How Much is a 1949 Franklin Half Dollar Worth? (Price Chart)

The Franklin silver half dollar has a historical significance in the US coinage. The US Mint produced these coins with the image of Benjamin Franklin for fifteen years, from 1948 to 1963, making them highly collectible.

The 1949 Franklin half dollar value is closely connected to its silver price. However, the amount of money you need to pay for this coin depends on its grade and the mint mark. Remember that Full Band pieces are always worth more.

 

1949 Franklin Half Dollar History

The US Mint produced Franklin half dollars from 1948 to 1963, based on Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock‘s design. He took a  Benjamin Franklin bust statue that Jean Antoine Houdon created in the 18th century. The curiosity is that it was the last US halves minted only in 90% silver.

1949 Franklin half dollar

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1949 5,614,000
San Francisco 1949 S 3,744,000
Denver 1949 D 4,120,600
Total / 13,748,600

Even though you can see Benjamin Franklin, a beloved Founding Father, on the obverse, this coin is not particularly appreciated. Besides Full Bell Lines specimens, most pieces in this short-lived series are affordable but without rare or unique coins.

1949 Franklin half dollar

Face value $0.59 (50 cents)
Compound Silver (90%) with copper
Coin weight 0.40188 troy ounces (12.5 g)
Coin diameter 1.20472 inches (30.6 mm)
Coin thickness 0.07087 inches (1.8 mm)
Edge Reeded
Shape Round

Besides Franklin’s bust in the center, the coin obverse also features inscriptions LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST along the rim. On the right is struck the date.

The central position on the reverse occupies the Liberty Bell surrounded by words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR. A small eagle with spread wings is on the right side, while the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is placed on the left.

 

1949 Franklin Half Dollar Types

1949 Franklin half dollar

1949 Franklin half dollar
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The Philadelphia mint produced 5,614,000 of 13,748,600 Franklin half dollars minted in the second year of minting. These coins’ price is directly connected with the silver cost on the precious metal market. However, you can often get more money thanks to their historical and collectible value.

1949 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1949 1949 S 1949 D
Good $11.64 $11.65 $11.65
Very good $11.64 $11.65 $11.65
Fine $11.64 $11.65 $11.65
Very fine $15 $15 $15
Extra fine $17 $20 $17
AU $23 $36 $25
MS 60 $42 $70 $48
MS 65 $152 $164 $611

*by USA Coin book

Specimens in low grades are worth about $10 to $25, but you should set aside $30 to $300 for those in the mint state. The auction record holds 1949 MS 67 Franklin half dollar after reaching $14,950 in 2008.

1949 proof Franklin half dollar

The US Mint didn’t produce Franklin half-dollar proofs before 1950, so you can’t find this coin with the struck 1949 date.

1949 S Franklin half dollar

1949 S Franklin half dollar

The mintage of 3,744,000 Franklin half dollars produced in San Francisco in 1949 was the lowest in the entire series. Plus, coins with the S mint mark appeared that year for the first time. Both facts make them valuable and collectible.

                        1949 Franklin half dollar value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1949 $8.6 $10.2 $11.4 $28
1949 S $8.6 $11.4 $31 $59
1949 D $8.6 $10.2 $22 $39

*by CoinStudy

Nowadays, the 1949 S Franklin half dollar is one of the best-circulated dates in the series, but you can still find pieces in the low grades for only $10 to $55.

Things are different with specimens in the mint state. While those in MS 60 are worth up to $75, you should set aside $1,500 to $1,750 for 1949 S MS 67 Franklin half dollar.

The most expensive 1949 S Franklin half dollar in the series is a piece with an MS 67 rating with the auction record of $31,725 reached in 2018.

1949 D Franklin half dollar

1949 D Franklin half dollar

The 1949 D Franklin half dollars were minted in Denver. That year, this particular mint produced 4,120,600 coins with the D mint mark on the reverse.

Even though these specimens are highly desirable collectibles, you can find pieces in low grades for $9 to $35. High-ranging coins are more expensive, and you can find 1949 D MS 65 Franklin half dollar for about $200.

The best rating MS 66 coins are typically worth $940 to $1,100. Since 2011, the auction record of $11,500 holds 1949 D MS 66 Franklin half dollar.

