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

by CDN Publishing

Published on April 30, 2019

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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.


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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.



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Comments (10)

  • avatar image
    Windy Quin Reply

    I have 3 JFK Half Dollar Stamp Sets by Coins of America. 90% Silver, mint in their original packaging... How come they are only worth 10$ but sell for 34.95!?

    Wednesday, August 18, 2021 9:03 AM EST

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    Cindy Gilbar Reply

    I have a 1964 half dollar with errors. It was in my moms inheritance. She passed it down to me a couple of years ago.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2021 5:00 AM EST

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    Sarannella Sweeney Reply

    ANY PERSON that is in possession of the 1964 SMS Half Dollar can contact the auction house that the articles refers to. I go to coin collectors conventions in my nearest big city to meet other enthusiasts and gather valuable information as well. I wouldn't share any personal information online or on the phone with anyone you do not know personally. There are many scam artists and people that will do harm to you and rob you of your collection or a specific coin if it's quite valuable. Please be careful when sharing coin information with others. Always call or visit a well known auction house to get information on a good trustworthy appraiser and take your coin(s) in person. Never mail your coins to anyone and never keep them in your home, a safety deposit box for your coins/valuables is worth paying for. I have a concealed weapons license, a locking briefcase and never go alone. My family knows when and where I'm going and when to expect me back when I do go to appraisers and conventions, etc. Be very aware and safe, always. Hope this helps!

    Friday, August 13, 2021 10:12 PM EST

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    Elsie Pollet Reply

    Ik heb een halve dollar van 1964 van Delaware. Wat is de waarde hiervan?

    Monday, July 5, 2021 10:02 AM EST

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    Hany Tadrous Reply

    I have the same coin, I am sure it is original, I have it since 1964 with all the descriped deccneds. How can I sell it ?

    Saturday, June 5, 2021 4:42 PM EST

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    Manjunath Patil Reply

    I have 1964 half dollar Kennedy coin please let me know what is the price heard recently sold for $108K and how to sell the coin.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2021 5:31 PM EST

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    • avatar image
      John Feigenbaum

      The typical 1964 Kennedy half dollar is worth its weight in silver content. About $10 in today's value. The coin in the article happens to be exceptional. Here is a link to pricing: https://www.greysheet.com/coin-prices/item?entryid=6909

      Wednesday, June 2, 2021 10:01 AM EST
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    Vickie Baskin Reply

    Where do you go to have your 1964 coin appraised if you have one?

    Thursday, May 27, 2021 12:04 AM EST

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    Ernie Yeager Reply

    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

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    • avatar image
      Pamela King

      I have one of these 1964 kennedy half dollar that is silver. What do i need to do now?

      Monday, December 28, 2020 7:16 PM EST
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    EARL HIGGINS Reply

    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

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    • avatar image
      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
    • avatar image
      Joe Swartz

      I've got a 1964 kennedy half dollar with salmon coloring around the upper and lower rim, there's no dangling 4 and it doesn't look like there is the thumb print marking but there is definitely a salmon coloring to it. Any idea on it's value. It's in mint condition

      Saturday, July 10, 2021 11:40 PM EST
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    CHARLES CAMPBELL Reply

    buyer has more money than sense

    Saturday, May 4, 2019 10:43 AM EST

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