1989 Half Dollar Value

The Kennedy Half Dollars are of exceptional importance in American history because these coins were produced to commemorate Kennedy’s untimely death in 1963. In the same year, the US Mint re-designed these coins in his honor, and the first specimens appeared only a few months after this event.

Due to the high mintage, pieces minted in the 80s are abundant in today’s coin market. Accordingly, the 1989 Half Dollar value is not high and is affected by the mint mark, the coin condition, and the existing errors.

1989 Kennedy Half Dollar value

Condition 1989 P half-dollar 1989 D half-dollar 1989 S half-dollar
MS 63 $9 $9 $3
PR 65 / / $5

The 1989 Kennedy Half Dollar History

The 1989 Kennedy Half Dollar History

The Kennedy Half Dollars are commemorative coins designed in honor of John F. Kennedy. When the veteran Lee Harvey Oswald shot the favorite American President, it was an unprecedented shock for the citizens of the US.

The director of the US Mint, Eva Adams, floated the idea of minting coins commemorating Kennedy immediately after the assassination. In a couple of days after the tragic event, the US Mint and the Ministry of Finance prepared everything for their issuance.

The Treasury members, the US Mint officials, and the Kennedy family discussed different coins appropriate for this purpose, including half dollars, nickels, and quarters. Mrs. Kennedy suggested the half-dollar denomination as the most appropriate to avoid replacing the first President with her spouse.

Chief engraver Roberts and his assistant Gasparro modified their previous designs to speed up the process. However, Mrs. Kennedy had a few suggestions and required a design modification. She felt that the late President’s hair was too prominent on the coin obverse, and Roberts revised that detail immediately.

1989 Kennedy Half Dollar Types

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1989 P half-dollar 24,542,000
Denver 1989 D half-dollar 23,000,216
San Francisco 1989 S proof half-dollar 3,220,194
Total / 50,762,410

The Kennedy half-dollars saw the light of day on March 24, 1964. There were long lines outside banks across America that morning. Citizens waited patiently to buy these specimens as a reminder of President Kennedy.

Although the banks expected great interest, it was still unexpectedly high. They sold out the entire circulation of 70,000 the Kennedy half-dollars by noon.

The US Mint continued minting these coins, but demand didn’t decrease, affecting the government’s silver supply. This precious metal’s price on the stock market rose rapidly during 1965.

That is why the silver percentage in the coin composition decreased from 90% to 40% the following year. Still, the silver price didn’t drop but continued to grow, so the use of this metal in this particular coinage stopped in 1971. 

Also read: 13 Most Valuable Franklin Half Dollars Worth Money

The 1989 Kennedy Half Dollar Features

The American coins periodically experienced changes in appearance and the metal type they were made of. On the other hand, Kennedy Half Dollars often changed composition, but their appearance remained faithful to the original design from 1964. The only exception was a short-lived change on the coin reverse from 1975 to 1976.

The 1989 Kennedy half-dollar obverse

1989 Kennedy Half Dollar Obverse

You can notice a dominant depiction of the favorite American President Kennedy’s bust on this coin side. His profile facing left is in the coin center, while you can read the word LIBERTY on the upper rim. Besides, his hair partially covers this inscription.

On the lower coin part is the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST. The bust divides this phrase into two parts with its ending. The minting year stretches along the lower rim, while you can see the mint mark between it and the lower part of Kennedy’s image.

The 1989 Kennedy half-dollar reverse

1989 Kennedy Half Dollar Reverse

The reverse design is full of symbols. In the center dominates the American bald eagle, which outstretched wings symbolize courage and freedom. You can see an olive branch in its left claw as a peace symbol, while the right talon holds an arrow bundle. They symbolize readiness to defend peace and the country.

Above the eagle is a banner with the saying, E PLURIBUS UNUM, while the thirteen dots above it symbolize the initial colonies. On the upper and lower rim are written UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and denomination HALF DOLLAR.

The 50-star ring that separates the eagle design from the inscription is perhaps the most significant symbol. It represents all American states.

