Exploring All About Walking Liberty Half Dollars

Exploring All About Walking Liberty Half Dollars
Posted on April 22, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals
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Have you ever had an opportunity to hold a piece of American history?

Imagine the excitement of holding the Walking Liberty Half Dollar, one of the most famous half-dollars ever produced. These coins tell tales of American values, history, and art, and they are more than just tokens of money. They are windows into a bygone era.

Step into the fascinating universe of Liberty Walking Half Dollars, which may also be called Walking Liberty Half Dollars. The US Mint made these wonderful silver coins between 1916 and 1947 under the supervision of Adolph A. Weinman. These art pieces, which carry in-store the spirit not only of freedom but also of equality, are really more than mere coins.

In this post, we will examine the Walking Liberty Half Dollar value, covering its design, history, and important dates. There's something enchanting about the attraction of Walking Liberty Half Dollars that never goes away, regardless of your level of experience collecting them or your level of curiosity to fascinate generations.

     Liberty Walking Half Dollar (1916-1947): A Brief History

Walking Liberty Half Dollars were silver currency minted by the United States Mint between 1916 and 1947. Collectors highly esteem them, and they are recognized as one of the most exquisite coin designs in American history.

Most people agree that the obverse design is the most exquisite picture the US Mint has ever produced in silver. Collectors are still familiar with it today because it was the obverse design of the enormously successful American Silver Eagle series.

On the back, an eagle is shown perched atop a rocky crag, beneath which a pine branch, signifying strength, is growing. These coins were produced using 90% silver and 10% copper, resulting in a total silver content of 0.36169 troy ounces (11.25 grams).

Liberty Strolling Half Dollars were made during a pivotal time in American history, which encompassed the Great Depression and both World Wars. Three separate locations—Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D mint mark), and San Francisco (S mint mark)—were used to mint them.

The mintmark is located above IN GOD WE TRUST on the obverse of the 1916 and some 1917 coins. The mint mark appears on the back, directly above the word "HALF" and beneath the eagle, starting in 1917.

The year, mint mark, condition, and rarity affect the Walking Liberty Half Dollar value. While rare dates and high-grade coins can fetch substantial premiums in the collector market, common dates and circulated coins can be purchased for their silver value or a small premium.

     Walking Liberty Coin Design

Renowned sculptor and artist Adolph A. Weinman created these coins. The obverse of the coin depicts Lady Liberty walking. For the American Eagle silver dollars dated 1986 and later, the obverse design was reinstated.

The renowned Mercury Dime, which made its debut in 1916, was also designed by Adolph A. Weinman, who also created the Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollar. In a public competition to choose new coin designs, both designs were chosen. Mr. Weinman studied under renowned coin designer and artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who created the recognizable Double Eagle Twenty Dollar design.

  • Obverse: On the front, Lady Liberty is seen walking toward the sun while holding out her right hand. She is covered in an American flag and holding delicately engraved olive branches in her left hand. She is carrying branches of laurel and oak, which stand for prosperity and strength, respectively. The words "LIBERTY" and the nation's motto, "IN GOD WE TRUST", are inscribed on the front.


  • Reverse: The reverse shows a mountain pine sapling and a bald eagle perched on a rock. With its 90% silver body, this coin's iconic designs are enhanced, making it one of the best designs to appear on a US coin ever.

The words "HALF DOLLAR", "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA", and "E PLURIBUS UNUM" are inscribed on this side. Beneath the right wing of the eagle is the initial "AAW" of Adolph Weinman, the designer of Walking Liberty.

In 1916–1917 coins, mint marks were located beneath the motto “In God We Trust.” In 1917–1947 coins, they were located on the lower left section of the reverse.

     Walking Liberty Half Dollar Coin Mintages and Values

Here is the list of each year’s Walking Liberty Half Dollar coins values and mintages as per their condition.

