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.
While even Superb Gem Type Three dollars from late in the Indian Head series (1874-1889) are found with some frequency, the 1857 gold dollar in Superb Gem or finer is another matter entirely. Numismatists, as well as the collecting public who occasionally laid aside a nice coin, likely knew from the mid-1870s onward that the series was eventually doomed. The signs were clear: The last sizeable mintage occurred in 1874, with most of the subsequent emissions on the far side of minuscule, the coins did not circulate but were popular as souvenirs, and the Morgan dollar mintage started in 1878, obviating the need for a duplicate gold denomination.
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