US Coins

Here's what the Walking Liberty gold half looks like

UPDATE: The U.S. Mint has provided additional details on the coin's specifications.

Production has begun for the 2016-W Walking Liberty gold half dollar.

Illustrated above is an example of one of the coins from early production.

U.S. Mint officials confirm that output began Sept. 9 at the West Point Mint. Details have yet to be released on when the gold half dollars will go on sale, the numismatic product’s maximum mintage and whether there will be any household ordering limits.

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The 2016-W Walking Liberty gold half dollar will be the third and final release in 2016 to mark the 100th anniversaries of the 1916 Winged Liberty Head dime, Standing Liberty quarter dollar and Walking Liberty half dollar.

The anniversary issues are being struck in 24-karat gold versus their original 1916 composition of .900 fine silver.

RELATED: A possible solution (or not) to the Mint's fast sellouts of limited products

The Winged Liberty Head gold dime, weighing a tenth-ounce of pure gold, was issued April 21 with a production limit of 125,000 coins and household ordering limit of 10 coins. The mintage, offered at $205 per coin, sold out on the first day of sales. The U.S. Mint is currently storing between 8,000 and 9,000 of the gold dimes that were subsequently returned because of damage to the coin or packaging, or for other reasons, or the coins were never shipped because of expired credit cards that did not allow orders to be processed. U.S. Mint officials have not disclosed what they plan to do with the unsold gold dimes.

The 2016-W Standing Liberty gold quarter dollar went on sale Sept. 8 at $485 per coin. The product limit is 100,000 coins, with a household ordering limit of one coin. As of Sept. 12, the U.S. Mint had recorded sales of 53,378 coins.

The 2016-W Walking Liberty gold half dollar is to be a half-ounce of pure gold and bears the Walking Liberty designs of sculptor Adolph A. Weinman, who also designed the Winged Liberty Head dime. The original Standing Liberty quarter dollar, first struck in December 1916, is the work of sculptor Hermon A. MacNeil.

On the gold half dollar, AU 24K 1/2 OZ. is inscribed on the rock ledge below the eagle's talons and above HALF DOLLAR. Weinman's designer's initials, AW intertwined, appear in the field to the right of the rock ledge, where they are positioned also on the silver issues first introduced with 1916-dated coins.

The W Mint mark of the West Point Mint is positioned on the obverse, in the field below the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.

The gold half dollar is 27 millmeters in diameter, the same as that for the half-ounce gold American Eagle, and is 2.2 millimeters in thickness. The coins are being struck on a coinage press with the dies oriented vertically. The obverse is the upper or hammer die and the reverse is the lower or anvil die. The coin blanks are being struck twice at 110 tons of pressure per strike. The edge is reeded, with 135 reeds.

The planchets are being supplied by Leach Garner. The U.S. Mint takes the planchets upon receipt and burnishes them with steel media in mild solution of detergent and surfactant to clean and brighten them before striking.

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