Franklin Half Dollars
If you’re looking for a handsome U.S. series with lower coin values and relatively easy availability, then Franklin half dollars may be for you. This series, which was designed by John R. Sinnock and ran from 1948 through 1963, is an affordable set of coins to pursue and includes just 35 regular-issue pieces (that doesn’t count the proof coins or any special varieties). Franklin half dollars feature a bust of the namesake inventor and Founding Father on the obverse and the cracked Liberty Bell on the reverse.
Coin values for the Franklin half dollar series are roughly tied to bullion values, at least in the case of the heavily circulated specimens. Uncirculated specimens of most issues are largely common, save for a few issues, including the 1949-S and 1952-S. Franklin half dollars grading MS 65 and all uncirculated specimens showing fully distinguished bell lines (the horizontal bands on the upper portion of the bell) are especially prized and valuable.
Coin values are significantly spread out for some Franklin half dollars. Perhaps this is most notable in the case of the 1953-S; this is a relatively common piece worth about $10 in XF-40, but soars in value to more than $16,000 for an MS-65 specimen with full bell lines (FBL). For the most part though, even high-end Franklin half dollars are very affordable. The lowest-mintage Franklin half – the 1955 – costs less than $20 for an XF-40 specimen; values for this coin range from about $25 to $100 for a nice uncirculated example. Coin values for well-worn Franklin halves are very low, and often are listed just $2 to $3 above the spot price of silver. So, assembling a circulated set of Franklin half dollars is within the reach of most coin collectors and investors.