Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Head $2.50 (1908-1929)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 197
Catalog: KM-128
Obverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Reverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 4.1800g
AGW: 0.1209oz
Melt Value: $156.61 (4/21/2014)
Diameter: 18mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1912 $2.5 PF obverse 1912 $2.5 PF reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

The 1900s and 1910s were a time of great innovation, artistry, and experimentation in U.S. numismatics, its impetus the great, shared vision of President Theodore Roosevelt and celebrated sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. That vision was tempered, if not totally blinded, by the pedestrian, petty, and shortsighted Mint Engraver Charles Barber, a man whose artistic gifts were considerably less than his outsized ego. Saint-Gaudens' premature death from cancer at the height of his artistic powers, in the summer of 1907, failed to dampen the spirit for coinage redesign that the teamed sculptor and president began. Quite the contrary, the mantle of artistic freedom was picked up by several of Saint-Gaudens disciples, including the Boston sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt, whose fresh, modernistic incused-relief designs for the quarter eagle and half eagle premiered in 1908.

U.S. Mint personnel also experimented during this time with different proof finishes for gold coinage. While contemporary commentators roundly condemned some of the proof finishes, which varied from one year to the next, today's numismatists largely view them as another facet of the many coinage improvements of the era, a welcome relief to the vastly monotonous, stereotypical designs of the previous nearly three-quarters of a century. While the 1907 Liberty Head quarter eagle featured the brilliantly mirrored finish (sometimes with cameo contrast) familiar from most 19th century gold pieces, the d‚but of the Indian Head quarter eagle in 1908 offered a heavy matte or sandblast finish, which was unreflective and generally poorly received by the collecting public.

The proofs of 1909 and 1910 offered a modified 'Roman Gold' finish, more yellow, more reflective, and something between a matte and a brilliant finish. In 1911 the Mint reverted to a darker matte finish, but less fine-grained in appearance. 1912 brought yet another change, as the surface shows an extremely fine-grained, multifaceted surface, one that reflects the light in microscopically different directions. The Mint appears to have changed the texture of the proof quarter eagle coinage nearly every year from 1908 through 1915, but numismatists consider the 1912 issue to be among the most attractive in its aesthetic achievement. Proof coins of this date are among the scarcest in the Indian Head series. While the mintage is recorded at 197 proof specimens, the current combined NGC/PCGS population data show only 34 proof pieces graded, counting duplications. This makes the issue slightly scarcer than the 1913 and 1915 issues, the two next-rarest in the series.

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: 8/13/2013

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

1912 $2.5 PF
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 3750 4250 5700 10500 19150 30000 40150 59500 78500 - -
$ - - - - - 4000 4650 6000 11300 20600 32400 44000 67500 -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 43
Low Grade: 64
Average Grade: 65
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
11/15/2001 PCGS PF 63   Heritage Auctions 2001 November Santa Clara Signature Sale #275, 275/Lot# 6331 $8,050.00
1/10/2012 NGC Details UNC Details  Heritage Auctions 2012 January World Coin Non-Floor Session Session(2), 3017/Lot# 29862 $195.50
5/26/2013 PCGS PF 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/26/2013, 76/Lot# 117648 $23,000.00
9/25/2013 PCGS PF 66   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1189/Lot# 6738 $41,125.00
1/8/2014 NGC PF 66   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(3), 1201/Lot# 5382 $27,025.00
2/27/2014 NGC PF 65   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(2), 1203/Lot# 4099 $21,150.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1912 $2.5 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base111111111497198725352831300434574118510957876351719887761128314218
1111111499166021692633288831553677444853355975663377249611122610
000000149916602169263328883155367744485335597566337724961100
0000001998182323522732294633063897477855616163691582501044700
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