This is one of the few times when we can use the designer’s own words to describe a coin. Concerning the obverse, designer Adolph A. Weinman wrote “The design of the half dollar bears a full-length figure of Liberty, the folds of stars and stripes flying to the breeze as a background, progressing in full stride toward the dawn of a new day, carrying branches of laurel and oaks, symbolic of civil and military glory. The hand of the figure is outstretched in bestowal of the spirit of Liberty.” Spaced around the rim of the coin is LIBERTY, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST is placed at the lower right of the coin, and the date is at the bottom. For the reverse, Weinman said “The reverse of the half dollar shows an eagle perched high upon a mountain crag, his wings unfolded, fearless in spirit and conscious of his power. Springing from a rift in the rock is a sapling of Mountain Pine symbolic of America.” The reverse has the denomination spelled out at the bottom; E PLURIBUS UNUM is located between the eagle’s chest and the left edge of the coin; and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA arcs along the upper rim of the piece.
This coin is universally considered to be the most beautiful silver coin ever minted by the United States. Such is the beauty of the design that the obverse was chosen to grace the obverse of the silver eagle bullion coin. Walking Liberty Halves, commonly referred to simply as “Walkers”, are one of the most highly collected of all the U.S. coins. Although many place just one high-grade example in a Type set, this is a set that has legions of complete date and mintmark set-builders. One of the attractions is that even the most expensive of the key dates are well within the reach of most collectors if those key dates are acquired in lower, circulated grades.
Walkers were minted in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, and all have reeded edges. Coins dated 1916 have the mintmark on the obverse, just beneath IN GOD WE TRUST. The 1917 issue began with the mintmark on the obverse, but a change was made during the year and the mintmark was moved to the reverse, just under the sapling at the coin’s lower left edge
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