NGC Registry Updated NGC Registry

My Proof Walkers


Category: Half Dollars
Set Type: Walking Liberty Half Dollars, 1936-1942, Proof Issue
Owner: BlueAndOrange
Last Modified: 9/5/2019
Views: 141
Filter Rankings: All Coins |  NGC Coins

Rank: 28
Score: 8010
Leading by: 227
Points to Higher Rank: 589
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Set Description:

My Goal:
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To assemble Proof Walkers with as clear and deep fields as reasonably available, no toning, at least a touch of cameo and outstanding eye-appeal. While proofs are readily available, the pool of available coins is reduced substantially because many coins are unattractively toned, have hazy fields, have shallow almost mint state fields, or hairlines. Many of these problems are from the effects of poor die quality and preparation, poor mint packaging techniques at that time and poor storage over the years that have degraded the surfaces of the coins further. As a result, finding problem-free high quality proofs with excellent eye-appeal is a task that can take a significant amount of time.
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Revision Information:
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Original posting: 11/2018.
Substantial updates posted 9/2019.
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Availability of Quality Proofs:
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Coins are reasonably available for most years from 1938 to 1942. The first two years, 1936 and 1937, are seen a fair amount less often, especially the 1936, but they are available. Having said that, all years, especially the coins from 1936 to 1940 are plagued by a grayish and brownish kind of haze that makes them very unattractive. Clearly, this hazy toning has been acquired from time spent in a poor storage environment due at least partly to the mint’s packaging techniques. The best quality years available are 1941 and 1942. By far, the best year to find quality coins that have deep mirrored fields with a substantial amount of cameo contrast and minimal haze or toning is 1942. Finding most years without regard for quality and eye-appeal can be a fairly quick effort however, finding truly clean and attractive coins will require substantially more time and budget to acquire when they become available (which will not be as often as buyers would like).
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One more thing to consider is that tradeoffs will sometimes be needed regarding coin perfection vs eye-appeal vs availability vs price. When collecting proof Franklins, one can almost always wait for that ‘just right’ coin because of the higher population numbers but not always with the early year proof Walkers. The early years do not come along very often with minimal or no haze and deep fields. And when they do come along they command a substantial premium. You may pass up a coin that was not exactly what you wanted and risk not find another like it again until a year or years later. Sometimes you have to convince yourself to be patient and wait for the right coin and other times you have to buy that coin that is 95% of what you were looking for. Each collector has to make their own decisions when these hard choices come up. For me the tie-breaker has always been if the coin has outstanding eye-appeal. If I really like the look of the coin, then I will feel good owning it provided there are no consequential flaws.
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Collection Status:
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As of 9/2019, I have 4 of the 7 coins needed and so far it has taken about 2 years to assemble. So, this endeavor is taking a while but the journey is more important than the destination. In that time I have learned a lot about the Walking Liberty Half Dollar series, numismatics in general and met a number of wonderful people along the way.
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Photography:
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I plan on adding photos at a future date.
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Very Important Note about Population Information:
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In the discussions that follow, the population figures focus on the NGC and PCGS population as an indication of the actual number of coins that exist. This is not accurate for a few reasons. One consideration is that other TPG services (besides NGC & PCGS) grade coins and are not included in their figures. This would raise the actual population numbers. Another consideration is coins that are cracked-out of their slabs and resubmitted in hopes of a higher grade (some coins are repeatedly cracked-out and resubmitted many times). This would lower the actual population numbers. Also, there are coins that have not been submitted to any TPG service which would again raise the actual population numbers. Do these factors cancel each other out? Probably not, but they do work against one another to some degree. In any event, realizing that no one can calculate a totally accurate number, I use the NGC & PCGS figures because it is a simple way to get a general idea of the number of proof Walkers available.
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Additionally, it is important to remember that the population numbers that follow represent all coins graded PF66 or better regardless of the quality of field depth, haze, toning and cameo effect. For any given year, only a small portion of these coins will exhibit deep mirror fields, miniscule to no haze, no toning or spots and insignificant hairlines. And fewer still will show excellent eye-appeal with any amount of cameo.
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My intention is to track the population numbers over time using the populations from 6/2019 as a reference point. I get the population figures from the TPG websites and it is interesting to note that the populations occasionally get smaller.
 Slot DescriptionGradeServiceScore
View Coin 1936 PF 66 NGC 3817
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1937  
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1938  
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View Coin 1939 PF 66 NGC 1488
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View Coin 1940 PF 66 NGC 1421
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1941  
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View Coin 1942 PF 66 NGC 1284
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