Among the surprising highlights of Heritage’s September Long Beach auction was a 1972-D Kennedy half dollar that realized $2,485.13. The column explains what makes this coin special. Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions
An MS-63 FS-901 1972-D Kennedy half dollar, missing Frank Gasparro’s initials on the reverse, sold for $2,485.13 at Heritage’s September Long Beach auction. Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Close-up image reveals the empty fields where Frank Gasparro’s FG initials should appear, below the eagle's leg. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Heritage’s Sept. 8 auction of a 1964 Kennedy half dollar with a Special Mint set finish, graded SMS Mint State 67 by Professional Coin Grading Service, for $47,000 has shined a spotlight on the Kennedy half dollar series.
Today, few people handle Kennedy half dollars daily in their pocket change, but collectors covet rare examples in top grades and spend substantial sums to acquire the finest examples.
Here is one of three we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis that have sold at recent auctions that show the current strength for grading-service registry-set quality coins.
1972-D Kennedy half dollar, No ‘FG’ Initials reverse, PCGS Mint State 63
The 1972-D Kennedy half dollar “No FG” reverse variety has grown in popularity in recent years and examples can still be cherrypicked by sharp-eyed collectors. The FG refers to the initials of designer Frank Gasparro, normally found on the reverse below the right leg of the eagle.
On some 1972-D half dollars, these initials are missing. The design element is likely missing because the dies were ground down at the U.S. Mint to remove clash marks.
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Though the variety was discovered in the 1980s, relatively few have surfaced. It is listed as FS-901 in J.T. Stanton and Bill Fivaz’s current edition of the Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins.
Kennedy half dollar : The shot heard around the world in 1963, a bullet from an assassin's weapon that ended the life of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, is still remembered on the annually produced half dollar struck in his honor since 1964. How much are Kennedy half dollars worth?
One offered as part of Heritage’s September Long Beach auctions graded Mint State 63 by PCGS brought $2,485.13. Most examples found are in lightly circulated condition and another example offered by Heritage on Sept. 13 graded PCGS About Uncirculated 58 sold for $1,292.50.
Keep reading this Kennedy half dollar Market Analysis:
|Why a recently sold Kennedy half dollar is a registry collector’s dream coin : Kennedy copper-nickel clad half dollars occasionally show gorgeous multicolored toning that one would expect on 90 percent silver or 40 percent silver issues.|
|Nearly 2 million 2012-D Kennedy half dollars were struck, so why did this one sell for $1,116.25? : Lest one think that four-figure Kennedy half dollars are only early issues struck prior to the popularity of third-party grading, this 2012-D half dollar recently sold for a high price.|