US Coins

GreatCollections auctions 1970-D Kennedy half dollar

This coin, one of just 14 1970-D Kennedy half dollars graded PCGS MS-67, brought competition from 14 bidders, realizing $4,443.75 at auction Feb. 4.

Images courtesy of GreatCollections.

Collectors continue to gravitate toward top-graded coins for inclusion in the Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Registry Set programs. This demand has placed pressure on the finest-known grades of otherwise common coins, and the weekly online auctions from firms like GreatCollections and David Lawrence, alongside increasingly frequent online auctions by Heritage, Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Legend Rare Coin Auctions, seek to satisfy collector demand for “top of the pop” coins.

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Here is one example of a 20th century half dollar that is the finest grade certified by PCGS, from GreatCollections’ recent online auctions of the Centurion Collection.



The Lot:

1970-D Kennedy half dollar, PCGS Mint State 67

The Price:


The Story:

The 1970-D Kennedy half dollar was struck only for inclusion in Uncirculated Coin sets that year with none released for circulation. If a collector wanted an example, he or she would have to buy a set. That being the case, one would expect the average representative of the sizable mintage of 2,150,000 to grade Mint State, and indeed, the usual certified example grades MS-64 to MS-65. The population thins substantially in higher grades, with PCGS recording 560 in MS-66, 16 in MS-66+ and only 14 in MS-67.

One of these PCGS MS-67 1970-D Kennedy half dollars sold for $4,443.75 at a Feb. 4 GreatCollections auction. Surprisingly, just two additional MS-67 examples have been certified at PCGS in the past four years. Heritage sold a different example graded PCGS MS-67 in an August 2014 auction where it was then one of just 12 similarly graded examples.

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It brought $4,112.50 and was reoffered at a January 2017 Heritage auction, where it realized $3,760. Despite the large mintage, the 1970-D half dollar remains a key issue for registry set collectors.

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