Franklin Half Dollar Values
How Much Is My Franklin half dollar (1948-1963) Worth?
By James Bucki, About.com Guide
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
This guide is intended to give you an idea of how much your Franklin half dollars minted from 1948 to 1963 are worth. The table listed below provides average coin values based upon the condition of the coin. If the coin shows evidence of wear on it due to being used in commerce, it considered "circulated." If it was never used, then it is classified as "uncirculated." The pictures below illustrate examples of each condition. You cannot increase a coin's value by cleaning it. In reality, a coin that has been cleaned worth considerable less and any coin dealer will be able to spot a cleaned coin immediately. Therefore, never, never, never clean your coins.
Introduction to Coin Values
There are many factors that go into determining the value of your coins. First of all an understanding of how the coin market works is essential. If a coin dealer runs out of 1949-S Franklin half dollars, he cannot order more from the mint because the mint does not make coins dated 1949 anymore. The coin dealer must replenish his supply by buying coins from other dealers or people wanting to sell their coins. What he pays you for that coin is known as the "wholesale price" or "value." If you want to buy that 1949-S coin from the coin dealer, that is known as the "retail price" or "price."
Franklin half dollars are made of 90% silver and have approximately 0.3617 troy ounces of pure silver in them. As of this writing, silver is selling for $31.50USD per troy ounce. Therefore, each coin (no matter what the condition) has approximately $11.00 worth of silver. Don't expect to walk in to a coin shop with a bag of coins and have the coin dealer dig through them to pull out the nice ones. If you want top dollar for your coins, you need to sort them and organize them so the dealer can quickly see what you have.
Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties
Franklin half dollars do not have any rare dates or varieties. This make them very affordable for the average coin collector in just about any grade.
Condition or Grade Examples
Click on the photos above for a larger image.
Photos courtesy of Teletrade Coin Auctions, www.teletrade.com
Mint Marks & Location
Franklin half dollars were produced at three different mints: Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D) and San Francisco (S). As illustrated in the picture below, the mint mark is located on the reverse of the coin, just above the top of the Liberty Bell and below the word "STATES".
Mint Mark Location
|Image © 2012 James Bucki|
Average Circulated and Uncirculated Values
The following table lists the value (what you can expect a dealer to pay you) for your Franklin half dollars. The first column lists the date and mint mark (see the photo above) followed by the value of an average circulated coin and the average value for an uncirculated one. These are average values and the final offer that you receive from a particular dealer will vary depending on the grade of the coin and a number of other factors.
|Date||Avg Circ||Avg Unc||Date||Avg Circ||Avg Unc|
|1949 D||$12.00||$35.00||1957 D||$11.00||$15.50|
|1951 S||$12.00||$21.50||1960 D||$11.00||$15.50|
|1952 D||$12.00||$15.00||1961 D||$11.00||$15.50|
|1953 S||$12.00||$21.50||1963 D||$11.00||$15.50|
*= See the section above "Franklin half dollars: Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties" for more information on these coins.
These values have been compiled through my personal analysis of the coin market, referencing publications such as Numismatic News, Coin World, "The Official Blue Book; Handbook of U.S. Coins," The Coin Dealer Newsletter, published auction results and consulting with various coin dealers.
Read More About Half Dollars:
Read About How to Sell Your Coins
Read How to Preserve and Protect Your Coins
Disclaimer: The information on this site and all subsequent communications are provided for discussion purposes only, and should not be misconstrued as investment advice. All information, including valuations, on this website has been compiled from reliable sources and every effort has been made to eliminate errors and questionable data. However, the possibility of an error in a work of this magnitude always exists. Additionally, further analysis, research and/or discoveries may challenge the beliefs presented in this article. The author and About.com will not be responsible for any losses that may occur in the purchase, sale, or other transaction of coins and other items because of the information that is contained on this website. Visitors who feel they may have discovered an error or inconsistency are asked to please contact the guide so that the situation may be investigated and/or corrected. Under no circumstances does this information contained on this website represent a recommendation to buy or sell coins, precious metals, exonumia or paper currency.