Ron Guth: The 1912-S Liberty Head Nickel is the only date of this design struck at the San Francisco Mint. It has the lowest mintage of any regular-issue Liberty Head Nickel. At a total mintage of only 238,000 coins, the 1912-S Nickel is almost twice as rare as the 1909-S V.D.B. Cent. As a result, this is one of the most popular dates in the series. In reality, the 1912-S is nor more rare in Mint SAtate grades than many of the more common dates in the series. PCGS has certified hundreds of examples in MS-63, MS-64, and MS-65. Only in MS-66 does this date become truly rare; the population reported by PCGS drops down to only 10 examples, and none have been graded higher.
Almost all examples seen have weakness on the ear of corn on the left side of the reverse. Sometimes, the ear is completely flat. The overall appearance of the 1912-S is a bit softer than the crisp examples produced at the Philadelphia Mint, probably a result of technical differences and abilities at those two Mints. In any event, a truly high-grade 1912-S Nickel is a joy to behold.
Richard Burdick - Douglas C. Kaselitz Collection - Stack's/Bowers 7/2015:5095, $32,900
Dale Friend Collection - American Numismatic Rarities 3/2006:321, $25,300