The Exchange : Some new research on 1977-D Kennedy half dollars

Some new research on 1977-D Kennedy half dollars

Special thanks, so far, to CoinTalk user Caleb for giving me some information on a previous edition of the CPG, CoinTalk user atrox001 for helping with the ANACS population reports and Collectors Society member jerseycat10 for helping me out with the NGC population reports.  I am indebted to your assistance.


Here's what I've come up with so far:


I decided last night to do a little research into the availability and history of the 1977-D Kennedy half dollar. As you may know, this is a new entry to the Cherrypicker's Guide to Rare Die Varieties - so new, in fact, that the corresponding entry is missing almost all the information normally included with each entry.


There is no rarity scale, interest scale, liquidity factor or pricing information. "The 77-D Kennedy half dollar CONECA DDO-001 was listed earlier in the Cherrypickers' Guide as the FS-17.0.  For some reason, it was omitted from the Fourth Edition Volume II in the main text but was still in place on page 445 of the "Appendix: Fivaz/Stanton Number Cross-Reference Chart." (Caleb)


As an example, the 1974-D, a rather common DDO for Kennedy Halves (I have found 10 in rolls in the last 6 months), is listed as URS-10 (251-500 pieces, although I would guess the actual number of surviving coins to be much higher than this). It is also listed as an I-3 for moderate interest and L-2 for Liquidity, meaning it "might sell in a moderate amount of time, maybe at a discounted price." The coin is listed in the CPG at $40 in MS63, $200 in MS65, $450 in MS66, and n/a in MS67.


However, if you are like me, and you find a 1977 D DDO (FS-101), you will find none of this information. What you will find is helpful information to diagnose your find - a clear photo, a description, "Light to strong doubling is evident on IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, and the date; it is strongest on TRUST", and comments "The specimen shown here is a late die state. Earlier die states will show more pronounced doubling." The PUP (pickup point) is TRUST.



(Highlight of TRUST on my newest 1977 D DDO FS-101)

Imagine my excitement, then, as a roll-searcher, when I found my first example of this coin. Over the past 6 months, I have actually found 5 examples. Three of these coins were sent in to NGC with a batch of other coins; the grades received were AU58, UNC Details (Obverse Scratched), and MS62. I was tremendously excited, especially about the MS62 - to find a scarce variety, and an uncirculated one, to boot, for face value? - until I tried finding an approximate value for these coins.





(My NGC MS62 example of the 1977 D DDO FS-101)


I started doing some research into the Population Reports of the three major TPG - ANACS, NGC, and PCGS. What I learned was more exciting - and more frustrating, because the TOTAL graded population of this variety, throughout all three major TPG, is only 27 coins. Here is a breakdown of what's out there as of April 14, 2013:



XF40-45 (1) AU50 (1), AU53 (1), AU55 (2), MS60 (1), MS62 (1), MS63 (2), and MS64 (3)



AU58 (1), UNC Details (1), MS62 (1) - so far, all my coins - MS63 (1), MS64 (1), MS65 (2)



AU50 (1), AU53 (1), AU58 (1), MS62 (1), MS63 (3), MS64 (1)


That shows a total of 18 graded uncirculated examples, including my UNC Details coin, and nine circulated examples. When looking at the NGC Registry sets for Kennedy Half Dollars, 1964-date, including varieties, at least half of the top ten sets are missing this variety (the #1 and #3 sets are obscured.)


Pricing is even more difficult. The variety is not well-known enough to be listed in the Red Book, Coin Prices, Coin World, or Numismedia online catalogues. The Cherrypicker's Guide lists only N/A for each grade. To find an approximation of value, it is necessary to search recent auction listings. An MS65 example is listed on David Lawrence Rare Coins as "sold," with an estimate of $635 but no selling price listed. Teletrade sold a PCGS MS62 for $280 in July of 2012, and eBay has the only four remaining examples of completed and active auctions: an NGC MS64 for $560.50 BIN/BO (still active), an ANACS AU55 for $125 BIN/BO (still active), a PCGS AU Details that sold for $89 in January of 2013, and a PCGS AU50 that also sold for $89 in December of 2012. 


I have to admit - I had two of my examples (the AU58 and UNC Details) listed on eBay until I discovered just how scarce this variety can be to find. They have since been pulled, and the two newest finds will be sent to NGC as soon as I have enough coins needing certification to warrant the invoice and shipping costs. I would estimate the two new finds to be in the mid to high AU range, although one is borderline MS (it will be an exciting submission.) In all, I have paid $2.50 (plus grading fees) for these five coins - a price anyone would be ecstatic about.


New 77



New 77 Reverse
(My most recent 1977 D DDO FS-101 roll-searching find.)

In conclusion, I hope that this article has shed some light on what I would consider an elusive and exciting variety within an under-appreciated series - one that is still within the reach of new collectors due to the quantity of coins being stored in banks and reserves. Exciting finds are still out there waiting to be bought for face value.



Written by Benjamin Mielke at 00:00

Categories :


3127419 said...
Hi All, If this helps...After having searched through Kennedy halves for more than thirty-five years, I find the following as far as a scale of rarity. I will list these from most found to least found without listing some of the lesser known die varieties. I am not going to list numbers as there are several systems. Easiest to find: 1964 DDO 1964 D DDO 1968 D DDO 1974 D DDO 1971 D DDO 1971 DDO 1972 DDO 1972 D DDO Moderately difficult to find: 1965 DDR 1966 DDO 1967 DDO 1969 D DDR 1972 D DDR 1973 DDR 1973 D DDR 1977 D DDO Extremely difficult to find: 1973 D DDO I'll also mention a 1976 D Bicentennial half with a CUD on the reverse as being in the moderately difficult to find category. Of course, there are many others but these touch on the basics. There are some lesser known die varieties that are of the same dates that are not as dramatically doubled as the 1973 D, 1974 D, and 1977 D, such as a lesser known 1977 D DDO which is actually more rare but I listed ones that are pictured in the CPG. Have Fun, Bill O'
April 18, 2013 07:03


Only registered users can post comments. Please log in here.


All Categories