The Franklin Variety Index

A DM Rare Coins Research Initiative

Franklin Half Dollars and their varieties have become highly collectible over the past decade. The youngest examples turned 50 in 2013. However, a research vacuum exists in the study of Franklin half dollar varieties. The intended purpose of the Franklin Variety Index (FVI) is to serve as the standard reference for Franklin half dollar collectors seeking information about the interesting varieties and die states of this series.

Current variety guides have extremely limited scope, only listing a random sampling of what is known. This creates confusion when varieties are found that do not fit the template. Conversely, it is possible to list too many varieties, particularly those requiring high power magnification to see. Collectors who prefer not to use a microscope to identify their coins will be turned off by a truly comprehensive reference. Therefore, the Franklin Variety Index covers varieties that are easy to see under the industry-standard examination parameters of 5x to 10x, and which will be most appealing to the collecting community. The FVI is the essential catalog of Franklin varieties.

Also, the FVI covers major “die state” varieties, such as clashes and die breaks, in addition to “die varieties,” such as Doubled Dies and Re-punched Mint Marks. Regarding "Bugs Bunny" Die Clashes, which have become extremely popular and valuable, the FVI catalog numbers code the specific position of clashing and the actual die variety. Not since the "franklinlovers" site was discontinued in 2012 has another reference sought to identify and catalog specific die marriages and their stages, for the various die clashes and other collectible die state varieties.

Getting Started

A wide range of varieties are now known for Franklin halves, but limited information and identification have created a lot of confusion. The Franklin Variety Index or FVI catalog headings below are designed to take you through the realm of possibilities in an orderly, organized fashion. Explore them all!

Let's start with "Die State" Varieties:

those that developed after the dies were engraved and put into service.


Now the"Classic" Die Varieties:

those that were created when the die was firstengraved.


"Other" Collectible Varieties:

not all varieties fit neatly into the categories above. Here are the exceptions.


have a variety that you need to identify?

Please see our Attribution Resources page for more information on submitting your coins!

We stock a nice selection of Franklin halves and varieties!