Small 'w' on Reverse of Walking Liberty Half Dollar
by Marla Miller
(Bremen, IN USA)
Question: On the reverse side of a 1943 walking liberty 1/2 dollar, there is a 'w' to the right of the HALF DOLLAR and just under the tip of 1 feather. Does this have any meaning?
Yes, that small 'w' does have a meaning. It is the initials of the designer - Adolph A. Weinman. If you look closely, however, you will probably see 'AW' instead of just 'W', and it should be under the tips of the tail feathers.
It is common to find the designer's initials somewhere on United States coins. Most people don't even notice that they are there. They are usually very small and inconspicuous.
One exception is the 1909 Lincoln cents that had the initials of the designer, Victor David Brenner, very prominent on the reverse of the coin.
These 'VDB' coins caused such an uproar, because of the prominence of the designer's initials, that the initials were completely removed from the Lincoln cent until 1918.
When they re-appeared they were much smaller, as was the common practice on other United States coins.
As you can imagine, these 'VDB' cents are highly sought after by collectors today.
I hope this helps,