Most Valuable Half Dollars: A List Of Silver Half Dollars, Kennedy Half Dollars & Others Worth Holding Onto!

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Have you ever wondered what the most valuable half dollars are? Are silver half dollars the only ones to look for?

Most Valuable Half Dollars

It seems like half dollars don’t receive as much attention in the coin collecting world as, say, pennies, quarters, or silver dollars.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some amazing half dollars out there for coin collectors to enjoy.

In fact, some of the most valuable coins that have ever been made are half dollars — especially a few of the really old ones.

Check out the prices on these silver half dollars:

Of course, these half dollars aren’t the kind you’ll necessarily expect to find in a roll of half dollars from the bank or even in your great-great uncle’s heirloom treasure chest in the attic.

17 Valuable Half Dollars That Are Easier To Find

So, what are some of the most valuable half dollars from the late 19th century and 20th century — the kinds you’re most likely to stumble upon or have a better chance of affording?

Here’s a list of all the half dollars you should be looking for…

#1 – 1892-O Micro “O” Barber Half Dollar, $4,000 & up

Most Valuable Half Dollars

This die variety shows a tiny “O” mintmark (for the New Orleans mint) under the eagle on the reverse of the coin.

These Micro-O 1892 Barber half dollars are very scarce.

#2 – 1892-O Barber Half Dollar, $325 & up

Also scarce is the regular 1892-O Barber half dollar.

Only 390,000 Barber half dollars were made at the New Orleans mint in 1892, and most no longer survive.

#3 – 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar, $275 & up

The 1921-D half dollar is a key-date coin for the Walking Liberty half dollar series and is a scarce coin, too. Only 208,000 were made, but far fewer exist today.

This coin is worth $295 in a grade of Good-4.

#4 – 1892-S Barber Half Dollar, $265 & up

Like the New Orleans mint Barber half dollars from 1892, the San Francisco mint halves from that year are also very scarce.

While 1,029,028 1892-S Barber half dollars were originally made, far fewer are still around, making this coin much scarcer than its mintage figure might suggest.

#5 – 1998-S Matte Finish Kennedy Half Dollar, $185 & up

Most Valuable Half Dollars

This special John F. Kennedy half dollar was packaged in a set that also contained a commemorative coin honoring JFK’s younger brother, Robert F. Kennedy.

Only 62,350 matte finish Kennedy halves were made, and the coin is now a scarce collector’s item. It’s especially a coin that Kennedy half dollar enthusiasts want.

#6 – 1897-O Barber Half Dollar, $175 & up

The 1897-O Barber half dollar, like so many other mintmarked 19th-century coins, is much scarcer than its same-year Philadelphia counterpart.

The New Orleans mint made 632,000 Barber halves in 1897, but few of these coins were saved in collectible condition.

#7 – 1893-S Barber Half Dollar, $170 & up

The 1893-S half dollar is a semi-key coin for the Barber half series. 740,000 were minted, which is a decent figure, but many of these coins were heavily used — meaning few were ever saved in collectible condition.

Some coin collectors might be surprised to find out that it’s very difficult to find the necessary coins to a complete the Barber half dollar series in a minimum grade of Good-4.

#8 – 1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollar, $170 & up

Most Valuable Half Dollars

Similar to the 1921-D listed above, production of the 1921 Walking Liberty half dollar at the Philadelphia mint was low, too — that’s due to a recession that hit the United States in the early 1920s.

The 1921 Walking Liberty half dollar, which has a low mintage of 246,000, is very hard to find today and is a coin that Walking Liberty enthusiasts really want to get their hands on.

#9 – 1897-S Barber Half Dollar, $145 & up

Just as the 1897-O Barber half dollar (listed above) is considered a scarce coin, the 1897 San Francisco half dollar is also a difficult coin to locate — even though a whopping 933,900 were made.

Again, few mintmarked coins from the 19th century were saved in large numbers, making these coins very scarce today.

#10 – 1914 Barber Half Dollar, $130 & up

During the last 3 years of the Barber half dollar series (1913-1915), output of the coin from the Philadelphia mint was relatively small. Of the last 3 Barber half dollar Philadelphia issues, the 1914 half dollar (124,610 were made) is the most valuable in the lower circulated grades.

You’ll see the other 2 Philadelphia issues I was talking about a moment ago pop up just a little later on this list of most valuable half dollars.

