Where is the mint mark on a 1945 half-dollar? The mint mark on coins indicates the mint where they were produced. For collectors, this tiny detail carries great significance and value.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The mint mark is found on the reverse (tail side) of a 1945 half dollar, near the bottom in front of the left claw of the eagle.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know to locate the mint mark, identify the different mints, and understand the meaning behind these tiny letters that have such a large impact on coin collectors.
Identifying Key Elements of a 1945 Half Dollar
The Obverse (Heads)
The obverse side of a 1945 half-dollar features a profile of Liberty wearing a winged Liberty cap. This iconic design is similar to other earlier half-dollars minted in the 1900s. The words “Liberty” and “In God We Trust” appear on either side of Liberty’s head, with the year 1945 at the bottom.
The Reverse (Tails)
The reverse side depicts an American bald eagle perched on a mountain peak, grasping an olive branch in its talons. The symbolic olive branch represents peace. Above the eagle are the words “United States of America” with the denomination “Half Dollar” below.
The edge of a standard 1945 half-dollar should have neat reading all around. However, there were a few rare proof versions produced that year with a smooth, mirror-like edge. Most proof coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
An important element is the mint mark, which signifies where the coin was minted. Possible mint marks on a 1945 half-dollar include:
- No mint mark – Philadelphia mint
- D – Denver mint
- S – San Francisco mint
The mint mark appears just in front of the eagle’s claw on the reverse side. Identifying the mint is key for numismatists to determine the coin’s rarity and potential value. For example, the 1945-S half-dollar had a relatively low mintage of around 10 million, making it more valuable to collectors.
Understanding the detailed elements on both sides of a 1945 half-dollar can assist collectors in valuing the coin. Subtle differences like the mint mark and tiny design variations make certain issues more collectible over the long run.
Locating the Mint Mark
No Mint Mark
The 1945 half-dollar was produced at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints. However, half dollars from the Philadelphia Mint that year did not have a mint mark. This was common practice for coins produced at the main Philadelphia mint at that time.
So if your 1945 half-dollar does not have a mint mark, it was made at the Philadelphia Mint. About 31 million half-dollar coins were produced in Philadelphia in 1945, making these the most common version from that year.
With Mint Mark
For the 1945 half dollars that do have a mint mark, it will be located on the reverse (back) of the coin, in front of eagle’s claw. You’ll need to look underneath the eagle’s tail feathers to find it.
The mint marks indicate the following mints:
- D – Denver Mint – about 9 million half dollars produced
- S – San Francisco Mint – about 10 million half dollars produced
So a relatively small portion of the 1945 half-dollar mintage came from Denver and San Francisco. The mint marks make these coins more collectible and valuable to numismatists and coin collectors.
The Different Mint Marks
Philadelphia (No Mint Mark)
The Philadelphia Mint produces coins with no mint mark. This was the first and main branch of the United States Mint when it was established in 1792. Even today, Philadelphia continues churning out billions of U.S. coins every year with no mint mark, including pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars.
Specifically for the 1945 half dollar, Philadelphia struck over 31 million of them that year. With silver prices fixed by the government at the time, the 1945 Philadelphia half a dollar contains a solid 90% silver purity, along with 10% copper. These are very common among collectors and dealers today.
The Denver Mint has included a prominent “D” mint mark on coins it manufactures, ever since it opened in 1906. This branch handles a large capacity of overall U.S. coin production.
For the year 1945 at the height of World War II, the Denver facility struck just over 9 million half dollars for circulation. The silver content mirrors that of the Philadelphia issue, with the same 90% pure silver consistency making up each 50-cent piece.
San Francisco (S)
The San Francisco mint has placed an “S” mint mark on coins ever since 1854 when it first opened. It eventually closed in 1955, reopening again in 1965 solely for proof of coin manufacture.
In 1945 as the war raged on, San Francisco struck over 10 million half-dollar coins for circulation. The silver purity here too is 90%, matching that of the other 1945 half dollars from Philadelphia and Denver.
One interesting nuance of 1945 half dollars relates to the San Francisco issue. Out of the entire series that year, the 1945-S half dollar is the lowest mintage from the three mints. Yet it is generally the least expensive 1945 half-dollar for collectors to obtain today.
There are some exceptions however for rare coin grade examples in pristine condition.
Where Is The Mint Mark On A 1945 Half-Dollar – Conclusion
Obtaining half-dollar coins isn’t hard at all, however, finding the rare and valuable varieties can be a difficult task, and mint marks can help you. We have covered the key details on locating and identifying mint marks on 1945 half dollars. While these tiny letters may seem insignificant, for collectors they reveal where the coins were made and impact their historical value.
So now when you examine your 1945 half-dollar, you will know exactly where that mint mark is hiding and what it signifies. Happy collecting!