Walking Liberty Half Dollars (1916-1947)
One of the classic American coin designs, the walking Liberty fifty-cent piece was first made in 1916, and was produced until 1947. Coins were made at Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. The coin was designed by Adolph A. Weinman, whose initials appear on the reverse, as a monogram below the eagle’s wing. On 1916 and some 1917 dated coins, the mintmark (if any) appears on the obverse. The mintmark was moved to the reverse during 1917, and coins from 1917 occur with both types of mintmark placement.
No coins were produced dated 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1930, 1931 or 1932. There are no truly rare coins within the walking Liberty series, but the earlier pre-1934 coins are elusive in higher grades, and the 1916 and 1921 dated coins are scarcer than other years. Coins from 1934 onward were saved in large numbers, making them readily available in nice condition for later generations. Heavily-circulated common date coins are valued primarily in relation to their silver content, but the series is a true challenge to complete in nicer condition.
The obverse design for the walking Liberty half was revived in 1986 as the obverse design for the U.S. Mint’s silver bullion coin, the ever-popular "Silver Eagle."