1971 Half Dollar: Value Guide, History & Error List

Jenson Cambell

Content last reviewed

Half Dollar

Do you have an uncirculated 1971 half-dollar coin and want to know how much you could get for it? You’ve come to the right place, as this article is a complete value guide for the 1971 Kennedy half-dollar coins, including the proofs and error coins. It also covers some history of the coin.

1971 Half Dollar: Grades and Values

The 1971 half-dollar is a relatively common coin. As a result, the circulated coins don’t have much value, and all grades, including almost uncirculated (AU), are priced between $0.6 and $1.

The uncirculated coins all start at $5, but at the higher grades, the prices of the coins differ between the mintmarks. An MS67 1971 (no mint mark) is worth $2,500, but the same coin with a D Mark is worth only $375.

1971 Half Dollar Value Chart
Mint Circulated

(G4 – AU58)

Uncirculated

(MS60 – MS64)

Brilliant uncirculated

(MS65 – MS67)

Gem

uncirculated

(MS68 – MS70)

1971 (P) Half Dollar $1 $5 – $10 $40 – $2500 > $7,000
1971-D

Half Dollar

$1 $5 – $10 $16 – $375 > $3,750
1971-S Proof Half Dollar

 

 

$4 (PR)

$5 – $8 (CAM)

$6 – $8 (DCAM)

$4 – $7 (PR)

$8 – $15 (CAM)

$10 – $32 (DCAM)

$10 – $18 (PR)

$22 – $80 (CAM)

$115 – $1,150 (DCAM)

1971 Half Dollar History

1971 Half Dollar History

1971 marked the beginning of the copper-nickel alloy Kennedy half-dollar coins we have today.

The previous coins from 1965 to 1970 were made with an alloy of 40% silver and 60% copper. However, due to the rising cost of silver, the composition was changed to copper-nickel alloy layers over a pure copper center.

As a result of the change, the 1971 half-dollar and all half-dollar coins since have been slightly less heavy (11.3 grams) than the pre-1971 Kennedy coins.

Besides the composition and reduced weight, all other details, like the reeded edge, the diameter (30.61mm), and the image of President Kennedy on the obverse and presidential seal on the reverse, are the same as the original 1964 half-dollar coin designed by Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro.

Even the color is still the same, as the copper-nickel alloy has a silvery appearance despite having a higher copper content.

The coins were minted in Denver and Philadelphia, with a total mintage of 417 million. And an additional 3 million proofs were struck in San Francisco.

1971 No Mint Mark (P) Half Dollar Value

1971 No Mint Mark Half Dollar Value
1971 50C (Regular Strike) Kennedy Half Dollar

About 115 million 1971 no-mint mark half-dollar coins were struck at the Philadelphia mint. Considering this was not so long ago, many of these coins are still around today.

Circulated 1971 50-cent coins are the easiest to find and the least expensive. The circulated 1971 half-dollar will typically cost between $0.6 and $1, depending on the grade.

Almost uncirculated coins aren’t too different from the circulated coins, as they’re also widely available. AU50 to AU58 coins cost between $1 and $2.

Moreover, uncirculated Mint-state 1971 Kennedy coins are also readily available, although not as much as the circulated coins. As a result, they’re also inexpensive. You’ll get an MS60 for $5 and an MS65 for $40.

Only the brilliant uncirculated 1971 half-dollars are scarce and valued at over $100. MS66 and MS66+ are worth $110 and $475 respectively. At MS67, the coins are almost rare. Consequently, there’s a big leap in the numismatic value. An MS67 goes for $2500.

Furthermore, gem uncirculated 1971 Kennedy dollar coins above MS67 are almost unheard of, but the least you could get for such a coin will be about $8000.

1971 No Mint Mark (P) Half Dollar: Grade and Value Chart
Grade Value
Good 0.6
Fine 1
About Uncirculated (50) $1
MS 60 $5
MS 61 $6
MS 62 $7
MS 63 $9
MS 64 $10
MS 64+ $28
MS 65 $40
MS 65+ $55
MS66 $110
MS 66+ $425
MS 67 $2,500
MS 68
Auction record $2,900 (MS 67)

1971-D Half Dollar Value

1971-D Half Dollar Value
1971-D 50C (Regular Strike) Kennedy Half Dollar

The 1971-D half-dollar had a mintage of 302 million, so there are almost twice as many D-marked 1971 Kennedy half-dollars than those without a mint mark. Due to the higher number, the 1971-D is even less rare than the 1971 (P) half dollar. As a result, the values are similar, with the 1971-D being slightly cheaper.

