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Discover the 4 Priciest Kennedy Half Dollars Ever Sold

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The Kennedy Half Dollar, introduced in 1964 to honor President John F. Kennedy, quickly became a beloved piece of American history. While millions of these coins were minted, some rare ones have sold for impressive sums at auctions. In this article, we will explore the four most valuable Kennedy Half Dollars ever sold, highlighting their unique features and why they are so valuable.

1. 1964 SMS (Special Mint Set) Kennedy Half Dollar

One of the most mysterious and sought-after coins is the 1964 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar. These coins were not officially released to the public but were part of a special mint set for evaluation.


Features and Value

  • Frosty Finish: The 1964 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar has a unique satin-like finish, different from regular coins.
  • Sharp Details: The coin has sharper details and a more refined strike.
  • Low Mintage: With only a few known specimens, its rarity increases its value.

In 2019, a 1964 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar sold at auction for an astonishing $108,000, making it one of the most expensive Kennedy Half Dollars ever.

2. 1964-D Kennedy Half Dollar

Another 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar that stands out is the 1964-D, minted in Denver. While regular 1964-D coins are not rare, those in high grades and excellent condition can be very valuable.


Features and Value

  • High Grade: The value of the 1964-D Kennedy Half Dollar increases significantly if it is in nearly perfect condition, like MS68 or higher.
  • Full Strike: Coins with all details sharply defined are more valuable.
  • First-Year Issue: Being from the first year of the Kennedy Half Dollar series adds historical significance.

In 2016, a 1964-D Kennedy Half Dollar in MS68+ condition sold for $47,000 at auction, showing the high value of well-preserved coins.

3. 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar

The 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar is notable because it was the last of the 40% silver Kennedy Half Dollars. It was not released into general circulation but was included in special mint sets sold to collectors.


Features and Value

  • Limited Availability: Since it was only available in mint sets, the 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar is rarer in circulation.
  • High Grade: Coins preserved in their original mint sets can achieve high grades.
  • 40% Silver Content: The silver content also adds value to the coin.

A 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar graded MS67 sold for $6,600 in 2017, showing how condition and rarity can impact value.

4. 1964 Accented Hair Proof Kennedy Half Dollar

The 1964 Accented Hair Proof Kennedy Half Dollar is known for subtle differences in President Kennedy’s hair, especially the accented strands above his ear. This design was quickly changed, making the Accented Hair variety rare.


Features and Value

  • Accented Hair Design: The distinctive hair design on President Kennedy was only used briefly.
  • Proof Quality: As a proof coin, it was struck with extra care, resulting in sharper details.
  • Collector Demand: The unique design and limited run make it highly sought after among collectors.

In 2017, an Accented Hair Proof Kennedy Half Dollar graded PR68 sold for $10,500. Its unique design and proof quality make it a prized piece for any collection.


The Kennedy Half Dollar is not just a piece of currency but a symbol of a significant historical era. The 1964 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar, the high-grade 1964-D, the collector-exclusive 1970-D, and the unique 1964 Accented Hair Proof each tell a story of rarity, history, and exceptional craftsmanship. These coins’ high auction prices reflect their value and the continued interest in this iconic series.


Collectors and investors continue to seek out these valuable Kennedy Half Dollars, underscoring President Kennedy’s enduring legacy and the coin that bears his image. Whether you’re a seasoned coin collector or new to the hobby, these coins represent the pinnacle of Kennedy Half Dollar collecting.


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