1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollar: A Common Doubled Die Variety

Walking Liberty Half Dollar Overview

Elegant and eye catching, the Walking Liberty Half Dollar was one of America’s longest lived Half Dollars ever produced. The series was produced long enough to see two world wars and the greatest financial collapse in history.

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Adolph Weinman was the designer of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar, submitting his design to the Mint in 1916. Weinman’s design was meant to showcase prosperity and peace across the United States. At times, these design elements would be somewhat ironic, as peace and prosperity would not always fit the current political and economic situation.

On the obverse of the coin, a rendition of Lady Liberty with a flag around her shoulders is seen striding forward and facing left. A rising sun is in the low left field and the date is just to the right at the bottom of the obverse. “LIBERTY” is centered at the upper rim and “IN GOD WE TRUST” is in the right field.

An eagle perched on a tree branch with an olive branch in its talon is the main reverse design. Directly above the olive branch is the famous words “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” The denomination “HALF DOLLAR” is centered below and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” is found centered above.

History of the 1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollar

1946 was the second to last year of mintage for the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. An average amount of Walking Liberty Half Dollars were made during this year.

The US Mint at Philadelphia reports minting a total of 12,118,000 Walking Liberty Half Dollars in 1946. Much fewer coins would be minted at the Denver and San Francisco mints.

An interesting note about coins produced at the Philadelphia mint in 1946 is that a good percentage have a doubled reverse. It is unknown just how many coins were affected, but it is considered a somewhat common error.

Each Walking Liberty half dollar is composed of a mix of 90% silver and 10% copper. The diameter is 30.63mm and weight is 12.50 grams. The edge of the coin is reeded (small bumps).

1946 Doubled Die Reverse Walking Liberty Half Dollar

As mentioned in the above section, a known error variety for the 1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollar has been found and attributed by most third-party graders.

This particular error occurs on the reverse of the coin and seems to be a moderate type of doubling that only appears in one legend and the design. The doubling for this particular error is seen in “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and the right wing of the Eagle.

The doubling is large enough to be seen without magnification and can be easily seen from arms length away.

A doubling error occurs when the hub does not correctly transfer the coin image to a working die. Normally this will show up on finished coins near legends or designs, and it will look like the coin was struck twice.

Currently, most grading companies see the 1946 Doubled Die Reverse Walking Liberty Half Dollar is a common error and many examples have been authenticated in the past several years. If you believe that you have a 1946 DDR Walking Liberty Half Dollar, be sure to take it to a coin dealer for a second opinion or send it in to be graded by a third-party grader.

1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollar

Image Source Flickr user Jerry "Woody"

Valuing the 1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollar

Many 1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollars were made and many still survive today in uncirculated condition. At the very least, each 1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollar is worth $6.50 in silver value.

In lower grades, from Good-4 to Extremely Fine–40, each coin is worth from $11 to $16. The reason for the small spread between each grade is due to the numbers that are still in the marketplace.

Uncirculated coins are in much higher demand from collectors and investors. Premium grades tend to be worth much more than lower grades.

MS-60 graded examples see a retail value of $30 and MS-63 jumps in price to $50. Premium grade MS-65 coins realize a value of $110.

DDR examples of the 1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollar have significantly higher prices than regular examples. MS-60 prices are ten times the amount of regular versions at $300 per coin. A jump in price to $825 is seen in MS-63 grade.

Earlier this year, a MS-65 example sold for $2,450 at auction!

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