The Kennedy half dollar is one of the most beloved coins in the history of U.S. mintage. It was made to honor the life of one John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, just months after he was assassinated in 1963.
Back when the Kennedy half dollar was first minted in 1964, so many numismatic lovers hoarded fresh rolls of the coins. But what is the 1964 Kennedy half dollar value today?
This guide will talk about the different varieties of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar, what makes them special, and how much a coin like this is worth today. Keep scrolling to find out the value of your 1964 half dollar in modern times.
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Value Chart
|MS65 Gem Uncirculated
|MS67 Superb Gem Uncirculated
|MS67+ Superb Gem Uncirculated
|1964 No Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Value
|1964 “D” Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Value
1964 No Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Value
President John F. Kennedy was riding a motorcade in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, when a sniper assassinated him.
It was one of America’s most tragic incidents involving a much-loved politician, and the entire country mourned. Within 24 hours, a public viewing of the former president’s body was arranged in the Capitol Rotunda. An estimated 250,000 people attended to pay their respects to the iconic JFK.
Shortly after his death, there were already talks of putting the portrait of Kennedy on a silver half dollar to honor his life. When the U.S. Treasury started the project, they left the job to two coin design veterans—Gilroy Roberts for the coin’s obverse and Frank Gasparro for its reverse.
The obverse of the 1964 half dollar shows Kennedy facing left—an angle chosen purposefully to make him look more handsome with his signature sly smile.
Around the rim of the obverse are spaced-out letters and numerals that spell “LIBERTY” and “1964.” At the bottom of his truncated neck is the phrase “In God We Trust.”
On the reverse, we see the presidential seal of JFK. There’s an American eagle adorned with a shield with its wings spread wide. Its left talon holds an olive branch, while the right holds 13 arrows.
The reverse’s rim shows the words “United States of America” and “Half Dollar.” There are also 50 stars around the coin to symbolize the 50 states.
The final designs were cleared by Mrs. Jackie O. Kennedy herself. And by January of 1964, these coins started being minted—first in the Denver Mint, then at the Philadelphia Mint soon after.
In the Philadelphia Mint, over 273.3 million Kennedy half dollars were minted in 1964. They were made of 90% silver and 10% copper, so they’re very valuable even today based on their silver fineness alone. 1964 was the only year the Kennedy half dollar was made of 90% silver.
When the first 1964 (P) Kennedy half dollars were circulated, coin collectors hoarded the coins. They took as many as they could and put them in safekeeping. As a result, there are lots of uncirculated gems available today.
Aside from rarity and sentimental meaning to Americans, the 1964 Kennedy half dollar is also tied to its silver melt value. That makes it extremely valuable today. As of March 2023, the melt value of the Kennedy half dollar is almost $8. That means no 1964 Kennedy half dollar can go below that price.
That means that even in its poorest, most circulated condition, a 1964 (P) half dollar is valued at more than $8 today. At extremely fine condition, a circulated 1964 (P) half dollar can be sold for $11. In AU58 about-uncirculated condition, the value rises a bit at $11.50.
The prices are even greater when the half dollar is in mint state. In a lower-end mint grade like MS62, 1964 (P) half dollar is worth $13.50. This price can increase if the coin has a rare mint error. For example, being struck on the wrong planchet can shoot up the value to over $500.
Among all the mint grades, 1964 (P) Kennedy half dollar is most common in MS64 to MS66. At MS64, you can expect your coin to sell for at least $25. At MS55, this value goes up to $40. And at MS66, a coin might sell for $120.
Of course, like all coins, 1964 (P) Kennedy half dollar is the most valuable when it’s in pristine, superb gem condition. A coveted MS67 half dollar might be valued at $950, and in a near-perfect grade of MS67+, the price increases to a whopping $5,200.
1964 “D” Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Value
The Denver Mint, on the other hand, struck over 156 million Kennedy half dollars in 1964. You’ll know the coins were minted in Denver if they have a tiny “D” mint mark on the reverse, right below the eagle’s talon that clutches the olive branch.
Just like the Philadelphia-minted half dollars, 1964 D half dollars were almost immediately hoarded by coin lovers. These hoarded rolls spent so much time in trading bags that they repeatedly rubbed against each other, creating contact marks even on uncirculated 1964 D half dollars.
Weirdly enough, it is the circulated coins of this issue that are most difficult to find today. From good condition to AU55 about uncirculated condition, these coins are worth at least $11 today. It ticks up a little at AU58, where the 1964 D Kennedy half dollar is valued at $11.50.
You’ll find plenty of 1964 D Kennedy half dollars in grades MS63 to MS66. And although there are some MS67 coins out there, they’re a bit more challenging to get your hands on.
At MS63, a 1964 D Kennedy half dollar can be valued at around $17. Two grades up at MS65, they can be sold for $42. Mint errors shoot up these prices, though. For example, an MS65 1964 D hald dollar coin with a repunched mint mark has been known to sell for over $180.
