If you have a 1950 half dollar, your first thought would be what it is worth in the market today. It is not strange to look up different old coins and their respective value, especially if they have a rich history or bear the image of someone beloved by many in the country.
The 1950 half dollar value is good enough to attract attention. It is not as old as many coins you may find in an old chest, but its silver melt value adds some worth to it, among other factors. Therefore, you are not alone if you want to know the value of this coin.
This article is an in-depth guide on the Franklin half dollar value using the mintage, mint marks, coin grade, and price of silver. Since it is made mostly of silver, its price also depends on the fluctuations in the precious metals market.
1950 Half Dollar Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine||Uncirculated|
|1950 No Mint Mark Half Dollar Value||$7.75||$7.75||$9.50||$16.56|
|1950 ‘D’ Half Dollar Value||$7.75||$7.75||$9.20||$14.53|
This is one of those coins that were struck in only two mints: Philadelphia and Denver. The total mintage for that year was 15,825,109 half dollars, with Denver accounting for more regular strike coins than Philadelphia. The Philly mint also struck Proof coins but not in large amounts.
The Philadelphia half dollars, represented by the absence of mint marks, have a slightly higher value than the Denver coins. This may be due to the slightly higher mintage from the Denver mint. But it may also be due to circulation, availability, grading, or rare errors.
The mintage is high but not as high as that of some coins from previous years. Because of that, the 1950 half dollar is not exceptionally abundant, although it is not high on the rarity scale. Another factor that may add value to it is the minting of Proof half dollars.
We always like to point out that the buyer of any coin plays a significant role in its value. While many buyers check the grade before placing a value on a coin, they may also require that coin for a special reason. That, alone, may increase its value to them, making them willing to pay much more than its face value.
The 1950 half dollar is less than 100 years old, so some people may not view it as an old coin. Production for the Franklin half dollar, as it is popularly termed, began in 1948 and ran until 1963. So, this series is one of the earliest ones struck at the beginning of the half dollar.
Its popular name comes from the image on the obverse, that of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the country. The half dollar started out of an admiration for the only founding father to sign all three documents that set America free from Britain. The admiration came from Nellie Tayloe Ross, the U.S. Mint Director at that time.
Her admiration made her decide to honor the founding father on a coin. So, she instructed John R. Sinnock, who was the Mint Engraver at that time, to create a design bearing Franklin’s image to fit the half dollar. Sinnock based his design on an old work he had done, but he died in 1947 before completing the work.
As a result, the design had to be entrusted to Gilroy Roberts, who took over as the Chief Engraver after the death of Sinnock. He submitted several designs for the reverse because the obverse was already decided. The design of an eagle and the Liberty bell stood out, but dissenting voices were saying the public might not like it.
However, the Mint took the design and began striking it in 1948, despite the dissenting voices. The coin was commissioned and released the same year, and to the chagrin of the Mint, there was a public outcry because of the former engraver’s initials on the coin.
John Sinnock’s initials JS appeared on the coin, but the public called for it to be removed because it was the same as those of Joseph Stalin and it saw the initials as a tribute to the former Soviet leader.
But Stalin had no middle name, so the Mint solved it by indicating that it was the engraver’s initials because of the presence of R in the initials. However, the coin did not last long from the inception of its mintage as it was discontinued in 1963 and replaced by the Kennedy half dollar.
Condition of the Coin
As part of determining the value of the 1950 half dollar, it is crucial to learn about the condition of a coin. When you get a coin, the first thing you notice is the look and feel. That is even before you look for special markers or errors. You can tell whether or not it is in pristine condition.
That is also the first thing a buyer or grader sees. This is particularly applicable to very old coins. The older a coin looks, the lower the value it attracts. Most professional graders, like PCGS, focus on coins that still have distinguishable details and unique markers.
If your 1950 half dollar is in uncirculated condition or mint state, it means the coin is almost new. It has no damage or degradation because of excellent preservation and a lack of use. Such a coin has the best value and fetches the highest price.
In extremely fine conditions, the coin is less valuable than when it is in the former condition. By this time, it has a bit of wear, some of its shine is gone, and the details are no longer in sharp relief. Coins in this condition are also valuable and can fetch good money.
Further down the ladder of conditions is where the value significantly drops. The value chart above shows that a coin in fine condition or that looks to be good is not highly valuable, although it is usually worth much more than its face value. Most times, coins within these conditions have about the same market value unless they are further graded.
1950 No Mint Mark Half Dollar Value
If you have Franklin half dollar without a mint mark, note that it was struck in the Philadelphia mint. For the 1950 series, the main mint struck 7,742,123 half dollars out of the over 15 million coins. This is a considerable number, although it is not the highest mintage for that year.
