1989 Half Dollar Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?
If you are here, you must wonder about the value of the 1989 half dollar. Also known as Kennedy half dollar, the 1989 half dollar features the image of the beloved president and is very sought-after among collectors.
However, their interest in this coin is not particularly motivated by its high value but rather by what it represents- a coin produced to commemorate the premature death of Kennedy. That said, in average condition, 1989 costs its face value and goes up to $1.
However, not all 1989 Kennedy half dollars have low value, so let’s check all the crucial details about this dollar and its varieties.
1989 Half Dollar Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine||Uncirculated|
|1989 P Half Dollar Value||$0.50||$0.80||$1-$2||$5- $18|
|1989 D Half Dollar Value||$0.50||$0.80||$1-$2||$10-$140|
|PR 68||PR 69||PR 70|
|1989 S Proof Half Dollar Value||/||$11- $16||$13-$17||$20- $200|
1989 P Half Dollar Value
As noted, the Kennedy half dollar is very popular because coin collectors like to have keeps sakes connected to one of the most known American presidents. The coin’s history is directly related to the unfortunate assassination of John F. Kennedy.
On 22 November 1963, the US marine veteran Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was very popular in office and had a commanding, compelling, and charming personality, and the assassination was a true shock that spread through the US as a forest fire.
On the same day, the president was assassinated, the US Mint Director, Eva Adams, initiated the idea to place the president’s image on the half dollar to commemorate his death.
After contacting the Chief Mint engraver, Gilroy Roberts, the two agreed to create the coin with Kennedy’s image.
Initially, the US Mint wanted to feature the president in the quarter’s design. Still, considering it featured the Found Father George Washington, it seemed better to design the Kennedy half dollar instead.
The president’s family was informed about these ideas, and Jackie Kennedy agreed that changing the half dollar design would be best. Two engravers and designers joined the project; Gilroy Roberts designed the obverse, while Frank Gasparro designed the reverse.
Both designers had previously done coin designs featuring Kennedy for the Kennedy medal, which they modified for the new half dollar.
Interestingly, the Kennedy half dollar replaced the Franklin half dollar from 1948 to 1963. If you know anything about coin regulations and laws, you might be familiar with the fact that the coin design cannot be changed more frequently than once in 25 years.
In order to change the coin’s design within that 25-year mark, you need Congressional approval. However, given the situation’s sensitivity and unfortunate circumstances, the new coin design was approved instantly without approval.
The obverse design features, as noted, Kennedy’s bust facing left, encircled by the capitalized inscription “LIBERTY,” struck alongside the coin’s rim. On his left side or under his chin, we can see a part of the American motto “IN GOD,” which continues to his right, “WE TRUST”.
The coin’s mintage date “1989” is struck on the lower rim. The reverse design is pretty packed and highlights the image of an American Bold Eagle with outstretched wings in the coin’s center.
The eagle holds an olive branch in its left talon and arrows in its right talon, denoting the power of peace and war. Above the eagle, we can see thirteen dots, symbolizing the initial 13 colonies and the second motto, “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, seemingly written on a banner.
The motto translates to “Out of many, one” and can be found on almost all coins. Tiny stars encircle the image of the eagle, and the capitalized inscription “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” is struck on the coin’s rim. The denomination “HALF DOLLAR” is on the lower rim.
The Franklin half dollar was made of silver, similar to the first Kennedy half dollar. However, the composition was changed from 90% silver to 40% in 1965, and then in 1971, it was completely changed to an alloy of nickel and copper.
The metal composition of the 1989 half dollar is 75% copper and 45% nickel. The coin is round, and its edge is reeded. The diameter is 30.61 millimeters, while the weight is 11.30 grams.
The 1989 half dollar was minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver. The total mintage of the 1989 half dollar is 39,762,290.
The Philadelphia Mint struck 24,542,000, making it the largest mintage in the series. These coins have a recognizable “P” mint mark, which is located on the obverse underneath Kennedy’s truncated neckline or between the numbers “9” and “8” of the mintage date.
Given the high mintage number, the 1989 P half dollars are not particularly sought after, although there are always some rare varieties that cost a jaw-dropping amount. So, the 1989 P in circulated condition can cost between $0.50 and $6, depending on the condition and whether they have errors.
These coins are commonly found in circulated condition, so they are not very valuable and cost only a dollar or two. The specimens in better condition, such as extra fine, can be sold for $3 to $4. The 1989 P half dollar can be very valuable in mint states.
The 1989 P half dollar in MS 66 can cost between $13 and $18. The specimens in MS 67 can reach the price of $200. The highest amount paid for the 1989 Kennedy half dollar in MS 68 was $3,300, and the coin was sold on eBay.
Another specimen of the same coin in a lower-grade MS 64 was sold for over $1,000.