In grade MS67, a Denver-minted 1964 half dollar can be sold for almost $1,000. And at a shimmering, almost perfect, and rare grade of MS68, they are valued at over $23,000.
The Denver issue of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar has its fair share of mint errors, like the doubled-die variety or repunched mint marks—but more on those later!
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Grading
Grading coins is essential if you want to know the true value of your coin. Things like composition and political relevance are part of what makes coins popular, but it’s the condition that really defines their modern-day value.
Not sure how to grade a 1964 Kennedy half dollar? Here are some things to assess for very fine, circulated coins and uncirculated gems.
- Very Fine: Lots of heavy wear and smoothness along the jaw and cheekbone of JFK. On the reverse, the arrows have smoothened too and don’t look so distinctive with bold lines.
- MS60 Uncirculated: Little to no wear, but has some blemishes and spots from contact marks. Small abrasions on the coin’s high points, like JFK’s cheeks and neck.
- MS65 Choice Uncirculated: Very good eye appeal with maybe two or three contact marks. Otherwise, the luster is in mint condition, as if never touched.
If you’re a beginner, you will find this walk-through on how to grade a Kennedy half dollar very helpful:
Rare 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Error List
The 1964 Kennedy half dollar is already tremendously valuable because of its high silver content and being the first run of its series. But do you know what adds even more value to these beloved coins? You got it—rare mint errors.
Curious about mint errors that increase the value of these coins? Check them out below.
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Quadruple Die Obverse Error
You may have heard of the doubled die obverse—the error that causes a faint second stamping of the lettering or date on a coin.
The 1964 Kennedy half dollar has tons of DDO issues. However, it also has the incredibly unique quadruple die obverse error. Instead of seeing a double image, you might see the same letters or numbers struck four times on a 1964 Kennedy half dollar.
A quadruple die obverse was found on an MS66 1964 D Kennedy half dollar. The quadrupling was most noticeable in some of the letters, namely the “U” in “Trust.” This coin sold for over $880 because of this astounding error.
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Repunched Mint Mark Error
One of the most common errors you’ll find among your 1964 Kennedy half dollars is a repunched mint mark. Obviously, this error is exclusive to the Denver issue of the coin, as the Philadelphia-minted half dollars do not have a mint mark.
You’ll know a mint mark is repunched when the die stamps two different impressions of the letter D on your Kennedy half dollar. This might have been repunched because the die simply bounced back a second time onto the planchet, or to correct a first punch that wasn’t aligned correctly.
One of the Denver-minted 1964 Kennedy half dollars found with this error is an MS65 coin that ended up selling for almost $200 in 2016. And at a higher grade, like MS66, an error like this can push the value of your coin to around $800.
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Struck on 25-Cent Planchet Error
Another interesting error that has been found in the 1964 Kennedy half dollars is having been struck on a 25-cent planchet. One of them is an MS64 1964 (P) half dollar, which ended up selling for $1,320. That’s over fifty times the value of a regular MS64 coin at $25.
In that coin, you’ll see now noticeably smaller the 25-cent planchet is. So, the design elements of the Kennedy half dollar did not fit properly. On the obverse, the upper rim cuts off at the top of JFK’s head. Meanwhile, at the bottom, only the upper half of the numerals 1, 9, 6, and 4 are seen.
This error was also found in an MS62 half dollar, which surprisingly sold for even more than the previous coin. It sold for over $4,000 in 2020, owing to its golden toning, intensely sharp strike, and clear date.
1964 Kennedy Half Dollar FAQs
What makes a 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar rare?
A 1964 Kennedy half dollar is rare because of two things. One, it’s the only year the Kennedy half dollar was produced with 90% silver, making it the most expensive in the series in melt value alone.
The second reason it’s rare is that it was the first ever Kennedy half dollar created. It was hoarded by collectors the year it came out since it was a hot commodity, so it’s quite scarce today.
Are all 1964 Kennedy half dollars silver?
Yes, all 1964 Kennedy half dollars are made of silver. It’s the only year of the Kennedy half dollar series to have a fine composition of 90% silver and 10% copper. Just one year after, the content levels ere changed to silver-clad copper (60% copper, 40% silver).
How can you tell if a 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar is silver?
A quick way to tell if your Kennedy half dollar is a silver coin and not a silver-clad copper coin is by checking its edge. If there’s a faint copper line on the coin’s edge, you likely have a silver-clad copper Kennedy half dollar minted from 1965 onwards.
Can I sell Kennedy half-dollars?
Yes, it’s actually quite smart to sell Kennedy half dollars, especially ones minted in 1964. This is because their composition is 90% silver, making them valuable right off the bat. You can make a pretty penny hunting down rare, valuable Kennedy half dollars and selling them.