1936-D Walking Liberty Half

SKU: BBHW12487
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Walking Liberty Half Dollar

A favorite among numismatists, the Walking Liberty Half Dollar is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful coins issued in the United States. The Walking Liberty design replaced the Barber Half Dollar and was succeeded by the Franklin Half Dollar.

The Walking Liberty Half Dollar design was chosen, like many other American coins, as the result of a design competition. U.S. Mint Director Robert W. Woolley ordered the competition with the goal of replacing the Barber Dime, Quarter, and Half Dollar series. The competition was held in 1915 and conducted by the Commision of Fine Arts. Sculptor Adolf A. Weinman won the competition, and the U.S. Mint began striking his design on half dollars the next year.

Part of what made this design so popular was the serene portrayal of Lady Liberty on the obverse. She appears to be gliding along a landscape, clutching onto an olive branch with one hand and extending her other hand to the side. The sun is rising from her left with its rays shining behind her. Inscribed along the top of the coin is the word, “LIBERTY.” Beneath the “Y” is the inscription, “IN GOD WE TRUST.” For 1916 and some 1917 half dollars, the mint mark appeared beneath this phrase. The date is at the bottom of the coin, below Lady Liberty’s foot. 

The reverse depicts an eagle with its wings raised while perched on a rock. Growing out of the left side of the rock is a pine branch, which symbolized strength. For some 1917 half dollars and all minted outside of Philadelphia until 1947, the mint mark can be found below the branch.  “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” is inscribed along the top of the coin, and the Latin phrase, “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” can be found on the left side above the pine branch. 

Walking Liberty Half Dollars were minted in three different locations — Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.  “D” was the mint mark to represent the Denver Mint; for the San Francisco Mint, it was “S.” There were no mint marks for Walking Liberty Half Dollars minted in Philadelphia. Across the series, there were sixty-five different date and mint mark combinations, including the 1917 issues which had the mint mark switch from obverse to reverse midway through the year. While there are no extreme rarities in the series, generally those minted before 1934 in fine condition are scarce today. Some key dates include 1916, 1917-D (obverse mint mark), 1917-S (obverse mint mark), 1919, 1921, and 1921-D. 

Weight: 12.5 grams
Composition: 90% Silver (0.36169 troy oz), 10% copper
Diameter: 30.63 mm
Edge: Reeded
Mints: Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver

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