Coin Value Finder » 1966 Half Dollar Value: are Special Mint Sets & No mint mark worth money?

1966 Half Dollar Value: are Special Mint Sets & No mint mark worth money?

President John F. Kennedy is one of America’s most recognized and beloved presidents. His fatal assignment in 1963 shocked the world, leaving his country in mourning. It also prompted a new way to remember and honor the man- through coins.

With just two variations, the 1966 Kennedy half dollar is a highly desirable coin that can sell for much higher than its face value of 50 cents.

So, what exactly does a 1966 half dollar fetch at auction in today’s market? Could your spare change be worth something much more than you realize? This article will explain everything you need to know about the coin’s potential value!

1966 Half Dollar Details

1966 Half Dollar Details

  • Category: Kennedy half dollar
  • Mints: Philadelphia
  • Total Mintage: Over108,984,932
  • Obverse designer: Gilroy Roberts
  • Reverse designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Diameter: 6mm
  • Thickness: 15mm
  • Composition: Copper (60%), silver (40%)
  • Weight: 5 grams
  • Silver weight: 147893 oz
  • Face Value: $0.50

The 1966 Kennedy half dollar is a coin steeped in history and was designed in response to the assassination of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy, in 1963.

The country was in mourning and shock, and the US Mint aimed to unify its people by redesigning a coin within a few months.

The half dollar coin, previously dedicated to Benjamin Franklin, was considered the ideal choice. Like the other half dollars of that time, the 1966 edition was composed of fine silver, which made it more expensive to produce than it was worth at market.

American sculptor Gilroy Roberts designed the obverse side of the 1966 half dollar, which showed a profile view of Kennedy with the words ‘Liberty’ and ‘In God We Trust’ around.

Renowned minter Frank Gasparro designed the reverse side, which showed an American eagle with stars surrounding it and with simplistic text.

In 1965 and 1966, the Kennedy half dollar became a top-rated coin to collect. People hoarded the coin to such a degree that the US Mint had to react fast to short circulation supplies, creating a dedicated mint set.

Although previous half dollar coins were composed of 90% fine silver, the demand for the Kennedy coins forced the US Mint to change the coin’s composition, to reduce production costs.

From 1965, coins were reduced to 40% silver, with copper as the remaining material. It was still relatively heavy, especially by modern standards, weighing just over 11 grams. By 1972, silver was removed entirely from the half dollar, adding significant face value to previous editions like the 1966 coin.

Another core feature of the 1966 half dollar is its reeded edges. Worried about counterfeits, the ridges were placed on each coin to prevent the public from “shaving” silver filings off.

Unique to 1966, the half dollar has no mint mark. Most, if not all, of the 108,984,932 coins produced in that year came from Philadelphia, which didn’t typically use marks. Furthermore, the US Mint did not want to encourage collecting the coins, so it decided against using mint marks.

The unique mint collection, composed of other coins, was produced solely in San Francisco and had no mint marks struck in.

Also Read: Top 15 Most Valuable Kennedy Half Dollar Worth Money

Value chart

1966 Half Dollar Value
Mint Mark Good Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated
1966 No Mint Half Dollar $6.86 $6.86 $6.86 $87
1966 Half Dollar Special Mint Set $7-20 $7-20 $7-20 $30+

Because of their limited circulation and hoarding, many 1966 half dollars are in good to excellent condition. Because of their higher silver composition, they quickly sell for more than their face value.

Below is an essential guide to the four most common value categories:

  • Good is when the coin’s design is outlined but missing key details. There may be signs of wear and tear
  • Fine – this is when coins have few visible details, some of which may be worn away.
  • Extremely fine – the coin has only light wear over high points. There may be signs of mint luster (sheen).
  • Uncirculated means that the coin presumably never went into public circulation and is in extremely good, if not pristine, condition. There are only trace amounts of use, with medium to full luster. 

1966 Half Dollar Value and Varieties Guides

There are two main variations to the 1966 half dollar:

1966 Half Dollar No Mint value

1966 Half Dollar No Mint

  • Type: Kennedy Half Dollars
  • Edge: Reed
  • Mint mark: No mint mark
  • Place of minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1966
  • Face value: $0.50
  • $ Price: $7.00 – $80.00+
  • Quantity produced: Over 108,984,932
  • Designer: Gilroy Roberts Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: Copper (60%), silver (40%) 
  • Mass: 5 grams

The majority of 1966 Kenndy half dollars came from the Philedaldpeia mint; as such, they don’t have a mint mark. Although over 108 million coins were produced, the constant hoarding of coins by the general public during this time meant that very few coins were actually in circulation at the time.

This caused several problems for the US Mint, which tried to reduce the coin’s appeal by producing no recognizable mint marks on coins and creating unique proof sets. Despite these efforts, members of the public continued to collect and keep the 1966 half dollar.

Coins that did circulate quickly became worn and damaged, thanks in part to the high-quality silver composition. As such, many of these coins are almost unrecognizable in today’s market. If you have a 1966 half dollar in reasonable condition, you can expect it to tell for far more than its face value in today’s market.

Average prices set the half dollar at $6-7, with coins in excellent condition fetching much higher prices. In 2016, a record-breaking sale for a 1966 Kennedy half dollar was set at $9,987 because of the coin’s exceptional condition and luster.

