In many cases, half dollars are worth $0.50 (half a dollar). But some half dollars are worth far more thanks to rarity, the presence of valuable precious metals, and collectability.
The 1969 half dollar value varies between $4 and $6,000. If you want to add these large silver coins to your collection (or sell your excess 1969 Kennedy half dollars), this guide will help you discover which 1969 Kennedy half dollars are the most (and least) valuable!
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Value Chart
|1969-D Half Dollar||$8||$20||$35|
|1969-D Half Dollar PL||$100||$150||$300|
|1969-S Proof Half Dollar||$7.5||$9||$10|
|1969-S Proof Half Dollar CA||$9||$11||$18|
|1969-S Proof Half Dollar UC||$10||$14||$25|
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar: History
The U.S. half dollar was introduced in 1794, two years before the quarter! And like all other U.S. coins, the half dollar underwent several changes over the years. In fact, the only thing that’s remained the same about this coin is its denomination; $0.50.
The Kennedy half dollar was introduced in 1964, a year after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 1964 was also the final year that the U.S. Mint made 90% silver half dollars. By 1969, the U.S. half dollar coin was 60% copper and 40% silver.
Still, between 1964 and 1969, the design of the Kennedy half dollar remained the same.
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar: Design
A sculptor named Gilroy Roberts created the design for the front (obverse) side of the Kennedy half dollar. This side of the coin, which shows an image of President John F. Kennedy, was essentially taken directly from the John F. Kennedy Bronze Medal, which was also designed by Gilroy Roberts.
But the back (reverse) side of the Kennedy half dollar was created by Frank Gasparro, the same sculptor responsible for creating the Lincoln Memorial penny design! Notably, the reverse side of the coin is essentially just a slightly altered version of the U.S. Presidential Seal.
Although most new coin designs undergo a long vetting process, the Kennedy half dollar’s design was expedited through U.S. Congress. This was done to ensure that Kennedy half dollars would enter circulation more quickly, thus satisfying the public’s demands for a commemorative coin honoring the slain president.
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Obverse
If you look at the obverse (front) side of the 1969 Kennedy half dollar, you’ll see:
- The “LIBERTY” legend curved downward around the top half of the coin’s edge
- The raised image (device) of President John F. Kennedy, face in profile facing left
- The motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” beneath the device, separated into two parts by Kennedy’s neck
- The year date (1969) curved upward along the coin’s bottom edge
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Reverse
If you look at the reverse (back) side of the 1969 Kennedy half dollar, you’ll see:
- The issuing nation “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” curved downward along the top half of the coin
- The raised image (device) of an eagle and shield, one talon holding an olive branch and the other holding thirteen arrows
- The coin denomination “HALF DOLLAR” curved upward along the bottom of the coin
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar: Features and Specifications
While both the San Francisco Mint and Denver Mint produced Kennedy half dollars in 1969, and each facility was responsible for striking different types of coins (proof strike versus regular strike), the coins have a shared set of features.
For example, all non-error 1969 Kennedy half dollars:
- Weigh 11.5 grams (about 0.4 ounces)
- Have a diameter of 30.61 millimeters (about 1.2 inches)
- Are comprised of 60% copper and 40% silver
- Featured a reeded (ridged, not smooth) edge
- Have a mint mark (S or D) on the obverse face
How Much Is a 1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Worth?
According to the NGC Price Guide, the 1969-D Kennedy Half Dollar is worth $4.75 in good condition (G-4) or about uncirculated (AU-50) condition. It can be worth $5.50 to $3,000 (or more) in uncirculated (MS+) mint state condition
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar: Value Comparison
The U.S. Mint struck more than 130 million Kennedy half dollars in 1969. Most (about 129 million) were minted at the Denver Mint facility, while the rest (slightly less than 3 million) were produced at the San Francisco Mint.
The primary difference between these mintages is strike type. The 1969 Kennedy half dollars struck at the Denver Mint were regular strike (for-circulation) coins, while those struck at the San Francisco Mint were proof strike (for-collection) pieces.
