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In 1916 the design of Adolph A. Weinman was selected for the new half dollar motif to replace the Barber design which had been in use since 1892. Weinman, a sculptor, also produced the Liberty Head or “Mercury” dime introduced the same year.
The obverse depicts Miss Liberty walking toward the sun, her right arm outstretched, her left arm carrying a bundle of branches, and with a starry cape behind. LIBERTY is above, while IN GOD WE TRUST is to the lower right, and the date is below. The motif seems to have been inspired by Saint-Gaudens’ motif for the illustrious double eagle of 1907. The reverse shows an eagle perched on a rocky crag, from which grows a pine branch, symbol of strength. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above, E PLURIBUS UNUM is to the left, and HALF DOLLAR is below.