If you’ve ever collected Franklin half dollars or have picked up a thing or 2 about grading Franklin half dollars, you’ve likely come across the abbreviation FBL.
What does FBL mean?
FBL is a coin grading term. It refers to ‘Full Bell Lines,’ or the horizontal lines seen banding the Liberty Bell on the reverse of the Franklin half dollars.
You may have noticed that most Franklin half dollars are weakly struck on the Liberty Bell part of the coin. Therefore, all the lines don’t fully appear on the Liberty Bell.
But, on some crisply struck Franklin half dollars you’ll see virtually each and every line is fully visible. FBL Franklin half dollars are relatively scarce and always bring a premium over typical uncirculated Franklin half dollars.
When a Franklin half dollar is graded, the FBL designation usually only goes to those Franklins which are struck very well overall (not just the bell lines) and is without any scratches, dings, or marks — especially on or near the lines on the Liberty Bell.
If you’re buying Franklin half dollars, be sure you check and see if you can pick up any with the bull lines fully struck. They may cost a bit more, but they’ll always have a market if you decide to sell them later on!