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Did you know that some 1966 coins are worth more than $11,000 apiece?
It’s pretty crazy to think that some of these rare and valuable 1966 coins worth money may have slipped right through your hands without you even realizing it!
So how do you know which coins from 1966 you should be saving?
Today we’re going to look at all 1966 coin values and show you exactly what you need to be looking for…
But, First… A Word About 1965-1967 U.S. Coins
The coins of 1966 were struck during a time of great transition at the United States Mint. Rising silver prices and a massive coin shortage during the early 1960s led to various short-term and long-term changes in the way the U.S. Mint did things.
Silver bullion prices began climbing around 1963 to a value of more than $1 per ounce. This led to the bullion value of circulating 90% silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars to be worth more than their face value!
Because of this, people began pulling these 90% silver coins from pocket change — compounding a coin shortage that had already been growing due to booming economic demands.
This led to the U.S. government deciding to:
- Completely remove silver from dimes and quarters
- Reduce the silver content of half dollars from 90% to 40% in 1965
But that’s not all…
To help stem collecting activity as the U.S. Mint caught up with the strains of the coin shortage and resupplied the nation with the coins it needed, mintmarks were temporarily removed from all U.S. coins beginning in 1965.
What’s more, the U.S. Mint focused its efforts on producing circulating coinage by suspending the production of annual proof sets and mint sets — replacing both with a single interim annual coin set known as a special mint set (often abbreviated “SMS”).
Therefore, no 1966 coins struck at the U.S. Mint contain any mintmarks — even though they were produced at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints.
There were also no 1966 proof coins. But there are 1966 SMS coins, the values of which we will discuss below.
Most Valuable Coins From The Year 1966
Okay, now let’s talk about the most valuable coins from 1966…
1966 Penny Value
The 1966 Lincoln cents saw a massive production output of 2,188,147,783 pieces. The 1966 penny contains a bronze composition — which is nowadays worth more than the face value of the coins!
Even in worn condition, a 1966 penny is worth 2 to 4 cents. An uncirculated example is typically worth 10 to 30 cents. The most valuable 1966 penny was graded Mint State-67 Red by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $6,463 in 2012.
The 1966 SMS penny, struck for the 1966 special mint sets, was sold directly to coin collectors. They were struck with greater care than standard business strike coins, but not with the same method of manufacture as proof coins.
Typical 1966 SMS pennies are worth $1 to $2 apiece. But the most valuable 1966 SMS penny was graded Mint State-67 Red Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service and traded hands for $2,585 in a 2014 sale.
1966 Nickel Value
The 1966 nickels mark a special period for the series — because it’s the year that Jefferson nickel designer Felix Schlag saw his initials (“FS”) added to the coin, which debuted in 1938. They appear on the obverse (“heads side”) of the coin under Jefferson’s portrait.
The 1966 nickel saw a mintage of 156,208,283 — a large number that has helped these coins remain common today.
Worn examples are generally worth their face value of 5 cents, but uncirculated specimens fetch 30 cents to $1. The most valuable 1966 nickel was graded Mint State-65 Full Steps by Professional Coin Grading Service and commanded a whopping $11,750 in 2016!
The 1966 SMS nickels were struck to the tune of 2,260,000 and sell for $1 to $2 apiece. The most valuable 1966 SMS nickel was graded Specimen-68 Deep Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $9,718 in 2011.
1966 Dime Value
The 1966 Roosevelt dime was made in huge numbers — with a total of 1,300,000 struck bearing that date. All 1966 dimes were produced in a copper-nickel clad composition.
Since there is no precious-metal content in 1966 dimes, they are usually worth only their face value of 10 cents, if worn. Uncirculated 1966 dimes sell for 50 cents to $1 each. The most valuable 1966 dime was graded Mint State-68 Full Bands by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $2,820 in 2013.
The 1966 SMS dime was sold in 1966 special mint sets and had a mintage of 2,260,000. They usually sell for $1 to $2 each. But, the most valuable 1966 SMS dime was graded Mint State-68 Ultra Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Company took $2,760 in a 2007 auction.
1966 Quarter Value
The 1966 Washington quarter is a common coin that yielded a production figure of 821,101,500.
Since 1966 quarters were struck from copper-nickel clad with no precious metal content, they are generally worth face value of 25 cents, if worn. But they do sell for $1 to $2 in uncirculated condition. The most valuable 1966 quarter was graded Mint State-68 by Professional Coin Grading Service, and it sold for $11,750 in a 2019 auction.
The 1966 SMS quarter was included in the 1966 special mint set and had a mintage of 2,200,000 pieces. The coin generally sells for $1 to $2 apiece. The most valuable 1966 SMS quarter was graded Specimen-68 Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service, taking $4,112.50 in 2014.
1966 Half Dollar Value
The 1966 Kennedy half dollar saw a mintage of 108,984,932 pieces. All 1966 half dollars contain a 40% silver composition.
Because of the coin’s silver content, even worn 1966 half dollars are worth more than face value!
As silver values are constantly fluctuating, the 1966 half dollar value is always changing. You can find out what your circulated 1966 Kennedy half dollar is worth using this silver value website. Uncirculated 1966 half dollars are usually worth a small premium above that. The most valuable 1966 half dollar was graded Mint State-67+ by Professional Coin Grading Service and took $15,105 in a 2020 sale.
The 1966 SMS half dollar had a total production of 2,200,000 pieces, with these coins included in that year’s special mint set. Most 1966 SMS half dollars are worth a little more than their intrinsic silver value. The most valuable 1966 SMS half dollar was graded Specimen-68 Deep Cameo and snatched an incredible $16,450 in a 2016 auction.
Rare Error Coins From 1966 To Look For
There are several kinds of 1966 variety and error coins that are worth big money!
Let’s look at a few of these…
- 1966 quarter without ridges — Most 1966 quarters with a smooth edge / no ridges have seen extensive wear and are worth only face value. However, a 1966 quarter without ridges that is also thinner and wider than normal is likely a type of error known as a broadstrike, and these can be worth $25 to $30… or more.
- 1966 no FG SMS half dollar — This coin does not show the “FG” initials for designer Frank Gasparro on the reverse (“tails side”) of the 1966 SMS half dollar. On most Kennedy half dollars, the FG initials should appear just under the eagle’s left leg (appearing on the viewer’s right). The 1966 SMS No FG half dollar is worth $50 and up.
- 1966 doubled die SMS half dollar — Widespread doubling is seen on John F. Kennedy’s portrait — including his chin, lips, eye, nose nostril, neck, and strands of his hair near the letter “B” in the legend “LIBERTY.” There is also doubling evident in the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST.” The 1966 doubled die half dollar coin is worth $75 and up.
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!