What is the most valuable 1964 Kennedy half-dollar? The 1964 Kennedy half-dollar marked the first year that the half-dollar featured President John F. Kennedy’s profile. As the last 90% of silver half-dollars struck for circulation, many 1964 half-dollars have significant collectible value, especially in pristine condition.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The most valuable 1964 Kennedy half-dollar is the proof variety as well as the error variety such as accented hair.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what factors make certain 1964 Kennedy half-dollar issues rare and valuable for collectors. We’ll cover key date coins, condition grades, mint marks, and certification details to help you understand the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar market.

Overview of 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar

Introduction to the Series

The 1964 Kennedy half-dollar was the first year of issue for the series honoring the late President John F. Kennedy after his assassination in 1963. This 90% silver coin features a left-facing profile portrait of Kennedy designed by Gilroy Roberts on the obverse and the presidential coat of arms on the reverse.

With over 500 million struck across all three mints, the 1964 Kennedy half is one of the most heavily minted half-dollar issues in history. It marked the last year that circulating half dollars contained 90% silver, giving the 1964 issues a precious metal value significantly above their face value today.

90% Silver Composition

All 1964 half dollars consist of 90% silver and 10% copper, with a total silver weight of 0.36169 oz pure silver. This gave the coins a precious metal value that has consistently traded above their $0.50 face value, even during years when silver traded below $5 per ounce.

Today with silver prices over $22.8 per ounce, a common 1964 Kennedy half-dollar contains approximately $8 of intrinsic silver value. This has led to widespread hoarding of the coins from circulation over the decades.

Mint Marks

1964 Kennedy halves can be found with two different mint marks indicating their place of manufacture – no mint for Philadelphia and D for Denver. Mint mark D is on the reverse below the eagle’s left talon.

Mint Mintage
Philadelphia 277,254,766
Denver 156,205,446

With over 450 million struck across two mints, 1964 marked the highest mintage year ever for the Kennedy half-dollar series. The coins were heavily saved and hoarded by the public in the months following Kennedy’s assassination.

Key Date 1964 Half-Dollars

1964 Proof Kennedy Half Dollars

While business strikes bearing the Kennedy design were first issued in 1964, special collector sets containing 1964-proof Kennedy halves were hurried into production following JFK’s assassination. These proof coins feature frosted devices against brilliant mirror fields.

The first 1964 proof Kennedy halves were struck at the Philadelphia Mint on January 2, 1964, making them the earliest examples bearing Kennedy’s portrait. Three different 1964 proof Kennedy halves exist:

  • Philadelphia (no mint mark)
  • Denver (D mint mark)

With relatively low reported mintages between 2-3 million each, the 1964-proof Kennedy halves are scarcer than modern issues which often have 10 million or more struck. High-graded examples certified PR-69 or better by PCGS and NGC can sell for over $500.

Issue Mintage Value (PR-69)
1964 PR 3,950,762 $175
1964-D PR 2,955,949 $350

With their historic nature as the first Kennedy-proof coinage ever struck, the 1964-proof Kennedy halves remain popular with collectors over half a century later. High-grade examples certified by PCGS or NGC in grades like PR-68 and PR-69 demonstrate excellent quality and eye appeal.

Grading and Condition

About Coin Grading

Coin grading is the process of assessing the condition and quality of coins. Professional coin grading services use a numeric scale from 1 to 70 to grade coins, with 70 being a perfect mint condition coin and 1 being a barely recognizable coin.

The grade of a coin greatly impacts its value to collectors and investors.

Some key factors considered when grading a 1964 Kennedy half-dollar include:

  • Wear: The amount of wear on the coin’s surface, high points, and details
  • Luster: The brightness and shine of the metal surface
  • Marks: Any nicks, scratches, or other surface marks
  • Eye Appeal: The overall visual attractiveness of the coin

Professional grading services like PCGS and NGC provide reliable and consistent assessments. Coins graded by these services often receive premium values due to their credibility and the protective holders that encapsulate the coins.

Impact on Value

The grade assigned to a 1964 Kennedy half-dollar can greatly impact its value to collectors and investors. Circulated examples in lower grades like Very Good-20 can trade for $15-25. But mint state examples — those exhibiting no wear with their original luster intact — can trade for significantly more.

MS-60 and MS-61 $50-75
MS-62 $100-150
MS-63 $250-500
MS-64 $750-1,500
MS-65 $2,000-4,000

The most valuable 1964 Kennedy half dollars are those graded MS-66 or higher by PCGS or NGC. These premium gems can sell for $15,000-25,000 or more at auction. Condition and grading play a pivotal role in determining the value of these historic U.S. coins.

Certification and Authenticity

Third-Party Coin Grading Services

To ensure the authenticity and quality of rare coins like the 1964 Kennedy half dollar, most collectors rely on certification from third-party grading services like PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) or NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation).

These services employ professional graders who meticulously examine coins under magnification and assess their state of preservation on a numeric scale. Coins are then enclosed in protective, tamper-evident holders with the grade and a unique certification number.

According to the PCGS price guide, a 1964-D Kennedy half-dollar certified MS-65 by PCGS sold for $75 in January 2023. In contrast, an MS-67 from the same year sold for $1,400. This enormous price difference highlights the importance of certification in determining the value of collectible coins.

Verifying Authenticity

There are a few ways collectors can verify the authenticity of a 1964 Kennedy half-dollar:

  • Examine the coin’s weight and dimensions. An authentic 1964 half-dollar weighs 12.5 grams and has a diameter of 30.6 mm.
  • Inspect the reeded edge. 1964 halves feature 118 reeds along the rim.
  • Review the coin’s details under magnification. Look for proper design elements and no evidence of alterations.
  • Validate certification numbers. Numbers on slabbed coins should match reports from the grading service.
  • Perform non-destructive tests like the magnet, ping, and specific gravity tests.
  • Consult a reputable third-party grading service or professional numismatist.

Paying close attention to subtle details takes extensive experience. For most collectors, submission to NGC or PCGS offers the best protection against counterfeits. The small upfront cost provides long-term authenticity and value assurance.

Current Market Values

PCGS Price Guide

According to the PCGS Price Guide, 1964 Kennedy half-dollars can be quite valuable depending on their grade and condition. Here are some of the notable values:

  • In average circulated condition (grade of XF 40), a 1964 half-dollar is worth around $8-9.
  • In lightly circulated, almost uncirculated condition (MS 62), the coin is valued at around $15-18.
  • In choice uncirculated condition (MS 64), the 1964 half-dollar is valued at around $25-30.
  • In gem uncirculated condition (MS 65), the coin is valued at around $60-75. This is considered quite valuable for modern half dollars.

Recent Auction Sales

In recent auctions and dealer sales, top-quality 1964 Kennedy half dollars have sold for impressive prices up to $5,000 or more.

Grade Price Realized
MS-67 $5,170
MS-66+ $3,737
MS-66 (PL) $2,300

These auction records demonstrate that well-preserved 1964 half dollars with beautiful, original mint luster can be tremendously valuable. Average circulation examples are common and only worth silver melt value, but gems in top grades are scarce on the market and sought-after by Kennedy half-dollar collectors and registry set participants.

What Is The Most Valuable 1964 Kennedy Half-Dollar – Conclusion

In conclusion, while all 1964 Kennedy half dollars have collectible silver value, the ones carrying exceptional numismatic premiums are proofs and extremely well-preserved business strikes, especially those bearing the Denver mint mark.

Careful grading, certification, and verification of authenticity are essential to realizing full value. By understanding the key dates, grades, marks, and market trends, collectors can more astutely acquire and appraise 1964 Kennedy halves.

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