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.
Congress adjusted the amount of silver in the minor coinage in 1873, slightly raising the amount. This was signified by two small arrowheads on either side of the date. Curiously, this action noted a decrease in silver in 1853, but who would remember? The standard weight of the half dollar was changed from 192 grains to 192.9 grains. At that time, this tiny change represented a quarter of a cent in value added to each half dollar. The change was not value oriented, however, but was intended to introduce the metric system to our coinage. This was not the first, nor the last time the Metric system was governmentally imposed on the American people, with similar success to the circulation of the Eisenhower, Anthony and Sacagawea dollar coins.
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