Why are some of my Kennedy half dollars from the late 1960’s dirty looking , and yet some of them are pristine and shiny? Does this mean that some of them have more silver than others? Will Arch pay me approx the same amount per coin ( i.e. 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 ) or might some of them contain more silver? From Seth in New York City.

Hi Seth,

Because your Kennedy half dollars have been in circulation for around 50 years they have no doubt changed hands, pockets, cash registers and who know what else. These coins experience some wear and tear and the coins that look rough around the edges, maybe even with some chips in them, will weigh slightly less than coins in mint condition.

Weight variance between uncirculated and excessively circulated coins can, in some cases, exceed a 10% drop in silver weight.

Additionally, pre-1964 Kennedy half dollars were made with more silver than those minted after 1964. A pre-1964 Kennedy half dollar contains about 0.3617 ounces of silver in mint condition. While a mint condition Kennedy half dollar from 1965-1970 contains about 0.1479 ounces of silver. If you have coins minted 1964 or earlier, you may want to separate these out as this may give you a better idea about how much silver you have.View the difference the these Kennedy half dollars below:

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar – 0.3617 Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollar – 0.1479 Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

Let us know if you need anymore information. Or you can find more information about common silver coins we refine on our website page about silver coin refining.