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 half eagle carries a reputation as the most plentiful issue of the type, a status earned through its mintage of 688,084 coins, highest of the No Motto series. Despite its reputation, the 1861 half eagle is surprisingly elusive in better Mint State grades. Garrett and Guth note it 'is considered common, but there are still fewer than two dozen examples known at the gem level.'
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