The United States half dollar is an important type of currency to numismatics around the country due to its historical context, artistic designs, representation of American values, collectibility, educational value, and cultural impact.

In historical context, the half dollar has been a part of U.S. coinage since the inception of the federal monetary system in 1794.

Consequently, this coinage type has witnessed and been a part of significant moments in American history, with the various designs on half dollars throughout history reflecting the changing times and values of the nation.

Editor’s Note:

Half dollars often feature intricate and beautiful designs, making them appealing to collectors and those who appreciate the artistry of coinage. Over the years, half dollars have showcased the talents of renowned engravers and designers, such as Gilroy Roberts, Frank Gasparro, and John R. Sinnock.

Unsurprisingly, half dollars have been popular among coin collectors and enthusiasts for their unique designs, historical context, and potential for appreciation in value. With various series, mint marks, and special editions, there is a wide range of half dollars available for collectors to pursue.

Fun Fact:

The half dollar has had notable appearances in popular culture. It has been used as a symbol of luck, featured in popular media, and even inspired songs and expressions.

One of the most recognized entries from the series is the 1972 half dollar which has captured the attention of coin collectors and enthusiasts for decades, despite being minted in large quantities.

The 1972 half dollar has a unique history and value that has sparked interest among those who are passionate about coins.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the history, design, and value of the 1972 half dollar, along with its various mint marks, conditions, and other factors that may influence its worth—providing all the details for those who wish to learn more about this fascinating coin.

First, we will briefly answer the most important question: what is the value of the 1972 half dollar today?

The value of a 1972 half dollar, like most other collectible coins, is primarily influenced by its condition, with uncirculated coins generally commanding higher prices than circulated ones.

For most circulated 1972 half dollars, the value ranges from $0.50 to $1.50. Near uncirculated coins can fetch between $1.50 and $3.00, while uncirculated coins may be valued from $3.00 to $5.00. Choice uncirculated coins can be worth $5.00 to $10.00, and gem uncirculated coins can range from $10.00 to $30.00.

It’s important to note that these values are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as market demand and the specific grade of the coin. Additionally, coins with errors or unique varieties may have a higher value, so it’s essential to have such coins professionally evaluated by a reputable grading service.

Keep in mind that the market value of coins can fluctuate, so it’s essential to stay informed and up-to-date with current trends and values if you’re interested in buying or selling a 1972 half dollar.

History of the 1972 Half Dollar

The 1972 half dollar is part of the Kennedy half dollar series, which was first minted in 1964, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The coin was designed by Gilroy Roberts (obverse) and Frank Gasparro (reverse). The Kennedy half dollar replaced the Franklin half dollar, which had been in circulation from 1948 to 1963.

The 1972 half dollar was minted during a time of significant change for U.S. coinage. In 1971, the United States Mint ceased the production of 40% silver-clad Kennedy half dollars, which had been minted from 1965 to 1970. The 1972 half dollar was composed of a copper-nickel clad, consisting of 75% copper and 25% nickel, with a pure copper core. The change in composition was due to the rising costs of silver and the need to conserve the nation’s silver reserves.

Design of the 1972 Half Dollar

The 1972 half dollar’s design showcases both the nation’s values and pays tribute to the legacy of President John F. Kennedy, making it a significant and appealing coin for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

The design of this coin is part of the Kennedy half dollar series, which was first introduced in 1964 to honor the memory of President John F. Kennedy. The coin’s obverse and reverse designs were created by Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro, respectively.

Obverse

The obverse of the 1972 half dollar features a left-facing profile of President John F. Kennedy, designed by Gilroy Roberts.

The inscription “LIBERTY” appears above Kennedy’s head, while the date “1972” is displayed below the portrait. The motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” is inscribed to the right of Kennedy’s profile.

Reverse

The coin’s reverse, designed by Assistant Engraver of the United States Mint, Frank Gasparro, features a modified presidential seal.

A heraldic eagle with spread wings is depicted, clutching an olive branch in its right talon (symbolizing peace) and a bundle of arrows in its left talon (representing strength and the willingness to defend the nation).

A shield bearing 13 vertical stripes, which represent the original 13 colonies, is displayed on the eagle’s chest.

Above the eagle, there is a ring of 50 stars, symbolizing the 50 states of the United States. The inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “HALF DOLLAR” encircle the design.

1972 Half Dollar Mintage

The 1972 half dollar holds a unique place in the history of American coinage, as it marks the second year of production for the copper-nickel-clad Kennedy half dollars, which began in 1971.

