US Coins

PCGS Proof 69 Cameo 1959 Franklin half dollar unique

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:

The Lot:

1959 Franklin Half Dollar, Proof 69 Cameo

The Price:


The Story:

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.

There will never be another Reverse Proof American Buffalo”The Reverse Proof American Buffalo, a model of marketing: 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.

Connect with Coin World:  

Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

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.

Community Comments