1943 Half Dollar Value

1943 Half Dollar Value: How Much is a 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Worth?

One look at the 1943 half dollar is enough to understand why it is a collectors’ favorite and one of the most loved old U.S. coins.

The 1943 half dollar coin sports the iconic Walking Liberty design that is easily one of the most symbolic on a United States coin and arguably one of the most aesthetic pieces ever produced by the U.S. Mint.

Editor’s Note:

The walking Liberty coin design was one of the products of a competition set out in 1915 by then U.S. Mint Director, Robert W. Woolley, through the Commission of Fine Arts, seeking replacement designs for the dime, quarter, and half dollar.

The statute limiting the rate of change of U.S. coin design to at least 25 years had expired for those coins which were then bearing designs created in 1892 by seasoned Mint Engrave Charles E. Barber. Consequently, the U.S. Mint director took it upon himself to use this opportunity to influence coinage aesthetics over the next couple decades.

At the end of the competition, Distinguished engraver and sculptor, Adolph A. Weinman won the design rights for the dime and half dollar with his unique Liberty Head and Walking Liberty designs.

The 1943 Half Dollar Design

The half dollar’s design features a full-length portrait of Liberty walking in full stride towards the set on the edge of the canvas as it would sit during the dawn of a new day. Liberty also carries branches of laurel and oak in one arm.

These branches symbolize the American greatness and the glory of the U.S. in both the military and civil spheres.

Meanwhile, her other arm points forward and skyward in the direction of the part of the rising sun as if bestowing the spirit of freedom across the land as a waving Stars and Stripes flag floats with the breeze in the background.

Editor’s Note:

The personification of Liberty is an American symbol derived from the ancient Roman goddess Libertas, the goddess of freedom.

In the U.S., Liberty is often portrayed with five-pointed stars, a raised hand, and sometimes a sword. Liberty appears on a broad variety of American staples, including the American flag, the flags of the States of New Jersey and New York, several American currencies, many U.S. postage stamps, and the dome of the U.S. Capitol.

The reverse side of the coin is equally as iconic, sporting the majestic American Bald Eagle in its full glory, perched high up in the mountains, wings out wide, representing the fearlessness and unrivaled power of the American spirit.

With a coin bearing this quintessentially American design, it is no surprise that over the years, it has garnered an extremely high-interest level from collectors around the country.

However, while the design of the Walking Liberty half dollar is a sight to behold, their relative complexity and later apparent structural flaws created problems for the mint. The coin design was hard to implement, and a lot of back and forth and complaints from stakeholders went on before the coin was produced.

Plus, even though the new design was finally approved and successfully minted, the coin never struck very well and proved almost impossible to perfect. Due to the structural challenges in producing this coin, it also had issues with chipping or fading easier than is typical.

Yet, the Walking Liberty stayed in production from 1916 until 1948, when it was replaced by the Franklin half dollar.

Having stuck a long production life for such a problematic coin to produce further emphasizes the allure of the Walking Liberty design on the 1943 half dollar.

Furthermore, even after its retirement from the half dollar, the Walking Liberty design by Adolph A. Weinman hasn’t been fully abandoned by the U.S. government. A modified version of Weinman’s Walking Liberty has been featured on the American Silver Eagle (the official silver bullion coin of the United States) since 1986 and also made an appearance on a special centennial edition of Walking Liberty half dollar produced in 2016.

1943 Half Dollar Value

Unsurprisingly, there is an abundance of coin collectors seeking to add this piece to their collection. However, with the coin being almost 8 decades old, it is becoming increasingly harder to find excellent specimens from that year.

Are you looking to add the 1943 half dollar to your collection or to sell the one you found? How much value does the 1943 dollar currently have?

The 1943 half dollar’s 90% silver composition means that every coin—irrespective of its condition—is worth at least its weight in silver. With the coin measuring a total of 12.5 grams (10.254 grams silver,) this means every 1943 half dollar is worth at least around $7.

