1974 was quite an exciting year, especially for the Denver Mint. Not only did they prepare for the 1975/1976 Bicentennial coinage, but it was also time for the Denver mint to move its location.
Despite this upheaval, the Denver Mint succeeded to strike almost 80 million Kennedy half dollars. While most of the mintage is standard, a small quantity comprised the famous 1974-D Doubled Die Obverse. This error is precisely the most interesting and significant item regarding the Kennedy half dollars.
The standard value for an “average” circulated 1974 half dollar is around 50 cents, while an MS+ condition can bring you more than $3 at auction. Rare coins and those in uncirculated or proof condition can even be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars!
We have created a complete value guide for the 1974 half dollars. Reading it will help you discover how much these coins can be worth, their history, and the main errors that make them unique. Let’s go!
The History Of 1974 Half Dollars
The Kennedy half dollar is among the most valuable and rarest coin varieties ever made in the United States of America. As a matter of fact, their preciousness is comparable to Roosevelt Dimes and Mercury Dimes.
But before checking the value charts and types of half dollars, let’s discuss their history. So what were the milestones that happened during 1974, when this coin was first released?
Only one month after President John F. Kennedy’s death, the queue lines outside the US mint facilities were unending. However, the US mint didn’t have all the resources needed to meet the demand for currency. Therefore, there was no coin actually released.
1974 represented a time of insecurity among America’s states. Let’s remember the 1972 oil crisis as a consequence of US President Richard Nixon’s resignation, followed by the Watergate scandal that occurred during the same year.
The famous Kennedy half dollar has a tiny mintage and impressive design; hence it is in great demand in the world of numismatics.
1974 Half Dollar Design
Collecting Kennedy half dollars is one of the most popular hobbies among passionate coin collectors. As the name implies, the 1974 half dollar bears the image of the 35th president, John F Kennedy. Let’s take a closer look.
Gilroy Roberts designed the obverse side of the 1974 half dollar. If you haven’t heard this name before, then you should know that Gilroy Roberts was the actual Chief Engraver at the United States Mint at that time (from 1948 to 1965).
The principal idea behind the design is the bust of the 35th and one of the most loved presidents of the United States. At that time, the youngest person ever elected as a president and a war hero, Kennedy was inaugurated in January 1961. Unfortunately J.F.K. was assassinated in 1963. The nation was in complete shock – national mourning encouraged the Congress of The United States to rush to develop a new design for the half dollar to commemorate the president.
On the obverse, you will notice the words LIBERTY, the American motto IN GOD WE TRUST, the 1974 year mark, as well as Gilroy Roberts’ initials.
Frank Gasparro, who was Roberts’ assistant, was the designer of the reverse side of the 1974 half dollar. His idea was to center the eagle in the middle of the coin, inspired by the Seal of the US president.
Important! Pay attention to the reverse side of the 1974 half dollar; can you notice the heraldic eagle’s wings and legs all spread in four directions? On the left side, the eagle holds a bunch of arrows, symbolizing war. In the right claw, it is holding an olive branch, a sign of peace.
The reverse side contains the initials “FG” for Frank Gasparro, the vertical bars that symbolize the stripes on the American flag, as well as the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Last but not least, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA inscription runs along the top of the coin, while HALF DOLLAR is engraved on the lower edge. Can you see the dots placed between the inscriptions? They represent the 50 states.
Finally, the edges of the 1974 half dollars are reeded with 150 reeds.
|Country Of Production||USA|
|Years of Release||1974|
|Mintage||Over 79 million pieces|
|Materials||75% copper, 25% nickel, and 100% copper core|
|Reverse Designer||Frank Gasparro|
|Obverse Designer||Gilroy Roberts|
1974 Kennedy Half Dollar Value
Whether you are new to coin collection or already very passionate about old currency, it is critical to know that coin value is influenced by multiple factors such as design, grading system, condition, and particular errors.
While specialists estimate that the value of a 1974 Kennedy half dollar is in “average” condition only 50 cents, when it comes to mint state coins, their “average” price is around $2.50.
Editor’s Note: Even though they have 0% silver content, 1974 half dollars are still very popular among collectors. While the 1974 Kennedy half dollars issued in Philadelphia and Denver only sell for between $1.50 and $3, those minted in San Francisco tend to be more valuable and sell for $3 to $9.
