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.
As noted by Garrett and Guth in their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins, for the 1853 half eagle issue, though circulated coins are fairly common, 'Mint State examples are scarce, and most of the coins are in the lower grade ranges, usually MS-61 or MS-62. Choice examples are seldom seen or offered for sale.?
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