Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

General discussion board about VAMs, but no buy/sell offers
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Raybob15239
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Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by Raybob15239 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:37 pm

I first joined VAMWorld back around 2006. I was looking for information on an 1882 0/S and happened upon VAMWorld 1.0 and I got sucked down the rabbit hole. I have always been primarily a Morgan collector. Morgans comprise the vast majority of my collection. I started out as a date/mm collector and VAMs allowed me to continue collecting when I hit the brick wall coins. I only need the 93-S, 94-P and a 95-P to complete the set. The 94P is obtainable, but the price has gone up in the 8 years I've been away. I should have pulled the trigger when I could have acquired a 63 for a little over a grand. Same with the 93-S; they were much more affordable back then. With VAMs, however, I am no longer concerned with filling those holes.

Back in 1992 I decided that I should get some Peace Dollars. I can't remember if it was an ad for Gobrecht Numismatics, Paul Sims or Coast to Coast (I purchased many coins back then from mail order houses as I didn't have a B&M close by), but I saw an ad for a complete set of Peace Dollars, F-BU in a Dansco Album for just $299.00. Well, that was my Christmas gift that year from my wife. It was nice having a complete set, but the Peace Dollar just didn't do it for me... it looked flat and mushy with no character as far as I was concerned back then. As I grew my Morgan collection over the years, I did not do much with my Peace collection other than upgrade some of the poorer quality coins. I picked up a few others here and there, but that was about it.

After I found VAM World, I dipped my toe into the waters of the Darkside, but my focus was always on Morgans. I found my first discovery in the fall of 2007. I had 5 that year, followed by 9 in 2008, and 6 in 2009, including my first 2 Peace discoveries. Two of my 2009 discoveries (1 Morgan and 1 Peace) were killed. The Peace was killed by the Crusher of Hopes and Dreams himself as it was at ANACS getting slabbed. In 2010 I had 6; 3 Morgans and 3 Peace Dollars. Then my second son was born and diapers, formula and daycare sucked up all of my disposable cash and I put away the collection. Now that my boys are 8 and 9, I have rediscovered my small hoard. I've gone back through the handful of unattributed coins and all those that I had decided were VAM 1 and re-examined them. My first discovery since 2010 came last month with the 1923-S VAM 1FF. I've got some Morgans and Peace Dollars with LVA right now that should be coming soon home since he just cashed my check and I've got a package of 10 waiting to go this month,

I have decided that in this go round that I would explore the Darkside. I will still look at Morgans and if I see something interesting I may make it mine, but I really want to see what I can find on the Peace side. Aside from the 1922 and 1923 coins, there seems to be a great deal of room for undiscovered varieties in this series and not a ton of competition. Just looking at eBay, the prices seem to be a lot lower in general. One good thing with Peace Dollars is that when enlarging the pictures on eBay, you can usually see the signs of cleaning. So going forward, when funds permit and interest is there, I will pick up a Darksider to two to grow my collection. My question for the Darksiders here is where do you focus your collecting? Do you look for dramatic breaks? Clashes? Do you concentrate on the coins with fewer listings or go for the 22s and 23s? I'm curious about the collecting strategies and focus of the folks here. Being a novice Darksider, what advice would you give me as I switch rabbit holes?

Thanks

Ray
I swear, someday I will learn how to grade Peace Dollars!

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CascadeChris
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by CascadeChris » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:45 pm

Welcome back! That darn Crusher of Hopes and Dreams can be brutal sometimes. At least you had it happen during a submission. It's the random emails or calls seemingly coming out of nowhere that sting the most. I've come to see it as a badge of honor though. In fact, maybe we should create a new VAMthing award for "Most Crushed" cuz you ain't trying hard enough if his big toe doesn't smack you down from time to time :lol: :cry:
Alonzi VW 2.0!

colwillys
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by colwillys » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:51 pm

A compete date set is always nice .. A good start can be up-grades to the set ..
The TOP 50 SET is a good set and is possible to complete in AU 58 to MS grades .
The COMPLETE SET OF TOP 50 is the changing set .. The stopper I say is the 1925-S VAM 3A ..
A good set maybe the ELITE 30 ..

Coins with big breaks cracks and clashed are fun ,, The best part of the Dark Side is the FUN .. Keep the FUN in
collecting .. Do not over pay ,
Welcome back and I like to help if I can .. I am a sicker because I do not like walking away from a coin seeing
the error .

I started collecting my first silver dollars in 1956 .. I found that I needed to collect Peace dollars . I found VAMWORLD
and Logan .. Logan Told me keep the FUN in collecting remember FUN FUN .

DHalladay
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by DHalladay » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:36 pm

Although everyone here knows me as a VAMer, I also have a small dark side. It consists of the famous "diving goose" Canadian dollar of 1967, and an almost complete set of Scotland 30 shilling Ryals from 1565-71:

1565ryal.jpg
1565ryal.jpg (138.72 KiB) Viewed 2317 times


The last one I need is a 1568.
When in doubt... don't.