Editor’s Note

The Kennedy half dollar series itself was introduced in 1964 to honor the memory of President John F. Kennedy, whose life was tragically cut short by assassination.

The reason for this change to copper-nickel-clad coins was the rising cost of silver and the need to conserve the nation’s silver reserves. Consequently, the composition of the half dollar shifted from 40% silver (from 1965 to 1970) to a copper-nickel clad, consisting of 75% copper and 25% nickel, with a pure copper core.

In 1972, half dollars were minted at three different locations: the Philadelphia Mint, the Denver Mint, and the San Francisco Mint.

The 1972 half dollar mintage figures are as follows:

  • Philadelphia Mint: 153,180,000 (no mint mark)
  • Denver Mint: 141,890,000 (mint mark “D”)
  • San Francisco Mint: 2,193,056 (mint mark “S” – proof coins only)

The mint mark on the 1972 half dollar can be found just below the portrait of President Kennedy on the obverse side of the coin.

1972 Half Dollar Value

The two main factors that can influence the value of a 1972 half dollar are its condition and any potential errors or varieties.

In general, coin variants minted in lower quantities tend to be more valuable, but for the 1972 half dollar, the mint mark does not have a significant impact on value due to the relatively high mintage numbers.

However, for most coin types, the condition of the coin can greatly influence its value, and this is true too for the 1972 half dollar.

Coins in uncirculated or near-uncirculated conditions will typically command higher prices than those that show signs of wear. Coins are graded on a scale from 1 to 70, with 70 being a perfect, uncirculated coin. The following is a general value breakdown based on the condition of a 1972 half dollar:

  • Circulated (grade: 1-45): $0.50 – $1.50
  • About Uncirculated (grade: 45-50): $1.50 – $3.00
  • Uncirculated (grade: 60-63): $3.00 – $5.00
  • Choice Uncirculated (grade: 63-65): $5.00 – $10.00
  • Gem Uncirculated (grade: 65-70): $10.00 – $30.00
Coin Type⬇\Average Quality➜ Circulated (MS 1 – 45) About Uncirculated (MS 45 – 50) Uncirculated (MS 60 – 63) Choice Uncirculated (MS 63 – 65) Gem Uncirculated (MS 65 – 70)
1972 half dollar $0.50 – $1.50 $1.50 – $3.00 $3.00 – $5.00 $5.00 – $10.00 $10.00 – $30.00

Keep in mind that these values are approximate and may vary depending on factors such as market demand and the specific grade of the coin.

Proof Coins

We did not add proof coins to the value chart because, unlike with most other collectible U.S. coins, both the regular and proof variants of the 1972 half dollar retail at similar prices on the open market.

However, since all proof coins are sold directly as uncirculated coins to collectors, their prices will be comparable only to similarly ranked uncirculated specimens from the regular release.

Editor’s Note

A proof coin is specially minted with a mirror-like finish and sharp details, often intended for collectors rather than for circulation. The 1972-S proof half dollar was produced at the San Francisco Mint and bore the “S” mint mark.

Similar to the standard half dollar, the value of a 1972 half dollar proof coin depends on its condition, market demand, and other factors.

In general, the value of a 1972 half dollar proof coin ranges from $4 to $10 for most examples. However, if the coin is graded higher, such as a Proof 69 Deep Cameo or better, the value can increase considerably, reaching $30 or significantly higher.

It’s essential to note that these values are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as market demand, the specific grade of the coin, and its overall eye appeal.

To get an accurate valuation for a specific 1972 half dollar proof coin, it is recommended to consult a reputable coin dealer or have the coin professionally graded by a recognized grading service like the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).

Special Ultra-High Condition Coins

A select few 1972 Half Dollar coins have been found in extraordinary condition, with grades nearing the top of the Sheldon Scale.

Editor’s Note: Sheldon Scale Coin Grading

In numismatics, the Sheldon Scale, ranging from 1 to 70, describes a coin’s condition, an essential role since the condition of a coin plays a pivotal role in establishing its value.

Coins with higher grades are closer to a perfect state, while lower-graded coins exhibit signs of wear and tear.

Coins graded Mint State 60 (MS60), and above are considered uncirculated, meaning they have never been in circulation and display no signs of wear. MS70 represents the highest possible grade, signifying a flawless coin with no visible imperfections, even under magnification. Generally, higher-graded coins are more valuable due to their superior condition and rarity.

These coins boast pristine surfaces, sharp details, and outstanding strike quality. Their extreme rarity and impeccable preservation make them highly sought-after among collectors and investors.

These special, ultra-high condition specimens of these coins have captured the attention of collectors and investors, with their auction prices reaching thousands of dollars—a stark contrast to the values of their regular uncirculated counterparts.

Some of these outstanding coin specimens from this series include:

  • On July 15, 2022, a noteworthy sale of a 1972 Kennedy Half Dollar, MS 67 PCGS, took place via Heritage Auctions. This problem-free, ultra-high condition coin fetched an impressive $1920 at auction, highlighting the value and desirability of such remarkable specimens. The MS67 grade is relatively rare for 1972 Kennedy Half Dollars, and this piece is arguably the best of the MS 67 specimens, making it a highly coveted piece among collectors and investors.

Half Dollar Value - 1972 Kennedy Half Dollar

  • On January 7, 2018, a remarkable sale of a 1972 Kennedy Half Dollar, MS 67 PCGS, occurred via Heritage Auctions. This high-grade coin garnered significant interest and fetched $1,110 at auction, highlighting the importance of exceptional condition and rarity in determining a coin’s value.

Half Dollar Value - MS 67 PCGS

  • On November 4, 2017, a fascinating sale of a 1972 Kennedy Half Dollar, MS 67 PCGS, occurred. This high-grade coin generated significant interest and sold for $780 at auction, showcasing the impact of condition and rarity on a coin’s value. Like the others on this list, this particular coin received an impressive Mint State 67 (MS67) grade on the Sheldon Scale from PCGS, indicating its exceptional condition and preservation.

Half Dollar Value - sold for $780 at auction

  • On November 2, 2004, a captivating sale of a 1972 Kennedy Half Dollar, MS67 PCGS, occurred. This high-grade coin attracted significant interest and sold for $437 at auction, demonstrating the influence of condition and rarity on a coin’s value. The MS67 grade of this Kennedy Half Dollar reflects its superior state of preservation, with no signs of wear and only minimal imperfections visible under magnification.

Half Dollar Value - sold for $437 at auction

1972 Half Dollar Errors and Varieties Value

Error coins and unique varieties can also impact the value of a 1972 half dollar.

The value of 1972 half dollar errors and varieties can vary greatly depending on the type and rarity of the error or variety. Collectors are often interested in these coins due to their unique nature and potential for increased value. Some examples of errors and varieties include double-die coins, off-center strikes, and clipped planchets.

While the price of these error coins can vary widely and can start from as low as a few bucks, the rarest, most sought-after error specimens can easily retail for double the price of a regular uncirculated coin.

Editor’s Note

If you believe you have an error coin or a unique variety, it may be worthwhile to have the coin professionally evaluated by a reputable grading service like the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).

Here are a few examples of 1972 half dollar errors and varieties, along with approximate values:

  1. Double-Die Obverse: A 1972 half dollar with a double-die obverse may show doubling in the design elements, such as the portrait of Kennedy, the date, or the inscriptions. The value of such coins can range from $50 to $200 or more, depending on the severity of the doubling and the coin’s condition.
  2. Off-Center Strike: An off-center strike occurs when the coin is not correctly aligned with the dies during the minting process, resulting in a design that is not fully struck or misaligned. The value of off-center 1972 half dollars can range from $25 to $100 or more, depending on the degree of the off-center strike and the coin’s condition.
  3. Clipped Planchet: A clipped planchet error occurs when a piece of the metal blank (or planchet) is missing before the coin is struck. This results in a coin with a portion of the design missing or an irregularly shaped edge. The value of a 1972 half dollar with a clipped planchet can range from $20 to $75 or more, depending on the size of the clip and the coin’s condition.
  4. Die Varieties: Die varieties can include differences in the design, such as the number of stars or the position of the mint mark. While die varieties for the 1972 half dollar are not as widely known or sought after as other coin series, they can still hold interest for collectors and may command a premium, depending on the rarity of the variety.

Keep in mind that these values are approximate and may vary depending on factors such as market demand and the specific grade of the coin.

If you believe you have an error coin or a unique variety, it may be worthwhile to have the coin professionally evaluated by a reputable grading service like the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).

Also Read:

1972 Eisenhower Dollar History, Variations, Values & Prices (Rarest Sold For $14,400)

1972 Penny Value (Rarest & Most Valuable Sold for $3000+)

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