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.
1874-S $5 AU 53 PCGS. Ex: Bass. Formerly offered as lot 525 in the Bass IV Sale, where it was ably described as, 'Lustrous honey gold with much mint brilliance and rose iridescence in the recessed areas. Nicely struck. Rare in all grades (as are nearly all half eagles of the era). One of just 16,000 half eagles of the date produced in San Francisco. Typically found at just Fine or VF, an AU-53 specimen falls very near the high end of the Condition Census for the date. The present coin is one of just two examples of the date collected by Harry Bass, and is equal to that other specimen (Lot 1199, October 1999). It is worthy of note that PCGS has not certified an example of this date above AU 58! A memorable coin on all accounts.' The description goes on to give the die characteristics of this issue, which is how Harry collected U.S. gold, by die variety: 'Date logotype nicely impressed and nicely centered vertically, perhaps slightly left, left edge of lower serif of 1 over left side of dentil. S mintmark lightly impressed, upper serif below tip of arrow feather, positioned slightly left of center of V below.'
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