Bruised, but not defeated, by the mintmark ban of 1965-1967, coin collectors resoundingly trumpeted the return of mintmarks on U.S. coins in 1968. By then, silver coins were already scarce in circulation, and even the Kennedy half dollar was hardly ever found in circulation, as it was still being hoarded by the millions of people who wanted a momento of the fallen president.
For those collecting Kennedy half dollars, the return of the mintmark resulted in a sort of poetic irony, as only Denver and San Francisco minted halves that year – which means no half dollar in 1968 was minted sans mintmark (Philadelphia-minted halves prior to 1980 didn’t bear the “P” mintmark). 1968 held another reason for numismatists to celebrate, and that had to do with the return of proof and mint sets, which many collectors had been buying on an annual basis since until the products’ temporary disappearance in 1965.
246,951,930 Kennedy half dollars were minted at the Denver mint that year. 1968 marked the first year that proof coins were minted at the San Francisco mint, instead of Philadelphia, as was the long-held tradition. 3,041,506 proof Kennedy half dollars were minted. In general, when silver has a spot price of $20 per ounce, expect to pay about $4 for uncirculated 1968 Kennedy half dollars and $7 for proof versions of the coin.