Franklin Mint usually makes its collectible plates from porcelain, and the plates come with certificates of authenticity. Most plates feature designs that revolve around a particular theme, such as Disney, presidents, Norman Rockwell art or horses. On the backsides of the plates, the mint prints identifying information, including the series or collection name, the item number, and a serial number.
Franklin Mint began making collectible plates in 1970 when it issued a Norman Rockwell plate made of sterling silver called "Bringing Home the Tree." From there, the company went on to produce a large number of collectible plates featuring a variety of themes such as Native American, seasons, celebrities, sports and children. Other themed plates feature flowers, wars, dolls, Elvis and dogs, among others. These plates were sold as limited editions, although the mint mass produced them, which is part of the reason they have not held their value as collector's pieces.
While Franklin Mint collector's plates are worth far less today than they were at the time of purchase, they hold great sentimental value to many of their owners. Collectors can purchase retired Franklin Mint plates in the secondary market on websites such as Etsy and eBay. Owners sometimes sell plates made of sterling silver or other metals for scrap.