1878-P VAM-41A 7/8 Tailfeather Weak 7/4 variety
Discovered by Leroy Van Allen, December 1965. Reverse discovered by Anthony Morano, February 1965. Revised September 2003 by Mark Kimpton; 2010.
41A(revised) II 2 · B/Ak (4TF) (179) I-3 R-4
Obverse II 2– Different die than VAM 41. Die marker - Single horizontal polishing line in hair gap above 7.
Reverse B/Ak– Four tail feather ends showing; partial end between 2 and 3 TF, thin line between 3 and 4 TF, full end below 5 TF, and partial end between 5 and 6 TF. Some early strikes show a broken line below 4 TF. Design remains in branch leaves, below branch on left and around wreath bow. Doubled right leg and talons. Polished down version of B/Ak. This is a long nock reverse.
LVA Plate Photos:
Tips of underlying tail feathers:
Many collectors use the die scratch to the left of the bow as their pick up point to identify this die.
VAM-41A is the repolished VAM-41 and exists in prooflike condition due to that. (The pictured coin is the finest known, a PCGS MS65DMPL.) The II-2 obverse was used on several 7/8 tail feather varieties (32, 34, 37, 39, 41, and 45), four B2 reverse varieties (131, 146, 186 and 195), five C reverse varieties (222, 224, 225, 228 and 229) and their subvarieties. They are largely distinguished by the very slightly broken tip from right star 4. A number of varieties sharing that obverse, VAM-41A is much more quickly attributed by its reverse.
The extra marks around the olive branch are also unique indicators.
Date position reference. Note there is no apparent doubling of the date except the top right edge of the 7.
Full Coin Photos
Large Full Coin Copyrighted© VAM-41A Images on loan to VAMworld courtesy ©[Heritage Auctions] ATTRIBUTED BY Ron Hagler
Note: This coin is a PCGS MS64 Deep Mirror Prooflike and is an EDS.