 

Franklin Half Dollar Variety

Franklin Half Dollar Variety

1949 Full Bell Franklin half dollars in the mint state are rare. These coins have uninterrupted horizontal lines on the Liberty Bell bottom. In most cases, you will need to pay at least 50% more for an FBL specimen than for an ordinary piece in the same grade.

1949 Full Bell Lines Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1949 FBL 1946 FBL S 1946 FBL D
MS 63 $60 to $76 / /
MS 64 $80 to $96 $180 to $210 $75 to $90
MS 65 $130 to $160 $400 to $500 $320 to $375
MS 66 $400 to $450 $500 to $550 $1,250 to $1,438
MS 67 $8,000 to $9,000 $3,200 to $5,500 $20,000 to $26,000

*by Greysheet

Surprisingly, the Franklin set minted in 1949 has neither significant rarities nor well-known errors. These coins are common, and collectors typically buy them to fulfill the series.

However, some collectors consider the 1949 D Franklin halves in the mint state a key date, making even pieces in poor condition valuable.

 

Franklin Half Dollar Series

Franklin Half Dollar Series

This series is an excellent option for collectors, particularly those on the budget and novices. The whole set includes 35 regular-issue coins plus a few varieties and proofs minted after 1950.

A basic set is affordable and accessible, but advanced collectors may find it tricky to grab the high-end FBL coins. Be prepared that it can be challenging when your goal is to find the entire collection, including proofs and rarities.

If you are satisfied with low-grade coins, you should set aside only $1,000 to complete the basic set. On the other hand, deep-pocketed collectors are prepared to pay $250,000 for the best possible specimens on the coin market.

 

1949 Franklin Half Dollar Grading

Grading the coin condition shows you the state of its preservation. It is also a crucial way to determine one specimen’s value. In this case, assessing the 1949 Franklin half’s condition will make a difference between a collectible piece and junk silver.

You can do it in two ways. The first is to send your coin to PCGS or NGC for evaluation. The second option is to check your specimen yourself and determine its value based on official guidelines.

Uncirculated – The 1949 Franklin half dollar in the mint state never spent time circulating, and you can’t spot any scratches on its surface. Interestingly, you will see original luster and texture instead of signs of wear, which you would expect in such an old coin. Plus, all lines and the tiniest details are crisp and untouched.

1949 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1949 1946 S 1946 D
Very good $9.1 $11 $9.1
Fine $9.1 $11.50 $9.1
Very fine $9.1 $11.75 to $12.5 $9.1
Extra fine $9.2 $18 to $26.4 $9.2
AU $14 to $21.6 $30 to $54 $22 to $36
MS 60 $25 to $30 $63 to $75.6 $37 to $44.4
MS 61 $26 to $31.2 $65 to $78 $38 to $45.6
MS 62 $28 to $33.6 $67 to $80.4 $39 to $46.8
MS 63 $30 to $36 $70 to $84 $40 to $48
MS 64 $50 to $60 $85 to $102 $60 to $72
MS 65 $100 to $120 $100 to $120 $200 to $230
MS 66 $261 to $300 $219 to $241 $940 to $1,081
MS 67 / $1,500 to $1,750 /

*by Greysheet

Extra fine – This beautiful coin looks almost perfect, and you can’t see any imperfections without a magnifying glass. An expert can notice a different feel while running a finger over its surface and a light absence of frosted luster.

Fine – You can see numerous signs of wear while looking at this coin. Inscriptions and images are scratched, while the finish often looks less shiny. The first changes appear on Franklin’s head top and his coat’s folds.

1949 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1949 1949 S 1949 D
Very fine $8 $8 $8
AU $10 $10 $10
MS 63 FBL $30 $80 $50
MS 64 FBL $70 $220 $80
MS 65 FBL $210 $355 $460
MS 66 FBL $370 $500 $6,325

*by Coinauctionshelp

Good – Even though such a coin is still collectible, numerous scratches and possible bending make it the least desirable for collectors. In many cases, letters are barely legible, and images lack delicate details. Novices will appreciate such pieces, but they typically have only the silver melting value.

 

Summary 

The 1949 Franklin half dollar is a valuable piece of American history. Thanks to the low mintage and a low number of specimens in the mint state, this coin is appreciated among interested collectors. Always estimate your piece closely to determine its real value.

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