1966 Kennedy Half Dollar Value Guide

Jenson Cambell

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Half Dollar

The 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar has one of the lowest mintages between 1965 and 1970. That is due to late production commencement, leaving Denver and San Fransisco only five months to mint the specific date. But despite these setbacks in the early years, the 1966-date half dollar gained traction in the present year.

Do you have a 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar? And are you looking for its valuation today? If you do, this article has all the charts you need to give you valuable information. But before getting into the nuts and bolts, let’s see the summarized valuation chart first!

1966 Kennedy Half Dollar Valuation Chart

Grade 1966 No Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Value 1966 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar Value
Good (G4) $4.75 /
Fine (F12) $4.75 /
Extremely Fine (XF40) $4.75 /
About Uncirculated (AU50) $4.75 /
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS60) $5.25-$5.50 $5.25-$6.75
Choice Uncirculated (MS63) $7.50-$15 $7.50-$10
Gem Uncirculated (MS65) $60-$20,000 $15-$1,200

1966 Kennedy Half Dollar History

From January through July 1966, the Denver Mint produced 1965-dated half-dollar coins to discourage hoarding. However, it resulted in the late commencement of 1966-dated pieces.

With only a few months left before the year ended, Denver hastened the production, resulting in 108 million pieces of 1966 Half Dollar. But still, it is the second lowest mintage for silver-clad dollar coinage from 1965 to 1970.

Alongside Denver Mint, the San Francisco Assay Office released a Special Mint Set (SMS) for the 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar. Cameo and Ultra Cameo specimens are available—although they belong to the minority of the whole production. And like any other 1965-67 coins, it carried no mintmark on either side.

The normal dating resumed in 1967, while mintmark and proof coins reappeared in 1968 after the coin shortage passed.

1966 Kennedy Half Dollar Information

1966 Kennedy Half Dollar Value

  • Category: Type 2 (1965-1970), Kennedy Half Dollars
  • Face Value: $0.50
  • Metal Composition: 40% Silver and 60% Copper
  • Obverse Designer: Gilroy Roberts (Chief Engraver)
  • Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Weight: 11.50 grams
  • Diameter: 30.6 mm
  • Edge: Reeded

The design of the 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar does not differ from the original coin. It still showcases the bust of President JFK on the obverse side and the Presidential Seal on the reverse side. However, the 1966 halves are among the series that do not offer a proof set.

The 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar only has two varieties: One is struck for general circulation, while the other is a Special Mint Set for coin collectors. Below, you’ll find the number of mintage per mint location.

Mint Location Coin Variety Mintage
Denver 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar 108,984,932
San Fransisco 1966 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar 2,261,583
Total   111,246,515

1966 No Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Valuation

1966 No Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar Valuation

Philadelphia Mint abandoned the production of Kennedy Half Dollar in early 1966. So, Denver took over and minted 108,984,932 pieces of 1966 No Mintmark Kennedy Half Dollar for circulation.

But despite it not having a mintmark, the 1966 coin still gained the general public’s interest. One is because of its metal composition, and the second is because it has the portrait of the famed president.

Circulated grades until MS64 are considered common, and many are hoarded in rolls and bags. However, grades MS65 and above are hard to obtain since Denver focused on quantity rather than quality during the 1966 minting. Aside from this, many coins have worn out details since it’s been around for half a century.

According to PCGS, there are only several hundred examples of MS65, making it less common. On the other hand, MS66 is considered scarce, with less than 200 known appearances. MS67, likewise, is very scarce. It only has 20 specimens recorded, with only a few bearing a Fine finish. Now, let’s talk about its valuation in the current market.

1966 No Mint Mark MS Half Dollar Value
MS-65 MS-66 MS-67 MS-68
$60-$70 $300-$900 $5,500-$9,750 $20,000

A circulated 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar is worth $4.75. This price remained unchanged for the past three years and is above its melt value. Brilliant Uncirculated coins can reach $5.25-$5.50, while Choice Uncirculated fetches around $7.50-$15. Meanwhile, a premium condition in possession of coin collectors can earn a striking $60 to $20,000.

1966 Half Dollar Auction History

The highest auction recorded by PCGS is a 1966 MS67+ Kennedy Half Dollar, which sold a tremendous $15,105. But if we were to exclude records from eBay, the highest is from Heritage Auction, sold at $9,988 for the same coin condition.

For an MS66 condition, the highest sale price recorded reached $1,080 sold by Stack’s Bowers. On the other hand, an MS65 has bids that range from $9 to $100 during live auctions.

1966 Special Mint Set Kennedy Half Dollar Valuation

1966 No Mint Mark Kennedy Half Dollar
1966 P 50C SMS, CAM (Special Strike)

SSan Francisco minted 2,261,583 Special Mint Set (SMS). These 1966 SMS coins are enclosed in a rigid plastic holder. That is opposed to the Pliofilm envelope used in 1965.

The changes were preferred by many as it does not contain any harmful chemicals that affect the coin. Additionally, all the set coins do not have the typical “S” mark as mandated by the U.S. Congress.

SMS was struck from 1965 to 1967 as a substitute for Proof coins. But their production differs, as the latter has a brilliant finish, high relief, and sharp details. Conversely, SMS is a collection of early strikes uncirculated coins.

While the coin itself is valuable, the quality control during 1966 was poor. San Francisco Mint uses the dies excessively, and some coins don’t sport the initials of the reverse designer (FG).

But some could sell at a premium, like those with Cameo and Ultra Cameo designations. However, it is difficult to obtain as only a few 1966 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar have a bold strike and excellent contrast.

