The bicentennial Kennedy half dollars produced in three mints came in five variations and two different metal compounds. You can find silver coins made of 40% silver and clad varieties made of 75% copper with 100% copper core on the market.
The 1976 Half dollar value is not only in money. This particular coin type symbolizes 200 years of freedom and two centuries since our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence.
1976 Kennedy half dollar value
|Condition||1976 No Mint mark clad half dollar||1976 D clad half dollar||1976 S clad half dollar||1976 S 40% silver half dollar|
|Mint state 63||$2.28||$2.28||/||$9.65|
*by USA Coin Book
History of the 1976 Kennedy Half Dollar
The US Mint started with the Kennedy half-dollar minting in 1964 as a memorial to John F. Kennedy, probably the most beloved American President ever.
Congress authorized this coin about a month after his assassination. The dies based on existing sculptors Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro’s works were prepared quickly, and the first coins appeared in January 1964.
The problem with these silver coins is that it was possible to find only a small number in circulation. Americans loved their 35th President and started collecting coins with their image on the obverse.
Plus, increased silver prices in the precious metal market increased hoarding. Since many early Kennedy half dollars were melted because of silver content, the US Mint started striking silver-clad pieces with the reduced silver percentage in 1965.
1976 Kennedy half dollar
|Philadelphia||1976 No Mint mark half dollar||234,308,000|
|Denver||1976 D Half dollar||287,565,248|
|San Francisco||1976 S 40% Silver half dollar||11,000,000|
|San Francisco||1976 S proof 40% silver half dollar||4,000,000|
|San Francisco||1976 S proof clad half dollar||7,059,099|
Surprisingly, the coin saw little circulation despite this change. The result was the silver elimination in 1971. Four years later, the US Mint started producing the bicentennial specimens with the double date, 1776-1976.
Besides the atypical date, half dollars minted in 1975 and 1976 had an Independence Hall on the reverse. Despite high overall mintage, only a low number of proofs was struck in this period, making these coins more pricey than standard pieces for circulation.
It was a beautiful way to commemorate two centuries of freedom our Founding Fathers established by signing the Declaration of Independence. As you know, nothing has changed since then, and the US Mint still produces this coin.
Features of the 1976 Kennedy Half Dollar
The 1976 Kennedy half-dollar came with a unique reverse design that celebrates the Bicentennial of American independence and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The obverse of the 1976 Kennedy half dollar
Sculptor and the 9th Chief Engraver of the US Mint Gilroy Roberts created Kennedy half dollar obverse. It contains American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s profile facing left, surrounded by the word LIBERTY. Interestingly, his hair covers the bottom parts of the letters B, E, and R.
The date 1776-1976 is struck along the bottom coin rim, while the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST is divided into two parts and placed left and right of Kennedy’s image. Pieces minted in San Francisco and Denver contain the mint mark S or D in the middle, below the President’s neck.
The reverse of the 1976 Kennedy half dollar
Artist and sculptor Seth G. Huntington designed the bicentennial Kennedy half-dollar reverse with Independence Hall in the center and the inscription INDEPENDENCE HALL below.
The Letterings UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the denomination, HALF DOLLAR, are struck along the coin rim. You can notice the words 200 YEARS OF FREEDOM on the left coin side and E PLURIBUS UNUM with the initials SGH on the right.
1976 Kennedy half dollar
|Feature||Silver half dollar||Clad half dollar|
|Face value||50 cents ($0.50)||50 cents ($0.50)|
|Compound||40% silver and 60% copper||The core of 100% copper and a layer of 75% copper with nickel|
|Coin weight||0.36973 troy ounces (11.50 g)||0.36459 ounces (11.34 g)|
|Silver weight||0.14789 troy ounces (4.60 g)||/|
|Coin diameter||1.20512 inches (30.61 mm)||1.20512 inches (30.61 mm)|
|Coin thickness||0.08465 inches (2.15 mm)||0.08465 inches (2.15 mm)|
|Edge||Reeded (150 reeds)||Reeded (150 reeds)|
Other features of the 1976 Kennedy half dollar
You can find two 1976 Kennedy half-dollar varieties, clad and silver coins. Silver specimens weigh 0.36973 troy ounces (11.50 g) and contain 40% silver and 60% copper, while silver weight is 0.14789 troy ounces (4.60 g).
A slightly lighter clad variation weighs 0.36459 ounces (11.34 g), but other features are the same for both coin types. They have a 1.20512 inches (30.61 mm) diameter and are thick 0.08465 inches (2.15 mm). Their edges are reeded and contain 150 reeds.
1976 Kennedy Half Dollar Value Guides
As I have already mentioned, you can find five bicentennial Kennedy half-dollar varieties minted in three mints in 1976. Let’s take a look at each particular type.
1976 No Mint mark Kennedy half dollar
The Philadelphia mint produced 234,308,000 bicentennial Kennedy half dollars in 1976. No Mint mark coins made of copper and nickel have an atypical double date in honor of American independence.
Standard 1776-1976 clad halves cost their face value, while those in the mint state are worth about $2.30. Because of such a low price, most collectors only consider coins in uncirculated condition as collectibles.
