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.
When the adjusted weight coins were produced beginning in 1873, the tolerance was enough that the previous blanks could still be used. The half dollars coined from 1853 through 1873 had a standard weight of 12.44 grams while the new half dollars beginning in 1873 had a weight standard set at 12.50 grams. With a tolerance of plus or minus 0.2 grams, any planchet that weighed between 12.30 and 12.70 grams was legal. Walter Breen suggested that the mint did not make any adjustments to the previous standard in use. The most likely scenario is that they began producing blank planchets at the new weight standard, but went ahead a coined all of the previous blanks that had been prepared and were awaiting coinage.
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