The Kennedy Half Dollar, one of the most well-known and cherished coins honoring one of the most well-liked US presidents — John F. Kennedy — is conserved by both collectors and non-collectors alike.
In this article, we’ll look into what happened to the worth of these coins in 1972 and how you might use that knowledge to add to your collection. We will also discuss other valuable pieces you might not have thought about before, as well as advice for identifying rare coins from this year.
What Is A 1972 Half Dollar Made Of?
The US Mint sculptors Frank Gasparro and Gilroy Roberts were chosen to complete the task when Congress approved the production of a new half-dollar design in honor of John F. Kennedy.
The final design was simple and focused on paying tribute to Kennedy and the country he served. The Kennedy half-dollar was first produced in 1964 and is still in circulation today.
The coin’s obverse depicts a bust of J. F. Kennedy facing left. “LIBERTY” is written along the top edge of the coin, and “IN GOD WE TRUST” is written at Kennedy’s neck’s base. The mintage date appears in the center of the obverse.
On the reverse, the American bald eagle is visible, and its wings are spread widely. The eagle’s talons are holding a group of arrows and an olive branch. The coin’s top is centered with “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” and its bottom is centered with “HALF DOLLAR.”
1972 Half Dollars are composed of a copper center, which makes up 75% of the coin’s metal content, and a nickel cladding, which makes up the remaining 25%. The coin’s edge is 2.15 mm thick, 30.6 mm in diameter, and has 150 reeds. There were 153,180,000 coins produced, each weighing 11.34 g.
What Does FG Mean On A Kennedy Half Dollar?
The initials “FG” on the 1972 half-dollar stand for Frank Gasparro, who designed the reverse (also known as the “tail’s side”) Gasparro designed the reverse of the Kennedy a half dollar, which bears his initials, FG. In any case, you need to look there for them. The
FG is typically found on the bottom left quarter of a Kennedy half-dollar, between the eagle’s top right tail feather and its leg.
A No “FG” half-dollar will not have the FG’s signature on it, but to be considered an authentic “no FG” coin, the FG must not have left any trace whatsoever. Not even a speck under 5x magnification! In addition to the missing letters, your coin may also contain the following two elements:
Additionally, you might notice some frailty in the eagle’s feathers and other details close to where the FG is typically found.
Watch out for any indications of additional markings near the location of the FG! If there are multiple scratches or lines, your coin may have been altered to look like a Kennedy half-dollar with no FG.
You might wonder why Frank Gasparro’s initials, FG, were initially left off the coin. Nobody appeared to be in pain at Gasparro’s engraving operations of the United States Mint from 1965 to 1981. When the dies etching images on blank coins are damaged, employees at the mint must occasionally buff the damage off the coin.
The collide marks or other damage markers are typically immediately polished off after the successful process. In some cases, though, a little bit more also comes off. The no FG Kennedy half dollars had the “FG” immediately sandblasted off! And in that way, there will never be any FG Kennedy halves produced.
The 1972-D No FG half-dollar is considered the rarest of these errors, and there might be no more than a few hundred. When in circulated condition, a 1972-D no FG half-dollar is worth between $300 and $500.
For coin without the FG initials, a 1972-D half dollar sold by PCGS for $2,485.13 set a record price in 2016
List of Errors
There aren’t any other commonly recognized error coins for 1972 outside the ‘No FG’ coin. Instead, each coin is examined to identify the remaining errors. Here are a few such instances that may be found in these coins.
1972 S Half Dollar on Cent Planchet
The planchet used to make this coin was designed for a copper penny. A sizeable portion of the coin is missing, and the copper planchet is thinner and colored red or orange.
1972 D and S Half Dollars on 5C Planchet
The specimens were struck with nickel planchets. The planchet of a nickel is smaller than that of a half dollar, even though they seem to be the same color. As a result, some of the half dollars will be lost despite its apparent color.
1972 D Half Dollar on 25C Planchet
These half-dollar flaws seem as though the die was out of line and only struck a portion of the planchet, but the error was made by striking the quarter-sized planchet.
1972 Half Dollar Missing Clad Layer
The coins may resemble coins on penny planchets due to the similar composition of the coin’s center. The clad layer is the topmost layer of the planchet. The inner is a mixture of copper, while the outside is a mixture of tin and nickel. The main distinction between the two pieces is that the one produced on the penny planchet won’t have any inscription or a rim.
