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.
Even though in 1878 our nation's mints were busy producing their premier Morgan silver dollars, they managed to make time and facilities available to increase gold coin outputs. The Philadelphia Mint increased its half eagle output from 1,152 pieces in 1877 to more than 131,000 pieces in 1878, while that same mint augmented eagle emissions from 817 pieces in 1877 to nearly 74,000 pieces the following year. San Francisco boosted its eagle production from 17,000 coins in 1877 to more than 26,000 examples in 1878. The challenged Carson City Mint, however, saw its mingy 1877 eagle production of 3,332 coins plummet even further in 1878, to 3,244 coins.
The Carson City Mint opened over considerable objection and opposition in Washington and elsewhere in 1870, theoretically with a mission to coin the local gold and silver mined from the Comstock Lode, mitigating the necessity for precious metal shipments to San Francisco for coinage. In practice, however, the transportation and assay costs were favorable for San Francisco compared to Carson City. Bullion deposits at Carson City dropped, not only for that reason, but also because less and less gold was pulled from the earth nearby via the Comstock Lode. While 1873 saw record-high gold deposits exceeding 5 million dollars, by 1878 those gold deposits had decreased to $737,720 (Goe, The Mint on Carson Street).
Goe (2003) estimates the overall survival rate at 2%-2.5% in all grades combined.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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