The Franklin Mint is a private corporation based in Aston, Pennsylvania which markets "collectables" of its own designs. It was founded by Joseph Segel.
The company started by marketing privately-minted gold and silver commemorative rounds and medallions, but quickly branched out into other collectibles. In the 1960s the price of silver rose, causing all silver coins to be removed from circulation. The Nevada casinos used silver dollars in their slot machines, which were soon worth more than a dollar. The Franklin Mint was one of the earliest and largest minters of replacement slot machine tokens.
It minted in its own production facility numerous sets of theme-based silver medals and ingots, selling them on the subscription plan, with buyers getting a monthly shipment and invoice. Presidents and States were the two most numerous types of sets, with Space and Important Persons and other topics popular. Sets were limited to the number of subscribers by a cut-off date, resulting in 'limited editions'. Prices were fairly reasonable, compared to the cost of silver, and often tens of thousands of sets were sold. Custom wood cases, fancy packaging and certificates appealed to collectors, and the market boomed. However, silver prices climbed, making the cost of larger items high, and replacement bronze and pewter issues did not appeal to collectors as much.
Later the Franklin Mint entered the die-cast car market, producing numerous designs including the . Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, one of Franklin Mint's better-selling models. Collector knives, ceramic figurines, statues, plates, Monopoly sets, chess sets and board games, plaques and other collectables were issued, most in 'limited-editions'.
The Franklin Mint was heavily reliant upon television ads for sales. Ads for Franklin Mint collectibles - the Civil War Commemorative Chess Set in particular - were once ubiquitous on daytime television.
Currently the Franklin Mint has divested itself of minting capacity, and has downsized, and is now mostly a seller of products produced elsewhere.
Many Franklin Mint products are movie, television and celebrity themed, for example china plates featuring images of Star Trek characters.