1878-P VAM-188 Washed Out L
Discovered by Pete Bishal, December 1974; revised October 2012
This coin is a Hit List 40 Morgan VAM. This coin is a Top 30 1878 Variety
188 II6 - B2c (Washed Out L) (193) I-4 R-6
Obverse II6- Die is polished down so that L of LIBERTY is weak and wheat leaf above L is shortened.
EDS has some die chips and polishing shadows at LL-R of DOLLAR and CA at AMERICA plus right star that is later mostly polished away.
Reverse B2c- Broken 'r' of 'trust'.
1. Besides the VAM-84, and the VAM-223; the VAM-188 is another 7 tail feather coin with polishing on the L of LIBERTY. It is by far the rarest of the 3. An accurate population count is not available, but very few VAM-188's are believed to exist, the finest being a few NGC graded BU coins;two of these coins were later crossed to PCGS as MS 62 and MS 63. Trades for a premium and is part of the PCGS Registry Set.
2. Reverse: B2c reverse with broken 'r' of 'trust'. EDS is un-clashed, has some die chips and polishing shadows at LL-R of DOLLAR and CA at AMERICA plus right star that is later mostly polished away.
3. Obverse: L overpolished as is wheat leaf and hair below it. According to Leroy Van Allen, the obverse die was reused on VAM-223, however some have speculated the obverse is actually the one used on VAM-84. Further study revealed that the obverse was unrelated to the VAM 84. It is instead a later, repolished version of the obverse of VAM 189. There are several matching die scratches in the gaps in the lower hair (a.k.a. the bearclaw) and below the lower part of the cap band that will confirm this.
4. Another useful marker is that the lower left serif of the 'A' in DOLLAR on the reverse is very weak.
LVA Plate Photos:
The VAM 188 is overpolished in the LIBERTY. The L is worn into the headband. This variety is unique when paired with the B2c reverse and would not be mistaken for the VAM 166. LEARN THIS
There is very little on the VAM 188 that is not normal, so to speak, other than the LIBERTY being weak. The very top of the B in PLURIBUS was cut a bit thin though and it is noticeable.
Above photos and text are courtesy of Ash Harrison.
Below are some images that should help more in locking in the attribution. Undocumented are that the obverse has minor doubling on the 7 of the date and LIBERTY. On the reverse the upper e of we is filled in addition to the broken t. There is also a spike through the top berry in the right wreath. To help lock the attribution for higher grade specimens, look for the squaring off of the Denticles below the date and diagonal clash mark at the tip of the eyelash, which is weakly doubled. Lightly 2-sided clashing is the norm for this variety, but it can be found un-clashed as well.