1945 Walking Liberty Half "Sunburst" Die Variety

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by stldanceartist, Jun 13, 2022.

  1. stldanceartist

    stldanceartist Minister of Silly Walks Supporter

    Good morning, everyone - hope you all had a wonderful weekend (wherever you are.)

    My weekend involved finding an example of a really interesting die variety - one I've never found "in the wild" before: the 1945 P Walking Liberty Half Dollar "Sunburst" variety. It exhibits straight lines radiating over and past Liberty's right (viewer's left) shoulder and arm.

    This particular coin also shows a mostly missing Designer's Initials on the reverse as well.

    1945 Walking Liberty Half (Sunburst).jpg

    1945 Walking Liberty Half (Sunburst) - Closeup 2.png

    Here is a link to the Numismatic News article discussing the new discovery of the die variety: LINK

    I see where NGC attributes the variety (HERE is the link to their Variety Plus page for WL Halves.) Census shows 23 total graded examples with the lowest being AU53 and the highest MS64.

    I do not see a link on PCGS's Price Guide page for this particular variety, so it's possible they do not currently attribute it.

    I found it hiding (in plain sight) in a LCS stock box. Who knows how long it's been sitting there, unnoticed and under appreciated.

    Thanks for stopping by! If you have any more information on this relatively newly discovered die variety, or would like to post your own examples, feel free to do so.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2022
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  3. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    Yeah. With the help of the article, I see the cracks. This is a good way of showing something like this, referencing it, as such. Good work, here.
  4. Lehigh96

    Lehigh96 Toning Enthusiast

    Very nice post, I had never heard of this variety before!
    Cheech9712 likes this.
  5. bsowa1029

    bsowa1029 Franklin Half Addict

    Pretty cool. I wonder what caused those lines on the die?

    Also, someone should think of a more accurate name for the variety. Those lines clearly do not radiate from the sun. They’re nearly perpendicular to the actual sun rays.

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    "The exact cause of this phenomenon remains uncertain, but it has been suggested that these are stress fractures in the die."
    Seems reasonable.
  7. Millard

    Millard Coindog

    Nice find. Wonder how many there are out there.
  8. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    Strange. Thanks for the information and post.
  9. dimeguy

    dimeguy Dime Enthusiast

    I am currently working on the series and never heard of it. Thanks for the post and the reference. That really did help guide the eyes.
  10. stldanceartist

    stldanceartist Minister of Silly Walks Supporter

    Thanks everyone!

    It's been a really fun day of variety hunting - so far I've found this 1945 "Sunburst", a 1945 Walking Liberty Half (missing designer initials), a 1942 Walking Liberty Half DDO (FS-101), an 1877 S/Horizontal S Seated Quarter, an 1818 Overton 104a Bust Half, and an 1851/1851 O $2 1/2 Gold (although according to the PCGS website, the overdates are more common than the non-overdate.)

    Phew! I'm beat!
  11. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    Nice find!! I'm glad to see another hunter looking for them. I found my example, back before this became a new listed variety. I had posted images of it over on the PCGS forums and got a lot of feedback. I just kept it in a BCW Display slab until it made some news. I still have it and need to send it in to NGC for grading.

    1945-Walking-Liberty-Half-Dollar-Starburst.jpg 1945-Walking-Liberty-Half-Dollar-Obverse.jpg 1945-WLH-Die-Gouges.jpg
  12. Mark A Williams

    Mark A Williams Active Member

    The 1945 starburst coin shown is super nice I was un aware of its name. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Cheech9712 likes this.
  13. Tamaracian

    Tamaracian 12+ Yr Member--Supporter Supporter

    @jtlee WOW, lucky you--what a great looking coin and with that VP-001 Designation it should really be a hot item if you ever auctioned it!
    jtlee321 likes this.
  14. Tamaracian

    Tamaracian 12+ Yr Member--Supporter Supporter

    @stldanceartist great find--especially with the wear and toning, making it--at least for me from the photo, before enlargement--a little difficult to navigate to that area without first having reviewed the 2 Reference Links.

    Having read the Numismatic News article, I would agree with the assessment that these Radiating Lines were due to Die Fatigue, the inception point being the transition of the sunken relief of Liberty's Right Arm/shoulder and the Banner behind it--see @jtlee321 coin posted above and observe that at least 3 of the Radiating Lines also appear on her Arm. I would also agree with @bsowa1029 that the description "Sunburst" could be more descriptive (could be confused with the design's Rising Sun with Rays).
  15. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, this is one that I am not planning on selling. The funny thing is, when I originally bought it, I did not notice the die cracks until much later on.
  16. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

  17. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Super nice example
    jtlee321 likes this.
  18. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    Thank you. It's been in my "Need to submit box" forever along with another 100 coins. LOL
    Cheech9712 likes this.
  19. Millard

    Millard Coindog

    Thanks again for this post. I went looking thru my Walkers tonight. Lo and behold there it was. I'd have never know had it not been for your post!

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