Walking Liberty Centennial Gold Half Dollar Launches Thursday at Noon

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On Thursday, November 17, at noon, the Mint will release the third and final coin in the commemorative trio honoring the historic U.S. coin designs of 1916. The first coin in the series was the Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin, issued on April 21 and honoring the 1916 Winged Liberty design by Adolph A. Weinman. This was followed on September 8 by the Standing Liberty Centennial Gold Coin, honoring Hermon A. MacNeil’s 1916 quarter-dollar design. The third and final coin commemorates Weinman’s Walking Liberty 1916 half dollar.

The original coins, issued in 1916 as a welcome change from 25 years of Barber designs on the dimes, quarters, and halves, were business strikes in 90% silver, and were struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints. In 1936, the Philadelphia Mint began to strike Proofs as well as business strikes; this continued through 1942. By that time, MacNeil’s Standing Liberty quarter had been replaced with the now-familiar Washington quarter (in 1932), so the P-Mint Proof quarters from 1936 to 1942 were of the Washington design. (However, a few specimen strikes of the 1917 Standing Liberty quarter are known to exist.)

All of the new designs were well received, especially the half dollar and the dime. The July 16, 1916, “Report of the Director of the Mint” describes Weinman’s half dollar:

The design of the half dollar bears a full-length figure of Liberty, the folds of the Stars and Stripes flying to the breeze as a background, progressing in full stride toward the dawn of a new day, carrying branches of laurel and oak, symbolical of civil and military glory. The hand of the figure is outstretched in bestowal of the spirit of Liberty.

The reverse of the half dollar shows an eagle perched high upon a mountain crag, his wings unfolded, fearless in spirit and conscious of his power. Springing from a rift in the rock is a sapling of mountain pine, symbolical of America.

The diameters of the original circulating coins were 17.9 mm for the silver dime, 24.3 mm for the silver quarter, and 30.6 mm for the silver half. For the 99.99% fine gold commemoratives, the Mint was aiming for weights that would be symbolic of each denomination; this meant altering the coins’ diameters slightly. Thus, the 1/10-ounce dime was struck at 16.5 mm; the 1/4-ounce quarter, at 22 mm; and the 1/2-ounce half, 27 mm. The gold commemoratives, like their 1916 counterparts, have a business-strike finish.

As noted, the original circulating coins were very well received. The responses to the gold Centennial commemoratives, however, have been mixed. The first release—the Mercury Dime Centennial—had a mintage limit of 125,000 and a household order limit of 10. The Mint’s stock of the coins (which were naturally the smallest and thus least expensive of the trio, priced at $205), sold out within about 45 minutes of the noon release. In subsequent weeks, the initial sales figures were adjusted and returns accounted for, leaving the adjusted net demand at 116,096. It is unclear whether the remaining mintage limit of 8,904 will be released or the coins will be declared officially sold out.

The second coin—the Standing Liberty Quarter Centennial—did not fare as well. The mintage limit of 100,000 was more attractive, but the relatively high price ($485) of the larger coin, coupled with a household order limit of 1, contributed to tepid sales after launch. Lowering the limit was a natural response for the Mint, which received criticism from collectors who were left out in the cold by the dime’s quick sellout. A couple of weeks later the Mint removed the order limits, which was helpful, but the proverbial ship had sailed. The ample supply of remaining stock (more than 45,000 coins) was discouraging for resale prospects, and in any case many collectors had already used their annual budget on the Mint’s numerous 2016 offerings.

Thursday’s Walking Liberty Centennial Half Dollar still has a chance to do well. Weinman’s design is a perennial collector favorite. The mintage has been reduced yet again, to 70,000; and the household order limit—although not a generous 10 or zero—is 3, which is better than the SLQ’s original limit of 1. On ebay, a quick search pulled up 28 presale results; after subtracting three extreme outliers (two at $1,995 and one at $1,790, along with one unscrupulous gold-plated offering of $129.99 for the entire set of three), the average presale price is $1,163—about 30% or more above the anticipated Mint price. (As of 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Mint has not yet announced the sales price of the Walking Liberty Centennial Gold Coin. Collectors who are well versed in the Mint’s pricing grid are looking for a final price of $865 or $890, based on the London Bullion Market Association’s average gold value.)

Another potential factor: at this time of year, many consumers are planning their budgets for the holiday season. Whether the average budget will allow for an $865 coin purchase remains to be seen.  ❑

 

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Comments

  1. cagcrisp says

    @ data dave, I admire that you have taken a strong stand Before Launch and not waiting to red board the blog after the fact.

    I agree that it is the Most anticipated offering of the year and was my THE coin for 2016.

    The problem I have with your analysis is big boy/dealer participation. I just question their participation. Now I know most big boys/dealers don’t sell on the bay, however, some that are cannot compete with texasgse pricing. Look at completed sales on the bay for the WHL and the SLQ and you can see for virtually anyone wanting a graded 70 that it is cheaper to buy on the bay than it is to purchase from the Mint and submit and hope you get a 70 vs. 69.

    Currently WHL are selling for less (on average) in graded 70 vs. raw. The SLQ are not because there has not been a sellout.

    Dealers for graded coins have been burned with the release of the WHL , the Liberty Silver medals and the SLQ. There’s just a razor thin profit margin on these coins. How many times are they going to go to the well?

    I just question how many big boys/dealers will step up to the plate. These guys aren’t in it fo their health. No profit potential means No purchase .

    My guesstimate for Launch Day sales is 47,893.

    Again, thanks for going out there on that Sell Out limb. Someone’s sawing on the limb. Just hope you’re on the right side when the limb comes crashing down…

  2. fmtransmitter says

    On Wednesday, November 15, at noon, the Mint will release the third and final coin in the commemorative trio honoring the historic U.S. coin designs of 1916.

    ??

  3. fmtransmitter says

    I added some thoughts on yesterday’s blog at the end…Just thoughts about the TPG’s and stuff…

  4. fmtransmitter says

    So Krates says
    NOVEMBER 14, 2016 AT 8:37 PM

    FMT – Thanks for the link. The Poles should be proud – that spherical “coin” is awesome. They have a bad-ass 7 oz silver sphere, and we have Boys Town and arm pit hairs.

    I thought that springbok “coin” you linked the other day pushes the definition of a coin too far. That thing is like a sculpture. When the device height is way out of proportion to the rim it gets silly. I used to have a pop-up round that had slots so you could stand up the separate World Trade Center and a ship inserts to make it 3-D.

    I agree, the springbok above a round coin was silly but yea, that spherical coin is sick!

  5. Teach says

    All of the new designs were well received, especially the half dollar and the dime. The July 16, 2916, “Report of the Director of the Mint” describes Weinman’s half dollar:

    Shouldn’t that be 1916 and not 2916?

  6. datadave says

    @cagcrisp – not much of a limb on my part, it’s not like I am risking money and buying a lot. I think it is a nice coin that will be a great addition to my collection. It will also be a good market barometer. I agree that eBay flippers are probably out of luck if texasgse keeps selling at no profit.

  7. cagcrisp says

    The Silver Krugerrands mintage limit is now listed as 1,000,000.

    SO…maybe you will not get as high of a ridiculous premium…

  8. So Krates says

    @ FMT – Yeah that AI coin is definitely interesting. Louis has opined favorably about it. I wish I could make the leap of faith to these “premium” coins at $100+/oz.

  9. Asherspapa says

    Why should the WLH be more than $820, the current price of the 2016 First Spouse UNC gold coins?

  10. says

    I will pleased to complete the three coin set today, place the trio in my collection, and pass them along someday to my son and, hope he passes them on to his children–after he finishes middle school, high school and college, of course. It’s another good day to be a collector of coins I like.

  11. data dave says

    Latest FS series comments – Nixon Proof just passed Coolidge Proof (2316 to 2315) leaving only the Ford Proof with less 2014. Ford might catch up here, but even if she doesn’t I still think the Eleanor Proof is the key proof to collect. On the UNC side it looks like Eisenhower (1878) and Reagan (1614) will catch Roosevelt (1886 low in clubhouse), but Truman (1786), Johnson (1691), Nixon (1373) and Ford (1309) will fall short.

