1938 Walking Liberty half dollars present two major challenges for die-hard aficionados of the series. The most notable being the 1938-D Walking Liberty half dollar, which is a key-date of the series and a fairly expensive one at that. The other challenging issue is the 1938 proof Walking Liberty half dollar, which isn’t a necessary inclusion for a typical date-and-mintmark series set, but is nonetheless a must-have for those who specialize in Walking Liberty halves.
1938-D Walking Liberty half dollars are pretty scarce in all grades, including the lowest circulated grades. The mintage figures below tell more of the story, with values for coins in a grade of Fine-12, unless otherwise noted:
1938, 4,110,000 minted; $14
1938-D, 491,600; $160
1938 Proof, 8,152; $1,400
In uncirculated grades, the 1938 half dollar ascends in price to only around $80, while the 1938-D skyrockets to more than $500. As you would imagine, even well-worn 1938-D half dollars still find a home in coin albums as a hole filler, while upper-grade examples land in high-end coin collections. Whether you buy a low-grade or a high-grade 1938-D Walking Liberty half dollar, be sure to seek a problem-free specimen that has not been cleaned and is free of nicks, dings, and scratches.