1885-o Morgan VAM-24 with Belly button.

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weth
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:44 pm

Re: 1885-o Morgan VAM-24 with Belly button.

Post by weth » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:19 pm

Minor dishing of the eagle can happen on other 85-O, but they are most prominent on the VAM 24. When I was cleaning up the 85-O listings a couple years ago, I sent a range of VAM 24 examples to LVA and asked whether this was a "variety". He replied:

"All of these 'belly buttons' are caused by slightly weak strike plus die basining with shallow radius of curvature that emphases coin metal flow towards periphery and less at coin center. They are all a striking error. They are not grease filled depression that doesn't have corresponding depressions on the other side coin die. Belly button depression will vary from coin to coin because of slight differences in planchet hardness and tolerances in coin press mechanisms for hammer die and lower die stake attachment and movement.

The 1971 VAM book pg. 154 mentions and illustrates an 1885 O belly button without discussion of cause. However, the 1976 VAM book has a short discussion of belly buttons under Die Pressure Adjustment Pieces on pg. 95 with 1902 O belly button photo as a striking error.

Belly buttons were extensively discussed in detail and illustrated in the Feb 1978 issue of Errorscope magazine of Numismatic Error Collectors of America in a 3 page article by James H Baxter. He stated that they were often attributed to filling of die with grease, but why only on same reverse area. He concluded that another basis is more plausible such as weak strikes, faulty basining, or hard planchets. The 1992/1996 VAM book has basically the same discourse as the 1976 book on page 131. Also, the Wonders of Morgan Dollars under Striking Error - Weak Strikes mentions belly buttons with accompanying 1885 O belly button photo. Enough said since I don't list striking errors"

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bjsilverfox
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:04 pm

Re: 1885-o Morgan VAM-24 with Belly button.

Post by bjsilverfox » Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:03 pm

weth wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:19 pm
Minor dishing of the eagle can happen on other 85-O, but they are most prominent on the VAM 24. When I was cleaning up the 85-O listings a couple years ago, I sent a range of VAM 24 examples to LVA and asked whether this was a "variety". He replied:

"All of these 'belly buttons' are caused by slightly weak strike plus die basining with shallow radius of curvature that emphases coin metal flow towards periphery and less at coin center. They are all a striking error. They are not grease filled depression that doesn't have corresponding depressions on the other side coin die. Belly button depression will vary from coin to coin because of slight differences in planchet hardness and tolerances in coin press mechanisms for hammer die and lower die stake attachment and movement.
My 1885 O Belly Button is a ANACS 64 VAM 21. I agree with Leroy's response to Weth. The 1885 O Morgan Belly Buttons are not exclusive to any particular die pairing, it must have been do to their die basing preparation and die adjustments made in the New Orleans mint in 1885.

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