With the United States flexing its military might in World War II, 1942 marked a year of resolve and economic recovery for the nation, and a need for circulating coinage increased. Insomuch, more than 70 million Walking Liberty half dollars were struck in 1942, smashing single-year mintage numbers for the coin and providing substantial amounts of the coin for circulation. Half dollars carried a heavy burden in circulation in 1942, and were often used to pay for lunches and dinners and were traded in many common transactions.
For that reason, many 1942 half dollars show signs of very heavy wear. Conversely, however, there are plenty of 1942 halves that have been preserved in high grades, which is a byproduct of the high mintage numbers from that year.
Check out the mintage figures and values below for 1942 half dollars:
1942, 47,818,000 minted; $15
1942-D, 10,973,800; $15
1942-S, 12,708,000; $15
1942 Proof, 21,120; $900
*Values, unless otherwise noted, are for specimens in XF-40 condition
As all regular-issue 1942 Walking Liberty half dollars are highly common, there is no reason for numismatists to settle for examples of these coins in less-than-stellar condition. Problem-free 1942 halves are abundant, and uncirculated specimens are widely available with blazing luster and great strike. Meanwhile, most of the sub-par 1942 half dollars find homes in junk silver investment portfolios.