How Much is a 1953 Franklin Half Dollar Worth? (Price Chart)

The US history would not be the same without the character and work of Benjamin Franklin. He is one of the Founding Fathers who left a significant mark on science and democracy development in this country. That makes the Franklin silver half dollar set highly desirable among collectors.

Three mints produced these coins from 1948 to 1963, and you won’t have any trouble finding them in decent condition. The 1953 Franklin half dollar value depends on its preservation level and is the highest for scarce coins in the mint state.

1953 Franklin Half Dollar History

Chief engraver John Sinnock wanted to commemorate Benjamin Franklin with the coin and used Jean Antoine Houdon’s sculpture as a model. Since the engraver passed away before finishing the design, Gilroy Roberts completed it in 1948. The US Mint started production the same year.

1953 Franklin half dollar

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1953 2,796,820
Philadelphia 1953 proof 128,800
San Francisco 1953 S 4,148,000
Denver 1953 D 20,900,400
Total / 27,974,020

Three mints struck Franklin half dollars, Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. The coin design is complex and full of details, including Benjamin Franklin’s figure facing right that occupies most of the obverse side. The word LIBERTY is above Franklin’s head, and the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST is below him.

1953 Franklin half dollar

Face value $ 0.5
Compound Silver (90%) with copper
Silver weight 0.36169 troy ounces (11.25 g)
Coin weight 0.40188 troy ounces (12.5 g)
Coin diameter 1.2 inches (30.6mm)
Coin thickness 0.085 inches (1.75 mm)
Edge Reeded
Shape Round

You can see the date on the right next to Franklin’s chin. If you look carefully, you will also notice JRS under Franklin’s shoulder, the initials of the original designer. Interestingly, Americans were convinced that the US mint tribute Joseph Stalin with those initials, but that didn’t cause design change.

1953 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1953 1953 S 1953 D
Good $11.2 $11.1 $11.1
Very good $11.2 $11.1 $11.1
Fine $11.2 $11.1 $11.1
Very fine $11.2 $11.1 $11.1
Extra fine $12.5 $12.4 $12.4
AU $13 $17 $13
MS 60 $15 $24 $14
MS 65 $123 $76 $124
PR 63 $220 / /

*by USA Coin book

Liberty bell occupies the central part of the reverse coin side. There is a HALF DOLLAR denomination below it, while the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA stands above the bell. You can see the Latin slogan E PLURIBUS UNO on the left while the eagle is on the right side of the bell.

 

1953 Franklin Half Dollar Types

Franklin half dollars are silver coins, so they have melt value. You can quickly check the silver price, which is $24.21 per troy ounce at the moment.

That means the current value of the 1953 Franklin half dollar weighing 0.40188 troy ounces (12.5 g) is precisely $8.76. Remember that coins in the mint state can bring you much more money.

1953 Franklin half dollar

1953 Franklin half dollar
Image

Although the Philadelphia mint had produced the highest number of Franklin half dollars previous years, that was not the case in 1953. Less than 10% of total mintage were Franklin half dollars without the mint mark.

1953 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1936 1936 S 1936 D
Fine $6.7 $10 $8
Very fine $8.7 $10 $8.4
Extra fine $10 $10 $8.9
AU $14 $21 $10
Uncirculated $20 $37 $18
Proof $171 / /

*by Numista

The average 1953 half dollar value is $5 to $15, depending on its grade and your choice of a coin dealer. Don’t forget that a perfectly preserved Franklin coin can bring you up to a few hundred dollars.

1953 proof Franklin half dollar

1953 proof Franklin half dollar
Image

Despite generally reduced production, the Philadelphia mint struck 128,800 proofs in 1953. These coins were never in circulation, meaning there were no scratches and stains on their surface. Since the mint produced them solely for collectors, you can recognize mirror-like polished surfaces and high luster.

1953 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1953 1953 S 1953 D
Very fine $8 $8 $8
AU 58 $10 $10 $10
MS 63 $45 / $25
MS 64 $80 $10,350 $40
MS 65 $920 $11,500 $126
MS 66 $4,300 $12,650 $460

*by COIN HelpU

The 1953 proof Franklin half dollar is much more expensive than the average circulated coin. With a bit of luck, you can find it for about $200, but perfect specimens can reach several thousand dollars.

1953 S Franklin half dollar

1953 S Franklin half dollar

If you closely inspect 1953 Franklin half dollars, you can find the S letter on the reverse. That means coins with this mint mark below the bell yoke and above the letter E in STATES engraving came from the San Francisco mint.

