1878-P VAM-203 Short Wheat Leaf, Doubled Reverse Lettering
Discovered by Leroy Van Allen, December 1965. Revision December 2003 by Leroy Van Allen.
This coin is a Top 100 Morgan VAM
This coin is a Top 30 1878 Variety
203(revised) III1 2 · C1b (Short Wheat Leaf, Doubled Reverse Lettering) (179) I-5 R-6
Obverse III1 2– Same as III1 1, but with heavy die polishing at top. Wheat leaf below R is short, well below the R, and contains lines. Wheat grains are well separated, with long wheat leaf between the stalks. Bottom serifs are thin in motto. Bottom of E and R run together in LIBERTY.
Reverse C1b– Doubled outside of leaves of right wreath, all legend letters towards rim, In God tops and wing tips feathers. Doubling stronger than C1a. No die chip on D in UNITED. Die marker– Some horizontal die polishing lines at bottom of eagle’s right wing.
LVA Plate Photos:
The 1878-P VAM-203 has a polished leaf at the top of Liberty's head that is shorter than a normal wheat leaf. Note that the leaf for the VAM-203 contains parallel lines:
Additionally, the back leaf is polished down as well. This feature is useful for confirming short leaf cherrypicks online!
Here's a couple things I've noticed about my VAM-203.
The eyelash is extended beyond normal length.
The inside of the G of GOD has a small die break:
The VAM-203 also features overpolishing (loose hairs) where Liberty's hair meets the field both above the forehead and at the bottom of the lower curls, just above the date. There are very light die gouges just above the denticles below the first "8" in the date. It will require further study and conjecture to determine if there may be an MPD, which could have fallen victim to the heavy polishing on this variety. The VAM-203, when found, is often in high grades. Note that there is a clashed stage of this variety, the 1878-P VAM-203A.
Full Coin Photos
2 Sets of Large Full Coin Copyrighted© VAM-203 Images on loan to VAMworld courtesy ©[Heritage Auctions] ATTRIBUTED BY ANACS