Unattributed Franklin Variety

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Anntron, Jan 17, 2022.

  1. Anntron

    Anntron Member

    Someone got a nice bonus on this auction win.


    Check out the reverse, it is a type 2 Proof reverse.
    Since PCGS and NGC do not attribute this variety, there are no stats on the number struck off the reverse proof dies. Casual tracking shows that it is at least a condition rarity and maybe the finest known. However, it should be noted that this variety can be found in 1959 mint sets. The auction description does not call out the variety so the buyer may not know the rarity of this piece. PCGS Price Guide shows a “regular” Franklin 1959 P MS-66+ valued @ $4,000.00. Either way, the buyer got a good deal. If you are unfamiliar with this variety, here is a good link:

    http://www.varietyvista.com/11 Franklin Halves/Reverse Design Varieties.htm
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  3. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Looks like the 1958 business strike with this reverse is known to be scarce.
  4. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    This is the common reverse for 1959 Philly and proof.
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  5. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Hey brother can you spare a half dime?

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2022
  6. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    @Paddy54 I have never seen that reference. Thank you!
  7. Mac McDonald

    Mac McDonald Well-Known Member

    Seem to recall learning about these on either the PCGS or NGC website...if they don't attribute them at least one of them has it listed somewhere me thinks.
  8. Anntron

    Anntron Member

    Sorry for the delay, life happens.
    At the risk of being pedantic:

    I have been collecting varieties of Franklins for the past several years. I have well over 100 slabbed pieces of both Proof and CS variety specimens. About half of my collection is “cherry-picked” with the remainder having been purchased. Some are attributed but that is not important to me as a specialist in Franklin varieties. Sometimes the fact that TGSs’ do not attribute can be an advantage!

    I have been hunting the 1958 PCGS MS-65 FBL Type 2 since I started. Since 1999, I have only seen one on eBay:
    1958 FRANKLIN 50c PCGS MS65FBL "WHITE BLAZER" Item number: 8314631702 US Sold @$282.99 Jul-02-05 19:45:00 PDT PCGS Holder #86674.7943882

    Sadly, I was being overconfident at the relative obscurity of this variety and did not put my max bid high enough. Oh Well, can’t (afford to) win‘em all!

    Below are some numbers to give you some additional insight reaffirming your post in this thread as to the rarity of this variety for 1958 in any uncirculated condition.

    Between 1999 and 2001, I studied 769 eBay images of the 1958 slabbed and raw Franklins in MS-63 or better that one could differentiate the Reverse variety. The 1958 P results are:

    Type Type 1 Type 2
    Total 754 15
    Percent 98% 2%

    My hypothesis is that Breen was wrong in his 20% estimate for CS 1958 Type 2. He overstated by a factor of 10.

    I have also tracked the 1959 Type 2 Franklin reverse coins. As to the DDRs, while the difference between the Type 1 and Type 2 reverses is perceptible to the trained eye, the DDR takes magnification to actually identify. Therefore, I did not consider the images usually available on eBay to have adequate resolution to identify the DDR reverse.

    During the same period, I studied 1176 images of 1959 slabbed and raw Franklins in MS-63 or better that you could differentiate the Reverse variety Type 1 & 2 only. Type 1 over Type 2 DDR number is only for coins that are attributed by the seller or third party. My 1959 P findings are:

    Type Type 1 Type 2 Type DDR
    Total 894 271 11
    Percent 76% 23% 1%

    My hypothesis is that Breen was wrong in his 70% estimate for CS 1959 Type 2. He overstated by a factor of 3.5. However, I believe that his 70% figure is either a misprint or an editor’s mistake and should have read 30%. The 70% figure would have been consistent with my finding of the 1959 Type 1, not the Type 2.

    It should also be noted that I have never observed the 1958 Type 2 in Mint packaged 1958 Mint sets, however, I have found several 1959 Type 2 Franklins in Mint packaged 1959 Mint sets. I believe this is the reason Breen overstated the percentages for the 1959 Type 2 variety. This is also the reason why many examples of the 1959 Type 2 Franklins exist in higher grades than the 1958 Type 2 reverses.