1966 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar Value Chart
Grading Mint State (MS) MS Cameo MS Deep Cameo
MS-60 $5.25 $9 /
MS-63 $7.50 $15 $125-$150
MS-65 $15 $60-$75 $450-$475
MS-67 $75-$100 $175-$400 $1,700-$3,000
MS-69 $1,200 $3,750 $12,500

A 1966 SMS Half Dollar is valued around  $5.25 to $1,200, but those with cameo contrast have higher value—reaching $12,500. Cameo coins are prooflike coins with fields that appear mirror-like with frosted reliefs. The more contrasted a coin is, the more sizable amount you can get from selling.

1966 SMS Half Dollar Auction History

A 1966 SMS Half Dollar has a good auction history, according to PCGS. Many of it is valued around a couple hundred to several thousand dollars.

Currently, the highest record is a 1966 SP68 DCAM. It sold at a whopping $16,450 by Heritage Auctions. Another SP 68 closely followed for a sale price of $13,200 by Goldberg Auctioneers.

The latter coin belongs to the three finest known examples and has a superb proof-like surface. Initially, they estimated it at around $9,000 to $11,000, but the frosty devices made it an exemplary bid.

In terms of grade, the highest recorded is a 1966 SP69CAM Half Dollar, sold at $2,880 in 2018.

1966 Kennedy Half Dollar Melt Value

1966 Kennedy Half Dollar Melt Value

1966 was the second year the Mint struck this coin with a composition of 60% copper and 40% silver. In all, the half-dollar weighs 11.50 grams. But its actual silver weight (ASW) is 0.1479 troy ounces.

As of writing, a 40% silver half-dollar has a melt value of $3.44 (according to NGC). So, even if the coin is at its basal state, it is still priced at its silver weight.

1966 Kennedy Half Dollar Melt Value Trend

The value of a coin depends not only on its condition but also on the market value of its metal. For example, as the spot price of silver increases, the coin melt value also increases.

So, to further understand this, let’s see the Kennedy Half Dollar melt value trend for the past five years.

Kennedy Half Dollar (40% Silver) Melt Value Trend From NGC
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
$2.40 $3.04 $3.70 $3.22 $3.44

 Note: These are based on average as the Silver prices may change regularly.

From 2019, the melt value of Type 2, Kennedy Half Dollar is around $2.40. It continued to rise as the Silver price increased in 2021. Then, it dropped to $3.22 in 2022. But this year, there has been an evident increase as the silver spot metal price increased by $5.00.

List of 1966 Kennedy Half-Dollar Error Coins And Their Value

Now that we’ve seen the two varieties of a 1966 Kennedy Half-Dollar, it’s time to learn the different errors available in the market. Here are five types to look out for, including their estimated value.

1966 SMS Half Dollar Double Die Error

1966 SMS Half Dollar Double Die Error value

A doubled die is among the familiar errors in the Kennedy series. In fact, NGC recorded many DDOs in the Special Mint Set. An example is a 1966 Half Dollar MS66 DDO, sold for $1,375 by Great Collections. On the other hand, circulated condition coins with this error may reach $20 to $40.

1966 Half Dollar MS64 Reverse Struck Thru Reeding Fragment

1966 Half Dollar MS64 Reverse Struck Thru Reeding Fragment value

This type of error occurs when a reeding fragment gets struck on the planchet. It leaves unusual jagged lines on the coin’s surface since Kennedy coins have reeded edges.

Aside from this, only a few 1966-dated coins sport this type of error, elevating its price in the market. Today, a reverse struck-through reeding fragment error can reach $200 and above if the coin is in mint state condition.

1966 Half Dollar Missing Silver Layer Mint Error

1966 Half Dollar Missing Silver Layer Mint Error value

A 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar has a silver outer layer and copper core. However, this type of error has a missing silver layer while leaving the copper exposed. It is considered a rare error since the silver planchet rarely splits before getting struck. Coins with this feature are worth around $75 to $100, depending on the condition.

1966 SMS Half Dollar Rotated Dies Mint Error

1966 SMS Half Dollar Rotated Dies Mint Error value

A rotated die happens when one die turns loose and moves an angle in the coining press. Naturally, the obverse and reverse design of the coin are in the same direction.

But with this type of error, there is a noticeable 15-degree and above misalignment. Those with medallic alignment (rotated 180 degrees) are rare and can fetch hundreds to thousands of dollars.

1966 Half Dollar MS62 Curved Clipped Error

1966 Half Dollar MS62 Curved Clipped Error value

A clipped planchet is another familiar error in the series. It may be straight or curved, depending on whether the punch hits the metal sheet or trailing edge.

Kennedy Half Dollar coins with this error are worth $20 to $30. But if you plan to buy coins with this error, transact only from credible sites. There are greedy sellers who use power tools to mimic this effect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar all silver?

The 1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollar series has only 40% silver. The initial metal composition in 1964 was composed of 90% silver. But in May 1969, the Treasury decided to reduce the silver metal in U.S. currency. The reasons behind this were to reduce minting costs and to prevent the public from hoarding the coins.

Where to find the mintmark on a 1966 Kennedy Half Dollar?

They omitted the mint mark on a Kennedy Half Dollar from 1965 to 1967. It only returned in 1968, where the “D” mark is displayed on the obverse side under the bust of President JFK.

What year is the rarest Kennedy Half Dollar?

According to PCGS, the 1964 Special Strike Kennedy Half Dollars is the scarcest—no error—among the series. It first gained attraction in 1993 because of its outstanding eye appeal. The display on this coin is unique and unseen on any other variety. It has a smooth satin appearance with no contact marks.

One of the finest known was sold in 2019 at a staggering $156,000 for a grade of SP68.

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