PARRIS ISLAND COINS » 1986 Half Dollar Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

1986 Half Dollar Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

1986 half dollar value

The half-dollar coin was re-designed by the U.S. Mint to honor John F. Kennedy after his assassination. These half dollars were minted a few months after the trading incident to remember the beloved President to commemorate.

These half dollars were minted in massive quantities, making them a fairly common coin to find. Let’s read the value of the 1986 half dollar, and different varieties, review relevant queries, and explore the errors in the 1986 half dollar which can increase the coin’s value.

1986 Half Dollar Value Chart

Mint Mark Uncirculated Fine Good Extremely Fine
1986 P half dollar value $34 $21.7 $21.7 $21.7
1986 Proof S half dollar value $62 N/A N/A N/A
1986 D half dollar value N/A $5.7 $5.7 $5.7

1986 P Half Dollar Value

1986 P Half Dollar Value
Image Credit: usacoinbook

The 1986 half dollars are approximately 92% copper and 8% nickel with reeded edges. The entire rim has 150 reeds in total. Around 13,107,633 coins were minted in the year 1986 by the Philadelphia Mint. The year 1986 was recorded as the second-highest mintage year for the mint.

Although the coins minted in Philadelphia did not include the mint mark, the half dollars minted that year carried the P mint mark on the coin’s obverse. Coins ranging from good to uncirculated condition are sold a little higher than their face value.

The availability of these half dollars can make the price increase or decrease. While you can’t sell average condition half dollars at a reasonable price, the mint state specimens can easily sell for $3000 or more.

The coin’s obverse side depicts the portrait of the Late President John F. Kennedy with his face towards the coin’s right. While the facial features are kept simple in the portrait, great detail was put into the hair.

Around the upper coin rim, ‘Liberty’ is etched in block letters, and the phrase In God We Trust is divided into two parts and struck on the bottom right and left edge of the half dollar. At the bottom rim, the year 1986 is written along the curve, and the mint mark is placed above or below the neckline.

The inspiration for the reverse side was several coins minted throughout the years. At the center of the coin, the bald eagle is depicted spreading its wings in the air. The eagle is seen holding an olive branch on the right, and arrows are in the left claw. The coat of arms is placed right at the eagle’s chest.

Above the eagle’s head, you’ll see a banner with ‘E Pluribus Unum’ etched on the coin and rays coming from behind the eagle. On the rays, there are thirteen stars, nine above the eagle’s head and four stars to the right of the eagle’s head.

Along the top curve, the phrase the United States of America is written while at the bottom, the coin’s denomination is struck. The lettering is separated by two dots on either side of the coin. The eagle illustration is completely covered with small stars.

1986 D Half Dollar Value

1986 D Half Dollar Value

The Denver mint during that year produced the most number of coins. The mint produced over fifteen million coins with the D mint mark which can still be found commonly. Due to their availability, these coins mostly sell for their face value, even when in extremely fine condition.

However, uncirculated coins are valued at a higher price. Depending on the grade, the half dollars in uncirculated condition and above range from over seventy cents to a few thousand dollars. The current record for the most expensive 1986 D Kennedy half dollar was sold at an auction in 2019 for $4810.

1986 S Proof Half Dollar Value

1986 S Proof Half Dollar Value
Image Credit: pcgs

These proof coins were specially minted for collectors and were never meant for circulation. These coins are minted on already treated metal planchets and specialized dies which are capable of creating an impeccable imprint. The imprinting details are always looked for to improve the end result.

The first fifty to hundred coins made by these new dies result in a shiny glare on the coin surface known as the cameo effect. The coins with this effect are valued and are rare to find. Almost three million half dollars were minted in 1986 marked with the S mint mark. While the well-preserved coins are able to retain that extra glare, the coins kept without a sleeve can change their color tone and lose the glare due to the environmental effects.

Due to the coin’s high mintage, these proof coins are valued between seventy cents to $35 and upwards. The cameo effect coins are the most valuable and can cost thousands of dollars.

These half-dollars have a fascinating history and hold sentimental value. President Kennedy was one of the most popular presidents of the United States and the youngest. He took office in 1960 and was seen as a future leader. Unfortunately, the President was assassinated in Dallas three years after being elected as the President. The news of the President’s demise was a shock for American citizens.

Seeing the love for the President, the mint authorities decided to commemorate the late President by minting a coin in his name. The treasury department and the Kennedy family chose the half dollar as they didn’t want Washington’s portrait to be replaced.

Frank Gasparro under the supervision of Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts started working on the half-dollar. Existing designs were modified and used in this coin. While Gilroy Roberts worked on the coin’s obverse side, Gasparro designed the reverse.

