The output of 1951 Franklin half dollars represents a marked improvement over the number of 1950 halves – around 40 million versus about 15 million the earlier year. Part of this was due to the fact that all three then-operating mints in the U.S. were striking coins that year, as opposed to only the Philadelphia and Denver mints in 1950.
1951 half dollars are generally considered common, though – as you will below in the mintage rundown – the Denver piece is the scarcest of the three business-strike issues made during that year:
1951, 16,802,102 minted; $11
1951 proof, 57,500; $450
1951-D, 9,475,200; $11
1951-S, 13,696,000; $11
*Values are for coins in Very Fine-20 condition, unless otherwise stated.
All of the business-strike 1951 Franklins can be bought for under $25 each in uncirculated grades, though you should try and take a little more time (and spend the extra dough) to buy Franklin halves with full bell lines. The bell lines, which cut across the Liberty Bell on the reverse, were usually struck very weakly, so any specimens that show complete bell lines are considered quite valuable.
Take time in searching for proof 1951 half dollars, which are quite often cloudy and spotted. Clear proofs with crisp surfaces are sough-after.