Tell me about assessing early Walking Liberty Halves

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by LA_Geezer, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    I've decided to embark on a collection of the 1916 - 1936 portion of WLHs. I have a complete set of 1937 -1947 coins already, with the lion's share of them looking to be VF to EF, but, it appears as though I will need to spend FAR MORE on the earlier ones to maintain a consistency in the condition of the older ones compared to the new ones. I suppose this is to be expected, but probably nothing like the older IHCs compared to the newer ones I've just finished.

    What I look for in determining what to consider buying is to, first, determine how obvious the cleaning of the coin is and eliminate those. Then, on the obverse I check for detail in Liberty's face, the flag behind her and the Olive branches she is carrying. It goes without saying that coins with excessive wear to the date are also eliminated.

    Here are two finalists available on eBay that are among the best of the LOWER PRICED 1934Ds available at this time. I would appreciate comments from collectors who have an affinity for WLHs, pointing out why or why not you would select one over the other. Thanks. PS: The asking prices for these two are $30 for the first one, $22 for the second.
    Coin #1: [​IMG]

    Coin #2 [​IMG]
    ColonialCoin4 likes this.
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  3. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Coin 1 may just be overexposed, but looks cleaned to me. I have nothing to back that opinion up, but that's my initial reaction.
    Stevearino likes this.
  4. longshot

    longshot Enthusiast Supporter

    +1. My eye likes the second coin better.
  5. Mojavedave

    Mojavedave Senior Member

    # 2 for sure of the two shown.
  6. Daniel Jones

    Daniel Jones Well-Known Member

    The 2nd coin looks decent enough, but finding those 1921 varieties in VF+ condition will probably take you a long time, and a lot of $$$.
    LA_Geezer likes this.
  7. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    Reverse is important too.
    LA_Geezer likes this.
  8. NSP

    NSP Well-Known Member

    I don't collect these, but if I did, I would go for coin #2. The first one looks too bright/shiny to be original (but as someone else noted, this could just be from poor pictures).
    LA_Geezer likes this.
  9. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Mine, too, but it meets all of the other standards... the sunburst is better on #1 but there's more facial detail on #2.

    Would you buy either one? Why? Why not?
  10. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    Can't buy either one because half the coin is unknown. What if there is a scratch or some other damage on the reverse?
    LA_Geezer likes this.
  11. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Touché. I was being a little lazy. Here's the reverse of #2. I'll probably pull the trigger on this one in a day or so. I doubt that a nicer '34D will show up for $22 or less any time soon.

    Stevearino and ColonialCoin4 like this.
  12. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    I'd be grateful to you for a better alternative in the $22 plus or minus range. EF or better go for much more than this, alas.
  13. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    Looks like it took a little hit those 3 marks at 6 o'clock above the D.
    I also like #2 better. #1 seems flat. I make this around VF-25 but I am a tough grader and that's subjective. VF-20 is in the $18 range. $22 seems to be full retail, but if you like it, buy it. Because when you don't more often than not you say, Oh crap I should have gotten that coin. Are you going to need this $22 in 5 years? 10 years? Probably not. But you will have years of enjoyment with the coin, and it will retain/ appreciate in price so you aren't losing anything. You are gaining.
    Pawnmonkey and LA_Geezer like this.
  14. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Thanks, @Michael K , I appreciate the thoroughness of your assessment. No, I don't think I'll need that $22 in five years, but who knows? Whether or not this is full retail is lost on me in the sense that I have no local coin shop to visit for an idea of what should be a proper price. Compared to the 192 other '34Ds on eBay, though, this retailer isn't quite as proud of his merchandise as some others.
  15. Don P

    Don P Active Member


    I agree with you, it's challenging putting a nice walker set together; there's just too many coins!! I'm about 75% of the way through and I agree, the older coins are a challenge based on getting a nice grade and price.

    An easier way I found to purchase these coins and get a better price is to find a "lot" of the coins that fits the years you're missing. You can save a few bucks per coin when you buy in bulk. Also, try looking for P,D,S sets. I sometimes find nice equal grade PDS years sets.
    LA_Geezer likes this.
  16. amorris

    amorris Member

    Absolutely the second one
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  17. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    I have bought coin lots and PDS sets a few times, but the piker in me gets a little uneasy when I see, say, four coins in successive years, but I need only two of them.

    So far I've managed to come up with a nice selection of the nine '34 to '36 coins — I said above that I had done the '37 to '47 portion of the series years ago — and I'm happy to say that I was able to buy these for just a little under $200. I've got my eye on nice '29S and '33S coins right now; the opening bids asked are 99¢ each for them but I have no sense of how high other snipers will be going. I do use a sniper tool so as to not call attention to something of potential interest, but there's no guarantee that someone else will do a "live" bid with a proxy that will mess things up a bit. For this reason, I rarely adjust a bid I've set in the sniper, but I admit I've underestimated what some items that interest me will end up selling for.
  18. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    OK, here's one for you to assess. No doubt that it's cleaned, but it has a little more detail than many others in the $20 to $30 range. There's a little left of the design on her sandals and breasts, and all of the sun rays are still visible. Would you buy this one?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  19. fish4uinmd

    fish4uinmd Well-Known Member

    "I've decided to embark on a collection of the 1916 - 1936 portion of WLHs"...

    The toughest ones to get in uncleaned vf-xf are all the 21's and the 1919D.
    After 2+ years still have not found an acceptable 19D. (The 1922's are tough too. ;))
  20. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    If you're willing to accept cleaned coins, it broadens your selection considerably. I don't really buy into the "cleaned coins are uncollectable" mindset. I don't think the cleaning on this one is obnoxious, and I like the amount of meat on the coin.
    Stevearino likes this.
  21. fish4uinmd

    fish4uinmd Well-Known Member

    Agree, as long as they are not harshly cleaned. My gut gets a pain when I see a 19D that has been scoured!
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