How Much is a Franklin Half Dollar Worth? (Most Valuable)

The US Mint produced Franklin Half Dollar (Liberty Bell) from 1948 to 1963. Thanks to its unique design, this silver coin is one of the most popular modern pieces among American collectors.

You can see one of the most beloved Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, on the coin obverse and the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia on the ​reverse. Now, let’s check the Franklin half dollar value and discover rarities and the most expensive pieces you can find on the market.

Franklin Half Dollars

Franklin Half Dollars

Franklin half dollars were minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver from 1948 to 1963. These coins were the last US half dollar series struck from 90% silver unless you counted the one-year Kennedy half dollar production in 1964.

The US Mint started to produce less-expensive copper-silver clad coins in 1965 and finally started with cheap copper-nickel clad in 1971.

Franklin half dollar*

Year Mintage Quality
G/VG/F VF EF AU MS 60 MS 65 PR 65
1948 3,006,814 $10.85 $10.85 $14 $16 $19 $86 /
1948 D 4,028,600 $10.85 $10.85 $14 $16 $19 $131 /
1949 5,614,000 $10.85 $14 $16 $22 $40 $148 /
1949 S 3,744,000 $10.85 $14 $19 $35 $68 $159 /
1949 D 4,120,600 $10.85 $14 $16 $24 $47 $596 /
1950 7,793,509 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $19 $30 $121 $523
1950 D 8,031,600 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $17 $25 $281 /
1951 16,859,602 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $16 $23 $74 $420
1951 S 13,696,000 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $16 $24 $74 /
1951 D 9,475,200 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $19 $30 $168 /
1952 21,274,073 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $74 $255
1952 S 5,526,000 $10.85 $13 $15 $30 $50 $112 /
1952 D 25,395,600 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $140 /
1953 2,796,920 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $120 $215
1953 S 4,148,000 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $16 $24 $74 /
1953 D 20,900,400 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $121 /
1954 13,421,503 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $50 $89
1954 S 4,993,400 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $50 /
1954 D 25,445,580 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $96 /
1955 2,876,381 $10.85 $16 $20 $22 $24 $62 $77
1956 4,701,384 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $43 $47
1957 6,361,952 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $40 $27
1957 D 19,966,850 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $40 /
1958 4,917,652 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $47 $32
1958 D 23,962,412 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $47 /
1959 7,349,291 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $74 $20
1959 D 13,053,750 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $96 /
1960 7,715,602 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $112 $22
1960 D 18,215,812 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $225 /
1961 11,318,244 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $77 $24
1961 D 20,276,442 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $121 /
1962 12,932,019 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $96 $20
1962 D 35,473,281 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $135 /
1963 25,239,645 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $40 $22
1963 D 67,069,292 $10.85 $10.85 $12 $13 $14 $47 /

*by USA coin book

 

John R. Sinnock designed this beautiful silver dollar in 1947 based on Jean Antoine Houdon’s bust statue of Benjamin Franklin. Unfortunately, he died before completing his work, so Gilroy Roberts finished the design.

The US Mint started with coin production despite objections because of a cracked Liberty Bell and a tiny eagle on the reverse. There was one more controversy about the designer’s initials. Since many connected JS from the Roosevelt dime with the Russian President Joseph Stalin, it was changed by adding the middle initial R.

Franklin half dollar*

Year Quality
MS 63 MS 64 MS 65 MS 66
1948 $30 $40 $105 $300
1948 D $20 $55 $90 $600
1949 $30 $70 $210 $370
1949 S $80 $220 $355 $500
1949 D $50 $80 $460 $6,325
1950 $30 $60 $150 $1,035
1950 D $40 $55 $300 $920
1951 $25 $55 $170 $430
1951 S $130 $185 $300 $860
1951 D $30 $55 $180 $700
1952 $35 $80 $95 $180
1952 S $125 $430 $575 $1,955
1952 D $30 $80 $130 $630
1953 $45 $80 $920 $4,300
1953 S / $10,350 $11,500 $12,650
1953 D $25 $40 $125 $460
1954 $27 $40 $80 $800
1954 S $15 $50 $250 $1,500
1954 D $20 $37 $75 $775
1955 $30 $50 $75 $575
1956 $27 $35 $70 $160
1957 $20 $40 $160 $490
1957 D $20 $38 $80 $155
1958 $30 $50 $140 $150
1958 D $20 $50 $65 $150
1959 $25 $50 $80 $1,610
1959 D $20 $40 $125 $750
1960 $20 $40 $220 $1,955
1960 D $15 $40 $370 $5,750
1961 $45 $100 $860 $6,900
1961 D $25 $55 $460 $5,175
1962 $30 $220 $1,495 $17,825
1962 D $20 $55 $345 $4,455
1963 $15 $140 $970 /
1963 D $15 $105 $200 $1,500

*by COIN HelpU

These coins were a legal tender from 1948 to 1963, and approximately 500 million of them were minted. The lackluster design was why they weren’t popular at those times, but collectors are willing to pay more than their face value nowadays.

