Franklin half dollar
The Franklin half dollar is a coin that was struck by the United States Mint from 1948 to 1963. The fifty-cent piece pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse. A small eagle was placed to the right of the bell to fulfill the legal requirement that half dollars depict the figure of an eagle. The coin was struck regularly until 1963, when it was replaced by the Kennedy half dollar.
About Franklin half dollar in brief
The Franklin half dollar is a coin that was struck by the United States Mint from 1948 to 1963. The fifty-cent piece pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse. A small eagle was placed to the right of the bell to fulfill the legal requirement that half dollars depict the figure of an eagle. The coin was struck regularly until 1963. Beginning in 1964 it was replaced by the Kennedy half dollar, issued in honor of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. As of April 26, 2019, the melt value of the USD 0. 50 coin was approximately USD 5. 46. Mint director Nellie Tayloe Ross had long been an admirer of Franklin, and wanted him to be depicted on a coin. In 1947, she instructed her chief engraver, John R. Sinnock, to prepare designs for a Franklin halfdollar. The designs were based on his earlier work, but he died before their completion. After the coins were released in April 1948, the Mint received accusations that Sinnock’s initials on the cutoff at Franklin’s shoulder were a tribute to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. No change was made, with the Mint responding that the letters were simply the artist’s initials. The coin is still legal tender, but its value to collectors or as silver both greatly exceed its face value. An 1890 statute forbade the replacement of a coin design without congressional action, unless it had been in service for 25 years, counting the year of first issuance.
The Walking Liberty half dollar and Mercury dime had been first issued in 1916; they could be replaced without congressionalaction from and after 1940. In 1933, Sinnock had designed a medal featuring Franklin, which may have given her the idea. Franklin had opposed putting portraits on coins; he advocated proverbs about which the holder could profit through reflection. In a 1948 interview, Ross noted that Franklin only knew of living royalty on coins, and presumably would feel differently about a republic honoring a deceased founder. Franklin proposed the wild turkey as our national bird, and it is believed that he often referred to it as a scavenger. The Mint considered putting Franklin on a dime in 1941, but the project was shelved due to heavy demands on the Mint for coins as the U.S. entered World War II. In 1946, the dime was redesigned in 1946 to depict fallen President Franklin Roosevelt, who had been closely associated with the March of Dimes. The only other coin being struck which was eligible for replacement was the Lincoln cent, and Mint officials did not want to be responsible for removing him from the coinage.