1912-S $5 MS65 PCGS. Ex: Simpson. A Gem Indian hal...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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1912-S Half Eagle, MS65
1912-S $5 MS65 PCGS. Ex: Simpson. A Gem Indian half eagle
set is one of the most difficult collections to complete in the
U.S. gold series, and the 1912-S is one of the biggest reasons for
that difficulty. This is the second-rarest issue in the series in
Gem or better condition. Just two coins are known in that category
-- an MS65 NGC specimen (which was graded MS64 PCGS in its initial
offering in 2007) and the MS65 PCGS O'Neal coin offered here. The
only date in the series rarer in this condition is the 1915-S,
which boasts a Gem population of just one coin (an MS65 NGC piece
that last appeared at auction in 2008).
The Single Finest at PCGS
Second-Rarest Date in Gem Condition
The 1912-S is just slightly rarer in Gem condition than the coveted 1909-O, and it is several times rarer in this grade than the famous 1929 melt rarity. The reason for the 1912-S coin's rarity in MS65 is the fact that no high-grade pieces were set aside at the time of issue for numismatic purposes. Collectors such as Eliasberg, Norweb, and Pittman were only able to secure AU examples of this issue. Indeed, the bulk of the surviving population is circulated, and many of the coins currently designated as MS61 or MS62 would not have passed for Mint State in earlier times. The MS63 and finer population has been immovably small for decades.
The two Gem 1912-S half eagles are every bit as rarely seen at auction as one would expect. The NGC piece has only been offered once since achieving the MS65 grade, appearing in our recent 2018 FUN Signature, where it realized $102,000. The PCGS O'Neal-Simpson coin has previously appeared twice -- once in a February 1999 Superior sale and again in our offering of the Jim O'Neal Collection in the 2011 FUN Signature, where it realized $195,500, setting an unchallenged auction record for the issue. Here, collectors once more have a chance to acquire what many would consider the finest-known 1912-S half eagle.
Vibrant, frosty mint luster stands in stark contrast to the "inferior luster" seen on most examples of this issue. Strike sharpness is also strong around the peripheries despite trivial weakness in the centers. Rich reddish-gold color and light accents of lilac adorn the unabraded, luminous surfaces, and eye appeal is appropriately captivating. The mintmark is characteristically weak, although it is an afterthought to the incredible condition of this piece. This coin is one of the most important Indian half eagles to Registry collectors. At PCGS, there simply are no comparable peers. Population: 1 in 65, 0 finer (5/20).
Ex: Public Auction Sale (Superior, 2/1999), lot 3304; The Jim O'Neal Collection of $5 Indians / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2011), lot 5147.
Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 25ZN, PCGS# 8524)
Weight: 8.36 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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