 

Franklin Half Dollars Grading

Franklin Half Dollars Grading

Uncirculated – The uncirculated Franklin half dollar needs to be completely textured with a delicate luster. Remember that the absence of luster is the first sign of wearing out. Always check Franklin’s portrait, particularly his cheek and hair above his ear, to determine the coin condition precisely.

About uncirculated – High design points show subtle color changes and a slight degree of wear in this coin grade. You can notice wear confined to the design elements’ tops and minor metal removal. However, the mint luster and texture are still present on most of the surface.

Franklin half dollar*

Year Quality
Extra fine About uncirculated Mint state
1948 $8 $10 $13
1948 D $8 $10 $13
1949 $9.5 $10.5 $24
1949 S $9.5 $10.5 $57
1949 D $10.5 $25 $57
1950 $8 $10 $17
1950 D $8 $9.5 $15
1951 $8 $9.5 $11.5
1951 S $8 $10 $16.5
1951 D $8 $10.5 $24
1952 $8 $9.5 $11.5
1952 S $10 $33 $45
1952 D $8 $9.5 $11.5
1953 $8 $10.5 $13
1953 S $8 $10.5 $17
1953 D $8 $9 $11.5
1954 $8 $9 $11
1954 S $8 $9 $13
1954 D $8 $9 $11
1955 $10.5 $10.5 $15
1956 $8 $8 $11.5
1957 $8 $8 $11
1957 D $8 $8 $11
1958 $8 $8 $11
1958 D $8 $8 $11
1959 $8 $8 $11
1959 D $20 $8 $11
1960 $20 $8 $11
1960 D $15 $8 $11
1961 $45 $8 $11
1961 D $25 $8 $11
1962 $30 $8 $11
1962 D $20 $8 $11
1963 $15 $8 $11
1963 D $15 $8 $11

*by CoinStudy

 

Extra fine – Such graded Franklin half dollar has no recognizable luster so that you can notice a soft silver metal color. High design areas have started to wear and become flattened. It is evident on Franklin’s cheek where you can see a small flat area behind his mouth.

 

Lower-grade coins’ quality – An average circulated Franklin half dollar has the most Franklin’s portrait details flattened and worn out. His cheek is merged with the temple ridge in a connected flat area, while fine strands at the head top are smooth. The best option to evaluate the coin in detail is to get it checked by an expert.

 

The Most Valuable Franklin Half Dollars

The Most Valuable Franklin Half Dollars
Image

There is no a regularly struck Franklin silver half dollars intended for circulation that is considered rare. However, you can recognize a few scarcer pieces with relatively low mintages, including some proofs.

The most valuable Franklin half dollars

Location Year Minted Value
Philadelphia 1949 5,164,000 $15+
San Francisco 1949 S 3,744,000 $15+
Denver 1949 D 4,120,600 $15+
Philadelphia 1950 proof 51,386 $500+
Philadelphia 1951 proof 57,500 $375+
Philadelphia 1952 proof 81,980 $200+
Philadelphia 1953 proof 128,800 $175+
Philadelphia 1954 proof 233,300 $75+
Philadelphia 1955 Bugs Bunny variety 2,498,181 $20+
Philadelphia 1955 proof 378,200 $65+
Philadelphia 1961 proof with doubled die reverse Unknown $3,000+

A list includes prices for average circulated specimens, but coins graded as uncirculated are worth more money.

For instance, 1955 Bugs Bunny variety is worth:

  • $45 in MS 63 grade
  • $60 in MS 64 grade
  • $345 in MS 65 grade

A dedicated collector who wants to buy a 1961 proof with doubled die reverse coin will need to set aside:

  • $1,840 for a coin in MS 64 grade
  • $2,070 for a coin in MS 65 grade
  • $3,220 for a coin in MS 66 grade

Since Franklin half dollar contains 0.3617 troy ounces (11.25 g) of silver or 90% of its weight, you can always count on the precious metal price.

It is higher than a coin’s face value on the current market, plus most collectors are prepared to pay for the coin’s historical importance. Like other silver coins, this particular one is an excellent investment without high risk.

 

Summary

If you are a dedicated collector of Franklin half dollars with a limited budget, you can get a decent set of lower graded coins for less than $1,000. On the other hand, a deep-pocketed collector needs to set aside more than $250,000 for an uncirculated coins collection that includes scarce specimens.

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