1921-P VAM-1AG (Zerbe dies?)
1AG IV1 - D1a (Scribbling Die Scratches) I-2 R-5
Reverse D1a - Fine die scratches in various directions on tail feathers around eagle's right leg and between eagle's left wing and body.
Die marker - Heavy horizontal die scratch above right bow ribbon next to wreath bow.
Comments: Scribbling scratches varieties are numerous and difficult to photograph. Many existing varieties include scribbling scratches features on the tailfeathers in addition to their primary features (pick up points). When possible, we will attempt to show non-scribbling scratches die features to help with attribution. Some of the new scribbling scratches varieties have been eliminated as early die states of known VAMs for which the die breaks, etc. have not yet formed, and more will likely follow.
In January 2009 at the VAM Thing at FUN, Ash noted his research on the "true" Zerbe dies. He determined that the same variety tended to occupy PCGS and NGC holders labeled as Zerbe proofs. He also found this variety in some, but not all, other TPG holders labeled as Zerbe proofs. Although Ash did not make this assertion lightly, he was careful to acknowledge that we will perhaps never know the answer with 100% certainty.
Crae had a chance to examine a few of these coins in person and found them to be the 1921-P VAM-1AG, a variety listed specifically for scribbles during the scribbles VAM assignment frenzy of 2007-2008. Crae does not own and has not examined the discovery coin and cannot comment if it is a circulation or proof strike. The photos below are from a couple of the coins Ash found during his research.
Please note;- that the "official" Zerbe proof VAM is the 1921-P VAM-47, which is distinct from the VAM-1AG. This recent declaration was not made to say that the VAM-47 is not the real Zerbe proof but that more research is needed. Perhaps both dies were used.
An additional specimen was discovered to be in the ANA collection in 2014, and while simply labeled a prooflike coin, it displayed the "look" of a special striking. Further examination showed it was also VAM 1AG. It has since been graded as a PR63 "Zerbe Proof "
LVA Plate Photos
S in PLURIBUS. Note the "X" convergence of polishing lines:
Curved polishing line under the top serifs of the second U in PLURIBUS. This line extends into the denticles in both directions:
Left stars 5 and 6. Note the "X" convergence of polishing lines: