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Rare 1953-S Half Dollar With Full Bell Lines Featured in Stack’s Bowers March 2020 Baltimore Auction

Rare 1953-S Half Dollar With Full Bell Lines Featured in Stack's Bowers March 2020 Baltimore Auction

By James McCartneySenior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
Though often overlooked by seasoned collectors, the “modern” US series struck in the mid-to-late 20th century can offer a considerable challenge at the very highest levels of production quality and preservation.

The Franklin half dollar is one of these series, featuring a surprising number of condition and strike rarities despite mintages as high as 35.4 million pieces (1962-D). In our March 2020 Baltimore auction, we are delighted to offer a stunning 1953-S Franklin half dollar that ranks among the most desirable survivors of just 4.14 million struck. Certified MS-65 FBL by PCGS, it is one of only 22 graded by PCGS at that level and just five coins rank finer.

This rare Gem features a delicate champagne gold patina with hints of cabernet at the borders. The strike is truly exceptional, displaying a profound definition of Franklin’s portrait and ideal sharpness to the bell lines on the reverse. This technical superiority is enhanced by rich mint frosting across each side.

Specialist Rick Tomaska notes in his 2011 Guidebook on the series that the 1953-S is “far and away the rarest date in MS-65 with full bell lines.” He goes on to say “while most examples are minimally bag marked, they are also very weakly struck.”

We have had the pleasure of handling two Gem Full Bell Lines examples in recent years, including this very piece that realized $14,400 USD in our August 2018 sale of the Anne Kate Collection. A year prior we offered another MS-65 FBL (PCGS) in our August 2017 sale of the High Rise Collection, which realized $14,100. The present Gem will be featured in Rarities Night of our March 2020 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo in Baltimore. To include your coins or collection in this exciting sale, speak with a numismatic representative today at 800-566-2580 or email [email protected]. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.

Stack's Bowers
Stack's Bowers
Stack's Bowers Galleries conducts live, internet, and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company's 90-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection, The Sydney F. Martin Collection, and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Pinnacle Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Salton Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Law Collection. The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California with galleries in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Offices are also located in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Hong Kong, Paris, and Vancouver.

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