1953 Franklin half dollar value*

Year Quality
Extra fine AU Mint state
1953 $8 $10.6 $13
1953 S $8 $10.6 $17.1
1953 D $8 $9.1 $11.3

*by CoinStudy

The San Francisco mint produced just over 4 million half dollars in 1953. Their average value doesn’t differ much from Philadelphia coins, except in the case of pieces in the mint state.

1953 D Franklin half dollar

1953 D Franklin half dollar

The Denver mint produced the largest share, 20,900,400 out of 27,974,020 total mintage, in 1953. The Denver mintage is marked by the D letter on the coin reverse side. In this case, the mint mark doesn’t significantly affect its value, and the critical factor is preservation.

 

1953 Franklin Half Dollar Rarities 

1953 Franklin Half Dollar Rarities 

The 1953 Franklin half dollar mintage didn’t go without errors such as double struck, the re-punched mint mark, and dye cracks. You can find two varieties for this date, both highly regarded by numismatists.

If you look for the most valuable 1953 Franklin half dollar, it will be a coin in the mint state with a Full Bell Lines label. The record price for such a coin in MS 65 grade is an impressive $69,000.

1953 Franklin half dollar value

Quality 1953 1953 S 1953 D
Good $16.2 $16.2 $16.2
Very good $17.1 $16.4 $16.4
Fine $18.1 $16.6 $16.6
Very fine $20 $16.9 $16.9
Extra fine $20.9 $17.6 $17.6
About uncirculated $28.5 $18.1 $18.1
MS 60 $30.5 $20.9 $20.9
MS 65 $95 $76 $76
PR 65 $210 / /

*by Hobbizine

The FBL variety means there are two complete horizontal lines at the bottom of the Liberty bell. These coins are scarce, and many collectors are willing to pay a fortune for them.

There is also a so-called Bugs Bunny Franklin dollar. This variety is more common for other dates, especially 1955, but there are also coins from 1953 with this error. Numismatists love this half dollar because Franklin got buck teeth on it all, thanks to dye clash.

 

1953 Franklin Half Dollar Grading

1953 Franklin Half Dollar Grading

The well-preserved 1953 Franklin half dollar implies beautiful design, original luster, and engravings without significant damage. However, minor differences can decide between two coin grades, including those invisible to the naked eye.

Uncirculated – At first glance, this coin looks as if a human hand never touched it. The design is perfectly preserved, and the lines around Franklin’s eye are perfect. Each letter has precise edges, and the coin rim is undamaged.

1953 Franklin half dollar value*

Coin Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1953 $6.5 to $6.7 $6.5 to $6.7 $7 to $7.2 $15+
1953 S $6.5 to $6.7 $6.5 to $6.7 $7 to $7.2 $18+
1953 D $6.5 to $6.7 $6.5 to $6.7 $7 to $7.2 $18+

*by Coinflation

Extra fine – This coin has been in circulation for some time, and it shows some minor damage and blemishes. It is flattened and smooth to touch, but vital details are still present.

Fine – Most of the original design is visible, but the letters are flat, and there is a significant discoloration visible on the surface. This coin shows many wear signs since it was in circulation for years. You can read all the engravings, but the hairlines on Franklin’s figure are gone.

1953 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1953 1953 S 1953 D
Very good $11.8 $11.8 $11.8
Fine $11.8 $11.8 $11.8
Very fine $11.8 $11.8 $11.8
Extra fine $12 $12 $12
AU $16.2 to $22.7 $22.9 to $32.4 $12.8 to $13.1
MS 60 $18.9 to $22.7 $31 to $37.3 $14
MS 61 $18.9 to $22.7 $32.4 to $38.9 $14.3
MS 62 $18.9 to $22.7 $32.4 to $38.9 $14.6
MS 63 $20.3 to $24.3 $33.7 to $40 $16.2 to $20.2
MS 64 $33.7 to $40 $37.8 to $45.4 $27 to $32.4
MS 65 $97 to $286 $49.9 to $60 $94 to $113
MS 66 $286 to $329 $234 to $247 $415 to $477
MS 67 / $1,940 to $2,380 /

*by Greysheet

Good – This coin was in circulation for years but is still an excellent option for novice collectors. The coin rim connects with its field, and the letters in engravings are flat. The fine details on Franklin’s bust are unrecognizable, and the coin is often damaged.

 

Summary

Three mints struck 1953 Franklin half dollars, but only Philadelphia produced proof coins. On average, their price is slightly higher than the current melt value, but pieces in the mint state and errors like Bugs Bunny Franklin and FBL can bring you more money.

Leave a Comment