We Said Kennedy Half Dollars Are Hot! A 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Snatches A World-Record $108,000!

CDN Publishing · Apr 30, 2019
Announcements U.S. Coins

A 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar sold for a world record $108,000, making it the most expensive coin of its type, during a public auction of rare U.S. coins held Thursday, April 25, 2019, by Heritage Auctions.





A 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar sold for a world record $108,000, making it the most expensive coin of its type, during a public auction of rare U.S. coins held Thursday, April 25, 2019, by Heritage Auctions. The rare example of the rather common piece of pocket change is one of about a dozen special issues struck in 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper for special coin sets issued by the U.S. Mint during the mid-1960s.

The sale smashed the $47,000 previous world record price, set by Heritage Auctions in 2016. Both the seller and the winning bidder wish to remain anonymous at this time. Heritage Auctions presented the coin at an auction during the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Convention just outside of Chicago in Schaumburg, Illinois.

“This the ‘king of Kennedy half dollars,’” said Todd Imhof, vice president at Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest auctioneer of coins and paper money. “It seems we were very successful in attracting all the right bidders to this modern rarity and collectors did not want to miss the opportunity to own one of the United States’ rarest Kennedy half dollars.”

Special mint set coins are characterized by a better-than-average strike, the result of higher-tonnage coin presses than those used for coins intended for general circulation. The example sold at auction on Thursday is valued for its rarity as well as its unique, satiny surface condition.

In the April edition of Monthly Greysheet we feature a comprehensive analysis of Kennedy half dollars, a series we’ve seen heating up for a while now. This being the 55th anniversary year helps the series a bit. But so, too, does the movement toward more people collecting modern coinage and appreciating the value of scarce and high-end examples from later-vintage series such as the Kennedy half dollar, which features a wide variety of interesting material and ample collecting challenges even for the most affluent collectors. The sale of this six-figure 1964 SMS Kennedy half dollar only further demonstrates that point.

Comments (3)

  • Ernie Yeager

    What is the weight of this variety verses a regular 1964 Kennedy? Are there any other telltale signs such as the edges?

    Tuesday, May 7, 2019 4:33 PM EST
  • EARL HIGGINS

    Can you be more specific about what exactly is so special about this? I am a bit confused because I thought SMSs were only sold in 1965/66/67, and weren't really all that popular hence the return to proof sets in 1968. Why were there only half a dozen struck? Would these be considered patterns or were they the work of a rogue mint employee? And I suppose the elephant in the room is, if there are 1964 SMS halves, are there quarters, dimes, nickels, cents? Sometimes the history is just as interesting as a picture!

    Saturday, May 4, 2019 2:56 PM EST
    • Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez

      Hi, Earl -- There were a couple dozen SMS examples struck of all denominations in 1964 and are believed to have been presentation pieces. This particular SMS example is one of the nicer specimens known. I hope this info is helpful. Best wishes, Josh @ CDN

      Saturday, May 4, 2019 3:12 PM EST
  • CHARLES CAMPBELL

    buyer has more money than sense

    Saturday, May 4, 2019 10:43 AM EST

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