The 1968 Half Dollar is a $50 coin that’ll make you feel like you hit the jackpot with just a single uncirculated piece of it. With only two varieties to choose from, the 1968 D and 1968 S Proof, you won’t have to search the market for more of its variety if you’re planning to collect them. Plus, it’s got a one-of-a-kind error that makes it even more valuable than your average coin.
In this article, we cover the 1968 Half Dollar’s history, its value according to grades, and the different types you can find. By the end of this review, you’ll be sure to feel like a Kennedy scholar!
In this price value chart, you will find the current market value of the 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar as determined by the Greysheet.
1968 Kennedy Half Dollar Value Chart
|1968 D Kennedy Half Dollar Value
|1968 Proof Kennedy Half Dollar
|1968 S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar Value
1968 D Kennedy Half Dollar Value
The first type of 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar was introduced in 1964 to honor President John F. Kennedy after his assassination. While no single coin issue is considered rare, those grading higher than MS66 or MS67 are conditionally rare. This led to its removal from circulation, making it rare in daily transactions. A few scarce varieties and limited quantity issues are also made for distribution only in mint sets of Kennedy halves.
From 1965 to 1970, the United States Mint produced coins with a silver-clad composition known as the “40% silver” or “silver-clad” Kennedy Half Dollar, which featured an outer layer of 80% silver and a core composed of 20% copper and 5% silver. The coins weighed 11.5 grams and had a diameter of 30.6 millimeters.
As for the mint mark, it was only either “D” or “S.” Take note that there are only two varieties of 1969 Half Dollars: the mint states were from Denver, and the proof strikes were from the San Francisco Mint. In Denver, a mintage of 246,951,930 of 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar struck with a face value of $50. There were no 1968 halves minted in Philadelphia, so you should not see a variety of these coins without a mint mark.
The coin’s design obverse features a portrait of Kennedy on the obverse, created by the U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts. The design was based on a portrait of Kennedy by artist Roy Lichtenstein, which was itself based on a photograph of Kennedy taken by Jacques Lowe.
Gilbert was not actually the designer of the Kennedy Half Dollar, but rather the designer of the Presidential Seal used on the coin’s reverse. He aimed to create a minimalist look for the seal, which was a departure from the more detailed seals used on previous U.S. coins.
Flipping the 1968 Half Dollar coin, the coin’s reverse features the Presidential Seal, with an eagle holding a shield in its talons and arrows in one of its claws and an olive branch in the other. Above the eagle are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” and below the eagle is the denomination “HALF DOLLAR.” The 1968 Half Dollar’s reverse designer, Frank Gasparro, added his initials “FG” just to the right of the eagle’s tail feathers.
Like with most American coins, the words “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST” are also included in the design. “LIBERTY” appears on the left and right sides of the obverse, while “IN GOD WE TRUST” is split, with “IN GOD” on the left and “WE TRUST” on the right of the reverse.
The top-selling 1968 halves in recent auctions was a stunning piece struck from Denver. It sold for $4,920 at Heritage Auctions in 2022. The second highest-selling 1968 D (MS67) sold for $2,880 in 2020, while the third highest-selling 1968 D Half Dollar was a unique coin struck on a quarter blank, graded MS68 by NGC, and sold for $1,495 in 2006.
1968 S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar Value
In 1968, the United States Mint also produced a special Half Dollar coin, the 1968 S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar. This coin was created to exhibit the design and quality of the coin and was marked with an “S” to indicate that it was minted at the San Francisco Mint. The 1968 S and 1968 D Half Dollars share the same composition, weight, and diameter, meaning they are made of the same materials and have the exact physical dimensions.
Likewise, the 1968 S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar’s obverse and reverse designs were crafted by two artists, Gilroy Roberts, and Frank Gasparro, respectively. The obverse showcases the portrait of President John F. Kennedy, while the reverse features the seal of the President of the United States.
A total of 3,041,506 1968 S Proof Kennedy Half Dollars were minted, which is considered a relatively high number for Proof coins of that era. The value of this coin variety depends on its grade, which reflects its condition.
As presented by the Greysheet value data, the range of values of 1968 halves varies from $6.08 to $29.70 for regular Proof coins, $8.10 to $37.80 for Cameo Proof coins, and $12.15 to $12,000 for Deep Cameo Proof coins.
In 2018, Heritage Auctions sold a 1968 S Kennedy Half Dollar in PR70 (Deep Cameo) condition for $12,000. This means that the coin was considered to be one of the best examples of its kind, with no visible flaws and exceptional quality.
In 2021, Heritage Auctions sold another type of Kennedy Half Dollar—an undated San Francisco Kennedy Halves struck on a clad dime planchet. This means that instead of being struck on a regular planchet (a flat, round piece of metal used for coins), this particular coin was struck on a planchet intended for a different type of coin (in this case, a dime).
