Books a Vammer needs
Books a Vammer needs and why he needs them.
As a beginner Vammer you may ask why do I need these books. The easiest, most succinct way to answer that is Knowledge is King. The faster your VAM education grows, the sooner the mistakes EVERY beginner makes will begin to disappear.
How many times have you picked a common 1878-P VAM-14.1, or how many 1878-P VAM 221 die pair 2 do you have. Wouldn't you rather have only one 14.1 and one 221 die pair 2 instead of 3 of each? Don't you want to know which ones are rare as much as you now know which are extremely common.
If I had " bought the book, before the coin," I would have saved a lot of money that could have been spent on finding the rarer ones. Now that I have the books (but not all of them yet) I've start picking the rarers ones. With the 8TF guide I can attribute an 8TF within a few minutes. How long does it take to photograph an 8TF, download the photos, add to a thread and get a response. And then since you may not know which photos to take, your asked to shoot, download and add more photos. All because you didn't know which die characteristics were important to shoot. 2 to 3 minutes with an open attribution guide versus the time taken to add to a thread. I'll take the 2-3 minutes any day.
Ask yourself this, " Would my vamming skills, knowledge, and cherrypicking abilities improve faster WITH or WITHOUT the book." I can say 100% that all my skills have improved since I've started acquiring the books.
Here are some specific reasons.
1. If you want to further your knowledge of Morgan and Peace Dollars these books will help you do just that. Most of the answers to learning how to attribute faster with less frustration are located in these books,CD's and guides.
2 Do you collect only the List coins? The attribution guides and CD's will help you pick them with ease.
3 Do you have a hard time understanding the VAM pages or when the seasoned Vammers have a discussion is it all confusing to you? This aggravated me as a beginner that I didn't know the answers or THE RIGHT QUESTIONS ask.The Morgan and Peace 101 Attribution Guides will help you understand and point you in the direction of learning what should I be asking. Don't understand how to read the VAM pages. Don't know which clashing is important, check out the guide.
5 If the only way for you to find a VAM is by matching photos on VAMworld to your coin, the books will help you.
6 The $30 spent on a guide will save you money and time spent on mis-picks.
7 When you were in school you had school books to study from. Now you're in VAM school. Put down the toys and pick up the tools.
8 Self reliance and independence builds confidence. Don't you want to be confident in your Vamming abilities. These books and guide will increase knowledge and allow you more independence and self reliance and will build your confidence in picking.
9 Here's a very important reason, the people who have been Vamming or coin collecting for decades have always said to " Buy the book, first. " They say this for a reason and from personal experience to save others from our own mistakes.
10 KNOWLEDGE IS KING.
There are many more reasons to buy the book first but I'll leave it at that.
There are a lot of books and guides on this list, which can be overwhelming, but the three most important for the beginning Vammer, to me at least, are these three immediately below. The Big Book, Supplements and Plate Photos, and VAMworld's two Attribution 101 guides. You don't have to purchase all at once or even all of them. But the sooner you start acquiring them the better off you will be.
(1) Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars by Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis. Affectionately known as "the big VAM book" by collectors, this is currently in its fourth edition. First published in 1971, it was updated and reprinted in 1998. It contains a detailed listing of all known (at the time) die varieties listed date-by-date and is loaded with pictures. At more than 500 pages, it contains a wealth of mainstream information dealing with the history of Morgan dollars, grading, counterfeit detection, photography instruction and more. Leroy Van Allen has also put out supplements and detailed attribution guides since this work was published.
(2) VAM Varieties Supplements - Leroy Van Allen has also put out supplements and detailed attribution guides since this work was published.
Please order from Leroy Van Allen, PO Box 196, Sidney, OH 45365
Since its publication, many new die varieties have surfaced. Updated information is available from Leroy Van Allen in Xerox copy format:
(The 2010 supplements should be out in January 2011.)
- 2009 VAM Supplement.VAM Varieties of Morgan & Peace Dollars 1992-December 2009, 177 pages, 440 photos of 2009 additions, $15 + $5 p_h Priority Mail
- Photos only from 2008 new varieties, 55 pages, $7 + $2 p_h
- Photos only from 2007 new varieties, 57 pages, $7 + $2 p_h
- Photos only from 2006 new varieties, 106 pages, $10 + $3 p_h
- Photos only from 2005 new varieties, 94 pages, $10 + $3 p_h
- Photos only from 2004 new varieties, 87 pages, $9 + $3 p_h
- Photos only from 2003 new varieties, 63 pages, $8 + $2 p_h
- Photos only from 2002 new varieties, 46 pages, $7 + $2 p_h
- Photos only from 2001 new varieties, 39 pages, $6 + $2 p_h
- Photos only from 2000 new varieties, 37 pages, $6 + $2 p_h
- Photos only from June-Dec 1999 new varieties, 22 pages, $5 + $1 p_h
- Photos only from Dec 1997-May 1999 new varieties, 23 pages, $5 + $1 p_h
(3) These two guides are free!!!! They are both available at this website. They will help you understand how to attribute VAMs.
