The NGC Universal ID is a four digit alphanumeric that groups coins based on a unique combination of date, mintmark, denomination and striking process (MS, PF, or SP). These IDs are a simple organization of all coins prior to variety attribution and grading.
As one of the great triumvirate of key dates in the Barber quarter series, along with the 1901-S and 1913-S, the 1896-S is the first issue that is truly rare in Fine/Very Fine and higher grades. Lawrence assigns an R.5 rating to Fine/Very Fine coins, an R.6 to XF and Mint State (presumably lower-Mint State) pieces, and an R.7 to AU examples of this issue.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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