[The following excerpt is published courtesy of DLRC Press and its author, Rick Tomaska. This information was originally published in 2002 in The Complete Guide to Franklin Half Dollars]
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Current Availability & Values
PROOF 60-64: The proof 1963 closely mirrors the 1962 in both mintage and quality. Most grade at least proof 63-64. It is a very common coin in this grade.
PROOF 65-68: Like the 1962, the majority of proof 1963 Franklins minted likely grade proof 65 or proof 66. Near flawless proof 67 examples are also relatively common. This date is scarce in proof 68. While a high quality issue, the great majority of ‘63’s usually possess at least a hairline or milkspot or two, which drops the coins below proof 68 grade.
Value: Like the 1962, proof 67 ‘63’s can currently be acquired for as little as $15-$25. Proof 68 examples command anywhere from $30-$60.
PROOF 64-66 CAMEO: The 1963 is actually a bit more elusive than the 1962 in gem cameo. In cameo, the 1962 is the most common date in the proof Franklin series, followed by the 1963.
Value: The 1963 trades in the same range as the 1962 in this grade – approximately $15 for Proof 64 examples, $20 – $35 for Proof 65-66 examples.
PROOF 67-68 CAMEO: While total proof mintage is about equal to the 1962, fewer cameos were struck for 1963. Though not yet a rare coin, it is more difficult to locate in high-grade cameo than the 1962.
Value: Like the 1962 Franklin, the 1963 Franklin generally trades hands between $40 and $100 in Proof 67 Cameo, the latter number for heavier contrasted coins. Proof 68 examples sell for approximately double those figures.
PROOF 65-66 PCGS DCAM/NGC ULTRA CAM: SCARCE. The finest Ultra Heavy cameo 1963 Franklins are among the most stunning proof Franklins in the series. The cameo devices are generally very evenly frosted, with few if any frost breaks. Never and easy date to locate in DCAM/ULTRA, the finest super-heavy contrasted examples are now quite rare.
Value: $50-$100. for Proof 65’s, $100-$250 for 66’s.
PROOF 67-68 PCGS DCAM/NGC ULTRA CAM: SCARCE. One of the “common- dates” in the series in Ultra Heavy cameo. Again, when one is discussing Ultra Heavy Cameo Franklins, there really are no common-dates, in the sense that there are issues which are relatively easy to locate. To word it more accurately, the 1963 is not quite as difficult to locate in ultra heavy cameo as most of the other dates. THIS IS CHANGING. Astute collectors are salting the finest cameos away. These ultimate, early strikes, given their tremendous eye-appeal, are highly prized by collectors with an eye for “the best.” The 1963 has been graded in PR69DCAM by PCGS, and is almost as rare as the 1962 in this highest grade.
Value: Proof 67 DCAM/ULTRA Franklins have traded for as little as $150, and recently as high as $300-$500. Proof 68 examples have traded for as little as $400-$500, and as high as $2000 for the heaviest cameo examples. The last PR69DCAM sold for approximately $10,000.
As with every date in the cameo Franklin series, it is these latter ultimate cameo Franklins which have experienced the greatest appreciation in value the past several years, offering a combination of ultimate eyeappeal, quality, and rarity few other U.S. coins can match. The internet age has only accelerated this trend. Today’s collector has more access to more information. The more information shared, the more educated collector’s become, the greater the demand for the most attractive rarities today’s collector can afford.