1961 Double Die Reverse (DDR) Franklin NGC PF 67

To truly appreciate the 1961 DDR Franklin Half Dollar one must first understand how a coin ends up with a double die.


20th Century Minting Process:

The Galvano , a large (12-16 inches) master model of the design that would appear on coins, was carved and put through a Janvier Reduction Lathe, a two armed lathe that traced the face of the Galvano while simultaneously carving the design into the face of the steel rod that became the master hub.  The master hub was a replica of what they coin would look like.  This raised master hub was then brought to the hubbing press where it was put under immense pressure against another steel rod that became the master die.  The master die would be a negative of the face of a coin.  In order to get a satisfactory impression multiple stamps were required.  This master die was then pressed against another steel rod to create a working hub.  Then the working hub was put through the hubbing press to create the working die.  Each time a new hub or die was created, as with the master die, it had to be pressed multiple times to ensure a proper impression.  Because of human error, occasionally the working die under the working hub would pivot slightly between the presses, causing a type 5 double die or a Pivot Double die the type of double die seen in the 1961 Double Die Reverse Franklin Half Dollar.

During this period a working die would be used for a maximum of 4000 coins before being retired, which meaning the maximum number of 1961 Double Die Reverse Franklin Half Dollars minted is 4000.   

Left:  The double die is often most visible directly opposite the point of rotation (marked fulcrum) which is why “E Pluribus Unum” Is the most clear mark of this double die.  

The fact that this double die effect occurred on a Franklin, the largest denomination in 1961, and it was a proof coin both make having a double die variation very rare and desirable.  With only about 80 graded examples by NGC, with NONE graded above PF67 this is one rare coin! 


Above Left: The 1961 Double Die Reverse Franklin Half dollar (NGC PF 67)

 Above Right: A regular 1961 Franklin Half Dollar (NGC PF 67)

Left: Comparison between United in the DDR and Normal Franklin



From the NGC registry: This is hands down the strongest known doubled die for the Franklin series and the most desirable.”

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