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 Philadelphia Mint began its program of commercial proof production in 1858, when Mint Director James Ross Snowden published ordering instructions and a list of prices for obtaining proof examples of various denominations from that facility. Before that date, no official records were kept of proof production, and the number of coins minted was quite limited. Regarding the 1856 proof mintage, Walter Breen comments, 'In some ways this is one of the most difficult and complicated dates of the series.' Breen estimates the proof quarter mintage as less than 30 pieces, while Larry Briggs estimates the total as 25+ examples. Proof quarters of 1856 are quite rare in all grades today, with Gem specimens almost unobtainable.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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