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 Denver Mint, the producer of more than half of our country's circulating coinage today, traces its lineage back to the private mint of Clark, Gruber & Co. The most respected and successful of the territorial mints that served the Colorado Gold Rush, this firm produced quarter eagles, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles in both 1860 and 1861. Despite their efforts, however, Clark, Gruber & Co. were unable to keep pace with the burgeoning population of Colorado. On the eve of the Civil War, the Colorado Territory boasted a population of twenty-five to thirty thousand inhabitants, with hundreds more arriving each day. As many of these people were miners, the existing supply of private coinage was woefully inadequate to prevent them from resorting to gold dust as a medium of exchange. Armed with these facts, the Colorado Territorial Convention of the Republican Party met on July 2, 1861 and drafted a resolution calling for a federal mint in Denver to supercede the activities of the local establishments. Amazingly, Clark, Gruber & Co. willingly admitted their shortcomings, supported the resolution, and even offered to sell their property to the federal government for the new mint. Despite rival claims for federal coinage facilities from Nevada (as benefactor of the Comstock Lode) and New York (as financial capital of the country), as well as the enormous wartime deficit, Congress passed the bill that established a branch mint in Denver, Colorado on April 21, 1862. After a year of the usual red tape and political jargon, on April 16, 1863, Uncle Sam purchased the Clark, Gruber & Co. building for the lofty sum of $25,000. After more than five months of extensive remodeling, the new mint was apparently ready to begin operations. For unknown reasons, however, Congress changed its mind at the last minute and opened the Denver facility merely as an assay office on September 24. It languished in this inglorious, although necessary role until early 1906, when Congress finally approved its operations as a full-fledged branch mint.
Among the early products of the Denver Mint, its silver coinage is well respected for its scarcity in the higher Mint State grades. A primary example of this is its 1907-D Barber dime issue.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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