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- Product ID: 3152
The Franklin Half Dollar was minted from 1948 to 1963 and was heavily produced by the top 3 mints. In 1949, the San Francisco Mint minted over 3 million coins, which would actually be considered low for the Franklin, compared to the 20 million mintages of other dates and mint-marks. Since the half dollar's average mintage was high, collectors and investors today enjoy the Franklin for its 90% silver content. In the 1940's, the Mint Director, Nellie Tayloe Ross, was legally allowed to change the design of the half dollar, since the Walking Liberty had been in circulation for over 25 years. Ross greatly admired Franklin but was also aware of his distaste for portraits on US currency. Franklin once thought US coins should contain Proverbs, so the coin holder would have something to contemplate while looking upon the coin. Ross approached Mint Engraver, John R. Sinnock, the create a design of the Founding Father.
Being a jack of all trades, Benjamin Franklin is a key leader in American history and mostly known for his technological advances when it came to electricity and the modern home. Franklin was also a renowned polymath, author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. His accomplishments earned him a lot of public attention but it wouldn't be until well after his death a Mint Director would want his portrait on US coinage. On the obverse, an astute Benjamin Franklin is pictured, with the date of mintage right under his chin. The reverse contains the infamously cracked Liberty Bell with the coin's legal tender value. The San Francisco Mint mint-marked its Franklins on the reverse, underneath the bell, and can even be seen in this circulated condition.