Comments On The 1904-O Series
Since the conclusion of the 1904-O Morgan Dollar Series Attribution Guide, I have a few thoughts and opinions that I want to share about the series. I have been corrected in the past on some of my opinions, usually by coins surfacing that I have not seen before. I am always open to being corrected. So if you have a coin that would invalidate any of my thoughts or opinions, I would be appreciate seeing the coin in hand. Alan
VAM-1: Since the Attribution Guide is a die and die marriage study, technically all dies have been accounted for (okay, maybe most but not all). Thus it is doubtful that any die marriage falls into the VAM-1 category any longer.
VAM-1B: Seems like this no longer exists with the listing of V1B1, V1B2, and V1B3. Leroy Van Allen says, "1B & 1B1 are same except for slight counterclash of leaf at top rt of left wreath. Could be that all 1B with Pitting in OL have counterclash in that case 1B should be eliminated."
VAMs-5 & 5A: It is my belief that the VAM-5 has been replaced by the VAM-38. I have never found a coin that falls into the VAM-5 category. Given the qualitative nature of m/m placement assignment, I think VAM-5 and VAM-38 are one-in-the-same. I also think the VAM-5A has been replaced by the VAM-1B1. My rational for this is clearly explained in the Guide.
VAM-7: This is a "generic" VAM listing with a "High O, Set Right". As such, any coins that previously might have fallen into the VAM-7 category have likely been replaced by subsequent listings. The VAM-31 & 38 have very similar m/m placements.
VAM-8: No VAM Plates are available for this VAM. Again, it is a "generic" listing which has likely been replaced by one or more listings. I suspect that either the VAM-23/23A/23B, VAM-26/26A, or VAM-48, all "Far Dates", have replaced the VAM-8.
VAM-14: I suspect this is another case of m/m placement assignment variation. I have never found a coin that falls into this VAM category. They are always either a VAM-3 or VAM-29.
VAM-16: This coin is listed as a "slanted date". There are other VAM listings with slanted dates, just not noted as so. Most noteably the VAM-1A and VAM-41/44 have slanted dates that are not listed as such. The VAMs-3, 4/4A/4B,10/10A, 12/12A/12B, 30.1, 35/35A/35B, 42/42A, can all be considered to have a minor slanted date. I firmly believe that the VAM-16 VAM Plate is actually now the VAM-41.
VAM-22: Another example where the listing likely doesn't exist with V22A1 and V22A2. Leroy Van Allen says, "Possible that VAM 22 with dbld profile & O tilted left exists without denticle impressions and has different obv & rev dies. In which case 22 would remain listed. Don't know for sure if this is the case."
VAM-23/23A/23B: This is one of those VAM series where I could be wrong. I have never found a VAM-23/23A. They have all been a VAM-23B. I am open to the idea of there being an unclashed version of the VAM-23B, which would be a VAM-23A. I have just never found one. Same idea with the VAM-23. It is possible that an "unpitted" version of the VAM-23A exists which would make it a VAM-23. On the other hand, I guess it is possible that a late die stage of the VAM-23B where the clashed tick of the "n" is worn away from die wear could exist, which would revert it to a VAM-23A.