1921-D VAM-1B1 "Capped R" Die Break R of AMERICA.
Discovered by Martin Field, October 1983 (Desirability: )
This coin is a Hot 50 Morgan VAM
1B1(revised) IV 1 · D2a (Capped R Die Chip) (189) I-3 R-5
Reverse D2a– Heavily die cracked with die chip above R in AMERICA. Die polishing in eagle’s right wing up thru God to rim and slightly displaced field at LA in FOLLAR on very late die states. Fine die scratches in various directions on over polished tail feathers around eagle’s right leg and between eagle’s left wing and body.
Die marker - Diagonal die scratch thru first and second outer bottom feather in eagle's wing.
1- This variety has an interesting die break above the R in AMERICA. It looks almost like the R is tipping a small cap. The coin shows extensive die breaks on both the obverse and the reverse, with the late die stages having a portion of the die actually falling away to create the Capped R effect.
2- This VAM is actually one of the more easily found examples of the large 1921-D die breaks. At this time it is not known if this is because the die break is so distinctive and is easily visible to the naked eye or if it is simply because many examples were produced. Whichever the case, this is one of the more interesting varieties to collect and it is available from circulated through high quality uncirculated pieces.
3- Please be careful to confirm even slabbed varieties are correctly attributed. Several VAM-8A Flag R die breaks are in holders labeled VAM-1B. The VAM-8A die break is triangular while the VAM-1B1 break forms a rounded semicircle.
4- When a VAM-1B is discovered, be sure to check the word We on the reverse. A missing E in We is the ultra rare second die state of VAM-1B. Pictures of VAM-1B2 are available on the 1921-D VAM-1B2 page.
5- One of distinctive features of the VAM-1B1 that can be used to scan for the variety is the strong obverse die crack that formed near Liberty’s neck.his crack extends upward to the chin and in well preserved cases of the medium and late die states it can be seen progressing across Liberty’s lips and nose. Collectors of 1921-D coins will routinely be offered coins riddled with die cracks. Ones with a crack running through liberty’s face usually turn out to be the Early Die State (EDS) version of VAM-1B, which is a stage before the Capped R is formed. It is worth noting, however, that while this crack appears before the crack above the R in AMERICA, there have been specimens reported with no cracks at all. These have been identified by the scribbling scratches in the area around the eagle's right leg, with a couple extending into the field. The earliest die crack to form on this die pair is at the tip of the right wreath.
LVA Plate Photos
Pictured below is a sequence showing the VAM-1B1 die break advance from an Early Die State (EDS) in the top left photo, down through the Late Die State (LDS) in the bottom right picture where the die break is strong and distinctive. In the first picture, notice the small die crack running diagonally above the top left side of the R, with the slightest change in luster above the letter where the cap will develop. In the second photo, there is a subtle outline of the cap position. In the third photo, the cap has been defined by a die crack. Finally, the die breaks and the portion falls out, allowing the small cap over the R to form. What a great example of a die break progression!
While the 1921-D VAM 1B2 with a missing 'e' in 'we' due to a filled die has been known for some time, another much more dramatic filled die has come to light. An early die state of the VAM 1B1, mainly identifiable by the obverse die crack from the denticles left of the date through Liberty's mouth and nose, has recently been discovered. The mintmark is totally missing, as is most of the O in DOLLAR. In fact it is by the obverse die crack alone that this coin was identified as even being a 1921-D. Below is a picture of the reverse. The die state is quite early, with the crack above the R matching the first picture above.
Below are drawings of die cracks approximating the locations of the variety features. The thickness of the line does not necessarily represent the size of the crack on the real coin. Often these cracks are extremely fine, present only on the latest die state coins, and need significant magnification to be seen. These cracks are like fingerprints, uniquely identifying specific dies and may help you identify earlier or later die states.
Full Coin Photos
Large Full Coin Copyrighted© VAM-1B1 Images on loan to VAMworld courtesy ©[Heritage Auctions] ATTRIBUTED BY ANACS
(PCGS MS # 134029)