1989 Kennedy Half Dollar Details

Face value 50 cents ($0.50)
Coin weight 0.4 ounces (11.34 g)
Compound Copper (91.67%) and nickel (8.33%)
Shape Round
Coin diameter 1.20512 inches (30.61 mm)
Edge Reeded
Coin thickness 0.08464 inches (2.15 mm)

The 1989 Kennedy half-dollar other features

The 1989 Kennedy Half Dollar is composed of a 91.67% copper alloy with the remaining 8.33% of nickel content. It is round in shape and has an edge with precisely 150 reeds and a diameter of 1.20512 inches (30.60 mm).

A coin thickness is 0.08464 inches (2.15 mm), while a weight of 0.4 ounces (11.34 g) is standard for this coin type.

Also read: 13 Most Valuable Kennedy Half Dollar Worth Money

Grading of the 1989 Kennedy Half Dollars

During the 1970s, numismatists established the Coin Grading Standard to rank coins. Since then, this process has become much easier, and grades are uniform.

Based on these standards, experts estimate each piece’s realistic value. They evaluate several characteristics, such as the level of preservation, color, luster, possible imperfection, damage, and existing errors.

Value Guides of the 1989 Kennedy Half Dollars

Kennedy half-dollars are not considered rare, with more than 50 million pieces minted in 1989. Therefore, you can expect their value to be moderate and available for most collectors. Besides, their prices can increase in the future, making these specimens a reliable investment.

1989 P Kennedy half-dollar Value

1989 P Kennedy Half Dollar

The Philadelphia mint had the most numerous Kennedy half-dollar circulation that year. As many as 24,542,000 coins bear its mint mark, the letter P.

The high mintage ensured an abundance of these pieces on the current coin market. Additionally, it also affects their value. Therefore, you can sell circulated specimens for a maximum of 70 cents.

On the other hand, coins in the mint state grades from MS 60 to MS 65 cost $5 to $16. Higher grades bring better prices, so pieces rated MS 66 are worth $27, while those with MS 67 ratings cost $250.

The auction record belongs to the 1989 P MS 68 Kennedy half-dollar. This specimen sold at $3,350 on eBay in 2022.

1989 D Kennedy half-dollar Value

1989 D Kennedy Half Dollar

The Denver mint minted slightly fewer half-dollars this year than the Philadelphia mint. However, 23,000,216 pieces are also a high circulation for this coin type. You can effortlessly distinguish them from the others by the letter D on the obverse.

Due to the high mintage, these half-dollars are abundant on the coin market, making their value pretty insignificant. You can buy specimens from circulation for as little as 70 cents.

Even preserved coins in the mint state are not particularly expensive in low grades. For specimens graded MS 60 to MS 66, you should set aside $5 to $26.

Nevertheless, coins with a high ranking can bring you more money. If you have a specimen rated MS 67, you can sell it for $165. Be prepared that pieces in MS 68 grade have the highest value, with estimated prices of an unexpected $4,150.

1989 S proof Kennedy half-dollar Value

1989 S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar

The lowest half-dollar mintage in 1989 was from the San Francisco mint, 3,220,194 proof coins. The mint mark S engraved on the obverse sets them apart from other specimens.

Proof coins were exclusively issued for collectors, and it was impossible to find them in circulation. Experts use the Sheldon scale for their evaluation, as with regular coins.

However, the difference is that they are generally graded from 60 to 70 and have the abbreviation PR instead of MS. Contrary to expectations, these proof coins’ value is relatively low. You can buy them for very affordable prices, such as:

  • $4 for the 1989 PR 64 half-dollar
  • $5 for the 1989 PR 65 half-dollar
  • $6 for the 1989 PR 66 half-dollar
  • $6 for the 1989 PR 67 half-dollar
  • $7 for the 1989 PR 68 half-dollar
  • $14 for the 1989 PR 69 half-dollar
  • $32 for the 1989 PR 70 half-dollar

Even the most expensive proof coin from this series reached a relatively modest price. One collector bought the 1989 S PR 70 DCAM half-dollar for just $525 at an auction in 2003.

