David Akers (1975/88): The 1912 is not quite as rare as the other 1909 to 1915 Philadelphia Mint issues (except for the "common" 1910) but it is still a very scarce issue, one that is especially difficult to find in high grade. Several small hoards were discovered in Europe in the late 1960s and early 1970s (the last I saw was a group of about 40 pieces that came from Basel, Switzerland in 1973), but nearly all of the coins from those small groups were moderately to heavily bagmarked. Gems are really very rare, almost on par with gems of the 1914, 1915 and 1908 With Motto issues. Dr. Steven Duckor has a beautiful MS-65+ specimen as does a prominent Eastern collector. There are a few others at that level but I do not recall ever seeing one that would grade a full MS-67.
The 1912 is always very sharply struck, the most sharply struck of any of the Philadelphia Mint issues from 1907 to 1915. The lustre is generally very good to excellent. The surfaces are usually frosty with an occasional specimen having a slightly satiny texture. Color is always very good and is usually a rich yellow gold, sometimes with a light rose or orange tint. Top grade examples of the 1912 have more "eye appeal" than any of the other early Philadelphia Mint issues except the 1915.
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