We have been viewing far too many consignors and auctioneers claiming that their Franklin halves have full bell lines in mint state or cameos in proof. We point you to a two-part article on the subject, after a brief summary of what constitutes “FBL” or “CAM” in numismatic circles.
The abbreviated designation “FBL,” or “full bell lines,” pertains to a strong strike especially on the reverse of a Franklin Half Dollar so that the two lines on the bottom of the bell run unbroken to the crack.
Franklin halves rank with Peace dollars as being one of the most difficult coins to grade because of the frequent soft strikes, especially on San Francisco mint coins. Grading them online is doubly difficult because photos often lack sufficient detail to discern FBL, let alone mint state.
Searching for a Deep Cameo or Ultra Cameo proof Franklin Halves is a real challenge because only a small percentage (1-3% of all strikes) have the frosted devices and deep mirrors that bring top dollar in the coin world. For a proof Franklin to earn a Deep Cameo designation, the frost has to be on both sides of the coin against a liquid-tar-like backdrop.
- Click here to read a post on how to tell FBL.
- Click here to read a post on how to tell Cameos and Deep Cameos.
NOTE: All coins illustrating these two articles were purchased by Proxiblog on Proxibid. That’s why you should bone up on what’s being consigned and sold on the portal.