How Much Is A 1972 Kennedy Half-Dollar Worth Today?
Kennedy half dollars produced between 1971 and 2014 have a melt price of only $0.1003423, which is significantly less than their face value, as they contain no precious metal. Except for the No FG mistake, Kennedy half dollars with no silver content aren’t very valuable, and depending on condition, a proof coin can be purchased for up to $15.
It costs between the face value and about $1.60 to purchase coins from the Philadelphia and Denver mints. The no FG flaw type of this coin, which might be worth more than $300, is where the actual value lies, as was already mentioned.
What Makes A 1972 Half-Dollar Rare?
1972 Kennedy half dollars were produced in mass and are not intrinsically uncommon; even in exceptional condition, 1972 half dollars are worth slightly more than $15. This coin’s rarity stems from any flaws or distinctive characteristics that may be identified coin by coin.
How Does The Grading System Work?
Numismatists use the Sheldon Scale to assign coins a numerical value. Poor (P-1) and pristine mint state (MS-70)are the two extremes of the Sheldon Scale. Words were first used to describe the state of coins (Good, Fine, Excellent, Etc.). Unfortunately, the meanings of each of these phrases varied among coin dealers and collectors.
In the 1970s, a group of expert numismatists created CoinGrading guidelines. These numismatists now issue grades at significant points on the seventy-point scale by combining the original adjective grade with the most frequently used numeric points. The following coin grades are the most typical ones:
- (P-1) Poor – Unrecognizable and likely damaged; if used, must include a date and mintmark; if not, it is fairly battered.
- (FR-2) Fair – Nearly smooth but lacking the damage a coin with a Poor grade frequently has. The coin must be identifiable and have enough details.
- (G-4) Fair – In some places, the inscriptions merge with the rims, and essential details are mostly lost.
- (F-12) Good – Even though the coin is worn, the wear is even, and the general design elements are visible. Nearly all of the field is isolated from the rims.
- (VG-8) Very Good– All major design components are still discernible, even if somewhat faintly weathered. There isn’t much if any, central information left.
- (VF-20) Very Fine – Despite some weathering, some of the finer details are still apparent. All letters of the motto, LIBERTY, are still legible. There are substantial rim separations on both coin surfaces.
- (EF-40) Extremely Fine – gently used; all outlines are visible, with the most crucial ones standing out. Although there may be some light wear, the finer details are strong and distinct.
- (AU-50) Uncirculated – slight signs of wear on the coin’s high points; possible contact marks; great eye appeal.
- (AU-58) Uncirculated Choice –Almost full mint shine, minimal signs of wear, no significant contact marks, and excellent eye appeal.
- (MS-60) Mint State Basal – Strictly uncirculated; no signs of wear on the coin’s highest points; however, the coin is unsightly due to a dulled finish, contact marks that can be seen, hairlines, and other errors.
- (MS-63) Mint State Acceptable – Uncirculated, but with contact nicks and scratches, diminished shine, and a generally appealing appearance. The strike is marginal to weak.
- (MS-65) Mint State Choice – Uncirculated with outstanding eye appeal, excellent mint shine, and hardly any contact blemishes. The strike is absolutely terrible.
- (MS-68) Mint State Premium Quality – Uncirculated, with excellent luster, no visible contact marks, and outstanding eye appeal. The strike is appealing and swift.
- (MS-69) Almost Perfect Mint State – Uncirculated, flawlessly brilliant, with a fine strike and excellent eye appeal. A coin with minor flaws in the planchet, strike, and fewer contact markings that is almost flawless (seen only under 8x magnification).
- (MS-70) Mint State Perfect – The strike is crisp, the coin is perfectly centered on a lovely planchet, and there are no minute flaws visible under 8x magnification. This coin has a unique design on coins, bright and bold with its original luster.
Where Can I Sell Or Buy 1972 Half Dollars?
You can be reasonably confident when buying and selling 1972 Kennedy half dollars on online auction sites like eBay and Etsy because they are such low-value coins. Naturally, you should always check a 1972 half-dollar for the FG signature before selling it, as coins without it must first be verified and graded by a company like PGCS to be sold at auction or to a specialized dealer.