David Hall: The first year of issue for the Walking Liberty half dollar series. Like many first year of issue coins, many were pulled out of circulation and saved as "novelty" items. However, for the 1916 half dollar the original mintage of 608,000 coins was relatively small for the era, and a half dollar was certainly more money at the time than the smaller denominations, so not as many were saved as say the 1913 Buffalo nickel or 1916 Mercury dime. Those that were saved at the time were mostly pulled out of circulation, so they are what we can AU (Almost Uncirculated) today.
The 1916 half dollar is scarce in circulated grades and, like all early (1916-1929) Walkers, sells for much more than the later dates in circulated grades. This issue, along with the 1916-D and 1917, is one of the more available of the 1916-1928 dates in mint state condition. Gem MS65 or better examples are availble, but are certainly not common. In Gem condition, this isuue is slightly easier to find than the 1916-D and is rarer than the 1917. Most examples are well struck for an early date Walker. Luster is typically satiny and white luster Gems are not unusual. An important beginning for this great coin series.
Gerald R Forsythe Collection
Heritage 8/2015:4112, $35,250