Proof Franklin Half Dollars were minted from 1950 to 1963. This includes each year of broader series with the exception of 1948 and 1949, which occurred before the United States Mint resumed proof coin production. All proof versions were minted at the Philadelphia Mint and do not carry a mint mark.
The proof coinage of this era was offered by the United States Mint as part of a complete Proof Set. Each set contained a proof version of each denomination struck for circulation during the year. From 1950 to 1955, the US Mint packaged each proof coin in an individual cellophane sleeve, stapled all sleeves together at the top, wrapped them in tissue paper, and sealed them in a small square cardboard box. Part of the way through 1955, the US Mint switched to a flat pack style of packaging. Each coin was sealed within an individual compartment of a single cellophane pack and then placed within an envelope between two pieces of cardboard.
The earlier proof issues of the Franklin Half Dollar series have low mintages, creating high premiums for the coins. As the series progressed, mintage levels increased as the annual proof set offering gained popularity. In 1950, only 51,386 proof sets were sold, but by 1961 more than 3 million sets were being sold annually.
Proof Franklin Half Dollars are usually found with fully brilliant surfaces. Sometimes the coins will be found with a cameo or deep cameo finish. These are characterized by frosted raised design elements over mirrored background fields. This type of finish is rare for earlier proof issues, but more frequently encountered for later issues. Cameo or deep cameo proof Franklin Halves carry significant premiums for some years.
The table below presents the mintage figures for proof Franklin Half Dollars. There were a total of 15 different proof coins issued during the series.