The Accented Hair variety is considered to be the original design used to strike Proof Kennedy Half Dollars in 1964. It's considered a Minor Variety (FS-401), but is highly sought after by Kennedy collectors and thus can bring significant premiums. It is also referred to as Accent Hair, or AH for short.
The Accented Hair variety displays accentuated hair, right above Kennedy’s ear on the Obverse, and this hair is in the shape of wish-bone. The regular 1964 proof coin will have less hair above the ear and no obvious wish-bone pattern. Regardless of the name, Kennedy's hair is NOT the best way to determine if your coin is the Accented Hair variety. The surefire way to attribute this variety is to inspect the letter “I” in Liberty on the Obverse of the proof. The “I” will be missing most of the lower left serif, and this can easily be seen with the naked-eye, and sometimes even in average internet auction photos of you are trying to cherrypick the variety.
It is said that Mrs. Kennedy requested that the Accented Hair version be slightly modified, so that the hair strands right above the ear on the coin would be less prominent. This made the Accented Hair variety a one year type and even then, it was only used to strike some fraction of the Proof Kennedy Half’s in 1964, being replaced within the year with a version that fixed the truncated serif, fixed the interrupted or “broken” rays on the Reverse, changed the “G” in the designer Frank Gasparro initials on the Reverse to include a shelf. On the fixed, or normal version of 1964 proof, the capital “G” takes on the customary form, whereas the Accented Hair variety used a “straight –G” with no shelf.
The Accented Hair variety is somewhat scarce. Less than 5% of the entire 1964 Proof Kennedy Half Dollar mintage is believed to have the Accented Hair variety. Additionally, finding a Cameo or Deep Cameo on the Accented Hair variety further reduces the pool of available coins, and the price quickly escalates. As of this writing in 2014, NGC/PCGS graded AH Proof 68 (non-cameo) coins go for around $350, the AH Proof 68 Cameo coins go for around $1,200, and the AH Proof 68 Deep Cameo coins bring around $12,000!
There are known transitional varieties, so matching up all the diagnostics is important to make an accurate determination as to the variety. This variety is NOT found on the business strike version of the coin, a common misconception.
Accent Hair Diagnostics
Diagnostic #1 Truncated serif on "I" in LIBERTY on Obverse of coin.
Diagnostic #2 Broken rays to right of eagles head on Reverse of coin. 3 of 4 stars interrupt the rays.
Diagnostic #3 Straight "G" in FG (designers initials) on the Reverse of coin.
Diagnostic #4 Accentuated hair above Kennedy's ear in the shape of a wishbone on the Obverse of coin.