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 gold was being hoarded in the Eastern U.S. during the Civil War, production and circulation of gold coins continued on the West coast throughout the decade. The San Francisco Mint coined 9,500 half eagles in 1862, and nearly every one of those pieces entered circulation.
The average grade recorded by Ron Guth and Jeff Garrett was just over XF40. In their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins that was published in 2006, these authors noted: 'The date is very rare in any condition and seldom seen at auction or on the bourse floor. ... The 1862-S half eagle is extremely rare in Mint State. Although two coins [now three] have been graded as such, the authors have never seen either example. The 1862-S half eagle is one of the few coins missing from the Smithsonian collection because the Lilly example is actually a fake.'
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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