2016 Gold Walking Liberty Half-Dollar Launch (Updated)

by Mike Unser on November 17, 2016 · 97 comments

The United States Mint is selling the much-anticipated 2016-W Walking Liberty Centennial 1/2 Ounce Gold Coin beginning at noon ET today, Nov. 17. This collectible appears 100 years after the original Walking Liberty half-dollar debuted, and it is the last of three gold coins for this year to celebrate designs issued in the 1916 renaissance of American coinage.

2016-W Walking Liberty Centennial Gold Coin, Presentation Case

Adolph A. Weinman’s original “Walking Liberty” half-dollar design appears on the centennial gold coin. The obverse features a full–length figure of Liberty in full stride, enveloped in folds of the flag, with her right hand extended and branches of laurel and oak in her left. The reverse depicts an American eagle rising from a mountaintop perch. Different from the original design, it has added inscriptions of AU 24K and 1/2 OZ. The coin ships encapsulated and hand packaged in a custom-designed, hardwood presentation case that comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Unlike its century-old predecessor with its composition of 90% silver and 10% copper, the centennial edition is in .9999 fine 24-karat gold. Its one-half ounce weight is symbolic of the coin’s denomination, as is its business strike.

Here’s a table comparing specifications between the original silver half-dollar and the gold half-dollar:

1916-1947 50c Walking Liberty 2016 50c Gold Walking Liberty
Composition 90% silver; 10% copper 99.99% Gold
Weight 0.36169 silver troy oz. plus 0.04018 copper troy oz. (12.5 grams) 0.5000 troy oz. (15.552 grams)
Diameter 1.206 inches (30.63 mm) 1.063 inches (27.00 mm)
Thickness 0.070 inches (1.80 mm) 0.085 inches (2.16 mm)
Edge Reeded Reeded
Production Facility(s) Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco West Point


Last Release in 2016 Centennial Gold Coins

The U.S. Mint back in April released its gold Mercury dime, the first of the three 2016 centennial gold coins. Priced at $205; limited to a mintage of 125,000 coins; and restricted to sales of 10 coins per household, it went on back order after about 20 minutes and it became unavailable after around 40 minutes. Its latest sales are 116,096 coins. The U.S. Mint is yet to announce what it’s going to do with the remaining around 8,900 coins.

Then in September, the U.S. Mint issued the second centennial coin, the gold Standing Liberty quarter. It has a lower mintage of 100,000 but costs more (currently $460). The quarter’s initial household ordering limit of one coin is no longer in affect. Its latest sales are 80,633.

Price, Ordering, Mintage and Limits

The U.S. Mint’s collections of numismatic gold coins have prices that can change weekly depending on the trending value of gold and its pricing schedule. The gold Walking Liberty half-dollar will debut at $865.

Those interested in the new coin can order one on release straight from the U.S. Mint’s website. The coin’s product page is right here. Place phone orders at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

No more than 70,000 will be sold. There is an initial household ordering limit of 3 coins.

Update (Nov. 18): The U.S. Mint at 12:18 p.m. ET said first day sales reached 43,728 coins.

Update (Nov. 22): Four-day sales hit 46,956 coins according to the latest U.S. Mint sales data.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Jp November 19, 2016 at 11:40 am

I was off on my thought of how many would sell first day. I thought about 32k … but now given the price of gold tanking I wouldn’t doubt that the official initial sales numbers go down. There is no real sustained market here for the flippers. Sure, you will be able to get some premium on a 70 grade for a short while, but without a quick sell out this coin is really a “collectors coin”.
I don’t think this will sell out or the SLQ, unless the Mint lets these coins sell forever like they did with the Kennedy gold half dollar.
I also don’t think you will ever see those remaining Mercury gold dimes.

John Griffin November 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm

This walking liberty is a must purchase for all who collect walking liberty coins
for 2 Reasons it is the first 24k gold Walking liberty second it has the lowest mintage of any walking liberty coin ever produced. This is a coin that you will wish you had 20 years from now.

Bob Lobenstein November 19, 2016 at 2:44 pm

I’ve just been notified that my gold Half dollar has just been shipped.
One thing that does irk me is that now I have three BIG boxes to store. I had hoped the mint would offer a 3 coin storage box or just sell the 3 coins, Half-Quarter and Dime, as a set outright. Enjoy!
And Happy Thanksgiving all!

John Griffin November 19, 2016 at 2:54 pm

The walking liberty gold coin is a coin for long term goal. The coin has the lowest mintage of any walking liberty coin as a true collector this is a must have coin it also apply s to the other 2 coins in the series they may not show much value now but will show a big value 20 years from now . Put these coins away and forget about them or maybe take a peek at them once in awhile to enjoy

Seth Riesling November 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

The Proof WL silver half dollars of 1936-1942 have much lower mintages than this coin. You can get a Proof WL 1940, 41, 42 in 65 grade for less than the new WL gold coin!


Tinto November 19, 2016 at 4:22 pm

@ Bob Lobenstein
“I had hoped the mint would offer a 3 coin storage box or just sell the 3 coins, Half-Quarter and Dime, as a set outright.”

That was part of their little teasers worked into the survey they sent way before their decision to produce. Another of the 2 BS from the Mint to remind myself if I ever get tempted to again buy from them on a regular basis.

Lindy November 19, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Mine has “shipped”

In reality they are only boxed and labeled, not shipped till late Monday night.

UPS will pick this package up on “11-21”.
So, I’m assuming Friday delivery on the $4.95 sign for service.

I needed either this 2016 24k 1/2 oz or a 2008 24k 1/2 oz Buffalo to fill in my US Mint made 24k 1/2oz hole in the collection.

John Griffin November 19, 2016 at 4:53 pm

This is not a proof coin so you cant ad it in to the same category it is a mint state coin with the lowest mintage.
The next lowest mintage for a mint state walking liberty is 500,000

Lindy November 19, 2016 at 5:16 pm

I’d add in the 1995 W .999 1 oz $ into the mix.
Its a proof with a relatively high mintage of 30,125.
Pricey coin due to many collectors of WL Dollars outnumbering its mintage.


The gold Walker has the most cross collectability of the three 2016 24k coins.

I’m guessing this 50c sells out before the 25c.

joera November 19, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Am I reading something wrong?
The ’95 W Proof Silver Eagle is the lowest mintage of all proof silver eagles. Some call it “THE KING” of silver proof eagles. Could someone tell me if I’m right or wrong.

Seth Riesling November 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Actually, the lowest mintage WL silver half dollar is the 1921-D at 208,000 at about $8,000 in MS-60.
But you could go for the lowest mintage Proof WL silver half dollar, the 1936 at only 3,901 mintage at about $3,250 in PF-65.
So many choices & price points!


Seth Riesling November 19, 2016 at 6:21 pm

joera –

It is true that the 1995-W Proof silver American Eagle $1 coin is the lowest mintage of all at only 30,125. It was sold by the Mint in a 1995 special anniversary set with the four different sizes of the Proof gold American Eagle coins at an issue price of $999 which many collectors & dealers way back then thought was too costly. The 1995-W ASE $1 coin ungraded is worth about $4,000 & even more if graded by PCGS or NGC (about $19,000 in Proof 70 UCAM by NGC) ! Such a deal ! LOL


Hewhodontknow November 20, 2016 at 2:54 am

Do the gold winged liberty and standing liberty have lower mintages than any of their original silver predecessors ?

Carl November 20, 2016 at 7:45 am

My order is ready for UPS pickup Monday PM.
I also would like to have a holder to display the 3 coins as a set but that might be a challenge to produce. These 3 coins are not the same in size and thickness as the ‘original’ silver coins so sounds like a special order item.

Rooster November 20, 2016 at 8:00 am

Tracking number went from Monday delivery to Tuesday by end of day. They need to have a signature for delivery.

John Griffin November 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

Yes just look at the Rare WINGED LIBERTY 1916 D mintage of 264,000
And the Rare 1923 S Standing liberty mintage of 1,360.000
The price you pay today for the 3 gold coins the winged liberty the standing Liberty and the walking Liberty are just a drop in the bucket for what you will pay for these 100 years from now. You and I wont be around but the grand children will love you and remember you. I myself only purchase Certified PCGS MS70 they always bring more of a premium then NGC or any other grading company.

jerry in jersey November 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm

John Griffin: The coins you refer to were produced by the U. S. Mint for general circulation back in the days when we had real money rather than phony paper money. They were never meant to be collectibles. Most people were too poor to pay premiums for coins and just collected the best examples they could find out of circulating change. That’s what I and all my friends did as children. Other children in our neighborhood had no interest in coins at all. Every kid is different.
The mint in those days was not the greedy mega business that it is today. I’ve been collecting coins for fifty years, but have just about given up on the mint.
They are trying to produce artificial rarities and keep tweaking their mintage quantities in an attempt to maximum profits. The 3 gold centennial coins they just produced this year cannot be compared in any way to their silver predecessors. Each of these gold coins will be safely tucked away by their owners. Therefore, in my opinion, none of them will every become a rarity.
Collect only what you think is beautiful. Forget about profits. The only people who will every make a profit on these coins are the U. S. Mint and the secondary market dealers who manage to sell them at ridiculous mark ups to unsophisticated buyers. As they say, buyer beware!

