1904-P Die Study
1904-P Die Study
Die study of the 1904-Ps is underway. Not exactly an exciting Morgan dollar series. The study was initiated to see if the same level of die incest is apparent in coins from the Philly Mint as is seen in coins from the New Orleans Mint in 1904. It is hypothesized that the extensive die incest as seen on coins from the New Orleans Mint in 1904 was an attempt to prolong die life since it was the supposed last year of mintage of the Morgan dollars until the supply of silver bullion was exhausted.
So far, the 1904-P die study has shown a few things in the eyes of the researcher. First, no die incest has been identified. The coins lack luster and strong strikes. It is apparent that the dies were run long and at lower press pressure likely to prolong die life. There are cracks and clash episodes in the 1904-P Morgan dollar series. But the clash episodes appear weak with no letter transfer eluding to being run at low press pressure. Die cracks are also weak, and apparently do not come close to die break categorization, again, indicating potentially weak press pressure. Die pairs show signs of being removed from the press and being polished, but then again re-married to preclude any die incest.
These are preliminary observations. They can, and likely will change with time.
The only VAMs worth noting so far are the VAM-6A and VAM-10. The VAM-6A is cool if you like pitted dies. The VAM-10 has a wildly doubled Liberty head, spiked 1 in the date, and a bar at the chin-neck junction. Both VAMs are common and can be easily found if enough time is spent searching. Given the plain-Jane nature of the 1904-P VAMs, no premium should be paid for examples in the opinion of the researcher.