Most of the coins rattling around in our wallets and change jars are worth exactly the amount stamped on them — but certain sneaky ones can have much higher values hiding in plain sight. If you’re ever lucky enough to spot a particular 1964 JFK half dollar in your collection, you might be able to cash in on a whole lot more than 50 cents.
The first printing of these coins included extra-detailed hairs on Kennedy’s head just above his ear, explain the experts at Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS). Appropriately known as the 1964 Accented Hair JFK Half Dollar, those strands can add up to some major moolah. For example, one was sold at an auction in 2017 for a whopping $19,975!
Another tell-tale sign you have one of these 50 cent pieces will be a missing serif at the bottom of the “I” in the word “Liberty.” Unlike the hair, this letter is less detailed on its lower left side. There were about 4 million of these half dollars produced before they switched to the more common JFK coins that don’t feature noticeable strands of hair, plus the fixed “I.”
Apparently, it was Jaqueline Kennedy who requested the accented hairdo on her husband’s image be toned down after the initial printing. You can find photos for comparison on the PCGS website.
Of course, like other coins worth money, the quality will make a huge difference in the 1964 JFK Accented Hair Half Dollar’s value. Aside from the nearly $20,000 jackpot mentioned above, prices listed on PCGS range from the lower end at $150, a middle ground of about $1,000 to $3,000, and the higher end of $9,000 to $17,000.
Clearly, even if you find one of these half dollars that isn’t in the most pristine condition, you could still get quite a bit of cash for it.