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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.
As with other odd denominations of the 19th century, the three dollar gold piece saw its production fall dramatically from the first year to the second. In an article for the August 29, 2006 edition of Numismatic News, R.W. Julian describes the contrast between the mintages of 1854 and 1855: 'Because of [the denomination's] novelty, there was a reasonable coinage of the new pieces at Philadelphia in 1854, nearly 139,000 pieces, but the demand and mintage would start to slip in 1855 and continue to do so.'
Julian continues by noting that 'While there was never any great demand for the $3 gold piece, there was still enough gold deposited at the Philadelphia Mint in 1855' for another substantial issue, its mintage most often listed as 50,555 business strikes. While that figure is enough to qualify the 1855 as a higher-mintage issue in the context of the denomination, the 1855 was not saved in quantity the way the 1854 was. As a result, while the 1855 three dollar gold piece is an accepted type issue in circulated and the lowest Mint State grades, by the Select level, it is distinctly scarcer than the 1854, 1874, or 1878, the most common type issues.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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