US Coins

Market Analysis: How could a 1963 Franklin half dollar sell for $85,187.50?

It can sometimes seem like top prices for classic, mid-century silver U.S. coins are reserved for those showcasing spectacular toning.

A 1963 Franklin half dollar graded Mint State 66+ full bell lines by Professional Coin Grading Service showed that brilliant, essentially untoned coins can get big prices too. The issue is common, with a high mintage of 22,164,000, but top-graded examples with fully defined bell lines on the reverse are coveted and rare, with PCGS grading six in MS-66 FBL and just one MS-66+ FBL, this piece, the finest certified there. It sold for $85,187.50 on Sept. 26, well-above the conservative estimate of $20,000 to $22,000. 

As the sole-finest graded at PCGS, it drew plenty of demand from PCGS Set Registry collectors. Legend noted, “Untoned surfaces are a very pleasing silver white. Sharply struck up throughout and the surfaces are smooth, with more mint made die lines than any other kind of marks anywhere,” before calling the eye appeal, “better than decent.” 

After the sale Legend said, “What we can tell from these results is the Set Registry program is bringing more and more people to bid in auction for top grade specimens, especially in popular 20th century series.” 

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