US Coins

Satin Finish Kennedy half dollar's big price

The U.S. Mint began utilizing a Satin Finish on coins issued as part of Uncirculated coin sets in 2005 and continued until 2010, when it switched to a brilliant finish for the sets. The Mint characterized the finish as “handsome,” adding that it provided consistency and the blanks were burnished before being struck with sand-blasted dies.

The Satin Finish also emphasized marks that resulted from coin handling systems, and U.S. Mint officials said, in making the switch, “there is no cost-effective way to completely eliminate the coin-on-coin contact that causes surface nicks.” 

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Because the unforgiving Satin Finish seems to highlight any and all contact marks, top graded Mint set coins of this era are unusual. 

GreatCollections offered a 2005-D Kennedy half dollar at a Sept. 16 online auction graded Specimen 69 Satin Finish by Professional Coin Grading Service that sold for $2,926.12. Although PCGS has graded 180 in Specimen 67 and 434 in Specimen 68, the offered coin was the only one graded Specimen 69 and as such is likely destined for a top registry set.

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