in 2013, with a sale price of $9,400. However, the most valuable Kennedy half dollars are those minted in 1970 and coins with the Denver Mint mark (D).
The value of a proof Kennedy half dollar can vary greatly based on the coin's condition and certification. Coins that have been certified by reputable grading services, such as NGC or PCGS, are generally worth more than those that have not been certified. Additionally, coins with cameo or deep cameo contrast, which have a sharp contrast between the design and the fields, can also be worth more.
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