Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar

1948 – 1963

The Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar was the first circulated US coin to feature a real person, who was not a president, in the design. The idea for a coin to honor Benjamin Franklin came from Mint Director Nellie Tayloe Ross. Franklin was very well known and respected not only for his role as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, but also for his talents as a writer, printer, scientist and inventor.

Sinnock died in 1947 before the design of the Benjamin Franklin half dollar was completed. He had not included an eagle in the design, although the Coinage Act of 1873 mandated that an eagle had to appear on all US silver containing coins bigger than the dime. The task of adding the eagle to the reverse was given to Gilroy Roberts.

Ben Frankline Half DollarThe Federal Commission of Fine Art disapproved of the eagle’s small size as well as the inclusion of the crack in the Liberty Bell. However, the Treasury Department ignored their complaint and approved Sinnock’s design with Roberts’ eagle.

In total, including proofs, nearly 498 million Benjamin Franklin Half Dollars were struck during its 16 year series. Because the Franklin Half is relatively common most coins in circulated condition are generally worth very little above the coins silver value. However, higher grade examples, particularly those with “full bell lines” can be more difficult to obtain and can bring a high price. The lowest production for the Franklin Half was in 1953 when less than 2.8 million pieces were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. The highest production was in 1963 when more than 67 million coins were struck at the Denver Mint.

The obverse of the Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar features a bust of Benjamin Franklin facing to the right. The word Ben Frankline Half Dollar“LIBERTY” appears at the top of the coin and “IN GOD WE TRUST” at the bottom. The date is to the right, just below Franklin’s chin. Sinnock included his initials, “JRS” just below Franklin’s shoulder.

The reverse side of the Franklin Half has the Liberty Bell in the center with the words “E PLURIBUS UNUM” on the left and an eagle on the right. The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are at the top and “HALF DOLLAR” is at the bottom. The mintmark is placed above the Liberty Bell

Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar Specifications:

  • Minted: 1948 – 1963
  • Diameter: 30.6 mm
  • Weight: 12.5 g
  • Composition: 90% Silver 10% Copper
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Designer: John Sinnock & Gilroy Roberts

D Slone, Copyright 2008 CoinCollectorGuide.com

Franklin Half Dollar Mintage Numbers

1948 ……… 3,006,814
1948-D ….. 4,028,600
1949 ……… 5,614,000
1949-D ….. 4,120,600
1949-S ….. 3,744,000
1950 ……… 7,742,123
1950-D ….. 8,031,600
1951 ……… 16,802,102
1951-D ….. 9,475,200
1951-S ….. 13,696,000
1952 ……… 21,192,093
1952-D ….. 25,395,600
1952-S ….. 5,526,000
1953 ……… 2,668,120
1953-D ….. 20,900,400
1953-S ….. 4,148,000
1954 ……… 13,188,202
1954-D ….. 25,445,580
1954-S ….. 4,993,400
1955 ……… 2,498,181
1956 ……… 4,032,000
1957 ……… 5,114,000
1957-D ….. 19,966,850
1958 ……… 4,042,000
1958-D ….. 23,962,412
1959 ……… 6,200,000
1959-D ….. 13,053,750
1960 ……… 6,024,000
1960-D ….. 18,215,812
1961 ……… 8,290,000
1961-D ….. 20,276,442
1962 ……… 9,714,000
1962-D ….. 35,473,281
1963 ……… 22,164,000
1963-D ….. 67,069,292



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Comments

61 Responses to “Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar”
  1. dale lamke says:

    I have a set of ben franklin half dollars (35 coins) 1848 through 1963. What is the set worth?

    • admin says:

      The value of your Ben Franklin halves could vary a great deal and would depend upon the condition (Grade) of the coins as well as dates and mintmarks. On the low range some may be worth around $6.00, but if they are in higher grades they may be worth much more.

      Find a good coin grading guide and grade the coins yourself or take them to a professional grading service.

  2. Moya Limon says:

    I have a 1962 Ben Franklin half dollars years 1962- and 1963 and they are in good condition. Im just being curious on a price ,

    • admin says:

      Ben Franklin half dollars in good, average circulated condition are worth around $5 to $8 each. Keep in mind that actual price you can get from any coin will vary. For example if you sell these to a dealer they will want to make a profit upon resale so they will not pay as much as a collector would.

