(somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

General discussion board about VAMs, but no buy/sell offers
Post Reply

Which is your answer?

Poll ended at Sun Nov 13, 2022 7:30 am

A: Normal
3
60%
B: Normal, slight tilt right
1
20%
C: Normal, slight tilt left
0
No votes
D: High
0
No votes
E: High, slight tilt right
0
No votes
F: High, slight tilt left
0
No votes
G: None of the above because it's shifted (either right or left)
1
20%
 
Total votes: 5

keilg1
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

(somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by keilg1 » Sun Nov 06, 2022 7:30 am

Sorry for some reason the poll answers landed before the question, but here it is:

I'd appreciate hearing what the experts and general population think. What would you call this? Won't tell you the year or any other details to diminish any potential bias. Yes, I'm excluding many possible answers for simplicity.

MM VW querry GRed 6Nov22.jpg
MM VW querry GRed 6Nov22.jpg (62.67 KiB) Viewed 604 times

A: Normal
B: Normal, slight tilt right
C: Normal, slight tilt left
D: High
E: High, slight tilt right
F: High, slight tilt left
G: None of the above because it's shifted (either right or left)
Last edited by keilg1 on Sun Nov 06, 2022 8:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

keilg1
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by keilg1 » Sun Nov 06, 2022 7:52 am

Research question part 2: Would you say the mint mark below is the same as the one in the original question? Different coin, different photograph conditions, etc. aside...
MM VW querry GRed 6Nov22 - comparitor.jpg
MM VW querry GRed 6Nov22 - comparitor.jpg (112.03 KiB) Viewed 602 times


A: Yes
B: No, because it's lower
C: No, because it's tilted differently
D: No, because it's lower and tilted differently

User avatar
LateDateMorganGuy
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:11 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Sun Nov 06, 2022 11:28 am

Loaded questions.

1. I would call the M/M placement "centered & upright", aka C3a. Some might call it "slightly tilted right" or "slight tilt to right". Some folks like to try and "quantify" M/M placements, but since the actual VAM listings can call the placement different things but also similar placements different, the VAM listings are really just qualitative.

2. IMHO, the second photo shows a different M/M placement. It is lower and tends to tilt to the left barring any PMD (hit) on the right side of the "O" to make it look larger and hence tilted.

Clear as mud?

DHalladay
Posts: 2903
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 4:38 pm
Location: Boise, ID area

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by DHalladay » Sun Nov 06, 2022 1:42 pm

I also see the MMs as normal (#1)... and tilted slightly left (#2).

What I also see is a slightly doubled ribbon on both coins, especially the right side.
When in doubt... don't.

User avatar
Mike7E
Posts: 154
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:01 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by Mike7E » Sun Nov 06, 2022 2:39 pm

Ya gotta draw the lines.
I usually need more of the D and O to work this but here is what I got.
set low tilted left MM VW querry GRed 6Nov22 - comparitor.jpg
set low tilted left MM VW querry GRed 6Nov22 - comparitor.jpg (146.88 KiB) Viewed 550 times
Set high & Right not tilted MM VW querry GRed 6Nov22.jpg
Set high & Right not tilted MM VW querry GRed 6Nov22.jpg (82.51 KiB) Viewed 550 times
I like using the red to frame the MM then blue to cross it.
Eyeballing it isn't enough.

User avatar
LateDateMorganGuy
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:11 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:10 pm

I've never been a fan of line drawing. While it can help with a die study to discern differences in dies, it is generally unreliable to use this approach to try and match a M/M placement with the VAM listing placement.

User avatar
Mike7E
Posts: 154
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:01 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by Mike7E » Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:13 pm

As he said. I drew this one too fast.
actually set high and not tilted
Set high not tilted.jpg
Set high not tilted.jpg (82.36 KiB) Viewed 540 times

User avatar
LateDateMorganGuy
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:11 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:27 pm

According to your line drawing interpretation, which is qualitative. But if you try and take that M/M placement into the VAM listings and try to find a match, you may come up dry.

Not trying to be a curmudgeon.

I remember a LVA submittal when I suggested a doubled profile existed on a coin. His response was something like, "when is a doubled profile actually a doubled profile and worth listing"? I use this old LVA comment to me and apply it to other VAM attributes. When is a date "near" or "normal"? It is either near or normal based on what day LVA saw it. The same goes for M/M placements.

Just trying to pass along some experience from 20 years of VAMming and sending hundreds of coins to LVA during die studies. Some folks want this hobby to be quantitative, but it is qualitative, which drives folks crazy. Some have left the hobby because of this in the past. But once you embrace that, it becomes easier to navigate the hobby.

User avatar
LateDateMorganGuy
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:11 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Sun Nov 06, 2022 3:35 pm

And just to get into the minutia of this issue. Part of the conclusion of whether this M/M is "high" or not depends on how thick you make the horizontal line you draw and where and how high you connect it to the bottoms of the bow ribbons. Just food for thought.

User avatar
messydesk
Site Admin
Posts: 3629
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 1:57 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by messydesk » Sun Nov 06, 2022 6:24 pm

Mint mark 1 is centered and upright. Not quite high enough to be called high. The photo was rotated just over 1° clockwise.

Mint mark 2 is centered, tilted left, positioned lower than mm 1. The photo was rotated about 1.5° clockwise. The lower right of the mint mark looks mashed by something, making the opening smaller on the bottom and making the mint mark seem less rotated than it is.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

keilg1
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by keilg1 » Mon Nov 07, 2022 10:23 am

Thank you all for your input. This is generally what I expected although I'd hoped a few more would participate in the poll.

Having been in research since the early 1990s I know how slow progress can be - but it can happen, with patience and open mindsets, and can even be enjoyable. I appreciate and do not dispute any of the comments already - indeed, or in fact? - they represent what my mind was thinking. And not disclosing my thoughts or the fact that these are from 1879-O coins helped minimize the cardinal rule of not influencing responses by introducing bias...

I'll post a different discussion of a coin I have in hand that complicates the story a bit but will hopefully lead to more clarity.

Here, I'd like to focus on how we can turn a lot of subjectivity into 'more objective subjectivity' and perhaps correct a few incorrect bits of information along the way.

An important point: eagle-eyed @DHalladay caught the hub doubling that is an critical part of the story. The comments that follow will only look at a few of the reverses that have the hub doubling as VAM 30 C3i reverse.

Starting with the picture of the second mint mark in this post: taken from the http://ec2-13-58-222-16.us-east-2.compu ... 9-O_VAM-30 page that clearly states the variety has a "II O mint mark set slightly high with slight tilt to right" which none of us saw. Perhaps this picture is a mistake; there are other discrepancies on the 79-O pages to sugget this is a single 'oops', unfortunately. Each of these are understandable. Poor LVA (and the rest of us) have been operating like one of the six blind people around the elephant (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant), each with a perspective that holds some reality, but until we see the whole we're still somewhat 'wrong.'

The 30 and 33 share the same reverse/MM but we don't have a comparator picture of the 33 DC, but the description reads the same. The link to the original MM picture and the main part of the poll is from a coin I believe is a 33 based on all other PUPs but the MM is clearly not slightly tilted to the right...

The 31 (and presumably 34 although we don't have a picture) description and MM picture are in agreement: "II O mint mark set high and tilted left." I think most of us would agree with this/these.

The 32 is a "II O mint mark set low and to right" which is close (enough) because it looks set more normal (vs low) with a slight right shift. If anything it'd have a slight left tilt, but I don't think it enough to call it that way even if it appears more tilted than the next two: 35 & 36.

The 35 and 36 (shared reverse) have a "II O mint mark set slightly to left with slight tilt to left" - I think the 36 picture shows this, perhaps, but the upper picture on the 35 page (lower grade coin) is debatable. The lower graded 35 picture of the bow doesnt' show the die scratch off to the right that the 36 picture does (the lower picture on the 35 page of the die scratch is actually the same picture of the 36 page so this isn't a good picture to be on the 35 page?). Could/should the 36 pictures be removed from the 35 page?

The 39 has a "II O mint mark centered and upright" which is on the border of high but close enough to correct.

[VAMs 40 has a hub doubling but different than the ones we're focusing on...]

The 41 has a "slight tilt of II O mint mark to left" that seems to be confirmed by the picture on 41A page. Looks to be the same height as the 32 (again, not thinking 32 is actually 'low').

The 42 has a "slight tilt of II O mint mark to right" that certainly looks that way to me.

Wished we had a confirmatory picture of the 43 and 45 to see if they look like the 44A (and presumably missing 44) as well as the 49 with their normal MM placement - which look correct to me. This is in contrast to the "II O mint mark in normal position" description of 46 that I belive most on this thread would say looks slightly tilted left.

The point of all this? Subjectivity will always be a part of our hobby but we can make it less of an influence if we keep chipping away at partial realities. Slowly, methodically, with grace and humor... and open mindsets. Agreeing what makes something the definitions we ascribe while agreeing there will always be fuzzy borders.

High quality coins, good quality pictures and gin only after we solve part of the puzzle. Obviously having all the coins together in front of the experts would be the ideal but as tomorrow's elections will likely show, we're far from living in an ideal world? By objective and subjective metrics...

Appriative of all the comments to follow and for your continued passion/insight/humor. Apologies for any typos or referencing mistakes - we're all human, eh?

keilg1
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by keilg1 » Mon Nov 07, 2022 2:10 pm

Oh, and sorry, for the addition: Does anyone think VAM-30 and VAM-41/41A might be duplicate listings? The obverse of the VAM-30 is almost indistinguishable to that of at least the VAM-41A (no obverse pictures of 41...):date digits, die pits in the hair, die pit in nostril) as well as the MM on the reverse?

Yes, the die pitting on the 41A neck is not mentioned on the 30 page, and the 41/41A supposedly lacks quadrupled stars but these could have been missed along the way?

