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.
In 1881, only 7,620 business strike gold dollars were produced by the Philadelphia Mint, and a surprising number still exist in Superb Gem condition. In his A Guide Book of United States Type Coins, Q. David Bowers writes, 'Gold dollars of the Type III style did not circulate extensively (except in the West), and today most pieces grade EF or better. Mint State coins abound, particularly for the dates 1879 through 1889, during which time they were a popular investment and speculation.' Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth (2006) note that 'The 1881 gold dollar is best known for the quality of the known specimens.'
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