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1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value (Rare Errors, “D”, “S” and No Mint Mark)

1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value (Rare Errors, “D”, “S” and No Mint Mark)

The Walking Liberty half-dollars are beautiful coins minted from 1916 to 1947 and are highly collectible nowadays. Even though you can still find those pieces in decent condition, finding ones in the mint state can be tricky.

In most cases, the 1942 half dollar value is $15 to $95, depending on the mint mark and preservation level. Thanks to their silver content, you can count on some cash even if your coin is in the worst possible condition.

1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar value Chart

Condition 1942 No Mint mark half-dollar 1942 D half-dollar 1942 S half-dollar
Good $13 $13 $13
Very good $16 $16 $16
Fine $17 $17 $17
Very fine $19 $19 $19
Extra fine $19 $19 $19
AU $23 $22 $23
MS 60 $44 $41 $44
MS 63 $69 $96 $86
Proof 65 $691 / /

*by USA Coin Book

 

History of the 1942 Walking Liberty Half-dollar

After authorizing the silver half-dollar by the Act of 2nd April 1792, Flowing Hair half-dollars were the first silver coins with this denomination that US Mint produced.

Their fineness of 0.8924 was changed later, and American silver half-dollars struck from 18th January 1837 to 1965 had the 0.900 fineness by law. Like other silver coins, Walking Liberty had a reeded edge to prevent illegal clipping of the precious metal.

The Walking Liberty silver half-dollar was the first coin released in circulation that shows Lady Liberty strolling. As soon as Adolph A. Weinman came up with this beautiful coin design, the US Mint started minting them in 1916.

It replaced Barber half-dollar minted from 1892 to 1915, and the production continued for over three decades. The last minting year was 1947, when the Franklin half-dollar came into circulation.

Like other Walking Liberty halves, those minted in 1942 show Lady Liberty strolling freely and fearlessly across America. Such a symbol was crucial for this great nation during the hard war years, and Americans loved this coin design. Interestingly, it was also the first half-dollar design created in the 20th century.

1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar

Year Location Minted
1942 No Mint mark half-dollar Philadelphia 47,818,000
1942 proof half-dollar Philadelphia 21,200
1942 D half-dollar Denver 10,973,800
1942 S half-dollar San Francisco 12,708,000
/ Total 71,530,920

Nowadays, many investors find the 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollars an excellent investment. The reasons are the silver content and these coins’ stable value in the current market. Besides, there are rumors about the increase in their value because of potential scarcity in the future.

Always remember that the Walking Liberty half-dollars were minted within a limited period, particularly those produced during WWII. Since these coins are appealing, highly collectible, and already rare in high grades, it is reasonable to predict their scarcity in the years to come.

Nowadays, you can find these pieces on eBay, at reputable dealers in the secondary market, and at auctions. Be careful with unknown sellers to prevent fraud. Sometimes, you can come across a coin of high value at a suspiciously low price. Unfortunately, it is not incredible luck but probably a counterfeit specimen.

 

Features of the 1942 Walking Liberty Half-dollar

The US Mint produced Walking Liberty half dollars from 1916 to 1947, including pieces struck in 1942. While they are affordable in low grades, some rare, well-preserved coins can bring you a fortune.

The obverse of the 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar

The 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar’s beautiful obverse depicts Lady Liberty serenely walking along a landscape, extending one hand. You can see an olive branch in her other hand.

There is also the rising sun on the left and an inscription IN GOD WE TRUST behind her back. The word LIBERTY surrounds the composition, while the DATE is positioned below her left foot on the bottom coin rim.

The reverse of the 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar

The reverse of the 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar

A bold American eagle spreads its wings under the name UNITED STATES OF AMERICA struck on the coin reverse.

The proud bird perching on a rock holds a pine branch growing out on the left with a right talon. A complicated design also includes the Latin saying E PLURIBUS UNUM divided into two lines and the denomination HALF*DOLLAR.

1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar

Face value 50 cents ($0.50)
Compound 90% silver with added copper
Coin weight 0.40188 troy ounces (12.50 g)
Silver weight 0.36170 troy ounces (11.25 g)
Coin diameter 1.20590 inches (30.63 mm)
Coin thickness 0.07087 inches (1.8 mm)
Shape Round
Edge Reeded

Other features of the 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar

The 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar is a 50-cent silver American coin with a reeded edge. Its weight is precisely 0.40188 troy ounces (12.50 g), including 0.36170 troy ounces (11.25 g) of this precious metal. This 0.07087 inches (1.8 mm) thick coin has a diameter of 1.20590 inches (30.63 mm).

 

1942 Walking Liberty Half-dollar Value Guides

Walking Liberty half-dollars were produced in three mints in 1942. The whole mintage included an impressive 71,530920 pieces from regular strikes and proofs.

1942 No Mint mark Walking Liberty half-dollar

Typically, the Philadelphia mint had the highest mintage in 1942, with 47,818,000 produced Walking Liberty half-dollars. As you can conclude, these relatively modern coins are often inexpensive, particularly those spending years in circulation. You can buy one of these pieces in decent condition for $10 to $25.

1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar value

Condition 1942 half-dollar 1942 D half-dollar 1942 S half-dollar
Good $9.65 $9.65 $9.65
Very good $9.65 $9.65 $9.65
Fine $9.65 $9.65 $9.65
Very fine $9.65 $9.65 $9.65
Extra fine $10.65 to $15 $11 to $15.65 $11.65 to $17
AU $16 to $26.40 $16.50 to $26.40 $22 to $28.80
MS 60 $29 to $33.60 $32 to $38.40 $36 to $43
MS 61 $36 to $38.40 $39 to $47 $41 to $49
MS 62 $41 to $47 $51 to $61 $48 to $57.60
MS 63 $51 to $55 $71 to $85 $69 to $83
MS 64 $78 to $85 $81 to $97 $111 to $133
MS 65 $95 to $99.60 $131 to $157 $221 to $265
MS 66 $145 to $175 $185 to $225 $505 to $606
MS 67 $500 to $600 $505 to $600 $20,000 to $30,000
MS 68 $18,000 to $26,000 $26,000 to $40,000 /

*by Greysheet

The Walking Liberty half-dollar in the mint state typically costs $30 to $600, but top-notch ones in an MS 68 grade are rare. Therefore, collectors are prepared to set aside $18,000 to $26,000 for such a gem.

The most expensive 1942 MS 68+ Walking Liberty half dollar was minted in Philadelphia. One collector purchased it at Stack’s Bowers in 2021 for a fantastic $78,000.

1942 proof Walking Liberty half-dollar

1942 proof Walking Liberty half-dollar

Image: pcgs

Besides coins from regular strikes, the Philadelphia mint produced 21,200 proof half-dollars in 1942. Since they are rarer than regular coins, their prices are significantly higher. For instance, you can get one for $230 to $750, while those in the best condition are much more expensive.

1942 proof Walking Liberty half-dollar value

Condition 1942 half-dollar 1942 CAM half-dollar
PR 60 $230 to $264.50 /
PR 61 $250 to $287.50 /
PR 62 $280 to $332 /
PR 63 $320 to $368 $3,680 to $4,232
PR 64 $340 to $400 $4,200 to $4.830
PR 65 $375 to $450 $5,250 to $6,038
PR 66 $475 to $550 $6,550 to $7,500
PR 67 $700 to $750 /
PR 68 $3,000 to $4,700 /
PR 69 $20,000 to $25,000 /

*by Greysheet

Experts estimate that Walking Liberty proofs are worth $3,000 to $25,000, with the highest rating. However, the specimen in PR 68 grade won an auction record after selling for $60,000 in 2021.