However, the key determinant of the exact price of each 1943 half dollar coin is its quality. A circulated piece of decent quality is easily worth between $9-$13.

Good condition coins retail for at least $13, while the best condition circulated coins can reach a $20 price point. Uncirculated 1943 half dollars easily fetch $35 or higher.

This steep rise in prices as you move up in quality (often reaching 2 to 3 times its silver melt value) reflects the sentimental value of the 1943 Walking Liberty half dollar and increased interest from collectors.

Furthermore, with a coin this old—and one with structural issues that give it a tendency to wear faster most—the average market value is only expected to rise yearly as top-quality specimens become increasingly harder to find.

Mintage

In 1943, the U.S. Mint struck almost 800 million new half dollar coins, with the bulk of the coins coming from the Philadelphia Mint supported by supplementary mintage from the Denver and San Francisco Mints.

Similar to what you get with most U.S. coins, the pieces from the Philadelphia Mint shipped with no mint mark, while the coins struck at Denver and San Francisco bore “D” and “S” mint marks, respectively.

Mint Mint Mark Total Mintage
Philadelphia 53,190,000
Denver “D” 11,346,000
San Francisco “S” 13,450,000

Finding any of these coins in good condition is already a hassle. However, the problem is further compounded if you seek the rarer Denver and San Francisco mint, so you should expect a significant price premium.

Due to the difficulty of perfecting the striking of the Walking Liberty design, most of the coins from the 1943 half dollar series are generally weak.

The San Francisco (S) 1943 half dollar is notorious for being the faintest of the bunch, with many specimens having considerably washed-out elements. Hence, 1943-S half dollars in uncirculated or near-uncirculated conditions are even harder to find and easily retail for at least $65.

The Denver (D) mint coins have the lowest mintage of the bunch and often prove the most elusive to coin collectors. Expect to pay $70 or higher for a 1943-D half dollar in uncirculated-level condition.

Value Chart

Refer to the table below for an approximate estimate of the market value of the 1943 Walking Liberty half dollar. Use this chart as a general guide for making better market decisions.

Coin Type⬇\Average Quality➜ MS 55-57 MS 58-59 MS 60 MS 61-63 MS 65 or Higher
1943 half dollar (Philadelphia mint) $7-$8 $10-18 $30-$35 $150-$500 $25000+
1943-S half dollar $7-$8 $12-$20 $60-$100 $250-$1000 $30000+
1943-D half dollar $9-$10 $12-$20 $65-$100 $250-$1000 $30000+

1943 Half Dollar Error Coins

Due to unique structural problems the U.S. Mint had to wade through to get the Walking Liberty design struck, you would expect an abundance of error coins. However, the opposite is the case.

There is a relatively tiny variation in the coins in the series, including the 1943 half dollar.

Furthermore, there is no aggressive demand on 1943 half dollar error coins as most of the existing errors are relatively minor, such as a slight displacement or overpunching of the mint mark.

Consequently, you will be hard-pressed to find a 1943 Walking Liberty error coin with any considerable resultant market value.

However, valuing an error coin is tough, as the final price always depends on the subjective value placed on it by collectors at the auction.

Hence, if you suspect your 1943 half dollar is a valuable error coin, it is best to get a coin expert’s perspective before listing it for sale.

FAQs

Where is the mint mark on a 1943 silver half dollar?

Due to the alluring and elaborate Liberty portrait that graces the obverse of the Walking Liberty half dollar coins, the mint mark was eventually moved to the reverse, further bolstering its general aesthetics.

Consequently, later versions of the silver half dollar, including the 1943 half dollar, will have their mint marks, when present, on the reverse side of the coin.

The Philadelphia mints of this coin ship without a mint mark.

How much are standing Liberty half dollars worth?

All coins in the Walking Liberty half dollar series feature a composition of 90% silver. Hence, these coins are worth at least their melt silver value which often crosses the $7 mark. However, prices can rise dramatically for coins with high conditions.

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