Stupid Questions from the new guy!

General discussion board about VAMs, but no buy/sell offers
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Kaleb
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Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by Kaleb » Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:07 am

Hello all, I must apologize because I am sure you get this post on a regular basis.
I have collected coins with my father for most of my life (I am 31 now) and recently stumbled into the world of VAM dollars. I have mostly stayed in the world of date/mint mark sets and have small amounts of expereience in varieties. I want to expand my morgan dollar collection and get into the "VAMworld." I ordered the VAMbook but it has still not gotten here yet but thought I might ask some lingering questions I have. I understand these may come off as stupid but here goes nothing!

1. What is a rough percentage of morgan dollars that will be a "VAM"? When I am searching my collection what is a decent percent I can expect to be a VAM dollar?

2. Once I look through my current collection, what is a good list of morgan VAM dollars to start with? A list that is on the easier side with easier VAMs to detect.

I am hoping to get my feet wet looking and further studying my current morgan dollar collection before moving onto complete a list. I am sure to annoy you with further questions but look forward to getting to know you fine people.

Thank you in advance for the help!
Kaleb

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messydesk
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by messydesk » Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:27 am

Kaleb wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:07 am
Hello all, I must apologize because I am sure you get this post on a regular basis.
I have collected coins with my father for most of my life (I am 31 now) and recently stumbled into the world of VAM dollars. I have mostly stayed in the world of date/mint mark sets and have small amounts of expereience in varieties. I want to expand my morgan dollar collection and get into the "VAMworld." I ordered the VAMbook but it has still not gotten here yet but thought I might ask some lingering questions I have. I understand these may come off as stupid but here goes nothing!

1. What is a rough percentage of morgan dollars that will be a "VAM"? When I am searching my collection what is a decent percent I can expect to be a VAM dollar?
All of them. A VAM refers to a specific die marriage (combination of obverse and reverse dies) and not a feature of a particular coin. Start by following the "What is a VAM?" and "Attribution 101" links on the home page of the wiki.
2. Once I look through my current collection, what is a good list of morgan VAM dollars to start with? A list that is on the easier side with easier VAMs to detect.
There are a few "chase lists" that get most of the attention, and are a good way to limit the scope of what you have to deal with when starting out. Start with the "Top 100" list, and then look at the others. These are on the left side navigation pane of the wiki.
I am hoping to get my feet wet looking and further studying my current morgan dollar collection before moving onto complete a list. I am sure to annoy you with further questions but look forward to getting to know you fine people.

Thank you in advance for the help!
Kaleb
Welcome, and have fun!
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

fogie
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by fogie » Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:52 am

Welcome aboard! No stupid questions here - we have all ask them and we still play the VAM game!

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PacificWR
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by PacificWR » Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:54 am

Welcome!

RogerRock
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by RogerRock » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:05 am

Welcome aboard VAMWorld ! My first guide was "The Top 100 Morgan Dollar Dollar Varieties: The VAM Keys
by Michael S Fey and Jeff Oxman
Stage 3 TERMINAL DIE STATE SILVER DOLLAR EXPLORER

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TheYokel
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by TheYokel » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:18 am

Kaleb wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:07 am
Hello all, I must apologize because I am sure you get this post on a regular basis.
I have collected coins with my father for most of my life (I am 31 now) and recently stumbled into the world of VAM dollars. I have mostly stayed in the world of date/mint mark sets and have small amounts of expereience in varieties. I want to expand my morgan dollar collection and get into the "VAMworld." I ordered the VAMbook but it has still not gotten here yet but thought I might ask some lingering questions I have. I understand these may come off as stupid but here goes nothing!

1. What is a rough percentage of morgan dollars that will be a "VAM"? When I am searching my collection what is a decent percent I can expect to be a VAM dollar?

2. Once I look through my current collection, what is a good list of morgan VAM dollars to start with? A list that is on the easier side with easier VAMs to detect.

I am hoping to get my feet wet looking and further studying my current morgan dollar collection before moving onto complete a list. I am sure to annoy you with further questions but look forward to getting to know you fine people.

Thank you in advance for the help!
Kaleb
2. Once I look through my current collection, what is a good list of morgan VAM dollars to start with? A list that is on the easier side with easier VAMs to detect.


Catch-22 with that one. The easier the VAM is to see with the naked eye, the more likely it is to be one of the really popular VAMs. Everybody likes a little eye candy :)

You'll learn what you're attracted to as you go. There's all kinds of things to like on a big coin like a Morgan outside the established lists. The T100 is definitely the best to start imo, as others have suggested. Lots of different varieties to hunt for and see what you like.
It's coming... :popcorn:

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impairedsquirrel
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by impairedsquirrel » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:42 am

Welcome to your next step down the path to being self-committed!
New to VAMs, you say?
Wanna learn what to look for, you say?
Welp, there is a set out there that I believe was created for just such an occasion, but I just can’t recall what it was called. I think there was a guide published for it and everything. WOW, it’s right on the tip of my tongue... ;)
I go totally NUTS for WOW! VAMs!! Or is that from WOW! VAMs?

