Franklin Half Dollar Specifications

Everything You Need to Know about the Franklin Half Dollar

Franklin Half Dollar Obverse Close up
Franklin Half Dollar. Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, www.ha.com

Background and History

Franklin half dollars were first produced in 1948 and both the obverse and the reverse were designed by John R. Sinnock. The Liberty Bell on the reverse is similar in design to the 1926 Sesquicentennial of American Independence commemorative half dollar that Sinnock also design. Unlike previous debuts of new American coins, the Franklin half dollar was met with a less than enthusiastic reception by the public.

Perhaps it was because it was replacing one of America's most beautiful coins, the Walking Liberty half dollar.

Coin Values and Prices:

Detailed Specifications

Issuing GovernmentUnited States of America
$0.50 (fifty cents, half dollar)
Coinage Type Franklin Half Dollar
Mintage Dates 1948-1963
Production Facilities Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
Mint Mark Location  Above the Liberty Bell and below the 'E' in "STATES" on the reverse.
Composition 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight  12.500 grams
Weight Tolerance (+/-) 0.259 grams 
Actual Gold Weight  () 0.0000 Troy Ounces  (does not contain any gold)
Actual Silver Weight  (ASW) 0.3617 Troy Ounces  
Actual Platinum Weight  () 0.0000 Troy Ounces  (does not contain any platinum)
10.340
Diameter30.6 mm 
Thickness 2.15 mm 
Edge TypeReeded
Obverse Description Franklin bust facing right, with LIBERTY above and IN GOD WE TRUST below. The date is to the right.
Obverse Designer John R. Sinnock
Reverse Description Liberty Bell with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above and HALF DOLLAR below. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is to the left while a small eagle is to the right.
Reverse Designer John R. Sinnock
(Krause-Mishler Catalog No.) 199
Notes  

Production Years, Mints and Types

The Franklin half dollar was minted as indicated in the following table.  The table lists the years, strike type, mint facility where made, the mint mark used on the coin and a description of any type differences in coins minted for that year. Use the scroll bar on the right to see all the data.

YearMintMint MarkType
1948Philadelphia  
1948DenverD 
1949Philadelphia  
1949DenverD 
1949San FranciscoS 
1950Philadelphia  
1950 ProofPhiladelphia  
1950DenverD 
1951Philadelphia  
1951 ProofPhiladelphia  
1951DenverD 
1951San FranciscoS 
1952Philadelphia  
1952 ProofPhiladelphia  
1952DenverD 
1952San FranciscoS 
1953Philadelphia  
1953 ProofPhiladelphia  
1953DenverD 
1953San FranciscoS 
1954Philadelphia  
1954 ProofPhiladelphia  
1954DenverD 
1954San FranciscoS 
1955Philadelphia  
1955 ProofPhiladelphia  
1956Philadelphia  
1956 ProofPhiladelphia Type I
1956 ProofPhiladelphia Type II
1957Philadelphia  
1957 ProofPhiladelphia  
1957DenverD 
1958Philadelphia  
1958 ProofPhiladelphia  
1958DenverD 
1959Philadelphia  
1959 ProofPhiladelphia  
1959DenverD 
1960Philadelphia  
1960 ProofPhiladelphia  
1960DenverD 
1961Philadelphia  
1961 ProofPhiladelphia  
1961DenverD 
1962Philadelphia  
1962 ProofPhiladelphia  
1962DenverD 
1963Philadelphia  
1963 ProofPhiladelphia  
1963DenverD 

Errors and Varieties

The following are popular errors and varieties that Franklin half dollar coin collectors look for. These coins usually carry a premium and are valued above a common coin.

YearMintMint MarkError/VarietyNotes/Description
1955Philadelphia "Bugs Bunny" Die ClashClash marks near Franklin's mouth
1961 ProofPhiladelphia Doubled Die ReverseOnly on Proof coins

Mintage Figures

The following table lists mint production numbers for the number of Franklin half dollar produced at each mint facility. Where possible, production numbers by strike type are noted.  Use the scroll bar on the right to see all the data.