    This is one of the most thinly traded series on ebay, with a lot of the coins only selling once per month.

  12. data dave says

    Latest 5 oz Puck news – Ft. Moultrie starts at 24.8K, and TR (35.2K) is still behind Harper’s Ferry (36.8K). This makes me think that bullion designs really don’t matter. A lot of people have stated that TR is the one to collect this year, but sales have been luke warm on this one.

    Interesting, even at only 24.8K Ft. Moultrie passes the six lowest bullion versions right out of the gate. Hawaii and Denali at 20K, arches and Sand Dunes at 22K and El Yunque and Chaco at 24K.

  13. bobo says

    >Why should the WLH be more than $820, the current price of the 2016 First Spouse UNC gold coins?

    Asherspapa, the mint slapped a surcharge of an additional $45 on this coin just to be greedy and because they could. Basically, collectors are willing to pay over forty percent above spot if the coin is nice.

  14. bobo says

    Data Dave, I bet it will be the Eleanor Roosevelt FS coin that claims the highest premiums for both proof and unc in ten years, even if some of the others come in a few hundred under her in terms of mintage, because she was the only first lady of historical significance and, unlike the others, had a surprise sell-out.

  15. cagcrisp says

    @bobo @Asherspapa, The additional money on the WLH is $70.00

    $30.00 for the dime, $50.00 for the quarter and $70.00 for the half…

  16. indydude says

    Asherspapa says

    November 16, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Why should the WLH be more than $820, the current price of the 2016 First Spouse UNC gold coins?

    When I was at the Cumberland Gap Coin Release I asked about the dime release and the cost at the coin forum as I assumed they would be close to the Gold Eagle releases. The lady that used to run the coin releases (Teddy Roosevelt was her last show, and I apologize as I do not know her name) replied that they added the $45 or so for the wooden cases that are distinctive to these gold tributes.

  17. cagcrisp says

    @indydude, I sure Hope you didn’t believe that story. Those boxes probably cost less that $2.00 each.

    You have a Much nicer wooden box for the FS and Buffalo…

  18. bobo says

    Interesting account of how obstructivist the USMint is when confronted with one citizen’s attempt to use freedom of information requests regarding thegold held in Ft. Knox and elsewhere:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-16/dear-us-mint-we-gave-you-foia-funds-now-give-us-fort-knox-audit-documents

    This kind of nonsense by the USmint, combined with the refusal to allow an audit, combined with the failure of the Germans and others to get their gold back from the NY Fed basically tells the world that the powers that be sold our gold furtively and now have nowhere near the 8k+ tons they pretend to. Let’s assume they have no gold until they permit a third party audit.

    Trump should find out the truth soon. Let’s hope he tweets the people what he finds and reveals to us what they have done to the core pillar underlying our remaining claims to reserve currency status. If there is no gold in Ft. Knox expect the end of the age of fiat currencies to ensue. Let’s just hope this does not result in financial ruin for those who did not switch their paper and digits nto gold while they still could.

  19. bobo says

    Here is an argument that the US dollar will be replaced by IMF SDR fiat, and that there will be a system lockdown by 2018. It is a half hour well-spent listening to what the elites have planned for our financial imprisonment in their new system.

    https://globalaffairspress.com/2016/11/10/theyre-going-to-lock-down-the-system-jim-rickards/

    “Chris Martenson Interviews… Jim Rickards to share the predictions from his new book The Road To Ruin: The Global Elite’s Secret Plan For The Next Financial Crisis. Rickards warns of a coming confidence boundary in central bank omnipotence. Once breached, trust and belief in the central banking cartel quickly vaporizes. Rickards predicts that boundary will be crossed by 2018 or sooner; and when it is, the entire financial system will go into lockdown, freezing access to our money.”

  20. Dustyroads says

    Didn’t President Reagan state that our gold stored in Fort Knox will be used to mint US Mint gold coins?

