Odd things on 1921-P D1s

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Odd things on 1921-P D1s

Post by DHalladay » Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:32 pm

The ridiculous number of different 1921-P Morgan VAMs – 452 so far – makes it easy to get lost in their sea of attribution features. Two reverse types (D1s account for 30% of the total and D2s for 70%) helps reduce the confusion, but inspection of many D1 coins has brought up other questions for me.

I have 89 different D1s. Even when the pile was still small, five things had already caught my eye and made me ask, “What are those?”, “Are they there on purpose or by accident?”, and “Why aren’t they on D2 coins?” Years later I’m still clueless.

To get a better sense of how common they are, I took a strong loupe to my coins (all are Mint State, which made things easier) and tallied up the results. I made up names for four of them, since I’ve only seen one described anywhere else. The results were interesting. Just four of my 89 D1s have none of the five things, while 27 have all of them (although at least one of the features is usually small or faint). Here is what I found:

dot (1BN).jpg
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“Date dot”
This feature is self-explanatory. As seen in the picture, it’s a dot to the right of the base of the first 1. It is small and well defined on prooflike and early die state coins, but becomes bloblike, mushy and indistinct as die state progresses. It is a somewhat common feature; 42 of my coins (47%) have date dots.

lines (1BQ).jpg
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“Denticle die wear lines and 7th left star dot”
These two features usually appear together (but not always) and their clarity is strongly correlated to die state. On my PL coins, wear lines occur from roughly the P in PLURIBUS down to the 1st (bottom) star and are especially long and well defined in the middle of that range. They shrink in length and number as die state progresses. Forty-two of my coins (47%) have wear lines, but most are just short nubs between some of the denticles.

The small dot between the rim and 7th (top) left star seems to be even more sensitive to die wear than the wear lines, and to go away faster. Thirty-six of my coins (40%) have 7th star dots – but not all coins with dots have wear lines and not all coins with wear lines have dots.

dash (47).jpg
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“Line under 2nd T”
This is a very common feature that is tricky to see. In fact, I usually look for it with the coin turned upside down. Seventy-two of my coins (81%) have a line; many of which are weak. Fourteen definitely don’t have it and 3 are undetermined due to die polishing in that area.

necklace (55A) copy.jpg
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“Necklace dashes”
Lee Stichka and I have been curious about these for several years. Located above the N in ONE, they are hard to see and easy to undercount without using very high magnification. Dashes 1 and 2 (counting from left to right and ignore the tiny blob under the crack) go away first, followed by 3 and 5. Dashes are extremely common: 74 of my coins (83%) have at least one, twelve have none, seven have all five, and three can’t be determined due to die polishing or pitting.
When in doubt... don't.

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Re: Odd things on 1921-P D1s

Post by ljs123 » Fri Aug 27, 2021 3:16 pm

Oh my head hurts thinking about it.

Great photos and work Dennis. Keep it up.

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Re: Odd things on 1921-P D1s

Post by collectinsince65 » Fri Aug 27, 2021 3:22 pm

Great study Dennis! Excellent read.

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Re: Odd things on 1921-P D1s

Post by shortnock » Fri Aug 27, 2021 5:19 pm

Nice study on your part. More pick up points for one to remember. Cool photos.
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Re: Odd things on 1921-P D1s

Post by vamnuke » Fri Aug 27, 2021 6:49 pm

🤔 Good stuff; glad I chose an easy date to focus on…

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Re: Odd things on 1921-P D1s

Post by RogerRock » Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:10 pm

Great die markers. Thanks for the photos and review.

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Re: Odd things on 1921-P D1s

Post by Unc90o » Fri Aug 27, 2021 11:00 pm

Great die study Dennis.
Out of 44mil+ mintage, I'm sure they have a few working hub made for each D1 and D2 reverse.
Not sure if they minted D1 or D2 first.
But your study shows that apparently they also do not share Obv working hub.

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Re: Odd things on 1921-P D1s

Post by weth » Fri Aug 27, 2021 11:43 pm

Great observations, Dennis!

I >told< you that the dot and denticle lines >by themselves< don't constitute a D1 obverse match. Good to see you point out other things that are so common in the D1 set that they're not really PUPs.

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