YearMintMint MarkMintageNotes
1948Philadelphia 3,006,814 
1948DenverD4,028,600 
1949Philadelphia 5,614,000 
1949DenverD4,120,600 
1949San FranciscoS3,744,000 
1950Philadelphia 7,742,123 
1950 ProofPhiladelphia 51,386 
1950 SMSPhiladelphia 1Unique to The National Numismatic Collection
1950DenverD8,031,600 
1951Philadelphia 16,802,102 
1951 ProofPhiladelphia 57,500 
1951 SMSPhiladelphia 2Unique to The National Numismatic Collection
1951DenverD9,475,200 
1951San FranciscoS13,696,000 
1951 SMSSan FranciscoS1Unique to The National Numismatic Collection
1952Philadelphia 21,192,093 
1952 ProofPhiladelphia 81,980 
1952DenverD25,395,600 
1952San FranciscoS5,526,000 
1953Philadelphia 2,668,120 
1953 ProofPhiladelphia 128,800 
1953 SMSPhiladelphia 1Unique to The National Numismatic Collection
1953DenverD20,900,400 
1953San FranciscoS4,148,000 
1954Philadelphia 13,188,203 
1954 ProofPhiladelphia 233,300 
1954DenverD25,445,580 
1954San FranciscoS4,993,400 
1955Philadelphia 2,498,181 
1955 ProofPhiladelphia 378,200 
1956Philadelphia 4,032,000 
1956 ProofPhiladelphia 669,384 
1957Philadelphia 5,114,000 
1957 ProofPhiladelphia 1,247,952 
1957DenverD19,996,850 
1958Philadelphia 4,042,000 
1958 ProofPhiladelphia 875,652 
1958DenverD23,962,412 
1959Philadelphia 6,200,000 
1959 ProofPhiladelphia 1,149,291 
1959DenverD13,053,750 
1960Philadelphia 6,024,000 
1960 ProofPhiladelphia 1,691,602 
1960DenverD18,215,812 
1961Philadelphia 8,290,000 
1961 ProofPhiladelphia 3,028,244 
1961DenverD20,276,442 
1962Philadelphia 9,714,000 
1962 ProofPhiladelphia 3,218,019 
1962 SMSPhiladelphia 2Unique to The National Numismatic Collection
1962DenverD35,473,281 
1962 SMSDenverD2Unique to The National Numismatic Collection
1963Philadelphia 22,164,000 
1963 ProofPhiladelphia 3,075,645 
1963 SMSPhiladelphia 2Unique to The National Numismatic Collection
1963DenverD67,069,292 
1963 SMSDenverD2Unique to The National Numismatic Collection

Suggested Books on Franklin Half Dollars

  • A Guide Book of United States Coins (The Red Book); Yeoman, R. S., (Kenneth Bressett, Editor); Whitman Publishing, Atlanta (annual).
    Compare Prices
  • Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins; Walter Breen; Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (May 1, 1988); ISBN-10: 0385142072; ISBN-13: 978-0385142076
    Compare Prices
  • Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins: Volume II; Fivaz, Bill and J.T. Stanton; Publisher: Whitman Publishing, Atlanta (2006); ISBN-10: 0794820530; ISBN-13: 978-0794820534
    Compare Prices
  • A Guide Book of Franklin & Kennedy Half Dollars, 2nd Edition Edition; Rick Tomaska; Series: Guide Book of Franklin & Kennedy Half Dollars; Publisher: Whitman Publishing; 2nd Edition edition (February 7, 2012); ISBN-10: 0794836666; ISBN-13: 978-0794836665
    Compare Prices
  • The Authoritative Reference on Franklin Half Dollars. Kyle Vick,  Flynn, Kevin, Roswell, GA, 2012
  • The Complete Guide to Franklin Half Dollars, 2nd Edition.  Tomaska, Rick. DLRC Press, Virginia Beach, VA, 2002; ISBN-10: 1880731681; ISBN-13: 978-1880731680
    Compare Prices

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