Silver Franklin Half Dollars

Introduced in 1948, the silver Franklin Half Dollar would only have a sixteen year run before an assassination would lead to its replacement in 1964 with the Kennedy Half Dollar.

Silver Franklin Half Dollar

Still, in that short time, over 466 million of the half dollars were minted. Despite a number of those coins being melted down (described later in this article), the coins are relatively easy to for collectors to find at surprisingly affordable prices even into the higher grades.

Franklin Half Dollar Silver Melt Values

Each Franklin Half Dollar contains .36169 ounces of pure silver which solidifies the value of the strikes, but can and has lead to a large portion of them melted down for their silver content. This was exemplified in the mid-60’s when thousands were removed from circulation to be melted because the price of silver exceeded their 50c face value.

Occurrences such as that could happen again if the numismatic value of the lower grades does not keep up with their intrinsic value. For instance, when silver reaches a market value of $20 per ounce, as it has on more then one occasion through the years, each coin has a melt value of $7.23 based on their content of .36169 ounces of silver. As the precious metal rises, so does their melt values.

Those either looking to obtain some of the Franklin Half Dollars or just find out what prices they are selling for should do some research via price guides, coin dealers and / or auction sites. The online auction site eBay has literally thousands of available listings for the coins at any one time, some of which are shown below:


Silver Franklin Half Dollar Information

The silver Franklin Half Dollar was released following the highly popular Walking Liberty Half Dollar that was produced from 1916-1947. Pictured on the obverse was the noted American inventor / scientist / diplomat / politician Benjamin Franklin.

Aside from the careers of Franklin, he will always probably be best remembered as one of the founding fathers of the United States. In part to recognize that fact, he was chosen to be honored on this fifty-cent coin. The reverse shows an image of the Liberty Bell with a small eagle beside it. Inclusion of the eagle on the coin was required by law, which is ironic because Franklin had preferred a turkey over the eagle to serve as the national symbol of the United States, calling it a "more noble bird." John R. Sinnock is credited with the design for both the obverse and reverse.

The run of the Franklin Half Dollars was cut short because of strong political pressures to include the recently assassinated John F. Kennedy on a coin. To that end, the slain President replaced Franklin on the Half Dollar beginning in 1964.

1948-1963 Silver Franklin Half Dollar Specifications

Face Value: $.50
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Total Mintage: 466,351,455
Diameter: 30.60 mm
Weight 12.5 grams
Edge: Reeded
Minting Facility: Philadelphia (no mintmark), Denver (D) & San Francisco (S)
Obverse Design: Portrait of Benjamin Franklin
Obverse Designer: John R. Sinnock
Reverse Design: image of the Liberty Bell
Reverse Designer: John R. Sinnock



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