Barber Half Dollar: History and facts - Barber Half Dollar - US Mint Series - Numismatics with Kenny

#11 – 1896-S Barber Half Dollar, $125 & up

Here’s another S-mintmark Barber half dollar from the late 19th century that’s considerably scarce.

The 1896-S was made in fairly large numbers — 1,140,948 were struck — but few exist today even in the lowly grade of Good-4.

#12 – 1916-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar, $125 & up

Here’s the San Francisco issue from the first year of the Walking Liberty half dollars.

This coin is worth a pretty penny (see what I did there?) and is a semi-key in the Walking Liberty half dollar series.

#13 – 1915 Barber Half Dollar, $100 & up

Here’s another one of those Philadelphia-mint Barber half dollars I was talking about a moment ago.

Only 138,450 Barber halves were made in 1915 (that’s a pretty paltry number, really), and they’re worth a lot even in the well-worn grade of Good-4.

#14 – 1913 Barber Half Dollar, $95 & up

And here’s the third Philadelphia Barber half dollar that I mentioned above.

As you might have guessed, all 3 of the Philly Barber half dollars that I’ve included in this list are considered semi-key coins for the Barber half series and are highly desirable.

#15 – 1938-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar, $65 & up

This is a semi-key coin in the Walking Liberty half dollar series and one that coin collectors need to include in order to complete a collection of Walking Liberty half dollars.

Some coin collectors will buy the 1938-D in better grades, such as Extremely Fine-40, About Uncirculated-5o, and Uncirculated grades. However, specimens of the 1938-D half dollar in those higher grades are much more valuable than the $50 price listed here for a 1938-D in Good-4.

#16 – 1904-S Barber Half Dollar, $75 & up

It’s often the case that branch mint Barber half dollars are scarcer than their Philadelphia counterparts. (The 1913, 1914, and 1915 are clearly exceptions!)

The 1904 San Francisco mint is one of the scarcer Barber halves, and while 553,038 were made, far fewer were ever saved.

#17 – 1955 “Bugs Bunny” Franklin Half Dollar, $30 & up

Most Valuable Half Dollars

Here’s a Franklin half dollar with a whimsically named die variety. The “Bugs Bunny” Franklin half dollar was created by a die clash that caused damage to Ben Franklin’s mouth, appearing to give him buck teeth.

This is probably one of the most popular Franklin half dollar varieties and is one that many half dollar collectors want.

Other Valuable Half Dollars To Look For

A lot of people ask me if their Kennedy half dollars are worth any money. The simple answer is this: if it’s from 1971 or later and is worn, it’s most likely worth only face value.

There are a few exceptions to this rule — especially if the coin has an “S” mintmark (meaning it’s a proof coin) or has any die varieties, such as the case with the 1982 no-FG (designer Frank Gasparro’s initials).

More or less, 99 out of 100 Kennedy half dollars you’ll find in bank rolls or pocket change are from 1971 on, and they are worth only face value.

Earlier half dollars are worth more because of their silver content, which is 40% for 1965-1970 half dollars and 90% for all earlier half dollars made during the 20th century.

Here’s a rundown on minimum coin values for all dates not listed above:

More Info About Half Dollar Coins

Next up: Most Valuable Dollar Coins – A List Of Eisenhower Dollars, Peace Dollars, Morgan Dollars & Others Worth Holding Onto!

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68 thoughts on “Most Valuable Half Dollars: A List Of Silver Half Dollars, Kennedy Half Dollars & Others Worth Holding Onto!”

  1. I have literally thousands of 40% silver Kennedy halves, but I have not come across any 1970s. Why is this year so seemingly scarce among Kennedies, and does this not make it any more valuable than the other years?

    Reply
    • Hi, Ryan —

      Only 2,150,000 business-strike Kennedy halves were made in 1970, and all were intended for uncirculated sets. Suffice it to say, most exist in coin collections.

      Thanks for your question!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Gene —

      There is no record of such a coin, which leads me to wonder if your piece is probably a type of novelty token. If you wouldn’t mind posting a photo I’ll be happy to help further.

      Thanks!
      Josh

      Reply
    • The key here is that the Confederacy only existed from 1861 to 1865 so an 1851 date would definitely indicate you have a fake or fantasy piece. The 1851 year is doubly suspicious because there are other well-known fakes bearing that date. The most notorious is a “silver dollar” whose design is crudely copied from the Washington quarter – a coin that didn’t exist until 1932!

