US Coins

Proof 1951 Franklin half dollar top Blue Ocean lot

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 the first of three lots that we profile from the Blue Ocean Collection:

The Lot:

1951 Franklin half dollar, Proof 67+ Deep Cameo, CAC green sticker

The Price:


The Story: 

The top lot of The Blue Ocean Collection of Proof Franklin half dollars was this 1951 coin, graded Proof 67 Deep Cameo by PCGS and bearing a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker indicating quality within the grade, that sold for $82,250. It is the finest Deep Cameo example certified by PCGS, and, as Heritage observes, “This could very well be the pinnacle of collecting for an advanced Franklin half dollar proof specialist.”

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Proof 1950 and 1951 Franklin half dollars are both generally found with little contrast between the fields and the devices. Any Deep Cameo piece is elusive and this is the finest example that is available to collectors — and the finer of two Proof 67 Deep Cameo examples certified by PCGS. Franklin’s head shows die polish lines, which are not to be confused with scratches, since these lines are in the die. Bidders seemed to agree with Heritage’s assessment that the subject coin represents the finest Proof 1951 Franklin half dollar ever offered at auction.

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