Also read: 11 Most Valuable Half Dollars In Circulation

Rare 1989 Half Dollar Errors List

Errors often occur during coin minting, especially in years with high mintages. They typically result from incorrect planchet placement, damaged or old dies, or the presence of grease, dust, or debris.

The 1989 half-dollars created this way are often more fascinating to collectors than regular pieces. Likewise, they can be worth significantly more, depending on the type and imperfection size.

Struck trough

1989 Kennedy half-dollar Struck trough

Foreign bodies such as grease, dust, debris, and various dirt can affect and interfere with the coin minting process. They sometimes accumulate inside the matrix and can cover the entire die surface.

Coins struck with this die show design flaws that can be so pronounced to become almost unrecognizable. Since this error on the 1989 Kennedy half-dollars is not so noticeable, their value is around $40.

Missing star

1989 Kennedy Half Dollar Missing Star

The half-dollar reverse design shows the American bald eagle surrounded by 50 stars, one for each American state. However, some coins are missing one star. This omission probably occurs when the die used for hitting misses the star.

The most common reason is the accumulation of dirt or grease on the matrix. Although this error is unusual, such coins’ value is unexpectedly low. You can buy one of these 1989 Kennedy half-dollars for about $7.

Misaligned half-dollar

This error occurs because the planchet is improperly positioned in the striking hub, so the die partially rests on the coin collar. The result is the appearance of the design from a different angle.

Specifically, you can see that the President’s profile is tilted forward and moved up. Accordingly, his hair touches and covers the word LIBERTY more than usual.

This error type is ordinary among coins minted in 1989, so the value of specimens created this way is often insignificant. One such piece cost approximately $7 on eBay.

Where to Sell Your 1989 Kennedy Half Dollar ?

Now that you know the value of your coins, do you know where to sell those coins online easily? Don’t worry, I’ve compiled a list of these sites, including their introduction, pros, and cons. 

Check out now: Best Places To Sell Coins Online (Pros & Cons)

FAQ about the 1989 Kennedy Half Dollar

What makes a 1989 Kennedy half-dollar rare?

With a circulation of over 50 million minted coins, the 1989 Kennedy half-dollars are not rare. However, you can consider the mint state specimens in the highest grades rare under certain circumstances.

Which 1989 Kennedy half-dollar is worth a lot of money?

  • The 1989 P MS 68 Kennedy half-dollar cost $3,350 in 2022
  • The 1989 S PR 70 DCAM Kennedy half-dollar cost $525 in 2003
  • The 1989 D MS 67 Kennedy half-dollar cost $395 in 2019

How much is the 1989 P Kennedy half-dollar worth?

The Philadelphia mint circulation made these coins abundantly present on the market. Accordingly, the 1989 P Kennedy half-dollar prices primarily depend on their condition. Circulated specimens cost about $0.70, while the mint state pieces can reach more than $150.

What is the priciest Kennedy half-dollar?

The frequent changes in the Kennedy Half Dollar composition significantly affect these coins’ value in the current market. As expected, silver pieces are always more valuable than those made of copper and nickel.

Here are some of the most expensive pieces with silver in their composition:

  • The 1964 Accented Hair PR 69 DCAM half-dollar priced at $45,600 in 2022
  • The 1968 S PR 70 DCAM half-dollar priced at $24,000 in 2023
  • The 1964 D MS 68 half-dollar priced at $22,235 in 2016
  • The 1969 D MS 67 half-dollar priced at $15,600 in 2019
  • The 1966 MS 67+ half-dollar priced at $15,105 in 2020

Specimens with copper-nickel composition have slightly different values:

  • The 1971 S MS 61 half-dollar sold at $13,700 in 2018
  • The 1976 D PCGS Genuine Bicentennial half-dollar sold at $10,000 in 2021
  • The 2020 D MS 69 half-dollar sold at $9,995 in 2021
  • The 1977 D MS 64 half-dollar sold at $9,200 in 2005
  • The 1974 MS 68 half-dollar sold at $8,000 in 2021

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