Wondering what the Walking Liberty half dollar value is today?
A lot of coin collectors ask me what their Walking Liberty half dollars are worth. And why not? They’re among the most beautiful silver coins the United States has ever produced — so surely they’re worth something, right?
The coin’s beauty is much more than just my opinion alone.
That’s what countless collectors have said about the Walking Liberty half dollar ever since artist-engraver Adolph A. Weinman first designed the series — which was produced from 1916 through 1947.
So what are these beautiful silver half dollars worth? Are any of them rare?
And what are some tips for collecting these so-called Walker halves, or Walking halves — common shorthand nomenclature for the Walking Liberty half dollar?
Here’s everything you want to know about Walking Liberty half dollar coins…
What’s The Current Liberty Half Dollar Value?
This is probably the question that led you to this post, so let’s get to answering that right away.
First things first, a Walking Liberty half dollar is always worth at least its spot silver value or 50-cent face value, whichever is higher.
By the way, spot value is simply the amount of money the silver in the coin is worth.
So, let’s say silver is worth $17.31 per ounce…
A Walking Liberty half dollar coin contains roughly 0.36169 ounces of pure silver, and doing the math ($17.31 x 0.36169) we’ll see that comes to about $6.26 of silver.
Unless silver prices absolutely tanked (not impossible, but very unlikely), your Walking Liberty half dollar will never be worth “just” 50 cents.
Many Walking Liberty half dollars that are common dates (virtually all made since 1934, with the exception of the 1938-D Walking half — more on that in a minute) are worth only their silver value if they’re well worn.
But a Walking Liberty half dollar that’s been well preserved is certainly worth more than just its silver value alone. It has what we coin collectors call a numismatic premium — value due to the scarcity or collector interest in the coin.
However, with the exception of rare Walking Liberty half dollars, most of the post-1933 Walking halves are only worth a significant amount of money above silver spot value if they have very little wear or no wear at all.
Here’s a basic breakdown on the Walking Liberty half dollar value:
- 1916 to 1921 — $15 to $200+
- 1923 to 1933 — $10 to $50+
- 1934 to 1947 — $7 to $15+
*Values are for Walking Liberty halves that exhibit average to little wear and have not been cleaned, have holes, or show other signs of damage.
No, I didn’t unintentionally omit a 1922 Walking Liberty half dollar from the list above. There weren’t any half dollars made that year, or during a few other years in the 1920s and 1930s, either.
Are Walking Liberty Half Dollars Rare?
Yes and no… Yes, some Walking Liberty half dollars are rare. But no, they are not rare in general.
In fact, most of the Walking Liberty half dollar coins you’re likely to find are quite common in the absolute sense.
Sure, you’ll probably never stumble upon a Walking Liberty half dollar in pocket change. And they’re challenging for half dollar roll searchers to find, too.
Millions of Walking Liberty halves still exist — it’s just that virtually all of them are now in the possession of coin collectors, silver bullion investors, and those who have inherited them from loved ones.
It may surprise you to find out that most Walking Liberty half dollars are not rare at all, except for some examples that are in uncirculated (“mint”) condition.
There are, however, a few select dates that hobbyists consider rare and a good half dozen or so that are regarded as semi-key, or just “scarce,” issues.
Here’s a list of the rare Walking Liberty half dollars, as well as other scarce dates and approximately what they’re worth:
- 1916 Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $40+
- 1916-D Obverse Mintmark Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $40+
- 1916-S Obverse Mintmark Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $100+
- 1917-D Obverse Mintmark Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $20+
- 1917-S Obverse Mintmark Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $20+
- 1919 Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $20+
- 1919-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $20+
- 1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $150+
- 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $225+
- 1921-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $40+
- 1938-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $45+
- 1946 Doubled Die Walking Liberty Half Dollar: Value — $18+
*Values listed above are retail values for problem-free coins in Good or better condition. Coins that have been cleaned, contain holes, are otherwise damaged, or grade lower than Good will be worth considerably less than the prices listed above.
Obverse vs. Reverse Mintmarks
Wondering how to tell an obverse mintmark from a reverse mintmark Walking Liberty coin?
- Obverse mintmarks (“D” for Denver or “S” for San Francisco) appear under IN GOD WE TRUST.
- Reverse mintmarks are found to the upper left of the “H” in HALF DOLLAR, near the lower-left rim.
No mintmark? Your coin was made at the Philadelphia Mint.
Ways To Collect Walking Liberty Half Dollars
Walking Liberty halves are widely collected by hobbyists and are enjoyed by seemingly countless collectors. But there is more than one way to assemble a Walking Liberty half dollar collection.
Here are just a few cool ideas for building a collection of Walking Liberty half dollars:
- Build a short set. A short set of Walking Liberty half dollars will generally encompass a consecutive date range of coins much shorter than the span of the entire series. One popular Walking Liberty half dollar short set covers the years 1941 through 1947 and includes Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco issues. Of all the commonly collected Walking Liberty half dollar short sets, this one is the least expensive and easiest to build.
- Assemble a year set. If you haven’t noticed, in just about every case, even the years when seemingly every issue is considered scarce, there are cheap options. Most years of the Walking Liberty half dollars are not rare due to their date alone — with the exceptions of those minted in 1916 and 1921. Therefore, you will probably be able to build a one-a-year set of Walking Liberty half dollars without breaking the bank in the process. Bear in mind, no Walking Liberty halves were made in 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1930, 1931, or 1932, so you won’t need to worry about buying a half dollar for any of those years. There are just 25 Walking Liberty half dollars necessary for such a set — with 1916 and 1921 being the only years for which you’ll probably need to spend more than $40 each for an example.
- Complete a proof set. Did you know that the United States Mint struck proof versions of Walking Liberty half dollars? For a few short years before and during the beginning of America’s involvement in World War II, this is exactly what the U.S. Mint did for collectors. From 1936 through 1942, thousands of proof Walking Liberty half dollars were made. Today, these scarce, beautiful coins are coveted by coin collectors and are worth about $550 or more each. However, for those who can assemble a set of Philadelphia-mint proof Walking Liberty half dollars, they will enjoy the eye-pleasing results.
Fun Facts About Walking Liberty Half Dollar Coins
While the last silver Walking Liberty half dollar rolled off the Mint’s presses in 1947, that wasn’t the end of the Walking Liberty motif that earned acclaim from coin collectors and the general public alike.
In 1986, the United States Mint officially unveiled its plans for a new bullion coin program. The bullion program includes a 1-ounce .999-fine American Silver Eagle one-dollar coin featuring an obverse (“head’s” side) anchored by none other than the famous Walking Liberty design that was last seen on a new coin 39 years earlier in 1947.
A faithful replica of the 1916 Walking Liberty half dollar appeared on one of the 2016 commemorative gold coins honoring the centennial — or 100th anniversary — of the first Walking Liberty half dollars, Standing Liberty quarters, and Mercury dimes in 1916.
The 2016 gold Walking Liberty coin contains a 1/2 ounce of gold and bears a “W” mintmark from the West Point Mint in New York.
The 2016 Walking Liberty half dollar gold coin was sold by the United States Mint and is available on the secondary market from coin dealers.
More Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value Info
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other resources to help you find the true value of your Walking Liberty Half Dollar:
- PCGS’s Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value Guide
- NGC’s Walking Liberty Half Dollars Price Guide
- The Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value Over 15 Years
- Historic Values Of Walking Liberty Half Dollars
- Walking Liberty Half Dollar Short Sets & Other Coin Sets