Franklin Half Dollar Specifications
Franklin Half Dollars were struck in a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper, which had long been the standard for the denomination. Each coin carries a maximum diameter of 30.6 mm and has a weight of 12.50 grams for uncirculated pieces. Coins which have been circulated may see a slightly lower weight due to the impact of circulation.
Of interest to many collectors is the silver content of the Franklin Half Dollar. An uncirculated piece contains 0.36169 troy ounces of silver. Worn examples of these coins which have little numismatic value are often bought and sold as junk silver on the basis of their silver content.
This series was struck variously at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mint facilities. For the latter two options, the mint mark of either "D" or "S" appears on the reverse of the coin above the Liberty Bell. Certain issues notably from the San Francisco Mint can be difficult to find with a full strike and full bell lines visible on the reverse. Many of the later Philadelphia issues are characterized by many contact marks and can be difficult to find in gem grades.
Design of the series was created by John R. Sinnock, who served as the Chief Engraver of the Mint from 1925 to 1947. The obverse features a bold portrait of Benjamin Franklin, while the reverse contains a Liberty Bell.
The duration of the series was from 1948 to 1963 inclusive, after which point the Kennedy Half Dollar was released.