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.
In the introduction to his work 'Variety Identification Manual for United States Reeded Edge Half Dollars 1836-1839,' Reiver opens with the following comments: 'The period from 1836 to 1839 was one of tremendous change in the production of coins in the United States. Dr. Robert Maskell Patterson was appointed by President Andrew Jackson to the post of Director of the Mint in 1835. The first steam press was put into operation in 1836, and brought on a revolution in the coining process. ... In 1836, Christian Gobrecht was appointed assistant to William Kneass, the Engraver. ... Kneass died in 1840, and Gobrecht was appointed to fill the vacancy. He continued until his death in 1844. Gobrecht was the engraver of the Reeded Edge Bust half dollars.'
The 1837 is one of only two issues of Christian Gobrecht's Reeded Edge, 50 CENTS Reverse half dollar. The scarcity of the low mintage (1,200 pieces) 1836, which is technically a pattern issue, steers most type collectors in the direction of the 1837.
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