Including proofs, over 30 million Franklin half dollars were minted in 1961, a year during which proof production jumped dramatically in response to rising demand from coin collectors for proof sets. Interestingly, there is a very important variety from 1961 that concerns proof half dollars, and that would be the 1961 doubled die reverse proof.
Here’s a look at mintages and values for 1961 Franklin half dollars:
1961, 8,290,000 minted; $11
1961 proof, 3,028,244; $20
1961 doubled die proof; mintage unknown; $1,300
1961-D, 20,276,442; $11
*Values are for coins in a grade of Very Fine-20, unless otherwise noted.
The 1961 doubled die reverse proof half dollar is a striking (no pun intended!) variety that excites many Franklin half dollar aficionados and is very easy to spot. Several types of 1961 doubled die Franklins were made, but the one most collectors want is that which exhibits extreme doubling in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HALF DOLLAR, and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Otherwise, 1961 was a quiet year for Franklin half dollars, and this date is very common across all grades. For business-strike pieces, buy those that have full bell lines on the reverse and have crisp, white surfaces, as these are very desirable and may yield nice returns in the years to come from the investment standpoint.