Please PRINT them and use them.
[Morgan VAM Atrribution 101] - Learn your way around the Morgan Dollar.
[Peace VAM Attribution 101] - Learn your way around the Peace Dollar.
How to download and print these guides or any VAMworld page.
1 Click on each link below.
2 At the top of the page look for a tab called PAGE.
3 Hover your cursor on it and a dropdown menu will appear.
4 Click on DOWNLOAD PDF.
5 A PDF will download and just print it out.
If you are like to collect the List Coins try these List attribution guides.
The following are attribution guides for the list coins except # 2. A Decade of Top 100 is not an attribution guide but is compilation of 10 years of the quarterly publication " Top 100 Insights " by Dr. Michael Fey. It has 10 years of insights into the Top 100 for pricing, rarity, etc. It has many articles that would be of interest to Vammers. One of my favorites books.
(1) The Top 100 Morgan Dollar Varieties, The VAM Keys, by Michael S. Fey Ph.D. and Jeff Oxman. 4th Edition Avaliable from Dr. Fey's web site, RCI Inc
(2) A Decade of Top 100 Insights by Michael S. Fey available at []
(3) SSDC Official Guide to the Hot 50 Morgan Dollar Varieties. An attribution guide for additional varieties beyond the Top 100 list. By Jeff Oxman with Photos by Bill Fivaz.
(4) Official Guide to the Morgan Dollar Hit List 40. by Jeff Oxman available at []
(5)The Official Guide to the Top 50 Peace Dollar Varieties by Jeff Oxman & Dr. David Close, Photos by Bill Fivaz and Dr. David Close. A picture-filled reference detailing the most desirable Peace dollar varieites. Avaiable from Dr. Fey's web site, RCI Inc
(6) Elite Clashed Morgan Dollars written by Mark Kimpton with photos by Leroy C. Van Allen. The 147 page book offer hundreds of photographs, descriptions, rarity estimates and values for many clashed Morgan Dollars. Available from Dr. Fey's web site, RCI Inc.
Attribution Guides for Specific Dates
The guides below are aimed at specific dates or mint marks. Why does a Vammer need them? They will save you incredible amounts of time and frustration. Prior to owning some of these books it took me hours to attribute some of these dates. But then I still wouldn't be 100% sure if I attributed correctly. But after acquiring them I can attribute most them within a few minutes and be 100% confident in my correct attribution of them.
But what if you don't collect some of the dates/ mint marks. Well one of the reasons I wouldn't look at certain dates is out of frustration that I wouldn't be able to attribute them. Now with the books I can buy with confidence. Not only can I buy with confidence, I know which VAMs to look for, and which ones are the common VAMs and know how to avoid. If your sick of picking the common 8TF VAM-14.1, and want to find the rarer 8TF's, the books will you show the pups for the common and rarer vams. I picked my first 14.16 recently because I knew what to look for because the books taught me. If had bought the books first, I would have less of the common vams and more of the rarer VAMs.
I rarely ever have to ask for attribution help any more because I own the books.
(1) 1878 Morgan Dollar 8-TF Attribution Guide, 3rd edition. A guide to attributing the 8 tail-feather Morgans. It includes a system for determining the VAM number. It includes rarity and value information as well. By Jeff Oxman and Less Hartnett with photos by Bill Fivaz, directly from Jeff Oxman's web site, VAMlink.com
(2) The SSDC 7/8 TF Attribution Guide. Identification of 7 over 8 tail-feather Morgans. It includes attributions for all 7/8TF and B1 reverse varieties. By Less Hartnett and Jeff Oxman with photos by Bill Fivaz
(3) Morgan Dollar 8 & 7 Over 8 Tail Feather Story, Revised January 2006, 52 pages, $15 + $2 p_h by Leroy Van Allen
(4) 1878 P 7 Tail Feather Morgan Dollar Attribution Guide, July 20006 (Updated March 2009), 115 pages, $19.95 + $4 p_h by Leroy Van Allen
(5) Official Guide to the 1878 Reverse OF '79 Varieties - Mark Witkower and Jeff Oxman
(6) 1878-S Morgan Dollar Attribution Guide by Leroy Van Allen and Craig Lickenbrock, July 2006, 100 page bound copies with 377 photos, $19.95 + $3 P_H. Direct orders to Leroy Van Allen P.O. Box 196 Sidney, OH 45365.
