While half dollars haven’t been fashionable as everyday coins for quite some time, certain half dollars are incredibly valuable as collector’s items.
The 1967 Kennedy half dollar is one such example thanks to its composition, lack of a mint mark, historical significance, certain rare errors, and other reasons.
The melt value of these coins is somewhere around $4 nowadays as it varies depending on the current price of silver. It’s $3.46 at the time of writing, for example, as a 1967 half dollar contains 4.6 grams of silver and the metal is valued at $754.01 per kg.
However, it’s not at all uncommon to find 1967 half dollars that are worth several dozen dollars or even north of a hundred. What’s more, if you know where to look, you can even find some such coins that are evaluated at several tens of thousands of dollars!
Why is that the case, however? To find out, let’s go over all the details of these coins, starting from their unique history, the specifics of their mintage, how they are graded, what errors you should look for, and more.
History of the 1967 Half Dollar
1967 was the fourth year that Kennedy half dollars were minted. The process started in 1963 – soon after his assassination – with the mintage of the first 1964 half dollars.
The fact that they aren’t “the first” Kennedy half dollars doesn’t mean there aren’t unique things about 1967 half dollars, however.
For starters, while the 1964 half dollars were made out of 90% silver and just 10% copper, all Kennedy half dollars minted between 1965 and 1970 were made with 40% silver and 60% copper instead.
The reason for that was simple – the value of silver had really started going up and people were hoarding the original 0.9 silver half dollars instead of using them in circulation.
Unfortunately for the US Mint and fortunately for collectors, the 40% silver/60% copper alloy was still seen as valuable enough for its melt value so people kept hoarding the Kennedy half dollars.
How is that good for collectors today, however? It’s good because this made all dollars minted between 1965 and 1970 quite rare and therefore – valuable.
Another interesting tidbit is the fact that no 1967 half dollar has a mint mark even though they weren’t all done by the Philadelphia Mint. Traditionally, only US coins stricken in Philly lack mint marks whereas those made in Denver have “D” mint marks and those made in San Francisco – “S” marks.
The 1967 Kennedy half dollar was made in both Philadelphia and Denver but doesn’t have a “D” mint mark for coins made in Denver. Similarly, the 1967 Special Mint Set (SMS) was made in San Francisco but also lacks an “S” mint mark.
This has led to a common misconception that all 1967 half dollars are Philly-made but that’s not the case.
This was done because the US Mint had decided to suspend all mint marks between 1965 and 1967 in an attempt to dissuade collectors from hoarding coins.
However, people kept hoarding these coins simply because of the silver in them. The only thing this accomplished was to confuse numismatists and make their job harder.
So, the US Mint started using mint marks again in 1967 – after the minting of the 1967 half dollar – and a few years later in 1971 the US Mint stopped using silver altogether.
This whole thing is beneficial for the 1967 half dollar value today, however, as it makes coins from this era even more rare and interesting.
1967 Kennedy Half Dollar Design
- Composition: 40% Silver and 60% Copper
- Weight: 11.5 gg
- Diameter: 30.6mm
- Thickness: 2.15mm
- Edge: 150 reeds
As one of the first Kennedy half dollars, the 1967 coin bears the same design as the 1964 original. The obverse is designed by Gilroy Roberts and the reverse – by Frank Gasparro.
Both designs were already made by the time of Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 as the two designers had already started working on various medal designs.
1967 Half Dollar Obverse Features
The obverse side was originally intended for the Mint’s Presidential Series of medals. It’s dominated by Kennedy’s left-facing profile which even hides the lower parts of the “B”, “E” and “R” in the “LIBERTY” that circles around the profile like a halo.
On the lower part of the obverse is the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST”, divided into two by the edge of Kennedy’s neckline. Under that is the year, 1967.
1967 Half Dollar Reverse Features
Gasparro’s reverse design focuses on the Presidential Seal – the heraldic eagle and shield with an olive branch and a fletch of arrows in the eagle’s talons. Right above the eagle’s head is the “E PLURIBUS UNUM” banner, meaning “From the many, one”.
That center is surrounded by a full circle of stars, representing the United States. Above those are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and below them – the denomination of “HALF DOLLAR”.
Gasparro’s initials are visible under the eagle’s right leg.
