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.
During the Civil War, hoarding of silver was prevalent, and few coins remained in circulation. By the end of the war in 1865, the problem had reached the point that little precious metal even reached the Mint for production. As a result, just 10,000 business strikes were produced, along with 500 of these proofs, a low proof production even at that time. Very few business strikes have survived, and the proofs that do exist are mostly in lower quality.
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