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 production of circulation-strike half eagles dropped precipitously from 1895 to 1896, going from 1.3 million to a mere 58,960 pieces. This low mintage correlates to a very small availability of the 1896 in Gem condition.
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