What Gives the 1967 Half Dollar Value?
With all the history and characteristics out of the way, it’s clear what determines the 1967 Kennedy half dollar value. How much a 1967 half dollar is worth depends on the same three factors as with any other coin:
- The coin’s grade.
- The presence of any unique errors.
It’s thanks to these factors that a lot of 1967 half dollars can fetch very high prices today.
1. Coin Grading
Grading coins is typically done on a 1-70 grading scale such as the Sheldon coin grading scale. When looking at coins that are worth collecting, however, we’re typically looking at the 60-70 range or even just the 65-70 range for the highest-value coins.
- The characteristics that go into grading a coin include
- The strike method
- The physical condition of the coins and lack of wear and tear
- The sometimes varying color codes
In the case of 1967 half dollars, there aren’t any specific color codes such as RD for red, RB for red-brown, and BN for brown, since all half dollars have a uniform silvery color.
As for the strike method, for 1967 half dollars the two strikes to look for include Regular/Business strike coins and Special Mint Set coins.
Business or Regular Strike
The Business or Regular strike is used for coins for wide circulation. These are coins In 1967 the US Mint made 295,046,978 such coins – usually noted with an MS grade.
Regular strike coins of high enough quality are typically noted with an MS grade which stands for “Mint State”. Regular strike coins of lower quality will have other grades such as F for “Fine”, XF for “Extra Fine”, and so on.
Overall, the value of Regular strike coins is significantly lower than that of Special Mint Set coins.
However, specific Regular strike coins can still command very high prices if they are of a high enough grade. Here are some examples of the highest-value Regular Strike 1967 half dollars:
|Sale Year||Coin Rating||Sale Price||Sale Location|
Special Mint Set Strike
This strike is noted with an SP grade and the SP stands for “Specimen” but you can also sometimes see these coins mentioned as SMS for “Special Mint Set” or just MS like Regular strikes, depending on which site you’re using.
The SP or SMS coins of 1967 are an alternative to the more refined Proof mintage strike (PR or PL grade) that was suspended in 1967 to save costs.
As a result, SMS coins aren’t of as high quality or value as other years’ Proof coins but there are still more valuable on average than regular strike coins. The San Francisco Mint made 1,863,344 such coins in 1967.
Like the Proof coins of other years, SMS coins can come in several subtypes:
- SP – “standard” Special Mint Set coins
- CAM – Cameo SMS coins
- DCAM – Deep Cameo SMS coins, also sometimes called Ultra Cameo
DCAM SMS coins, just like DCAM Proof coins of other years, are of the highest possible quality and value, followed closely by CAM cons.
The difference between these three subtypes is that DCAM coins were the several coins to be minted with a fresh set of mint dies. CAM coins are the next set, and SP coins are the last ones to go through the mint die.
As a result of that, DCAM and CAM coins have much crisper details than SP coins. They are also much fewer and command higher value overall.
Here are some examples:
|Sale Year||Coin Rating||Sale Price||Sale Location|
|2016||SP69/MS69 DCAM||$19,975||Heritage Auctions|
|2015||SP68/MS68 DCAM||$17,625||Heritage Auctions|
|2017||SP69/MS69 DCAM||$15,600||Heritage Auctions|
|2015||SP68/MS68 DCAM||$12,925||Heritage Auctions|
|2016||SP68/MS68 DCAM||$11,162.50||Heritage Auctions|
|2016||SP68/SP68 DCAM||$9,987.50||Heritage Auctions|
General Condition of the Coins
As for the physical condition of the coins, this is self-explanatory – the better a coin has been preserved, the more valuable it is. Coins that have been used in wide circulation never have grades over 60 because they’ve accumulated too much wear and tear over the years.
Here’s a quick value breakdown chart for 1967 half dollars based on their grades:
|1967 Half Dollar Value Chart|
|1967 No Mint Mark Half Dollar Value||$5||$7||$28||$1,650 and above|
|1967 SMS Half Dollar Value||$5||$5 to $15||$21 to $100||$50 to $650 and above|
Something you might find interesting in the chart above is that Regular MS strike 1967 half dollars are listed as more valuable than SMS half dollars of the same grading. Why is that if we said that SMS coins are more valuable on average?
