1921-D VAM-3A Streamer Wing Die Break
Confirmed by Rob Joyce, February 2002 (Desirability: )
3A (revised) IV 3 · D2b (Dot Next to Wing, Die Break Wing Tip) (189) I-4 R-7
Reverse D2b– Die break at top of eagle’s right wing extending from denticles above D in UNITED over to denticles above S in STAT with displaced field of retained cud and single raised break.
(PCGS MS # 134057)
Comments: VAM-3A is characterized by a heavy die break at the top of the Eagle's right wing extending toward the denticles above the S in STATES. Note that very late die state coins have a break in the denticles, and are designated VAM-3B The large VAM book had a photo of the VAM-3 with this die break on the wing but the assignment for the die break version as VAM-3A was not formally made until 2002. The die break pictured above is huge, and represents one of the most desirable of all the 1921-D die breaks. VAM-3A enjoys a bright future as another of the select few VAMs beyond the Top 100 and Hot 50 that PCGS labels with an attribution on the holder. The streamer wing is found in both mint state and circulated condition and at this point seems to be a little more elusive than the unicorn die break.
VAM-3A die state with displaced field of retained cud and single raised break.
LVA Plate Photos
VAM-3B - Additional raised die breaks at denticles and raised field at top right of eagle's wing tip.
Die crack at top of TATE with break at top of A.
In addition to the die break, there are several small, circular, raised dots on the coin. The most prominent one is located on field next to eagle's right wing, in the middle of eagle's left wing next to body. There are dots located in the upper loop of the S of STATES, in the middle of sixth tail feather (counting from the right), and above and below the stem right of the first berry in left wreath. Dots can also be located on the obverse, below the eye, and two in hair between the ear and the date.
Pictured below is one of the mysterious 1921 dots (1921-P Dots, 1921-D Dots, 1921-S Dots), appearing below the eagle's right wing. Opinions on the origin of the dots range from hardness tests on the die, to markers identifying a specific die. One theory holds that they are the result of inferior die steel, with bubbles trapped in the steel, not made on purpose. These strange dots are found a few 1921 dies and can be located on coins produced at each of the three mints. Rare and elusive, 1921 coins with these dots will likely rise in value as more collectors pursue them.
The some VAM-3As have a die crack above the A in STATES that is similar to several other 1921-D varieties. Later die state coins with this break are likely to be a 1921-D VAM-3B.
Full Coin Photos
Large Full Coin Copyrighted© VAM-3A Images© on loan to VAMworld [courtesy] ® ATTRIBUTED BY ANACS
PCGS labels both 3A & 3B as 3A. NGC does not attribute 3A. 3B designated in 2011; coins attributed 2002-2011 would be labeled 3A.
(B*) - confirmed as 3B