In 1948 the Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar replaced the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. The design of the coin was created
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by John R. Sinnock, then the Mint's chief sculptor-engraver. With the appearance of this coin came a change in the traditional figures represented in American coinage. The Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar marks the beginning of primarily depicting the portraits of famous Americans. It is also the first coin to feature an actual person who was not a president and the last coin series to be minted every year in .900 fine silver (90% Silver).
In 1955, coins minted in Philadelphia had damage to the die from the obverse and reverse dies striking each other without a coin planchet in between. The error resulted in a split in Benjamin Franklin's upper lip, giving him the appearance of prominent front teeth. Large quantities of Benjamin Franklin half dollars were melted as silver bullion shortly after 1964, when the metal value exceeded the 50 cent face value of the coin.
Benjamin Franklin Half Dollars were issued from Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints.
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