1943 Half Dollar Value Guides (Rare Errors, “D”, “S” and No Mint Mark)

At the dawn of the 1900s, a special coin made its first appearance – the Walking Liberty half dollar, initially minted in 1916. A captivating piece that soon won the hearts of coin collectors, its allure persists, even decades after the last one was struck in 1947.

Jump to 1943, and the value of the half dollar from this year is a fascinating topic. Factors such as the mint it originated from, as well as the condition it’s in today, about 80 years later, play crucial roles in its valuation. With time, undamaged examples have become quite the rarity, enhancing their desirability among numismatists and thereby raising their market value.

To give you a clearer picture, let’s dive into a comparison of 1943 Walking Liberty half dollar values based on their condition and minting origin. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

Coin Grade No Mint Mark, 1943 Denver Mint (D), 1943 San Francisco Mint (S), 1943
Adequate $14 $14 $14
Better than average $16 $16 $16
Decent $17 $17 $17
Above average $19 $19 $19
Superb $19 $19 $19
Almost uncirculated $22 $26 $26
Fresh from the mint 60 $38 $53 $47
Fresh from the mint 63 $54 $85 $69
Perfect proof 65 Not available Not available Not available

Values according to the USA Coin Book

Through these figures, we can discern the fascinating narrative of a coin’s journey, reflecting our own understanding of history, craftsmanship, and value.

Read More: 18 Most Valuable Franklin Half Dollars Worth Money

The Evolution of the 1943 Half-Dollar Coin featuring Lady Liberty

In the annals of American coinage, the half-dollar coin depicting Lady Liberty in motion emerged in 1916, supplanting the preceding half-dollar series, named after its engraver, Barber. Despite their impressive 31-year production run by the United States Mint, these pieces of history have grown increasingly elusive, seldom encountered in present-day circulation.

A pivotal moment occurred in 1915, with the appointment of Robert W. Woolley as the new helmsman of the United States Mint. Upon assuming his new role, Woolley discovered a mandate demanding a design overhaul for coins that had crossed the 25-year usage mark. This led him to spearhead a coinage redesign initiative, leaving the legacy of the mint’s principal engraver, Barber, up for a much-needed refresh.

In this endeavor, Woolley employed the expertise of the Commission of Fine Arts. This venerable body was tasked with organizing a contest to breathe new life into the visual aesthetic of America’s quarters, half dollars, and dimes. Not one to ignore Barber’s skill, Woolley offered the veteran engraver an opportunity to throw his hat in the ring, inviting him to put forth a fresh design for the coins.

The proposed designs by a certain artist did not resonate with the members of the Fine Arts Commission, and thus, they were dismissed.

A snapshot of the 1943 Walking Liberty Half-Dollar details is as follows:

Mint Location Version Number of Coins Minted
Philadelphia No Mint Mark 53,190,000
Denver D Half Dollar 11,346,000
San Francisco S Half Dollar 13,450,000
Total 77,986,000

Following the rejection of Barber’s initial design, the Fine Arts Commission turned their attention to the creative geniuses Polasek, Weinman, and MacNeil to accomplish the mission. The commission encouraged these artists to put forward several alternative renditions for the half-dollar coin.

From the plethora of artistic submissions, the piece de resistance was a design created by Adolph Weinman. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. During the trial phase of minting, the design by Weinman encountered a few hurdles.

Weinman’s original design bore the word ‘LIBERTY’, but the artistic rendition did not reproduce well on the coins. Not to be deterred, Weinman revisited his design desk and came up with a revised version. In parallel, the head honcho of the Philadelphia mint pitched in to mitigate the issue. The relief on the coins was marginally reduced and the force used to strike the coin blanks was moderated.

As a result of these unforeseen technical challenges, the coin production encountered a delay. Yet, when these coins finally made their way into circulation, they were embraced with open arms by the public, demonstrating their instant popularity.

The Intricacies of the 1943 Half-Dollar Honoring Liberty’s Journey

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Regarded as one of the most aesthetically appealing coins to emerge from the United States Mint, the Walking Liberty half-dollar of 1943 is not without its share of challenges. The coin’s intricate design led to a rapid manifestation of wear on its surface, a testament to the delicate balance between artistic endeavor and practical functionality in minting.

