1956 Franklin Half Dollar Choice Proof

1956 Franklin Half Dollar Choice Proof

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1956 Franklin Half Dollar Proof

Build up the value of your numismatic collection with this 1956 Franklin half dollar proof. The Franklin series was minted between 1948 and 1963 at all three mints – Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco – until the untimely death of late U.S. President John F. Kennedy when the 1964 Kennedy half dollar took its place. Proof versions of this coin were minted between 1950 to 1963.


The U.S. Mint had wanted Benjamin Franklin on a coin for some time but the war made the new design more difficult, until 1947 when Nellie Tayloe Ross, the Mint's Director, tasked her chief engraver, John R. Sinnock, with the job. Some say she had seen Sinnock's earlier work of Franklin on a medal. His designs were based on other artwork, including a bust of the founding father by Jean-Antoine Houdon, and John Frederick Lewis, who was later credited along with Sinnock for the coin's reverse design. Due to Sinnock's passing in 1947, Gilroy Roberts completed his work.

Design specifics

The coin features the side profile portrait of Franklin on the obverse. The Liberty Bell is featured on the reverse with a visible crack, and a small image of an eagle appears to the right of the bell. The coin is one of the last few to be made with 90% silver. The Mint struck two proof versions in 1956, the first has fewer details on the eagle's chest and four feathers each side of its wings. It was modified to show the eagle with three feathers on each side of its wings and with sharper detail on its neck and feathers.

1956 proof Franklin half dollar value and mintage

The 1956 Franklin half dollar proof has a lower mintage – 669,384 – than other coins struck that year and are worth upward of around $50 or more in certified mint state. The first proof produced has auctioned up to $6,500. The second proof has auctioned up to $2,500.

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