The 1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollar was struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mint facilities. All three issues for the year experienced low mintages and are considered to be the primary key date coins of the series. The scarcity of the issues varies based on grade, with the Philadelphia and Denver Mints comparatively more difficult to acquire in circulated grades and the San Francisco Min issue comparatively more difficult in higher grades.
The Walking Liberty Half Dollar had been introduced in 1916 and would be issued until 1947. The design was created by sculptor Adolph A. Weinman who had won contests to redesign both the dime and half dollar denominations. The half dollar featured a striking full length portrait of Liberty walking confidently forward with her right hand extended and her left holding a bouquet of olive branches. The reverse featured a stylized eagle standing on a rock with a mountain pine sapling protruding.
Although mintage levels were low for some of the initial years of the series, levels dropped even further in 1921 due to the combined impacts of the required production of silver dollars and a depression which reduced the need for circulating coinage. Across all 1921 issues, fewer than one million pieces were struck. The lowest mintage occurred for the Denver issue at 208,000 pieces, followed by the Philadelphia issue at 246,000 pieces, and the San Francisco issue at 548,000 pieces.
For a complete set of circulated coins each of these issues may prove to be stoppers and command a premium to acquire. For higher end collectors, the issues can prove exceedingly difficult or costly to acquire. This is particularly true for the San Francisco issue, which despite having the highest mintage of the trio, saw the lowest survival rate in uncirculated condition.