The Walking Liberty Half Dollar was introduced in 1916 to replace the Barber Half Dollars series, which concluded in the previous year. The new series was the result of a design contest for a new half dollar. The winner of the contest was Adolph A. Weinman, who was also the winner of a contest to redesign the dime. His new design for the half dollar was extremely popular and has become an iconic representation of America.
The obverse design of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar features a full figure of Liberty in a flowing gown with an American flag draped around her shoulders. As the series name suggests, she is walking forward, appearing as facing left on the coin. One arm is outstretched and the other holds a bouquet of olive branches. The sun is rising before her with with inscription "Liberty" widely spaced above and "In God We Trust" behind her.
The reverse design of the coin features an eagle facing left, perched on a rock ledge with a twisted branch extending. The eagle's wings are raised in a stance described as defiant or perhaps ready to take flight. "United States of America" appears above with "E Pluribus Unum" to the left of the eagle and the denomination "Half Dollar" below.
The Walking Liberty Half Dollar series contains a number of lower mintage dates which are considered key dates or semi-key dates. The two lowest mintage coins are among the 1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollars. The mintages for the Philadelphia and Denver strikes were 246,000 and 208,000, respectively. Other low mintage issues include the 1916, 1916-S, 1921-S, and 1938-D.
Proof coins were struck for the series only from 1936 to 1942. The mintage for the first proof issue was a mere 3,901 coins, but the figure steadily rose each year until 21,120 proof coins were minted in 1942. After that year, the production of proof coinage was suspended.
The Walking Liberty Half Dollar series concluded in 1947, when it was replaced by the Franklin Half Dollar. This design change also completed the transition from depictions of Liberty on circulating American coinage to depictions of historical Americans. The Walking Liberty design was later used on the American Silver Eagle bullion coin series, which began in 1986.
Mint: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco
Weight: 12.50 g
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Diameter: 30.6 mm
More Information: Walking Liberty Half Dollar Mintage