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 P-mint silver issues were widely hoarded and/or melted during the turmoil of the Civil War, S-mint deliveries continued to circulate heavily in California throughout the 1860s. The 1863-S was one of those half dollar issues that saw heavy use despite its modest original delivery of 916,000 pieces. All Mint State survivors of this delivery must be considered quite scarce.
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