By CoinWeek ….
On Sunday, December 9, at 8:34 Eastern Time, bidding closed on a Proof 1936 Walking Liberty half dollar, graded PF67 by NGC, offered by GreatCollections.com. Only two 1936 Proof half dollars from 1936 have been graded higher by NGC: one graded PF67+, another graded PF68. PCGS, meanwhile, reports six coins graded 67+ and a solitary example at PR68. At Proof 67, NGC gives a census of 77, while PCGS gives a population of 50 for the classic silver coin.
Several recent auction records are available for specimens of the 1936 Proof at the 67 grade. The most recent result comes from the Stack’s Bowers October 2018 Whitman Baltimore auction, where an example sold for $5,160 USD, including buyer’s premium. At Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ July Regency 27 sale, a PCGS-graded specimen sold for $7,343.75 (incl. premium). Heritage sold a 1936 Proof half dollar for $6,600 in June of 2018 after having sold it for the same price in January.
The example offered by GreatCollections, a lightly-toned NGC PR67, sold for $6,525 (with Buyer’s Fee of 12.5%). There were 46 bids for the lot.
Proof Production Resumes
By 1936, when the United States Mint resumed their production, it had been 21 years since collectors could purchase new Proof coins. The Walking Liberty half dollar series had been around for almost as long, Adolph Weinman’s classic design debuting in 1916 as a replacement for Chief Engraver Charles Barber’s stolid coin. All of which makes the 1936 the first Proof coin in the Walking Liberty series, which began its run in 1916.
By 1942, the last year of Proof production for the Walking Liberty series, the mintage had increased to over 21,000. But in that first year, only 3,901 Proof half dollars were struck. And since the general public was not conditioned to know exactly what to do with Proofs after the Mint’s two-decade drought, it is not uncommon to find Proofs with circulation wear, making the 1936 issue that much more extraordinary to find in top condition.