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.
Link to this coin

1912 S 5C MS obverse 1912 S 5C MS reverse

Expand All    Collapse All


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.


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

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 - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 1355
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
6/27/2005 NGC MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction 43: The Cook Family Collection, 47/Lot# 405 $2,110.25
5/30/2010 PCGS AU 50   Bonhams Coins, Medals, and Banknotes, 18301/Lot# 1246 $1,170.00
7/17/2011 PCGS G 6   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131130/Lot# 22071 $149.50
10/26/2011 PCGS F 12   Teletrade Auction 3162, 3162/Lot# 1256 $210.00
5/30/2012 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers The June 2012 Baltimore Auction, 137/Lot# 2376 $8,812.50
5/27/2012 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 27-31, 2012 The May Pre-Long Beach Auction, 69/Lot# 1083 $2,300.00
9/7/2014 NGC G 6   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 197609 $155.00
12/28/2014 PCGS G 6   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131501/Lot# 21025 $94.00

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
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

A Look at Mintmarks: Part Two

6/1/2004  — As noted in the first part of this mintmark study (see Numismatist for June), beginning with the Barber silver coinage of 1892 an attempt was made by the U.S. Mint to standardize mintmark sizes and styles for each respective denomination…
View full article >

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer