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.
Those of us who handle coins on a daily basis take much for granted. We assume certain dates are 'easy' to find in mint condition. But stop and consider for a moment how extraordinary it is that any coins have come down to us from 1870 in mint state. 1870 was the year Prussia launched its offensive against the French Republic and occupied Paris. Native American tribes were still living on the Great Plains, not on reservations. General Custer still had six years of life left before making his fateful decision to enter Little Big Horn. And here is a coin that had a considerable amount of purchasing power in 1870, struck for circulation, yet was never actually handled in the channels of commerce.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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