The Franklin Half Dollar was introduced in 1948, replacing the prior depiction of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. The coin was designed by John Sinnock, who had also created the new design for the ten cent denomination a few years earlier. The obverse of the Franklin Half Dollar features a right-facing portrait of Benjamin Franklin. The reverse of the coin features a large, central depiction of the Liberty Bell. A diminutive eagle with wings outstretched appears to the right of the bell.
One of the most important considerations for the Franklin Half Dollar series is the strike quality. The coin features overall low relief and many broad, flat surfaces. The designation “Full Bell Lines” is awarded to sharply struck coins, which display full and uninterrupted horizontal lines on the lower portion of the Liberty Bell.
Franklin Half Dollar Notes:
- The series has a duration of 16 years, with coins issued each year between 1948 and 1963.
- Franklin Half Dollars are often encountered with weak strikes or excessive contact marks that preclude higher grades. As a result, despite higher mintages for some years, gem condition coins with full bell lines can be elusive.
- There were a total of 35 different date and mint mark combinations. Coins were minted at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints.
- The lowest mintage is held by the 1955 Franklin Half Dollar with a mintage of 2,498,181.
- The mintage for the 1961 Franklin Half Dollar includes the mintage for the 1961 Double Die Reverse Proof Franklin Half Dollar.
- The highest mintage occurred for the 1963-D Franklin Half Dollar with a mintage of 67,069,292.
- The average mintage across all date and mint mark combinations is 13,308,984.
Franklin Half Dollar Mintages:
Franklin Half Dollar Mintages Continued: