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.
Like so many gold pieces from the Civil War era, this is a low-mintage rarity. In fact, the Philadelphia Mint coined just 1,520 of these pieces, along with an additional 25 proof examples. In 1988, Walter Breen claimed that this date was unknown in Mint State grades, although a single piece has been certified Mint State today. Unlike the situation a century ago, collectors now seem to focus on the various branch Mint issues, seemingly ignoring these Philadelphia Mint coins. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, few collectors paid any attention to the various branch Mint issues, and simply acquired one example to represent each year. For those that could afford such coins, proofs were the ideal candidates. Couple this with the hoarding of precious metals that took place in the late 1860s, and the extremely low mintage to start with, and the true rarity of this date and other adjacent dates becomes obvious.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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