The Franklin Half Dollar carries a sense of irony with it. The person it portrayed, Ben Franklin, probably objected to the idea of his profile on a piece of coin. He was accustomed to seeing living monarchy in coins and he certainly did not see himself as a royal figure.
Moreover, the small image of an eagle on the opposite side made him angry. He saw the eagles as weak idols because they had a tendency to scavenge. For the national bird, Franklin preferred turkey.
The coin was originally conceived in 1947 when Mint director Nellie Taylo requested a design featuring Ross Franklin. Sadly, the designer died the same year leaving the opposite image unfinished. Soon, new chief engraver Gilroy Roberts took over and finally added the little eagle as an unplanned extra development. As it happened, the addition was actually necessary because the Coinage Act of 1873 made it mandatory for the eagle to be included in any coin valued at more than one dime.
In contrast the main image depicts Liberty Bell. This aspect of the design worried some people in the Fine Arts Commission who feared that the cracks could compare to flaws in the entire nation. As a result, the commission rejected the design. Instead of the existing images, the commission suggested organizing a design competition where the submitted works would be reviewed by the people of the commission. This idea has been rejected by the Treasury Department. Finally, Treasury Secretary John W. Snyder approved the design.
The coin’s official release date was set for April 30M, 1948 coincides with the 1789 inauguration of George Washington as President. The coin was made in small quantities at the initial release due to the massive Walking Liberty half-dollar circulation.
Today, the coin is a popular entry point for those who are just starting to collect because the series has only 35 different dates and mintmarks. As a result, it is relatively inexpensive to collect complete sets.
A special part that stands out is the 1955 “Bugs Bunny” minting. The coin acquires this name after a reverse dye and a reverse dye collision, which makes Franklin’s profile look like a deer’s tooth. The error is small and visible only under close inspection.
Over the years, officials have made some minor adjustments to the design. In 1958 and 1959, for example, the number of eagle’s long-tailed feathers was changed.
The coin contains 90% silver and 10% copper. The coin has been deposited to melt in large quantities due to the value of the silver material, which has been cut into many pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces, pieces. The coin was issued by the US Mint in 1963.
The Franklin Half Dollar is a reminder that historical figures are sometimes remembered in a way that is always consistent with the preferences of the respected person. Although collectors have long evaluated coins and designers’ skills, Franklin probably found the whole project to be ironic.
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