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.
The 1918-D was produced to the extent of 3.8 million pieces. This is not a particularly large mintage for the Walking Liberty Half Dollar (especially considering that 1918 is a war year), but the striking quality for this issue did not benefit from this fact. It seems likely that the coinage staff in Denver purposely spaced the dies too far apart in an effort to increase time spent in the press. While this may have helped with production needs at the time, the ultimate result as far as collectors are concerned is a plethora of poorly struck coins. What's more, the '18-D does not appear to have been preserved in significant numbers at the time, and high quality Mint State coins of any striking quality are difficult to come by in today's market. As a Gem, the 1918-D is more difficult to obtain than the lower mintage 1917-S Obverse.
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