1981 Kennedy Half Dollar

1981 Kennedy Half Dollar1981 Half Dollar

1981-S Kennedy Half Dollar

The focus of collectors for the 1981 Kennedy Half Dollar once again moves to the proof version of the coin. In a similar situation to 1979, two different varieties exist which are differentiated by the appearance of the “S” mint mark. For this year, the Type 1 variety carries a clear “S” mint mark, which is similar in appearance to the Type 2 mint mark of 1979. The Type 2 variety is a flat mint mark with rounder serifs. Closer examination is required to differentiate the mint marks for this year, or if certified by a third party grading company, the type is noted on the holder.

The 1981-S Type 2 Proof is the scarcer variety and commands a premium. It is estimated that 314,000 of the coins were originally produced, making this scarcer than the 1979 Type 2.

Circulation strikes were also produced for this year, with relatively high mintages and widespread availability through government issued mint sets.

1981 Kennedy Half Dollar Mintage and Specifications
Circulation Mintage: 29,544,000 (Philadelphia), 27,839,533 (Denver)
Proof Mintage: 4,063,083
Mint Marks: P (Philadelphia), D (Denver), S (San Francisco)
Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel
Weight: 11.34 grams
Diameter: 30.61 mm

1980-1989 Kennedy Half Dollars

The Kennedy Half Dollar coins issued between 1980 and 1989 had generally lower mintages than earlier years of the series. By this point, the half dollar denomination was experiencing less robust circulation and fewer coins were required to be minted each year.
  For collectors, the 1982 and 1983 half dollars can sometimes be more difficult to find in uncirculated grades. For these two years the US Mint did not issue the annual mint set, which has typically served as a source for uncirculated examples for other years of the series. Accordingly, individual examples and rolls for these two years command premiums.
  Another notable year for collectors occurred with the 1987 issues, which were only produced for inclusion in US Mint Sets. This was similar to what had occurred in 1970, although heavier ordering makes the 1987 Kennedy Half Dollars worth less by comparison.

  Proof versions of the half dollar struck during the 1980’s are generally more abundant than other years and usually available in high grades. Later proof issues would eventually prove more valuable due to lower mintages.

1980 Kennedy Half Dollar      1981 Kennedy Half Dollar      1982 Kennedy Half Dollar

1983 Kennedy Half Dollar      1984 Kennedy Half Dollar      1985 Kennedy Half Dollar

1986 Kennedy Half Dollar      1987 Kennedy Half Dollar      1988 Kennedy Half Dollar

1989 Kennedy Half Dollar