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.
Although nearly 2 million of these coins were minted, the date is a condition rarity in Gem or finer grades. Most contemporary collectors selected proof examples, a tradition that continued into the 1980s when collectors began to notice the true rarity of Mint State examples. David Akers explains in the Price catalog: 'Most great Barber Half Dollar collections of the past (cf. Norweb, Emery-Nichols, Eliasberg) contained Proofs, not business strikes, of the P Mint issues in the series since the Proofs were always considered 'better' and thus more desirable than the Uncirculated pieces to old-time collectors.'
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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