  3. Viktoriya Litvina says:

    i have a rare 1950 ben franklin half dollar and someone told me that the price can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. My question is where c an i get it looked at to find out the quality of the coin and whats the best place to sell it?

  4. Bluejaybee59 says:

    To Viktoriya- The typical 1950 Franklin Half had 7,793,509 minted; therefore, unless you have an “error” coin, it is worth about $30 in almost uncirculated condition all the way up to 2K in Cameo (Perfect) condition. If the coin is not “shiny” and without blemish, it is considered a “circulated” coin and would be worth its silver content which is about $6 with silver at about $16. This half has 90% silver content.

  5. sguil1 says:

    I have a ben franklin half-dollar proof. It is in mint condition, just wondering it is worth. Its in mint condition, totally unblemished. Thanks.

  6. Bluejaybee59 says:

    You didn’t give a date, but a Ben Franklin Half Proof dated varies widely based upon its “Proof” Grade (Proof-65 – Proof-70). A 1950 Prf-65 is priced at $500 in the 2010 Red Book; a 1955 Prf-65 is $90 (lower mintage); and a 1959 is priced at $25. (these were all made with 90% Silver). A 1961 “Clad” (no silver) is $20. These are examples. Check online to find out the going rate on websites such as coinbug.com or ebay.com. Good luck

  7. Hope says:

    I have a 1962 ben c0in in mint condition what is the value of this?

  8. Mark Dzierson says:

    I purchase 30 years ago twenty 1963 Ben Franklin half dollar coins with no mint designation. Each are sealed in plastic pouches. They appear to be untouched (no scratches, very shiney). Not sure of the grade but would guess they are uncirculated.Any idea of what the value may be? Thank you.

    • mak47 says:

      With silver prices up about 33-34.00 range they could be worth about 15 – 16.00 dollars. With no mint mark designation they are from the Philadelphia mint. Most coins from Philly do not have a mint mark so this is common. You can go to the NCG or PCGS site to get an average price. PCGS has a link to view specific grades of coins so you can match them up and get and idea of where your coin fits in relation to it’s grade. If not, just look on E-bay for the quality of coin that fits yours and get an idea from there.

  9. georgie says:

    I have a 1953 silver liberty bell half dollar..I have a 1943 golden liberty half dollar…a few others also…just wanted to know the value.

  10. tashia says:

    i have a 1962 proof set still in the envelope it came in , how much would that be worth, it has a full bell line.

  11. Anonymous says:

    ll marking are readable and most lines are pretty well defined on hair etc. Tx

  12. JoAnna says:

    I have a 1962-B Franklin Half Dollarin very fine condition. Could you give me a range on what it MIGHT be worth. Thank you for your time, J

    • CoinCollector says:

      JoAnna – circulated, common date Franklin halves usually sell for around $10 to 12 and at current silver spot prices a (silver)half dollar contain around $6.50 in silver

  13. Dale says:

    I have a Ben franklin Half dollar in minty condition. What is it worth and who wants it for their collection? I hear $500
    Any bids. I have many more vintage coins, some Europe. A few Deutchmarks. Willing to sell.
    Dale

  14. tomtom says:

    Iam very interested in knowing the difference between the 1956 half it has 2 types #1 the more difficult to get. the difference is type #1 has4 feathers to the left of perch Type 2 has only 3 to the left of perch. At least this is to my knowledge because I do own the 2 of them in BU condition ! what is value of them? thanx tomtom

  15. Craig says:

    I have a franklin Half Mint issue Proof set. What is it worth?

  16. Jonny boy says:

    I have a 51 ben coin in perfect condition except it has like a metal revit in the center whats it worth

  17. Amanda says:

    I have a Ben Franklin penny 1706-1790 how much is it worth what can u tell me great condition

  18. Devon says:

    I have a 1949 Ben Franklin half dollar that is in very good condition, any answers for the price ranges?

  19. darryl says:

    Back in philly i ran arcoss a 1958 ben franklin coin. it a litte dirty. what could i use to clean it . how much would it be worth then.

