Walking Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947)

The Walking Liberty Half Dollar arrived just in time to benefit from the stepped up economy of World War I, and mintages were quite heavy during that period. In contrast, coinage was only sporadic during the 1920s, most of the coins from that period being San Francisco Mint issues produced for the silver loving West. Production came to a standstill during the early years of the Great Depression, but it rebounded by the mid-1930s and reached new highs during World War II.

Walking Liberty Half Dollars are a favorite with date and mint collectors. Worn examples of all issues are readily available, though several scarce pieces emerge in the higher grades. These include 1916-S and the half dollars of 1919 and 1921 from all three mints. The 1938-D half dollar, while attractive due to its low mintage, is only slightly scarce. By that time speculators were routinely preserving entire rolls of uncirculated coins of these Walking Liberty Half Dollar mintmark varieties as each year’s issues were released.

There are a number of minor varieties of Walking Liberty Half Dollars, including two mintmark varieties exhibiting different sizes for 1928-S, 1934-D and 1942-S. On the whole, Walking Liberty Half Dollar varieties are of interest mostly to variety specialists, though some of them are highly prized, such as the doubled-die reverses for 1942 and 1946. The most important are included in VarietyPlus, and this includes the majority of Cherrypicker mintmark and die varieties. The Flynn and Fox books include additional varieties that will be of interest to a variety specialist.

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