Ben Franklin Silver Half Dollar

The Ben Franklin Silver Half Dollar was the first U.S. circulation coin featuring an historical figure who was not a President of the United States. Benjamin Franklin, one of this country’s founding fathers, deserved nothing less for his many contributions, ranging from intellectual to ingenuity. Read on to learn more about the Ben Franklin Silver Half Dollar.


Front / Obverse

The front side of the Ben Franklin Half Dollar shows a profile of the great founding father himself, with the mint date off to the bottom right.  Above his likeness, the word “Liberty”, and below, the words “In God We Trust”.
Designer: John R. Sinnock and Gilroy Roberts

Rear / Reverse

The back side of the Ben Franklin Half Dollar has a large depiction of the Liberty Bell, and to the right of it, a small eagle. To the left of the bell are the words “E. Pluribus Unum.” The top perimeter of the coin says “United States of America”, and the bottom perimeter says “Half Dollar.”
Designer: John R. Sinnock and Gilroy Roberts



Nellie Tayloe Ross, a previous U.S. mint director, greatly admired Benjamin Franklin and wanted to put his likeness on a coin. She asked her chief engraver, John R. Sinnock, to come up with a design for a Franklin Half Dollar. Sinnock started his design, but died before they were completed. The designs were finished by Gilroy Roberts, Sinnock’s successor.



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