    • CoinCollector says:

      Its nt really a good idea to clean a coin with anything other than soap and water. A typical circulate franklin half is worth around $8 or $10 or so

  20. Jim williams says:

    Hi
    I would like to know the U.S. Mints weight tolerance for Franklin halfs.
    I know the weight is 12.5 grams but what deviation + or – was allowed.
    Thank you
    Jim Williams

  21. elizabeth says:

    i have a 1963 benjamin frinklin bell on back and it has the mint mark i want to know how much can i get if i sell it

    • CoinCollector says:

      Depending upon condition probably around 8 or 10 bucks at the most. If you take it to a coin or jewelry shop you may expect about half that price.

  22. MB says:

    I bought 6 Ben Franklin coins (52,54,60,61,62,63) all at face value, I am not sure how to grade them or the value of them, I have seen prices ranging from face value to 1500. Just wondering the best way to get them appriased and get a value associated with them.

    • CoinCollector says:

      With silver at 25.00 per ounce there would be approximately $9 worth of silver in a half dollar. If you got them for face value you were very lucky. Most Franklins in circulated condition are worth little more than the silver. Naturally there are some dates that will bring more. 1. Determine the grade 2. Check a price guide 3. Most Important – research to see what they are actually selling for.

  23. Patricia Bryant says:

    I have a 1953 coin and i wanted too know how much its worth?

  24. Leesha says:

    I found a 1962 Franklin half dollar today in mint condition, can see the bell cracks and all. I am assuming it is a PA mint, since there are no D markings on it. Looks almost uncirculated. Any idea on the worth?

  25. suzanne says:

    i have eighteen Benjamin Franklin Liberty Bell Series coin sets ( the set includes the half dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and penny) ranging in date from 1948 to 1963 circulated and displayed in a sealed case. What should i expect a set to be worth

  26. Tony says:

    Hello..I have a modest collection. My feeling is Franklin halves are very reasonable and will go up. I do not know..but believe a PR-68 is the best there is. Your sets are another matter. If you have proof sets with those years I would be interested. They are quite scarce..the older..the more this is true. If you go to Community Coin website..U.S, coins..facts, figures, mintages you will find out the specifics of each coin and number of proofs..all U.S. proofs in half dime on up were silver before 1965..when they became clad for a short period..(20%). Do not open the proof sets..if you have..as most do..do not take the coins from the holders..leave them in the cellophane unless you get a good offer for a specific coin. A hint..check out your 1955 penny. If it appears to be a double strike on the date..I would be very interested in that set. Peace Tony

  27. cmackinnon says:

    hey i have a 1951S, 1948D, and a 1950 are they worth anything special? there all decent condition but all circulated.

  28. Jinksy says:

    I have a 1952 Ben Franklin half dollar. It appears that it was stamped wrong on Ben’s face side of the coin and has a large “P” stamped on the liberty bell. What is the story on this coin and its value?

    Thanks in advance.

  29. jamie cousxe says:

    I have a sleve of Ben Frnklin un circulated half dollars from. The federal reseve bank ..curous as tp the price . All are in a pare sleve of 10 coins in the sleeve

  30. Joe says:

    With silver at around $35 an ounce right now, these coins are nearly $13 each in silver value. I purchased 100 of these coins a few months ago and plan on adding them to my stash of silver holdings.

  31. sharon says:

    I have just paid .50 for a 1958 silver ben franklin half dollar…. I am interested in knowing a price tag as i will have future interest in rare coins could some one give me a clue Thank you much…….

    • CoinCollector says:

      Read Joe’s comment above and you got an excellent deal but will probably never find a deal like that again. You would probably pay around $15 or more for one of those halves these days.

  32. Lance Geroso says:

    Hi, I have a 1953 denver minted ben franklin half dollar, in good condition, how much might it be worth?

  33. James says:

    My dad has a bunch of old coins and we were going through them and came across a Franklin half dollar that doesn’t have a date at all. Was curious if it was tampered with or an error. Has anyone heard of such an error. He has several other Franklin half dollars with dates and they are identical. The coin appears to have no tool marks and seems to be legit. Of course we are by no means experts.