DateMintageGoodVery FineExtremely FineUncirculated
1916 Walking Liberty Half Dollar608,000$50.00$160.00$250.00$450.00
1916-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,014,400$50.00$135.00$215.00$450.00
1917 Walking Liberty Half Dollar12,292,000$18.00$21.00$40.00$150.00
1917-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,940,000$18.00$145.00$280.00$1,200.00
1917-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar5,554,000$18.00$35.00$70.00 $280.00$700.00
1918 Walking Liberty Half Dollar6,634,000$18.00$65.00$155.00$625.00
1918-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar3,853,040$18.00$100.00$250.00$1,500.00
1918-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar10,282,000$18.00$35.00$80.00$600.00
1919 Walking Liberty Half Dollar962,000$25.00$265.00$515.00$2,350.00
1919-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,165,000$56.00$345.00$825.00$4,750.00
1919-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,552,000$50.00$275.00$815.00$4,000.00
1920 Walking Liberty Half Dollar6,372,000$18.00$45.00$80.00$425.00
1920-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,551,000$18.00$250.00$450.00$3,000.00
1920-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar4,624,000$18.00$90.00$230.00$1,200.00
1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollar246,000$135.00$775.00$2,000.00$6,000.00
1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar208,000$200.00$850.00$2,850.00$9,250.00
1921-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar548,000$48.00$800.00$4,500.00$20,000.00
1923-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar2,178,000$13.00$110.00$365.00$2,750.00
1927-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar2,392,000$13.00$50.00$160.00$1,200.00
1928-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,940,000$13.00$75.00$180.00$1,250.00
1929-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,001,200$12.00$30.00$100.00$450.00
1929-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,902,000$12.00$35.00$115.00$500.00
1933-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,786,000$12.00$20.00$60.00$750.00
1934 Walking Liberty Half Dollar6,964,000$9.00$16.00$19.00$75.00
1934-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar2,361,000$9.00$16.00$35.00$140.00
1934-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar3,652,000$9.00$16.00$30.00$365.00
1935 Walking Liberty Half Dollar9,162,000$9.00$16.00$19.00$40.00
1935-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar3,003,800$9.00$16.00$30.00$140.00
1935-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar3,854,000$9.00$16.00$26.00$257.00
1936 Walking Liberty Half Dollar12,614,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$45.00
1936-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar4,252,400$9.00$16.00$20.00$85.00
1936-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar3,884,000$9.00$16.00$22.00$130.00
1937 Walking Liberty Half Dollar9,522,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$140.00
1937-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar1,676,000$9.00$16.00$32.00$215.00
1937-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar2,090,000$9.00$16.00$25.00$165.00
1938 Walking Liberty Half Dollar4,110,000$9.00$18.00$20.00$70.00
1938-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar491,600$55.00$100.00$160.00$475.00
1939 Walking Liberty Half Dollar6,812,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$40.00
1939-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar4,267,800$9.00$16.00$18.00$43.00
1939-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar2,552,000$9.00$16.00$26.00$150.00
1940 Walking Liberty Half Dollar9,156,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$53.00
1940-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar4,550,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$45.00
1941 Walking Liberty Half Dollar24,192,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$35.00
1941-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar24,192,400$9.00$16.00$18.00$38.00
1941-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar8,098,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$75.00
1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar47,818,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$40.00
1942-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar10,973,800$9.00$16.00$18.00$40.00
1942-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar12,708,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$40.00
1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar53,190,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$35.00
1943-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar11,346,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$48.00
1943-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar13,450,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$42.00
1944 Walking Liberty Half Dollar28,206,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$35.00
1944-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar9,769,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$40.00
1944-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar8,904,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$40.00
1945 Walking Liberty Half Dollar31,502,000$9.00$16.00$18.00$35.00
1945-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar9,966,800$9.00$17.50$18.00$35.00
1945-s Walking Liberty Half Dollar10,156,000$9.00$17.50$18.00$38.00
1946 Walking Liberty Half Dollar12,118,000$9.00$17.50$18.00$37.00
1946-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar2,151,000$9.00$17.50$22.00$60.00
1946-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar3,724,000$9.00$17.50$18.00$58.00
1947 Walking Liberty Half Dollar4,094,000$9.00$17.50$18.00$60.00
1947-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar3,900,600$9.00$17.50$18.00$60.00

     Key Dates of Walking Liberty Half Dollar

Because of their historical significance, limited mintages, and general rarity, the Walking Liberty Half Dollar value is high and collectors frequently prize these important dates.

  1. 1916: This is the first year of the series, which collectors find extremely valuable. The Denver "D" and San Francisco "S" coin mintmarks were placed in 1916 under the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the lower right side of the coin obverse.