Contrary to popular belief, the regular strike 1969 Kennedy half dollars tend to be more valuable than the proof strike ones!
Still, condition is one of the most influential qualities impacting coin value. For this reason, it’s crucial to consider a half dollar’s grade when gauging its value.
1969-D Kennedy Half Dollar Value
Until 2002, the U.S. Mint actively put Kennedy half dollars into circulation. As such, most of the $0.50 coins produced in 1969 were designed for everyday use. Still, these coins weren’t nearly as common as quarters, dimes, pennies, and nickels.
Consequently, 1969-D Kennedy half dollars (the “D” stands for the Denver Mint facility) come in two varieties:
- Regular strike
- Regular strike (prooflike)
Regular strike 1969-D Kennedy half dollars are worth $4.75 when in good (G-4) or about uncirculated (AU-50) condition. In uncirculated (mint state) condition, these coins are worth between $5.50 (MS-60) and $6,000 (MS-67+).
This type of 1969 Kennedy half dollar is more valuable than proof strike or prooflike pieces. Still, based on grade alone, prooflike 1969-D Kennedy half dollars are worth more.
The “prooflike” designation refers to regular strike coins in exceptional condition. These coins often resemble proof strike coins in terms of shine and coloration, though their designs might not be as high-quality as those found on proof coins.
Prooflike regular strike coins are usually very scarce because they are the result of a particularly brilliant planchet being struck by new or recently polished dies.
Still, a prooflike 1969-D Kennedy half dollar is fairly valuable, with price estimates ranging between $100 (MS-63) and $300 (MS-65).
1969-S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar Value
The San Francisco Mint produced about 2.934 million proof strike Kennedy half dollars in 1969. These fifty-cent coins (called 1969-S Kennedy half dollars) are available in three varieties:
- Proof (non-cameo)
- Proof Cameo
- Proof Ultra Cameo
As with 1969-D Kennedy half dollars, the value of these coins varies depending on their type and condition.
Because proof coins are made for collectors (i.e., not meant for circulation), nearly all proof coins are in uncirculated (mint state) condition. A proof 1969-S Kennedy half dollar that doesn’t have a cameo effect is worth between $4 (PR-60) and $40 (PR-69).
This price range can be a little disappointing for those hoping to sell proof strike 1969-S Kennedy half dollars for big bucks. That said, Proof Cameo and Proof Ultra Cameo versions can fetch much higher prices.
The cameo effect is primarily reserved for proof strike coins, and cameo coins are almost always a little more valuable than non-cameo coins. The cameo effect gives proof coins an almost two-tone look, with a brighter raised image (device) and darker coin background (field).
A Proof Cameo 1969-S Kennedy half dollar in PR-61 condition is worth about $7.50, while one in PR-69 condition has an estimated value of about $105.
Proof Ultra Cameo
Proof Ultra Cameo (also called Deep Cameo) coins have a more noticeable cameo effect. This type of coin has almost white (also called frosted) raised images (devices) and near-black backgrounds (fields).
They’re the most valuable type of proof coin and generally rarer than standard proof strike pieces. Ultra Cameo coins are also (typically) in slightly better condition than regular proof coins.
A Proof Ultra Cameo coin in PR-63 condition is worth about $10. But one in PR-69 condition can sell for $190 or more. In 2021, a PR-69 1969-S Proof Ultra Cameo Kennedy half dollar sold at auction for $660!
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar: Rare Errors
Coins that exhibit rare errors can be exceptionally valuable, often outselling their error-free counterparts. 1969 Kennedy half dollars are no exception, and some error-ridden Kennedy half dollars sell for thousands.
Some of the most valuable and notable 1969 Kennedy half dollar errors to take note of include the:
- 1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Dime Planchet Indentation Error
- 1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Double Struck Error
- 1969 Kennedy Half Dollar 55% Off Center Error
- 1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Struck Through Error
Let’s explore these error coins to discover what makes them unique, how to identify them, and how much they’re worth.