This may be the reason the Philly coins have a slightly higher value than the Denver coins. You can get a 1950 no-mint mark half dollar in circulated condition for a price between $7 and $10, depending on the buyer. In better conditions, the price may go up between $16 and $20.
Mint state half dollars for this year are hard to come by, but you may get between $2,000 to $3,000 if you have one. The value increases if the coin is graded to have Full Bell Lines (FBL). A 1950 MS 67 half dollar with FBL grading once sold for over $18,000. The record sale for such a coin is $39,000, and it had the same grading and condition.
1950 Proof Half Dollar Value
The Philadelphia mint also struck Proof coins, a little over 51,000 of them. These are coins struck on specially burnished planchets with unique dies to produce extremely sharp designs with mirror-like fields. They are usually better looking than the best and most preserved regular strike coins.
Because of this, these Proof coins usually attract a higher value. And since they are few compared to the other coins, they are rare on the scale, making them much sought after. You can get one for as low as $300 or as high as $3,000. Some in finer grades cost much higher, between $20,000 and $44,000.
However, it is difficult to find Proof coins because they are usually struck for storage or the archives. These help the Mint to have samples of different coins in the coinage history. Therefore, Proof coins are not readily available.
1950 ‘D’ Half Dollar Value
The Denver mint struck a slightly higher number of half dollars in 1950 than the Philadephia mint, with 8,031,600 coins in all. While the no-mint mark coins and the Denver coins appear the same in shape, size, feel, edge, silver fineness, and face value, the difference lies in the mint mark.
Denver coins bear a D mint mark on the reverse, just above the Liberty bell, and under the letter E in the word States in the United States of America at the top of the coin. But despite this available mint mark, 1950-D coins are slightly less valuable than the no-mint mark coins. This may have something to do with their abundance on the rarity scale.
In circulated conditions, you can get a D coin for a price between $7 and $9. This can change depending on the specific grading. But in uncirculated conditions, you can get it for between $14 and $20. The higher the grade of the coin is, the more value it has.
An MS 63 half dollar can sell for about $30, while an MS 65 coin can sell for about $300. An MS 66 coin without an FBL grading can sell for about $800, but with an FBL grading, the value jumps to thousands of dollars. A 1950 MS 67 half dollar with FBL grading once sold for $32,000.
The coin’s obverse has the image of Benjamin Franklin facing right and his hair flowing behind him. The legend LIBERTY appears above his head and close to the rim of the coin. Underneath his jaw and in front of his neck is the mint date 1950, and at the bottom of the coin is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.
The reverse is a little more intricate. It features the Liberty bell, cracked and centered on this side. The bell represents justice and freedom, which 17th-century abolitionists used to symbolize their battle to see slavery end.
Around the top of the coin are the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and at the bottom is the denomination ONE DOLLAR. To the right of the Liberty bell is an American bald eagle with outstretched wings, and to the left are the Latin words E PLURIBUS UNUM. As mentioned, the mint mark is under the E in States and on top of the Liberty bell.
1950 Half Dollar Grading
The grading of any coin starts with the condition. Using the condition, an expert grader can determine where to place the coin based on the Sheldon scale which simplifies grades. The scale goes from 1 to 70, although finding a coin at MS 70 level is pretty difficult.
This video explains how to grade the Franklin half dollar series, using examples from different years to show different grading levels.
Rare 1950 half Dollar Errors List
Rare errors can also add value to your collection of old coins, including the 1950 half dollars. So, here are a few of them to get you started and a video that explains the errors you may find on such a coin.
1950 Half Dollar Die Crack Error
As the name implies, this error is when the die breaks or cracks during minting. It can break if used with too much force or under extreme pressure. The same is true if the die is old and worn. This situation creates a gap in the design or planchet.
1950 half dollars with this error are not extremely valuable but are worth much more than the face value. Sometimes, you can get up to $30 for one such coin.
1950 Half Dollar Re-punched Mint Mark Error
A re-punched mint mark error occurs when the letter die for striking the mint mark punches more than one impression or makes the mint mark appear thicker than normal. This error may occur if the die or punch slightly moves between strikes.
The good news is that such coins are valuable, especially if you have one in a mint state. You can get up to $100, depending on the buyer. When compared with other coins without this error that sell at about $20 or $30, the difference is clear.
1950 Half Dollar FAQs
Is a 1950 half dollar real silver?
The 1950 half dollars have a metal composition of 90% silver and 10% copper. The silver has a fineness of .999 and weighs 3617 troy ounces. So, the melt value is considerable if you have several such coins in your possession.
Where is the mint mark on a 1950 Franklin half dollar?
The mint mark on a 1950 Franklin half dollar is on the reverse. You will find it under the letter E in the word STATE in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. It is a small lettering that sits between the bottom of the letter E and the top of the Liberty bell.