Whistler November 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Jerry is pretty spot on 70k is not a rare #, these will be put away..onlhy if gold flies to $3-4k will they start melting these. Plus the price is almost 150% of spot so it’s quite the deal. I passed, I used to care but between the mint’s BS & the price & a flat collector market (do Millenials care about these coins? Onl the Boomers have an emotional attachment to the design, my folks, the Great Gen are liquidating their asset$….Boomers next, whose buying, the refinery that’s who @ $1,2oo an oz not $1,700+….

Lindy November 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm

UPS handoff successful, UPS says “7 days” to travel from TN to CO.
So, I’m free on Black Friday now as I have NO package to sign for till next Monday.

Jp November 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Very thoughtful analysis. It makes me wonder just how many people on this coin site are Gen X, Millennial’s etc…?
It seems that from the discussions I read MOST of everyone who regularly comments on this site probably are Boomers and some of the Silent Generation.
I am 60 and considered a Boomer. I grew up collecting coins as you could still find Indians, Buffalo’s, Merc’s and Walkers. Coins and stamps were exciting and valuable. It would be interesting to know what the percentages of generations are on this site?
I think you may be right about your assumptions. I know my kids have no real interest in coins. I’m not sure they even understand the value of gold and silver sometimes! The younger generation of today does not relate to money as I do. To them,” money ” is a debit card? Whats that!? I pay cash and write checks. I do use a CC when necessary.
I collect what I like, and hopefully (in my mind) will gain in value in the future.
I leave it at that.

Dan November 21, 2016 at 6:41 pm

Millennial here (25 yrs old). I’d say I’m a pretty serious coin investor and get my hands on about as many of the precious metal coins as I can afford. Not only do I find it entertaining to collect, but I also believe that gold will multiply many times in value in my lifetime, primarily due to the disastrous state of fiscal affairs in the US and many parts of the world. I invest in other forms of precious metals too, but enjoy the exclusivity of coins produced by the US Mint. I purchased two of these. Then again, I’m probably not your standard millennial. I max out my 401k and IRA contributions each year and live much more conservatively than most of my peers (in terms of apartment i live in, car i drive, food i eat…politicians i vote for, etc).

Rooster November 21, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Something to consider is the 2016 Mercury dime priced at just over $2000 per ounce and now trending around $2500 per ounce. The 2016 Standing Liberty was priced just under $2000 an ounce and now trending just over $2000 an ounce. The 2016 Walking Liberty is priced at about $1730 an ounce. I tend to agree that these are for the collector and not for speculative gain.

Jp: I also am a 60 year old boomer.

Jp November 21, 2016 at 9:33 pm

I agree. Its a collectors coin. All 3 are.
Thats 2 Boomers.

RonnieBGood November 21, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Inflation will return in 2017 & with it the price of gold will rise. You will see a very good return on these Gold coins that have both numismatic and commodity value.

Charlie 1952 November 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm

I got my c oin this morning UPS signed for. It is magnificent in the 24K gold. I think the walkers and the silver eagles are the nicest coin design the mint has ever produced. I have a couple sets of the type coins with about all the different designs. I collect kind of the old fashion way, a lot of my coins are worn but somebody way back when they used actual money may have purchased an engraved pocket watch for a civil war veteran or one of the first cars, there is no telling where they have been maybe on a riverboat in a poker game. These new coins the mint puts out in their annual sets are nice but they really have no history but they keep my sets complete. I have all 3 of the gold coins and proud to have them in my collection as coins not investment. Investors are different than collectors. I am a collector. I am also 64 years young.

Lindy November 21, 2016 at 10:59 pm

Boomer here.

I rarely buy US Mint offered collector items. These 3 retro design coins were a must have for me. I agree the premium over spot is excessive. But the designs are so cool. Fits in real well with my retro 2009 UHR double eagle that ran me $2000 a couple years ago. There’s over 110,000 of the UHRs made and they tend to sell for $2,000 and up.

