Buying Franklin Half Dollars

By | September 13, 2015
Silver Franklin Half

1963 Franklin Half Dollar

Buying Franklin Half Dollars for your collection or as a treasured gift for a loved one is a great idea. The coin is beautifully designed, commemorates an iconic figure in early American history, and can make a great gift as you will see.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was a Cool Guy

Benjamin Franklin, who lived from 1706 to 1790,  was one of the founders of the United States of America. He was a man of many talents. Among his noted attributes, Benjamin was an author, printer, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.  He was, as you can see, a real “Renaissance Man.” In modern parlance, we would refer to him as a “Cool Guy.”

Benjamin Franklin was the governor of Pennsylvania from 1785 to 1788. Most notably, toward the end of his life, he became one of the most prominent abolitionists and freed his own slaves.

Because of his influential life on many fronts, Benjamin Franklin has been honored not only in American coinage, but also on the US $100 bill. His name has been given to many US towns, counties, roads and schools.

Noted Franklin Quotes

Benjamin Franklin is remembered for many notable quotes and saying, all of which provide great food for thought. Here are a few saying attributed to him:

  • “Lost time is never found again.”
  • “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
  • “We are all born ignorant, but we must work hard to remain stupid.”
  • “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do to conclusions.”


Reverse of the Franklin Half

Reverse of the Franklin Half

Franklin Half Dollar: The Coin

The front or obverse of the coin depicts the great statesman himself, Benjamin Franklin.The image was designed by John A. Sinnock, the chief engraver of the US mint. The reverse depicts the famous Liberty Bell, with its notable large crack, and which is now enshrined in Philadelphia. An especially well-struck Franklin Half dollar is said to have “Full Bell Lines”. This means that the seven parallel lines making up the bottom of the bell must be fully visible and distinct from one another. Full-Bell-Lines Franklins command higher prices.

No Franklin half dollar is rare today, as even low-mintage dates were widely collected and saved. They were produced at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco mints. There are only 35  different dates and mintmarks in the entire series. Thus, the collection of a complete series, even in better grades, is a distinct possibility for many collectors.

The lowest number of coins struck took place during the early years of mintage:  The 1948 Philadelpia-minted coin tallied 3,006,814 pieces; 3,744,000 of the 1949-S were struck, making these two dates the scarcest, but by no means rare, issues. Mintages steadily increased through the 1950’s and early 1960’s, culminating in 1963, the last year of mintage, when 67,069,292 coins were stuck.

1949 Franklin Half Dollar

1949 Franklin Half Dollar

Buying Franklin Half Dollars as Gifts

The Franklin Half Dollar was minted from 1948 to 1963. This means that at the time of this writing in 2015, people living today who were born during the mintage years range from 52 to 67 years old. Given that there are no super rare dates in the Franklin Half Dollar series, any date from 1948 to 1963 will be affordable for many. Buying Franklin Half Dollars as gifts can be a perfect surprise present for a loved one on their birthday or other special occasion. As you consider the gift of a Franklin Half Dollar, check our the low prices at our preferred broker, Golden Eagle Coins:

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9 thoughts on “Buying Franklin Half Dollars

  1. NemiraB

    Hello, thanks for ideas to give a gift for those who like to collect coins. Benjamin Franklin is famous figure. He was scientist, writer, inventor. He is a leading figure in American history.His profile can remind about precious history.

    What fascinates me is that he was in France as adiplomat. Thanks to him, the French signed a military alliance with America. He was in his senior years but he managed to learn French and achieve such remarkable results.

    I think that people would be happy to have these coins as signs of history.

    All the best, Nemira.

  2. donnacaliegh

    Hi Mike! My mom collects coins…I wonder if she has this one yet. If not, it would be a good Christmas gift. I know that’s not until a few months from now but I like to get gifts throughout the year and hold onto them instead of dealing with all the madness of shopping during the holidays.

    1. Mike Post author

      Thank very much Donna. Yes, giving coins as gift is a great idea and I hope you buy them through this site.

  3. Aaron


    Wow! I haven’t seen one of these in years! My grandfather collects coins and has given me and my bothers a few of his coins. He has 1 or 2 of these. I did not know they were worth this much.
    Also, I loved the Ben Franklin quote about investing in knowledge…. Isn’t that the truth?
    Awesome website

    1. Mike Post author

      Hello Aaron,

      Thanks very much for your comment. Regarding the quote: I think it is real but, alas, I wasn’t born at that time. You can get a few more Ben Franklin Halves at BGASC.

  4. Ray

    Yes, Ben Franklin was a “Cool Guy”. As such, who wouldn’t want a “Cool Guy Coin”? Jokes aside, This brings me back to my childhood when my parents gave me one as a gift.

    I didn’t know these coins were not considered “rare”. So, thanks for that tidbit of information.

    1. Mike Post author

      Hello Ray, Technically the Franklin Half Dollar is not a rare coin. But they have a beautiful design, honor an incredible person, and are made of 90% silver, giving them real value. Thanks for visiting. If you need anymore info just drop us a line.

  5. matsura

    I have a set of MS 64 fbl minus the 53s. It was harder than I thought to finish this set. Anyone have an opinion on the outlook of this series?

    1. Mike Post author

      Great job putting this set together! For those who wonder what “MS 64 fbl” means, the collector is referring to coins graded at “Mint State 64” with “Full Bell Lines” (fbl) at the base of the Liberty Bell on the reverse. These are high quality coins and should command a nice premium. I just took a quick look on eBay and at the top of the listing for “MS 63 fbl” was a graded 1956-P fbl with three bids on it, the highest going for $31.99 and the auction is not over yet. Not bad…


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