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.
The 8 used for the date punch is larger than most other dies of the year, and the reverse sports fourteen stars over the eagle instead of the expected thirteen. This was not a case of an additional star being added to the original thirteen as new states joined the union, as there were already fifteen states when the first heraldic eagle dies were engraved in late 1795. No, simple mathematics played a part, the engraver simply put too many stars in the die. Thus a naked eye type coin was created and in this case a rather scarce one at that. Estimates of the number of coins from this die pairing range from about 30 to perhaps a few more, but regardless of the exact number, this is an important rarity in high grade.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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