1891-O VAM-3A1

Ask about what your VAMs are worth here
Post Reply
Posts: 1092
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

1891-O VAM-3A1

Post by keilg1 » Sat Jul 01, 2023 7:40 am

Looks like 3A1 follows 3A2 in values in circulated grades but both are missing values for most of the uncirculated grades.

Census shows only 1 3A1 - a SEGS slabbed 63 coin but no pictures and no external auction house link.

Census shows only 2 3A2 coins - both PCGS 63 CAC coins, one with nice pictures but neither with external auction house links.

Any clue what the 3A1 might be based on the sole mention of the 3A2 in 63 being valued at $10,000?

Posts: 3276
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 4:38 pm
Location: Boise, ID area

Re: 1891-O VAM-3A1

Post by DHalladay » Sat Jul 01, 2023 3:08 pm

Are you asking because you have a Mint State VAM 3A1, or are you just wondering?

By far the most important thing to keep in mind is that all price guides are just guesses. The best price guide, the Greysheet, is a fluid thing that constantly changes as actual sales of specific coins take place. Except it only tracks some VAMs, and I'm clueless (and therefore skeptical) about how often those prices are updated.

Coins that are related and have different specific VAM numbers, like 3A1 and 3A2, not to mention the old 3A designation before it was split, complicate things greatly, because now you have to rely upon the attributions being right. Do you trust the attributions made by grading companies? I don't, except for ANACS. Do you trust the attributions that SSDC Registry collectors make? I don't, not 100%.

Speaking of grading companies, here's something to keep in mind as an example: PCGS does not differentiate between 3A1 and 3A2; it calls them all 3A (PCGS coin #134019). The PCGS online Population Report currently shows just two VAM 3As in Mint State, a 60 and a 63. But what VAMs are they exactly? Fortunately, both are pictured on the Coin Facts page for coin #134019. To my eye, both are 3A2.

According to PCGS, neither of those coins has ever sold in a public auction. In my database of over 80,000 actual VAM sales, I have only one Mint State sale for a VAM 3A, 3A1 or 3A2 -- an MS60 SEGS VAM 3A on eBay in August 2008 for $405.

The three highest sales ever in my database for 3A-3A1-3A2 are $2,300, $2,200 and $2,000 for PCGS coins graded AU55, AU55, and AU50 that happened in 2007, 2007 and 2009. A lot has changed in the VAM universe since then. Populations have gone up and many prices have gone down. Some have totally collapsed. The three most recent PCGS AU55 sales I have (all since December 2020) are $480, $375 and $300.

Could an MS63 VAM 3A or 3A1 or 3A2 that was correctly attributed and identified on a PCGS holder sell for $10,000 today? Maybe. But I seriously doubt it. My wild guess -- and it's no less pulled out of thin air than the SSDC Price Guide number -- is $5,000. And even that might be too high.
When in doubt... don't.

Posts: 1092
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: 1891-O VAM-3A1

Post by keilg1 » Mon Jul 03, 2023 4:54 pm

Not an academic exercise at all... picked up a slabbed SEGS 63+ coin that I think is fairly accurate but might not be a plus grade and seems to be closer to a 62 with all the chatter. Nice toning, too, and not enough to block the view of the clash lines, the E itself, and the crack lines that eventually form the 3A2 designation.

Might (re)post this in the main forum to hear the thoughts of others, but here are pictures for your special viewing...
91OV3A1_2385_GRed_FCO.jpg (256 KiB) Viewed 733 times
91OV3A1_2385_GRed_FCR.jpg (256 KiB) Viewed 733 times
91OV3A1_2385_GRed_collage1.jpg (127.94 KiB) Viewed 733 times
91OV3A1_2385_GRed_collage2.jpg (112.53 KiB) Viewed 733 times
91OV3A1_2385_GRed_collage3.jpg (138.22 KiB) Viewed 733 times

Posts: 1222
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:02 am

Re: 1891-O VAM-3A1

Post by morganman » Mon Jul 03, 2023 6:10 pm

A great response/answer from Dennis n a great E clash 1891-o

I never thought MS examples to exist, soan eye opener
The drastic drop in value on this vam and a few more stellar vams
helped me make the decision to virtually stop collecting and sell out

IMHO- 3A1 & 2 are tough finds and currently at terrible undervalued levels
I have been chasing thse for yrs and highest found is au58
putting cash into these at this valuation cant be all bad IMHO

Posts: 698
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:59 am

Re: 1891-O VAM-3A1

Post by JASONKFLO » Sun Sep 10, 2023 1:40 pm

Not unc but I paid 498 for my 1891 O 3A2 PCGS from Heritage a few years ago including fees
Jason Floyd
I climb Mountains , Grow Bamboo and like Coins

Post Reply