Jeremy writes: I have a 1946 walking liberty half dollar. The lady and the sun on front are both gold or gold plated and the reverse is completely gold. It has no mint mark. The letter W appears on it beneath the eagle’s wing next to the rim. It may pssibly have the letter A printed Beneath the middle arch of the W as well. It is in immaculate condition. Have never seen or gotten any info on this type of half dollar. Have been told the W or W A may be the artist initials and the coin may be very rare. Any info would be gratefully appreciated.
You have an altered coin in which some of the elements have been “colorized”. This seems to have become a popular souvenir item and ads for just this kind of business can be found in the Sunday papers in journals like “Parade Magazine” and elsewhere. The colorization is not the way the coin was originally minted but simply a modern scheme to sell circulated, common date Walking Liberty half-dollars at a significant premium.
The examples I’ve seen usually grade about EF and have been cleaned and polished to make them look “new” to the uninitiated. Circulated “Walkers” can be purchased for a few dollars. They are available in any quantity you can imagine.
Collectors prefer to buy uncirculated specimens of this date since the date is common and relatively inexpensive. “Colorizing” the coin makes it just worth its silver value to most collectors (about $6.00). If you like this sort of thing, enjoy it but don’t expect altered coins to appreciate in value. This is not a rare coin.
The monogram AAW is found under the tip of the wing feathers and are the initials of Adolph A. Weinman, the designer. Coins without mint marks were struck in Philadelphia.