Most collectors agree that the Walking Liberty half-dollar is the most beautiful and popular coin ever minted in the US. The US Mint produced them from 1916 to 1947, as the last pieces showing an imaginary character on the obverse.
All following coins contained real persons’ profiles, thanks to President Theodore Roosevelt’s coinage modernization program. The 1917 half dollar value can be high, and the best-rated pieces are worth ten thousand dollars. However, even poor-graded specimens uninteresting for collectors are valuable, thanks to the silver content.
1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar value Chart
|Condition||1917 No Mint mark half-dollar||1917 D on the obverse half-dollar||1917 D on the reverse half-dollar||1917 S on the obverse half-dollar||1917 S on the reverse half-dollar|
*by USA Coin Book
History of the 1917 Walking Liberty Half-dollar
Most collectors agree that the Walking Liberty half-dollars (Walkers) are the most beautiful in American coinage history. Interestingly, this Adolph A. Weinman’s coin was the first new half-dollar design created in the 20th century.
The US Mint produced these lovely coins from 1916 to 1947 before President Roosevelt decided to modernize national coinage design. They contained 90% silver with added copper, making them collectible. Therefore, it is practically impossible to find one in circulation nowadays.
1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar
|Philadelphia||1917 No Mint mark half-dollar||12,292,000|
|San Francisco||1917 S half-dollar with the mint mark on the obverse||952,000|
|San Francisco||1917 S half-dollar with the mint mark on the reverse||5,554,000|
|Denver||1917 D half-dollar with the mint mark on the obverse||765,400|
|Denver||1917 D half-dollar with the mint mark on the reverse||1,940,000|
These days, there is little chance of finding any of these specimens on the market as they were either lost, melted, or part of collections. Since Americans have always adored this design, the US Mint re-used it when creating the new silver American Eagle dollar in 1986.
Features of the 1917 Walking Liberty Half-dollar
The 1917 Walking Liberty halves are the second-minted coins in the series. They come in two variations, depending on the mint mark position.
The obverse of the 1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar
The Walking Liberty half-dollar design depicts Lady Liberty in a full-length, framed with the word LIBERTY from the top. Her right hand is stretched forward, providing so desired freedom to the new nation.
You can see laurel and oak branches in her left hand, symbolizing glory, both civil and military. The rising sun illuminates the American flag flying in the background.
The design also includes the recognizable IN GOD WE TRUST motto and the DATE, located in the coin’s lower part. Some halves minted in San Francisco and Denver have the mint mark below the slogan.
The reverse of the 1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar
The slightly cluttered reverse design contains a bald eagle in the center, sitting on a mountain crag. A just-leafed-out sapling mountain pine grows from the rock on the left side. You can also notice three inscriptions fulfilling every free space, including:
- UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar
|Face value||Fifty cents ($0.50)|
|Compound||Silver with copper in a ratio of 90%: 10%|
|Silver weight||11.25 g (0.36169 troy ounces)|
|Coin weight||12.50 g (0.40188 troy ounces)|
|Coin thickness||1.80 mm (0.07087 inches)|
|Coin diameter||30.63 mm (1.20591 inches)|
Other features of the 1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar
These lovely fifty-cent coins weighing 0.40188 troy ounces (12.50 g) contain 0.36169 troy ounces (11.25 g) silver. Their diameter is 1.20591 inches (30.63 mm), and their thickness is 0.07087 inches (1.80 mm).
1917 Walking Liberty Half-dollar Value Guides
The situation with Walking Liberty half dollars minted in 1917 is interesting. Three mints produced these pieces, but you can recognize five variations of these fifty-cent coins. Since the US Mint started striking proofs in 1936, finding them among the 21,503,400 halves minted in 1917 is impossible.
1917 No Mint mark Walking Liberty half-dollar Value
All 12,292,000 Walking Liberty half dollars from Philadelphia came without the mint mark in 1917. Therefore, you can find only one coin type struck in this mint this particular year. The price range for halves spending years in use is from $11 to $180.
