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.
Just 12,000 were struck for circulation, although most probably did not actually circulated. In his Complete Encyclopedia, Walter Breen stated that this issue was extensively hoarded, and he then referenced his own Proof Encyclopedia, suggesting that the extensive hoarding activities were among proofs and not business strikes. From 1879 through 1890, quarter dollars and half dollars were produced in extremely limited quantities due to the Bland-Allison Act. It was this Congressional Act that mandated extensive production of silver dollars (the now popular Morgan dollar) and had all of the mints essentially doing nothing else. Dimes were not so much affected simply because they were still needed as small change. Quarters and half dollars the least in demand at the time, so these were the denominations that suffered (to our benefit today).
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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