Last Morgan Die Pair of 1904?

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LateDateMorganGuy
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Last Morgan Die Pair of 1904?

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:52 am

If I have done this topic before, my apologies.

It is well accepted that the first Morgan die pair minted in 1878 is the VAM-9. It is a widely collected coin coveted by collectors. But what is the last Morgan dollar die pair minted in 1904 prior to the 1921 run?

A little sleuthing provides a clue at least. A lot of references list the total circulation mintage of 1904-P Morgan dollars as 2,788,000. The proof dollar mintage is listed as 650. By the way, mintage at the NO and SF mints ended in the first half of 1904.

So a review of the 1903-1904 Mint Director's report shows that 2,788,340 coins were minted between January and June of 1904.
1903-1904 Silver Dollar Mintage.jpg
1903-1904 Silver Dollar Mintage.jpg (84.21 KiB) Viewed 342 times
So it would appear that 340 coins were minted in the first half of 1904, which would/could only be proof coins.

But the 1904-1905 Mint Director's report shows that 310 Morgan dollars were minted in September and December of 1904.
1904-1905 Silver Dollar Mintage.jpg
1904-1905 Silver Dollar Mintage.jpg (87.94 KiB) Viewed 342 times
Thus, if you take the 340 coins from Jan-June 1904 plus the 310 coins in Sept. & Dec. of 1904, you magically get the listed proof mintage of 650 proof coins.

So there are two proof die pairs listed for 1904. They are the VAM-8 and VAM-11. Based on my die study of the date, it appears that the VAM-8 accounts for 89% of slabbed proof coins, while VAM-11 accounts for 11%.
Proof Die Count_Page_3.jpg
Proof Die Count_Page_3.jpg (21.83 KiB) Viewed 342 times
So which proof is the last die pair of 1904 before the 1921 run? My money would be on VAM-11.

Thoughts?

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messydesk
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Re: Last Morgan Die Pair of 1904?

Post by messydesk » Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:52 am

Is there a single die in common between VAM 8 and 11? Proof mintages for 1904 were:
March 275
June 65
September 10
December 300

Assuming one of those runs was exclusively VAM 11 and VAM 11 was exclusively one of those runs, and what you saw is representative of the mintage, the numbers really only work out for them being made in June, which would mean two sets of proof dies were made ready and the the VAM 8 set was used for the March, September, and December runs. That's a lot of assumptions, but there's no basis for any other.
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LateDateMorganGuy
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Re: Last Morgan Die Pair of 1904?

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:11 am

No die incest was identified in Philly in 1904, meaning no, no common dies between VAM-8 and VAM-11. The proof coin mintage for the months you show is interesting. Have not seen that before.

While your observation about the VAM-11 being minted in June makes sense based on your logic. I am thinking that the VAM-11 was minted in December for Holiday gifts which I understand was traditional at the time. My thought is the VAM-11 were minted in December because the earlier proof mintages of VAM-8 were sold out or nearly so, and the sales of VAM-11 in December fell flat.

Of course there is speculation in all of this. None of us were there when it happened. Not to worry however, I have examples of both VAM-8 and VAM-11 to cover the possible bases :)

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messydesk
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Re: Last Morgan Die Pair of 1904?

Post by messydesk » Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:22 am

Production logs are available at the NNP here.
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RogerB
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Re: Last Morgan Die Pair of 1904?

Post by RogerB » Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:33 am

1904 Std Dollars
Mar 275
Jun 65
Sep 10
Dec 300

There is also a personal file for Director Roberts with references to 1904 proofs, but nothing like the above discussion.

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