1885-O VAM-25 Faint Dash Under 8
Discovered by John Coxe, June 2006.
25 III217 · C3a (Faint Dash Under 8) ( ? ) I-2 R-5
Obverse III217– Date in normal position with faint small dash under second 8 over tenth denticle.
Die marker: Die chips at eyelid front.
Reverse C3a– III O mint mark set slightly to right.
Die marker: Long fine polishing line from bottom of eagle’s right wing to olive leaves
1. This variety goes through several stages of crack/break development. The initial known stage is a prooflike one that is also a clash clean up. The clash marks are evident on all known specimens of VAM-25 and VAM-25A. However, there are also a lot of cleaning lines. Even more identifiable for the obverse die than the dash below the 8 (which might not be a dash), is a nearly vertical die scratch in the top of the I of LIBERTY. That taken with the mintmark position would positively identify the die pair. To date, no unclashed or clashed prior to repolishing stages have been identified.
2. Available in PL/DMPL.
Stage-2 coin: http://www.vamworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2077&p=18891#p18891
LVA Plate Photos:
Apart from that, the defining features of the VAM-25 are the dash below the second 8, the chips below the eyelid and the scratch from the lower right wing to the olive branch leaves. There are also a lot of die polish lines on Liberty's face, the eagle and the bow.
Stage 2 is characterized by the sudden emergence of obverse die cracks. Previously, they were thought to be a consequence of the die clashing. However, the determination that VAM-25 was the predecessor stage to VAM-1B, eliminating it as VAM-25A, ruled that out. A crack parallel to and along the entire top of Liberty's bonnet appears. A crack also runs up from Liberty's chin, through the nose and meets another crack out of the hair at a small break. A fourth crack runs from just inside the neck to the second left star. Yet a fifth crack runs into the back of the hair from the field below the M of UNUM.
In the third stage, a new crack arises from the left wheat, between the R and I of PLURIBUS, to the denticles. The profile crack extends down from the chin and meets the neck crack just inside the neck edge. The neck crack continues to lengthen to the right into Liberty's hair. A tiny break develops on the profile crack just below the tip of the nose.
The fourth stage is VAM-25A, former VAM-1B, and is the one where significant breaks occur. At this point the die is in ruins. Small breaks pop up everywhere. Previous small break grow. Significant breaks develop on the RI crack and the left end of the bonnet crack. The crack that runs from below the M of UNUM now crosses through the hair, skimming the top of the first 8 of the date and ends just short of the 1, at least on the latest state seen.
Full Coin Photos
ANACS MS65 Cameo DMPL (discovery coin)
ANACS MS64DMPL (Unattributed)