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.
As 1878 unfolded the silver interests of the West combined forces to cause Congress to act. Simply stated, the bowels of Nevada had been opened wide, and silver was flooding into the mine owners coffers. Great wealth was had by a few lucky persons, but what to do with all this silver. The price of silver on the open market fell. Such events were not to be tolerated, and soon Congress authorized the purchase of large quantities of silver for coinage. Naturally the mints had no more desire for the silver than anyone else, they were coining along quite happy up to that time with the normal influx of gold, silver, nickel and copper. Congress imposed the Sherman Silver Act in early 1878 which authorized the purchase of millions of ounces of silver for coinage into the new Morgan silver dollars. With all the pressure to stamp out millions of the new silver dollars, the Trade dollar was virtually shelved save for a dwindling number of proof issues starting in 1879 which petered out entirely in 1885.
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