PCGS Specials

HomeRare SMS 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Sets $108,000 World Record Price

Rare SMS 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar Sets $108,000 World Record Price

1964 kennedy

A 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar sold for a world record $108,000, making it the most expensive coin of its type, during a public auction of rare U.S. Coins held Thursday, April 25, 2019, by Heritage Auctions. The rare example of the rather common piece of pocket change is one of about a dozen special issues struck in 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper for special coin sets issued by the U.S. Mint during the mid-1960s.

The sale smashed the $47,000 previous world record price, set by Heritage Auctions in 2016. Both the seller and the winning bidder wish to remain anonymous at this time. Heritage Auctions presented the coin at an auction during the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Convention just outside of Chicago in Schaumburg, Illinois.

“This is the ‘king of Kennedy half dollars,'” said Todd Imhof, Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “It seems we were very successful in attracting all the right bidders to this modern rarity and collectors did not want to miss the opportunity to own one of the United States’ rarest Kennedy Half Dollars.”

Special mint set coins are characterized by a better-than-average strike, the result of higher-tonnage coin presses than those used for coins intended for general circulation. The example sold at auction on Thursday is valued for its rarity as well as its unique, satiny surface condition.

Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctionshttps://www.ha.com/
Heritage Auction Galleries is one of the world's largest collectibles auctioneers. Besides offering rare and valuable U.S. and world coins and currency, Heritage offers ancient coins, exonumia, antiques, comic books, sports memorabilia, and many other collectibles. The firm is based in Dallas, Texas.

Related Articles


  1. Charles (or anyone else at Coinweek),

    Have any of you had the opportunity to personally see one of these dozen or so SMS 1964 Kennedy halves? Is it obvious there is something different about them? I ask because it’s pretty tough, just looking at photos. I’d like to think that seeing one “in the hand” would instantly reveal something.

    • I have one. Just found it in my collection. Always thought my 67 silver dollar was most value but seems this half dollar 1964 is worth more.

    • Yes sir I believe I have one, actually I know I have one. The exact weight all the way down to the red glow. I’m just stuck for how I’m going to auction. Probably need to get it appraised first. Fortunately enough I have an Eagle Eye, magnifying glass, and a scale.
      Wait a second..
      yep that’s it.

  2. i May have one but not sure. The toning looks like the picture and under a bright light i see a vague hint of copper around the edge.

    • Highly unlikely to near-impossible. These were only relatively recently found to even exist, since 2000 at the longest. It is another one of those “Mint insider” things almost like aluminum 1974 cents. They aren’t randomly out there.

  3. The color is blotchy with dark grey and lite silver on mine, but im still not sure. I owed at least a 100 1964 uncirculated and a few proofs but this one looks different from the others and appears to be uncirculated.

  4. I have a 1969 Kennedy half dollar that’s 90 percent silver, and is also proof. Wondering what this could be worth. ?

    • It’s very doubtful but not impossible that your coin was somehow struck on a leftover 90% silver planchet rather than the 40% silver clad composition normally used that year. If you have a good scale you can do a preliminary test by checking the coin’s weight: a 90% silver half has a nominal weight of 12.5 gm while a 40% silver version would be approximately 11.5 gm. Also, the 90% silver coins have a uniform edge while the 40 silver coins developed a grayish tinge over time; however, that’s not as accurate a test as the coin’s weight.

      If you think your coin is actually 90% silver you should have it examined by one of the major grading companies.

  5. Recently procured a doubly die 1967 kennedy head half dollar want to know where I can sell it at in illinois

  6. I may have found a Set where can I upload a picture so someone can tell me if this is it SMS 5 coins in plastic tight package 1964

  7. The Public was eagerly buying and hording the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars, back in the day. Proof Sets, Uncirculated Sets, and General Production of Halves that were heavily circulated in those days. Yes, people carried and used half dollars.
    You are saying that a dozen coins were struck with a higher tonnage of pressure. How is that possible and why was there no mention of this back then. All 1964 Kennedy halves were 90% silver. I can accept the “Accented Hair” from the possibility of fresh dies, but how does it happen that a dozen coins get stamped with additional tonnage on the press?
    That does not make sense. This was not the middle ages, the mints had controls in place. Is it a Rarity or Fake or just one of a dozen MS70 coins with all the rest being sub par?

    • There were about a dozen SMS sets created, and there is NEARLY perfect knowledge where all pf them are. They didn’t “escape” waiting to found by sharp-eyed collectors. Sorry, this just isn’t that kind of thing.

  8. I think I have one of the coins that sold for 47,000. It has the grape hanging on the 4 and all the other stuff. I need help with some of these half dollars if you could. Thanks

  9. Hello , I’m very new at this coin collecting and still learning . I have a Kennedy 1964 half dollar it’s very shiny the edge like silver so is this 90% silver ? I have also a 1776-1976 half dollar but it’s not as shiny it has copper edge.. they both in a very mint condition nice and clean .

  10. I have a 1964 uncirculated Kennedy half dollar in a sealed plastic wrap. I see no copper coloring on the edge front or reverse. Is this one of them?

  11. I have one exactly the same and is uncirculated thing is it has the mint mark of D so can someone tell me how much is it worth?


  13. I have a 1964 jfk silver half dollar and am quite sure it is an sms! Are all 12 already accounted for? Or are there any left to be discovered?

  14. Comments here are hysterically funny! 1)Do your research! You’re at the right place peeps.
    After Eva Adams death, her estate was purchased by Lester Merkin. When his coins arrived at Stacks Bowers during the early 90s, these discoveries were made and so the verifications began… 2)Coin Week has written articles since that time. So rather than the tooth fairy leaving the one odd piece from a five coin set of United States rarest modern coins, please do your homework here or reliable site of your choosing. Obviously these aren’t going to be in change. 3) If you want to see the die marks each and every one of the five coins in these rare sets have, enlarged pictures also exist. For those convinced their Kennedy’s number 4 has the right tear drop, you can match other die marks too, as few enough strikes made, the same die pair was used, with no discernable wear came from so few strikes. 4) Should go without saying these are going to be graded. Dont take the internets word for your SMS coins, or the professionals at Coin Week: leave it to NGC, PCGS, or your choice.
    It’s no doubt been an intriguing story that’s fascinated collectors since Merkins “Eva Adams” coins came into public view.
    Sweet dreams ……LOL.

  15. I have a Kennedy 1964 half dollar, and not sure it has any value? I’ve read all the comments, and I’m wondering who I could communicate with to see if there’s any actual value? Also I have a half dollar that has a 1776 – 1976 date on it? Any idea why the different dates? Thanks.

  16. I got 1964 Kennedy half dollar and look similar to rare coin with tear drop on bottom of #4 /side burn/stars look like with rare coin and FG marking

  17. I have a “Strange But True” with a “1964 First Silver 90% Silver Kennedy Half Dollar” at least that is what it says…..is it valuable? Also a “1971 First Copper Nickel Kennedy Half Dollar”. Is it valuable?

  18. I have a 1964 Kennedy half dollar, was wondering what are like 3 things to look for to see if i have one super rare ones!!

  19. My dad just gave me a 1964. Not sure if it’s worth anything.there isn’t a ment mark.its silver anyone know if it’s worth anything.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

PCGS Set Registry

L and C COIN Shop Now

Blanchard and Company Gold and Precious Metals