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 1857-S is a surprisingly rare coin in all grades, but especially so in high grades. According to Wiley and Bugert (1992) 'underrated in all grades, especially when compared with 1855-S.' High praise indeed with the high profile rarity of the 1855-S half.
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