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 1896 Barber half dollar is one of the rarest Philadelphia issues in Mint State grades, especially at the higher levels. Like all other P-mint issues, the 1896 was usually acquired in proof rather than Mint State until the last couple of decades. David Akers wrote in the Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection catalog: 'In my experience, this is the rarest P Mint Barber Half Dollar of the decade, especially in Gem condition, and it is even more rare than many of the more highly regarded mintmarked issues of the series.'
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