US Coins

Monster toning on an MS-66+ FBL 1956 half dollar

Legend’s sale of a magnificently toned 1958 Franklin half dollar graded Mint State 67+ full bell lines by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker for an “insane” (Legend’s words) $129,250 last year may have contributed to high expectations for another spectacularly toned Philadelphia Mint Franklin half dollar from the 1950s. 

Legend offered on Jan. 27 at its Regency Auction 30 in Los Angeles a 1956 Franklin half dollar graded PCGS MS-66+ full bell lines with a green CAC sticker with a similar overall fabric to the record-setting 1958 half dollar.

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Legend shared the story of the consignor of the 1956 coin — described as a “known long time wild toner buyer” — who said he was offered the subject coin and the same 1958 half dollar, but thought that the 1956 half dollar was superior. 

Legend writes, “Funny how life goes. You can see they most likely were from the same collection. The colors are identical. The only difference, this coin only graded a 66+ FBL as it has a microscopic tick or two (well hidden).” Legend called it a “mini me” to the six-figure 1958 half dollar; the 1956 coin brought $11,750 against an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. 

Still, considering that Heritage sold a comparably graded and CAC-stickered but less attractively toned example for $192 the prior week, the five-figure price achieved in Los Angeles remains impressive. 

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