US Coins

Some issues are well produced and offer value

Heritage offered a spectacular group of Proof Franklin half dollars during its American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money Platinum Night auction on Aug. 2. Proof Franklin half dollars are a limited series consisting of just 14 issues struck between 1950 and 1963, but finding Deep Cameo contrast between the fields and devices for several issues is challenging, and the set offered at ANA (called The Blue Ocean Collection) ranks second among both the All-Time and Current Finest Professional Coin Grading Service Proof Franklin Half Dollars with Major Varieties Registry Set. Two reverse subtypes on the 1956 Proof issue and a dramatic Proof 1961 Franklin, Doubled Die Reverse half dollar add some variety to the series for specialists.  

Here's one of three lots that we profile from the Blue Ocean Collection:

The Lot:

1956 Franklin half dollar, Type Two, Proof 69 Deep Cameo

The Price:

$3,525

The Story:

Unlike some earlier issues, the 1956 Franklin half dollar is an issue that was very well produced, with many examples showing strongly frosted devices.


When value guides differ, what is a collector to do?”How can collectors determine a coin’s value when price guides assign it different values? Also in this week’s print issue, we learn of the first report of a 2017 doubled die variety, found on a Lincoln cent.


Two distinct reverse subtypes of Proofs were utilized in 1956: Type One, which has four feathers on the eagle’s left wing, and Type Two — which is far more common — showcasing just three feathers. The subject coin is a Type Two and is tied with 76 other submissions at PCGS as the finest known, making it a popular issue with type collectors. It was the most affordable coin in The Blue Ocean Collection, with the runner-up being a Proof 68 Deep Cameo 1955 half dollar with CAC sticker that sold for $4,465.

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Heritage observes, “Every design element on this exceptional representative is fully impressed and thickly frosted white, standing out markedly against flawless, watery mirrors that glimmer black beneath a light. Eye appeal is outstanding and memorable.” The collection included a Type One 1956 Franklin half dollar, graded Proof 68 Deep Cameo and bearing a CAC sticker, that sold for $25,850. It was one of just four comparably graded examples and the only one with a CAC sticker.


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