      Reply
    • Hi, David —

      Unless your quarters are in mint condition or have any surface/die abnormalities, I’m afraid they are all worth face value.

      Thank you for your question,
      Josh

      Reply
    • David, 1964 was the last year that circulating US dimes and quarters contained silver. Anything after that would be made of copper and nickel which is why they’re only worth face value in the absence of any special conditions.

      Reply
    • Hi, Jody —

      While I would need to please see a photo of the coin to say for certain, it sounds like you’re describing what we in the hobby would call a counterstamp, or a mark placed on the coin after it left the Mint. These pieces are generally worth face value.

      Thank you for your question!
      Josh

      Reply
  2. Hi, My aunt has a number of coins that were my grandmother’s and she
    wants me to get values for them. Right now I have the silver coins and wheat
    pennies to sort through. There is a 1901 Morgan dollar and a 1913
    quarter dollar and a 1835 10 cent coin, lots of silver half dollars from
    1951 – 1963, also walking liberty coins 1934 – 1943 and lots of silver
    quarters. Would you suggest where I should go for values and if just
    from my description any of them sound valuable?

    Reply
    • Hello, Barbara —

      I’m happy to tell you that ALL those coins sound valuable, though of course the individual conditions of each coin will affect the values of those coins.

      From a base standpoint, let me provide you the following values, assuming each piece is moderately to heavily worn but have no signs of damage (cleaning, holes, scratches, bends, etc.):

      1901 Morgan silver dollar: $15 and up
      1951-1963 Franklin half dollars: $6 and up
      1934-1943 Walking Liberty half dollars: $7 and up
      Any silver quarter: $3 and up
      1835 Capped Bust dime: $25 and up

      I urge you to check out this post; it provides links to all the valuable dates for the major U.S. denominations: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/us-coins/

      Cheers,
      Josh

      Reply
  3. I have a few 50 cent pieces one being 1968 ,1969 on up but I have two with the date on them that states 1776-1976

    Reply
    • Hello, Wendy —

      The pictured 1968-D and the 1969-D Kennedy halves are each worth about $2.75 to $3 given current silver values. The 1776-1976 Kennedy half dollar, which in this case has no silver and is worn, is worth face value. If you have any 1776-1976 Kennedy half dollars with an “S” (San Francisco) mintmark, there is the possibility they are silver, but I would need to see the “S”-mint ones to verify for you.

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Alena –

      The edge may have been worn down post mint, but if you don’t mind posting a photo I’d be glad to assist further!

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
  4. Hello, I have several of coins that need to be appraised as I am looking thru them, I found some Kennedy half dollars, while I believe they are face value, I wonder is the stamps are like this on all of the coins… there seems to be a little stamp in the bottom stump of his, I think one is an S and the other a P……

    Reply
    • Hi, Trudy —

      The little stamp at the very base of Kennedy’s neck are the initials of GIlroy Roberts, who designed the obverse (head’s side) of the Kennedy half dollar. I hope this info is what you were looking for. Please let me know if you need further assistance and I’ll be glad to help!

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, George —

      These circulated copper-nickel Kennedy half dollars are all worth face value and are safe to spend if you wish.

      Thank you for your question and photo!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hello there, Porsha!

      Neat finds! I have provided approximate values for each of your coins below:

      1927-D Lincoln penny – 15 to 20 cents
      1930 Lincoln pennies – 10 to 15 cents each
      1937 Lincoln penny – 5 to 10 cents
      1949-S Lincoln penny 10 to 15 cents
      1936-D Buffalo nickel – $1 to $1.50
      1977 Kennedy half dollar – 50 cents (worth face value if worn)

      Thank you for including the great photos!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hello, Ricky!

      I love these old silver half dollars! Yours contains a composition made from a 40% silver, 60% copper clad makeup. This piece is worth approximately $2.65, based on the current spot price of silver, which is $17.16 per ounce right now.

      Thank you for your question!
      Josh

      Reply
  5. I have 22 JFK coins 1965 to 69 and 4 statue liberty liberty 1942 40, 41, 44 Ben Franklin 1962..
    What’s the worth?

