[The following excerpt is published courtesy of DLRC Press and its author, David & John Feigenbaum. This information was originally published in 1991 in The Complete Guide Certified Barber Coinage]
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1912-P ranks 68th in total mint state population with 476 certified (R1). By mintage it ranks 53rd.
1912-S is R3 in total mint state, ranking 29th with 96 certified. By mintage it ranks 9th.
Comments: 1912-P is strictly a Type coin, being one of the late date, high mintage Philadelphia issues. Decent coins should always be available, at least though MS 65. Superb Gems (MS 66 and higher) are not that numerous.
1912-S is a favorite of collectors of circulated Barbers, because of its low mintage. With 96mint state pieces available however, it is not that scarce though MS 65. This coin comes with nice luster, but lacks the sharp detail found in earlier S-mints.
Values: For 1912-P you will have to pay according to the market – currently $182 in MS 63 and $1,150 in MS 65. Remember, in 1989 Type Barber quarters in MS 65 were as high as $5,000!
1912-S is priced fairly high for its population (PI rankings 52nd and 44th). This is due to collector demand because of its low mintage. We still like this date at current bid levels $725 and $2,000.
Tips: Buy any 1912-S with nice eye-appeal. Strike is not that important for late dates in the Barber quarter series. Don’t expect to find much detail on the eagle’s claw or sharp hair lines on Liberty’s forehead. Instead, look for either attractive original toning or a nice luster on a white or almost-white coin.