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.
Only 27,200 business-strike Seated Liberty dollars were minted in 1863, along with 460 proof examples. Civil War hoarding caused the government to suspend specie payments, and most of the small mintage was struck on private account for depositors of silver bullion. Banks, bullion dealers, and merchants also purchased coins at a premium, for use in foreign trade. Walter Breen stated most silver dollars of the era were 'exported to Latin American and East Indian ports.' The combination of low mintage and high exportation rate resulted in a minuscule supply of 1863 dollars available for numismatic purposes. The date is scarce in all grades today, and Mint State examples are rare. Q. David Bowers estimates perhaps 275-400 coins survive in circulated grades, with approximately 50-90 specimens extant in Mint State. At the Gem level, Bowers believes only 8-12 pieces are known. We believe those estimates significantly higher than the actual survival rate.
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