Despite this error, the coin was still considered to be in relatively good condition, with a grade of PR68 (Cameo), which means it had some minor imperfections but was still of high quality. This coin sold for $2,880 at auction, which is significantly less than the 1968 S Kennedy Half Dollar in PR70 condition sold in 2018.
1968 Kennedy Half Dollar Grading
The value of a 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar coin depends on its assigned grade based on its state of preservation. The grading process assesses the wear, imperfections, and mint luster level to assign a grade from VF20 to MS65. MS67 and PR69 are the highest grades and are rare and highly valuable to collectors due to their superb condition and lack of imperfections, commanding higher prices than lower-graded coins.
One great way to learn more about the 1968 Half Dollar value and grade is by watching this video where a coin expert shares his expertise about this coin.
Rare 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar Error Lists
Most of the 1968 Half Dollar Errors occurred in the Denver Mint. So if you have this coin from the same year, be sure to look for rare minting errors that may determine its value. Here is a video guide from Couch Collectibles to further help you.
1. 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar Strike Through Error
A 1968 D Kennedy Half Dollar with a fascinating mint error showcases a prominent struck-through on the coin’s obverse. The error occurred during the striking process at the Denver Mint, where a foreign object, possibly a piece of debris, was trapped between the planchet and the die. As a result, a portion of the design was missing, resulting in a blank area on the coin.
NGC, a leading third-party grading service, assigned a grade of MS65 to this particular coin error in 1968 halves, indicating that it is in excellent condition with little to no imperfections visible under magnification. The coin comes with a Jeppson-signed label, adding to its collectability.
2. 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar DDO Error
Another 1968 Half Dollar error that occurred at Denver Mint is a Double Die Obverse. This particular error is characterized by slightly doubling the “WE TRUST” and “Y” of Liberty on the obverse side of the coin.
The doubling results from an irregularity in the coin’s production process. The die used to strike the coin was inadvertently engraved twice, resulting in a slightly shifted and doubled image. This specific error in 1968 D is considered a minor DDO error, meaning the doubling is not as pronounced or significant as other double-die errors. Despite its relatively minor nature, the 1968 D Kennedy Half Dollar in this error is still valuable at $9.95.
3. 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar Missing Obverse Layer Error
The 1968 D Kennedy Half Dollar has a rare mint error called the “Missing Obverse AG Layer,” where the outer layer of silver is missing from the front of the coin. This error is uncommon due to the limited duration of the 40% silver Kennedy Half Dollar series and the infrequency of the silver layer separating from the copper core during minting. The MS62 grading from PCGS adds to its rarity and value, estimated at approximately $1,250.
4. 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar Off-center Error
An off-center error in the 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar is when the blank was pressed in a misaligned coin, causing the design and lettering of the 1968 halves to be off-centered. The NGC has evaluated this coin error with an MS63 grade. This means the coin is in uncirculated condition, which means it has never been used as currency or exchanged hands. Although it may have some minor imperfections or blemishes, it is in good condition and quality overall.
5. 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar Upside Down “D” Error
In 1968, the Denver mint also accidentally struck some Kennedy Half Dollar coins with an upside-down letter D mint mark. This mistake has made these coins very valuable among collectors, with some coins selling for hundreds of dollars and uncirculated specimens bringing several thousands of dollars. The upside-down D mint mark is the distinguishing feature that makes these coins valuable.
1968 Kennedy Half Dollar FAQs
Q1: What makes a 1968 half dollar rare?
The 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar is considered rare due to a specific minting error that occurred during production. Instead of using the standard 40% silver and 60% copper composition, some coins were mistakenly struck with the 90% silver and 10% copper composition used in the 1964 coins. The error was not discovered until after the coins had entered circulation, making most of Kennedy halves even more valuable to collectors.
Q2: How can you tell if a 1968 half dollar is silver?
To identify if a coin is made of silver, examining the edge of the coin is the best method. A solid silver stripe indicates it is made of silver, while a visible copper stripe suggests it is clad. A coin showing some copper hints and a less prominent silver stripe may suggest it contains 40% silver.
Q3: Is a 1968 half dollar worth anything?
According to the Greysheet’s Price Guide of the 1968 Half Dollar, the value of the highest mint state half dollar retail price is worth $585, while its wholesale price is $450. On the other hand, a proof strike coin in retail price ranges between $37.80 to $12,000. Its wholesale price is worth $22 for regular proof, $28 for Cameo, and $10,000 for PR70 Deep Cameo.
In short, there is no reason to miss having the 1968 Half Dollar in your collection. This coin not only pays tribute to a former U.S. president, but it is also incredibly valuable. You only have to find a piece with a distinct minting error, bring it to a trusted grading coin service, and it’ll be one of your prized collections, depending on the result on the grading scale result.
Have another coin minted from a different year? No worries; rest assured that we will also get them covered, so stay updated for more future coin reviews.