1949 was the first year in the Franklin half dollar series that all three then-operating mints (Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco) produced coins, which in this case meant slightly higher mintage figures over the Franklin half’s anemic output from 1948. Franklin half dollars from 1949 are not considered scarce in the lower circulated grades, but they were never really saved in the uncirculated grades, and for that reason all 1949 Franklin half dollars are considered scarce in Mint State.
Check out the mintages and some values for 1949 Franklin half dollars below:
1949, 5,614,000 minted; $12
1949-D, 4,120,600; $12
1949-S, 3,744,000; $12
*Values are for coins in the grade of Very Fine-20.
Those same three issues, in Mint State 63, are worth $70, $75, and $110, respectively, which goes to show the great disparity in values between circulated and uncirculated 1949 Franklin half dollars.
If you are buying uncirculated Franklin halves, be sure to buy those that are well struck and display good color. Many Franklin halves are splotchy in color or don’t have fully struck bell lines. Full bell lines (the horizontal lines across the Liberty Bell on the reverse of the coin) are highly desirable and warrant premiums over typical Mint State values.