Abstract One-pot reaction of zinc(II)/cadmium(II)/mercury(II) acetate, a tridentate Schiff base (L) and ammonium thiocyanate in a 1:1:2 molar ratio in MeOH solution at room temperature results in neutral mono-/dinuclear compound of the type [Zn(L)(NCS)2] (1)/[Cd(L)(NCS)(SCN)]2 (2)/[Hg(L)(SCN)2] (3) [L=(N,N-diethyl,N′-(pyridin-2-yl)benzylidene)ethane-1,2-diamine]. X-ray crystallographic study reveals an interesting variation in ligational motifs of thiocyanate from terminal N-coordination (in 1) to both terminal N-coordination and symmetrical double end-to-end bridging (in 2) and terminal S-coordination (in 3). In mononuclear 1/3, each metal(II) center adopts a distorted square pyramidal geometry with ZnN5 (for 1)/HgN3S2 (for 3) chromophore, whereas each cadmium(II) center in centrosymmetric dinuclear 2 has distorted octahedral environment with a CdN5S chromophore. Interesting variations in coordination matrices, nuclearities, and molecular and crystalline architectures are observed in these congeneric Group 12 metal ion complexes. Compounds 1–3 display high energy intraligand 1(π–π*) fluorescence in the solid state and in DMF solutions at room temperature.