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 low mintages of half dollars from the 1879-1890 era were occasioned by the requirements of the Bland-Allison Act of 1878, which mandated the purchase of vast sums of silver for coinage into Morgan dollars. Interestingly, for some dates, although not the 1888, Seated half dollar experts Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert document more than one die pairing--a surprising development considering the maximum annual business-strike mintage during that time was about 12,000 coins.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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