There are better ways to own 24k gold. The local coin shop sells 24k Buffalo ounces for $80 over spot. And sometimes these uncs are in ms 69 pcgs or ngc slabs instead of the original us mint flat plastic.

Stuart Wheeler November 22, 2016 at 5:52 am

Charlie 1952, it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only 64 year old boomer still kickin’; I’ve been in coins since the mid 1960s. I recall in grammar school using 90% silver coins to buy my lunch with. I also recall I had $100 worth of 90% silver change loose in a shoe box. But, like so many things, I don’t have it anymore. In the 1960s, from time to time, a buffalo nickel would show up; a mercury dime; a standing liberty quarter; a walker and franklin, to say nothing of silver Roosevelt dimes, silver Washington quarters and silver Kennedy halves. And 35% silver Jefferson nickels too. Never got an Indian cent or silver dollar in change though.

Jp November 22, 2016 at 6:05 am

Your a smart guy and you will be way ahead of your peers. Good for you.

Neil November 22, 2016 at 7:59 am

I’m a Gen X’er. Got my gold walker yesterday. Looks great! I do like their presentation, too, for all of these centennial coins. Bulky and such but I like the box and wrappings.

jerry in jersey November 22, 2016 at 10:08 am

I’m 76 years old, so I guess that makes me one the oldest on this blog. My friends and I collected coins and stamps. The father of one my friends had a sales route job which meant he brought home large quantities of coins. We would all go to this kids house and sort through these coins keeping the good stuff. At that time you could find flying eagle and indian head cents, liberty and buffalo nickels, barber dimes, quarters and halves, merc’s and walking liberty quarters and halves all in circulating change. I had a wonderful collection in Whitman folders. Even Morgan and Peace silver dollars. Don’t ask me why, but I sold it all for a pittance when I was in my early twenties. What a mistake!!!
I resumed coin collecting about twenty years ago and continued up to early this year. Lately, I’ve become very annoyed by a lot of the U. S. Mint’s policies and decisions and have just about given up on continuing. My two adult daughters and my grandson have no interest in coins. I’ll probably be looking at liquidating my accumulation of U.S. and foreign coins in the near future if I can do it without being scalped. Any suggestions on how to do this would be appreciated.

Joe C. November 22, 2016 at 10:46 am

jerry in jersey,
Got ya Jerry. I’m 79, soon to be 80 and still kicking. Luckily my grandson is interested in coins as I give him coins for Christmas ever year. Remember buying unc silver dollars for 3 or 4 bucks a piece and unc rolls for 55 or 60 bucks. I bought unc silver half dollars for 14 to 20 dollars a roll. Still have them all. My grandson will have a ball when it all becomes his. As you can see, I’m a collector not an investor. Still having fun. Hope all you are too. By the way, I too wish they would have made a holder for all three coins. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

jerry in jersey November 22, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Buy the coins you really enjoy looking at. The best coin designs are miniature works of art. In the future, I’ll consider buying something if I think it is unique and beautiful. I’ll pass on the vast majority of U.S. Mint offerings.

Kevin November 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Jerry in Jersey.
Join up bullionstacker.com website to liquidate your collection. The people are close knit and trustworthy. Good luck.

Whistler November 22, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Dan it’s great to see a ‘youngster’ I’m a ‘young’ 58 but feel like 12 when I ‘play’ with coins, despite the mint shenanegans…I started in 1967 in the elementary school cafe, I was a change counter & my dad gave me clad & me & 1 other kid pulled all the silver, still have it…somewhere….anyway Dan buying @ 25 portends some nice profits in the future, it will happen on day & when it does the ship will have sailed. As before the sheer # of FRNs they print, the lack of self sufficiency, the dependent on gov’t handouts, the lack of real HARD money meansin the future gold & silver will hopefully rise in price & be recognized as holding their value while a paper dollar is just…paper! Regardless I also believe we need to all be prepared for the best or worst, the 3Gs…GOLD,, grub & guns will be needed to survive when the poop hits the fan…my 2c… but per the feds it’s oly 1c as there is ‘no inflation’ right..

