Are Franklin Half Dollars Worth Collecting?

When it comes to collecting coins, it seems like each collector has their favorite and will continue to collect that particular coin regardless if there are many in the collection already. To say that collections are never complete is absolutely the case for collectors.

When it comes to collecting, there are so many places to start. There are so many dates, mints, coin demonminations and conditions, this can sometimes be confusing to know where to start your collection.

Introducing the Franklin Half Dollar. There are many reasons to consider making this one of your first collections to start. The history of the Franklin Half Dollar was minted from 1948 to 1963. It may well have continued to be the design had President Kennedy not been assisinated.

When the mint unveiled the Franklin Half Dollar, Mint Director Nellie Tayloe Ross spoke about the fact that it was encouraged to put Ben Franklin’s likeness on a penny since he is so closely associated with the phrase “A penny saved is two pence clear”. Explaining her choice, she said that the impressive effect of a larger coin made of silver was better in commemorating a great American.

The front (obverse) depicts the likeness of Benjamin Franklin. The word LIBERTY is inscribed above the head, IN GOD WE TRUST at the bottom and the year off to the right. Below the shoulders are the initials JRS, the designer.

The back (reverse) has the Liberty Bell, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on the top, HALF DOLLAR on the bottom, E PLURIBUS UNUM off to the left side and a very small eagle to the right of the Liberty Bell. The eagle was required by law on coins higher than the dime since 1792 and reaffirmed by the Coinage Act of 1873.

The Franklin Half Dollar, although minted in lower quantities by today’s standards, does not offer much in the way of a particular key date or mint as collectable. There are some but not many. They bring little or no value above their buillion value. Since they are 90% pure silver in a weight of over 1/3 of an ounce, the price you pay for one will largly depend on the metals market from a dealer or online auction site. Many prices range between $2 and $10 for average circulated condition. That’s not to say it has absolutely no worth as a collectable. That’s far from the truth. There are many reasons to consider collecting this coin.

1. Franklin Half Dollars were only minted for 16 years.

2. The rich history as to how the Franklin Half Dollar came to be instead of a penny.

3. It is over 1/3 of an ounce of pure silver.

Many collectors collect these great coins by date and mint mark. For a challenge, there are proof sets were made from 1950 to 1963. There were 15.8 million of these sets made total.

For the beginner collector, the Franklin Half Dollar is a recommended place to start so that learning how to handle coins properly, storing coins properly and displaying coins properly goes a long way to expand your collections to other coins, denominations and hunting skills.


Diameter: 30.6 millimeters Weight: 12.50 grams composition: .900 silver, .100 copper Edge: Reeded Net weight: .36169 ounce pure silver

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