» 1983 Half Dollar Error List & Value

1983 Half Dollar Error List & Value

The value of a 1983 half dollar depends on a few things, but the majority of these coins are worth more than their face value. As a Kennedy half dollar, the 1983 series are highly collectible, and they often sell for a premium price.

Because the majority of 1983 half dollars are still in good condition, they only sell for about $0.53 to $3.30 (with the difference depending on grade and the particular mintage of the coin). Well-preserved coins bring in a much higher draw when they go to auction.

Minor details matter when it comes to coin valuation. In this guide, we explain the small differences that affect the potential value of the 1983 half dollar as well as how you can assess coin grade and what errors you should look out for.

1983 Half Dollar Value Chart

Mint Mark Good Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated Proof
1983 P Half Dollar Value $0.50 $0.53 $1.00 $2.60 /
1983 D Half Dollar Value $1.00 $1.00 $1.00 $2.20 /
1983 S Proof Half Dollar Value / / / / $3.30

The 1983 half dollar has an obverse designed by Gilroy Roberts and a reverse designed by Frank Gasparro.

On the front is 35th President John F. Kennedy. The new design was ushered in shortly following his assassination in 1963 based on his presidential medal portrait. The obverse also reads IN GOD WE TRUST under his neck, LIBERTY along the top rim, and 1983 at the bottom. Mint marks nestle in between the “9” and the “8”.

Gasparro’s reverse features a heraldic bald eagle with a shielded body. It holds a bundle of arrows in its right talons and an olive branch on the left, and spreads its wings under 9 stars. Gasparro also marked his initials under the right leg of the eagle and surrounded it with 41 stars to symbolize the 50 states.

Reverse inscriptions are located along the top rim (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA), bottom rim (HALF DOLLAR), and on a banner above the eagle’s head (E PLURIBUS UNUM).

The 1983 half dollar is nickel-clad copper, containing 8.33 percent of the former and the remaining 91.67 percent copper. They weigh 11.34 grams, measure a diameter of 30.61 mm, and have a 2.15 mm thick reeded edge.

Three types of the 1983 half dollar make up a total mintage of 35,785,509.

1983 P Half Dollar Value

1983 P Half Dollar Value
Credit: usacoinbook

Philadelphia minted 34,139,000 half dollars in 1983, marking each one with a P. Because this is the largest production number of that year, most of the coins from the Philadelphia mint are worth less than other varieties.

Circulated 1983 P half dollars only carry their face value or a few cents greater. Coins that appear closer to their original appearance quickly multiply the original value, and regularly sell for $1 to $2.60 or more.

This may seem a bit small for collectible coins, but the highest sales cannot be considered because they would skew the range. When coins go to auction they’re more at the mercy of the market and current financial conditions.

Auction coins are also much more rare than those found in an open market. The auction record For the 1983 P half dollar belongs to a NGC MS66 that sold for $805 in 2010. This particular coin is also double struck and broadstruck with an obverse indent.

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Higher grade 1983 P half dollars have recently sold for $95 to $155 without those errors.

The Popularity of the Kennedy Half Dollar

While the 1983 half dollar isn’t particularly rare on its own, it’s part of a well-coveted American coinage series. The coins were minted for circulation until 2001, and the Mint continued to strike and sell at a premium until 2020 to satisfy collectors.

The story of the Kennedy half dollar has a sad start. Mint Director Eva Adams made a call to Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts within hours of beloved President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963 regarding the serious consideration of the Mint to put Kenendy’s likeness on a larger silver coin.

The project was approved in just five days, and his widow made the choice to put him on the half dollar so as not to displace Washington on the quarter.

Roberts and Frank Gasparro (who had previously designed the Lincoln Memorial cent) utilized previous work which Kennedy had already approved, modifying the designs for the half dollar.

Congress approved the designs, approved a trial strike, and quickly introduced a bill that would allow a design change within the 25 year mandated period for a single coin’s design.

The public strongly supported the change, and they were more than ready to buy up the coins. Denver struck the first Kennedy half dollar proofs at the end of January 1964, followed in a week by Philadelphia. Both varieties were snatched up and hoarded, prompting the mint to increase production.

Today, you’re unlikely to see a Kennedy half dollar as pocket change. Early years may have been melted down, but by 1983 they lost any silver value. Instead, even those who don’t normally collect coins have them stashed away to hold a piece of one of America’s most popular presidents.

1983 D Half Dollar Value

1983 D Half Dollar Value

The only other mint making business strike half dollars in 1983 was Denver. There are slightly fewer 1983 D half dollars (32,472,244), but they’re instantly worth about double those from the Philadelphia mint.

The value of 1983 D half dollars reaches from $1 to $2.20, so it steadies out at about the same price of other circulated half dollars from this year. It’s more common to see these coins sell at auction north of $100, and the record holder also holds the overall record for 1983 half dollars overall.