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Dime Planchet Indentation Error
A coin planchet (also called a blank) is essentially a metal disc that lacks a design. A planchet becomes a coin after it’s struck with a coin die, which imparts a design.
Typically, the types of planchets fed into striking machinery are carefully monitored. But every once in a while, the wrong type of planchet ends up skirting beneath coin dies, resulting in unique error coins that can sell for top-dollar prices.
This is certainly true for the 1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Dime Planchet Indentation error coin. This 1969-D Kennedy half dollar has a blank dime planchet jammed into its center, obscuring the obverse design (without impacting the year date or reverse side).
It’s unknown how many of these coins exist, and there may only be one. Either way, one of these planchet-embedded half dollars sold for $3,840 in 2020.
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Double Struck Error
Many double struck error coins have a very subtle design doubling, but some end up looking like amorphous metal shards due to the pressure applied to coin planchets during the striking process.
Several double struck 1969 Kennedy half dollars fall into this latter category. And the more disfigured the coin, the higher the potential profit for sellers.
For example, a double struck 1969-D Kennedy half dollar that almost resembles two melded half dollar pieces sold for $3,220 in 2007. Others with a similar level of damage have also sold for thousands.
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar 55% Off Center Error
When a coin planchet isn’t perfectly positioned during the striking process, the coin die can strike the blank planchet incorrectly. The result is a coin that only features a partial design.
Off-center coins can be challenging to value, as those missing the year date are almost impossible to attribute to a specific year. For this reason, off-center coins with a full year date almost always outsell those without a date (or with a partial year date).
A great example is the 55% off-center 1969-D Kennedy half dollar that sold for $552 in 2021. The coin is highly imperfect, as it’s oblong (not perfectly round) and missing a significant portion of the obverse and reverse designs. But because it has a year date, it’s quite valuable.
1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Struck Through Error
Struck through coins are often caused by grease build-up on coin dies. You can identify struck through coins via their unusual, non-standard indentations or design “smears.” As with other types of error coins, the more noticeable the error is, the more valuable the struck through coin tends to be.
Still, struck through 1969 Kennedy half dollars aren’t as valuable as other types of 1969 half dollar error coins. Most are worth between $20 and $200.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have further questions about the 1969 Kennedy half dollar? Check out the questions (and answers) below to learn more about this unique fifty-cent piece!
How Many 1969 Kennedy Half Dollars Exist?
It’s unclear how many 1969 Kennedy half dollars exist. Still, considering the fact that these coins aren’t 90% silver (like previous U.S. half dollars), it’s likely that there are millions of 1969 Kennedy half dollars remaining in private collections.
Are 1969 Kennedy Half Dollars the Most Valuable Kennedy Half Dollars?
1969 Kennedy half dollars aren’t the most valuable type of Kennedy half dollar. Instead, that honor belongs to the rare 1964 SMS (Special Mint Set) Kennedy half dollar. In August 2019, one of these fifty-cent coins sold at auction for $156,000.
What’s the Most Expensive 1969 Kennedy Half Dollar Sold at Auction?
Many Kennedy half dollars struck in 1969 can sell for hundreds of dollars, especially when they’re in top-notch condition. But you might wonder, “What’s the most anyone’s ever spent at auction for one of these coins?”
According to PCGS, the highest amount a 1969 Kennedy half dollar has ever fetched at auction is $15,600. This record was set in June 2019 by an MS-67 1969-D Kennedy half dollar.
The 1969 half dollar value varies depending on strike type (regular versus proof) and coin condition (NGC or PCGS grade). Although these coins were originally worth $0.50, they’re currently valued at between $4.75 (1969-D, G-4) and $6,000 (1969-D, MS-67+).
Notably, the proof strike 1969 Kennedy half dollars are generally worth less than the regular strike (for-circulation) versions, even though they’re generally higher overall quality. For example, a proof strike 1969-S Kennedy half dollar is valued at between $4 (non-cameo, PR-60) and $190 (Ultra Cameo, PR-69).
Learn more about coin values by checking out these related articles now!