Minted between 1948 and 1963, Franklin Half Dollar silver bullion coins served as legal tender in the United States during that time. The introduction of the Franklin Half Dollar was significant in that it marked the first time a coin meant for circulation would depict an actual American (other than a President) rather than symbols like the bald eagle. Today, these junk silver coins are coveted by investors looking for an inexpensive way to invest in silver bullion (…or to squirrel some away for emergencies).

Read more to learn about some quick facts, investment insights along with a brief history of Franklin Half Dollar silver bullion coins.

Franklin Half Dollar Junk Silver Coins - Quick Facts and Brief History

Type Bullion (Investment)
Mintage 1948-1963 by the U.S. Mint
Weights / Denominations 12.5 grams containing 90% silver, 10% copper
Front Design Designed by John Sinnock in 1948, the obverse side of the Franklin Half Dollar features a portrait of the inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin. This is the first coin in U.S. history meant for circulation that featured a real American rather than a symbol.
Rear Design The reverse side of the Franklin Half Dollar, also designed by John Sinnock, features a portrait of the Liberty Bell along with a small eagle appearing to the right which was required by law. Ironically, Benjamin Franklin opposed the idea of making the bald eagle a national symbol.
Brief History Franklin Half Dollar silver bullion coins were considered standard legal tender in the United States from 1948-1963. Approximately 500 million of these coins were minted in these years. One interesting fact regarding these junk silver coins involves the designer's initials. Due to the high tensions of the time, many thought the initials "JS" found on the Mercury silver dime stood for "Josef Stalin." Perhaps trying to avoid controversy, Sinnock inserted his middle initial – "JRS" – on the Franklin half dollar.
Why Buy? Junk silver coins like the Franklin half dollar represents one of the easiest ways to invest in precious metals. These junk silver coins, classified that way because of their metal content and status as legal tender, are one way to start a precious metals portfolio. They're also great barter tools in the event of an emergency.
Silver Bullion Content 0.357 troy ounces of .999 pure silver (90%) and copper (10%)
Other Specifications

Franklin half dollar junk silver coins

  • Diameter = 30.6 mm (1.2 in.)
  • Thickness = 2.15 mm (0.09 in.)
  • Gross Weight = 0.4019 troy ounces (12.5 grams)
  • Face Value = $0.50

Learn more about 90% junk silver bullion coins along with other investment options and how to manage your gold and silver bullion investments by reading more of the Buying Guide. If you have any questions or would like to buy junk silver coins for your portfolio, check Provident Metals for current prices.