Franklin Half Dollar (1948-1963)
Franklin Half Dollars were produced during a period in which the popularity of this denomination as a circulating coin was in decline. This fact, combined with the enormous production of Walking Liberty Halves 1941-45, led to relatively small mintages for most issues of Franklin Half Dollars, particularly those of the Philadelphia Mint. Were it not for the saving of uncirculated rolls of Franklin Half Dolars by speculators, a practice firmly established at the time, there would likely be a few scarce issues. As it is, Franklin Half Dollars are quite common, though a number of condition rarities have emerged. This is particularly true of pieces having sharply defined horizontal lines on the Liberty Bell.
There are a number of interesting Franklin Half Dollar die varieties for both the currency pieces and the proofs. The best of the Franklin varieties are included in VarietyPlus, and this encompasses most Cherrypicker varieties. Perhaps the most desired of these is the 1961 proof half dollar with doubled-die reverse, a mistake so obvious that it seems inexcusable on proof coins (though collectors aren’t complaining about it). Tomaska’s book includes a number of additional Franklin Half Dollar mintmark and die varieties that will be of interest to the specialist.
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