Coin collectors who specialize in Kennedy half dollars know the series, which launched in 1964 and continues today, offers a wealth of fun and challenging varieties. But one of the most interesting is the “No FG” variety. Unique to Kennedy half dollars, the No FG pieces are absent the “FG” initials for Frank Gasparro. His initials are seen just to the bottom right of the heraldic eagle on the reverse.
Why is the FG inscription missing from some Kennedy half dollars? Die polishing is the culprit. While the first coins struck off a die are normally sharp and fully struck, dies begin wearing over time and will exhibit signs of damage, including cracks and dullness. Such is the case with the dies from which the FG was inadvertently removed through heavy die polishing. Many No FG Kennedy halves show weaknesses in other areas of the reverse detail, including the eagle’s feathers, shield, and lettering.
To qualify as a no-FG variety, the Kennedy half must not show any evidence of the FG initials whatsoever. And while No FG Kennedy half dollars can potentially be found for every date-and-mintmark combination of the Kennedy half dollar series, there are a few issues that carry this variety and are particularly popular with enthusiasts. These include the 1966 SMS, 1972-D, and 1982-P Kennedy halves, the No FG varieties of which are worth about $20 and up. While obtainable from coin dealers who sell this type of material, these varieties can also be found at face value in circulation, including coin rolls and bags.