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Finest Known 1961 Doubled Die Franklin Half Dollar at GreatCollections

Ian Russell on Sun, Jan 15, 2017 07:58:00 AM
GreatCollections is auctioning the finest known 1961 Franklin Half Dollar Doubled Die Reverse, graded NGC Proof-68 CAC.  The coin is being sold unreserved and bidding will end on Sunday, January 22nd.

The 1961 Double Die Reverse Proof Half Dollar is well-known for its rarity and extreme case of doubling. While some doubled die errors require extreme magnification to see, this mint error is plainly visible to the naked eye. In particular, the words E PLURIBUS UNUM, UNITED STATES, and HALF DOLLAR show clear and dramatic signs of doubling. A few other dates in the Proof Franklin series are known with minor doubling, but the 1961 is by far the most obvious.

The 1961 DDR Proof 50c is also extremely rare. No official mintage figures exist, but numismatists speculate that perhaps 1500-2000 pieces left the mint with this blunder. Apparently this error was noticed rather quickly and the defective dies were swiftly replaced. Perhaps 1000 or so remain in existence today, although the actual number might be even lower given how few have been graded by PCGS and NGC. Combined, the two major services have certified around 300 pieces as of late 2016.

Great Collection is excited to offer one of the very finest (if not the very best known) 1961 Double Die Proof Franklin Halves. This virtually flawless piece, graded Proof 68 by NGC, displays deeply mirrored surfaces, immaculate fields, superb eye appeal and an impeccable overall appearance. As further confirmation of the coin’s quality, it has been approved by CAC.

This glorious piece is the only Proof 68 1961 DDR 50c certified by either PCGS or NGC. No Cameo or Ultra Cameo coins have been graded higher than Proof 67; numerically this is the best-known example. It has a population of 1 with none finer. As such, it has tremendous value to registry collectors, advanced Franklin specialists, and serious collectors of modern mint errors. In a nutshell, this piece is the finest-graded specimen of the most famous Franklin Half Dollar variety.

View the 1961 Doubled Die Reverse Franklin Half Dollar at GreatCollections