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  1. The 1880-CC looks like VAM 3. Wear and crud can mess with perceived mint mark position. VAM 1 was marked as non-existent probably in the 1976 edition of the VAM book (definitely in the 1992 edition). That was meant to be a placeholder if there were such thing as a normal dies 80-CC when Leroy Van Allen started cataloging these. The 1893-S looks fake from here. The date looks wrong and the combination of wear and coloring look typical of a lot of fakes.
  2. I would assert that the new hub was used to finish some unfinished 8TF dies. It takes several hubbings to finish a die over a period of time, so there would have been a handful of unfinished 8TF reverses at the time the first 7TF hub was ready. The 7/8s are actually the second instance of Class III doubling (design hub doubling) in 1878, as the 8TF reverse had a minor revision most noticeable on the eagle's beak. Coins with this short-lived revision (VAMs 18-23) are show signs of both hubs.
  3. Here's a discussion ATS about these, including photos of actual holders (not marketing mockups), with lots of questions about them. They look good from the photos posted. I'd love to see one and have the chance to do some "abusive user" testing.
  4. VAMWorld still uses the official specification for VAMs as written by Leroy Van Allen (up through Dec. 2021) or me (starting Dec. 2021). This is the text that describes each die as well as die markers. The level of detail has increased here over the years because of collector demand. This text is not supposed to be different from what Leroy's (or my) written specification. There is space permitted for additional comments about the variety, including things not described in the specification. There is also the official name of the variety as written by Leroy. For the 91-CC VAM 3, it is "Doubled Profile, CC/CC Top, Spitting Eagle." The doubled profile was added to the official name when VAM 7 was discovered with the same reverse and a different obverse. Before that, the 1991 VAM book calls it "CC/CC Top and Spitting Eagle." Many coins have additional nicknames not given by Leroy but adopted by collectors. The 88-O "Hot Lips" is officially called "Doubled Head". The term "Hot Lips" pre-dates the Top 100 book, as does "Scarface" for the 88-O VAM 1B. Other nicknames were given when the Top 100 book or subsequent guides were published. As these nicknames tend to be more popular and catchy, it only makes sense that they are used. I don't think anyone would refer to a Hot Lips as a Doubled Head today.
  5. The official specification for this variety (and VAM 7) mention a die gouge. I would say that what is on the VP description is a transcription error. In this case, you would get the people that are responsible for creating and maintaining the official VAM descriptions. Lucky for you, I decided to pop in today.
  6. Don't confuse soft strike with detail not present on the die. The reason many Peace dollars are mushy is because the dies are mushy, so that even if the coin is fully struck, you get fully struck mush. 1921-S Morgans work the same way, in that you almost never see one that is sharply detailed. The 1921 high relief is a different beast. The reason they don't have good detail is because the strike isn't sufficient to bring it up.
  7. As far as I know, NGC was not producing calendars. I made some calendars of my coin photography, but I'm sold out of the 2021.
  8. In the be careful what you wish for department, let's use this opportunity of the ASE reverse switchover to have all mints make ASEs of both reverses, and in bullion, "burnished", "enhanced", proof, and reverse proof finishes. No colorized, holographic, privy marked stuff. They can scatter them over the course of the year to hide the fact that there would be 40, count 'em, 40 different ASEs made. Heaven help TPG label collectors that may have to buy hundreds of 2021 ASEs. My Dansco, in which I keep bullion ASEs, only holds 36 -- 1986-2021. Bottom line is that a ballooning product catalog isn't really all that good for the hobby.
  9. 1921-D Morgans exist in PL, but they are quire scarce.
  10. Agree that the 78-CC is good (VAM 6). The 89-CC has a lot not to like -- rims, detail, date and mint mark position, heavy clash on the reverse, and that's just from a blurry picture.
  11. AI grading is an interesting exercise, because it shows just how much you need to understand something to build an AI system that can do it well. This is a good example of a classifier problem, where the classifications are the grades of a coin. A standard approach to this is to throw a lot of image data together with ground truth grades (I know what you're thinking) and let the system learn how to classify unknown images. This will work pretty well with wholesome, circulated coins with flat appearances that can be graded pretty much as line drawings and imaged on a flatbed scanner with repeatable results. Uncirculated coins pose a different challenge. If you look at how people grade them, there is a lot of tipping and twirling of a coin in the light to get a full picture of what it looks like. If you translate that process to a computer, that is an incredible amount of data that needs to be acquired, and acquired without loss due to an insufficient imaging setup. We've all seen countless GTG threads everywhere that have unexpected grades associated with a coin. We are grading these with one image. Sometimes they're good images, sometimes not, but it's always that case that a single image isn't capturing everything about a coin. More nefariously, it's sometimes the case that a single image is hiding specific things about a coin, such as a patch of hairlines, a bad hit, or a scratch. If I'm trying to rip of eBay buyers and I normally use bad (for example, overexposed) pictures of problem coins to do this, knowing there's an AI grader in play, I might decide to try and game that with my photos. To me, what would be the most impressive is a data acquisition system that could acquire the data necessary to train such a system well and then to actually perform the grading on test coins. From there, the next step would be to see how to optimize the whole process. Simpler AI tasks related to coins include identification, coarse grained attribution (think Overton varieties, not VAMs), and maybe even AT/NT assessment.
  12. Now taking orders for my 2020 coin calendar. $16 (includes shipping in the US) gets you a wall calendar with a different coin photo that I've taken for each month. The calendar is printed on heavy card stock with glossy pictures of a diverse assortment of eye candy. This is the twelfth year I have done this calendar. Should be shipping by December 1 or so. Here are the coins that are featured for this year: