Coin Specifications

Category: Walking Liberty Half Dollars (1916-1947)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 246,000
Obverse Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
Reverse Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.54 (1/28/2020)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1921 50C MS obverse 1921 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Mintages plunged during 1921, as America entered a short but severe economic recession that lasted into the early part of 1923. It's tempting to blame the low production of 1921 minor and fractional coins to the urgency of replacing all the silver dollars melted under the 1918 Pittman Act, but this simply isn't the case. When the coining of 1921 Morgan Dollars began in the spring the minting of most other denominations had already slowed to a trickle.

This issue was fairly scarce in circulation while silver coins were still current, but enough worn pieces were hoarded by collectors to make coins grading less than Very Fine always available when desired. Examples grading at or close to Mint State are far fewer. Gems are rather elusive and typically reveal some weakness of strike at the upper part of the obverse and lower reverse, suggesting that the die faces were not quite parallel.

As with several other United States coin denominations in 1921 the obverse hub of the half dollar was given a makeover. The fine lines of Liberty's gown representing the flag's red stripes were deeply incised, and the rays of the sun were given slim but effective outlines. Though this latter feature soon wore off of the hub, it resulted in nicer details on the halves of 1921, and the sharpened stripes survived long afterward.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/17/2020

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

1921 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 170 235 435 1000 2450 3325 3400 3950 5250 5750 6300 6900 8450 13250 24200 60000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 7250 9000 18000 26000 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1541
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: F
High Grade: 66

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 1/21/2020 1921 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base139480406150853015441327111264176312----1541
-----------------------
---------1---1--------2
-----------------------
Total139480406150853015441427111274176312----1543
 9%31%26%10%6%2%1%0%0%1%2%0%1%2%3%5%2%0%---- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1921 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base4045026429051483223325882890309532233401351436283971487453976453823110552133251660520447
4375497301098173323512689295831383282343935523742427250485749704690051147614418178860
000000268929583138328234393552374242725048574970469005114761441800
000000278930273180334234763590385745735223610176389778124011551200
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65
Points: 6453
Owner: Walkerfan
 
Grade: MS 61
Points: 3628
Owner: Lambo1
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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The Coinage of 1921, Part Three

12/1/2004 — The Pittman Act of 1918 mandated that the millions of silver dollars melted under that legislation be replaced after the war with new ones struck from newly-mined, domestic silver...
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The Coinage of 1921, Part Two

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The Coinage of 1921, Part One

10/1/2004 — One of my favorite dates for United States coinage is 1921. The obvious appeal of this date is, of course, that it includes several scarce and rare issues, but there's even more to the story.
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