PickNGrin
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by PickNGrin » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:28 am

Welcome to VW!

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...kenny
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by ...kenny » Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:59 pm

Welcome to the crazy train, hold on- it's a bumpy ride!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQti-0z ... dex=9&t=3s
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my.........Ahh........Uhmm........something, something, something..... :lol: :lol: :lol:

collectinsince65
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by collectinsince65 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:35 pm

Welcome to VAM World!

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mikev50
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by mikev50 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:07 pm

the only stupid question is the one not asked---that is how we learn---good luck---

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CascadeChris
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by CascadeChris » Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:11 pm

Welcome to the jungle. You're about to enter one of the MOST FUN phases you have experienced in all your collecting time so far. The first year or so getting into VAMs, learning the basics and most especially going through and cherrypicking your own Morgan collection for VAMs is a time you will cherish and look back on in the years to come with great reverence wishing you could go back to it. Don't get me wrong though, it will be a bit tough. The amount to learn, even just the basics, can seem daunting. But in reality it isn't all too bad. Once you have those basics down it gets much, much easier.. I sooo envy what you are about to experience. HAVE FUN, its gonna be a thrill!
Alonzi VW 2.0!

DHalladay
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by DHalladay » Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:34 pm

Welcome!

As has already been mentioned, every Morgan (and Peace dollar too) is a VAM. The trick, however, is figuring out which one. Over 5,000 different Morgan VAMs have been identified and certified so far by Mr. Leroy Van Allen (the VA in VAM), and dozens of new ones are discovered each year. You have no idea how hopelessly you will become hooked on VAMs if you are ever lucky enough to find a coin that you (and others) can't attribute, so you send it to Leroy and he certifies it as a New Discovery.

Happy hunting and good luck... and never be afraid to ask questions.
When in doubt... don't.

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lioncutter
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by lioncutter » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:21 am

Welcome to VAMworld. The best advice I received when I started VAMming back in the day was to read all the content on VAMworld and when you get done reading it, read it again. Many professional experts on here to help so ask away.
I may not be the best, but I do not know anyone better.

dave700x
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by dave700x » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:04 am

What Kenny said Kaleb, welcome to the crazy train. Those crown sized US coins will never look the same after entering this site.. VAMming is the perfect reason (excuse) to hoard Morgan and yes even Peace Dollars. :D
1883-O nut

Kaleb
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by Kaleb » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:30 am

Thank you all for the replies. I have several hundred morgans to start looking through and hope I can start to pick things up. What is the best method to get a hold of some of the supplemental information that is put out by Leroy Van Allen? Trying to put together a good library to help me along the journey. I like books and spiral notebooks more than reading on a computer screen.
Thank you in advance!

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rogerg
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by rogerg » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:28 am

Kaleb, Welcome and congrats on being 31. I was well over 50 when I got bit by the VAM bug.

Kenny, Cool vid, wish I had seen that early on. Would have answered a lot of my stupid
questions. Lastly, Corona, really?

RogerB
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by RogerB » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:07 am

Here are some suggestions from a non-VAM collector; however, I extensively research numismatics. They might be helpful to you. There are too many VAMs and sub varieties of sub varieties to maintain your sanity and eyesight as a beginner; so focus on "big" stuff.

1. Organize your silver dollars by date and mint.
2. Look over each coin for things such as die breaks (wide cracks), cracks through the portrait or eagle, die clashes - especially on the reverse to the right of the eagle, and finally die chips (raised lumps).
3. Start with coins selected in #2 and look through the date/mint listings for each coin, noting any with comments about the things you observed in #2. Reverses seem to be easier to identify than obverse die varieties.
4. You will probably find VAM descriptions and photos for many of your coins from #2.

This little exercise will help you learn to "see" details that would ordinarily be overlooked, and to find varieties the include easily-seen features. After doing this, you are ready to try identifying things like date placement, clashes on the obverse and smaller die differences. Start slowly and be patient - many VAM listings are maddeningly duplicative, confused or incompletely described. (Maybe those are advantages....!)

Most members here will be glad to help you, just post clear, sharp photos of both sides of the full coin, and then detail of areas of interest.

Remember that a "VAM" is supposed to be a unique combination of obverse and reverse dies. Many dies were used in distinct pairs, but many others were mated with several obverse or reverse dies.

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HawkeEye
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Re: Stupid Questions from the new guy!

Post by HawkeEye » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:29 pm

Welcome to one of the world's most addictive, difficult, intellectual, and open-ended hobbies.
Deep in the woods of North Georgia

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