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What Is A 1974 Kennedy Half Dollar Worth Today? (See Why Some 1974 Half Dollars Are Worth Over $2,000)

I’ve come across a lot of 1974 half dollars while searching through half dollar rolls from the bank.

I’m usually looking for any older silver half dollars. But I’m also on the lookout for valuable 1974 half dollars.

That’s because there are, indeed, some 1974 half dollars worth looking for!

In this article, I’m going to tell you which ones I’m keeping my eyes peeled for… and why.

Why Are Half Dollars Valuable & Scarce?

Many folks think half dollars are special for one reason or another.

I can see why they may think this. After all, you never see half dollars anymore in circulation — so they must be something special, right?

What’s interesting is that the reason half dollars are so seldom found in pocket change today is because millions of Americans felt the Kennedy half dollar was a special memento to the fallen president they honor: John F. Kennedy.

After Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 by a lone gunman, the U.S. government decided to honor the late president by placing his image on the half dollar. Legislators quickly approved the measure, and within only a few weeks of Kennedy’s death, the new Kennedy half dollar was ready to be minted.

The first Kennedy half dollars were released in early 1964, and the lines at subtreasury buildings and banks extended for blocks in some cases! It seemed just about everyone wanted some Kennedy half dollars of their own. They were small 90% silver pieces of JFK memorabilia that could easily be bought for just 50 cents at the time.

Kennedy half dollars were hoarded by millions of people who associated the coins as being special tributes to the late president, while millions of others sought out the coins for their silver content. Before too long, Kennedy half dollars were hard to find in circulation and the United States Mint couldn’t keep up with the demand!

Even after the U.S. Mint removed all silver from circulation-strike Kennedy halves beginning in 1971, the perception that these coins should be saved anyway persisted.

To this day, many Americans think that any and all Kennedy half dollars (including the 1974 half dollar made from copper-nickel clad) is worth more money than face value.

In reality, the only reason you can’t find half dollars in circulation anymore is because they’ve largely been saved by people who thought they should hang onto these coins. It’s not because they’re rare coins.

How Much Is A 1974 Half Dollar Worth Today?

If 1974 Kennedy half dollars aren’t made of silver AND they’re not rare but instead rather common, what does this mean for the value of a 1974 Kennedy half dollar today?

Well, the reality is that 1974 half dollars are indeed very common:

  • The Philadelphia Mint struck 201,596,000 no-mintmark examples for circulation.
  • The Denver Mint made 79,066,300 business strikes for commerce.
  • The San Francisco Mint produced 2,612,568 of the 1974-S proof half dollars (these were sold directly to the public in proof sets).

Since the 1974 half dollars are common and they contain only copper-nickel clad (not valuable silver), the real value of a 1974 half dollar is generally just face value for a circulated specimen.

In other words, worn 1974 no mint mark and 1974-D half dollars are typically worth just 50 cents.

However… some 1974 half dollars are worth much more.

Which ones?

  • Uncirculated 1974 no mint mark half dollars and 1974-D half dollars are usually worth $1 to $2 or more.
  • Proof 1974-S half dollars have a value of $2 to $3 and up.
  • Cameo proof 1974 half dollars (these show frosted lettering and design details) are extremely scarce. Values for 1974 cameo proof half dollars can be anywhere from $10 to $25… or more.

The most valuable 1974-S deep cameo proof half dollars have sold for thousands of dollars! In fact, one of the most valuable 1974 half dollars is a deep cameo proof. This 1974-S deep cameo proof half dollar, graded Proof-70 Deep Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service, sold for $7,931 in a 2013 auction!

So, what is the most valuable 1974 half dollar?

That title goes to this 1974-D Kennedy half dollar that fetched $8,000 in a 2021 auction.

What made this half dollar worth so much? Its condition.

You see, while 1974 half dollar coins are common, well-preserved specimens with virtually no nicks, scratches, or other imperfections are extremely rare. That particular 1974 half dollar was graded Mint State-68 by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.

Here’s how to determine the grade (or condition) of your half dollars

Then there are the rare and valuable 1974 half dollar errors worth money!

Let’s talk about those now…

Values For 1974 Kennedy Half Dollar Errors

If you want to know what makes a 1974 half dollar rare, it’s the presence of mistakes (or errors).

So when you’re looking for rare and valuable 1974 half dollars worth a lot of money, you’ll want to be looking for errors and varieties.

For example, one of the coolest 1974 half dollar error varieties out there is an awesome doubled die.

The 1974-D doubled die half dollar is one of the most important varieties in the entire series. The doubling is most prominent in the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” on the heads side of the coin.

Even though the 1974-D doubled die half dollar is a scarce error variety, you can buy one for less than $50. Or you could get lucky and find one searching through rolls of half dollars you get from the bank.

Other 1974 Kennedy half dollar errors worth money include off-center strikes and broadstrikes — these can be worth $20 to $30 or more.

Here’s a video I made with some coin roll searching tips for you:

Do you have a 1974 JFK half dollar? Think there may be something unique about it? Post a picture of your coin in the comments below and I’ll try to help!