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 Mint experienced considerable difficulty in the late 1850s and early 1860s as it tried to win over the general numismatic hobby to the idea of making annual purchases of proof coinage. For most years in this era, public demand for specimen coinage did not match the Mint's output with the result that many coins were melted as unsold. 1860 gives a vivid picture of this, particularly in the case of the Seated Dollar. The Philadelphia Mint prepared 1,000 sets of proof silver and minor coins this year, as well as a further 330 Silver Dollars in anticipation of increased demand for these large and impressive coins. Unfortunately, sales of both sets and singles fell far below expectations with all but 527 of the proof Seated Dollars being melted at year's end. David Bowers (1993) estimates that somewhat more than 270 Proofs of 1860 are extant, of which Gem and better specimens account for ten or so pieces
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