Both circulated, and almost uncirculated 1971-D half-dollar coins are worth between $0.6 to $1.

Similarly, uncirculated coins are also common and range from $5 to $12 for MS60 to MS64. Even at MS65 and MS66 grades, the 1971-D half-dollar is readily available, and they go for $16 and $25, respectively. But as you get to MS67, the coins start getting scarce. An MS67 costs $70, and an MS67+ costs $350.

Unlike the Philadelphia 1971 half dollar, there are a few 1971-D half dollar coins graded MS68, and you can get one for $3,750.

1971-D Half Dollar:  Grade and Value chart
Grade Value
Good $0.6
Fine $0.75
About Uncirculated (50) $1
MS 60 $5
MS 61 $6
MS 62 $7
MS 63 $9
MS 64 $10
MS 64+ $12
MS 65 $16
MS 65+ $18
MS66 $25
MS 66+ $34
MS 67 $70
MS 67+ $375
MS 68 $3,750
MS 70

1971 Proof Half Dollar Value

All the 1971 Kennedy half-dollar proof coins have the S mintmark on the obverse, as all 3 million of them were minted in San Francisco. And a handful of these were Double Die Obverse (DDO) coins.

Proof

1971 Proof Half Dollar Value
1971-S 50C (Proof) Kennedy Half Dollar

Like the business strikes, the 1971 half-dollar proofs are also easy to obtain, particularly the ordinary proofs, which you can get for cheap in all mint state grades. The price starts at $4 for a PR60 and finishes at $18 for a near-perfect PR69.

However, double die obverse proofs are scarce and quite expensive in comparison. An MS66 costs $150, an MS67 costs $200, and MS68 will set you back $300.

The auction record for a 1971 Kennedy proof is A DDO PR67 that sold for $1,821 at a 2013 Heritage Auctions auction.

Cameo Proof

1971 CAM Proof Half Dollar Value
1971-S 50C, CAM (Proof) Kennedy Half Dollar

Cameo (CAM) 1971 proofs, which have better aesthetics than ordinary proofs, are only slightly more expensive. A PR60 costs $5, and a PR68 costs $22. CAM proofs are only scarce at PR69, which goes for $80.

DDO CAM proofs are also more expensive, starting at $75 for a PR63 and maxing out at $450 for a PR68.

The record price for a 1971 CAM proof is $908, realized for a double die obverse PR68 CAM auctioned in 2014.

Deep Cameo Proof

1971 DCAM Proof Half Dollar Value1971 DCAM Proof Half Dollar Value

1971 50-cents Deep Cameo (DCAM) Proofs, which have the highest eye appeal, are widely available from PR60 to PR67 and cost between $6 and $32. DCAM PR68 and higher are scarce and have high values. A PR68 goes for $115, while a PR69 is worth $1,150.

But the price is significantly higher at auctions, the record being a DDO DCAM PR69 sold for $12,000 at a 2019 Heritage Auctions auction.

1971 Half Dollar Proof: Grade and Value Chart
Grade PR Cameo (CAM) Deep Cameo (DCAM)
PR 60 $4 $5 $6
PR 61 $4 $5 $6
PR 62 $4 $5 $6
PR 63 $4 $6 $7
PR 64 $4 $8 $8
PR 65 $4 $8 $10
PR 66 $6 $9 $15
PR 67 $7 $15 $32
PR 68 $10 $22 $115
PR 68+ $12 $34 $275
PR 69 $18 $80 $1,150
PR 70
Auction record $1,821 $908 $12,000

1971 Kennedy Half Dollar: Error Coins and Values

The majority of error 1971 half-dollar you’ll see will have the D mint mark. And that’s because there were initially much more of these D coins than the other mint marks.

Many 1971 error coins have curved clips errors, which cost between $100 to $250.

