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U.S. Walking Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947)

The Half Dollar Walking Liberty is regarded by many coin collectors as one of the most beautiful silver coins ever produced for circulation in the U. S. It is one of the few U.S. coins to have its obverse design appear again on a modern coin - that being the popular Silver American Eagle.

1944 Liberty Half Dollar - Obverse View

Designed by Adolph A. Weinman, a total of three U. S. Mints were involved in the production of approximately 485,395,000 silver half dollars from 1916 thru 1947 with some exceptions.

The obverse of this popular silver coin features the image of Lady Liberty striding toward a rising sun, draped elegantly in an American flag holding both laurel branches to represent military power and oak branches to represent civil glory.


1944 Walking Liberty Half Dollar - Reverse ViewThe reverse features a bald eagle spreading its wings in a display of power while perched upon a mountain crag. The vast majority of these coins have the mint mark located on the reverse (black dot marks the spot): Denver (mint mark "D"); San Francisco (mint mark "S"); and Philadelphia (no mint mark). In the early minting of these coins, the mint mark was on the obverse - under the motto "In God We Trust". This included the 1916D, 1916S, a portion of 1917Ds (765,400 out of a total of 2,705,400 minted) and 1917S (952,000 out of a total of 6,506,000 minted).

Walking Liberty Half Dollars - Investing Details

This half dollar coin consists of 90% silver and 10% copper. An uncirculated Walking Liberty contains .3617 Troy ounces of pure silver (11.2501 grams). If circulated, this silver coin contains less silver because circulation = wear. The industry considers circulated "Walkers" to contain approximately .3575 Troy ounces of pure silver.

With few exceptions, at least a few million Walking Liberty coins were minted each year they were produced (no half dollars were produced in 1922, 1924-1926 and 1930-1932). The Philadelphia Mint produced several million silver half dollars between 1941 and 1945 - these are by far the most common dates. Philadelphia also produced "Proof" Walking Libertys in 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941 and 1942.

Half Dollar Walking Libertys with mint totals of less than a million are likely to fetch a higher sale price as they are somewhat rare coins (depending on condition). Most rare are the 1921 (246,000 minted) and 1921D (only 208,000 minted). Other silver half dollars with less than a million minted are 1916, 1916S, 1917D (obverse mint mark only), 1917S (obverse mint mark only), 1919, 1921S and 1938D.

If you are looking for the least expensive way of owning Liberty half dollars and still get good coins  stay with the circulated grades of Extremely Fine (EF or XF) or About Uncirculated (AU). More expensive uncirculated coins begin at Mint State 60 (MS60) and can go to the upper 60's. If you invest in MS63 or higher grades of coins, you will want them graded and sealed in plastic slabs ("slabbed") by either Numismatic Guarantee Corporation (NGC) or Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value

To determine the silver (melt) value of a circulated Liberty Silver Half Dollar, multiply the current spot price of silver times .3575.

Example: $20.00 x .3575 = $7.15

This plus the current premium is what you will pay for this silver coin. If you are selling, you can expect to receive a little less from a dealer.

Half Dollar Libertys on Amazon

You can learn much about investing in silver Walking Libertys on Amazon. Review what coins are available and at what price. Of course, circulated half dollars in excellent condition as well as uncirculated half dollars (graded MS60 and higher) will fetch a higher price than those having common dates and in just fair condition.

Once you own a few of these old silver coins in the better grades, you will be tempted to take them out frequently just to admire their beauty.  For your convenience, I have included a sampling of these coins currently available on Amazon. You might be able to pick up some nice ones at a decent price. But only deal with those having a good number of positive reviews. I do receive a very small commission if you buy through this site but you don't pay more as a result. For a larger selection click on "Go". 

Disclaimer: I have made every reasonable effort to produce an informative and helpful article on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar based on my research and experiences. However, I make no representation or warranties of any kind with regard to its completeness, accuracy or suitability for any specific situation or purpose. See Terms and Conditions for more info.

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