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What VAM am I

11 posts in this topic

I recently acquired an 1878 8 TF Morgan and have been trying to compare my coin to the various descriptions on VAMWORLD.COM in hopes of determining what I might have. Basically my coin has a few of the characteristics of some VAMs but not all of the characteristics of any specific VAM. I am fairly new to coin collecting so I suspect I am making "rookie" mistakes and overlooking the obvious detail or two that would help properly categorize the coin.


So, I am hoping I can get some input from the readers and suggestions as to what I should look for on this coin to narrow down the VAM. My description is below and I will include pictures at the bottom.


First, it looks like the coin shifted in two directions during production - rotating counter clockwise slightly and shifting to the lower right / southeast as the majority of the letters are doubled on the vertical edges. Many are also doubled on the bottom and in some cases the bottom


I think the reverse is the A1C version for several reasons:

- there are three small feathers on the outside of the legs on each side

- letters in UNITED seem to be doubled on top and bottom

- STATES OF AMERICA seem to be doubled on the bottom

- ONE DOLLAR and left wreath are doubled.

- the bottom section of the TOP serif in the second S in STATES is cut off / not complete


Many letters on the reverse are also doubled on the left vertical side


The reverse also shows signs of clashing (I think that is what they call it) towards the inside top of the wreaths


There are also signs of clashing below the N in IN GOD WE TRUST that connects to the wing.


As for the obverse, this is what I think I am seeing on the coin:

- date slightly doubled

- Most letters are doubled on the left vertical edges

- slight doubling on the underside of some letters - esp UNUM

- seems to be a small die flake or metal sot just under the eye lid

- seems to be a metal spot just under the eye slightly to right

- faint / small die crack from 1st through 3rd stars to right of date

- faint / small die crack from 4th through sixth stars to right of date

- faint / small die crack between 7 and 8 of date

- MAY be early signs of an ear flake - it seems there is an outline where it should be but there isn't metal protruding up from the surface

- there are several locations of die flakes around the edges near the denticles

- die clash at V in hair

- die clash at neck


I do not see any other major die cracks other than the ones mentioned above.


I have posted many pictures to a SkyDrive and hopefully one of the links below will take you to the pics.










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Maybe John, aka messydesk, will chime in. I hate trying to attribute an 8TF from photos, and for my poor eyes, some of your enlargements are a little too blurry,



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Looks like VAM 14.1A to me. The best diagnostics for this one are the engraved feathers below the wings, Liberty's eye, and a single, heavy polishing line actoss the recessed area in Liberty's cap, between the cotton bolls and the 2nd U in UNUM. This is one of the most common varieties, and the engraved feathers are often mistaken for those on the VAM 9, which is a very desirable variety. This die pair clashed early in its lifetime. There is an unclashed VAM 14.1 that has a prooflike obverse that is quite scarce.

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A1k certainly seems to be the reverse. Just compare the shape of the extra tail feathers. I agree with 14.1A.


I liked many of the photos, BTW. But would have appreciated the entire coin. Many areas were missing, in spite of all the ones provided.


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One last question, when I read the description of VAM 14.1A, there isn't mention of doubling of letters on the vertical edges. Is this also fairly common on this VAM?


As mentioned above, many of the obverse letters are doubled on the left side / edges.


I don't see any doubling on any of the letters.



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My pictures aren't the best but if you find the close up with PLURIBUS, you can see it along the left vertical edges.


There is also a close up of ONE up to the Eagle tail and the left edge of the E clearly shows the doubling.


Holding the coin in hand, both OBV and REV has the doubling on the side of most letters.



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