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Monday, April 16, 2012

1917s Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollar
The Walking Liberty half dollar, referred to by collectors as a “Walker”, is a silver fifty cents or half dollar coin which was issued from 1916 to 1947 by the United States mint office. The coin known for its beautiful design, was designed by Adolph A. Weinman.  
The new half dollar came to life as a result of the decision taken in 1915 by the new mint director, Robert W. Woolley whom decided to replace the old barber coinage, dimes, quarters and half dollars dated back to 1892 and designed by Charles E. Barber, as he thought it was required to change the coins’ designs every twenty five years. Weinman was chosen in a competition conducted by the commission of fine arts to design the dime and half dollars.  
Adolph Weinman was born in Germany and immigrated to the US at the age of ten. He was trained with the famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens where he worked on the famous Saint-Gaudens twenty dollar Double Eagle gold coin. Following Saint-Gaudens death Weinman continued his work shop and by 1915 became a  well-known sculpture in the US.
The observe of the coin includes a full length figure of liberty, the folds of the stars and stripes flying to the breeze as a background, progressing in full stride towards the dawn of a new day, carrying branches of laurel and oak a symbol of civil and military glory. The hands of the figure are outstretched in bestowal of the spirit of liberty. Arrayed around the edge is the word “liberty”, and the motto “In god we trust” on the right of the Liberty.
The observe design is used today for the observe of the American Silver Eagle one ounce bullion coin.
The reverse of the coin includes an eagle perched high upon a mountain crag, his wing unfolded, fearless in the spirit and conscious of power. Springing from a rift in the rock is a young mountain pine, symbolical of the United States of America. The words "United States of America" ring the edge above the eagle and below is the denomination "Half Dollar” and the motto "E pluribus Unum” ", meaning "Out of Many, One" on the left of the Eagle's breast.
The coin is 30.6 mm in diameter, weighs 12.50 grams and is made of .900 pure silver. It carries 0.3617 troy ounces of silver, about 1/3rd of a troy ounce.
The United States minted more than 485 million Walking Liberties from 1916 to 1947. Although the coins value is fifty cents, collectors would pay a few hundred dollars for the coin, depending on its grade and usage. For example, some issues are more rare such as 1921, 1938-D, 1941-S, 1916, 1916-S and 1917-D issues which receive higher prices. However, most series are relatively available in reasonable prices and collectors are usually able to complete the full sets of the sixty five dates.

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