On the other hand, you can count on a premium when having one of the surviving coins in the mint state. Available pieces commonly cost $190 to $1,020, but excellently-preserved halves can reach $2,400 to $3,000.
Sometimes, you can come across scarce coins in an MS 67 grade but be prepared that they can be expensive. Their estimated price range is from $22,000 to $30,000. However, you should be aware that auctions often bring big surprises.
One of these unexpected situations appeared at Heritage Auctions organized in August 2016. After serious bidding, one collector got the 1917 MS 67 Walking Liberty half-dollar for an impressive $39,950.
1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar value
|Condition||1917 No Mint mark half-dollar||1917 D on the obverse half-dollar||1917 D on the reverse half-dollar|
|Good||$11.52||$22 to $32.40||$18 to $24|
|Very good||$12.52||$40 to $60||$22 to $42|
|Fine||$16 to $20.40||$75 to $114||$45 to $72|
|Very fine||$18 to $31.20||$120 to $228||$100 to $210|
|Extra fine||$32 to $48||$260 to $348||$230 to $360|
|AU||$75 to $180||$400 to $900||$450 to $1,200|
|MS 60||$190 to $228||$800 to $960||$1,100 to $1,320|
|MS 61||$210 to $252||$850 to $1,020||$1,150 to $1,380|
|MS 62||$250 to $300||$950 to $1,140||$1,500 to $1,800|
|MS 63||$330 to $396||$1,400 to $1,500||$1,800 to $2,160|
|MS 64||$440 to $528||$2,100 to $2,200||$2,800 to $3,360|
|MS 65||$850 to $1,020||$4,800 to $7,000||$8,600 to $13,000|
|MS 66||$2,400 to $2,880||$25,000 to $35,000||$28,000 to $33,600|
|MS 67||$22,000 to $30,000||/||$48,000 to $59,000|
1917 D Walking Liberty half-dollar Value
The Denver mint produced 765,400 Walking Liberty half-dollar coins, with the mint mark struck on the obverse in 1917. The mintage of those with the mint mark on the reverse was higher and was 1,940,000.
1917 D half-dollar, mint mark on the obverse
The coin variation with the mint mark on the obverse costs $20 to $900, depending on the period spent in circulation. As expected, perfectly preserved pieces are significantly more expensive and cost $800 to $7,000 on the coin market.
The best specimens with an MS 66 rating can reach unbelievable prices of $25,000 to $35,000, especially at auctions. The absolute winner is definitely the 1917 D obverse Walking Liberty half-dollar in this rating range. Its price of $78,000 is the highest that similar coins have ever reached by now.
1917 D half-dollar, mint mark on the reverse
The 1917 D Walking Liberty half-dollar with the letter D appearing on the reverse come with a wide price range. Circulated coins cost from $20 to $1,200, depending on the grade, but those in the mint state can be pricey.
Depending on the appearance and preservation level, you can expect to pay at least $1,100 per piece. On the other hand, the first-rated coins are estimated to be $48,000 to $59,000. Sometimes, sellers can expect surprises at auctions, like in the following case.
One coin with an MS 65+ grade was paid $43,200 at Heritage Auctions in January 2018, even though the evaluated price range was $8,600 to $13,000. There is no data about the prices of higher-rated halves from this group.
1917 S Walking Liberty half-dollar Value
In 1917, the San Francisco mint produced two half-dollar types. The mintage of those with the mint mark on the obverse was 952,000, while this mint struck 5,554,000 pieces featuring the mint mark on the reverse.
1917 S half-dollar, mint mark on the obverse
As you guess, these coin types will cost you differently. For instance, circulated 1917 S Walking Liberty half dollars with the letter S struck on the obverse cost $25 to $4,300. Their prices depend on the degree of wear and clarity of design details.
Pieces that never spent a minute in circulation will bring you a premium. Those coins cost $4,000 to $46,000, but the best-rated specimens in an MS 67 grade quickly reach $140,000 to $168,000 at auctions.
