By Chris Bulfinch – Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
1968 marked a turning point in the history of U.S. Proof coinage as production shifted to the San Francisco Mint, which had resumed coining operations three years earlier after a decade-long hiatus. Proof coins had last been struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1964 and the collecting public had made do with Special Mint Sets in the intervening years.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries is offering a remarkably well-preserved artifact of the resumption of Proof coinage, a 1968-S Kennedy half dollar, graded Proof-70 Deep Cameo by PCGS, in lot 2026 of our June 2023 Showcase Auction.
More than three million Proof Kennedy half dollars were produced in 1968, resulting in large surviving and certified populations of the coins. Very few, however, can claim the ultimate Proof-70 grade. PCGS reports 16 grading events for 1968-S Proof Kennedy half dollars in Proof-70 DCAM out of 3,016 grading events for the issue with DCAM contrast, underscoring the remarkable preservation of the offered coin. No Proof-70 grading events are recorded by PCGS for the 1968-S half dollar without a Cameo label or with a regular Cameo designation.
Our cataloger notes that the “Glorious silver-white surfaces are as struck, pristine, and possessed of sharp field to device contrast.”
Collectors keen to acquire a “perfect” example of the first Proof half dollar to bear the San Francisco Mint’s “S” mintmark should pay close attention to this sale, as it is sure to attract strong bidders.
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For more information on our June 2023 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo, or to consign your numismatic items to this or another of our upcoming auctions, call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].