Interesting Facts about the Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollar:
-- Adolph A. Weinman's Walking Liberty is regarded as America's finest silver coin design. It's so popular that it was adapted for the new U.S. silver dollar introduced in 1986.
-- Weinman also designed the 1916-1945 Mercury dime, another masterpiece of the Beaux Arts school.
-- It's the most unabashedly patriotic coin in U.S. history: Liberty is garbed in the American flag. She strides towards the dawn of a new era.
-- Liberty wears the traditional Phrygian freedman's cap of the ancient world, symbolic of hard-won freedom. She carries laurel and oak branches, representing civil and military attainments.
-- Weinman's vigilant eagle stands on guard for American freedoms. Introduced when World War I was raging in Europe (a year before America's entry), the eagle does not hold the traditional peace branch and arrows of war. Instead, his right talon rests on a pine sapling. Like Liberty, the eagle exudes a confident power.
-- The first 1916-1917 issues carried mintmarks below the inscription "In God We Trust." It was the first time mintmarks appeared on the obverse of a U.S. coin in almost 80 years. In 1917, mintmarks were transferred to the reverse, above the pine sapling.
-- The Walking Liberty half dollar became eligible for retirement in 1942, after 25 years service. But the patriotic coin continued to be minted through World War II and the immediate postwar period. It was replaced by the Franklin half dollar in 1948.
Walking Liberty half dollars are 90% silver, 10% copper and contain .36169 ounces of pure silver. Each measures 30.6mm in diameter.