A Prooflike Coin that has only been a Rumor - Until Now
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It is always fun to find something new, something that I haven't seen before. Those of you who've known me for a long time know that I built a set of Franklins, and then transitioned to Prooflike coins. The intersection of those two sets, the Prooflike Franklin, will thus always be of high interest to me! As I've discussed before, the 1949S is available in PL (I have a 65+ FBL PL example), and the 1959 is known in PL (although much scarcer). Other dates, however, pretty much never come with a prooflike finish. Some of us, such as @coinman1794, actively seek out prooflike coins for their beauty and scarcity. 

The William Paul  collection of Prooflike coins was listed by Heritage in 2004, but never sold (the auction was retracted). In that auction, a 1954S was listed that had earned a Star for semi-prooflike fields (and I've seen one other 1954S that was semi-prooflike). However, in the press release for this collection, a 1951S semi-prooflike half dollar was mentioned. This coin was not listed in the auction - leading me to speculate that it was a mistake and didn't actually exist.  The "Franklin Lover" website repeats this statement, but has no information either. 

Well, ladies and gentlemen... after 10 years of searching, I found it. Below, I present to you a 1951S Franklin half dollar with semi-prooflike surfaces, graded by NGC as MS-65*. In hand, the coin is unquestionably mirrored. Characteristic mid-20th century San Francisco mint die polished fields grace both obverse and reverse. Reverse mirrors are a bit stronger, and probably full PL; obverse mirrors are weaker and hold the coin back from a full PL designation. The coin is gorgeous. It also sports a minor DDR, one of many listed for the date.

This absolutely fascinating coin, once only a rumor, has now firmly found a place in my collection!

58bc48fe2dde8_IMG_2414copy.thumb.jpg.9684bc3df5d2863c5204ae3da86a66f7.jpg

58bc49057f97b_IMG_2422copy.thumb.jpg.ac86f6298977ce526d1d0c811ba33cbd.jpg

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1 hour ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

It is always fun to find something new, something that I haven't seen before. Those of you who've known me for a long time know that I built a set of Franklins, and then transitioned to Prooflike coins. The intersection of those two sets, the Prooflike Franklin, will thus always be of high interest to me! As I've discussed before, the 1949S is available in PL (I have a 65+ FBL PL example), and the 1959 is known in PL (although much scarcer). Other dates, however, pretty much never come with a prooflike finish. Some of us, such as @coinman1794, actively seek out prooflike coins for their beauty and scarcity. 

The William Paul  collection of Prooflike coins was listed by Heritage in 2004, but never sold (the auction was retracted). In that auction, a 1954S was listed that had earned a Star for semi-prooflike fields (and I've seen one other 1954S that was semi-prooflike). However, in the press release for this collection, a 1951S semi-prooflike half dollar was mentioned. This coin was not listed in the auction - leading me to speculate that it was a mistake and didn't actually exist.  The "Franklin Lover" website repeats this statement, but has no information either. 

Well, ladies and gentlemen... after 10 years of searching, I found it. Below, I present to you a 1951S Franklin half dollar with semi-prooflike surfaces, graded by NGC as MS-65*. In hand, the coin is unquestionably mirrored. Characteristic mid-20th century San Francisco mint die polished fields grace both obverse and reverse. Reverse mirrors are a bit stronger, and probably full PL; obverse mirrors are weaker and hold the coin back from a full PL designation. The coin is gorgeous. It also sports a minor DDR, one of many listed for the date.

This absolutely fascinating coin, once only a rumor, has now firmly found a place in my collection!

58bc48fe2dde8_IMG_2414copy.thumb.jpg.9684bc3df5d2863c5204ae3da86a66f7.jpg

58bc49057f97b_IMG_2422copy.thumb.jpg.ac86f6298977ce526d1d0c811ba33cbd.jpg

Well done and isn't this is what collecting coins is all about - the hunt

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Jason, I'm certain the beauty of this Franklin can only be (fully) appreciated with coin in hand. Congrats on scoring this example.

Edited by WoodenJefferson

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Jason, is there anyway you could show us the PL qualities of say the reverse?

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Not sure how that got a 65 grade with the giant gash in the bell on the reverse and all the chatter and hits on the obverse.  I also find the "PL" aspects of larger coins to be unattractive.  To each his/her own.

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On 3/6/2017 at 6:24 AM, WoodenJefferson said:

Jason, is there anyway you could show us the PL qualities of say the reverse?

This is probably the best way to do it. Not my best work, but I've got very little experience with the videos. I keep thinking that a video would be the best way to show off the PL-ness of a coin, if done properly. 

 

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The reverse is undoubtedly PL B| and the obverse is not that far behind. Amazing Franklin, thanks for presenting it in such a manor. 

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