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SERIES: Indian Head $5 1908-1929
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1912-S $5 (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS65

PCGS MS64

PCGS MS63
PCGS #:
8524
Diameter:
21.60 millimeters
Designer:
Bela Lyon Pratt
Weight:
8.24 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
392,000
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$195,500 • PCGS MS65 • 1-5-2011 • Heritage Auctions
Show Plus Grades Hide eBay
12
480
12
15
490
15
20
500
2
20
25
510
4
25
35
550
14
35
45+
600
45+
50+
635
1
50+
53+
665
53+
55+
785
55+
58+
1,300
58+
63+
19,500
63+
64+
38,500
64+
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 2,750 R-4.4 6 / 24 TIE 6 / 24 TIE
60 or Better 400 R-6.2 4 / 24 4 / 24
65 or Better 2 R-9.9 3 / 24 3 / 24
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade

Jim O'Neal Collection - Heritage 1/2011, $195,500 - Bob R. Simpson Collectio

2 MS64 PCGS grade
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade

Jim O'Neal Collection - Heritage 1/2011, $195,500 - Bob R. Simpson Collectio

2 MS64 PCGS grade
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
2 MS64 PCGS grade  
David Akers (1975/88): If one considers overall appearance or "eye appeal" as part of the grade, then the 1912-S could possibly be considered the rarest Indian Head half eagle in MS-64 of better condition because it is all but impossible to find a really attractive one. Actually, any Mint State 1912-S is rare and, above MS-63, the issue is almost impossible to locate. A few MS-65 gems do exist but I have never seen one any better than that.

The 1912-S is one of the most poorly made, if not the absolute most poorly made, gold issues of the 20th century. The Mint had serious die problems for this isssue and nearly all specimens have a nearly invisible, amorphous mintmark and below-average lustre. In addition, the dies usually show signs of deterioration near the rims and the overall result is not very pleasing to the eye. The only positive thing one can say is that the color of a typical 1912-S is usually quite good, light to medium orange gold being the most common, although rich yellow gold examples exist as well. Note: On a very, very few specimens, the mintmark is sharp and well defined and the strike and lustre are very good, almost up to the standards of the 1909-S and 1910-S, if not the 1908-S.