  34. Jimmy says:

    The coin has very little wear. Ridges are still good. Doesn’t have a “ring” of dullness like some of his older ones. Ever heard of an error like that?

    • CoinCollector says:

      No I have not seen or even read about an error coin like that. Perhaps someone else will know something about that and post a comment

  35. jinksy says:

    I have a 1952 Ben Franklin half dollar. It appears that Ben’s face was stamped wrong and has a large “P” stamped on the liberty bell. The “P” covers about 66% of the liberty bell.

    What is the story on this coin and its value?

    Thanks in advance.

  36. Anonymous says:

    im doing a report on ben franklin never knew this

  37. Diana says:

    I bought a complete collection of Benjamin Franklin half-dollars (35 coins-all minted in 90% silver-combined with historic stamps and commemorative postmarks) dated from when first minted in 1948 to the last minted in 1963. Can anyone tell me what it is worth? I bought the set from the Postal Commemorative Society and paid $980 total (without shipping) over a period of years. They are in circulated fine condition and have anniversary postmarks.

  38. Bala says:

    I have Benjamin Franklin 1957 and 1962 half dollars from PA mint . What are their values

  39. Dick says:

    I have a 1961 MS 67 cameo Franklin half and was wondering what it is worth?

  40. Laurie says:

    I have a US Proof Franklin Half dollar set in the Capital Plastic Box. There are 14 coins dating 1950-1963. I took them to a local coin shop where the man estimated the value of each coin separately and he told me the wholesale value was $650 and he offered me $675. He said there were no smudges and they were in good shape (seemed downplayed).
    Wouldn’t this proof set be more valuable than the value of each individual coin?

    Also, I keep seeing people asking, but no where do I see the answer. What reliable place can I go to get the true value (rather than digging around on the internet)?

    • CoinCollector says:

      The prices and values of coins change so quickly there really is no one place to go to where you can find the real value of your coin instantly.

      If you want to sell a coin or coin collection you have to decide first; are you going to sell them wholesale to someone else who will sell them for a profit? or do you want to sell them to the final collector? Naturally the first is much easier and quicker than the latter but you will be taking a much lower price. There just isnt usually an all inclusive easy answer to the question “how much is my coin worth?”

      The best method is to first find out how much that same coin is being sold for by others. It does take a bit of researching and looking up on the net – or you can call around to coin shops. If you see a certain coin is selling for $45 to $70 then you will have a good idea as to its salable value. Wouldnt you be curious to know what that proof set is being sold for right now? Then you can compare that to what the dealer offered you.

      Now, next week or so you might look up that coin set and the prices may be quite different.

  41. JODY says:

    How des someone know if their 1962 Ben Franklin half dollar in mint condition is worth more than the silver value? I saw a guide that said it could be worth anywhere from $9 to $1500. What makes it higher. Thanks

    • CoinCollector says:

      A mint Franklin half is always worth more than just the silver value. Even Franklin halves in circulated condition are traded for more than spot value.

  42. cooper says:

    i have a 1958 franklin half . just wondering what is the value

  43. Allen says:

    I have two 1963 coin. Whats the value?

  44. I have a 1958 ben franklin half with a die clip under his chin. it looks like he has the “old man double chin”.

  45. Luke Pitts says:

    I have a collection of 24 Benjamin Franklin Half Dollars starting in 1948 and ending in 1958. How much is it worth?

  46. Gwen says:

    I have a Benjamin Franklin 1952 E ,does it have any value,please e-mail me.Praying for a Blessing.

    • CoinCollector says:

      Read some of the comments on this page and you should get a pretty good idea of the value of your Franklin Half Dollar

  47. Jinksy says:

    I have a 1952 Ben Franklin half dollar. It appears that Ben’s face was stamped wrong and has a large “P” stamped on the liberty bell. The “P” covers about 66% of the liberty bell.

    What is the story on this coin and its value?

    Thanks in advance

  48. confused says:

    I have an uncirculated 1959 proof set which includes a 1959 ben franklin half dollar. If I understand right these were never actually issued which I’ve been told makes it more valueable, but mine has a mint “scratch” defect on the face near the top of the “Y” in liberty that looks like the crack on liberty bell…were there other such defects? and What would this mean for the value?

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