Bits & Pieces... by David Sundman

1948 Photo Shows Some of the First Franklin Half Dollars Being Minted in Philadelphia

[photo: Striking the new first-year Franklin Half Dollars in 1948 at the Philadelphia Mint]

Striking the new first-year Franklin Half Dollars in 1948 at the Philadelphia Mint.

I recently located this neat photo that shows some of the first Franklin half dollars being minted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1948 – now 67 years ago! I happen to love silver Franklin halves struck from 1948-1963, which I grew up with as a kid. Large and hefty and made of silver, a half dollar in those days had a lot of buying power. Silver and clad U.S. half dollars are popular collecting choices today, and assembling the older coins is really nostalgic. I recall going through bag quantities of Franklins and Liberty Walking half dollars (another favorite!) as a young budding numismatist. Working after school and on Saturdays with my brothers Rick and Don in the family business, we'd pull out the better dates and sort them all by date and mint mark.

[photo: Obverse and reverse of an Uncirculated 1948 Franklin half from Philadelphia]

Obverse and reverse of an Uncirculated 1948 Franklin half from Philadelphia