Collectors CornerSM: The Collectibles Marketplace

A Service of Certified Asset Exchange

Shopping Cart 0 item ($0.00)

The 1912-S Liberty Nickel

By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez - March 31, 2022

The rarest of all Liberty Nickels might be the infamous 1913 date, an ultra-rare proof likely produced under clandestine operations. However, the proper key date of the series was made across the country in San Francisco not long before the five spurious proofs rolled off the presses in Philadelphia. The 1912-S Liberty Nickel is the series key in respect to mintage, with its tiny output of just 238,000 coins.

The 1912-S Liberty Nickel serves as the key date among regular issues. Courtesy of PCGS TrueView.
Click image to enlarge.

Intended to be one of the last issues in the series designed by Charles E. Barber and that debuted in 1883, the 1912-S Liberty Nickel was complemented by large outputs from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. They produced decidedly higher numbers of the 1912 Nickels, with 26,234,569 and 8,474,000 released from those two facilities, respectively.

The 1912-S Liberty Nickel is scarce across the board, with an original mintage that is barely more than half that of the famous 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent. It goes without saying that the 1912-S is one of the most popular coins in the series, perhaps right up there with the widely promoted 1883 No Cents Liberty Nickel and the sought-after 1885 Liberty Nickel, the latter being the series key coin in terms of overall challenge and cost to the collector.

Surviving populations are lower across the circulated side of the grading spectrum to be sure, but the 1912-S has roughly similar numbers in the low to mid Mint State grades as the more common issues in the series. Still, demand for this date helps drive up premiums to significantly higher levels, regardless of grade. Even in G4, a 1912-S trades for $125 and in F12 an example sets the collector back $225. Values start ascending quickly from there and in XF40 this rarity fetches $900.

The base price for an uncirculated example is around $1,800, the going retail figure for an MS60. Gems soar into the mid four figures, with the finest specimens, a handful topping out at MS66+, valued at $10,000. The all-time record for this coin is $37,375, paid in 2012 for an example grading MS66.

Article provided by PCGS at
Related sites
The Grading Standard of the Rare Coin Industry
All information about Every U.S. Coin --
Try it for FREE!
Metal Values for All Coins
The Largest Dealer-to-Dealer Numismatic Trading Network
Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Expo