US Coins

Half dollar significant with hairlines, color: Market Analysis

A beautifully toned 1951 Franklin half dollar graded Proof 68 by PCGS sold for $4,465 at the June 4 Heritage 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 
1951 Franklin half dollar, Proof 68

The Price 

The Story 
This 1951 Franklin half dollar graded PCGS Proof 68 is one of just two in this grade at PCGS and is used to illustrate the issue at the PCGS CoinFacts site.

It’s from a relatively low mintage of 57,500 pieces, and while Proof 67 examples can sometimes be found for less than $1,000, this example is exceptional both for its absence of hairlines and for its deep blue, purple and golden toning that clings to the rims.

Cameo examples are infrequently found for this date, and PCGS has graded 18 in Proof 67 Cameo with none finer among the Cameos, while the finest Deep Cameo PCGS examples are graded Proof 66.

The other PCGS Proof 68 example is completely untoned and fully brilliant. It sold for $6,900 at an April 28, 2006, Heritage auction.

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

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

1950 Franklin half dollar is a bold cameo that has collectors buzzing

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