1989 D Half Dollar Value
The Denver Mint struck 12,000,096 half dollars in 1989, making it the second-highest mintage. These coins have a distinguishable “D” mint mark on the obverse. Although the mintage number is significantly lesser than the one in Philadelphia Mint, these coins are also not very valuable in circulated conditions.
The 1989 D half dollar price in the circulated condition is around its face value of $0.50 and can reach a couple of dollars. Also, if you go online, you will see that the 1989 D half dollar seems very popular in this series, but this does not affect the price.
Similarly to the Philadelphia variety, the 1989 D half dollar is mainly valuable in higher mint states. For the 1989 D half dollar in MS 65, expect to pay around 10 to $13.
In MS 66, the 1989 D half dollar can cost between $10 and $20. The most attractive and desirable 1989 D half dollar is the one in MS 67, which is the highest grade for this variety. They can reach a price between $100 and $130.
The auction record for the 1989 D half dollar in MS 68 was set in 2019 on eBay- the collector paid nearly $400 for this piece.
1989 S Half Dollar Value
The lowest mintage in the series was in the San Francisco Mint, which produced proof coins- 3, 220,194 pieces of the half dollar in 1989. These coins have the “S” mint mark on the obverse.
Although the significantly low mintage number might suggest that these coins are highly valuable, their price in average condition does not differ very much from other varieties in the series.
The proof coins are considered early and high-quality specimens intended for archival purposes and to check the dies. That said, the 1989 S proof half dollar can be worth between $0.50 and $ 6, depending on the condition. The most valuable are the ones in high-mint states, such as MS 67 or MS 67.
Although proof coins are generally very attractive due to their intact details and high-quality strike, the 1989 Kennedy proof S half dollar can be easily found and purchased. Also, these coins were available to purchase in a proof set, which ranged between $10 and $20.
The proof coins are graded on the Sheldon scale, like the regular coins, but because they have such a quality strike, they are usually assigned grades from 60 through 70 and have a PR or PF abbreviation to indicate that it is the proof coin.
On eBay, the 1989 S half dollar (PROOF) price ranges between $7 and $200. According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the highest amount paid for the 1989 S proof half dollar is $550, and the coin was graded PR 70, the highest grade on the scale.
1989 Half Dollars Grading
One of the common issues that confuse coin collectors, especially beginners, is the condition of the grade. The coin’s grade depends on several factors, such as the quality of the strike, level of preservation, coloration, eye appeal, and luster.
1989 Half Dollar Rare Error List
The 1989 half dollar has a couple of errors, some of which are rare and can boost the price. As you already might know, errors found on coins are basically misprints, which happen due to faulty minting equipment or process.
1989 Half Dollar Re-punched Mint Mark Error
Re-punched mint mark error happens when the letter punch used to strike the mint mark on the coin leaves more than one impression under different angles. Sometimes this error can be very hard to spot, and it might even go unnoticed by the untrained eye.
Also, these errors usually boost the price significantly, although the value also depends on the coin’s condition. For the 1989 half dollar, the re-punched mint mark can raise the price to $10 or $20.
Remember that the demand is also vital when selling a coin, and if you have a couple of interested coin collectors, you can drive up the price.
1989 Half Dollar Missing Star Error
Some of the 1989 half dollar can lack a star on the reverse. As you know, the eagle is encircled by fifty stars, representing the 50 states of the US. This error happens when the die used to strike the stars misses the star, resulting in an incomplete design.
The reason for this can be accumulation or grease of dirt on the die. The missing letter or a star is not a particularly valuable error, and this error can bring the price up to $6 or 7$.
1989 Half Dollar Struck Through Grease Error
During the minting process, foreign bodies, such as debris or specks of dirt, find their way to the die and hence the coin, which can result in an error. It is not out of the ordinary for grease to accumulate inside the die recess or even to cover the coin’s surface.
These bodies or materials commonly found around dies can build up on dies and around details on the coin. This results in a filled error or faulty design.
This error is mostly found on the 1989 P half dollar, usually on the president’s bust or the eagle.
Struck-through grease error is pretty valuable compared to the other error; some specimens in high-mint states can cost up to $40.
1989 Half Dollar FAQs
Is a 1989 half dollar worth anything?
The value of the 1989 half dollar is around $0.50 and $5, depending on the level of preservation. The coins’ value depends on several factors, and a high and rare mint state coin with an error is the most attractive and sought-after.
Despite the low value of the 1989 half dollar, some specimens can cost a couple hundred. Again, the price is also affected by the demand and the market.
How can you tell if a half dollar is rare?
In order to establish whether a coin is rare, you need to check the total mintage number, availability of the coin, condition, presence of errors, and the mint mark. The coins in high mint states with special designations or errors are usually rare.
How much silver is in a 1989 half dollar?
Contrary to popular opinion, the 1989 half dollar does not contain silver. These coins are made of an alloy; 75% copper and 25% nickel.