US Coins

Franklin half dollar is a bold cameo: Market Analysis

A brilliant and virtually untoned 1950 Franklin half dollar graded Proof 67 Cameo sold for $9,987.50 at Heritage’s June 2015 Long Beach auction.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Franklin half dollars are popular with collectors in Proof because the spare design just looks good as a Proof, with deeply mirrored fields and — sometimes — frosty devices. Here are three Proof Franklin half dollars from Heritage’s recent June 4 to 7 auctions held during California’s Long Beach Expo. Each is a handsome representative of the popular design by John R. Sinnock that depicts Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse.

The Coin 
1950 Franklin half dollar, Proof 67 Cameo

The Price 

The Story 
1950 represents the first year of the Proof Franklin half dollar, and Proof examples were struck at the Philadelphia Mint each year until the series ended in 1963.

This example graded Proof 67 Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. has virtually no toning, and as Heritage notes, “Unlike many of the 1950 proofs, there are no distracting hairlines from overzealous die polishing.” The result is that the frosted devices contrast against the mirrored fields. It sold for $9,987.50.

This example is among the finest graded with just one NGC example in a numerically finer grade with Cameo designation. Deep Cameo examples are extremely rare with just a handful known, although with a mintage of 51,386 pieces it is somewhat plentiful in lower grades, with the typical example grading Proof 64 to Proof 65. At the same auction, a Professional Coin Grading Service Proof 64 Cameo example realized $763.75.

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

1957 Franklin half dollar displays strong 'black and white' effect

1951 Franklin half dollar significant with its hairlines, deep colors

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