We are excited to release the eleventh coin in the CollecTons Keepers program, an exclusive series only offered by CollecTons. The eleventh coin we present, CollecTons Keepers #11 in Series, features the 1955 Franklin Half Dollar Bugs Bunny Variety.
Why is the 1955 Franklin Half Dollar Bugs Bunny Variety a Coin Worth Keeping?
Benjamin Franklin was very well respected and admired by Mint director Nellie Tayloe Ross.In 1947 she directed John R. Sinnock, then the Mint's chief engraver, to prepare designs for a Franklin Half Dollar based on his previous work on a medal depicting a bust of Franklin. Interestingly, Franklin was strongly opposed to putting portraits on coins, preferring proverbs that the holder could reflect upon. Ross justified her actions by pointing out that Franklin had only known of living royalty being depicted on coins, and that he would have felt differently about a coin honoring an important person that had deceased.
Sinnock decided to base the reverse of the coin on the Liberty Bell as depicted in the 1926 Sesquicentennial Commemorative Half Dollar to pay homage to Franklin's home of Philadelphia as well as a to represent Liberty. A small eagle was added when Mint officials realized that all coins with a face value greater than 10 cents must depict an eagle according to the Coinage Act of 1873. This most likely would have upset Franklin who despised eagles, considering them to be scavengers.
Bugs Bunny Variety
In 1955, a rare die error caused by a clash between the obverse die and the reverse die created some coins that look like Franklin has buck teeth.This error was a result of the impact of the eagle's wings on the reverse with the obverse die, causing a mark on Franklin's top lip. This error variety is most commonly known as the "Bugs Bunny" variety but is also known as the "Detached Nose," variety. In addition to the buck teeth, the error left an impression of the liberty bell in front of Franklin's nose. Mint employees easily polished away the impression of the liberty bell but missed the teeth.
Although this is not the only year this error can be found on, the 1955 is the most popular because it is the key date of the series. There were only 2,498,181 of these 1955 Franklin Half Dollars produced at the Philadelphia mint, but it is unclear how many were of the Bugs Bunny variety making this a key date of the series.
Designer: John R. Sinnock
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Weight: 12.50 grams
Diameter: 30.6 mm
What makes the Collectons Keepers program special?
Here at CollecTons, we work hard researching coins that should be part of every collection. Our goal is to utilize our knowledge in the numismatic industry to select coins worthy of being in everyone's collection! Therefore, the CollecTons Keepers program will only feature those Coins Worth Keeping.
Each coin is hand selected and given to ANACS (America's Oldest Grading Service) for grading and authentication. The coins are then sealed in an ANACS certified proprietary slab holder for long-term storage, with our limited edition label marking it a CollecTons Keeper.