Franklin Half Dollars Silver Coins

The Benjamin Franklin silver half dollar coin was minted from 1948 until 1963. The Franklin half dollar coin was heavily minted and with the 90% silver, it is very common to find them amongst junk silver lots.

The obverse of the coin displays a portrayal of inventor, statesman, author, politician and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin. The profile bust faces to the right. The top edge of the coin is inscribed with the word “LIBERTY”. Along the bottom edge is the inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST”. The mint date is to the lower right of the portrait.

The reverse of the coin shows the Liberty Bell. To the right of the Liberty Bell is a portrait of an eagle. To the left is the phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM”. The top edge of the reverse is inscribed with the “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, while the bottom edge is inscribed with the denomination “HALF DOLLAR”.

Franklin Half Dollar Mintages and Values

Each Franklin Half Dollar coin is worth at least $0 in intrinsic silver value based on the precious metal content. Specimens in uncirculated condition or with key dates and mintage could be worth substantially more. To collectors, uncirculated coins are generally worth at least $20. Some examples with a complete strike and carrying a high grade can be worth thousands. Ultra-high-end Proof examples have seen prices as high as $120,000 at auction.

No mintage is particularly rare for Franklin Half dollars. Many collectors look for coins that have full bell lines (FBL). Many of the coins that were minted for circulation were often softly struck with low relief and poor details.

Collectors looking for the coin that may grade higher check to see if the sets of lines that cross near the bottom of the Liberty Bell extend uninterrupted from one side of the bell to the other.  Full Bell Line coins can carry a higher premium than coins with less detail.

Production of the coin was ramped up in 1962 and 1963. Over 498 million Franklin Half Dollar coins were minted from 1948 to 1963.

Franklin Half Dollars are often sold by online bullion dealers as 90% junk silver because of their commonality and how many were produced. They can often be bought one or two at a time, in standard bank rolls of 20 coins, the equivalent of $10 Face Value Half Dollars. Many dealers also sell them in canvas bags containing $100 Face Value or $1,000 Face Value.

A $100 Face Value bag of Franklin Half Dollars contains roughly 71.5 troy ounces of silver. With today’s silver spot price, each $100 Face Value Bag of Junk Silver Franklin Half Dollars is worth $0.

Proof Franklin Half Dollars

Proof Franklin half dollars were included in the annual US Mint Proof Set issued from 1950 to 1963. As the popularity of coin collecting and keeping silver as a store of value grew, the annual mintages of Proof Set increased dramatically as the series progressed. Every once in a while, a proof franklin half dollar shows up when coin roll hunting or occasionally in a bulk lot.

Franklin Half Dollar Silver Coin Specifications

  • Denomination: 50 cents
  • Obverse Image: Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
  • Reverse Image: Liberty Bell
  • Metal Composition: 90% Silver 10% Copper
  • Gross Weight: .402 troy ounces (12.5 grams)
  • Silver Weight: .362 troy ounces (11.25 grams)
  • Diameter: 30.6 mm
  • Thickness: 2.15 mm
  • Melt Value: $0