1882-O VAM-4 Doubled 82, Open 2, O/S Recessed
Discovered by Francis Klaes, June 1963.
This coin is a Top 100 Morgan VAM.
4 III2 4 - C3c (Doubled 82, Open 2, O/S Recessed) (181) I-5 R-3
Obverse III2 4- Polishing marks inside ear. Second 8 doubled at left outside of both loops. 2 doubled on right outside of upper loop. Small dots of metal all over the Liberty Head. Open 2.
Reverse C3c- O over S variety with the center shaft of the S recessed within the O. Small dots of metal all over eagle and wreath. An earlier die state shows as a diagonal tear drop at lower past of opening.
1. In 1882 Three different dies were prepared for the New Orleans mint using dies originally created for the San Francisco mint, making the famous 1882 O/S or O Over S varieties. There are three known 1882 O/S varieties: VAM-3, VAM-4, and VAM-5. The mint marks changed over the life of the striking, evolving so that more of the S crossbar showed. In all cases, the EDS versions are much more rare and desirable than the late die states. If you are unsure which VAM you have, check the attribution guide here.
2. For VAM-4, there is a diagonal crossbar hidden within the O mint mark. Notice the diagonal line is lower than the VAM-3.
LVA Plate Photos:
This obverse marker must be present to be a VAM 4 in any stage.
The Early Die State which has a much more commanding price can be confusing with several close appearances. Below IS the EDS:
Be careful not to confuse this with the mint mark on the VAM 14, which has some diagonal lines in the opening of the O, but is not an O/S. Noting the other VAM 4 diagnostics should make it easy to avoid such confusion.
In addition to the unique O/S feature, the eagle on the reverse is covered with many tiny pits giving it a pimpled look. On the obverse there are small die gouges in the ear that were used to confirm the early die state of this coin is indeed from the same die pair.
This is an early die state (left) of the VAM-4 O/S mint mark compared to the late die state (right). There is a small triangle of metal at the top of the crossbar and a thin line below it. On the actual coin, this metal is very faint. The lighting and the angle of the reflection make it look pronounced, but it is actually very subtle. The VAM-4 EDS is the hardest of the O/S varieties to find and is exceedingly rare.
Full Coin Photos
Large Full Coin Copyrighted© VAM-4 (LDS) Images on loan to VAMworld courtesy ©[Heritage Auctions] ATTRIBUTED BY John Roberts at ANACS