The 1959 Proof Franklin half dollar is widely available in average condition but presents an incredible challenge at the highest levels of preservation and quality. 1959 marked only the second time the U.S. Mint produced more than 1 million Proof sets, and it was obvious that quality had been sacrificed to attain this figure. The original master die for the Franklin half dollar was heavily fatigued and would be reworked in 1960, though this did nothing to benefit the Proofs of 1959.
Series specialist Rick Tomaska calls this issue "the toughest of the 1954-1963 Franklin issues to find in Gem Cameo." He estimates that "far less than 1%" of the 1.1 million coins struck exhibit enough contrast on each side to warrant this designation from the certification services.
The example featured in Part II of our November Collectors Choice Online Auction is a significant find for Franklin enthusiasts, certified Proof-68 Cameo (NGC) CAC. It displays strong mirrors and virtually flawless surfaces across each side. Just 10 coins have been certified finer by NGC within the Cameo designation, asserting this piece among the finest known of the issue. Additionally, it is tied with finest certified examples to receive a green sticker of approval from CAC.
Part II of our November 2018 Collectors Choice Online Auction will open for live bidding on Tuesday, November 20th. If you would like to consign your collection to a future Collectors Choice Online Auction call 800-458-4646 or e-mail [email protected] to speak to a numismatic expert today.