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1977 D DDO (FS-101) Kennedy Half

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Hello! Just a little "article" I started working on. I've posted it on a couple other coin forums (because why not ask for information/corrections/suggestions when there are more experienced collectors than myself?) so I apologize if some who are members of these other forums get the impression I'm spamming. I really would just like to further my knowledge of this variety, and pass that along to others.


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, 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. Then the next. 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 4/14/2013:




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 eighteen 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.





(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!

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BTW, this is my attempt to do better at making a contribution to the general knowledge base of the coin community. I realize that a great deal of my posts in the three forums in which I am an active member are in the B/S/T ads or are announcing new coin finds...and that I do tend to read a lot and not comment. So, this is me trying to be better, more helpful, and, most importantly, trying to learn what I can so that I may pass it along to others.


Thanks everyone...

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Edited the original post to include the correct ANACS Population Reports. When typing "DDO" into their "Variety" search field, only the DDO-001 DMR-2 and DDO-2 DMR-3 are shown. Since DDO-001 DMR-1 is listed on their website as "DBL DIE OBV", it only shows up if this search field is left blank. I have contacted ANACS about this inconsistency and updated the text. Special thanks to CT user atrox001 for saying, "Hey, where's my ANACS MS64 in your pop listing?"



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That ANACS AU-55 on eBay is mine and I've yet to receive any offers.


I did purchase the NGC MS63 for $149.95 +shipping abount 6 months ago and had it crossed over to PCGS MS63. So, scratch that one NGC MS63 from your totals.




As for the value of the variety?


It can be scarce to rare BUT once the MS65 hit the population reports, it all but kills future sales of circulated examples as the folks that are seeking the coin will hold out to squabble of an MS example before they tie up money in a circulated example.


When I purchased my MS63, the seller had already sold his MS64 and MS65 examples. Otherwise, one of them would be mine. He did have a whole roll of them that he offered to me but stated that he had submitted the best of his bunch for grading. As such, I toyed with the idea of buying the roll but decided against it. Thise MS coins that he sold, more or less killed my circulating example sales of which, I'd sold an ANACS AU58 for around $150 a couple of years back.


Kennedy Varieties have a fairly narrow market and those that are collecting these are willing to wait for an MS example and are more than likely doing some roll shopping to try and find one. They aren't abpout to simp;ly buy the first one that comes along and as such, unless a new collector decides to join the fun, it'll be difficult trying to sel circulated examples.


BTW, Congrats on the MS62! I would have been VERY excited on such a score!

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This Doubled Die is very interesting. However, it is not as dramatic as some of the others, like the 1971-D and 1974-D. It is also a new listing that has only recently been made available for PCGS/NGC attribution, so I expect the population to rise. The prices for most Clad Kennedy Doubled Dies are very modest in the current marketplace, and I would not expect more than a few hundred for the finest examples (although some dealers have been asking a lot more).

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