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.
Apparently all 1859 Proof Quarter Eagles were of the old style, although Walter Breen, in his Proof Encyclopedia, incorrectly identified these as having the new reverse hub. He had corrected his mistake by the time his Complete Encyclopedia was published 11 years later. In the Pittman Collection catalog, David Akers reported a single Proof from the New Hub, part of the Byron Reed Collection. He continued to suggest that 10 to 12 Proof examples of this date survive. Earlier estimates by Walter Breen and others placed the total number of survivors at seven or eight coins. Plate matching from earlier catalogs is nearly an impossible task, especially when it comes to Proof gold coins. We believe that the actual population of 1859 Proof Quarter Eagles is nine or ten coins.
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