Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head Five Cents (1883-1913)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 238,000
Catalog: KM-112
Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Reverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Weight: 5.00 Grams
Diameter: 21.2mm
Edge: Plain
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1912 S 5C MS obverse 1912 S 5C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

This is the only S-Mint Liberty Head Nickel and a key date in the series. It has by far the smallest mintage, but because these coins were still circulating when coin boards became popular in the 1930s, worn examples have survived in disproportionate numbers. The higher-mintage 1885 and 1886 nickels are thus more rare across most grades.

The entire production was struck in four days---December 24 and 26-28. On that last date, the first 1912 S nickel coined was used to pay the first fare on San Francisco's new Municipal Railway. The celebrated passenger was Mayor James Rolph, and the coin was presented to the city treasurer for preservation, but it disappeared from the treasurer's office many years ago.

Gems are rare for this issue, the number shown being perhaps higher than normal due to multiple submissions of the same coin. This is a frequent occurrence with key dates. The typical 1912 S nickel is softly struck in the hair above Liberty's forehead and at the lower left of the wreath. A fully struck example may not exist, as the obverse weakness seems to have been caused by an incomplete transfer from the hub.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/31/2015

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

1912 S 5C MS
Base $ 145 190 260 530 1075 1350 1450 1575 1750 1900 2050 2350 2850 4200 16000 - - - -
$ 1150 - - - - - 2150 2550 3650 4850 46750 - -

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Total Graded: 1371
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/11/1996 NGC G 4   Teletrade Auction 0875, 875/Lot# 1155 $42.51
2/10/2008 PCGS F 12   Goldberg February 10-13, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 44/Lot# 124 $207.00
9/21/2009 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 412, 418/Lot# 7167 $5,290.00
5/30/2010 PCGS AU 50   Bonhams Coins, Medals, and Banknotes, 18301/Lot# 1246 $1,170.00
10/13/2011 NGC VG 8   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(4), 1160/Lot# 7635 $161.00
2/19/2012 PCGS G 4   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/19/2012, 8/Lot# 37663 $112.20
1/1/2013 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers The January 2013 Americana Sale, 180/Lot# 12224 $2,232.50
11/1/2013 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2013 November 1 - 3 US Coin Signature Auction - New York Session(2), 1191/Lot# 3537 $4,681.20
7/20/2014 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/20/2014, 197/Lot# 207653 $3,520.00
9/7/2014 NGC G 6   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 197609 $155.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1912 S 5C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66
Points: 6255
Owner: NMK8104
Grade: MS 65
Points: 3994
Owner: Jason Colinger
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