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.
In early 1878, the Morgan dollars were issued with eight tail feathers as part of the reverse design. The popular nugget goes that naturalists immediately informed the Mint that they had committed a grave design error, and that eagles' tails have a central feather with equal numbers of feathers on either side, thus they must have an odd number of tail feathers. The legend continues that the Mint quickly changed the design to one with seven tail feathers, although they could have just as easily chosen nine tail feathers. Q. David Bowers writes in Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia that numismatic researcher Eric P. Newman, to assist with Bowers' manuscript, contacted the Raptor Center in St. Louis. Newman discovered that most birds of prey, including the American bald eagle, have 12 tail feathers! Bowers writes further that various evidence indicates that designer George T. Morgan planned to use seven tail feathers from the very beginning, but that the dies were prepared in haste without attention to minute details: hence the various tail-feathered varieties of 1878; and that in reality, the dies with seven tail feathers have many more minute differences than merely a different number of tail feathers, apparently aesthetic tweaks on Morgan's part.
The 8 Tail Feathers reverse was used only in 1878, the first year of the Morgan design, making this issue extremely important to type collectors.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.
There was no data found for this Coin.
Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.
The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer
A random selection of coins is shown below.
See Coin Details
NGC Auction Central Disclaimer