A coin collector might wonder about the worth of a 1962 Liberty Half Dollar. Since it is 90% silver, its value would be in the current price of silver.
Determining the Worth of a 1962 Liberty Half Dollar
The Liberty half dollar was also called the Benjamin Franklin half-dollar and was minted from 1948 – 1963. It was the first coin that was minted and circulated that had an image of a person other than a president. As of June 30, 2010 the worth of 1962 liberty half dollar, according to the current market price of silver, would be $6.76.
The U.S. Mint wanted to honor Benjamin Franklin because of his role as a leader of the United States, but also because he was an inventor, writer, and a scientist. The front of the Franklin Half Dollar has the image of Ben Franklin facing towards the right. At the top of the half dollar is the word LIBERTY and at the bottom IN GOD WE TRUST is inscribed.
Below Ben Franklin’s chin the date is printed and the initials of the designer, John R. Sinnock is below his shoulder. The reverse side of the coin features the Liberty Bell with a crack in it. On the left, the words E PLURIBUS UNUM is inscribed and on the right you would see an eagle. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is at the top and HALF DOLLAR is on the bottom. The mintmark is placed above the Liberty Bell.
Around 500 million of the Franklin half-dollars were minted, and the composition was 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper, so the value of the coins today comes from the current silver price. Because of this, the worth of a 1962 Liberty half-dollar would be between six and seven dollars. Rare coins are more valuable, like ones that were minted in fewer numbers, like in 1953 when 2.8 million were produced. Other rare coins are ones with no crack in the Liberty Bell.
Changes can be made in the design of coins every 25 years. You may wonder why this coin was only produced for 16 years. Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Congress quickly approved the change and the Kennedy half-dollar replaced the Franklin coin and began minting immediately.
Terms in Coinage
When a coin is minted, a stamp is used which strikes the metal and makes an impression. The engraved stamp is called a die. The front of a coin is called the obverse and the back is called the reverse.
Coins usually have a mark, called a mintmark that shows which of the U.S. mints produced it. If a coin does not have one, either it was minted in Philadelphia, the location of the first U.S. Mint, or it is a mistake. That can make it valuable. Sometimes forgeries are found out because of the wrong mintmark. Current mintmarks are “D” for Denver, “P” for Philadelphia, “S” for San Francisco, and “W” for West Point. West Point only produces coins for collecting. Some mintmarks from by-gone days are “O” for New Orleans, “C” for Charlotte, “CC” for Carson City, and “D” for Dahlonega.
The value of a coin is higher for three reasons: its scarcity, condition, and the demand for it. Many times mistakes were made in the minting of coins. Doubling is the term used when striking occurs twice. It can be called a double die. When this happens it can cause a coin’s value to rise.
Silver Half Dollar Coins
Silver coins dated 1964 or before were 90% silver. Coins after 1964 were only 40% silver. Silver Proof Half Dollars, of any date, are 90% silver and can be spotted because there is no copper showing on the edge. Therefore, silver coins have value according to the amount of silver in them and the price of silver.
One particularly interesting half dollar coin is the Walking Liberty Half Dollar, which was produced between 1916 and 1947. The rarest of these is the 1921-S that is known as the "King of the Walkers". The rarest dates for these coins are 1916, 1916-S, 1917-D, 1917-S, 1921-P, 1921-D, 1921 -S, and 1938-D. The 1921 Walking Liberty is valued at over 200 dollars.