The 1954 Franklin Half Dollar

The Franklin Half Greenback carries a way of irony with it. The very particular person it depicts, Ben Franklin, would have doubtless objected to the thought of his profile on a bit of foreign money. He was accustomed to seeing dwelling royalty on cash and he actually didn’t see himself as a royal determine.The obverse and Reverse of the 1954 Franklin Half Dollar

Furthermore, the small picture of an eagle on the reverse would have angered him. He noticed the eagle as a weak picture given their tendency to scavenge. Franklin’s selection for the nationwide chook was a turkey.

The coin was initially conceived in 1947 when Mint Director Nellie Tayloe Ross requested a design that includes Franklin. Sadly, the designer died that very same yr leaving the reverse imagery incomplete. Quickly after, new chief engraver Gilroy Roberts took over and ultimately added the small eagle as an unplanned additional flourish. Because it occurred, this addition was, in truth, required as a result of the Coinage Act of 1873 mandated that any coin with a worth better than a dime should embrace the eagle.

The primary picture on the reverse depicts the Liberty Bell. This facet of the design frightened some on the Fee of Effective Arts who feared the crack may invite comparisons to faults inside the nation as a complete. In consequence, the Fee disapproved the design. Instead of the present pictures the Fee advised internet hosting a design competitors through which submitted works could be reviewed by these within the Fee. This concept was rejected by the Treasury Division. Finally, Treasury Secretary John W. Snyder authorised the design.

The official launch date of the cash was set for April 30th, 1948 to coincide with the anniversary of George Washington’s 1789 inauguration as President. The coin was minted in small portions within the preliminary launch as a result of an abundance of Strolling Liberty half {dollars} in circulation.

At the moment, the coin is a well-liked entry level for these beginning a group as a result of there are solely 35 completely different dates and mintmarks within the sequence. In consequence, it’s comparatively cheap to gather all the set.

One specific piece that stands out is the 1955 “Bugs Bunny” minting. The coin earned this title after an obverse die and a reverse die clashed inflicting the profile of Franklin to look as if it had buck enamel. The error is small and solely seen below shut inspection.

Over time officers made some minor revisions to the design. For instance, in 1958 and 1959 the variety of lengthy tail feathers on the eagle had been modified.

The coin consists of 90% silver, and 10% copper. Whereas many items had been minted the coin has additionally been submitted for melting in giant portions because of the worth of its silver content material. The US Mint issued the coin by way of 1963.

The Franklin Half Greenback is a reminder that historic figures are generally memorialized in methods which can be at all times in step with the preferences of the particular person being honored. Whereas collectors have lengthy valued the coin and the ability of the designers it’s doubtless that Franklin would have discovered all the mission ironic.

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