    Reply
    • Hi, Fizzie —

      Assuming all of the coins referenced above are circulated and have no errors or varieties, here are their values:

      *1965-69 Kennedy halves contain a 40% silver composition and are worth about $2.50 each
      *The 1940s Mercury dimes are each worth $2.25 to $2.50 each
      *The 1962 Franklin half dollar has a value of about $6

      Thank you for your question,
      Josh

      Reply
  6. Hi Joshua, I have ‘wheaties’ from 1915-1958. Why do some have a D or S and some have no initial? I have a lot with D so I assume they are less valuable?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hello, Debbie —

      The “D” mintmark means the coin was struck in Denver, and the “S” mintmark identifies the coin was struck at the San Francisco Mint. In most cases, no mintmark means the coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Here’s more info on mintmarks: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/mint_marks_letters_on_coins/

      During many years, the Denver Mint struck the largest share of one-cent coins for that year. Also, depending on where you live, Denver-minted coins might be more prominent than, say, coins from the East Coast’s mint in Philadelphia.

      Here’s a list of the most valuable pennies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/valuable-pennies/

      Hopefully you have some on the list!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi there, Sunny!

      I’m not sure what you think it is (hope it’s what I’m about to tell you…), but what I see here is a 1917-S Reverse Mintmark Walking Liberty half dollar. I don’t grade coins on here for several reasons (including the fact that grades and toning look differently in person than they do in photos), but this appears to possibly be an uncirculated specimen due to the perceived lack of rubs on the coin’s high points (obverse, Miss Liberty’s breasts and left arm; reverse, the eagle’s breast feathers and beak). This coin even appears to have a hint of red wine coloration, though that could be a lighting matter. If my observations of this coin are correct, it could be worth more than $1,000.

      I suggest getting the coin evaluated in -hand by a third-party coin grader for further authentication and grading.

      Here’s a list of reputable third-party coin grading firms: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/
      And tips on how to find a good coin dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/
      Finally, a searchable (but incomplete) list of coin dealers: https://png.memberclicks.net/find-a-png-dealer

      Best wishes,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Suzie —

      A Capped Bust half dollar is a great, classic American coin…. These are usually worth a minimum of about $30, and often much more, depending on the condition of the coin. Do you have a photo you may share so I can further assist you?

      Thank you,
      Josh

      Reply
  7. I have a kennedy half dollar 1964 it looks like it has a d on the back for the mint. I read something about the hair lines can make it worth more is this true and if so what could the value be. overall it’s in pretty good shape. thanks

    Reply
    • Hi, Starla —

      Yes, there is a proof variety of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar that has accented hairlines on Kennedy’s head. However, only Philadelphia made proofs in 1964, and if you have a “D” mintmark on yours, signifying that it was made at the Denver Mint, then you wouldn’t have the 1964 Accented Hair Kennedy half dollar, I’m sorry to say. Still, even a circulated 1964-D Kennedy half dollar is worth $6 to $7 for its silver metal content.

      Nice find,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Oh Paleez —

      This is weird… It’s either a planchet (coin disc) flaw or something on the surface of the coin. We need to first rule out if it’s a surface alteration (such as an epoxy-based surface refinish) before declaring this one an error. The way to do that is safely submerging the coin in acetone for a few moments, removing the coin, and seeing if the epoxy removes any surface residues that could have imparted the crackled finish. If not, please let me know and we’ll try something else…

      Good luck! I hope this is an error!
      -Josh

      Reply
          • Hi Josh…well, I did the acetone dip and the crackle finish remains. I am of the opinion, not knowing anything about coins or metals, that the nick on the side is perhaps from someone holding the quarter in a tool and either dipping it in something, or applying heat and quenching….just don’t know. But I asked a tool and die maker what chemical would do that to silver, and he said “none” that he knows of. Any ideas?

          • It’s possible it might be a defective planchet, which is a fairly valuable error. I’d suggest sending a photo or two of this coin to error expert Fred Weinberg and explain that you DID submerge the coin in acetone to try removing surface residue.

            Here’s Weinberg’s info: https://www.fredweinberg.com/contact-us/

            Hoping this checks out as a defective planchet….
            -Josh

          • Hi Josh…..well, Fred says it’s definitely environmental. I want to thank you so much for your help. It’s nice to know that people out there are willing to be so helpul with no reward, but for the love of the game. I know I’m having fun learning. Thanks again!

          • Oh, wow… At least you have an answer though! I’m glad to help however I can and am glad to meet someone else such as yourself who is so interested in learning more about coins.

