Venturing out of my safe Zone

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Marshall, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    It's interesting that the only coin identified in the Heritage Auction Archives as VAM 1A appears to be a VAM 2 from the positions of the date to the dentils.
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  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    I'm by no means that knowledgeable about Morgan dollars, but the first question that came to my mind is; "How can the obverse be so marked up and the reverse show almost no signs of marks or wear?"
  4. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    Marked up with Photoscape. I think any minute differences are my own creation.

    Heritage VAM 1A
    Heritage 1A.jpg

    VAMWORLD 2.0 VAM 2 VAM 2 VW.jpg
  5. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I do see this occasionally with copper so I suppose it can happen. Of course I also see photo labeling errors as well. It could be as simple as showing the obverse of one coin and the reverse of another.
  6. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    Looking a little closer, I can see a die break from the tip of the neck to between stars 1 and 2 to the dentil between 2 and 3 on both images.

    Definitely the same Obverse Die.
  7. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    The die cracks below the digits give it away, so one of two things happened.
    • The VAM 1A reverse die was used with both a normal obverse and the repunched 6 obverse and the die chip was never cataloged with the VAM 2 obverse.
    • The VAM 1A is cataloged incorrectly. If all coins with the VAM 2 obverse have this break by the wreath, then it makes sense just to mention the chip as part of the VAM 2 listing. If the reverse die chip developed while the die was paired with the VAM 2 obverse, then there should be a VAM 2 and 2A listing, with VAM 2A referring to the die break.
    There is someone who has made it a hobby to go through high grade photos from Heritage and CoinFacts and try to straighten out the listings for the better date Morgans. I don't think he's done 96-S yet, though.
    Marshall likes this.
  8. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I'll check to see if my memory is playing tricks on me or not, but I think I did see the chip on each of the VAM 2s I looked at. But the VAM 1A is remarkably different obverse from VAM 2 by date/dentil corelation alone. The Reverse may be the same.

    The VAMWORLD VAM 2 has the chip.

    I've gone through a dozen of the Heritage Auction VAM 2s and they all have the die chip.

    So using the copper die nomenclature,
    Obverse 1 Reverse Aa VAM 1
    Obverse 1 Reverse Ab VAM 1A
    Obverse 2 Reverse Ab VAM 2
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  9. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Pretty much. The die numbers are a little more complicated in that they include shorthand for the hub generation used. The problem is that we don't know if there's a VAM 1A at all. The repunched 6 may have been missed when it was first cataloged for whatever reason, possibly die wear. Also, "VAM 1" is used to indicate the plainest of plain Jane coins, except for 1878, and might not actually exist. Someone will need to find the VAM 1A discovery coin from 2009 to set things straight, which is not a trivial task, but also not an unreasonable one.
  10. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I made a close up of the differences between VAM 1 and VAM 2 with My VAM 1A in between.

  11. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Based on those pictures, the subject coin and VAM 2 have different obverses. Date positions are measured by the distance between the tip of the bust and the left edge of the base of the 1. Laterally centered is a distance of 2 1/2 denticles. A near date is 2 or less, and a far date is 3 or more. There is a more precise description of date position, but that's not neede here. The VAM 2 has a date position on the left side of normal, but not near, while the subject coin is roughly centered in the normal position. If both have the same reverse cracks, then the reverse was used with both obverses. One die marriage will only be known with the reverse break at the wreath, while the other probably with and without.
    Marshall likes this.
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