None (for Philadelphia,
PA) left of the arrowheads on the reverse.
The 1912 Indian Head Quarter Eagle
is one of the scarcest Philadelphia Indian Head Quarter
Eagles and it is among the rarest dates in the entire
series in the higher Uncirculated grades. For the
collector putting together a very high quality set,
the 1912 is always a true "stopper."
STRIKE: Most 1912 Quarter Eagles
show a good overall quality of strike. On the obverse,
there may be some weakness at the center, but it is
possible to locate a piece with almost complete definition
on the feathers. The reverse is nearly always boldly
struck with very sharp detail on the wings and breast.
On late strikes, there may be some weakness at the
borders and the tips of the stars may appear to flow
into the rim.
SURFACES: The surfaces are
usually noticeably abraded and many show mint-made
spotting. A 1912 Quarter Eagle that is very clean
is quite hard to locate. The reverse field above the
motto is sometimes very granular; this is also mint-made
and is not considered detracting.
LUSTER: This date is known
for having a peculiar granular luster that tends not
to be especially "flashy." With lackluster
coins being the norm, any piece that has vibrant luster
is considered highly desirable.
The natural coloration ranges from medium orange-gold
to green-gold and even a light to medium yellow-gold.
It is hard to locate a 1912 Quarter Eagle that still
has its full original color intact.
The eye appeal for this date is generally below average.
Most 1912 Quarter Eagles are well struck, but they
have overly abraded surfaces and inferior luster.
Examples that have good eye appeal are scarce and
in strong demand among serious collectors of this
Census: To qualify for the Condition Census,
a 1912 Indian Head Quarter Eagle must grade Mint State-66.
A very high end Mint State-65 piece may qualify as
197 Proofs were struck. The survival rate appears
to be lower than for other Proofs of this design and
there are approximately 55-65 known. The coins that
exist tend to be extremely high quality and the collector
is more likely to be offered a Proof-65 or Proof-66
1912 Quarter Eagle than a Proof-63 or a Proof-64.
The finish used this year is a fine sandblast texture,
which is different than that found on either the 1908
or the 1911. The color is a medium green-gold with
some yellowish-gold color noted within the surfaces.
Once again the Philadelphia
Mint changed the texture and finish on the Proofs.
The 1912 Indian Head quarter eagles show a fine sandblast
texture, which reflects the light with reflective
microscopic facets. This date is one of the scarcest
of the Proof issues; it is nearly tied in overall
rarity with the 1913 and 1915 Proofs according to
the population data. Comparing the various Proofs
and finishes requires several coins, at least one
of each date, as the Philadelphia Mint seems to have
changed the exact finish quality and surface texture
nearly every year these Proofs were issued. Each style
is beautiful in its own right, but the 1912 issue
stands out as one of the more reflective and attractive
coins in this finish.
Another reason the $2.50 Indian gold is such an attractive
investment and collector's item is that the coin was
minted during only 13 years, making it one of the
shortest-lived series in U.S. numismatics. Quarter
Eagles of this type were produced in 1908 through
1915 and again from 1925 through 1929, after which
time the denomination was suspended. Proofs are all