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.
1883 at the nation's mints was a year chiefly dedicated to the spewing out of millions of unwanted and unneeded Morgan dollars, as mandated by the Bland-Allison Act of 1878. Three types of five cent nickels were produced in considerable quantities, but three cent nickel coinage was negligible. Quarters, half dollars, and gold coins below the half eagle were produced in strictly token amounts, while the double eagle was produced only in proof format, to the extent of 92 pieces. The mintage of three dollar gold pieces, as it did in 1881, again dipped below four digits, this time to the extent of 900 business strikes and 89 proofs. Although some earlier researchers, such as Harry W. Bass, Jr., believed that business strikes were struck from the proof obverse die, Breen's proof Encyclopedia says that a different die was used. However, both proofs and some business strikes are seen with a speck of die rust in the plume above the T in LIBERTY, as on the present coin. According to Q. David Bowers' The United States $3 Gold Pieces the reverse die, however, is definitely different on the proof coins. The wreath tops are unconnected and show an area of proof surface between them, while on business strikes the wreath tips touch. The proofs show the peak of the 1 in the date centered beneath the left tip of the serif of the first L in DOLLARS, while on the business strikes this digit is minutely to the left of that position.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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