1959 Silver Ben Franklin Half Dollar BU
1 million of the 6.2 million Ben Franklin half dollars were minted as proofs. Franklin halves were issued from 1948 through 1963. They were the last United States half dollar series struck only in 90% silver, following the Walking Liberty half dollar.
The Kennedy half dollars that followed beginning in 1964 were made as 90% silver circulating coins for only one year. The conversion to less-expensive copper-silver clad came in 1965. Eventually the denomination switched to copper-nickel clad for business strikes in 1971.
John R. Sinnock designed the Franklin half dollar. If the artist's name sounds familiar it's because his work famously appears on another popular coin that originated in the mid-1940s: the Roosevelt dime.
Like the Roosevelt dime series, there are few rare or even scarce issues among Franklin halves, as mentioned above. Many are sold for their bullion value, also known as melt value. However, there are several conditional rarities and varieties that are worth looking for. These can range in value from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars apiece.