On those rare occasions when I find a JFK half dollar in my pocket change, the first thing I do is check to see if I have a valuable half dollar worth more than its 50-cent face value.
You’ll be happy to know that many half dollars found in circulation are worth much more than 50 cents!
There are many rare and valuable Kennedy half dollars floating around out there — but you have to know which ones to look for.
In this post, I’m going to answer the following questions about half dollars:
- How much are Kennedy half dollars worth?
- Which years were silver half dollars made?
- Which half dollars are worth saving?
- Which ones are rare half dollars?
- How can I find rare and valuable JFK half dollars?
- How can you tell if a half dollar coin is silver or not?
Silver Kennedy Half Dollar Values
Silver half dollars were made from 1964 to 1970. They were made of:
- 90% silver in 1964
- 40% silver from 1965 to 1970
If you’re wondering what your silver half dollars are worth today, here’s a rundown on today’s Kennedy half dollar value for coins in average circulated condition. (Uncirculated Kennedy halves with no wear and proof silver half dollars are worth more.)
- 1964 Kennedy half dollar — 273,304,004 minted, $5.75+
- 1964-D Kennedy half dollar — 156,205,446 minted, $5.75+
40% Silver Half Dollars:
- 1965 Kennedy half dollar — 65,879,366 minted, $2.50+
- 1966 Kennedy half dollar — 108,984,932 minted, $2.50+
- 1967 Kennedy half dollar — 295,046,978 minted, $2.50+
- 1968-D Kennedy half dollar — 246,951,930 minted, $2.50+
- 1969-D Kennedy half dollar — 129,881,800 minted, $2.50+
- 1970-D Kennedy half dollar — 2,150,000 minted — $15+
- 1776-1976 Bicentennial Kennedy half dollar — 11,000,000 minted, $3+
*Silver half dollar prices are based on silver bullion price of approximately $15.50 per ounce. Values are higher when silver bullion values are higher and lower when metal prices drop.
Copper-Nickel Clad Kennedy Half Dollar Values
From 1971 on, Kennedy half dollars were made of 75% copper and 25% nickel (with pure copper on the inside).
All post-1971 copper-nickel clad half dollars are worth face value if worn — except for errors & varieties, including these:
- 1974-D Doubled Die reverse Kennedy half dollar — unknown mintage, $25+
- 1982-P No FG Kennedy half dollar — unknown mintage, $10+
Here’s how to tell if a coin is silver or clad:
Rare Kennedy Half Dollar Values
- It was made the last year regular-issue 40% Kennedy half dollars were struck and is quite scarce — with only 2,150,000 minted.
- It was only available in 1970 mint sets.
The only other Kennedy half dollar that is considered rare is the 1998-S matte proof Kennedy half. It retails for about $500.
The JFK Half Dollars You Should Save
Now you know that you can safely spend most of the worn Kennedy half dollars made since 1971 that aren’t silver or have any special varieties or errors.
- You don’t have to save every JFK half dollar anymore. Despite what someone may have told you, most of them are not worth anything more than face value — unless they’re made from silver, have errors, or are in uncirculated or proof condition.
- You can spend your copper-nickel clad Bicentennial Kennedy half dollars if you want to — because they’re not worth anything over face value if they’re worn. See the only Bicentennial half dollars that are worth more.
Q: So wait… it’s okay to spend most Kennedy half dollars made since 1971 — but not all of them?
A: Well, there’s something I need to mention. You see, Kennedy half dollars haven’t been issued for circulation since 2001. And in 1987 they were only available in collector sets.
Q: Does that mean I should keep all 1987 half dollars and any half dollar made since 2001?
A: It depends. Some collectors and coin dealers will pay a little more for worn 1987 JFK half dollars and any Kennedy half dollar struck since 2001.
But that’s not a rule, and there generally is no “extra” retail value for a worn 1987 Kennedy half dollar or any circulated JFK half dollar made since 2001.
So, save them if you want — but they’re not necessarily rare half dollars. They are plentiful in collector sets, and if you found one in a coin roll from a bank, then it merely escaped from a coin set. They’re still neat finds in circulation, but 1987 and 2001-to-date Kennedy half dollars are not rare.
Here are my best tips for collecting Kennedy half dollar coins, including key dates to look for.
The Bottom Line…
Today, half dollars are so rare to be found in circulation that many people assume they’re worth more than face value — but, again, this is widely spread misinformation. A half dollar is a half dollar, and they can be spent as readily as pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.
Actually, it’s kind of fun spending half dollars. When I spend a couple half dollars to buy a hamburger at the local fast-food joint, I always see funny looks on young people’s faces. I once spent some half dollars for a hoagie at a convenience store — the clerk was visibly shocked to see a small stack of 10 half dollars on the counter!
Here’s a summary of the current Kennedy half dollar value and which half dollars you should be keeping:
- Silver Kennedy half dollars (1964-1970; 1976) are worth extra money.
- JFK half dollars with doubled die varieties and other errors are worth more than face value.
- Uncirculated and proof Kennedy half dollars are worth more than face value.
And, last but not least…
- Virtually all worn half dollars made since 1971 are worth 50 cents and are safe to spend!
More About JFK Half Dollar Coins
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other resources to help you learn more about your half dollar coins:
- The Most Valuable Half Dollars
- What Ever Happened To The Half Dollar Coin?
- List Of All Half Dollars Since 1794
- 5 Reasons To Buy Silver Half Dollars
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 CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), 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 also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!