User avatar
messydesk
Site Admin
Posts: 3629
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 1:57 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by messydesk » Mon Nov 07, 2022 4:56 pm

keilg1 wrote:
Mon Nov 07, 2022 2:10 pm
Oh, and sorry, for the addition: Does anyone think VAM-30 and VAM-41/41A might be duplicate listings? The obverse of the VAM-30 is almost indistinguishable to that of at least the VAM-41A (no obverse pictures of 41...):date digits, die pits in the hair, die pit in nostril) as well as the MM on the reverse?

Yes, the die pitting on the 41A neck is not mentioned on the 30 page, and the 41/41A supposedly lacks quadrupled stars but these could have been missed along the way?
Quite possibly the same, and there are probably other duplicates in 79-O. Hard to determine for sure without the discovery coins, of course. Someone will probably do a detailed study for 79-O sometime and help fix things. For what it's worth, one of the things I'm trying to do with new listings is make them easily delistable with obverse and reverse markers. Leroy started doing this in the past couple years, but there are many listings from earlier years that don't have such markers documented.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

RogerB
Posts: 950
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:30 pm

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by RogerB » Mon Nov 07, 2022 5:29 pm

"None of the above."

At least four static reference points are required to objectively evaluate mintmark characteristics. Here, "static" means they are part of the central design element common to all hubs, and NOT positioned relative to any other points. The VAM descriptions do not follow this and employ excessive opinion and guesswork.

Absent fixed/static references, there is limited value to the answers.

fogie
Posts: 1251
Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 9:45 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by fogie » Tue Nov 08, 2022 5:53 am

I call that one an "O".

keilg1
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by keilg1 » Tue Nov 08, 2022 7:35 am

Thanks again all for input. I am not disrespecting anyone on the site when I say the following:

Remembering that just because something is difficult doesn't make it impossible, and just because it's not been done before doesn't mean it can't be done. Most 'fixed mindsets' (see the work by Carol Dweck at Stanford if you're interested: https://profiles.stanford.edu/carol-dweck) take the stance that the supposed lack of something 'proves' it can't be done. Wrong.

A stronger and more productive stance is taking a 'growth mindset' and innovative attitude?

As mentioned, subjectivity will always be a part of our hobby; thus my challenge for us to come up with a 'more objective subjectivity' future.

Are there 'fixed enough' or enough 'fixed' reference points on coins to guide us? I say a qualified yes because there likely are and they can be combined with high quality pictures, properly orientated and not overtly zoomed in, non-PMD, etc.

The "genius of the and" (https://www.jimcollins.com/concepts/gen ... e-and.html) - qualitative and quantitative research combined.

The above poll, for as pathetic as it was, extends ever so slightly what JB and JR and DC are doing to extend what Leroy was doing before he kept doing what he and George were doing that extended what others who noted things before them were doing...

This discussion reminds me of a quote by Arthur Schopenhauer:
So the problem is not so much to see what nobody has yet seen, as to think what nobody has yet thought concerning that which everybody sees.

Let's keep the exploration alive and civil and enjoyable?!

User avatar
vampicker
Posts: 1999
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:48 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by vampicker » Tue Nov 08, 2022 1:00 pm

Not ready to come back yet, but I will chime in on this.
Any listing that is based solely on mintmark position is subject to duplication. This is particularly true for the O because there's no sharp edge to fix a position off of, as you have with the CC and S dies. Observation of the mintmark's relative position with the bow knot, ribbons and letters below it are useful tools, but this is problematic. The solution is careful notation of other markers like scratches, polishing, and crack patterns on later stages.
,,,and that is probably the point. It looks like the pieces referenced could be a duplicate listing based on the secondary markers posted on their respective pages, but you'd never know it based on the apparent mintmark positions.
From a research perspective, I'd strongly suggest any photograph of a mintmark include at least the lower half of the knot, the ribbons and the tops of the D and O. It really helps if it's level too. There is a level of uncertainty with position that is baked in. Accepting these aren't absolute measurements naturally leads to looking for other diagnostics to identify a specific die.
often the crusher of hopes and dreams

keilg1
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by keilg1 » Tue Nov 08, 2022 2:43 pm

@vampicker - agree! We'll never be able to, nor should we expect to, ID a coin by something as simple as a mint mark, and certainly not the O one for all the reasons you state. Definitely need anchor points (bottom of wreath bow, DO, etc.) for the MM as well as multiple other descriptors to differentiate each variety from the other. The best way to ensure future duplications don't happen is to have clear descritpions and pictures of what were supposedly DCs along the way. Thanks again and wishing you well!

User avatar
Mike7E
Posts: 154
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:01 am

Re: (somewhat blinded) Mint mark research question: What'd you call this?

Post by Mike7E » Tue Nov 08, 2022 4:52 pm

I agree that location and orientation of the MM would not be an adequate way to ID a VAM. However, when there are so many possible VAMs on a page it can sometimes be a way to narrow the field. I still think that when a MM is at or beyond the crossing line it is High or Low and there is some room for a Slightly High or Slightly Low designation too as opposed to all not at the line being centered. An example is my work on the 1881-S variations where I find only a few are set low and many are set high. Having adequate design elements to work lines from is critical to the result. When done properly the line width has minimal effect as the picture size is normalized based on the ribbon tips. This is a similar method to the date position from 1884 on that can help a search.

Post Reply