How Much is a 1961 Franklin Half Dollar Value Worth (Price Chart)

As always, when it comes to silver coins, the 1961 Franklin half dollar value will depend on a few factors. Crucial things are its condition, the mint mark, and the silver price at the current precious metal market. You can find four coin types, including those regularly minted in Philadelphia and Denver, proof coins, and Double Die proof errors.

Most collectors tend to complete this set as valuable pieces of the Franklin series that contain 35 business and 14 proof coins. Since over 30 million of these dollars were struck in 1961, their value won’t be significant, but they are not cheap either. In fact, some can be worth a lot. Let’s see.


1961 Franklin Half Dollar History

1961 Franklin Half Dollar History

The US Mint struck Franklin (Liberty bell) half dollars from 1948 to 1963 with Benjamin Franklin, one of Founding Fathers, on the obverse. Engraver John Sinnock created a half dollar, but he couldn’t manage to complete the design, so Gilroy Roberts finished the job.

1961 Franklin half dollar

Location Year Minted Price
Philadelphia 1961 8,290,000 $11+
Philadelphia 1961 proof 3,028,244 $20+
Philadelphia 1961 DDR proof unknown $1,300+
Denver 1961 D 20,276,442 $11+
Total / 31,594,686 /

The first idea was to put Benjamin Franklin’s bust on the cent following his saying that a ‘penny saved is two pence clear’ but the then Mint director Nellie Ross believed that such a significant man deserves a silver coin.

A Jean-Antoine Houdon’s bust was a model for a new half dollar. The Liberty Bell was a natural choice connected with Franklin and identified with the nation’s origin.

Interestingly, the designer had to put all three initials, JRS, on the Franklin half dollar because of the controversy with the Roosevelt dime. In those times, many Americans believed that JS meant Joseph Stalin, which was a problem in the Cold War period.

1961 Franklin half dollar

Face value $0.50
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

The coin design is beautiful and relatively simple with Benjamin Franklin’s image and the date in the obverse center. You can see a word LIBERTY above the President’s bust and inscription IN GOD WE TRUST along the bottom rim.

The reverse is a bit more complicated with the Liberty Bell in the center, a small motto E PLURIBUS UNUM on the left, and a tiny bald eagle on the right side. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and denomination are struck along the coin rim.

1961 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1961 1961 D
Good $11.3 $11.3
Very good $11.3 $11.3
Fine $11.3 $11.3
Very fine $11.3 $11.3
Extra fine $12.6 $12.6
AU $13 $13
MS 60 $15 $15
MS 65 $79 $124
PR 65 $24 /

*by USA Coin book

The US Mint produced about 500 million Franklin half dollars from 1948 to 1963, and they were legal tender in the US in that period.

A complete Franklin half dollar set includes 35 business strikes and 14 proofs, and most of them are affordable in low grades. Many collectors are prepared to set aside more money and complete the collection in the mint state and proofs with deep cameo contrast.

Since the coin contains 90% silver, it is worth even in the worst possible condition. However, better-preserved pieces will have both silver and collectible value, increasing their price.


1961 Franklin Half Dollar Types

Two mints produced Franklin half dollars in 1961, Denver and Philadelphia. As always, you can spot a small mint mark on the coin reverse, helping in identification.

Coins produced in 1961 had high mintage, making them common in low grades. Even though most pieces from Philadelphia came with weak strikes, specimens in MS 65 grade and above could be pricey.

1961 Franklin half dollar

1961 Franklin half dollar

The Philadelphia mint produced 8,290,000 Franklin half dollars in 1961, making them abundant and relatively cheap. You can get one of these coins without the mint mark in low grade for $11 to $13, while even a piece in MS 65 range won’t be worth more than $80.

1961 Franklin half dollar value*

Year Quality
Extra fine AU Mint state
1961 $8.1 $8.1 $11.2
1961 D $8.1 $8.1 $11.2

*by CoinStudy

1961 proof Franklin half dollar

1961 proof Franklin half dollar

The Philadelphia mint struck a surprisingly high number of 3,028,244 proofs in 1961. Most pieces will be worth $25 to $80, but you need to pay almost $600 for a highly-quality specimen in PR 69 grade.

