And say a little prayer for right
You know that if we are to stay alive
Then see the peace in every eye
In 1915 new Mint Director Robert Woolley commissioned a competition for designs to replace the Barber half dollar. The winning design came from Adoph A. Weinman, a German immigrant and sculptor. (Weinman also won the dime competition with a design that affectionately become known as the 'Mercury dime').
1934-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS66+ CAC
The obverse of Weinman's half dollar design featured a full length Lady Liberty striding to the left across the landscape with an American flag behind her blowing in the breeze. She carries branches of laurel and oak in her left arm, symbolic of civic and military virtue. Her right arm is outstretched in the spirit of liberty. She walks toward the dawn of a new day, with the sun rising near her feet on the periphery at about 7 o'clock. The coin's lettering was art deco style. LIBERTY surrounds the top with the date at the bottom. IN GOD WE TRUST appears in the lower right field.
1937-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS67 ex Sounder
1939 Walking Liberty Half Dollar PCGS PR67
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.5 g
Composition: silver .90; copper .10
1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS67+ CAC
1944-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS66
Collectors seeking to amass sets of business strike Walkers have several options. Some pursue the entire 1916-1947 series although this can be quite challenging due the scarcity of several early issues, particularly in high grades. The forty coin 'late date' set interests many collectors as it spans 1933 thru 1947 with all issues available in mint-state grades. Finally, there is the twenty coin 'short' set spanning 1941 thru 1947 that is very popular--particularly as a way to affordably get started in the series.
1947-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS66+ CAC
The Walking Liberty half is also important from a historical standpoint. The series spanned several defining periods in twentieth century America. Walkers were introduced as the US moved from peace to World War I. It was carried in people's pockets during the Roaring Twenties and the Depressionary Thirties. It remained the bulwark of everyday commerce during World War II, and exited the other side to peace once again.
War and peace. Boom and bust. The Walking Liberty half constitutes an artifact of the best and worst of times.