Jp November 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Jerry in Jersey-
Nice memories/stories. I guess you fit the “The Silent Generation” age. Or so my wife tells me. You are the Korean War guys.
I’ve enjoyed hearing from everyone about their collecting/non collecting reasons. It’s good to hear that there are some younger guys (and gals) I’m sure interested in collecting.
I was the youngest of 4 boys and had the influence of my older siblings. I also was lucky to have grandparents that collected coins (to some degree).
Still, though it seems most everyone on this site is probably at least 45-50 and coin collecting does not have the same interest as it did years ago. Understandable.
I look at what is put out by the mint and don’t find too much of any interest. The thrill is going thru handled coins and finding some treasure.
I honestly still hit the banks near and far from home and buy coinage and go thru it. You wouldn’t believe what you can still occasionally find. (NOT MUCH!) My best find in recent years was a cracked die 1984 D Roosevelt dime. Since I don’t collect error coins I sold it. I got 127.00 for it off Ebay. It really was quite stunning to look at and I found it in a bank roll of dimes I purchased. $$$!
Your collection will probably not get you anywhere near the emotional value or excitement you enjoyed. So I guess you either give it all away to your kids, extended family, or cash it in and blow it all on some frivolous fun. You can’t take it with you!

Brian November 22, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Great looking coin, just got mine. No COA came with it and scratches on the reverse in the fields. Great Quality control again. I had 3 gold dimes, had 1 that was good, had 3 quarters, only had one that was acceptable, and now my 1st 50c and problems again!!! You would expect at least near perfection in paying that much over spot!!!!!

Sturgeon November 22, 2016 at 7:11 pm

2016 must be the year! — I recently started looking through change again just like when we were kids. I saw a wheat penny and when I turned it over, I thought it was a 1946 penny. Well I needed to get the magnifier since the old eyes are not what they used to be. What do you think—It was a 1916 plain and not in too bad a shape. Finding it took me back to when I was about ten years old. I kept thinking to myself—This penny has been around for 100 years and if it could only tell us where it had been. For me to find it in pocket change was a real thrill and I just wish there was a way to pass this good feeling on to the young ones.

Abbie November 22, 2016 at 9:49 pm

All gone!!!! Well 4,000 left after 4 days.

Jerry Osborn November 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm

Received my 2016 half today. On inspection the Reverse of the coin had like a stain? soap spot? covering part of the eagle and running into the field by the eagle’s head. Like a cloud. Sent the coin back and notified the mint. Hope all goes well and I a still able to get the coin.

Bob Lobenstein November 23, 2016 at 6:52 pm

I got the new half dollar this afternoon to see a much smaller coin than I expected. In fact, looking at the new 1/2 oz coin, it is just about the size of the presidential dollars. Nevertheless, it is beautifully struck and details are fine. Just think what it would have looked like if they made it in an enhanced-uncirculated finish! That pretty much finished my 2016 collection and I am looking towards the 2017 offerings from the mint. Everyone have a Blessed Thanksgiving.. now, on to Christmas! Loby WA2AXZ@arrl.net

Gitty November 24, 2016 at 3:30 am

the mint sent the tracking number with the ship notice but when I hit it I’m led to UPS with no info. I plug the number into USPS tracking site and no info. How are you guys tracking the Walker shipping?

Lindy November 24, 2016 at 8:17 am

If spot gold price stays below $1,200 these will drop $25 a piece next Wednesday afternoon.

Mammoth November 24, 2016 at 10:10 am

To those who shared their recollections of sifting through pocket change for ‘gems,’ thank you for the memories. My brother-in-law passed away early this year; he once showed me his near-complete Mercury Dime collection in an old cloth-bound coin book. Billy told me he would mow lawns for $5.00 a pop, and then ride his bicycle down to the bank to buy a roll of silver dimes to excitedly pick through.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Jp November 24, 2016 at 10:37 am

Mammoth- …
And all the others on this site. I too have enjoyed memory lane. I know I am not as aged as some of you, but having older brothers gave me the perspective past my own age. I grew up older to begin with.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Mike December 27, 2016 at 5:15 pm

I was looking at my Walking Liberty and it is an error strike, the coin is offset just enough that the reed edge is a third to a half higher on one side. I was wondering why the plastic encasement was not closed tightly and upon further inspection discovered the thicker edge. Would anyone think this would increase the value as a defect or error?

James January 6, 2017 at 8:50 am

@Mike I noticed the same thing on my mercury dime, but I don’t know what effects it has on the value.

Rooster March 28, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Still for sale. Thought this would have been long gone by now.

Leave a Comment