An In-Depth Look at the Front Design of the 1943 Liberty Half-Dollar

The front side of the coin, or the obverse, boasts a depiction of Liberty herself in dynamic motion. Poised against the backdrop of an ascending sun, Liberty strides confidently forward, embodying the indomitable spirit of the nation. In a nod to the nation’s grandeur and prowess both in peace and in war, Liberty holds branches of laurel and oak in her grasp.

Dressed in garments that billow around her, Liberty effortlessly holds an emblem of the United States – the American flag – aloft over her shoulder. Her right hand is extended upward, reaching out to the boundless sky, a powerful representation of the unyielding pursuit of freedom in a newly born nation.

Words, too, find a place on this intricate coin. “LIBERTY” finds its home along the coin’s top edge, a constant reminder of what the figure represents. Below, on the right side of the coin, the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” reinforces the spiritual underpinnings of the nation’s ethos. The lower edge of the coin is reserved for the year of minting, proudly displaying the number “1943”.

A Glimpse into the Artistry of the 1943 Walking Liberty Half-Dollar’s Reverse Side

At the heart of the Walking Liberty half-dollar, minted in 1943, lies an emblematic tableau. The national bird of the United States, the mighty and fearless bald eagle, occupies center stage. Outspread wings suggest the boundless vigor of the nation, as the eagle is situated atop a rugged rock formation, symbolizing the country’s resilient spirit since its inception.

Interestingly, the eagle grasps a young pine tree in its right claw. This imagery is a metaphorical nod towards the United States itself. The phrase ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM,’ Latin for ‘Out of Many, One,’ hovers at the highest point of this pine sapling.

Surrounding the eagle’s majestic countenance, the inscription ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’ proudly unfurls along the coin’s top edge. Just as compelling, the value ‘HALF DOLLAR’ is etched into the bottom periphery of this historical coin.

1943 Walking Liberty Half-Dollar: An Overview

Attributes Specifications
Monetary Worth Half a Dollar ($0.50)
Shape Circular
Material Composition A blend of 90% silver and 10% copper
Silver Content by Weight 0.36169 troy ounces or roughly 11.25 g
Total Coin Weight 0.44092 ounces or approximately 12.5 g
Diameter Around 1.20512 inches or 30.61 mm
Thickness Roughly 0.08464 inches or 2.15 mm
Edge Type Grooved, also known as reeded

Exploring the Unique Characteristics of the 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar

The 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar, distinguished by its alluring blend of copper and silver, is more than a simple piece of currency – it is a testament to the artistry and precision of coin minting during that era. With a circular shape and grooved periphery, the coin’s design is both pleasing to the eye and to the touch.

Its thickness, almost comparable to the slender spine of a hardcover novella at approximately 2.15 millimeters (0.08464 inches), adds a certain heft, making its presence known to anyone fortunate enough to hold it. The diameter, measuring 30.61 millimeters (1.20512 inches), is reminiscent of a small pocket watch, easily nestling within the confines of a palm.

Taking into consideration the coin’s mass, it is rather substantial. Weighing in at 12.5 grams (0.44092 ounces), it possesses an equivalent weight to roughly two AA batteries. However, it’s worth noting that not all of this weight belongs to silver. Approximately 11.24981 grams (0.36169 troy ounces) of the coin’s total weight is attributed to the precious metal, silver, rendering it a valuable piece to collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Assessing the Worth of the 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar

The Walking Liberty Half Dollar holds a significant place in US numismatic history, with 1943 being an especially noteworthy year. This was the period of peak production, with an incredible 77,986,000 pieces being coined by three different US Mints. The mark of the mint which produced the coin remains the solitary distinguishing feature.

The Unmarked 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar

The largest share of these coins, over two-thirds, were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Uniquely, coins from this mint lacked a mark, a convention prevalent during that era. They produced a colossal 53,190,000 pieces, and these coins do not carry a mint mark on their reverse.

