(Pelham, Alabama) — To celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first minting of the Franklin half dollar, Whitman Publishing announces an updated new edition of A Guide Book of Franklin and Kennedy Half Dollars. The 248-page fourth edition, by professional numismatist Rick Tomaska, is available online (including at www.Whitman.com) and from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide.
Franklin (1948–1963) and Kennedy (1964 to date) half dollars are two of the most popular series in modern U.S. coinage. “Whether you’re a collector spending $50 a month or an investor with a budget of $50,000, there are challenges and rewards to enjoy with these historic coins,” says author Rick Tomaska.
In addition to sharing behind-the-scenes knowledge of the retail and auction markets, Tomaska gives the history of the coins’ designs, production, and other technical and cultural aspects. He explores transitions in Mint craftsmanship and reveals why Franklin and Kennedy half dollars represent the end of an era. He studies the coins date by date with commentary on exceptional and highly toned specimens, describes how Proof coins are made and graded, and teaches about Cameo and Deep Cameo contrast, Full Bell Lines, certified coin populations, and other factors important to value and rarity. Collectible die varieties, tips for smart buying, and hundreds of full-color photographs round out the contents.
The fourth edition includes new research on 1964 Specimen Kennedy half dollars, information on the NGC Rick Tomaska Signature Series designation, new coin photographs, and more. Values in multiple grades have been updated for each coin. Auction data and recent retail sale records are also given.
Tomaska covers the 1964–2014 fiftieth-anniversary gold and silver Kennedy half dollars, and features illustrated appendices on “Exceptional Cameo Contrast” and remarkable error and misstruck Franklin and Kennedy halves. An illustrated chapter on Proof Liberty Walking half dollars, which Tomaska describes as “true classics born during the wonderful Renaissance era in American coin design,” explores these precursors to the Proofs of the Franklin series.
Rick Tomaska, a longtime contributor to the Guide Book of United States Coins (the hobby’s popular “Red Book”), is recognized as an authority on American coinage. He started his business, R & I Coins, in 1981, and has since written several books focusing on modern cameo and brilliant Proof coinage and Franklin half dollars. In 2014, he was a founding member of Rare Collectibles TV. With more than forty years of experience, Tomaska enjoys sharing his knowledge and says, “I finally feel comfortable saying that I’ve made my mark on the numismatic community.”
Numismatic historian Q. David Bowers, writing in the foreword, says, “By reading this book you can become an expert on these widely collected coins.”
By Rick Tomaska; foreword by Q. David Bowers
Softcover, 6 x 9 inches, full color; 248 pages; retail $24.95 U.S.