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 1861-D is the rarest and most famous gold dollar from this Southern mint. It is also the single most coveted coin from Dahlonega, as it is the only regular issue that was produced entirely by the Confederacy. After the Mint was seized in April 1861, between 1,000 and 1,500 examples were struck by CSA forces. It is unlikely that more than five to six dozen are known today. Interestingly, more of these exist in high grade than one might expect, and there are probably more than a dozen pieces in Uncirculated. Winter writes in the second edition of Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint that 'the number of high grade specimens is greater than normal for an issue with this small a mintage, suggesting the existence of a small hoard.' It is not at all a stretch of the imagination to suggest that some Confederate officer, or some involved with the production of these fabled coins, kept a handful of souvenirs of what must have been a momentous occasion for those involved: a tangible association in golden metal of the rift that was dividing the fabric of a nation. This issue has a distinct appearance that contributes in part to the charm of the 1861-D gold dollar. It is always found with a weak strike on the obverse.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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