Franklin Half Dollar Composition and Specifications

Franklin Half Dollars continued to be struck out of the standard composition of 90% silver and 10% copper, unaltered since the 1870s. When in uncirculated condition, the largest silver denomination produced at its introduction, these half dollars should weigh 12.50 grams (193 grains) with a diameter of 30.6 mm. All coins have a reeded edge .

Franklin Half Dollars were produced at the Philadelphia (throughout the duration of the series), Denver (all years but 1955 and 1956) and San Francisco (1949, 1951-1954) mints. Philadelphia coins do not carry any mintmark, those struck at the Denver and San Francisco Mint have a mintmark placed directly above the Liberty Bell on the reverse. Proofs were produced at the Philadelphia Mint starting in 1950 and do not carry any mintmarks either. Proof coins were only available in combination with the other denominations, in boxes until 1955 and in small envelopes throughout the rest of the series.

Besides rolls from banks, collectors could also obtain uncirculated Franklin Half Dollars in Mint Sets. They were packaged together with the other denomination is cardboard packaging and had been introduced in 1947, three years before the reintroduction of Proof sets and a year before the Franklin Half Dollar was first struck for circulation. Until 1959 the cardboard packaging included two examples of each coin. After that the packaging were changed to envelopes and the sets from then on only included a single coin of each denomination. Those released in Mint sets during the 1950s are often recognizable by toning that has occurred through contact with the cardboard. Franklin Half Dollars with this original toning often trade for multiples of white coins.