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.
After the California Gold Rush began in 1848, the amounts of gold making their way to the Philadelphia Mint increased dramatically. While that institution produced more than 23,000 quarter eagles in 1849, in 1850 it increased the amount more than tenfold. Despite the high mintage for the era of more than a quarter of a million pieces, the 1850 issue is quite elusive in the higher reaches of Mint State.
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