US Coins

Why did a 1987 half bring $4,112.50?

Nearly 3 million 1987 Kennedy half dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint and while the mintage is low relative to other 1980s half dollars, there is a hearty supply today to meet collector demand. Still, it has a reputation as a slightly better date in the series. 

Professional Coin Grading Service has graded 173 in Mint State 65, 284 in MS-66, 119 in MS-67, and one MS-68, which realized $4,112.50 at a 2015 Heritage auction. At the time, it was the sole example in that grade. Since that auction, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. has also graded one in MS-68, the finest certified at that service, and Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold it on Aug. 17 as part of its ANA auctions in Philadelphia where bidders chased it to $4,800. 

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The cataloger observed of the NGC coin, “Intense satin luster shines forth powerfully from both sides of this essentially pristine Superb Gem,” praising both the solid strike and clean surfaces in contrast to the typical 1987 Kennedy half dollar that is heavily abraded. 

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