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.
This issue's entire mintage was struck within the first three months of the year, Rusty Goe, in his The Mint on Carson Street, notes that officials in Philadelphia expected a heightened Morgan dollar mintage this year, judging by the dozens of obverse and reverse dies shipped out to Nevada, but the supply of silver bullion deposits dried up, and after production ceased on April 1, 1881, it would not restart for the rest of the year. Goe comments further on the twist of fate that led to this issue's comparative availability: 'With such a low mintage this date should be scarce and valuable, but it is neither. other than a small quantity released locally, nearly all of the 296,000 1881-CCs remained in the mint vault until 1885. Then, along with nearly 70% of the mintage of silver dollars from 1880 through 1885, they were sent to Treasury facilities in Washington D.C. and San Francisco.'
Goe's comment that the 1881-CC is neither scarce nor valuable is true, though only to a certain point for the latter. Certainly, barring some dramatic supply or demand shock, the six-figure GSA release of 1881-CC Morgan dollars will continue to satisfy collectors well into the future.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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