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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 1875 half eagle is not only one of the great rarities in the series of Liberty half eagles, it is also one of the outstanding rarities among all United States gold coins. Only 200 business strikes were produced (along with 20 proofs), and today estimates of survivors are as low as half a dozen pieces. When an 1875 half eagle is offered in the marketplace, the main question to be answered is whether or not it is really a business strike. The answer lies not only in the third-party encasement, but close examination will also reveal that the left base of the 1 in the date is left of the center of a dentil, unlike proofs which have the left base of the 1 right of the center of a dentil.
The 1875 is the second rarest Coronet half eagle, second only to the legendary 1854-S. It is surprising how many big name collections have lacked an example of the 1875: Eliasberg only had a proof, Amon Carter did not own one, nor did the Norwebs. In Akers' study of the half eagle series, out of the 337 gold sales he surveyed, business strike 1875 fives were only offered three times.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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