1895-S VAM-1A Die Break Through D on Reverse
Discovered June 2004 by Tim Cannard on a PCGS VF25 coin owned by Dennis Halladay
1A III2 1 · C3a (Die Break Below D) ( ? ) I-2 R-6
Reverse C3a – Slightly diagonal die crack from rim thru D in DOLLAR up to left side of S mint mark to wreath with wide die break from rim to bottom of D. S mint mark set slightly high and to right.
LVA Plate Photos:
Until October 2009 this coin was the only new 1895-S vam discovered since the original printing of "the big vam book" in 1992. Since the discovery, the two VAM enthusiasts looked at every 1895-S they could find in the hopes of locating another. Between coin shows, eBay, and the various auction houses, they have looked at over 2,000 coins so far. To date only 10 total examples have been found by all collectors, five of which are problem coins. The NGC XF45 coin seen here is the finest example known so far. It was identified in the Heritage auction archives from a January 2002 sale, where it sold for $448.50. It then resurfaced on eBay in October 2006, where it sold unidentified as VAM 1A . It is now graded XF45 by PCGS and shows signs of prooflike surfaces, suggesting the obverse die cracked early during its production run.
XF45 VAM 1A
1. -- Lines in B of LIBERTY
2. -- Lines between wheat stalks
3. -- Lines inside hair curls above star
4. -- Die polishing at back of eagle's neck
5. -- Lines from leg through tailfeathers
6. -- Die polishing in and around bow
(below): A closer detail of the mint mark area shows two cracks are present: one that runs from the denticles, through the D in DOLLAR, and terminates to the upper left of the mint mark. A second crack begins inside the mint mark (see arrow), runs through the lower right ribbon of the bow, through the stem of the right olive leaf cluster, and just into the bottom of the leaf to the right of the bow.
-- raw VF30 cleaned (estimated)
-- raw VF20 cleaned (estimated)
total known examples: 19 (May 3, 2017)