There are also planchet errors involving the wrong planchets. But these are less common and have significantly higher value than the non-error coins.

1971 Kennedy Half Dollar Single Curved Clip Error

1971 Kennedy Half Dollar Single Curved Clip Error

Curved clip errors happen when the punching die overlaps a previously punched hole on the planchet metal strip. The clip will take the shape and size of the overlap. If the punch overlaps more than one hole, there will be more than one clip.

Compared to the regular coins, clipped 1971 half-dollar coins can be a bit valuable. The circulated coins can be worth up to $50. At the same time, uncirculated coins cost $100 and above, depending on the mint state grade and the size of the clip.

1971 Half Dollar Double Curved Clips Error

1971 Half Dollar Double Curved Clips Error

In the case of double clips, the value is almost the same as the single clip error coins. This is a double-clipped AU58 worth $175.

1971 Half Dollar Triple Clip Error

1971 Half Dollar Triple Clip Error

A triple clip error results from the punching die overlapping the edges of three different holes.

The value of a triple-clipped 1971 Kennedy coin is also largely the same as a single-clipped coin. It’s between $5 and $50 for circulated coins and upwards of $100 for uncirculated coins. The picture shows an MS65 triple-clipped 1971 Kennedy valued at $210.

1971 Half Dollar Double Strike Error

1971 Half Dollar Double Strike Error

A double strike error happens when a coin isn’t completely ejected from the die after it’s been struck. As such, the portion of the coin remaining between the dies will be struck again. But since the coin is only partially ejected from the die, the second strike will be off-center.

Double-struck 1971 Kennedy coins can be quite valuable, depending on the percentage of the second strike that shows on the coin.

An MS64 1971-D 50-cent coin with just 10% of the second strike is worth $264. But an AU58 with a 40% second strike visible is valued at $1,080.

1971 Half Dollar Double Struck Proof Error

1971 Half Dollar Double Struck Proof Error

This is a rare error, as proof coins don’t frequently have errors since the coins are struck with greater precision and attention to detail.

But when proof coins have errors, they’re usually valuable, especially if the error is a significant one. For instance, the 1971-S half-dollar proof coin pictured above has a double strike with both strikes off center and is worth $2,712.

1971 Half Dollar Struck on Silver Planchet Error

1971 Half Dollar Struck on Silver Planchet

Silver planchet errors are very valuable, especially with uncirculated 1971 Kennedy coins. Silver planchets were used for the Kennedy half dollar from 1965 to 1970, and some leftovers got into the 1971 dies.

The coin you see pictured has no physical defects and is almost uncirculated, yet it is worth about $6,000.

A circulated 1971 coin with this same error will be worth at least $200, while a mint state coin can cost upwards of $6500.

1971 Half Dollar Struck on Penny Planchet Error

1971 Half Dollar Struck on Penny Planchet

This error is another rare one for the 1971 50-cent coin. It was struck on a penny planchet. As such, the color and size differ from other 1971 half dollars. Instead of a silvery appearance, it’s reddish brown due to the copper metal.

Additionally, due to the smaller size of the penny, the planchet can not accommodate the entire design, so the lettering at the edges and the top half of JFK’s head has been cut off.

The cause of this error is simple. A penny planchet somehow found its way into the half-dollar dies. This type of error has a high value, as the pictured coin is an MS62 1971 half-dollar that was auctioned for $3,720. In better condition and grade, the error can sell for much more.

1971 Half Dollar Struck on Clad Quarter Planchet Error

1971 Half Dollar Struck on Clad Quarter Planchet Error

Some 1971 half-dollar coins were struck on blanks meant for quarters. Since quarters are smaller than half-dollars, much of the coin design isn’t captured on the planchet.

For instance, the motto LIBERTY may not show up on the obverse, and on the reverse, the value HALF DOLLAR is also not seen.

The value of such an error coin depends on the condition and grade; the coin in the picture is MS63 and worth $528. An MS65 could be worth twice that amount.

1971 Half Dollar value chart

Leave a Comment

coin folly logo

Coin Folly provides coin value insights and free Coin Valuation Services. It promotes coin research and collection.

Services

Coin Valuation

Contact

support@coinfolly.com