1917-S 50C Obverse MS (PCGS# 6572)
The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money
Lot Number: 2245
View the Original Auction
This lustrous, nicely struck Gem Walking Liberty half dollar is satiny, though low magnification reveals the surface stippling that was a bold innovation in Weinman's design; by the end of 1918 the stippling was worked out of the dies forever. A blush of rich champagne-gold iridescence engages both sides. No marks of any significance are noted. This date keeps company with eight others in the series that had a mintage of fewer than one million pieces. Though easily located in AU to MS-63 or so, the date is rare in Gem condition. PCGS has certified just three examples of the date in a finer grade than that offered here; we feel the number of grading <em>events </em>at the MS-65 level for the date must surely include some resubmissions. Choice and appealing, and worthy of strong bidding activity.<br />
<strong>Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers<br />
</strong>One of my favorite memories is an afternoon in 1953 when I thought it would be an interesting idea to form a complete collection of Walking Liberty half dollars from 1915 to 1947, or come as close as I could. With two Whitman folders in hand I went to the Forty Fort State Bank where I did business, spread the folders out on one of the counters, and proceeded exchanging rolls with a teller. Within two or three hours I had a complete set! In keeping track of the frequency of Walking Liberty half dollars in circulation in continuing times, I found that the most difficult to locate was the 1917-S Obverse Mintmark, as here, and the second hardest to find in circulation was the 1938-D. The issues of 1921 have lower mintages but turned up more frequently, although they were hardly common.