    There is precedent for this disparity. There is evidence that toward the end of the 1958 P Franklin run at the Philadelphia Mint, the normal Type 1 reverse Working Dies were spent. The Mint Die room was in a tizzy trying to prepare for the new Memorial cent reverse. In addition, the engravers were busy re-engraving the Franklin reverse for the 1960 Franklin production year. For expediency’s sake, some of the coining floor Franklin presses were loaded with the Proof reverse Working Dies. The relatively small 1958-P Franklin run was completed with some Proof reverse Working Dies but the story does not end there. Beginning in 1959, again the proof Working Dies were put into service on Franklin CS presses. We know this timing is plausible because no Type 2 1958 reverses appeared in mint sets but the 1959 Type 2 is readily found in mint sets. This is ascribed to the mint’s practice, in the late ’50s, of pulling out CS mint set coins at the beginning of the coinage year. Type 2 1958 reverses were struck late in the year and 1959 Type 2 reverses were struck early in the production year.

    Here are the actual Philadelphia Mint Working Die stats for the Franklin Half Dollar. Sadly, these stats do not differentiate between Normal and Proof reverse Working Dies used on business strikes.

    For 1958:

    For 50c business strikes - obverse dies used = 20 (or avg. 203,400 pcs per die) - reverse dies used = 22 (or avg. 184,909 pcs per die)

    For 50c proof strikes - obverse dies used = 213 (or avg. 4,818 pcs per die) - reverse dies used = 184 (or avg. 5,577 pcs per die)

    For 1959:

    For 50c business strikes - obverse dies used = 35 (or avg. 179,837 pcs per die) - reverse dies used = 23 (or avg. 273,665 pcs per die)

    For 50c proof strikes - obverse dies used =199 (or avg. 6,566 pcs per die) - reverse dies used = 183 (or avg. 7,140 pcs per die)

    I have always wondered why the major numismatic reference publications give only a cursory mention, if at all, to the reverse varieties of the 1958 & 1959 CS Franklins but seem to openly recognize the similar 1956 Proof Type 1 and 2 varieties. The importance of the 58-59 T1 & T2 varieties is just as significant as the Jefferson Reverse 38/ Reverse 40, the Morgan 1878 7/8 tail feathers, or the A_M Lincoln varieties. This Franklin variety is discernable to the naked eye, represents an intentional variety by the Mint, and mules a Proof reverse Working Die with a CS obverse Working Die coin.

    My conclusions are based solely on empirical observations and then only on items, which I have observed. In truth, there could have been literally hundreds of auctions I missed or that did not meet my criteria for recording. Either way, I do believe that the multitude of Franklin varieties are fun to collect and, because of their relative obscurity, very reasonably obtainable.

    OOPs! Guess I was a little pedantic….:yawn:
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2022
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  9. John Skelton

    John Skelton Morgan man!

    "OOPs! Guess I was a little pedantic!"

    Hey, you did good! I learned a lot that I will probably forget, but for now, it's A big help. And where would we be if people like you didn't do the work?
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  10. capthank

    capthank Well-Known Member

    the site is vrty helpful. Going thru my Franklin's now and have spotted several with three feathers. Thanks
  11. Revello

    Revello Supporter! Supporter

    The images of the regular strike 1959 Franklin halves (both non-FBL and FBL) on the PCGS Price Guide pages show a mixture of Type I and II among the three coin images PCGS posted for the non-FBL and FBL. Surprised that PCGS doesn't at least recognize the different types, as they do for the 1956 proof. The smoking gun evidence of the existence of the two types for the 1959 regular strike is on their Price Guide pages.

    non-FBL: https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1959-50c/6676

    FBL: https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1959-50c-fbl/86676
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  12. stldanceartist

    stldanceartist Minister of Silly Walks Supporter

    The 1958 Type 2 Rev are MUCH more difficult to find than the 1959 Type 2 Rev - in fact, I've found many more 1959 T2 DDR than I have 1958 T2.

