Coin Specifications

Category: Walking Liberty Half Dollars (1916-1947)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 5,554,000
Catalog: KM-142
Obverse Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
Reverse Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $7.12 (7/24/2016)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

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: 2/3/2016

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

Base $ 17.00 18.00 19.50 38.00 85.00 210 275 335 500 575 775 1080 1950 3250 14500 31250 50000 - - -
$ 100.00 - 310 385 550 - 850 1300 2400 6250 18500 42500 - -

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Total Graded: 884
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
6/12/1996 PCGS XF 45   Teletrade Auction 0849, 849/Lot# 1457 $70.85
5/5/2008 NGC AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 244, 250/Lot# 758 $253.00
12/3/2009 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2009 December Houston, TX US Coin Auction #1132, 1132/Lot# 803 $1,380.00
8/15/2011 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 10428 $4,887.50
9/4/2011 NGC MS 63   Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1351 $2,070.00
12/13/2012 PCGS MS 65   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20086/Lot# 1112 $11,700.00
7/14/2013 PCGS Genuine VF   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/14/2013, 83/Lot# 125862 $29.00
2/8/2015 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131507/Lot# 25268 $111.63
4/27/2016 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2016 April 27 - May 1 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(6), 1234/Lot# 7982 $998.75

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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