How Much is a 1951 Franklin Half Dollar Worth? (Price Chart)

The 1951 Franklin half dollar value doesn’t follow its popularity. Even though it is one of the most famous American coins, it is not too expensive, even in low grades. That makes it an excellent option for all collectors, regardless of the available budget.

Franklin half dollars were minted from 1948 to 1963. With over 40 million struck pieces in three mints, 1951 was the fourth year in the number of coins produced. Thanks to such a high mintage, you can effortlessly find these coins in perfect condition.

 

1951 Franklin Half Dollar History

1951 Franklin Half Dollar History
Image

The US Mint struck silver Franklin half dollars from 1948 to 1963, based on chief engraver John Sinnock‘s design. He used Benjamin Franklin’s bust statue made by Jean Antoine Houdon as a model for the obverse. The Liberty Bell was a central image on the coin reverse.

1951 Franklin half dollar

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1951 16,802,102
Philadelphia 1951 proof 57,500
San Francisco 1951 S 13,696,000
Denver 1951 D 9,475,200
Total / 40,030,802

The new obverse design was typical for American coinage of this era. Besides Franklin’s profile bust, this coin side also includes the word LIBERTY, the date, and an unavoidable motto IN GOD WE TRUST.

1951 Franklin half dollar

Face value $0.5 (50 cents)
Compound 90% silver – 10% copper
Silver weight 0.36169 troy ounces (11.25 g)
Coin weight 0.40188 troy ounces (12.5 g)
Coin thickness 0.07087 inches (1.8 mm)
Coin diameter 1.20472 inches (30.61 mm)
Edge Reeded
Shape Round

There are no surprises on the typical coin reverse, as well. The central image is the Liberty Bell, the icon of American independence, surrounded by the denomination and the country name.

The E PLURIBUS UNUM is placed on the left side while the tiny eagle spreads its wings to the bell’s right side. The bird wasn’t a part of the original design, but the US Mint added it following the half-dollar law.

 

1951 Franklin Half Dollar Types

1951 Franklin half dollar

1951 Franklin half dollar
Image

Since 16,802,102 halves came from Philadelphia, these 70-year-old coins are neither rare nor expensive. You can purchase one in low grades for $11 to $17, while circulated pieces typically cost $24 to $250.

1951 Franklin half dollar value

Quality 1951 1951 S 1951 D
Good $11.5 $11.5 $11.5
Very good $11.5 $11.5 $11.5
Fine $11.5 $11.5 $11.5
Very fine $11.5 $11.5 $11.5
Extra fine $12.8 $12.8 $12.8
AU $17 $17 $20
MS 60 $24 $25 $31
MS 65 $76 $76 $173
Proof 65 $430 / /

(USA Coin book)

Only rare halves with an MS 67 rating are pricey and are worth $900 to $1,100. The most precious 1951 MS 67 Full Bell Lines Franklin half dollar will cost you $4,500 to $5,500.

1951 proof Franklin half dollar

1951 proof Franklin half dollar

Besides regular coins, the Philadelphia mint produced 57,500 proofs in 1951. These coins are rare, so you should count to spend at least $150 for a piece.

1951 PR Franklin half dollar value

Quality 1951 1951 CAM 1951 DCAM
PR 50 $150 to $172.5 / /
PR 53 $165 to $189.7 / /
PR 55 $175 to $201.2 / /
PR 58 $185 to $212.7 / /
PR 60 $200 to $230 / /
PR 61 $205 to $237.7 $225 to $258.7 /
PR 62 $210 to $241.5 $250 to $287.5 /
PR 63 $250 to $287.5 $275 to $316.2 $275 to $225
PR 64 $300 to $345 $350 to $402.5 $1,000 to $1,150
PR 65 $325 to $373.7 $650 to $700 $1,500 to $1,750
PR 66 $600 to $690 $1,250 to $1,300 $4,500 to $5,500
PR 67 $1,550 to $1,783 $2,750 to $3,000 $14,000 to $16,500
PR 68 $6,200 to $7,500 $12,000 to $14,000 /
PR 69 $12,000 / /

(Greysheet)

Highly graded coins can be pricey, so you should set aside $6,200 to $7,500 for the 1951 PR 68 Franklin half dollar. Scarce specimens with a PR 69 rating are estimated to be $12,000.

The coin with a CAM PR 68 rating is worth $14,000, while the almost perfect PR 67 DCAM piece has a price of $14,000 to $16,500. The auction record won the 1951 PR 67+ DC Franklin half dollar in 2017 when one dedicated collector paid $82,250 for it.

