Description and Analysis
Franklin Half Dollars
1958 50C MS
Description & Analysis
After several years of unbridled prosperity, the nation's economy slumped into a recession toward the end of 1957 that lasted through much of the following year. This led to a drop in the production of coins at the Philadelphia Mint during 1958, though this is not evident in the half dollar mintage, as that had been low already in recent years.
Gems of the 1958(P) half dollar are plentiful, and quite a few of these have earned high marks for the attractive, multicolor toning imparted by the U. S. Mint's Uncirculated Set packaging. 1958 was the last year in which these coins were mounted within cardboard panels, and over 50,000 such sets were sold when offered early in 1959. Halves certified as having FBL are a little more common than for Philadelphia Mint coins struck earlier in the decade.
The only variety of note is a particularly interesting one. The Mint had introduced a new reverse hub in 1956 that was intended solely for the production of proof dies. As coin production rose rapidly in the late 1950s, some of these dies were utilized for currency coin production after no longer being fit or needed for proofs. Such coins are easily recognized by the sharpened eagle figure normally only on proofs, and they exist solely for the years 1958 and 1959.