Will a half dollar issued in 1968 become worthless due to its low silver content? Of course not! Don't be so quick to put your 1968 half dollar coin at the bottom of the case; its value is determined by more than just its silver content!
The Kennedy half dollars struck in the first year of 1964 had 90% silver. The cost of minting them was very high, so the U.S. Mint decided to reduce the silver content to 40% for the coins struck in 1965. The lower silver content meant the 1968 half-dollar value would also be low.
The Denver and San Francisco mints struck 249,993,436 half-dollar coins. Due to the high numbers minted, the half-dollar coin is very common. In this post, apart from the silver content in the half-dollar coins, you will learn more factors determining the 1968 Kennedy half-dollar value.
1968 Half Dollar Value
The 1968 half-dollar value depends on its condition in the grading scale and the coins' rarity, and the worth can vary significantly depending on its condition. Even coins that were previously circulated can be valuable & could reach up to hundreds of dollars if they are in good condition or have rare minting errors.
The NGC Price Guide puts the market value of 1968-D Half Dollars in Mint State (MS) anywhere between $6 to a whopping $4,800.
In this article, you will explain more about the coins' value depending on their condition, the 1968 half-dollar errors, and more!
Most Valuable 1968 Silver Dollars
1964 SP Kennedy half a dollar is the most valuable, and only five are in circulation today. It's a unique coin with a polished finish and is one of the Philadelphia-minted coins. During the Heritage Auctions in 2019, a coin collector bought it for $108,000, a record.
The 1968 DCAM S PR 70 has the best condition of the series and sold at $12,000 during an auction in 2018. However, it has 40% silver content.
The 1968 Mint Mark and Kennedy Proofs Value
The San Francisco and Denver mints were the only two mints that struck the 1968 half-dollars.
The 1968 Denver Mint Mark Half-Dollar. The Denver mint-struck coins have a “D” mark on the coin's reverse. They are valuable, and even the one with the most wear and tear has a value of the silver amount it has. Coins in A.U. state have a value of $3.60 while an M.S. condition-the almost perfect coin values at $450.
M.S. 67+ rated coin was the most valuable coin struck by the Denver mint. It is unique, and in 2019, a collector bought it at $7500.
1968 Kennedy proofs. The San Francisco mint struck 3,041,506 1968 Kennedy proofs, a PR 64 regular coin valued at $4.50, and $22 for a PR 69. Kennedy proofs with a cameo contrast have a higher value than the regular half dollars. In this case, a PR 64 will cost $6, and a PR 69 at $28.
Deep cameo contrast has a solid polished finish and is very beautiful, so they always have the highest value. The one with the highest grade, the P.R., has a $10000 value.
1968 Kennedy Half-Dollar Errors
During minting, some coins were wrongly struck, making them unique and rare from the regular strikes. These coins have a higher value and are a favorite for most collectors. Here are some of the 1968 Kennedy error coins.
- Coins with an Inverted “D” were struck in Denver and had an inverted letter “D.” It is pretty rare, and an uncirculated condition can fetch upwards of thousands of dollars.
- Deep Cameo Contrast errors. These half-dollar coins have a polished shiny surface and are very appealing. They are highly sought after by coin collectors and are very pricey. In 2017, one of these coins sold for $21600.
- Coins with the S mint mark inverted. The “S” mint mark was manually struck by workers at the San Francisco minting operation, although it was inverted. You will have to use a microscope to see it.
The Kennedy 1968 Half Dollar History
The Kennedy half dollar is a commemorative coin to honor the great president after his assassination on 22nd November 1963. At that time, the U.S. mints were minting the Franklin dollar, but they decided to replace it with the Kennedy half dollars in his honor.
Frank Gasparro and Gilroy Roberts designed the Kennedy half dollars. The first half-dollar coin has 90% silver and 10% copper. However, this changed in 1968 when the U.S. mints reduced the silver content to 40% and 60% copper to reduce the high cost of producing silver coins.
Features of the 1968 Kennedy Half Dollar
The front side of the Kennedy half-dollar portrays the president facing right. There's the word “LIBERTY” at the top of the coin and “IN GOD WE TRUST” slightly below Kennedy's neck. The mint year is at the base of the half-dollar coin.
The coin's reverse displays an eagle at the center, with its wings spread out. The eagle's left claw holds onto 13 arrows while the left claws clutch a branch of an olive. There is a shield on the eagle's chest, and its beak has the tip of a scroll.
Above the eagle's head is the word “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and 50 stars surround the eagle. The upper part of the coin has the word “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” and the bottom part has “HALF DOLLAR.”
1968 Kennedy Half Dollar Mint Mark
The Mint mark is usually on the coin's reverse side, under the eagle's claw holding an olive branch. Coins struck in Denver have a “D” mint mark, whereas those struck in San Francisco have an “S” mint mark.
Kennedy Half Dollars Made from Silver
The Kennedy Half Dollar was the only coin struck in Silver after 1964. The silver content was reduced from 90% to 40% for the Kennedy half dollars in circulation from 1965 to 1969, and the mints dint use Silver in any U.S. circulation coins after 1969.
Why the 1968 Half Dollar Is Rare
The 1968 half dollars are rare since the mints struck them for a limited time and are not under production. Coins struck earlier in the earlier years are more valuable because they have higher silver content.
The 1968 half-dollar value depends on the coin's condition and how rare it is. The better the condition and quality of the coin, the higher the value. Again, rare coins also have a higher value than commonly available coins. Only two mints in the U.S. struck the 1968 Kennedy half dollars, the San Francisco and the Denver mints.