1966 Half Dollar Special Mint Sets

1966 Half Dollar Special Mint Sets

  • Type: Kennedy Half Dollars
  • Edge: Reed
  • Mint mark: No mint mark
  • Place of minting: San Francisco
  • Year of minting: 1966
  • $ Price: $20
  • Quantity produced: 2,261,583
  • Designer: Gilroy Roberts Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: Half dollar – Copper (60%), silver (40%) 
  • Mass: 5 grams

Due to a massive coin shortage in 1965, the US Treasury announced they would not mint proof sets that year. In 1966, unique mint sets were created and specially designed with collectors in mind in an attempt to stop hoarding.

While not an actual variation, the 1966 half dollar was part of a particular set of collectible coins containing the Lincoln Cent, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, and Washington Quarter.

Although minted in San Francisco, no mint mark was put on coins – to try and prevent collectors from buying them up quickly. Although coins had high finishes, they were still deemed inferior to proof coins minted in other years. As such, the set’s reputation fell and had no real impact on coin circulation.

Despite being a tailor-made collector’s item, these unique mint sets aren’t worth that much in today’s market. Even in pristine condition, the entire collection of coins may only be worth between $12-$30 on average.

1966 Half Dollar History

The assignation of President John F. Kennedy happened on November 22, 1963, and America entered a state of shock and mourning in the aftermath.

Quickly memorializing the 35th president and trying to unify the nation after the shocking tragedy, the US mint authorized an immediate redesign of the half dollar, replacing the relatively new Franklin design. Production of the Kennedy half dollar started production as early as January 1964.

The obverse side of the coin shows a portrait of Kennedy with the words ‘Liberty’ and ‘In God We Trust’ surrounding him. American sculptor Gilroy Roberts was the designer.

On the reverse side was a symbolic eagle holding olive leaves, which Frank Gasparro designed. A full circle of stars surrounded, with the words “United States of America” and “Half Dollar” on the outside.

The coin became a monumental success in 1964, with many Americans hoarding it in bulk for their collection and to “own a piece of history.” This “hoarding” significantly reduced the number of half dollars in circulation at the time, despite high production.

Initially, half dollars were made of 90% fine silver. By 1965, the mint realized the high production costs were unsustainable. They reduced the level of silver to 40% silver clad, with the remainder compromising copper.

This change didn’t affect the demand and hoarding of the coin, and the US Mint continued to battle short supplies consistency throughout the 60s and 70s.

By 1971, silver was removed from the coin’s production, meaning the 1966 half dollar coin was one of few years with silver composition.

The 1966 half dollar was one of the few coins in American history to be produced in Philadelphia. As such, there is no mint mark located on the coins. We know that over 108,984,932 were minted in Philadelphia that year.

While this number may seem relatively high, the 1966 half dollar suffers greatly from wear and tear. Finding a coin in good condition, with details and luster still in place, can be rare. Therefore, inspecting your half dollar is highly recommended, as a seemingly generic coin could still be incredibly valuable.

1966 Half Dollar Grading

The value of your 1966 half dollar will ultimately depend on its grading, i.e., the coin’s strike, luster, color, and general condition.

Below is a quick guide on how best to evaluate your coin:

List of 1966 Half Dollar Errors

Like any coin, some errors, faults, and inconsistencies emerged throughout the production of the 1966 half dollar. These errors can transform the value of the currency considerably.

The most common include:

1. 1966 Half Dollar Double Die Error

1966 Half Dollar Double Die Error

This error results in a duplicated design on the coin’s surface. The error can vary in strength, from slight misalignments to extreme and distorted designs. This error is particularly noticeable in the coin lettering of half dollars, which will appear quite bold and pronounced, and generally, the more extreme the strike, the higher the value. Coins with double die errors can often be worth over $900.

2. 1966 Half Dollar Rotated Die

1966 Half Dollar Rotated Die

A rotated die error is when the obverse and reverse sides of the coin do not match, and one appears to be “upside down.” This error arises when the coin is struck, and there is improper alignment after turnover.

These unique errors are popular at auction, with some coins fetching upwards of $400 or more.

3. 1966 Half Dollar Struck Through Error

1966 Half Dollar Struck Through Error

The struck-through error is a common phenomenon found in most, if not all, coin series. This is when a piece of dirt or debris is on the die or planchet, leaving a distinguished mark during the minting process. Depending on the mark’s shape, strength, and direction, coins can be worth over $70 at auction.

4. 1966 Half Dollar Missing Cladding Error

Because the 1966 half dollar consisted of silver and copper, there were times when the cladding was misaligned to one or more of the coin’s sides.

This means the coin’s appearance, texture, and chemical composition are unique. One side may be rougher, smoother, or have little to no detail compared to the other. While it depends on the special appearance of the coin, these errors can sell for more than $120 at auction.

1966 Half Dollar Value FAQ

Does the 1966 half dollar have a mint mark?

Because of problems with hoarding, the US Mint decided against placing a mint mark on the 1966 half dollar. As such, we can only assume they were all produced in PHildeldepia.

What is the melt value of the 1966 half dollar?

Because the coin is made of 40% silver, its melting value is considerably more than its face value. If you were to melt the coin, you should expect $3.20 worth of silver.

Leave a Comment