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.
The Barber Quarter made its debut in 1892, following a coin design competition in 1891 in which outside artists were invited to submit their ideas, but none were acceptable. A new 'grand competition' was envisioned with 10 of America's most distinguished artists sending in proposals. However, less than two months was allowed and virtually no compensation was given, so nothing of significance was received. The Treasury Department then decided to have a public competition open to all comers with Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Henry Mitchell, and Charles Barber (then chief engraver at the mint) judging the results. Nothing was found to suit the committee, however Barber was selected to turn out a new design. His result was a design based on French influence with the result being the Liberty Head series now offered. In collector terminology, these have been named 'Barber Quarters (Dimes and Half Dollars in their respective denominations). Curiously enough, in the 1930s and 1940s, many numismatists referred to these as Morgan Quarters. During the first year, 1,245 proofs were struck, many of these being subsequently sold at the Columbian Exposition. The first proof strikes rolled off the press at 9:00 AM, January 2, 1892.
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