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Raybob15239
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by Raybob15239 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:59 pm

My objective in collecting has always been to have fun. It is not an investment so I don't look for profit or appreciation but rather for different or interesting coins. I have always liked clashes and die cracks. I probably have over 60 different 21 Ds because of the cracks and breaks. I am finding that Peace Dollars offer some pretty dramatic cracks as well. The challenge for me is going to be getting them as cheap as possible. I did alot of cherry picking dealer junk buckets and see that as a good opportunity for Peace Dollars as well.
I swear, someday I will learn how to grade Peace Dollars!

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CascadeChris
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by CascadeChris » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:13 am

You shouldn't have much trouble getting cheap Peace dollars aside some later dates in BU. The market is so depressed right now for Peace dollars that it's a perfect time to hunt em..
Alonzi VW 2.0!

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bob259
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by bob259 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:47 am

Way before I knew what a VAM was I collected both Morgan and Peace mainly as an investment and they were both cheap then. Then the VAM bug exposed itself and knocked me down. I started buying Peace large cracks such as Pony Tails and Extra Hair as well as Moustache and Earrings. They are cool. For the last few years I have been wadding through my coins and identifying as many as I can. I have pretty much finished the Morgans with a number of them I can't seem to nail down and I am now knee deep into my Peace dollars. There are many really cool VAMs on the darkside and finding them is fun.

One thing I have found is that too many VAMMERS (can there be too many?) are out there picking what is available. I used to lock in on a certain VAM and buy them continuously and then all at once I couldn't find anymore of that VAM. Many are very hard to find now. Might be a good place to invest as well as get bargains right now.

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Raybob15239
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by Raybob15239 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:02 am

I like to hit the silver and gold buyers and look thru their melt buckets. If I were to make this about an investment, I would take it too seriously and would stop having fun. It is the thrill of the hunt and finding something cool that makes it worthwhile.
I swear, someday I will learn how to grade Peace Dollars!

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Raybob15239
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by Raybob15239 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:26 am

Just discovered that one of my few Peace Dollar discoveries was eliminated in 2017. 1922 D VAM 2AV was a duplicate of VAM 2D. So.... the Discovery Piece is slabbed as such.... other than noting the elimination and correct attribution, is there a duty/obligation to crack it out of the ANACS discovery slab since it is no more? Just wondering what the protocol would be...
I swear, someday I will learn how to grade Peace Dollars!

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hallco
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by hallco » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:43 am

Welcome back! I left coins all together for over 10 years and came back recently also. This time I told myself I should stay away from Vams because I am older and my eyesight is not as good it used to be. That lasted about 2 months and I am back to squinting and looking for cracks, breaks and gouges! :D As far as advice on the Peace Dollars...I met "David Close" at the Dalton, Ga show in August and had the great pleasure of 1 on 1 info and instructional time for more than an hour with him. He is an asset to numismatics in general, but he has a specialized attention to Peace Dollars. I highly recommend him as a resource. Other than that, just have fun with whatever directions you go! :)

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bob259
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by bob259 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:05 pm

Raybob15239 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:26 am
Just discovered that one of my few Peace Dollar discoveries was eliminated in 2017. 1922 D VAM 2AV was a duplicate of VAM 2D. So.... the Discovery Piece is slabbed as such.... other than noting the elimination and correct attribution, is there a duty/obligation to crack it out of the ANACS discovery slab since it is no more? Just wondering what the protocol would be...
If I'm keeping it I would leave it as is. If I sell it I would probably still leave it as is but be sure to let the buyer know it has been eliminated as that number and provide the new number. As far as duty and obligation go, it's yours and you can do what you want with it. However, as I said if you sell it you need to inform the buyer of the change in number.

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CascadeChris
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by CascadeChris » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:40 pm

Some people just use a sharpie on the plastic. Slashing a line through the VAOH and Discovery Piece tagline and writing vXXX next to the slash.

Funny story, my very first DC was summarily executed with extreem prejudice by the Crusher. Funny thing is, is that during JB's bulk sub PCGC put VAM 10 on the label (it was the VAM 83 or 84 I believe for 79p) and PC doesn't even recognize v10 for 79p. So it has v10 on the label, JB's v84 DC sticker and its actually v60-somehting IIRC... So my very first discovery is one hell of a schizophrenic coin! :lol:
Alonzi VW 2.0!

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Raybob15239
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by Raybob15239 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:58 pm

I stopped selling coins years ago. I will keep it but am putting a label with the correct attribution on the front and another on the back with the date of elimination.
I swear, someday I will learn how to grade Peace Dollars!

davidkclose
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by davidkclose » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:05 pm

First of all, welcome back! I got my first grandchild earlier this year, so I have not been as active in VAMs or on this site as I would have liked.
While I have often been the "Crusher of Dreams" in getting a listing killed, I have had the chore of occasionally getting my own discoveries eliminated. Nonetheless, doing research is fun, all the more so when a new discovery is found.
Best wishes.

Vamhammer
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Re: Collecting on the Darkside. Getting back on the horse after many years away.

Post by Vamhammer » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:50 pm

I spend most of my vamming time looking on the dark side. Lots of never vammed coins available and they are incredibly cheap right now. I only look for the errors that interest me - hair breaks and facial errors on the obverse and eagle chest breaks and field gouges on the reverse. Peace dollar errors are stunning and I like the fact that most vammers aren't interested in them.

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