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Franklin Half Dollar (1948-1963)

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1949 D Franklin Half Dollar VG Very Good Silver 50c Coin1949 D Franklin Half Dollar VG Very Good Silver 50c Coin
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1949 S Franklin Half Dollar Choice Uncirculated Silver 50c SKU:IPC20461949 S Franklin Half Dollar Choice Uncirculated Silver 50c SKU:IPC2046
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1949 S Franklin Half Dollar Choice Uncirculated Silver 50c SKU:IPC20571949 S Franklin Half Dollar Choice Uncirculated Silver 50c SKU:IPC2057
1950 D Franklin Half Dollar VG Very Good Silver 50c Coin1950 D Franklin Half Dollar VG Very Good Silver 50c Coin

Franklin Half Dollar (1948-1963): A Brief History

Franklin half dollars were America’s first coin series to feature a non-president and last coin series struck entirely in 90% silver. The driving force behind the creation of the Franklin half dollar was mint director Nillie Tayloe, who was an admirer of Benjamin Franklin. John R. Sinnock, designer of the Franklin half dollar, had previously created a medal in 1933 that featured Franklin. This medal was possibly the inspiration for Tayloe wishing to have Franklin depicted on a coin. Sinnock passed away before his designs were able to be completed. The designs were then completed by his successor Gilroy Roberts. The tiny eagle was added to the reverse to satisfy the requirements of the Mint Act of 1873, which stated “upon the reverse shall be the figure or representation of an eagle... but on the gold dollar and three-dollar piece, the dime, five, three, and one cent piece the figure of the eagle shall be omitted”. After only 15 years, Franklin half dollars ceased production and were replaced by Kennedy half dollars in 1964. 

Because of the short mintage time, Franklin Half Dollars only have 35 different dates and mint marks. This makes the series a fairly easy series to collect. A well-known variety is the 1955 “Bugs Bunny” Franklin half dollar. The error was caused by a clash between the obverse and reverse die. Because of this clash, a marking was made near Franklin’s mouth which resembles buck teeth. 

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