The Franklin half dollar is a coin that was struck by the United States Mint ("Mint") from 1948 to 1963. The fifty-cent piece pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse. A small eagle was placed to the right of the bell to fulfill the legal requirement that half dollars depict the figure of an eagle. Produced in 90 percent silver with a reeded edge, the coin was struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints.
In January 7, 1948, the Treasury issued a press release announcing the new half dollar. The Commission's disapproval went unreported; instead the release noted that the design had been Ross's idea and had received Secretary Snyder's "enthusiastic approval". The release noted Franklin's reputation for thrift, and expressed hope that the half dollar would serve as a reminder that spare cash should be used to purchase savings bonds and savings stamps. Franklin became the fifth person and first non-president to be honored by the issuance of a regular-issue US coin, after Lincoln, Roosevelt, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
- Value - 50 cents (0.50 US dollars)
- Mass - 12.50 g
- Diameter - 30.61 mm (1.21 in)
- Edge - reeded
- Composition - 90% Ag 10% Cu
- Silver - 0.36169 troy oz
- Years of minting - 1948–1963