            Happy collecting!
            Josh

          • Hey, OhPaleez —

            I’m back online now… I check in about once a day in the morning on the Eastern Seaboard.

            Hope all is ok,
            Josh

          • This is strange, I posted something here for you last night, now it’s gone….anyway, here it is again. I found this coin in a local sales list where i live.I thought would be a great buy, but it seems like everyone at coin talk thinks its a scam (they are so skeptical there!). I’m 99 % sure i’s not, it’s just a good bargain. under melt. Where I live, we can trust people, not like the city. Jst wanted to post you a link in case you were interested. And no, I dont know the guy. I can’t afford to buy it, but personally, I would if I could.
            https://offerup.com/item/detail/495300216/

          • I think it was because of the link that this didn’t go through originally. Frankly, I’m a little concerned, too… Even if the coin “looks” good, it really needs to be tested and weighed for purity and specific gravity. SOOO many coins today are cast counterfeits from really sharp dies overseas and sold on websites for cheap prices to people who are will sell the coins online at prices that are low enough to move product but high enough to “seem” legit. I have written for several publications about the rise of Chinese counterfeits that are fooling even some longtime dealers. You can’t be too careful anymore. It’s sad that so many collectors and dealers have to be skeptical of the material coming in, and unless the coin can be verified with diagnostics or comes with a strict guarantee of authenticity, I’d pass on it. The question you may have to ask yourself here is, why would this person sell a $3,000+ coin for only $1,200, when any dealer would gladly purchase it (assuming it’s genuine) for at least $2,000 to $2,200? For an extra payout of a few hundred bucks, it’s worth a trip to the nearest coin store (even one a couple hours away).

            I’m not trying to be a Donnie Downer, but I’ve seen the counterfeit problem explode in the last several years and many good folks lose a ton of money on deals that “look good” but really aren’t. At the very least I’d hope you would seek a second or third opinion on this coin before spending $1,200…

            My very best wishes,
            Josh

          • Thanks Josh. I do understand about the fakes. I really do. For some reason, this one did’nt make the hairs stand out on my neck. Normally I am a skeptic. I thought I would share the ad in case someone wanted to see it, I didn’t realize it would cause a firestorm of WARNINGS (flashing on and off). I also assume that others know to test and check things out before they buy them, as I would myself.
            Lesson Learned, but I still don’t like not wanting to pass what I think is a good deal onto someone I like.
            Here’s one reason why I’m not so untrusting…..
            When my daughter was little she wanted to go to Summer Camp which was several thousand dollars. I didn’t have nearly enough. The only thing I had which I knew was worth more than that was a Louis Vuitton Trunk from the 1800’s. I “attempted” to sell it. It was worth enough to get her to camp and then some, so I opted to sell it for just under the amount it would have taken to let her go. Because I needed to money fast. I was bombarded with people calling me a scammer. I won’t go into details, but it was awful, I was called every 4 letter word and people let me have it right and left. To appease those who said the trunk was fake and that I was trying to pawn it off on someone and that’s why it’s so cheap, I had it appraised. $75 for a full appraisal. Then all they said was “why are you selling something appraised for this amount for so little – Scammer! Now out the $75, I finally closed the ad. My daughter didn’t get to camp. All because I tried to sell it for less than it was worth.

          • Thank you for sharing this, OhPaleez… I have interviewed several people in the numismatic consumer advocacy circles, a few of them good friends of mine, who have seen a rising tide of problems with uncertified coins hitting the internet marketplace. What this has unfortunately done is made it much more difficult to know which deals are the “good” ones. Hoping this is the Real McCoy because if it is, it’s one nice deal indeed.

            Thank you again,
            Josh

  8. i have a 1996 half dollar is almost uncirculated contrition (i think) because there are only really small scratches. how much does it cost?

    Reply
    • Hi, Adam…

      Hmm, at first glance I thought it may be a lamination error worth about $10, but some hits to the rim makes me wonder if it’s just serious post-Mint damage. It might need an in-hand evaluation by a coin dealer versed in error coins who can make this determination visually.

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
  9. Hi, I’m having trouble recognizing the difference in Washington quarters (years 1934, 37 & 43 S, I think) that have the “double die obverse” and those that don’t. I’m able to see it in some examples, but not at all in others. Are there different degrees of this variant, or is it easier to see in some than others? If so, any hints on which letters I should be looking at that might make it easier to recognize? Thanks, Tina

    Reply

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