Demand is broad for Mint State Walking Liberty half dollars and many
issues have seen prices increase steadily in the last month.
As of May 25, there are at least five wholesale buyers who are
aggressively buying MS-64 to MS-66 Walking Liberty half dollars in
large quantities to fill orders. At the wholesale level, MS-64
examples are priced at $56, MS-65 pieces are at $131 and MS-66 coins
are being sought in large quantities for $190 each.
While silver’s recent drop cooled off the overheated generic Mint
State Morgan and Peace dollar market, Walking Liberty half dollars
The retail prices that collectors are paying for the half dollars
have not yet caught up to the wholesale demand. For example, at a May
24 Heritage Internet Coin Auction with broad participation, a mostly
brilliant 1947-D Walking Liberty half dollar graded MS-65 by
Numismatic Guaranty Corp. realized just $126.50 over eight bids,
despite several wholesale dealers offering to buy any brilliant MS-65
example for $131.
To contrast, a toned 1940 Walking Liberty half dollar in NGC MS-65
realized just $104. As with the recent action for generic Morgan and
Peace dollars, demand is reserved for coins that are untoned, or very
For sure, the market for generic Walking Liberty half dollars is
smaller than for Morgan and Peace dollars, simply because there are
fewer examples. It is substantially more challenging to find 1,000
MS-65 Walking Liberty half dollars when compared to Morgan dollars in
the same grade.
The market’s appetite for Walking Liberty half dollars goes up to
more expensive issues. A look at recent auction results reveals that
there is especially strong demand for the tough early Denver Mint
issues in MS-62 through MS-64.
At the same time, buyers have become increasingly choosy with
conditionally rare late-date (post-1933) issues. Wide price ranges at
auction for coins of the same date, grade and grading service show
that buyers are looking for more than just a grade when selecting
coins for grading service’s registry sets.
At Heritage Central States Numismatic Society convention auctions in
late April, just five of the 310 Walking Liberty half dollars offered
failed to find bidders — each was a high-grade late-date issue.
Buy-ins like these are often the result of the consignor having more
enthusiasm about a coin’s value than the bidding audience. ■