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.
Though the change in weight established for minor silver in 1873 was far smaller than the alteration made in 1853, the Mint saw fit to use the arrows device once more to mark the new-tenor pieces. Carson City struck precious few coins with those arrows, particularly in 1874, it made only dimes and half dollars that year, both of which are highly elusive. Stated production for the latter denomination amounted to a mere 59,000 pieces, while the facility was far busier minting coins in 1874 than it had been in any prior year, most of those pieces were gold, and Trade dollars made up the bulk of the silver.
As Rusty Goe states in his The Mint on Carson Street, 'Choice to Gem Uncirculated specimens [of the 1874-CC half dollar] are prohibitively scarce,' and recent data from the PCGS Population Report confirms this, with just three MS64 listings and only two finer examples (3/09). Goe suggests that even these small numbers may be inflated by resubmissions, and even if they are not, the total '... does not come close to meeting demand. For it is safe to say that small crowds are waiting on the sidelines for every high grade specimen that enters the market.'
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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