The 1983 D Kennedy half dollar sold for $4,230 in 2016. PCGS-graded as MS68, it’s the single finest certified coin from this year. The coin bears well struck elements and a smooth, satin luster that closely resembles its original appearance.

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1983 S Proof Half Dollar Value

1983 S Proof Half Dollar Value

Proof coins operate on an odd value scale. They’re almost always worth more than circulated coins until you reach higher grades. While there are a fewer number of proof coins produced, a circulated coin surviving at Mint State is much more rare.

The 1983 S proof half dollar is a clear example of this. On a normal day, the coin would sell for about $3.30 at market. When you take these coins to auction, they often bounce around in the $50 to $150 range, and there are plenty of PR70 examples to observe.

The majority of 1983 proof half dollars in the PCGS population are PR69 or greater, and PR70 coins make up about 10 percent of that population.

The auction record holder is a bit of an odd case. This coin sold for $2,300 in 2002 and bears only a PCGS PR65 grade. It’s unclear whether this coin contains any rare errors, but it’s one of the lowest graded 1983 proof coins on the PCGS auction record list.

1983 Half Dollar Grading

Professional grading is definitely the way to go if you’re selling or purchasing a high-grade 1983 half dollar, but it isn’t always worth it. Sometimes you just want to evaluate a coin yourself to get a feel for its value before spending more time and money on a number grade.

When grading a coin on your own, it’s best to understand what a high grade coin looks like and compare your example to that. Lower grade, circulated coins are obvious (but unlikely due to the coveted nature of the Kennedy half dollar) and have minimal details.

Coins in “Fine” condition lack the dirty appearance of lower grades and resemble more than a silhouette. They still don’t have full coin details, but look more like art than a simple figure.

At higher grades, disqualifying marks appear mostly on high areas. These include the jaw, cheekbone and hair details below the part on Kennedy. On the reverse the central tail feather wears down first.

Coins in higher grades also retain the majority of their original luster. They appear almost untouched, and if there are any marks they are often only apparent under a magnifying glass.

Rare 1983 Half Dollar Errors

Mint errors occur during the production of a 1983 half dollar. When verified, these add a small amount onto the original value of the coin.

The most common 1983 half dollar errors include:

  • A misaligned die
  • The filled S proof
  • A double die
  • No “FG” mark

Error value is fairly constant, but the overall value of the coin depends more on its grade. Collectors are more likely to pursue a high grade coin than they are an error coin (unless it’s exactly what they’re looking for).

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1983 Misaligned Die Half Dollar

1983 Misaligned Die Half Dollar
Credit: greatcollections

A 1983 half dollar is usually struck misaligned when the hammer die fails to line up properly with the anvil, leaving the design slightly offset on one side of the coin.

It’s important to note that this is different from a coin struck off center, which happens due to improper planchet feeding that shows an offset design on both sides. While this can still occur in the 1983 half dollar, it’s not as common.

A misaligned die attracts a small premium. The error should not rid the coin of its year or mint mark to ensure full value is achieved.

1983 Filled S Proof Half Dollar

A common issue with the 1983 half dollars in San Francisco involved the overpunching of the mint marks on proof coins. This caused the “S” to “fill in”, and the mistake quickly evolved into a desirable error coin.

These regularly sell for thousands of dollars due to their extremely limited number.

1983 Double Die Half Dollar

1983 Double Die Half Dollar
Credit: eBay

A double die error is common on most coins, and the 1983 half dollar is no exception. This error occurs when the coin is struck twice with the working die at different positions or angles, causing a duplication of details.

You may notice a faint outline that mimics the stronger, original strike, but doubling is most noticeable on the inscriptions. For the Kennedy half dollar, pay close attention to the word “TRUST”.

A 1993 DDO half dollar sells for about $47 at an MS grade. Coins may also be struck three or more times, but this is extremely rare.

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1983 No “FG” Half Dollar

1983 No “FG” Half Dollar

The “No ‘FG’” error is unique to the Kennedy half dollar. While it’s more common with the 1982 half dollars, there are a number of coins from this year that lack the “FG” stamp on the reverse.

It’s assumed that the initials were simply polished off during the minting process, not forgotten, but the result is peculiar. This can be duplicated with post-mint effort, so take care to have this particular error verified before getting too excited.

1983 Half Dollar FAQs

Is a 1983 Half Dollar Real Silver?

A 1983 half dollar contains no real silver. While half dollars before 1970 were made with silver, they switched to a 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel clad coin in 1971.

Where Is the Mint Mark on a 1983 Half Dollar?

The mint mark on a 1983 half dollar is on the front of the coin, underneath Kennedy’s profile and just above the year. Philadelphia coins are marked with a “P”, Denver coins with a “D”, and proof coins from San Francisco are marked with an “S”.

How Much is a 1983 Half Dollar Coin Worth Today?

A 1983 half dollar coin is worth from $0.50 to $2.60 (depending on their mint mark and condition) for business struck coins. Proof coins are worth a bit more, about $3.30 in regular condition and $50 at the highest grades.

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