.50 1954 Franklin Half Dollar NGC PF68+ Star Ultra Cameo We The People Tomaska Signature Series
Live Auction May 18, 2023
Opening Bid: $39,000
NGC Price Guide: $65,000
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From the desk of Rick Tomaska:
1954 Proof Franklin
NGC PF 68 Plus Star ULTRA CAMEO
We The People Label
Rick Tomaska Signature Series
- Mintage: 233,300
- NGC Population: 1/1
- Finest Known: PF69 UCAM – Placed privately by Rick himself two years ago for $180,000!
- Estimated Price Guide: $65,000 to $80,000 – NGC does not list a Price Guide valuation for STAR designated coins.
- However, the NGC Tomaska Series Price Guide for a PF68+ UCAM without the STAR designation currently sits at $55,000.
- According to Rick the most difficult high grade cameo Proof Franklin Half Dollars to acquire are the earliest issues (1950-1954) that he refers to as the “Box Set Era.”
- From 1950 through mid-1955 the United States mint issued their proof sets in small cardboard boxes.
- Each coin was hand placed in an individual cellophane envelope, then stapled together with the rest of the Proof coins.
- Once stapled together, the set was wrapped in tissue paper and sealed in the box.
- These Box Sets represent the poorest method of storage possible in the history of the mint, from the time they began issuing complete sets in the late 1930’s
- From the 552,966 Proof Franklins minted between 1950 and 1954, less than 350 have been designated Ultra Cameo in any grade.
Single dates such as the 1956 (660), 1961 (353), 1962 (1,533) & 1963 (1,060) Proof Franklins Halves consist of more Ultra Cameo pieces than the entire
- Locating “Box Set Era” issues in high grades such as PF68 UCAM & PF69 UCAM, is nearly impossible, with a little over two dozen in PF68 UCAM and just a single PF69 UCAM specimen.
- As far as PF68+ Ultra Cameo examples from the “Box Set Era” a mere three coins have been graded by NGC, two which have been inspected and approved by Rick.
- However, the present 1954 Franklin Half Dollar is the highest grade “Box Set Era” Star Ultra Cameo specimen Rick has ever come across!
- For collectors considering extraordinary rarities and/or building top caliber registry sets Rick asks the simple question, “Do YOU want the Best?” When is comes to registry points, this piece is right up there with the most valuable “Box Set Era” dates:
- 1950 Franklin PF68 CAM – Registry Value: 10,166 & Signature Series Price Guide: $95,000
- 1951 Franklin PF67+ STAR UCAM – Registry Value: 10,208 & Signature Series Price Guide: $85,000
- 1952 Franklin PF66+ UCAM – Registry Value: 6,658 & Signature Series Price Guide: $45,000
- 1953 Franklin PF68 UCAM – Registry Value: 10,515 & Signature Series Price Guide: $85,000
- 1954 Franklin PF68+ STAR UCAM – Registry Value: 10,214 & Signature Series Price Guide: $65,000-$80,000
- When commenting on the PHENOMENAL 1954 Franklin Half Dollar PF68+ STAR UCAM shown here Rick describes the frosted cameo portrait as “chalk-white” devoid of any distinguishable frost fade with mirror depth reminiscent of “black-hole.”
- Tomaska concluded by stating, “It is a miracle such a coin exists. I have personally handled 50,000 – 100,000 of the 233,000 1954 proof sets originally issued by the mint. I have NEVER found a 1954 proof Franklin of this quality in a set – going back to the 1980’s!”