1921-D VAM-12A Wreath Break
Discovered by John Baumgart and John Kohut, October 2003
12A IV 10 · D2a (Doubled Date and Profile, Tripled Left Stars, Die Break Wreath) (189) I-3 R-6
Reverse D2a– Vertical die break in third leaf cluster from top of left wreath plus small die chip in top of fourth leaf cluster from top.
Comments: VAM-12 has the obverse doubling of the date and profile as well as tripled left stars. The VAM-12A die break is tucked away in the middle wreath cluster of the left wreath. A substantial amount of metal is pushed up out of the wreath where the die broke. Extensive cracking can also be seen on both the obverse and reverse of the coin.
Even though this variety has a good-sized break, it took quite a while before an example was discovered. Without careful examination, the break appears to be part of the leaf. This is a hard VAM to notice if you are not specifically looking for it. The VAM-12A has proven to be a very tough VAM to locate. It is a great variety!
1921-D VAM-12A and 1921-D VAM-1AN share the same reverse die, but are mated to different obverse dies. The reverse was first used on VAM-1AN, then on VAM-12A, which can show much more break in the wreath and more die cracking.
While VAM-1AN was eliminated, it is now under review for reinstatement. 4/2017
LVA Plate Photos
When you've located the reverse die break below, be sure to check the obverse features to determine if the coin is a VAM-12A or a VAM-1AN. The two VAMs share the same reverse die but are mated to different obverse dies. The reverse was first mated with the VAM-1AN, then the VAM-12A, which tends to show more breaking in the wreath and more evolved die cracks.
The photo below shows the tripling of the 3rd left star along the outer edge. Also notice the unique die crack that goes all the way through the star. This is a great pick up point to determine if a coin is a VAM-12A instead of the VAM-1AN with the same reverse.
A very late die state of the VAM-12A has rim cuds, adding to an already interesting coin.
|| VAM-1AN ||
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|| VAM-12A ||
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The VAM-12A is likely the late die state of the later-discovered 1921-D VAM-1CZ, a scribbling scratches tailfeathers variety. Most of the scribbling scratches from the VAM-1CZ have worn off by the time the wreath break occurs, save on peculiar "squiggly" scribble, pictured on the 1921-D VAM-1CZ page. If you have a VAM-12A, you should be able to pick out this scribble in the tailfeathers.
Die break starting at rim near Eagle's left wing going down throughright wreath