1974 was an exciting year, particularly for the Denver Mint. It was time for the Denver mint to move and prepare for the 1975–1976 Bicentennial coinage.
Despite this upheaval, the Denver Mint produced nearly 80 million half dollars. While most of the mintage is standard, a fraction includes the famous 1974-D Doubled Die Obverse. This error is the most intriguing and significant aspect of the Kennedy half-dollar.
We’ve put together a complete price guide for the 1974 half-dollar. By reading it, you can learn about these coins’ potential value, history, and critical errors that make them unique. Move along!
The History Of 1974 Half Dollars
The Kennedy half-dollar is one of the most expensive and rarest coin types ever produced in the United States of America. In fact, they are as valuable as Roosevelt and Mercury dime quarters.
But first, let’s discuss their history before looking at the half-dollar value charts and varieties. What significant events occurred in 1974, when this coin was first introduced?
Just a month after President John F. Kennedy’s passing, there were never-ending lines outside the US mint buildings. However, the US mint lacked the necessary resources to meet the demand for coinage.
As a result, no coin was actually released. 1974 was a period of unrest for the American states. Remember the 1973 oil crisis that resulted from the resignation of US President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal that followed in the same year?
In the world of numismatics, the renowned Kennedy half-dollar is highly sought after due to its limited mintage and impressive design.
1974 Half Dollar Design
One of the most popular pastimes among ardent coin collectors is collecting Kennedy half dollars. As the name suggests, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president, is depicted on the 1974 half-dollar. Let’s look more closely.
The 1974 half-dollar obverse was designed by Gilroy Roberts, the Chief Engraver at the US Mint. The bust of the 35th and most adored president of the United States is the main inspiration for the design. Kennedy, a war hero and the youngest president ever elected, took office in January 1961.
Sadly, J.F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The entire country was in shock, and because of the ensuing national mourning, the US Congress acted quickly to create a new half-dollar design in the president’s honor.
You can see the words LIBERTY, the American motto IN GOD WE TRUST, 1974, and Gilroy Roberts’ initials on the coin’s obverse.
Frank Gasparro, Roberts’ assistant, designed the 1974 half-dollar’s reverse side. Inspired by the US president’s Seal, he created the concept of placing the eagle in the coin’s center.
Important! Look closely at the back of the 1974 half-dollar; can you distinguish the heraldic eagle’s wings and legs spreading out in four different directions? The eagle, representing war, is holding a group of arrows on the left side. It carries an olive branch, a symbol of peace, in its right claw.
The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, the initials “FG” for Frank Gasparro, and vertical bars representing the American flag’s stripes are all found on the coin’s reverse. Last, the coin is inscribed with the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the top and HALF DOLLAR along the lower edge.
Finally, the 1974 half dollar’s edges are reeded with 150 reeds.
1974 Kennedy Half Dollar Value
Whether you are new to coin collecting or already have a strong passion for old coins, it is essential to understand that coin value is influenced by many factors, including design, condition, grading system, and specific errors. While experts estimate that a 1974 Kennedy half dollar is only worth 50 cents in “average” need, mint state coins are “average” priced at around $2.50.
Note: 1974 Kennedy half dollars are still very sought-after by collectors despite having no silver content. The price range for the 1974 Kennedy half dollars minted in Denver and Philadelphia is between $1.50 and $3, whereas the price range for the coins made in San Francisco is between $3 and $9.
Kennedy Half Dollar Grading System
When buying and selling coins, it is essential to understand their value. Before beginning the coin exchange, you need to know how coin grading influences the final price. Numerous factors, including interest, rarity, quality, and not liquidity, are considered when grading coins.
As a result, these grades can range from face value, which is the least valuable, to MS66, MS67, and PR-65, the highest grade.
1974 Half Dollar Types And Values
1974 Half Dollar With No Mint Mark
The no mint mark variety of the 1974 half-dollar is the first and most popular type. It was printed in Philadelphia and had a face value of $0.50. A 1974 Kennedy half-dollar with no mint mark has an $8,000 auction record.
Note: Only San Francisco, Carson City, and Denver mints imprinted their names on the coins they produced in 1974.
The 1974 D-Half Dollar
These coins were struck in Denver, and more than 201 million were produced.
Because these coins are so uncommon, most AU specimens may be worth more.
However, the Doubled Die Obverse versions, known as premium types, are the most costly. If they are in the best possible condition, they may be worth more than $50. On the other hand, a collector shouldn’t anticipate paying more than $30 for a half-dollar of this sort in less-than-mint condition.
The great news is that 1974 D half dollars in MS-65 and MS-66 condition can be bought for $60 and $75. For the MS-67, though, things are different. They can cost anywhere from $200 to $300 and are relatively rare. A stunning example of a Double-D half dollar from 1974 is shown here. The highest price for this type of coin at auction was $2,467.50.
1974-S Half Dollar
It is reasonable to estimate that about 201 million 1974-S half dollars were produced. These coins were produced in San Francisco, as indicated by the letter S. At auctions, a coin in MS+ condition may fetch up to $8.
The Double Die Obverse 1974 Half Dollar
This particular sort of 1974 half-dollar reflects the primary DDO coin error. Based on its condition, this coin is worth $45. The highest bid for this kind of coin at auction was $1,527.50.
SEE: 2009 Penny: Features and Value
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 closely related to supply and demand. Depending on the sessions, the same auction house may sell the same kinds of coins at vastly different bids. According to USA Coin Book, these prices are accurate as of the writing of this article.
1974 Half-Dollar Errors
With coins, specific errors have increased value.
DDO/DDR Half-Dollar Error
The double die obverse error, often known as DDO, is the most prevalent error on 1974 half dollars. How do you recognize it? Look at the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST,” for example. On the right side of the coin, namely on the “WE TRUST,” is where the doubling appears. There is an apparent duplication of the letter “T” in “LIBERTY” and the number “4” in 1974.
Keep in mind that this form of the coin is more precious than standard coins.
1974 Clipped Planchet 50C
The Clipped Planchet 50C error is another defect that could influence the value of your 1974 half dollar. This error happens when a round die clips the coin’s edge, producing a pattern resembling a cookie cutter. In other words, you could see that the coin lacks a little crescent.
Where Can I Buy or Sell 1974 Half Dollar?
Selling your coins on an internet marketplace like eBay is a good idea because the 1974 Kennedy Half Dollar coin has low value. You can have a coin specialist evaluate your coin if you believe it to be in excellent condition or to have a rare error like the Double Die Obverse variety. You may accomplish this at an auction house or online using programs like Rare Coins or Coin Book.
Just as the choices listed above may be used to sell, they can also be used to purchase. There are still a lot of 1974 half-dollars in circulation, so you could stumble across one any day. You can also buy a piece of this collectible coin at a flea market or antiques/collectibles show because it is very common.