1976 Kennedy half dollar value
|Condition||1976 No Mint mark clad half dollar||1976 D clad half dollar||1976 S 40% silver half dollar|
The most expensive 1976 No Mint mark Kennedy half-dollar is the one in MS 64 grade. Even though it is a clad piece, one collector set aside $3,105 at Heritage Auctions in 2004 to buy one.
1976 D Kennedy half dollar
The Denver mint struck more 1976 D Kennedy half dollars than the one in Philadelphia or precisely 287,565,248 clad pieces. Standard coins are worth their face value but are uninteresting for serious collectors.
Halves in an MS 63 grade cost $3, but one perfect specimen won an auction record of $10,000. One collector paid such a sum for a PCGS Genuine piece on eBay in 2021.
1976 S Kennedy half dollar 40% silver
As I have already mentioned, the San Francisco mint produced three Kennedy half-dollar types. Precisely 11,000,000 silver coins with the double date and S mint mark were struck in this mint in 1976.
Their average price is less than $10 on the current coin market. However, one of the specimens from the regular strike reached $9,600 at Heritage Auctions in 2022.
1976 silver proof Kennedy half dollar
The San Francisco mint produced 4,000,000 proof Kennedy silver dollars with the 1776-1976 date. On average, their price is $7 to $20, but the most expensive piece reached $2,800 when one collector bought it on eBay in 2020.
1976 S Kennedy half dollar value
|Condition||1976 S silver half dollar||1976 S CAM silver half dollar||1976 S DCAM silver half dollar|
CAM-proof pieces are more expensive and typically cost $8 to $125, depending on the condition. The auction record for this coin is $330 since one collector set aside this sum for such a quality specimen on eBay in 2022.
The most pricey are 1976 S DCAM silver proof Kennedy half dollars, so you should pay $10 to $250 for one, on average. One collector paid an impressive $4,370 for one of these beautiful coins at Heritage Auctions in 2003.
1976 clad proof Kennedy half dollar
An average 1776-1976 S clad proof Kennedy half-dollar of 7,059,099 minted in San Francisco costs less than $6. Those with a cameo finish are typically worth $4 to $175, while you should set aside $7 to $280 for a coin with deep cameo contrast.
1976 S Kennedy half dollar value
|Condition||1976 S clad half dollar||1976 S CAM clad half dollar||1976 S DCAM clad half dollar|
On the other hand, auction records vary, depending on the point of sale. The most valuable clad proof was paid $1,100 at Great Collections in 2013, while the one with a cameo contrast reached a modest $150 on eBay in 2019.
The most pricey among clad proofs minted in the San Francisco mint in 1976 is a piece with a deep cameo finish. One collector paid an impressive $5,175 for it at Heritage Auctions in 2008.
1976 Kennedy Half Dollar Errors
The 1776-1976 Kennedy half-dollar errors are rare, and you can only find occasional, accidentally discovered pieces.
The 1st strike full brockage
A rare 1976 D 1st strike full brockage with the Kennedy profile struck backward on the coin reverse is a pretty awesome error. Therefore, you should pay $4,400 for it.
The 1776-1976 PR 64 CAM silver Kennedy half-dollar with reverse lamination is worth over $4,000.
One collector discovered the 1976-1976 Kennedy half-dollar with a canvas print struck across the coin’s obverse lower right side.
Sometimes, it is possible to come across 1776-1976 Kennedy half dollars with missing letters. For instance, one collector possesses a specimen with a striking error. His coin doesn’t have the last letter E in the word INDEPENDENCE and the letter H in the word HALL.
You can sometimes find bicentennial Kennedy half dollars with doubling on inscriptions E PLURIBUS UNUM or in GOD WE TRUST.
FAQ about the 1976 Kennedy Half Dollar
What makes a 1976 Kennedy half dollar rare?
Since three mints produced 1976 Kennedy half dollars, they are not particularly rare nowadays. However, collectors look for these pieces because of their unique dates and the special occasion they are dedicated to.
Which 1976 Kennedy half dollar is worth a lot of money (according to PCGS)?
- 1976 D PCGS Genuine clad Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $10,000 on eBay in 2021
- 1976 S MS 69 silver Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $9,600 at Heritage Auctions in 2022
- 1976 S PR 70 DCAM clad Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $5,175 at Heritage Auctions in 2008
- 1976 S PR 70 DCAM silver Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $4,370 at Heritage Auctions in 2003
- 1976 No Mint mark MS 64 clad Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $3,105 at Heritage Auctions in 2004
- 1976 S PR 70 silver Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $2,800 on eBay in 2020
- 1976 S PR 67 clad Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $1,100 at Great Collections auctions in 2013
- 1976 S PR 70 CAM silver Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $330 on eBay in 2022
- 1976 S PR 66 CAM clad Kennedy half-dollar that was sold for $105 on eBay in 2019
How much is the 1976 No Mint mark Kennedy half dollar worth?
Even though most 1976 No Mint mark Kennedy clad half dollars are worth $0.70 to $10, some highly graded pieces can be expensive. For instance, those with an MS 66 ranking cost $100, while coins in the MS 67 grade can be worth up to $1,300.
How to tell whether the 1976 Kennedy half dollar is silver?
Even though you can notice a slight difference between silver and clad 1776-1976 Kennedy half-dollar color, the best way to distinguish them is to look at their edges. While clad pieces have an orangish edge and traces of copper core in the center, silver specimens’ edges look uniformly silver.