When discussing the Walking Liberty half dollar lands in most people’s Top Three. This coin, designed by German-born scupltor, Adolph A. Weinman, and introduced in 1916, was part of an early 20th century movement to emphasize innovative artistry on U.S. coins. Incidentally, Weinman also designed the classic Mercury dime, ALSO introduced in 1916. So beloved is the majestic design of the Walking Liberty half dollar, that the obverse design was brought out of retirement in 1986, to grace the obverse of the new U.S silver dollar bullion coin, which continues to be struck to this day.
The design of the Walking Liberty half dollar is full of striking imagery. On the obverse, Miss Liberty strides towards the rising sun, symbolizing our nation’s march into a glorious new age – hopefully, one of peace and prosperity. Miss Liberty is adorned in a billowy gown, with a Stars and Stripes cloak. Her right arm is stretched out towards the sun, and in her left arm, she cradles branches of laurel and oak (symbolizing civil and military power). On the reverse, a powerful-looking eagle, its wings upraised in a show of power, perched on a mountain pine sapling that protrudes from a rocky crag.
Despite a design that announced hope for peace, prosperity, a bright future, the Walking Liberty half dollarcirculated through some awful tough times for this nation: two World Wars, Prohibition/gangster wars, and a Great Depression! But.. it was also the half dollar of the Roaring Twenties and the peace years of 1945 through 1947.
- Designer: Adolph Alexander Weinman
- Obverse Design: Full-length figure of Liberty striding
- Reverse Design: Majestic eagle perched on a mountain crag
- Edge: Reeded
- Weight: ±12.5 grams
- Diameter: ±30 millimeters
- Composition: Silver (90%), Copper (10%)
- Dates Minted: 1916-1947