Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Head $5 (1908-1929)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 392,000
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: $259.12 (11/27/2015)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1912 S $5 MS obverse 1912 S $5 MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

In a series replete with rarities, the 1912-S ranks second in high-grade rarity only to the 1914-S. An ample number of half eagles were produced in San Francisco in 1912, with 392,000 pieces struck. But a large percentage of those produced were dropped into circulation. Evidence of this can be seen from examination of the population data, which shows dozens of pieces certified in the VF-XF grade range. Once the Mint State threshold is passed, however, the availability of 1912-S fives drops precipitously and the price increases rapidly. But it is not the number of circulated coins that makes the 1912-S the stellar condition rarity it is. Rather, it is the overall poor production of almost all known examples that has prevented all but two pieces from reaching the Gem plateau. The gold references that deal with the 1912-S are enough to scare away all but the most diehard collectors. Consider these daunting passages from the updated Akers reference:

'The 1912-S is the worst-produced issue in the entire Indian Half Eagle series. ... virtually all examples display an amorphous mintmark that is little more than a blob of metal. ... usually evidence of die deterioration at the borders on one of both sides. ... The typical example has inferior luster and subdued, granular surfaces. ... Distracting abrasions are the norm. ... lowest eye appeal rating in this series.'

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/12/2015

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

1912 S $5 MS
Base $ 435 445 455 525 575 650 675 775 1075 4300 8300 18500 39000 245000 - - - - -
$ - - - 825 1375 - 9500 - - - - - -

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Total Graded: 1539
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
12/6/2015 AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1227/Lot# 8182
12/6/2015 AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1227/Lot# 8181

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/29/2005 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2005 June New York, NY Signature Auction #380, 380/Lot# 6547 $3,450.00
2/11/2007 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 2371 $21,850.00
3/8/2012 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2012 March 8-9 US Coin Signature Auction - New York Session(3), 1168/Lot# 8863 $805.00
10/17/2012 PCGS MS 61   Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 5557 $2,300.00
2/4/2013 NGC AU 50   Teletrade Auction 3416, 3416/Lot# 2904 $499.38
2/3/2014 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(3), 1202/Lot# 4726 $969.38
2/23/2014 PCGS AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 792, 801/Lot# 726 $650.00
5/18/2014 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131421/Lot# 20912 $681.50
8/31/2014 NGC AU 55   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/31/2014, 189/Lot# 214580 $500.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1912 S $5 MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: XF 45
Points: 1197
Owner: Robert Baker Trust
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