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 1872-S ranks among the most challenging Motto Seated quarters. Larry Briggs, in The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Quarters, offers brief comments on the issue: 'Rarest 'S' mint. Rare and very hard to locate in any condition. Most probably melted in 1873 creating a far greater demand than supply.' The original production of 83,000 pieces is consistent with the yearly nominal mintages for quarters at San Francisco between 1866 and 1872, the first years for the Motto Above Eagle, No Arrows design variant. Passage of the Act of February 12, 1873, resulted in numerous changes to American coinage, one of which was a slight increase in the weights of the dime, quarter, and half dollar. San Francisco did not issue any old-tenor quarters in that year, in addition, any quarters of previous years still on hand were likely melted and recoined to the new standard. Such melting could explain why the 1872-S is less available today than other issues with lower published mintages.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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