1878-S VAM-113

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1878-S VAM-113

Discovered by Mark Daveler in October 2013
113 II 46 - B2x (Engraved Hair Ends & Wing Feather, Acid Treated Feathers) (?) I-5 R-7
Obverse II 46 -- Die 4. About 10 hair strand ends strengthened and extended by engraving in three hair gaps above 78.
Over-polishing of die had enlarged these gaps and San Francisco Mint experimented to reduce gaps by strengthening and extendinghair ends.
Only known case of engraving on Obverse hair. Likely a unique trial die and rare.
Reverse B2x -- Same die as VAMs 36 & 36A but earlier die state than VAM 36 Obverse Die 1 combo.
LVA Comments:
"...this is first known case with engraving by San Francisco Mint on hair strands...combined with most extensive acid treated Rev known.
I suspect this is really a trial Obv & this die combo must be very rare. '78-S varieties have been extensively studied and this Obv die
had not been reported. Rev die is earlier die state than with VAM-36 Die 1 Obv. Likely this die combo was first one used with B2x Rev
since both are very EDS with PL surfaces. Will be interesting to see if other examples of this die combo can be found." --- Leroy Van Allen
Additional Comments:
This variety is easily identified by the unique characteristics on the Obverse seen in Leroy Van Allen's Plate Photos below.
The hair ends indicated by the upper arrow in the left photo are particularly distinctive and allow for a quick, one-step attribution.
VAM-113 is currently the only known use of this Obv die.
This is the fourth Obverse discovered to have been paired with the B2x "Dragon Scales" Reverse:
Die #1 (VAM-36 and -36B), #2 (VAM-36A), #3 (VAM-36 again) and #4 (VAM-113).

LVA Plate Photos

1878SVAM113EngHairEnds,MiddleUpper.jpg 1878SVAM113EngHairEnds,Lower.jpg

Additional Photos

The Obverse photos below show additional characteristics seen on the Discovery Piece, some of which are also found on other varieties, and some that may be unique to this die. All, though, serve to illustrate VAM-113 and may also be helpful in determining whether this Obv might have been used in a pre-"engraved hair" state in another pairing.
Overall view of the engraved hair area. The Cap Band is complete, but weak.
MLD78sv113hair102815-9.jpg MLD78sv113capband102815-10.jpg
This variety has a Broken 4th Right Star and a broken "B" in "Pluribus".
MLD78sv113star051515-1.jpg MLD78sv113b102515-2.jpg
There is a small cluster of gouges above the eyelid tip and a small die chip directly beneath the ear lobe/rear jaw juncture.
MLD78sv113eyegouges102515-3.jpg MLD78sv113ear051515-4.jpg
"Liberty" is doubled left with scattered diagonal gouges (most notable at top and middle-left of "R"), and there is a long intermittent arcing die scratch starting within the top right serif of the "T" and running progressively stronger to the upper left of the right cotton boll.
There is also a straight die scratch connecting the right wheat leaf to the adjacent cotton leaf.
MLD78sv113libert102515-5.jpg MLD78sv113boll051515-6.jpg
The VAM-113 Discovery Piece exhibits what appears to be ejection damage at the jaw/neck juncture and along the bottom of Ms. Liberty's cap.
MLD78sv113jaw102515-7.jpg MLD78sv113capbot102515-8.jpg
The "Dragon Scales" acid-treated wing feathers of VAM-113 are also found on VAM-36, -36A and -36B.
MLD78sv113rw061815.jpg MLD78sv113lw061815.jpg
Photos of a VF30 example:
These views show what might be expected on a well-circulated specimen.
MLD78sv113hair061015.jpg MLD78sv113rurw061015.jpg
MLD78sv113rllw061015.jpg MLD78sv113rulw061015.jpg
Discovery Coin ...
Original Teletrade Copyrighted© full-coin photos of ANACS MS62PL VAM-113 Discovery Piece courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.
Attributed by Leroy Van Allen.

Full Coin Photos

2 full coin copyrighted© VAM-113 images below on loan to VAMworld courtesy of PAFs uploaded by oldcollectorcoins attributed by PAFs

ANACS MS62PL, ANACS VF30, ANACS 50 (attributed),PCGS VG10