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 1889 eagle had a production of only 45 pieces, a number that is somewhat on the low side even for the late 1880s and early 1890s, before annual proof emissions slowly started an uptick to the 120 pieces produced in the centennial year 1900. But as an issue, the 1889 is among the rarest of the 1885-1907 timeframe. The Garrett-Guth gold Encyclopedia calls this piece 'the rarest of the decade,' further noting that 'Even the 1891 issue, which has a similar mintage, is a far more 'common' coin.'
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