1953 Franklin Half Dollar Proof
Pocket some extra cash with this 1953 Franklin half dollar proof. While the whole Franklin series ran from 1948 to 1963, the proof Franklin dollars were minted from 1950 to 1963, all at the Philadelphia mint. Each proof is 90% silver and 1953 is one of the franklin half dollar key dates as the mint, for some reason, produced very weak designs that year. If you find a 1953 Franklin half dollar proof with full bell lines on the Liberty Bell - depicted on the reverse of the coin – it is quite valuable.
The Franklin half dollar series comes after the Walking Liberty half dollar and before the Kennedy series after the Mint's long-standing desire to put Benjamin Franklin on a coin. The designs were based on Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock's early work, including a medal featuring Franklin. Sinnock, however, based his medal's rendering of Franklin on a bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon, and the coin's reverse was based on the sketches of John Frederick Lewis. Sinnock died before he completed the designs so Gilroy Roberts completed the work.
The Benjamin Franklin half dollar is defined by Franklin's left-facing profile on the obverse with the words "Liberty" and "In God We Trust," above and beneath him. The date is embossed next to his head. The reverse image is an all too realistic depiction of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, complete with a visible crack. Notably, a small eagle is place is placed next to the bell as per legal requirement to include an eagle on all currency valued more than a dime.
There are few 1953 Franklin half dollar proof coins as only 128,000 were minted. As few 1953 coins with full bell lines exist, this is a particularly special coin to collect. The coin's value starts from almost $200 and auction sales have been known to reach almost $11,000.