Coin Specifications

Category: Walking Liberty Half Dollars (1916-1947)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 5,554,000
Catalog: KM-142
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.53 (10/5/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1917 S REVERSE 50C MS obverse 1917 S REVERSE 50C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The movement of the mintmark from the obverse to the reverse of the Walking Liberty half was apparently recommended by Mint Director F.J.H. von Engelken as a matter of personal objection. Curiously, it was not until after von Engelken left the Mint that the mintmark change was ordered and completed. According to a Coin World article, Mint Superintendent Adam Joyce wrote to the new Mint director about the mintmark change on April 6, 1917:

'In looking over our files, I find that former Director von Engelken failed to confirm his verbal instructions with regard to the change in the position of the of the mint mark on the new design half dollar. I would therefore thank you to have this confirmation sent me, as of February 14th.'

It had been von Engelken's belief that the mintmark was too prominently placed on the obverse and appeared like a die defect. The change was swiftly completed, but not before one lot of dies had been made to the San Francisco facility with the obverse mintmark. A massive 5.55 million pieces were struck with the new reverse mintmark dies, but few were set aside. Most survivors are circulated and even low-end Uncirculated coins are difficult to locate.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/21/2015

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

Base $ 17.00 18.00 19.50 38.00 85.00 210 275 335 500 775 1080 1950 3250 14500 31250 50000 - - -
$ 100.00 - 310 385 550 825 1300 2400 6250 18500 42500 - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Total Graded: 874
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/3/1993 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions Long Beach Bullet #100, 100/Lot# 242 $825.00
1/26/1998 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1018, 1018/Lot# 1422 $1,944.00
4/18/2004 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1871, 1871/Lot# 1101 $3,080.00
9/10/2006 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 10-13, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 37/Lot# 2612 $4,025.00
9/13/2007 NGC AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 177, 183/Lot# 6096 $253.00
12/13/2012 PCGS MS 65   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20086/Lot# 1112 $11,700.00
2/16/2014 PCGS Genuine XF   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/16/2014, 174/Lot# 171049 $41.00
3/6/2015 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Portland ANA, 6103/Lot# 277 $5,875.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1917 S REVERSE 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1928
Owner: Doc's Walkers
Grade: AU 58
Points: 1163
Owner: Chuckachoo7
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