The first half dollars surfaced in 1964 and were one of the most anticipated coins. The entire mintage of 70,000 coins was finished by the afternoon of the day the coins were launched. Due to the increasing demand, it was decided to mint around 160 million coins.

In 1965, the authorities felt a need to mint the half dollars as the demand was still there. This increased mintage affected the treasury’s silver reserves because the coins at the time consisted of almost 90% silver. The silver composition was further decreased to 40% until the use of silver was banned. Copper and other metal alloys replaced silver in later years.

1986 Half Dollar Grading

Coin grading is essential when you are unaware of the coin’s value. Higher-grade coins have less wear, preserved details, and a high value, whereas low-grade coins are valued low. While you can always evaluate a coin grade to estimate its worth, the real value can only be determined through grading by a professional coin grading service.

Rare 1986 Half Dollar Error Lists

Although U.S. Mints strive in perfecting the coin minting process, mistakes and mismanagement can sometimes result in coin errors. While many coins with errors are considered valuable, most errors reported about the 1986 Kennedy half dollar are not worth a lot.

1986 Half Dollar Double Die

It’s a famous error found in most coins where the die strikes the planchet twice or multiple times at a different angle. This misaligned striking results in two distinct outlines on the coin surface.

The most obvious changes are evident in the coin lettering. This double die error can be on the coin’s obverse, reverse, or on mint mark. The greater the detail, the higher the price of the error coin will be. However, these coins only sell for a few dollars.

1986 Half Dollar With Defective Planchet

During the coin production process, the dies, relevant coin striking components, and planchets are the main factors that determine the minting quality. When the wrong planchet is used for minting, it can break, become thinner in size, and appear different from the regular minted coins.

Besides finding these errors, you might also come across several counterfeit coins which will seem like a profitable bargain, but will only make you lose your money. Expect to find freshly struck counterfeits, cast coins, and original coins that have been altered to resemble an error or a rare feature that can potentially increase the coin’s value.

Reviewing reputable sources, reading about the coin’s unique features, and thorough market analysis of the coin can prevent you from purchasing a counterfeit. Vetted numismatics suggest buying coins from authorized sources or a recommended dealer, avoiding shopping for coins in areas like flea markets, and always approaching a professional coin grader for a second opinion if you feel suspicious about the coin’s authenticity.

1986 Half Dollar FAQ

Which 1986 half dollars are the most valuable?

Most 1986 half-dollars graded MS 67 and higher sell for a lot of money. Here is a short list of the expensive 1986 Kennedy half dollars.

  • One 1986 D half dollar was valued at $4818 at a 2019 auction.
  • A collector in 2003 paid $575 for a PR 70 half dollar.
  • 1986 P MS-67 half dollars sell for an average price of $300 at online marketplaces.

Which Kennedy copper-nickel half dollars are expensive?

The composition of Kennedy Half Dollar has changed from silver to copper with nickel clad. Some valuable copper and nickel half dollars are as follows.

There are several other reported coin auctions that are over thousands of dollars.

Does the 1986 half-dollar contain silver?

Although earlier versions of the Kennedy half dollar were made of silver, the 1986 half dollars consisted of 92% copper and 8% nickel. During the early years, half dollars were made of 90% silver which was reduced to 40% and then changed to copper and other metals during the late 1900s.

How rare is a proof coin?

Proof coins are always rarer than the circulated varieties as these coins are minted in low quantities and struck only for collectors. However, being rare doesn’t mean the coin will be valuable. While several proof coins in the U.S. coin minting history are the most sought-after, there are several proof coin varieties that have no value.

What is a half-sovereign proof coin?

The coin collectors box created by the mint in 1986 had a single-proof half-sovereign coin composed of gold. The coin weighs 3.99 grams and uses 22-carat gold for minting. Specialized dies and polished planchets were used to mint this collectible, as it provides an impeccable finish to the coins.

How much is the 1986 proof Liberty half dollar?

The 1986 proof Liberty half dollar costs $17 on average, but high grades sell for a lot more. Their price ranges from a few cents to around $550 or more. The proof coins with a higher grade can sell for more than a few hundred dollars, depending on their grade.

What is the rarest Philadelphia half dollar?

The half dollars minted in 1838 are the rarest of the coins, as these coins are almost two centuries old. Only two coins have been reported to the surface valued at $632,500 in two Heritage auctions of 2005 and 2008. Although 180,000 coins were minted, only a few specimens have surfaced.

What half dollars are silver?

The half dollars minted from 1964 to 1970 were composed of silver. However, only 90% silver was present in the coins minted in 1964. The silver composition of the coins was changed to 40% over the coming years to prevent hoarding of silver coins. The half dollars struck after 1970 were mainly composed of copper and another metal alloy.

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