Here is a simple comparison of the values for three variants of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar coin minted in 1943, classified by their grading or condition (MS stands for Mint State, a scale used to determine the quality of a coin).

Condition 1943 Philadelphia (No Mint Mark) 1943 Denver (D) 1943 San Francisco (S)
MS 60 $28 – $33.6 $38 – $45.6 $40 – $48
MS 61 $32 – $38.4 $42 – $50.4 $44 – $52.8
MS 62 $39 – $46.8 $47 – $56.4 $52 – $62.4
MS 63 $46 – $55.2 $59 – $70.8 $69 – $82.8
MS 64 $77 – $84 $78 – $93.6 $100 – $120
MS 65 $83 – $99.6 $140 – $168 $181 – $217.2
MS 66 $146 – $175.2 $186 – $223.2 $380 – $456
MS 67 $426 – $600 $476 – $600 $4,000 – $4,800
MS 68 $9,900 – $25,000 $20,000 – $24,000 NA
Source: Greysheet

The vast quantities of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar minted in 1943 mean that these coins are plentiful in the present market. This abundant supply keeps the average price on the lower side, with a reasonably well-preserved coin often changing hands for around $14. However, those that are in mint condition command substantially higher prices, even reaching the five-figure mark.

It’s also worth noting that auction events can occasionally defy expectations. For instance, a passionate coin enthusiast once parted with an astonishing $120,000 to add an MS 68+ graded 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar to their collection.

The Tale of the 1943 Denver (D) Walking Liberty Half-Dollar

In the realm of numismatics, the Denver mint, in 1943, issued an intriguing quantity of Walking Liberty half-dollars, a total of just over 11.3 million to be exact, each carrying the distinctive ‘D’ mark. This number, though the smallest mintage that year among the three mints, bestows an undeniable uniqueness upon each coin.

Interestingly, the value of these Denver-minted coins doesn’t greatly differ from those minted elsewhere, despite their relatively smaller production quantity. A well-circulated Denver half-dollar from 1943, showing its years and history, generally trades for about $14. However, when it comes to the mint condition coins, it’s an entirely different ballpark. These pristine pieces can command breathtaking amounts, as high as $24,000.

When these Denver coins hit the auction block, particularly the ones in mint state, they can ignite bidding wars. One prominent example is a 1943 D Walking Liberty half-dollar with a grade of MS 68, which fetched a remarkable $51,175 in one such event.

The Saga of the 1943 San Francisco (S) Walking Liberty Half-Dollar

Shifting our attention to the west, we find that San Francisco produced approximately 13.45 million Walking Liberty half-dollars in 1943, each adorned with an ‘S’ mark, denoting their origin. This quantity positions San Francisco’s mintage as the second highest for the year.

Much like their Denver counterparts, the general value of San Francisco half-dollars in circulated condition matches that of coins from Philadelphia and Denver, hovering around $14. In contrast, untouched and uncirculated coins hold a premium value among collectors, potentially fetching around $5,000.

Auctions, again, are a different animal. A perfect example is a San Francisco Walking Liberty half-dollar from 1943, which was given a grade of MS 67+ and commanded a staggering $66,000 during a high-stakes auction.

Unraveling the Intricacies of the 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar’s Anomalies and Types

Each coinage holds a multitude of potential irregularities and forms, some conspicuous to the naked eye, others barely discernible. Interestingly, the presence of an anomaly in a 1943 Walking Liberty half dollar coin elevates its price substantially in the numismatic marketplace when contrasted with its standard counterparts.

Deciphering the ‘Proof-Like’ 1943 S Walking Liberty Half Dollar

During the years of conflict, the US Mint abstained from crafting proof coins, therefore the 1943 half-dollar series lacked these specific types. Nevertheless, a keen observer might spot a ‘PL’ imprint on a few coins, indicating their ‘proof-like’ quality.

These ‘proof-like’ coins bear a striking resemblance to their proof counterparts, specifically in terms of the pronounced reflectivity of their surface, imparting them with an exceptional brightness.

