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1881-S VAMs

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Mintage 12,760,000
Proof Mintage None
Dies Used 52 obv., 58 rev. [1]
Rarity in PL 2/10 (common)
Die Study no

1881-S is one of the first dates someone looking for a stunning, high-grade Morgan should look at. They are typically flashy and well-struck, and are plentiful in high grade, making them ideal type coins, giving the buyer the opportunity to cherrypick for quality. Because of common ejection doubling on the obverse, especially at the date, these can be very difficult to attribute, as actual date doubling may be obscured by ejection (machine) doubling. The most popular varieties for 81-S involve die breaks on the reverse -- with VAMs 1B and 54B both being popular.

Attribution Guides for 1881-S

Official VAM Listing

  1881-S VAM-1 Normal Die
  1881-S VAM-1A Spike in 8's  
  1881-S VAM-1A1 Spike in Left 8, Die Chips 8's
  1881-S VAM-1B Die Chip on Wing (WOW! Morgan VAM)  
  1881-S VAM-1C Die Chip in Leaves #2  
  1881-S VAM-1D Spike in 8's, Die Gouge O  
  1881-S VAM-1E Slight Engraved Two Leaf Ends
  1881-S VAM-1F Acid Treated Leaves Left Wreath *New 2020*
  1881-S VAM-2 Doubled 8
  1881-S VAM-3 Dash Under 8
  1881-S VAM-4 Doubled 18-1, Tripled Left 8
  1881-S VAM-5 S/S Left, Doubled Reverse Legend
  1881-S VAM-6 S/S Left
  1881-S VAM-7 S/S Left & Up, Doubled 18
  1881-S VAM-8 S/S Right
  1881-S VAM-8A S/S Right, Die Chips in 8's  
  1881-S VAM-9 Doubled and Spiked 8's
  1881-S VAM-10 Doubled & Spiked 8's, S/S Left, Engraved Wreath Leaves  
  1881-S VAM-11 Doubled 18-1  
  1881-S VAM-12 S/S Surface
  1881-S VAM-13 S/S Left
  1881-S VAM-14 S/S Far Left
  1881-S VAM-14A Pitted Reverse Above D of DOLLAR
  1881-S VAM-15 Doubled 88, S/S Far Left  
  1881-S VAM-16 Die Chip in Leaves  
  1881-S VAM-17 Doubled 18-1, S/S Down
  1881-S VAM-18 S/S Down
  1881-S VAM-19 Doubled Date, S/S Left  
  1881-S VAM-20 S/S Up
  1881-S VAM-21 Doubled 88, S Tilted Right
  1881-S VAM-22 Slanted Date, S Set Left,Doubled Right Reverse
  1881-S VAM-23 Doubled 18, S Tilted Right
  1881-S VAM-24 Doubled 18-1, S/S Left and Up
  1881-S VAM-25 Doubled 18
  1881-S VAM-26 Doubled Date, S/S Left and Up
  1881-S VAM-27 Doubled 18-1
  1881-S VAM-28 Doubled 1-1, S/S Left
  1881-S VAM-29 Doubled First 8
  1881-S VAM-30 S/S Left and Up
  1881-S VAM-31 Doubled 18
  1881-S VAM-32 Doubled 88, S Set Left, Doubled Top Reverse
  1881-S VAM-33 Doubled 8, High S
  1881-S VAM-34 Doubled 188, S/S Far Left
  1881-S VAM-35 Doubled 18
  1881-S VAM-36 S Tilted Right
  1881-S VAM-37 Doubled 18-1, S Tilted Left
  1881-S VAM-38 Doubled and Spiked 8's, High S  
  1881-S VAM-39 Doubled 18-1, Dash Under 8  
  1881-S VAM-40 Doubled 18-1, S/S Left
  1881-S VAM-41 Doubled 8-1, S/S Line
  1881-S VAM-41A Die Chip wreath
  1881-S VAM-42 S Tilted Left  
  1881-S VAM-42A S Tilted Left, Die Scratch Below Wing
  1881-S VAM-43 S/S Curve
  1881-S VAM-44 Tripled 8, S Tilted Left
  1881-S VAM-45 Doubled 18, S/S
  1881-S VAM-46 Doubled First 8, S Set High
  1881-S VAM-47 Doubled 18
  1881-S VAM-48 Doubled 8-1
  1881-S VAM-49 Doubled 18, S Set Left
  1881-S VAM-50 Doubled 18, S/S
  1881-S VAM-51 Doubled 18, S Tilted Left
  1881-S VAM-52 8 in Denticles
  1881-S VAM-53 8 in Denticles
  1881-S VAM-54 Doubled 18–1
  1881-S VAM-54A Doubled 18–1, Reverse Die Break
  1881-S VAM-54B Doubled 18–1, Reverse Die Break Eagle to Rim (Hit List 40 and WOW! Morgan VAM)      (PCGS labels as VAM 54)
  1881-S VAM-55 S/S
  1881-S VAM-56 Doubled 18
  1881-S VAM-56A Doubled 18 Die file lines obverse  
  1881-S VAM-57 Doubled Motto, S Tilted Left  
  1881-S VAM-58 Tripled 8  
  1881-S VAM-59 Doubled Cap & Hair Edge
  1881-S VAM-60 Doubled Right Stars & Right Wreath
  1881-S VAM-61 Possible 1 in Denticles  
  1881-S VAM-62 Doubled Left Reverse
  1881-S VAM-63 Doubled Phrygian Cap, S Set Left  
  1881-S VAM-64 Doubled 8 & Left Reverse
  1881-S VAM-65 Tripled Right Stars, Spike in 8
  1881-S VAM-66 Doubled 18-1  
  1881-S VAM-67 Doubled 18, S Tilted Left
  1881-S VAM-68 Doubled Phrygian Cap
  1881-S VAM-68A Doubled Phrygian Cap, Displaced Field Break  
  1881-S VAM-69 Doubled 18, S/S Up & Left  
  1881-S VAM-70 Doubled Cap Top, Lower Hair Edge and Arrow Shafts
  1881-S VAM-71 Doubled Left 8  
  1881-S VAM-72 Doubled Left 8, Die Scratch TY  
  1881-S VAM-73 Tripled Left 8, Doubled Left Reverse
  1881-S VAM-74 Hub Polishing Below 18, S Tilted Right  
  1881-S VAM-75 Doubled 18, Die scratches wing
  1881-S VAM-76 Doubled, Acid Treated Wreaths & Bow
  1881-S VAM-77 Doubled Date, S/S
  1881-S VAM-78 Doubled 18
  1881-S VAM-79 Doubled 18-1, S/S Left
  1881-S VAM-80 Dash 8, Die Flakes 8
  1881-S VAM-81 Doubled 18-1 and UNUM, S Tilted Left
  1881-S VAM-82 Doubled Left 8 and Phrygian cap, S/S Right
  1881-S VAM-83 Doubled Right 1, Right Wreath, AMERICA, S Set High, Engraved Wreath Leaves

List of Past VAM Assignments


  1. RG104 Entry 229 Box 11, Statement Showing the Number of Dies Used and Pieces Struck with each Die during the Calendar Year 1881, from E. F. White, Coiner, San Francisco Mint, December 31, 1881

  Photos of diagnostics shown on page.
  Full-coin photo of VAM.
  VAM has been eliminated altogether or phased into another number.
  No photos posted for this VAM.
  This VAM is recognized by PCGS.
  This VAM is recognized by NGC.
As ANACS, SEGS, ICG, and Variety Slabbing Service (VSS) recognize all VAMs currently in the official listings, no icon is shown for these services.