Kennedy Half Dollar Grading System
Knowing the coins’ value is critical in selling and purchasing. Before you start the coin exchange, you need to understand how coin grading affects the final price.
When grading coins, multiple factors are considered, such as interest factor, quality, rarity, and, last but not least, liquidity.
Therefore, these grades can start with the face value, the least precious, and go up to MS66, MS67, and PR-65, the highest grade indicating a genuine treasure.
1974 Half Dollar Types And Values
1. 1974 Half Dollar With No Mint Mark
The first and the most common type of 1974 half dollar is the no mint mark variety. Its face value is $0.50, and it was minted in Philadelphia. The auction record for a no mint mark 1974 Kennedy half dollar is $8,000.
Important! Carson City, San Francisco, and Denver were the only mints that put their marks on the 1974 coins they struck.
2. The 1974 D-Half Dollar
These coins were minted in Denver and their mintage was over 201 million coins.
Due to the rarity of these coins, most of the examples in AU may be worth more. On the other hand, the recognized Doubled Die Obverse variations are the most expensive and are recognized as premium varieties. These can be worth over $50 if they are in the highest mint condition. On the other hand, if a collector finds this type of half a dollar in lower mint condition, they should not expect to pay more than $30.
The good news is that well-kept 1974 D half dollars, let’s say MS-65 and MS-66, can cost between $60 and $75. However, the situation changes for the MS-67. They are pretty rare and can usually cost between $200 and $300. Here is a beautiful example of a Double-D Half dollar from 1974. The auction record for this type of coin was $2,467.50.
1974-S Half Dollar
It is safe to say that there were around 201 million 1974-S half dollars minted. As the S letter suggests, these coins were minted in San Francisco.
A coin in MS+ state can go up to $8 at auctions.
The Double Die Obverse 1974 Half Dollar
This type of 1974 half dollar represents the main DDO coin error. This particular coin’s value is even $45, based on its condition. The auction record for this type of coin was $1,527.50.
The 1974 Half-Dollar Value Chart
|COIN TYPE⬇\QUALITY➜||Face Value||MS-63||MS-65||MS-66||PR-65|
|1974 Half Dollar With No Mint Mark||$0.50||–||–||–||–|
|1974-D Half Dollar||$0.50||$2.28||$60||$70||$200-$300|
|1974-S Half Dollar||$0.50||–||–||–||$5.70|
Prices are strongly connected to demand and supply. The same auction house can sell the same types of coins at drastically different bids, depending on the sessions. These prices are correct at the time of writing, according to USA Coin Book.
1974 Half Dollar Errors
When it comes to coins, some errors might represent an added value.
DDO/DDR Half Dollar Error
The main mistake that appears on 1974 half dollars is DDO or the double die obverse error. How can you identify it? Well, look at the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The doubling appears on the right side of the coin, precisely on the “WE TRUST.” The letter “T” in “LIBERTY,” and “4” in 1974 have an evident doubling.
Remember this because this type of coin is more valuable than the regular ones.
1974 Clipped Planchet 50C
Another error that can affect the final value of a 1974 half dollar is the Clipped Planchet 50C. This error appears when a round die clips the coin’s edge and creates a cookie-cutter type pattern. In little words, you might notice a small crescent missing from the coin.
Q: Where’s the mint mark on the 1974 Kennedy Dollar?
A: You will find the mint mark right below Kennedy’s neck. Remember that coins minted in Philadelphia will have no mint mark.
Q: What is the best source for buying and selling 1974 half dollars?
A: eBay is the best selling point due to the variety of listings you can find here. However, if you feel like your coin is worth more and has an exceptional condition, try looking for a private online auction.
Q: Does the 1974 half dollar have any silver content?
A: No, these coins are only made of copper and nickel. However, there have been some minted silver proof 1974 half dollars, but they only came from the mint as a rare extra special order and do not tend to appear on the market.
- 1945 Half Dollar Value Chart (One Of The Rarest And Most Perfect Was Sold For $66,000)
- 1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value (The Most Expensive 1942 Half Dollar Costs Uo To $30,000)?
- 1972 Half-Dollar Value Chart: How Much Is a 1972 Kennedy Half Dollar Upside Down Eagle Worth?
- 1944 Half Dollar Value Chart (Ms 68 Is Estimated To Cost Up To $42,000)
- 1943 Half Dollar Value: How Much is a 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Worth?