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 second of three lots that we profile from the Blue Ocean Collection:
1959 Franklin Half Dollar, Proof 69 Cameo
Despite having just over a dozen issues, the Proof Franklin half
dollar series is surprisingly nuanced. For example, Heritage
estimating that just 1 percent of the total mintage of more than 1.1
million Proof 1959 half dollars exhibit any Cameo contrast.
The Reverse Proof American Buffalo, a model of
Also in this week’s print issue, we explore a cluster of Lincoln
cents found while searching two rolls and ponder their origin.
Grading service population figures confirm this rarity and the
offered example is the only Proof 69 Cameo example graded by PCGS,
with just one Deep Cameo piece in this grade certified. In fact, PCGS
has recorded fewer than 20 Deep Cameo submissions graded Proof 65 or
finer for the 1959 half dollar. The unavailability of any more
contrasted Proof 69 examples led one bidder to pay $15,862.50 for this rarity.
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Similarly, the 1952 half dollar is also rarely found with Deep Cameo
contrast. The collection’s example graded PCGS Proof 68 Cameo and
bearing a CAC sticker sold for $14,100. Heritage reports that some
examples show contrast on the obverse, others the reverse, but rarely
do both sides of Proof 1952 half dollars exhibit Cameo contrast.