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 colorful series.
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.
Importantly, the FVI also covers major “die state varieties," such as collectible 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, the proprietary FVI catalog code indicates both the specific position of clashing and the actual die variety. This will be a great tool for collectors.
A wide range of varieties are now known for Franklin halves, but limited information has created confusion. The Franklin Variety Index catalog headings below are designed to take you through the realm of possibilities in an orderly, organized fashion. Explore each category as it goes online during our rollout!
Let's start with die state varieties:
those that developed after the dies were engraved and put into service.
Collectible Die Clashes (Now Live for Bugs Bunny, 1948-1955)
Collectible Die Chips (Coming 2023)
Re-engraved Dies (Coming 2023)
Now for the "classic" die varieties:
those that were created when the dies were originally engraved.
Doubled Dies (Coming 2024)
Re-punched Mint Marks (RPMs) (Coming 2024)
Other Collectible Varieties (Coming 2023)
UNDERSTANDING Major Design Sub-types:
The most notable variations in the official design are the special design hubs created for Proof dies, beginning mid-production in1956.
Prooflike Franklin Halves:
Coins with unusual, mirrored surfaces are sometimes seen among business strike halves. It is not always known whether the Prooflike surfaces were created during manufacture, or created by polishing used dies.