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.
While the 1899 Philadelphia Mint Barber half dollar is more plentiful than the 1896 and 1898 issues, it is a condition rarity in Gem or finer grades. Although 5.5 million were coined in 1899, a lack of interest in business strike Philadelphia Mint issues until recent years created this high-grade rarity. Only in the 1980s did collectors realize how rare some of these issues are. Prior to that time, most collectors sought out proof coins that were considered more desirable.
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