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 1897-S is a highly regarded condition rarity among late-date issues in the series of Coronet Half Eagles, from a comparatively modest mintage of 354,000 pieces. Estimates place the number of Uncirculated survivors at just 50-60 coins, a small enough quantity that price guides have adjusted the 1897-S Five Dollar to a level that is up to four times the common date price. A mere handful of Superb Mint State examples are known to exist of the issue, perhaps most famously the Eliasberg specimen which fetched over $13,000 way back in the dreadful coin market of 1982.
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