Kennedy Half dollar coins have become fruitful ground for variety collectors in the last number of years. With new varieties coming to light and even registry set owners willing to pay significant premiums for high quality coins, all contributing to the rise in popularity of the series. In this article allow me to present the 1974 D Kennedy Half Dollar Doubled Die Obverse variety.
This coin is easily one of the strongest Doubled Dies in the entire Kennedy series and is very sought after by both variety collectors and Kennedy Half specialists alike. The doubling is spotted in places with the naked eye and is the result of class V or what is better known as Pivoted Hub Doubling.
The coin is identified by examining the lettering on the obverse side. With the word “LIBERTY” displaying the most pronounced effect making it the easiest to identify. Specifically look at the letters “T” and “Y”. The “R” of Liberty is also nicely doubled with the “L and “I” displaying the same effect to a lesser extent.
Furthermore the date also display very distinctive doubling towards the east, which is most noticeable in the “1”, the “9” and the “4” of 1974.
But by far the best diagnostic for the variety is the strong doubling to the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” but pay specific attention to the words to the left of Kennedy's bust as all of the letters in “WE TRUST” shows some very attractive spread especially as you get closer to the rim of the coin.
There is also some minor doubling to Kennedy's portrait in places but these are a bit more difficult to spot and pale in comparison to the more dramatic doubling seen on the lettering.
Now this coin is a coin roll hunter's dream find for this series, and can even be found in pocket change. The variety is listed in both the Cherrypickers' Guide, where it is identified as FS-50-1974D-101, and the Red Book. To add to the varieties popularity it was included in the Top 100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins. Coneca identifies the variety as “DDO-001” in their reference library.
The coin was released as a regular business strike coin for circulation and is also discovered in 1974 mint sets from the Denver Mint, so be sure to be on the lookout for it as high grade examples have been selling for more than a thousand dollars in the past number of years.
Even unslabbed low grade examples of the coin, pulled from circulation are realising for prices of $20 to $30 with relative ease.
In February of 2016 Heritage Auctions managed to sell a 1974 D Doubled Die Obverse Kennedy Half Dollar coin, graded by PCGS at a grade of MS66 at auction for $1 527.50
Another Kennedy Half Dollar Variety that Might be of interest is the 1968 Inverted “S” Variety.