The debut of the Walking Liberty half dollar came in 1916, the year after the United States Mint retired the Liberty Head design made famous by Charles E. Barber. Walking Liberty halves, designed by Adolph A. Weinman, were first released during the same year that the Mercury dime (another Weinman contribution) and the Standing Liberty quarter hit pockets and purses across the United States, marking a sort of artistic renaissance for American coinage.
1916 Walking Liberty half dollars are widely sought after by coin collectors not only because they represent a first-year type coin, but also because they are considerably scarce and are in demand from type collectors and date-and-mintmark collectors. The former group of collectors need at least one of these coins for a first-year type set or year set, and the latter need examples of all three 1916 issues for their Walking Liberty half dollar series collections.
1916, 608,000 minted; worth $45 in Good-4
1916-D obverse mintmark, 1,014,400; worth $50
1916-S obverse mintmark, 508,000; worth $120
Remember, mintage figures for all coins never reflect existing populations. Tens of millions of silver coins were melted in recent decades during silver price booms, and many of the coins that were destroyed include Walking Liberty half dollars.
In general, you should always aim to buy Walking Liberty half dollars that are free of defects such as rim dings and surface gouges, and avoid cleaned pieces (of which there are many in the Walking Liberty half series). You will find plenty of good bargains among problem-free 1916 Walking Liberty half dollars if you look hard enough, and these well-preserved coins will always be sought-after in the numismatic community.