Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Head $5 (1908-1929)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 144
Catalog: KM-129
Obverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Reverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 8.3590g
AGW: 0.2419oz
Melt Value: $316.70 (7/29/2014)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1912 $5 PF obverse 1912 $5 PF reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The first sandblast or 'matte' (a later contemporary term) proof gold coins of the new Pratt and Saint-Gaudens designs were a function of those new designs, which were totally unsuited to the production of brilliant proof coinage. An excellent overview of the 'Matte Proofing Process' begins on page 36 of The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse Collection, published by Ivy Press in 2006. A brief timeline, condensed from that article, follows:

Pre-1908. Proof coins, whether gold, silver, or bronze, are struck by the Mint using specially prepared, highly polished dies on selected, polished planchets. Sometimes the relief detail in the dies was sandblasted or treated to provide a pleasing two-toned contrasting effect on the coin.

--1908. The new Pratt and Saint-Gaudens proofs are unsuited to the brilliant proofing process. The Mint, still needing to produce special collector coins, adopts a 'sandblast' or 'dull' proofing process for all proof gold coins. (The Lincoln cent and Buff

--April 1909. The Numismatist comments that 'proof coins of the present series, so far as issued, have a very dull appearance, the finish being what is known as 'sandblast,' and are far less pleasing to the eye than the coinage for circulation, which is b

--1909-1910. The Mint responds with the Satin finish or Roman finish proof gold, a brighter (unsandblasted) finish that is created by nothing more than using the new dies at high pressure in a medal press. Collectors dislike the Roman finish coins even mo

--August 1910. Collector extraordinaire (and future Treasury secretary) William H. Woodin and coin dealer Edgar Adams spearhead an effort to get the Mint to revert to the sandblast method. Woodin comments that the 'present [satin] proofs of the Saint-Gaud

--1911-1915. The Mint reverts to sandblast proofs in 1911, continuing through 1915. 'Color variations are typical for these years, but the dull, sandblast finish remains consistent throughout.'

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/14/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1912 $5 PF
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 5600 6600 8750 14500 24000 48000 62500 100000 170000 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 37500 - 75000 - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 39
Low Grade: 64
Average Grade: 66
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/26/1998 PCGS PF 67   Heritage Auctions 1998 September Long Beach Sale #192, 192/Lot# 6975 $60,375.00
9/14/2008 PCGS PF 63   Goldberg September 14-16, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 48/Lot# 1508 $12,650.00
4/27/2011 NGC PF 67   Heritage Auctions 2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(3), 1154/Lot# 5415 $46,000.00
3/8/2012 NGC PF 67   Heritage Auctions 2012 March 8-9 US Coin Signature Auction - New York Session(2), 1168/Lot# 4097 $46,000.00
7/26/2012 NGC PF 67   Stack's Bowers The August 2012 Philadelphia ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 140/Lot# 11720 $43,125.00
9/6/2012 NGC PF 66   Heritage Auctions 2012 September 6-9 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(3), 1174/Lot# 4972 $34,075.00
9/25/2013 PCGS PF 66   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1189/Lot# 6800 $58,750.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1912 $5 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111116402163274530593266399148475577702978349137104161429518362
11111115471814235728493128350742765090606172978268956311709156500
0000001547181423572849312835074276509060617297826895631170900
00000011093198825512954319737494561533365457565870299891300200
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