For the past two years of the series, the San Francisco Mint issues had shown progressively weaker strikes. This reached its culmination with the 1953-S Franklin Half Dollar (Buy on eBay), which is a major conditional rarity of the series. On a combined basis PCGS and NGC have graded fewer than 50 examples with Full Bell Lines, a figure likely inflated by resubmissions. When available, pieces graded MS65 FBL, typically sell for $25,000 or more.
The 1953 Franklin Half Dollars struck at Philadelphia had a mintage of only 2,668,000 pieces, representing the second lowest for the series. This coin can be more difficult to find in gem with full bell lines, but of course not at the extreme level of the 1953-S. Proof coin production at the Philadelphia Mint expanded to 128,800 and the quality of the coins generally improved.
The 1953-D had a higher mintage of 20,900,400 pieces. Most are typically well struck, but may exhibit distracting or grade limiting bag marks.
1953 Franklin Half Dollar Specifications
Designer: John R. Sinnock
Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight: 12.50 grams
Diameter: 30.6 mm
1953 Franklin Half Dollar Mintages
1953 Proof: 128,800