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 Garrett-Guth Gold Encyclopedia says succinctly of this date, 'Although the 1878-S quarter eagle is not a great rarity, it is difficult to locate in gem condition. Just a few examples have been graded at that level. The finest is a single MS-66 coin. Not a single example of the date has been offered at auction in gem condition in the last decade.'
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