Yet, the fundamental discrepancy between proof and ‘proof-like’ coins resides in their manufacturing techniques. The creation of a proof coin entails employing a meticulously polished blank and a specially-prepared die. To bring out every intricate detail of the design, the die is often struck more than once.

On the other hand, ‘proof-like’ coins are born from striking an exceptionally lustrous and aesthetically pleasing blank with a new or polished die. However, this process diverges from the proof coins as the die only strikes once, implying that ‘proof-like’ coins lack the meticulous craftsmanship bestowed upon the proofs.

Presently, ‘proof-like’ 1943 Walking Liberty half dollars remain scarce in the market. It is imperative to note that only those bearing the ‘S’ mint mark are considered to belong to this special category.

Striking Errors in Coin Minting

One frequent mishap in the minting process arises when the die does not align properly with the coin blank or planchet. Such errors vary in degree, from minor at 5% to drastic at 95%, with the percentage indicating how far the die is positioned from the center of the coin. Interestingly, numismatists find these anomalies appealing, with the value of the coin escalating with the severity of the off-center strike.

Read More: 1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value (Rare Errors, “D”, “S” and No Mint Mark)

The Mistaken Striking of the 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar on a Quarter Planchet

In certain circumstances, a mix-up in the mint can lead to a coin being struck on the wrong planchet. This is what occurred in 1943 when a Walking Liberty half dollar was accidentally struck on a quarter planchet. This type of error often slips under the radar due to the striking similarities in size and appearance between the two coin blanks.

Anomalies with the 1943 S Walking Liberty Half Dollar and the Peruvian Half Sol Planchet

A notable instance in the history of the US Mint involves Peruvian half sol planchets. Around this time, the US was minting several coin types for Peru, and, intriguingly, some Peruvian planchets found their way into the San Francisco mint. The result? Walking Liberty half dollars were mistakenly minted on these foreign coin blanks. Only a pair of these extraordinary pieces are known to have survived, with one fetching a whopping $20,000 at auction.

The 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar and the El Salvador 25 Centavos Planchet Mix-Up

A parallel occurrence happened with El Salvador coinage, showing that no mint is immune to the odd slip-up. While creating several series for the Central American nation, the US Mint accidentally used an El Salvador 25-centavos planchet to strike some half-dollar coins. Just like their Peruvian counterparts, these coins bear a hefty price tag, with estimates of their value reaching an impressive $15,000.

Essential Details on the 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar

What attributes contribute to the rarity of the 1943 Walking Liberty half-dollar?

Contrary to popular belief, the scarcity of a 1943 Walking Liberty half-dollar is hardly ever seen, considering the massive production number of almost 78 million units. In the world of coin collecting, it’s usually those coins with errors that hold the title of being “rare”.

What variations of the 1943 Walking Liberty half-dollar have fetched significant amounts in auctions?

Interestingly, three variations of this coin have made notable impressions in past auctions due to their exorbitant prices. In 2021, a 1943 MS 68+ half-dollar caused quite a stir at Stack’s Bowers Auctions by fetching a staggering $120,000. A 1943 S MS 67+ variation wasn’t far behind either, bagging a sum of $66,000 in the same auction. Moreover, in 2006, the 1943 D MS 68 half-dollar secured a bid of $51,175 at the Bowers & Merena Auctions, illustrating the enormous value these coins can hold.

What is the estimated value of a 1943 Walking Liberty half-dollar with no Mint mark?

A common 1943 half-dollar, struck in Philadelphia and in average circulated condition, usually falls in the affordable price bracket of just around $8. However, the same coin, if preserved in an unblemished state, can vary considerably in worth, ranging anywhere from $28 to an eye-watering $25,000, all subject to its overall condition and quality.

Which variant of the 1943 Walking Liberty half-dollar is considered the most scarce?

In terms of rarity, the 1943 S Walking Liberty half-dollar takes the crown, especially the ones minted on a Peru 1/2 Sol planchet. With only two believed to be in existence, these coins are highly coveted by avid collectors who are prepared to shell out as much as $20,000 to get their hands on this prized possession.