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.
Unlike the business strike half eagles from 1880, proofs are of the highest order of rarity. Only 36 pieces were originally produced and it is estimated that fewer than ten examples are extant today in the proof format. Twenty-one years ago, David Akers wrote of the proof 1880, '...very rare, more so than any of the dates that follow. They have also appeared at auction less often than any date after 1859 except for the extremely rare and underrated 1861, 1870, 1871, and 1874.' And those words are still true today.
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