The explanation is simple – it’s a matter of statistics. While almost all 1967 SMS half dollars can be found in the 60-70 grade range because they haven’t been used in wide circulation, the vast majority of the Regular MS coins are of much lower grades because they haven’t been as well preserved.
The few that were, however, can be valued very highly because of their rarity and the presence of some unique minting errors. More on those below.
2. 1967 Half Dollar Minting Errors
Errors are what makes a well-graded half dollar that’d otherwise be worth $20-30, be valued at several thousand dollars instead. While they can sound like something negative, errors actually make coins more unique and collectible.
Double Die Obverse Error
Different coins from different years tend to have different errors because of specifics of the minting process that particular year. In the case of the 1967 half dollar, the double die obverse is the error to look for.
Double die obverse error half dollars tend to be the most valuable coins from that year, as you’ll see in the rare coin table below. This error occurs when the coin has shifted slightly in between the two strikes of the minting press, leading to a bit of a doubling of the design.
When looking at the obverse of a 1967 half dollar, such doubling is easiest to see in the lettering. Look at the “I” and the “B” in “LIBERTY” in particular as shown in below video by Couch Collectibles. You may need a magnifying glass or a microscope to notice it as the doubling isn’t necessarily overt.
In 2016, an MS64 1967 half dollar with a DDO error that was sold for $2,115 on Heritage Auctions.
The Double Die Reverse
Same as the Double die obverse but on the reverse side. A DDR error is most easily noticeable on the stars surrounding the Presidential Seal although you’ll usually still need a magnifying glass.
Quintuple Die Obverse
A very rare error was found on some 1967 SMS half dollars. As the name suggests, this happens when the obverse has quintupled into five slightly distorted images.
Some say there are coins sextupled (six images) but that’s debatable as the differences are very slight and a microscope is needed.
For example, an MS66 half dollar from 1967 that has the QDO error is sold for $179.99 on eBay.
Obverse Struck Through String
A peculiar and rare error where the obverse design is marked with a string-like flaw.
One such coin of MS64 grade sold for $149 on Heritage Auctions in June 2023, for example – not a phenomenal price compared to some other errors but much better than average.
There are a vast array of other possible errors, of course, though not all are seen as particularly valuable or visually appealing.
A blank planchette error is usually undesirable, however, as that’s just an unstruck coin that’s little more than a flat metal disk.
What Are Some of the Most Valuable 1967 Kennedy Half Dollars Ever Sold?
Every once in a while we stumble upon coins that have a near-perfect combination of very high grading and exquisite rare minting errors.
Such coins are the holy grails of collectors and can sell for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
Here are the highest-valued 1967 half dollars to date:
|Sale Year||Coin Rating||Sale Price||Sale Location|
|2020||SP68||$2,400||Stack’s Bowers Galleries|
How Do You Know That You’ve Got a Rare 1967 Half Dollar?
What makes a 1967 Kennedy half dollar rare is the combination of high grading and rare errors. A good grade alone will elevate your half dollar above its melting value but not by much – usually up to a few dozen dollars.
Similarly, the presence of a rare error on a low-graded half dollar will increase its value above its melting value but not into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
So, here’s a step-by-step on how to figure out if you’ve got a rare 1967 half dollar:
- Make sure the coin is authentic. This is most easily done with a magnet as copper is non-magnetic and silver has a very weak magnetic effect. So, if your coin is strongly magnetic, it’s certainly a fake.
- After that, you should assess the coin’s grading. To get an official grade, you’d need the help of professionals such as those from PCGS and other grading services. They’d be able to not only grade your coin accurately but certify it too.
- Once you know you’ve got an authentic and certified coin, you’d want to look for any rare errors. To do that, get a strong magnifying glass or microscope and go over the surface of the coin to look for any irregularities, particularly doubling effects on certain letters and smaller design elements.
1967 half dollars are fascinating from a historical standpoint and can be very valuable to numismatists and collectors.
Not all half dollars are particularly valuable, of course, but even those of a low grade and with no special errors will still be worth their melt value at the very least.
This means that a 1967 half dollar is virtually always worth holding on to. More importantly, it’s also always worth to properly grade and examine these coins as you never know if a rare minting error is hiding in some detail.