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 history behind this issue differs markedly from most other Morgan dollars. As Uncle Sam produced far more dollars than the channels of commerce could ever hope to support, the Treasury Department simply stored numerous bags in vaults year after year. Many of these bags survived until the Treasury depletion of 1962-1964 delivered the coins into the hands of collectors and dealers. This set of circumstances explains why issues like the 1885-CC are plentiful in Mint State grades but almost unheard of in worn condition. On the contrary, numerous bags totaling more than 270 million dollars were destroyed under the terms of the Pittman Act of 1918. This event accounts for the rarity of issues such as the 1889-CC and 1893-S in all grades. The 1884-S Morgan dollar, however, is plentiful through the AU grade level but prohibitively rare in true Mint State preservation. The only way numismatists have been able to explain this strange combination of realities is that the San Francisco Mint released large quantities of 1884-S Morgans into circulation shortly after production. Even though a few thousand lower Mint State survivors trickled from Treasury Department storage in the 1950s-1960s, these coins were quickly absorbed into the numismatic community. Today, collector demand for attractive, original Mint State 1884-S dollars easily outstrips the available supply.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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