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.
By 1871, the three dollar gold denomination had long outlived whatever usefulness it might have had, Paul M. Green, in an article for Numismatic News published October 21, 2008, needled the oft-floated rationale for the three dollar gold piece as a way to buy sheets of stamps, suggesting that perhaps a member of Congress anticipated 'an outbreak of pen pals.' Certainly, the 1,300 business strike three dollar gold pieces in 1871 did not buy too many stamps.
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