Five years before, one beautiful coin with a PR 66 rating and cameo contrast reached the price of $13,513. It was a significant price since coins of such quality commonly cost about $500.

1942 D Walking Liberty half-dollar

1942 D Walking Liberty half-dollar

With 10,973,800 Walking Liberty half-dollars minted, the Denver mint had the lowest mintage in the second war year. Despite that, their prices don’t vary significantly compared to pieces from the Philadelphia mint.

Only rare coins in an MS 68 grade are worth an impressive $26,000 to $40,000. However, the current auction record surpassed even that incredible number. One collector bought the 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar with this rating after paying a whopping $72,000 for it in 2021.

1942 S Walking Liberty half-dollar

1942 S Walking Liberty half-dollar

With 12,708,000 produced Walking Liberty half-dollars with the S mint mark in 1942, the San Francisco mint had only a slightly higher mintage than the one in Denver. As expected, coins in the lowest grades cost the same as those from the other two mints.

Since it is impossible to find a specimen in an MS 68 grade among those with the S mint mark, specimens with MS 67 rating are estimated to be $20,000 to $30,000. However, one beautiful piece was sold for $60,000 at Stack’s Bowers in 2021.

 

1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Errors

You should not be surprised since mints paid less attention to quality and precision in those horrible war times and struck a few error coins. Collectors appreciate those rare and notable pieces they can find in the series.

1942 Walking Liberty half-dollar struck on the quarter planchet

At first glance, you might think that this coin occurs when a misaligned die struck the planchet part, but it was not the case. These error coins were actually minted on the quarter planchet.

To avoid overlooking such a valuable piece, you should check its weight, which is closer to a standard quarter than a silver half-dollar. You can expect that such a coin in an AU condition is worth over $12,000.

Die break

This coin type is scarce and appears when the broken die strikes it while minting. Depending on the minting year, these pieces are typically worth $10,000 to $100,000. One of the rare specimens produced in 1942 changed the owner for $36,975 at an auction.

Double die

In some cases, the die struck more than once over the planchet, causing a double die error. Depending on the exposed coin side, you can find DDO and DDR 1942 Walking Liberty half-dollars.

Off-center strike

These coins come with an off-center strike of 5% to 95% due to the improper die strike over the planchet. More off-center percent and blank space on the coin surface result in a higher price.

 

FAQ about the 1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar

What makes a 1942 Walking Liberty half dollar rare?

The rarest 1942 Walking Liberty half dollar is a so-called die break error. You can find these scarce pieces in only a few sets, including the one struck this year.

Which 1942 Walking Liberty half dollar is worth a lot of money?

  • The auction record of $78,000 went to the 1942 MS 68+ Walking Liberty half dollar sold in 2021 at Stack’s Bowers
  • The auction record of $72,000 went to the 1942 D MS 68 Walking Liberty half dollar sold in 2021 at Stack’s Bowers
  • The auction record of $60,000 went to the 1942 PR 68 Walking Liberty half dollar sold in 2021 at Heritage Auctions
  • The auction record of $60,000 went to the 1942 S MS 67+ Walking Liberty half dollar sold in 2021 at Stack’s Bowers
  • The auction record of $13,513 went to the 1942 PR 66 CAM Walking Liberty half dollar sold in 2016 at Legend Rare Coin Auctions

How much is the 1942 No Mint mark Walking Liberty half dollar worth?

While circulated Walking Liberty half-dollar without the mint mark costs $10 to $25, you should set aside $30 to $600 for a piece in the mint state. Rare, superbly preserved specimens in an MS 68 grade come with the price of $18,000 to $26,000, but the most expensive was paid $78,000 at an auction.

What is the most expensive Walking Liberty half dollar?

The 1918 D MS 66+ Walking Liberty half dollar won the auction record when one collector paid $340,750 for it in 2021. The second place went to the 1919 D MS 66 Walking Liberty half dollar paid $270,250 in 2004 at Heritage Auctions.