1964 half-dollar value + tricks to identify rare ones

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1964 half-dollarThe 1964 half-half dollar is one of the most popular coins issued by the US mint. In this article, I will tell you how you can identify rare ones that can be sold for a lot of money.

After digesting the tips I shared with you, you’ll be surprised how much money this coin is worth.

Value of a 1964 half-dollar that has errors

Errors make coins more valuable. Simply because they are rare and everybody wants to collect them.

Add to that the magic of the supply and demand law. And you can make tens of thousands of dollars selling error coins.

In this paragraph, I’ll share with you what errors you should look for, how you can identify them and how much you can expect to make selling one these coins.

Quadrupled die obverse

This is a rare error where the writings on the obverse (head) are struck four times on top of each other.

If you find a 1964 half-dollar that has this error and it has high grade, you can sell it for 800 $.

The same applies to the triple die obverse. The lettering is struck three times instead of four.

Double die obverse

This error can increase the value of you 1964 Kennedy half-dollar up to 1600 $. Just look for doubling in the letter of “Liberty” and “In God, We Trust” and on the number 1964.

You should also find some doubling in the hair near Kennedy’s neck. But it is not easy to spot. so focus on the other differences.

Double die reverse

Look for doubling on the lettering and the stars on the reverse. These errors can increase the value of your half-dollar up to 2000 $.1964 kennedy half-dollar reverse


Check your pocket change for an error called RPM. It stands for repunched mint mark.

Flip the coin; look to reverse (tail). Focus on the mint mark under the eagle’s claw holding the olive branch.

If you find that the mint mark is struck more than once with a slight overlap, then you have the RPM error.

A 1964 half-dollar with the RPM error can be worth 17,000 $ depending on the grade.


The change in the color of the coin’s surface is called toning. This is due to the chemical reaction between the coin’s metal and the surrounding substances.

This change happens naturally and slowly over time. It can be accelerated or made by artificial means but experts can identify it.

This natural change can make the 1964 half-dollar more attractive like a rainbow or it can make it ugly, and sometimes corroded.

This pattern can be visible sometimes when oil is mixed with water.

Depending on how colorful and attractive the coin is, you can sell it for somewhere between 5000 and 22,000 $.

Accented hair

The 1964 half-dollar with accented hair is not an error. The design was initially decided to be that way.

Kennedy’s wife didn’t like it. She requested some modifications. This why the US mint adopted the “normal” design that you are familiar with.

However, some of the accented hair coins were already in circulation. This variety is rare. It represents 2 to 3 % of the total 1964 Kennedy coins. You can sell one of them for almost 20,000 $.

The easiest way to identify this variety is by looking for extra hair above Kennedy’s ear.

There other differences between the accented and normal hair varieties. But you need a microscope in order to see them easily. Check out this easy to use USB microscope.

The lower left serif of the “I” in the word “liberty” is truncated in the accented variety. Flip the coin and look to the arrows between the eagle and the scroll. One of them should have gaps near the stars in the accented version.

Now, focus on the “FG” between the eagle’s foot and tail. On the rare variety, the horizontal serif on the “G” is missing.

How to identify 1964 SMS half-dollar?

SMS stands for Special Mint Set. This type of coins is extremely rare. Only 12 of them were discovered so far.

The first one of these coins was discovered in the early 90s. If you find an SMS 1964 half-dollar, you can sell it for as high as 47,000 $.

The 1964 SMS half-dollar isn’t considered an error nor a variety.

They were struck with extreme care. The details are very clear and sharp. The rims are square and there were no contact marks.

The coin’s surface is reflective, smooth like satin and it contains some orange toning.

They may be prototypes made by the US mint before starting the mass production of the Kennedy coins. Maybe they wanted to know what the best finish for this coin is.

The easiest way to identify the 1964 SMS half-dollar is by examining the four in the “1964”. There should be a teardrop-shaped piece of metal dangling from the four.

It is too small. So you may need a magnifying glass to see it.

Kennedy half-dollar Melt value

The 1964 Kennedy coins are worth more than their face value (0.5 $) because they are composed of 90% silver.