1961 proof Franklin half dollar value*

Quality Proof
PR 60 $23 to $27.5
PR 61 $23 to $27.5
PR 62 $23 to $27.5
PR 63 $24.3 to $29.2
PR 64 $25.6 to $30.8
PR 65 $27 to $32.4
PR 66 $29.7 to $35.6
PR 67 $40.5 to $54
PR 68 $68 to $81
PR 69 $520 to $598

*by Greysheet

1961 D Franklin half dollar

1961 D Franklin half dollar

The 1961 D Franklin half dollar has a struck letter D above the bell on the coin reverse. With 20,276,442 produced pieces, this half dollar is considered common and affordable on the current market.

1961 Franklin half dollar value

Quality 1961 1961 D
Good $16.2 $16.2
Very good $16.4 $16.4
Fine $16.6 $16.6
Very fine $16.9 $16.9
Extra fine $17.6 $17.6
AU $19 $19
MS 60 $20.9 $20.9
MS 65 $62 $145
PR 65 $26.5 /

*by Hobbizine

Their average coin value is $11 to $15, and only specimens in MS 65 grade cost approximately $125.


1961 Franklin Half Dollar Rarities 

The Franklin half dollar mintage was regular, making this date common in all grades. However, there were unique and pricey pieces and one error.

You should always look for a coin with Full Bell lines whenever possible. Those pieces are highly appreciated nowadays and more valuable than regular ones. While you need to set aside about $30 to $50 for those in MS 63 and MS 64 grades, rare MS 67 specimens will cost you over $30,000.

1961 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1961 1961 D 1961 DDR PR
Very fine $8 $8 /
AU 58 $10 $10 /
MS 63 $45 $25 /
MS 64 $100 $56 $1,840
MS 65 $862 $460 $2,070
MS 66 $6,900 $5,175 $3,220

*by COIN HelpU 

The 1961 DDR proof Franklin half dollars produced in Philadelphia have a few varieties. Most serious collectors are prepared to pay $1,000 to $3,000 for extreme doubling in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and denomination HALF DOLLAR.


1961 Franklin Half Dollar Grading

1961 Franklin Half Dollar Grading

You have two options to determine the Franklin half dollar condition. Ideally, you will send it to PCGS or NGC, but it is also possible to evaluate its appearance on your own.

Uncirculated – This coin looks like it was just struck with clean and sharp images, inscriptions, and fine details. You can’t spot any stains or discolorations on its surface, although you can notice slight color variations in some pieces. The texture is perfect and untouched without signs of wear.

1961 Franklin half dollar value*

Coin Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1961 $6.5 to $6.7 $6.5 to $6.7 $6.7 to $7 $12+
1961 D $6.5 to $6.7 $6.5 to $6.7 $6.7 to $7 $12+

*by Coinflation

Extra fine – This piece is in excellent overall condition with preserved details. You can notice only light scratches on the surface and minor imperfections and signs of wear. The only thing that shows its use is a silver-grey tone due to the limited time spent in circulation.

Fine – You can see all details intact while inspecting this coin, even though its surface shows signs of use. Prominent details are a bit flattened, the finish is dull, and you can spot some stains on the surface. The crucial part is Franklin’s cheek. You can spot a smooth jawline and hair waves while lower hair strands blend with the shoulder.

1961 Franklin half dollar value*

Quality 1961 1961 D 1961 D Full Bell
Very good $11.9 $11.9 /
Fine $11.9 $11.9 /
Very fine $11.9 $11.9 /
Extra fine $12 $12 /
AU $12.8 to $13 $12.8 to $13.1 /
MS 60 $14 $14 /
MS 61 $14.3 $14.3 /
MS 62 $14.6 $14.6 /
MS 63 $16.2 to $20.2 $16.2 to $20.2 $27 to $33.7
MS 64 $25.6 to $30.8 $25.6 to $30.8 $54 to $68
MS 65 $43.2 to $52 $81 to $108 $624 to $718
MS 66 $443 to $510 $408 to $469 $3,500 to $4,020
MS 67 / / $30,000 to $34,500

*by Greysheet

Good – This coin is still collectible even though serious collectors avoid damaged pieces whenever possible. You can see flattened images and inscriptions and an evident specimen rim loss. Sometimes you can find a half dollar with severe damage that precise identification is often impossible without a magnifying glass.



As you can see, many Franklin half dollars were minted in 1961, making them relatively affordable for most collectors. Only rare errors and Full Bell rarities are pricey and relatively rarely available on the coin market. In any case, you should always check the coin condition and the mint mark before considering a trade.

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