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.
After decades of American gold coins not circulating because their melted value exceeded their face value, in 1834 Congress finally decided to reduce the weight of U.S. gold coins. The mint anticipated a veritable flood of old tenor gold coins to be turned in for the newer, lighter ones and dies were prepared with the androgynous, and now familiar, Classic head motif. More than 650,000 half eagles were struck and distributed in 1834 with the new design and most circulated heavily. However, a few were saved as mementoes and when one does encounter a high grade Classic quarter eagle or half eagle it is usually dated 1834.
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