Since its weight is 12.5 grams, the silver content is 11.25 grams (0.3617 oz.). We multiply that by the silver price and we get the melt value.

If the silver price per gram is 0.58, then its melt value is 6.525. The silver is precious metal and its price is always fluctuating. So I think this coin is worth hoarding.

You can sell it for a lot of money when the conditions are favorable for this kind of business.

You should think about the melt value only if the coin doesn’t have errors, high grade or it is not a rare variety.

These factors could increase the value of your coin (the numismatic value) drastically (we’re talking thousands of dollars).

A Kennedy half-dollar that has a high grade, which means it is in a very good condition (shiny, not bent, no scratches…), can be sold for thousands of dollars.

A 1964 half-dollar was sold for 10,000 $ simply because it has a high grade (MS 69). The maximum is 70 grades, this means that the coin was in pretty good shape.

You should hunt these ones, they’re worth a lot of money. If a coin is shiny and has no scratches, it doesn’t mean necessarily it has a high value.

It can be cleaned with some chemicals to make it look new. This will reduce its worth.

Reputable grading companies are the ones capable of telling how authentic and good the coin is.

1964 half-dollar facts

This is general info about the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar. They can help you identify fake ones in case you want to buy some of these coins.

This coin was issued a few months after the assassination of Kennedy. The striking began in January 1964 and it was released in March the same year.

These coins were sold out quickly even after rationing was imposed. Everybody wanted to get this specially issued half-dollar.

The demand was overwhelming which made the US mint increase production significantly.

The 1964 half-dollar is a special one compared to the other Kennedy coins. It is composed of 90%. This percentage was later reduced then removed due to the increasing prices of silver.

The coin weighs 12.5 grams. Its diameter is 30.61 mm and it is 2.15 mm thick with reeded edges.

On the obverse, there is the J.F.K portrait facing left. Under it, there is the date (1964) and in “In God we trust”. On top of it, you find the word “liberty”.

The GR under Kennedy’s neck is usually mistaken as a hammer and a sickle, but they’re the initials of Gilroy Roberts (the coin creator).

The mint mark is on the left side of the coin under the olive branch.

On the reverse of the coin, the US presidential seal was struck with some modifications. The American eagle holds an olive branch in its right claws and 13 arrows on the left one.

The “E Pluribus Unum” is written on a scroll that is held by the eagle’s beak. 50 stars are struck around the eagle.


1964 half-dollar is a special coin issued to commemorate JFK. You can always sell this coin for good money depending on many factors.

It is made out of 90 % silver, which is a precious metal. This coin weighs 12.5 grams. You only have to multiply that by the current silver price to get its melt value.

If the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar has errors, it can be sold for somewhere between 300 and 17,000 $ depending on the error type and the grade.

The accented hair variety is a rare coin that you can sell for as much as 20,000 $.

The 1964 SMS half-dollar is extremely rare and can be sold for 47,000 $.

Errors also increase the value of your coin up to 22,000 $. There are many of them. I can’t list them all in the conclusion or it won’t be a conclusion. So scroll up; I listed them for you in this article.

4 thoughts on “1964 half-dollar value + tricks to identify rare ones”

  1. My 1964 D mint JFK Half has lettering inside the nostril. It appears to be em2xa which when googled it goes to 1934 federal regulations for security and exchange. Joe Kennedy was named the first chairman of the new 1934 COMMISSION for Security and exchange. This is a new discovery by me as nobody has knowledge of it. Yes it takes some magnifing to figure it out but it is a planned mark and is not doubling or otherwise. I have a reasonably clear photo and plan to get a better one. This unusaul coin is probably a special strike. It may be the transitional variety odv002 rdv001 but the obversere has polishing marks and the i and the B bottom left marks. The reverse has many oddities. The D hit more than once. Broken rays by stars. Cut or die marks on e plurius unum. H gas a small R on right middle . D has drop at left bottom like B on front.etc etc etc. Will try to send pictures ..this coin is as it came from mint still in the case it was received in.


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