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: $5.73 (2/11/2016)
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 85.00 210 275 335 500 775 1080 1950 3250 14500 31250 50000 - - -
$ 100.00 - 310 385 550 850 1300 2400 6250 18500 42500 - -

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Total Graded: 883
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
7/12/2010 NGC Details VF Details  Teletrade Auction 2887, 2887/Lot# 1417 $29.00
9/19/2010 PCGS MS 63   Goldberg September 19-21, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 60/Lot# 1584 $1,322.50
10/13/2011 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(2), 1160/Lot# 3995 $1,265.00
12/13/2012 PCGS MS 65   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20086/Lot# 1112 $11,700.00
3/2/2014 PCGS AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 793, 802/Lot# 1158 $475.00
3/21/2014 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2014 March 21 & 23 US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(3), 1198/Lot# 11365 $528.75
6/29/2014 PCGS VF 25   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 195/Lot# 204339 $48.60
1/7/2015 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(8), 1216/Lot# 10452 $517.00
8/18/2015 NGC MS 61   Stack's Bowers 2015 Chicago ANA, 6104/Lot# 42461 $499.38

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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