1951 S Franklin half dollar

1951 S Franklin half dollar

The San Francisco mint struck 13,696,000 Franklin half dollars with the S mint mark in 1951. Their average price is $11 to $76, depending on the condition. However, an MS 67 grade coin can be worth $1,700 to $2,200.

The same piece with Full Bell Lines reaches $7,000 to $9,000 at auctions. The most expensive specimen is the 1951 S MS 67 Franklin half dollar sold for $30,550 at Heritage auctions in 2013.

1951 D Franklin half dollar

1951 D Franklin half dollar

The Denver mint had the lowest Franklin half dollar mintage in 1951, but they are still not overly expensive. Most survived pieces of 9,475,200 minted are worth $11 to $150, but those in an MS 66 grade can reach $400 to $450.

On the other hand, one 1951 D MS 66+ Franklin half dollar was sold for $5,500 on eBay in 2013, making it the most expensive specimen made in Denver. On the other hand, you need to set aside an astonishing $12,000 to $13,800 for the 1951 D MS 67 Full Bell Lines Franklin half dollar.

 

1951 Franklin Half Dollar Variations

1951 Franklin Half Dollar Variations

You can find a few notable Franklin half-dollar errors, including coins with an S/S re-punched mint mark and Bugs Bunny. They are not too expensive, but collectors like them. However, the crucial variety you can find in pieces struck in 1951 is a coin with Full Bell Lines.

Most specimens in the series have shallowly struck and incomplete lines near the bell opening on the reverse. That makes rare coins with exceptional strike quality and Full Bell Lines expensive and highly collectible.

1951 Full Bell Lines Franklin half dollar value

Quality 1951 FBL 1951 FBL S 1951 FBL S DDR 1951 FBL D
MS 63 $20 to $25 / / /
MS 64 $45 to $54 $135 to $162 $261 to $300.15 $60 to $72
MS 65 $180 to $200 $376 to $432.40 $502 to $577.30 $135 to $175
MS 66 $450 to $500 $700 to $805 / $500
MS 67 $4,500 to $5,500 $7,000 to $9,000 / $12,000 to $13,800

(Greysheet)

Be prepared to set aside at least 50% more for such a piece than a regular coin. For instance, the 1951 MS 67 FBL Franklin half dollar will cost you $4,500 to $5,500.

These quality halves struck in the San Francisco mint typically cost $7,000 to $9,000. The most expensive coins are those with the D mint mark, and pieces in MS 67 grade are worth an impressive $12,000 to $14,000.

 

1951 Franklin Half Dollar Grading

1951 Franklin Half Dollar Grading

Uncirculated – This half dollar never spent a day in circulation. Therefore, you can expect to see a coin in near-perfect condition with intact original texture and visible mint luster. Most of these pieces carry high premiums, and collectors want them in their collections.

1951 Franklin half dollar value

Quality 1951 1951 S 1951 D
Very good $11 $11 $11
Fine $11 $11 $11
Very fine $11 $11 $11
Extra fine $11 $11 $11
AU $12 $12 to $20.4 $18 to $26.4
MS 60 $13 to $18 $17 to $20.4 $26 to $31.2
MS 61 $13 to $18 $18 to $21.6 $27 to $32.4
MS 62 $13.3 to $18.3 $19 to $22.8 $28 to $33.6
MS 63 $14.3 to $19.3 $20 to $24 $28 to $33.6
MS 64 $32 to $38.4 $25 to $30 $40 to $48
MS 65 $60 to $72 $44 to $52.8 $115 to $138
MS 66 $250 to $287.5 $140 to $168 $400 to $460
MS 67 $900 to $1,080 $1,700 to $2,200 /

(Greysheet)

Extra fine – Such a specimen shows slight imperfections and scratches on the surface or rim, but you will probably need a magnifying glass to spot them. The only thing you should worry about is the color that becomes a bit dull after days spent in circulation.

Fine – Most collectors appreciate coins in this condition despite obvious signs of wear. Long time in use results in smooth details, particularly the highest points. Some slightly discolored pieces can come with a partially dull finish.

1951 Franklin half dollar value

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1951 $8.35 $8.35 $9.7 $11.8
1951 S $8.35 $10.2 $17 $8.35
1951 D $8.35 $8.35 $11 $26

(CoinStudy)

Good – When the coin shows noticeable signs of wear without visible details on the President’s bust, it is considered low graded. In this case, it is impossible to recognize the fine hairline and hair waves above his ear.

Sometimes, you can see a significantly damaged piece without visible inscriptions, but it is collectible as long as the date is visible.

 

Summary

The 1951 Franklin half dollar is a seventy-year-old coin highly appreciated among collectors. Since it is abundant in all grades, you can buy the one that fits your preferences and budget. Although most are not rare, you may have a problem finding a few specific and costly types.

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