    These two identical mintmarks were struck on the obverse first once more in 1917 before being transferred to the reverse, to the left of the Eagle.

  2. 1916-S: This mint was located in San Francisco, and its first-year coins are especially valuable. This Walking Liberty Half Dollar coin has one of the lowest mintages of any circulation strike, with only 508,000 coins produced. The coin's value and scarcity are at least twice that of the other 1916 coins featuring obverse mintmarks.

  3. 1917-D Obverse Mintmark: The mintmark is only present on the obverse (front) of this coin, which is the only year in the series where it is situated beneath the phrase "In God We Trust".

  4. 1921: The Philadelphia and Denver mints both produced fewer coins in 1921, which makes these coins unusual and valuable. Early in the 1920s, coin mintage numbers were lower due to a massive surplus following World War I.

    In 1920, the Philadelphia Mint produced over 6 million coins; in 1921, only 246,000 coins were produced. The production of 1921-dated coins was immediately impacted by the bags of uncirculated 1920 Walking Liberty Half Dollar coins that were being kept at the Treasury Department owing to a lack of demand. Currently, well-worn examples in Good-3 condition cost more than $100!

  5. 1938-D: Key rarities in the series include 1938-D, whose mintage is much smaller than that of other years.

    The 1938-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar had a mintage of only 491,600 coins. In the Good-4 condition, its value exceeds that of a common coin by more than three times, and in the Choice Uncirculated condition, its value is ten times that of a common coin.

Conclusion

Walking Liberty Half Dollars are more than just coins; their elaborate designs and historical significance make them doors into America's past. Their allure is evident, regardless of your level of experience collecting or your level of curiosity about these iconic pieces of money.

These coins have additional layers of intrigue due to Adolph A. Weinman's artistry, the different mintages, and the significant dates. Not only are they worth money, but they also have value in the histories and tales they narrate. Thus, the next time you see a Walking Liberty Half Dollar, stop and consider not only its intrinsic worth but also the historical and cultural significance of this piece of American history.

If you're looking to add historical value to your collection, BOLD offers a wide selection of vintage coins, including Pre-1921 Morgan Silver Dollars and Pre-1933 Gold Coins in mint condition and also the Walking Liberty half dollar in circulated condition. Purchase these classic coins at the lowest prices and enjoy the reliable customer service of BOLD Precious Metals.

     FAQs

1. What are half dollar coins?

US coins worth fifty cents are known as half-dollar coins. Since 1794, they have been produced in a variety of designs and are used as both collectibles and currency. Throughout the course of their minting, these coins have included different images of John F. Kennedy, Benjamin Franklin, and Liberty.

2. Which half dollar coins are the most valuable?

The half dollar coins that carry the most value are generally early releases, have low mint numbers, or contain errors. For instance, collectors are particularly interested in the 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar, 1838-O Capped Bust Half Dollar, and specific key date Walking Liberty Half Dollars.

3. Where can I buy half-dollar coins?

Half-dollar coins are available for purchase from coin dealers, numismatic shows, online auctions, and, for recent releases, directly from the U.S. Mint. It's important to verify the seller's reputation, particularly when buying rare or valuable coins.

4. How much are the Walking Liberty half dollars worth?

Walking Liberty half dollars can be worth anywhere from $10 to more than $100,000, based on the date and condition of the coin. A 1935 Walking Liberty Half Dollar value in the circulated condition is between $12 and $50 as of March 2024, but pristine, uncirculated examples can fetch up to $15,250 on the open market.

On the open market, 1936 Half Dollars in perfect, uncirculated condition can fetch as much as $7,500. A Walking Liberty Half Dollar from 1936 in the circulated condition is valued between $12.25 and $50.

5. Where is the Mint Mark on Walking Liberty Half Dollar?

From 1916 to 1917, the Walking Liberty Half Dollar's mint mark was situated on the obverse, directly beneath the motto "In God We Trust". The mint mark can be found on the reverse in the lower left corner, beneath the olive branch, from mid-1917 to 1947. The mint mark appears on the front of some 1917-dated coins and the back of others.

6. What are Walking Liberty half dollars made of?

The composition of Walking Liberty Half Dollar is 10% copper and 90% silver. They weigh 0.36169 ounces of pure silver in total, or 12.50 grams of .900 fine silver and 100 grams of fine copper.


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