At the moment, the most pricey 1917 S MS 67 obverse Walking Liberty half-dollar was paid $152,750 in August 2015. It is also the most expensive coin in the set.
1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar value
|Condition||1917 S on the obverse half-dollar||1917 S on the reverse half-dollar|
|Good||$25 to $36||$15 to $21.60|
|Very good||$45 to $90||$20 to $26.40|
|Fine||$135 to $240||$30 to $42|
|Very fine||$350 to $780||$55 to $132|
|Extra fine||$900 to $1,150||$160 to $216|
|AU||$1,500 to $4,320||$250 to $780|
|MS 60||$3,700 to $4,440||$800 to $960|
|MS 61||$3,900 to $4,680||$900 to $1,080|
|MS 62||$4,400 to $5,280||$1,200 to $1,440|
|MS 63||$ 5,000to $6,000||$1,550 to $1,860|
|MS 64||$6,850 to $8,220||$2,300 to $2,760|
|MS 65||$16,000 to $21,000||$9,000 to $12,000|
|MS 66||$36,000 to $46,000||$22,500 to $35,000|
|MS 67||$140,000 to $168,000||$45,000 to $54,000|
1917 S half-dollar, mint mark on the reverse
Another option when it comes to the 1917 Walking Liberty half dollars is those with the mint mark on the reverse. Their average prices are $15 to $780 when you look for circulated coins.
The best-preserved ones cost $800 to $2,760, while the ultimately perfect pieces come in a price range from $9,000 to $54,000. As in many cases, an auction record was even higher. One collector paid an impressively high $71,300 for the specimen with an MS 67 rating in February 2006.
1917 Walking Liberty Half-dollar Variations
Walking Liberty half dollars came in two variations typical for coins issued in 1916 and partially in 1917. The mint mark was struck under the IN GOD WE TRUST on the obverse in those pieces.
On later halves, this letter appeared left of HALF DOLLAR on the reverse. As expected, these early specimens are collectible, but most collectors prefer having both variations in their sets.
FAQ about the 1917 Walking Liberty Half-dollar
What makes a 1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar rare?
The most collectible and valuable halves minted in 1917 are those with the mint mark on the wrong side. Pieces with the letter D or S on the obverse are rare and always bring a premium.
Which 1917 Walking Liberty half-dollar is worth a lot of money?
- A collector purchased the 1917 S MS 67 obverse Walking Liberty half-dollar for $152,750 (August 2015, Heritage Auctions)
- A collector purchased the 1917 D MS 66 obverse Walking Liberty half-dollar for $78,000 (January 2018, Heritage Auctions)
- A collector purchased the 1917 S MS 67 reverse Walking Liberty half-dollar for $71,300 (February 2006, Bowers & Merena)
- A collector purchased the 1917 D MS 65+ reverse Walking Liberty half-dollar for $43,200 (January 2018, Heritage Auctions)
- A collector purchased the 1917 MS 67 Walking Liberty half-dollar for $39,950 (August 2016, Heritage Auctions)
How much is the 1917 No Mint mark Walking Liberty half-dollar worth?
The circulated 1917 Walking Liberty half dollars cost $10 to $180, while perfect pieces can bring you a premium. Their price range is from $200 to $3,000, depending on the quality and preservation level.
What is the most pricey Walking Liberty half-dollar?
- 1918 D MS 66+ Walking Liberty half-dollar ($340,750)
- 1919 D MS 66 Walking Liberty half-dollar ($270,250)
- 1921 S MS 66 Walking Liberty half-dollar ($188,000)
- 1921 D MS 66 Walking Liberty half-dollar ($168,000)
- 1917 S MS 67 Walking Liberty half-dollar ($152,750)
- 1936 PR 68 Walking Liberty half-dollar ($80,500)
- 1937 PR 68 Walking Liberty half-dollar ($60,000)
- 1942 PR 68 Walking Liberty half-dollar ($60,000)
- 1939 PR 68+ Walking Liberty half-dollar ($40,800)