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.
At the tail end of the Civil War, few gold coins were struck, and most were immediately hoarded and melted. The mintage of this issue was 351,175 coins, and the survival rate is quite small in any Mint State grade, let alone Gem quality. This was the year of two shipwrecks, both important in numismatic circles. On July 30, 1865, the S.S. Brother Jonathan sank off the coast of Crescent City, California, in the far northern part of that state. Although many searches for the ship and its treasure took place, it was not until the 1990s that a successful recovery took place. Deep Seat Research, Inc. located the treasure, and recovered over 1,200 gold coins, mostly 1865-S Double Eagles in Mint State condition. There were also two 1865 Double Eagles from the Philadelphia Mint. About three months later, the S.S. Republic sank of the coast of Georgia, the result of a hurricane. This ship was finally located in July 2003 by Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. By January 2004, over 17,000 coins had been recovered along with several hundred other artifacts.
A 2002 reference by Douglas Winter and Adam Crum summarized the important of this issue, and of this coin: 'The 1865 double eagle is a relatively scarce date, although not nearly as much so as the 1862, 1863, and 1864. It is most often seen in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades. It is scarce in the lower About Uncirculated grades and very scarce in properly graded About Uncirculated-55 to About Uncirculated-58. It is very rare in Uncirculated and there are just two or three currently known that grade higher than Mint State-62.'
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