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Recognize this pre-1883 clashed Philadelphia reverse?

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2023 5:19 am
by weth
Fogie contacted me about his perceived congruence between 1883P VAM 38 and one of the VAM 34 dies. So I had to literally dust off my 83Ps and sure enough, I don't think I realized it before but 1883P VAM 38 and VAM 34 die 1 share a reverse die, with the same polishing lines and wing gouge. The VAM 38 and 34 obverses remain different. I couldn't find that this reverse was used in combination with any other obverse die, nor was the other VAM 34 die 2 reverse. I'll follow up with one of the Johns to see if the 83P listings might be impacted, but I don't think they should be.

So in looking at and comparing all of these 1883P reverse dies, it got me wondering all over again about the reverse of VAM 44:


Photo taken by VSS

Note that there must have been a fairly low-on-the neck or slightly rotated clash to cause this, with the neck line on the inside of the n, the nugget under the eagle neck, and the back-of-the-neck clash by the wreath almost touching the wing. The thing is, though, the VAM 44 obverse isn't clashed, at all. This pictured reverse was paired with two other 1883P obverse dies, both VAM 1 (Weth die 8.2 and Weth die 10), neither of which caused this clash. I can't otherwise match this die with any other 83P reverse. And no known 1883P clash is this far inward - they're all out at or past the second post of the n; only VAM 41 is at the inner post, and this above die is well inside of that. So, where did this die come from?

My persistent thought has become - was this just some reverse die they had lying around and just kept using now and then? Did this clash happen in some previous year, like 1882 or earlier? Maybe even used again later on, like in 1884? In any case, this 1883P reverse continues to perplex me and if you recognize it I would appreciate your insight!