NGC-certified Franklin Half Dollars Highlight GreatCollections Auction

Highlights include a key 1953-S graded NGC MS66+ FBL offered for this first time in auction and the single-finest graded 1951 in NGC PF69. Online bidding is now underway for the May 31 sale.

by Great Collections Coin and Currency Auctions l Published on May 28, 2020

One of the leading auction houses, GreatCollections, currently has some of the finest-known NGC-graded Franklin Half Dollars listed in their auctions, including the single-finest 1953-S business strike with Full Bell Lines, as well as the single-finest 1951 Proof.

This 1953-S graded NGC MS66+ FBL is offered for this first time in auction.

Key date 1953-S, a rarity with Full Bell Lines

Out of 4.1 million Half Dollars minted in San Francisco in 1953, most were weakly struck. Those well-struck, which have defined lines on Liberty’s bell, are seldom seen and coveted by advanced collectors of Franklin Half Dollars. These are often referred to as the King of Franklin Half Dollars.

Fifteen examples have been graded by NGC with the Full Bell Lines designation, ranging in grade from NGC MS 63 FBL, to this single example graded NGC MS 66+ FBL. It is the first time the NGC MS 66+ FBL is being offered in auction.

The coin is being offered unreserved at GreatCollections, with bidding to end on Sunday, May 31 [link].

Just a few weeks ago, GreatCollections auctioned a lower-grade 1953-S, graded NGC MS 64 FBL for $18,600, which is more than what even MS 65 FBL examples have sold for over the past 5 years.

“Franklin Half Dollars is one of our strongest categories, as evidenced by the superb Franklins graded by NGC that appear in our auctions regularly,” said Ian Russell, president/owner of GreatCollections. “We’ve sold over 36,000 certified Franklins over the past 10 years, setting many records, including $42,864 for a 1950 Franklin graded NGC PF 68 Cameo.”

Another highlight from the Sunday, May 31 auction is a 1950 Franklin Half Dollar graded NGC PF 68, near the top of the NGC Census.

This 1951 in NGC PF69 holder is the single-finest graded for the issue.

1951 Franklin, the single-finest-graded Proof

Proofs from the early years of the Franklin Half Dollars are almost always found in lower grade – from PF 62 to PF 66, and sometimes PF 67. For 1951, a PF 68 example is a rarity, with less than 50 examples graded over the past 33 years since NGC was founded. Over the same time, only one example has been graded NGC PF 69, and it is currently available in GreatCollections’ Sunday, June 7 auction [link].

GreatCollections currently has over 300 certified Franklin Half Dollars listed in auction, with more listing every few days. For more information, visit or telephone 1-800-442-6467.

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Source: Great Collections Coin and Currency Auctions

Great Collections Coin and Currency Auctions image GreatCollections is an auction house for certified coins and paper money, as well as coins approved by CAC with sales exceeding $30 million over the past 12 months. GreatCollections handles each coin/banknote transaction from start to finish. For sellers, GreatCollections offers professional imaging for each coin/note, cash advances as appropriate, and other individualized services generally not available with the large auction houses and other websites, freeing the seller to do nothing except collect the proceeds of the sale. Buyers benefit by entrusting a venue whose principals have years of numismatic experience and whose reputations in the industry are impeccable.