Walking Liberty Half Dollar

1916 – 1947

In 1916 The Walking Liberty half dollar, also referred to as the Walker, replaced the Barber half dollar and marked a change in the way US coins were designed. Since 1793, when the US mint first opened, the half dollar, quarter dollar and the dime had all carried the same design.
President Theodore Roosevelt wanted the US mint to change the way the coins were designed so that each denomination would have a different look. The striking of the new Winged Liberty, or “Mercury” dime, the Standing Liberty quarter and the Walking Liberty half ended the long practice of using a uniform design on US coins.
The obverse of the Walking Liberty half features Lady Liberty walking toward the sunrise. Her right hand is extended and in her left hand she holds laurel and oak branches. The word “LIBERTY” runs in an arc around the top of the coin and the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” appear on the right side  just behind her right leg.

Walking Liberty Half Dollar
Walking Liberty Half Dollar

The reverse side of the Walking Liberty half shows an eagle perched on a rock with a sapling growing out of it. The eagles wings are spread as if ready to take flight. Across the top of the coin are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, along the bottom, “HALF DOLLAR” and on the left side, in front of the eagles breast, are the words “E PLURIBUS UNUM”. Weinman’s initials, AW, appear directly below the eagles tail feathers.
In 1916, coins produced by the mints at San Francisco and Denver placed the mintmark just below the words “IN GOD WE TRUST”. During mid 1917 the design was altered and the mintmark was placed on the reverse side of the coin on the left below the sapling. 1917 dated Walkers are available with both obverse and reverse mintmarks.
Throughout the entire production of the Walking Liberty half high mintage numbers were generally seen therefore there are no really rare dates. However the most uncommon dates of which less than a million each were struck are:
Walking Liberty Half Dollar Reverse
Walking Liberty Half Dollar Reverse

  • 1916-P
  • 1916-S
  • 1917-D “Obverse Mint Mark”
  • 1917-S “Obverse Mint Mark”
  • 1919-P
  • 1921-P
  • 1921-D
  • 1921-S

The Walking Liberty half dollar is a very popular coin among silver collectors. Because the coins were produced in such high numbers common circulated grades can be obtained fairly close to the silver content value.
Walking Liberty Half Dollar Specifications
Minted: 1916 – 1921, 1923, 1927 – 1929, 1933 – 1947
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.5 g
Composition: 90% Silver 10% Copper
Edge: Reeded
Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
Written by David Slone, Copyright 2008 CoinCollectorGuide.com

9 thoughts on “Walking Liberty Half Dollar”

  1. i have 4 walking liberty coins, 1940,1941,1942, 1943, 2 have an s,other 2 not. are these rare or just ordinary

  2. Sorry, they are not likely to be worth too much. S stands for “San Francisco mint,” the lack of a letter means Philadelphia mint (“D” is from the Denver mint). Unless they are in near-perfect condition they are worth pretty close to their silver content value, around $10-$11 each, though I’d keep them anyway. Don’t clean or polish them since that destroys their surfaces. A coin’s age has little to due with its value; that depends on whether people want to collect it, what condition it is in, and how many were made. There are rare coins from the 2000s and some very common coins from the 300s. While this series is popular mintages were high during WW2, so the coins of those years are very common.

  3. 1 oz.silver walking lady and spread eagle with stars abover its head Is there a value on this coin? Thanks for your help.

    • Hello Stephen that sounds like what is known as a “Round” Does it have 999.99% Pure Silver 1 troy Ounce or similar wording? Generally speaking a silver round is worth silver spot and sometimes a premium above that

  4. I have a1998 walking Liberty that says 1oz pure Silver
    A gold 1933 20 dollar gold copy # JX1824
    2 1921 Silver Dollars
    A 1884 One Dollar
    2 sacagewea dollars 1 with no date one 2000
    2 1979 Susan B Anthony 1979 Dollars
    2 gold colored George Washington Dollar with no mint date
    1 gold and Silver George Washington Dollar with no date Plastic Coated
    A gold colored Thomas Jefferson Dollar with no mint date
    A Gold and Silver John Adams Dollar plastic Coated
    A gold Colored Rutherford b Hayes Dollar
    A 1965 and 6 1967 half Dollars
    A1944 Mercury Dime
    A1935 D and A1935 E 1935 F Silver Certificates
    A few 1957 Silver Certificate
    1 1953 series S 2 Dollar Bill with red colored Seals
    1 1953 series S with a B below it 2 Dollar Bill.
    Are any of these worth anything Please?
    Thank You Jim Northrup

  5. I have 2 walking liberty half dollars 1916s and 1917s both sides are the same with the walking liberty on both sides. Are they with anything?

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