    Here's one I currently have - sorry, this one doesn't come with bell lines (but it does come with plenty of luster and some decent color:

    1958 Franklin Half.jpg
  13. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    @Anntron Thanks for the breakdown, very informative. Thanks for sharing.
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  14. Hommer

    Hommer Curator of Semi Precious Coinage Supporter

    I completed the Frankin set including proofs a couple or 3 years ago I spent days and weeks searching proof sets at auction for the '61 DDR, guess that I should have went back about 10 more years. Those proofs start getting a bit pricey.
  15. chascat

    chascat Well-Known Member

    My 59 T-2 came from a mint set, also my 58 T-1...but I later bought the 59 T-1 and the 58 T-2 is being sent right now! it's a MS64 with full luster! I understand these are rare in FBL. I think PCGS attributes these now. Now I will be hunting the Class3 59 DDR.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2022
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  16. john65999

    john65999 Well-Known Member

    if i graded it i would of called it an ms-65 at best, they keep adding 1 or 1 1/2 or 2 ticks for nice toning, i do not when i grade...maybe mine are undergraded, but better than over grading...
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  17. capthank

    capthank Well-Known Member

    Now I need to go thru my coins again to look for the broad and narrow wings and for DDR's. I just looked for the type 1 and 2's. Fun to learn
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  18. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    NGC does break them out in their Variety Plus and pop report, but not in the price guide. https://www.ngccoin.com/census/united-states/half-dollars/43/varieties/16674/
    1958 = 8,323; Type 2 = 101. From that, they're slightly more than 1% Type 1, but I don't know if the 8,323 are specifically Type 1 or if Type 2 could be in that number but the attribution wasn't requested. They roughly align with your census.

    I have your same complaint regarding recognition and Barber transition varieties. I don't know when or how for example the Jefferson Rev38/Rev40 got so much attention but other things don't.
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  19. Anntron

    Anntron Member

    Just to follow up:

    My OP said:

    Since PCGS and NGC do not attribute this variety, there are no stats on the number struck off the reverse proof dies. Casual tracking shows that it is at least a condition rarity and maybe the finest known.

    Turns out, I was wrong on both accounts.

    First, thanks to @KBBPLL, and the NGC link I have learned that NGC not only recognizes the attribute but also keeps stats. If I had to venture a guess as to why their percentages are slightly skewed from my research, I’d say that NGC recently recognized the Type 2 variety and, out of necessity, had to lump all its original 1958 and 1959 Franklin stats into Type 1.

    Second, PCGS is the only grading service that does not recognize the Franklin Type 2 reverse and keep stats. As for all the other grading services, again the numbers are skewed because when TGS’s began recognizing the variety, they had to lump all their original 1958 and 1959 Franklin stats into Type 1.

    As to condition rarity, thanks to @Revello links to Coinfacts, you can find several 1959 Type 2 reverses in MS66+ or MS67. Wow! It is interesting to note, out of 26, there is still only one 1958 FBL Type 2 in the PCGS photo gallery and only one in the 62 MS images. Despite the lack of recognition, the 1958 Type 2 in MS 65 or above is a rare coin. Hey @Hommer, in FBL, the 1958 Franklin is rarer than the 1961 Proof FS-801 DDR! $$$

    As to grading, @john65999, I agree with you. Years ago, @Insider taught me to grade with fluorescent light and/or an orange filter. If you want to see how a coin should grade, look at it in black and white. TGS grading bias toward color is relative to the market, metal, and series. Toning is PMD, same as a scratch. There is no question it can be beautiful but no matter what, it is an artificial enhancement. That being said, even a pig with lipstick can have eye appeal and thus be worth “moon” money. (Oops, hijacking my own thread.):playful:

    As to images, @stldanceartist nice coin, and great image.

    Thank you all for your input and comments. I learned some valuable information and can now get a better handle on this variety. I hope the person who won that auction knows what they have. The funny thing is, I now know more about this variety than when I first posted. Cool....
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  20. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Anntron, posted: "As to grading, @john65999, I agree with you. Years ago, @Insider taught me to grade with fluorescent light and/or an orange filter. If you want to see how a coin should grade, look at it in black and white."

    Clarification: I use both florescent and incandescent light to grade. I also use my eye, a 7X hand lens, and a microscope set at low power to grade. The fluorescent light is especially useful to detect any loss of original surface on the high points of a coin. THAT'S WHY YOU COLLECTORS HAVE BEEN TOLD FOR DECADES NOT TO USE FLORSECENT LIGHT TO GRADE COINS!!!! o_O:jawdrop::facepalm::D
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  21. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Is that because it also shows some slight Planchet roughness? And it is hard to distinguish between the two?
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