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 year 1873 was a seminal one in U.S. numismatics. Henry R. Linderman began his second term as Mint director, serving until 1878. The Latin Monetary Union, comprising France, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland, adopted a gold standard. The 'Crime of '73' legislated the two cent piece, trime, and silver half dime out of existence, omitted the Seated Liberty silver dollar from the list of authorized coins, introduced the Trade dollar, and increased the weight of minor silver coinage. The half dollar's weight increased from 12.44 gm to 12.50 gm of .900 fine silver. The Trade dollar contained 27.22 gm of .900 fine silver--an excess of nearly 9% compared with the silver content of two half dollars--ensuring that it would not circulate domestically.
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