Franklin Proof?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Bean, May 30, 2019.

  1. Bean

    Bean Member

    Hello everyone,
    I'm a rookie when it comes to Franklin Halfs. I want to put a nice complete set together for my daughter. As of right now I don't have any. I want to learn more about them first. My FIRST rookie question is how do you tell if a coin is a proof. I know the dates narrow it down a little bit but not enough to be sure. I've been looking at listings on eBay for a while now trying to figure it out, no help there either. Any help from you would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for you time in advance, I'm sure this question has been answered a bunch of times, even a link would be great!

    Thanks Again,
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  3. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Proof Franklins were made with specially prepared dies on polished planchets, using more pressure in striking, and special handling after striking to avoid contact marks with anything, including other coins. As a result, you will get mirror-like fields, sharp details, a sharp rim, and no contact marks on the coins. 1950 can be an exception to this, as they often come without really deep mirrors, but the other characteristics are there.

    Coins masquerading as proofs are those that have been highly polished after striking. These are considered harshly cleaned, and for Franklins, would be worth bullion value.
    mikenoodle and TexAg like this.
  4. Bean

    Bean Member

    Thank You! for the reply. That gives me a good place to start really looking for the details you mentioned
  5. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Easy thing to do will be to buy a late date proof Franklin (they're cheap) and an uncirculated one (also cheap) and compare them side-by-side keeping those details in mind.
  6. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Good advice above. Franklin halves were my introduction to the hobby. And yes at first this can all seem rather confusing. I would suggest one thing.... Assuming you have a local coin shop within reach, go and ask the dealer if he would give you a side by side comparison of a business strike and a proof strike. Franklin's are by and large affordable coins. Perhaps you could purchase the two coins as your own visual reference?..... But side by side the difference becomes fairly distinct. Look at individual details. Don't focus on the overall coin. You will see the mirrored fields and sharpness of the rims..... Enjoy!
  7. Bean

    Bean Member

    That's a great Idea! I will definitely do that! Thanks for the reply!
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  8. Bean

    Bean Member

    That sounds like a really good idea, I will definitely do that. I need some kind of reference that will be the easiest way to go I think. Thank you again!
  9. Bean

    Bean Member

    I'm bidding on a 61 and a 63 proof now. I'll find a business strike for those dates next. I'll keep you all posted. I'm sure this will lead to more questions when I get them LOL.

    Thanks for all the help!
    mikenoodle and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  10. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Good advice listed above so I'll just say welcome to CT.
  11. tommyc03

    tommyc03 Senior Member

    Being unfamiliar with proofs, make sure any coins you are bidding on have nice close, clear photos. Be on the watch for hazing, milk spots or other small spots that can be hidden with poor photos.
  12. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  13. Murphy45p

    Murphy45p Active Member

    If you purchase "slabbed" coins, graded by PCGS or NGC, they will specify the strike whether proof or MS (mint state). You can also go on to their websites, type in the number from the slab, and the grading service will give you a description of the coin which will weed out any coins in fake slabs. Slabbed coins generally cost more, but you get an expert opinion on the coin and an opinion generally accepted in the market.

    If you purchase "raw" coins, that is, not slabbed, you can find unopened proof sets for sale. The only downside to that is that some may have milk spots or undesirable toning. A raw proof coin outside OGP (original government packaging) requires more skill in knowing what you are looking at.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  14. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Hey, welcome to collecting and to CT. Don't know if you collect any other coins, but a Red Book (A Guide Book Of United States Coins) is a must. So many things explained, and, although many here will disagree, some idea of the value of most US coins. In assume you were born in 1963 or 1964. If 1963, get a proof set for that date, and consider getting a mint set also.
    Murphy45p and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  15. Bean

    Bean Member

    Yes, There are some really poor photos on eBay. I only look at good photos and feedback. There seems to be LOTS of bad feedback as well. It seriously narrows down the choices.
    tommyc03 likes this.
  16. Bean

    Bean Member

    Thank you for the links, it will definitely help. Prices on eBay are all over the place, some are absolutely crazy. My favorites are the common dates listed as rare LOL. Thanks again!
  17. Bean

    Bean Member

    LOL, you nailed it. I was indeed born in 1963! That was also my plan, I whant to put together a really nice set of 63" for my daughter. I also have the red book, I know it's more of a guide than a bible of prices. It is very handy for sure.
    Thanks for the info!
    Kentucky likes this.
  18. Bean

    Bean Member

    I'm not a big fan of stabbed coins. That is why I want to learn more about what I'm looking at. The only stabbed coins I buy are the more rare and expensive coins. I won't take a chance on those coins. Thank You for the reply!
  19. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Personally @Bean I wouldn't buy a stabbed coin but to each his own. lol
  20. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    @Bean I don't buy slabbed coins either (wellllllll...usually not, but my Trade Dollar was slabbed) but proof coins (at least after 1954) and mint sets are kind of inherently "slabbed" since they are sealed at the mint. With that in mind, go for the cheapest one you can get.
  21. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    In the case of Proof coin, slabs are a good ideal, at least for the better dates (1950 - 1955) because the slab provides great physical protection. It is easy to damage a Proof and keeping your fingers off of them is a key to preservation.

    As for the late dates, from 1956 up, you might be better off buying complete Proof sets, instead of the individual coins, you are looking for run of the mill coins. When I was interested in this series, dealers charged big premiums for Proof singles. It was much more economical to buy the whole set.

    If you get into Cameo Proof coins, those pieces are very pretty, but they are also often very expensive. Cameo Proofs have frosted devices and mirrored fields. A 1950 Cameo Proof half dollar can cost you thousands.
    ldhair likes this.
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