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Old silver Franklins inquiry a pleasant change

Wow, I have received an email inquiry that is not directly related to error cents.

Actually, the email went to a colleague in the Standard Catalog department.

The person writes:

“How can I sell the Franklin half dollars that I have without going on eBay?

“I have half a book that had been my father-in-law's.

“I do have dates starting at 1948 to 1967.

"Would like to get a fair price if possible.”

I replied:

“Half dollars 1948-1964 are made of 90 percent pure silver.

“At today’s price of $16.60 an ounce, the silver in them is worth almost 12 times face value.

“Silver in half dollars 1965-1967 is just 40 percent pure, so is worth much less, a bit under five times face value.

“Your email does not reveal your location.

“If you are near a city with a coin shop in it, you can sell the coins for their bullion value.

“There are no rare dates in the 1948-1967 run.

“There are two possible exceptions.

"The first would be if the coins you mention are individually housed in plastic slabs with labels from grading services, such as the Professional Coin Grading Service or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, and the grades are MS-65 and higher (up to 70).

“The second possible exception for coins dated 1950 to 1964 is if they are proofs, meaning they have mirror-like surfaces (they look highly polished).

“From the way you phrased your inquiry about half a book, I assume you do not have them.

“However, if you do, the trip to the coin shop should generate more money, $20 up to $350 each.

"A coin dealer can tell at a glance whether a coin is a proof.

“As I wrote, I expect all the coins your father-in-law put in the book he took out of circulation, meaning the coins all have some wear.

“Even a tiny bit renders these coins as nothing but convenient bits of silver bullion.”

That was my response.

I already have some second thoughts.

Should I have written that 12 times face value is $6 and five times is $2.50?

The writer might not know what face value is.

If I receive a follow-up email I will know what I wrote was confusing.

By the way, regarding the error 1982-D small date copper cent and the 1983-D copper cent, I set up a short file with two images.

I will send a��link to those who write me about them.

You might find it handy.

Here it is.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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