  21. So Krates says

    Asherspapa, Louis posted this a couple of weeks ago

    “The Mint did explain, as I noted in my piece on the gold dimes, that there were higher production costs due to issue like the fact that each die produced far fewer coins that is the case with bullion and proof AGE coins. I still think they could have been a little cheaper (mainly the quarter and half).”

  22. So Krates says

    @ bobo – that FOIA request story sounded strange. The author goes on and on about his utter disbelief that a check is required to pay the government and the ineptitude of himself and bank employees to cut a check.

  23. bobo says

    Sokrates, just because Moy says so does not mean that he is right. What is needed is an objective audit by a third party, such as Ron Paul has long pushed for to no avail. Auditors will take assays to make sure all the gold is there. For all we know, Moy saw bars of tungsten plated with gold.

    Until there is an objective audit of the Fed and our gold, I will assume that the financial skimmers sold it off for their own benefit at the expense of the American people, and I will plan my finances accordingly. I for one have lost faith in our fiat paper and digits,that they can concoct at will to buy the products of those who labor for a living. The reason that I and many others advocate a return to sound money, as demanded in our constititution, is that it is the only way to avoid one group of people being able to create money out of nothing, and then go and buy up the world. The present system leads to devaluation through inflation for us sheep, and the ownership of our national assets by them, the financial parasites.

  24. Louis Golino, Author says

    Rickards believes the gold is in Ft. Knox, as do I. Read his latest book to see why it must be there as it is listed as a key asset on the Fed’s books.

  25. Castaway says

    Louis I have looked online, twitter, etc and cannot find any early photographs of the Walking Liberty outside of the US Mints digital images on their webpage. Have you seen any pictures yet?

    I think this is a marketing failure of the mint IMO. White glove pictures holding the coin or the like would help with building momentum. Releasing the pictures the morning of on twitter just is not enough time for wide exposure.

  26. John says

    Got through the first 3 steps in under a minute, but it got a little hosed up on the Place Order. After a few reloads, got the order. 3 minutes…USM04640xxx

  27. CoinMark says

    Weird snafus with site but got thru as guest after 3 logins and filling out the same form each time. But appeared to get one USM04641XXX

  28. AZ Dan says

    2nd one, in and out in a minute 04644xxx. I figure they are selling about 1680 per minute and if it continues there could be a sellout in 40 minutes, but who knows if it will continue. That’s a lot of money for a coin

  29. Selacious Crumb says

    Believe it or not I forgot to order one at 12:00! So I hoped on line a little after 1:00pm and breezed right through. Order #04656XXX

  30. Mike says

    Just placed an order, went through a breeze. My order number is #04657552.

    I wonder how quickly it’s selling?

  31. Bill says

    I got right on at noon, everything went quick till I placed order. 12:07 got thank you for your order! #04645xxx. Quickest I have been in and out! 🙂

  32. AZ Dan says

    @Mike, based on your order number I’d say just under 20,000 were ordered by the time you ordered yours. I figure the rate now is about 200 / minute – Interest is waning.

  33. Mike says

    @AZ Dan: I hear you man. It’s amazing to think that if it doesn’t sell out right away then the whole product launch is a dud? I suppose history will show if this is just a trinket or if it will appreciate. I for one love the classic design, and I’m hoping long-term that carries it to more worth and appreciation. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Jerry Diekmann says

    Looks like the WLH will not be a sellout in the first day – I wonder what the first day sales will be, and the first week sales.

  35. Dante says

    No problem getting one of these right now, I am surprised at the lack of demand. Just like the gold Kennedy half.

  36. achmed says

    With the price of gold declinging it is no surprise that people are waiting for at least one more price decrease.

  37. .John Q. Coinage says

    Sales # point to a limp along till limits lifted or gold tumbles a tad…..better to buy a 1/2 Proof AU Eagle look @ the #s……maybe mayb not……

  38. art says

    When y’all are coming up with estimated sales numbers, are you assuming buyers are buying just 1 or more than that? It’s tough to estimate how many are sold when you don’t know.

  39. .John Q. Coinage says

    Based on AG SLQ sales the WL will take time to sell out…..we’ll see but the real ? is what’s up with all the Gold Mercury’s the mint has in their crotch?

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