US Coins

Franklin half dollar has "black and white" effect: Market Analysis

A CAC-approved Proof 68 Deep Cameo 1957 Franklin half dollar with magnificent “black and white” contrast sold for $1,762.50.

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
1957 Franklin half dollar, Proof 68 Deep Cameo CAC

The Price

The Story 
Deep Cameo is a designation that PCGS uses to identify coins that have deeply frosted devices and lettering that contrast with the fields, creating a “black and white” effect, and it’s specifically applied to 1950 and later Proofs. The Deep Cameo designation is abbreviated DCAM. (NGC uses the term Ultra Cameo to describe the same effect.)

This 1957 Franklin half dollar has the heavy contrast one expects from a DCAM Franklin half dollar with a razor-sharp strike and no distracting hairlines, marks or abrasions. Carrying a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker, it sold for $1,762.50 at Heritage’s June 5 Long Beach auction.

It is one of 73 similarly graded examples at PCGS with just two finer at PCGS. While none of the PCGS Proof 69 Deep Cameo 1957 half dollars have appeared at auction recently, at the 2013 Florida United Numismatists auction, Heritage sold an NGC-graded Proof 69 Ultra Cameo 1957 half dollar for $10,575.

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

1951 Franklin half dollar significant with its hairlines, deep colors

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

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