(7) Long Nock (A Guide to the 1878-S B1 Reverse Varieties) by John Roberts. []
(8) A Guide to the Varieties of the 1878 Carson City Morgan Dollar by John Roberts
(9) 1879s Reverse of 1878 Morgan Dollar Book by David T. Wang. A 52 page book that attributes 15 varieties of this top 100 coin with hundreds of reference pictures have been released. The Results of the collaborative research by Mr Calvin Cherry, Mr. William Eubanks, Dr Mike Fey, Mr Leroy Van Allen, and the author David Wang is presented to the Numismatic Community. Available from Dr. Fey's web site, RCI Inc.
(10) 1889 P Doubled Ear Morgan Dollar Attribution Guide, Revised January, 2009, 32 pages, $13 + $2 p_h by Leroy Van Allen
(11) 1902-O Morgan Dollar Series Attribution Guide by Alan Scott
(12) 1904-O Attribution Guide by Alan Scott (Not yet Available)
(13) 1921 P Infrequently Reeded or Wide Reeding Morgan Dollar Attribution Guide, Revised January 2009, 31 pages, $13 + $2 p_h
(14) Die Markers for 1921 Morgan and Peace Proof Dollars (Will the REAL 1921 Proof Dies please stand up!),
March 2005, 9 pages, $4 + $1 p_h
(15) Fun With 1921, Denver Morgan Dollars with Die Breaks, Die Gouges and Filled Dies, by Rob Joyce.
A detailed study of the die varieties produced at the Denver mint in 1921. Currently out of print. VAMworld information is more current.
(16) 1921 Scribbles Morgan Dollar Attribution Guide - Leroy Van Allen and Crae Morton
(17) Amazing Changing 1921 S VAM 1B Thorn Head Morgan Dollar, Revised January 2009, 22 pages, $10 + $2 p_h
FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!
[Morgan VAM Atrribution 101] Learn your way around the Morgan Dollar.
[Peace VAM Attribution 101] - Learn your way around the Peace Dollar.
21-D Die Crack Break Guide
The two guides below are available at Vamworld, but if you download this in its monograph form and find it useful enough to put into your permanent collection of literature, please send a check for $5 to:
PO Box 42112
Greensboro NC 27425
Both are found on the home page.
1888-O Oval O Guide Oval-O-guide-v-1-0 no cover.pdf
1921-P Wide Reeding 1921widereeds-final.pdf
(1) Guide Book of Peace Dollars, by Roger W. Burdette with Barry Lovvorn. As the 13th entry in Whitman's Bowers Series of numismatic references. It covers every date and mintmark of America's last 90% silver dollar, which began as a commemorative of peace after the tribulations of World War One. The book also studies the mysterious 1964-D Peace Dollar, as well as proofs, patterns, trial pieces, errors and misstrikes, countermarks, die varieties, and famous collections. Full Color, Softcover, 288 Pages, Fully Indexed. Available from Whitman publishing
(2) Morgan Dollar Overdates, Over Mintmarks, Misplaced Dates, and Clashed E Reverse by Kevin Flynn. available at []
(3) Misplaced Date Digits Morgan Dollar Attribution Guide by Leroy Van Allen & Bill Van Note, Revised
January 2009, 48 pages, $15 + $2 p_h
(4) Carson City Morgan Dollars- Featuring the coins of the GSA Hoard by Adam Crum, Selby Ungar, Jeff Oxman available at []
(5) Overdates & Over Mint Marks of Morgan Dollars Attribution Guide, Revised March 2009, 53 pages, 140 photos, $15 + $2 p_h by Leroy Van Allen
(6) Denticle Impressions Morgan Dollar Attribution Guide, September 2009, 41 pages, 157 photos, $14 + $2 p_h. by Leroy Van Allen
(7) Micro O and Other Counterfeit Morgan and Peace Dollars, Revised December 2009, 101 pages, 291 photos, $16 +$3 p_h by Leroy Van Allen
(8) The Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook - Wayne C. Miller (out of print)
(9) An Analysis of Morgan & Peace Dollars - Wayne Miller (out of print)
(10) The Comprehensive U.S. Silver Dollar Encyclopedia - John W. Highfill (out of print)
(11) List of die varieties of Morgan head silver dollars - A. George Mallis (out of print)
(12) Comstock Crime of 1873 - The Comstock Connection - Robert R. Van Ryzin
(13) What Every Silver Dollar Buyer Should Know - Steve Ivy and Ron Howard (out of print)
(14) Morgan Dollars: An In-depth Study - Dean F. Howe (out of print)
(15) Die varieties of Morgan silver dollars - Francis X Klaes (out of print)
(16) Date by date analysis of the Morgan Dollar - Roger Smith (out of print)
(17) A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars - Q. David Bowers
