1878-S VAM-49 "Funky Feather"
Discovered by Pete Bishal, July 1981. Revised 2012, 2013. TBConcrete
This coin is a Top 30 1878-S Variety.
49(revised) II 15 · B2ag (Acid Treated Wing Feather & Lower Eagle) (189) I-5 R-6
Obverse II 15– Die markers of two die scratches in hair behind neck. Die scratch at end of cap ribbon polished off. Latter die states have polished concave obverse with diagonal clash lines at neck.
Reverse B2ag– Acid treated feather between eagle’s right wing and leg extending up between wing and body with smooth top and rough sides. A long continuous acid treated area. Also acid treated evidence of flat raised smooth small sections on fields at end of arrow feather, lower left space to left of eagle's right leg, junction of top arrow feather and olive branch, end of lower tail feather, above olive branch right end, between lower two right arrow shafts and bottom edge of eagle's left wing. R in Trust not broken. Same die as VAM 103 Die Combo 3 but has added acid treatment.
Die markers: Raised dot on fourth feather from bottom of eagle’s left wing with line above and two lines below it, gouge in eagle’s mouth and diagonal line at left side of upper tail feathers.
1. This variety has a concave polished obverse paired with engraved reverse wing feather. As with many 1878-S VAMs, engraved wing feathers are a key to identification of the VAM.
2. This one of four "funky feathers," called the crudest and most spectacular feathers of all the Morgan dies in the attribution guide, they have smooth surfaces and rough sides or smooth sides and rough surfaces: including this VAM-49 along with VAM-50, VAM-76 and VAM-81.
3. This die pair is the same die pair as V103 die 3. After an acid treatment.
4. VAM-49 has a unique dot in the middle of the Eagles left wing.
5. Unlike VAM 50 and 76, there are no eye spikes on VAM-49.
6. Re-engraved body goes all the way down the body to the bottom of the feather. On high grade pieces, this engraved area is mirror-like.
LVA Plate Photos:
The eagle's wing has a dot in the lower center that is unique to the four "funky feather" reverses.
The R in TRUST is unbroken
There are no spikes coming out of the eye like 1878-S VAM-50 and 1878-S VAM-76.
The obverse of this coin has significant polishing and is concave near the fields.
A unique die scratch, a very straight line, is within the curl above the lower hair that looks like a "bear claw".
Full Coin Photos
Large Full Coin Copyrighted© VAM-49 Images on loan to VAMworld courtesy ©[Heritage Auctions] PCGS-64 ATTRIBUTED BY ANACS