(18) The Official Red Book of Morgan Silver Dollars 1878-1921 - Q. David Bowers and Leroy Van Allen
(19) Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States, Vols. 1-2: A Complete Encyclopedia - Q. David Bowers (out of print)
(20) Jim Osbon's Silver Dollar Encyclopedia 2nd Ed. - Jim Osbon (out of print)
(21) The Silver Dollars of North and South America - Wayte Raymond (out of print)
(22) Silver Dollar Fortune-telling - Sue and Les Fox (out of print)
(23) The Complete Investor's Guide to Silver Dollar Investing - Dick A. Reed (out of print)
(24) 1900 O over CC Attribution Guide (A study of Die Varieties and States) - C. Ash Harrison
(25) The 1921 Morgan dollars: An in-depth study - Mike Carter (out of print)
(26) Correct Grading of Morgan Silver Dollars - Chuck Link and Dave Woodruff (out of print)
(27) The Accugrade System Vol. 1_2 Morgan and Peace Dollars - Alan Hager (out of print)
(28) Morgan and Peace Dollar Varieties" by Leroy Van Allen his solo 1965 work
(29) Dollar Varieties and Errors Scrapbook" compilied by Leroy Van Allen an anthology of NECA "Let's Go VAMin'" columns from "Errorscope"
(30) America's Silver Dollars" ANS Coinage of the Americas Conference. Several excelent articles within - A. George Mallis "The Development of the 1878 Morgan Silver Dollars" and John M. Kleeberg "A Pair of Morgan Dollar Dies in the Collection of the American Numismatic Society"
(31) From a John Roberts aka Vampicker thread " Collecting by hub type dates back over a century. 'The Numismatist June 1898' contains the article 'Die Varieties of the Current United States Standard Silver Dollars' by George W. Rice. His brief article contains descriptions of the major hubs and several of the marriages of these designs. The Haseltine Type Table Catalogue from 1881 describes an 1878 Morgan pattern, an 8TF proof and an 1878 Reverse of 78 business strike. These three coins are the earliest reference I have found of Morgan Dollars being sold based on variety characteristics.
VAM CD's []
(1) 8TF Attribution Wizard: This is the first of a series of Attribution Wizard software developed by John Baumgart and Jeff Oxman. It has done the unthinkable and made attributing 8TF Morgan Dollars easy. This CD contains over 600 pictures of all 41 8TF varieties (currently doesn't include clashed dies). The Attribution Wizard presents you with a pictoral flowchart of what to look for on your coin and presents you with an attribution when it is known. In addition, you can browse through varieties or individual dies. The 8TF Attribution Wizard also has a trainer to quiz you on the varieties -- which is a great study aid for bourse floor preparation. The software also includes current values which can be downloaded over the internet when they are updated.
(2) 79S Rev. of '78 Attribution Wizard (2005): All 17 varieties of 79S Rev. of 78, same features as 8TF Wizard.
(3) Hot 50 Attribution Wizard (2003): All Hot 50 varieties, including those for which multiple varieties count for a single Hot 50 coin. No trainer, since it is not an exhaustive date/mint list like the 8TF or 79S Rev. of 78.
(4) Top 100 Attribution Wizard (2006): All Top 100 varieties, including those added through 2006, same features as Hot 50 Wizard.
(5) Top 50 Peace Dollar Attribution Wizard (2007): All Top 50 Peace dollars, with features the same as the Hot 50 and Top 100, but also including die progression studies of the 13 major die break Top 50 coins.
(6) 7TF Attribution Wizard (2008): This has the same features as the 8TF Wizard, but covers all 7/8 TF and 7TF B-reverse coins (VAMs 30-198).
(7) Hit List 40 Attribution Wizard (2009): All Hit List 40 varieties including important die progressions. Same features as Hot 50 and Top 100 Attribution Wizards.
The price is $24.95 each plus shipping. They're available directly from John Baumgart (email@example.com) as well as other venues.
Here are some places to purchase these books and CD's.
Places to purchase
For Leroy Van Allen guides and supplements, this link provides ordering info []
For most books and guides, try Logan at VAMs and More []
Dr. Michael Fey also has books available at Available from Dr. Fey's web site, RCI Inc
For CD's try John Baumgart at (firstname.lastname@example.org)