Die States

From VAMWorld
Jump to: navigation, search

1887-P VAM-19 Die Progression

Scott Hamilton

(Note, Sep 2012 VAM-19B and 19A descripitions were swapped so former 19A is now 19B and former 19B is now 19A. This does not affect the stages below but to show that the long displace break above the cap occured before the radial die break. I have not changed the VAM numbers below to show the change as the primary purpose of this study was to break it down by stages not the official description. If you want to know whether you have a 19A or 19B refer to the 19A and 19B pages.)

My primary purpose for this is as a die progression study and NOT to differentiate between 19, 19A, and 19B. Click on stage # in left column for photos. To increase photo size, press Ctrl + . To decrease photo size press Ctrl - . I've broken down the VAM-19 die marriage (VAM-19,19A, and 19B) into eight die stages, DS 0-7. It's a very interesting die marriage. It has a misplaced digit in the denticles, nice reverse clashing, very dramatic die cracks and breaks which almost encircle the obverse, and an interesting long displaced field break above the cap. It also is the only very far slanted date 1887-P VAM. The very far date position makes it easy to spot as it is the only 1887-P in which the date is to the right of the third denticle. The dies most likely clashed early in it's life, with the only obverse clashing on the neck, and that was very short. There was no signs of any clashing in front of the lips or at the back of the Phrygian Cap till DS 7, and even when that occurred it was only a very faint clash at the back of the cap. The reverse clashing however shows up from DS 1 thru 7. From DS 1 and 2 the reverse clashing is very sharp, but begins to deteriorate from DS 3-7. Considering the amount of cracks on the obverse, the reverse has almost none. The weak curved crack from the E of ONE to the D of DOLLAR is very familiar and I believe the reverse die was used with another obverse die and hope to find it soon.

DS 0,1,2, and 3 are still VAM-19. There is a grey area in which VAM-19 becomes 19B and 19B becomes 19A. I have not seen the 19B discovery piece so I must use the LVA's 19B descriptions only. Using LVA's description DS 4 would be the closest to 19B. However DS 4 the radial die break is still a crack to me and only has chips between the 3rd and 4th right stars. The 19B description has it as a radial die break and die chips from the 1-4 right stars. DS 5 is at least VAM-19B, but borderline 19A. The radial die crack to the rim is now a break, and there are die chips between the 2nd to 4th right star, which fits the 19B description, except the die chip between the 1st and 2nd right star hasn't formed yet. Die stage 5 does have the long displaced field break with die chips above the Phrygian cap which fits LVA's 19A description, but the crack isn't as thick as the 19A plate photo. DS 6 is VAM-19A, though the die break above the Phrygian cap is slightly smaller than the VAM-19A plate photo. DS 7 is VAM-19A and the long displaced field break above the Phrygian cap matches the 19A plate photo exactly. The table below shows a best fit of where the 3 different VAMs fit into the 8 die stages.

Tips for determining die stage

Check both loops of the 8's for die chips first.

  1. No die chips, try stages 0 and 1.
  2. Die chip only on right side of second 8, try stages 2-4.
  3. Die chips on right side of first 8 and both sides of second 8, try stages 5 and 6.
  4. Die chips on both sides of both 8's, try stage 7.

Is there a die crack across the field below the R, to first U in PLURIBUS.

  1. No die crack, try stages 0-4.
  2. Partial die crack, try stages 5 and 6.
  3. If crack touches U, try stage 7.

Check above the Phrygian cap.

  1. No crack or partial crack, try stages 0 and 1.
  2. Die crack but no die chips, try stage 2.
  3. Die crack with tiny chips, try stages 3 and 4.
  4. Die crack with elongated die chip on right side of displaced field, try stages 5-7.

Check the space between the 7th left star and E of PLURIBUS.

  1. No die chip, try stages 0-5.
  2. Die chip present, try stages 6 and 7.

Check the right side of the 1st right star for a die chip.

  1. No die chip, try stages 0-5.
  2. Die chip present, try stages 6 and 7.
Discoverers VAM
Leroy Van Allen VAM-19
Unknown VAM-19A
John Coxe VAM-19B
Die Stage Face of Die Die Feature Die Stage explanation Notes
VAM 19
0 Obverse Cracks None
Clashing None
Reverse Cracks None
Clashing None
1 New Camera.jpg Obverse Cracks Very weak 1 LS thru E of PLURIBUS.Very weak crack above Phrygian Cap, but only on right side. Very weak between 3rd and 4th , and 4th and 5th RS. Above cracks only visible with a 16X Loupe. MPD in denticles is sharp. No die chips on either 8.
Clashing Short single clash on Liberty’s neck. No clash at back of cap.
Reverse Cracks None.
Clashing Single clash from wing almost reaches N of IN. Clash under eagles neck, left and right wreath, cotton bolls, Liberty’s eye socket above olive branch.. Reverse clashing is very sharp.
2 New Camera.jpg Obverse Cracks From 1st LS to E visibly stronger than DS 1. The die crack (but no die chips) above Phrygian Cap now crosses entire area above cap. It crosses thru cap fold and down to M in UNUM. Very weak B-U-S of PLURIBUS. Very weak between 1st and 2nd RS, and 2nd and 3rd RS. Much stronger between 3rd and 4th RS, and 4th and 5th RS. Radial die crack from the 4th RS to rim begins to form, but is very weak. MPD still visible. Die chip on right side of 2nd 8 forms.
Clashing Short single clash on Liberty’s neck. No clash at back of cap.
Reverse Cracks M-E-R of AMERICA and D-O of DOLLAR.
Clashing Single clash from wing almost reaches N of IN. Clash under eagles neck, left and right wreath, cotton bolls, Liberty’s eye socket above olive branch. and very weak above eagle‘s head. Reverse clashing is very sharp.
3 New Camera.jpg Obverse Cracks Die crack now begins at neck point thru LS to P in PLURIBUS. Very weak P-L. Very weak B-U-S. Crack above Cap forming small die chips. Crack across Cap now has a die chip in the depression. A die chip has formed at the back of the Cap where it meets the field and crosses it. Crack from Cap to M in UNUM is stronger but no die chips have formed. Crack from 1st to 2nd RS still very weak, but cracks from 2nd thru 5th RS stronger and easily seen with a 5X loupe. 5th RS to M in UNUM still weak. Radial die crack from 4th RS to rim visible but still very weak. Die chips between 3rd and 4th RS forming. MPD visible, but beginning to fade. Die chip on right side of 2nd 8. No cracks thru date yet.
Clashing Short single clash on Liberty’s neck. No clash at back of cap.
Reverse Cracks Very weak F to LW, thru M-E-R-I of AMERICA, and D-O of DOLLAR.
Clashing Single clash from wing almost reaches N of IN. Clash under eagles neck, left and right wreath, cotton bolls, Liberty’s eye socket above olive branch. and very weak above eagle‘s head. Clashing isn’t as sharp as DS 2 due to die wear.
VAM 19B
4 New Camera.jpg Obverse Cracks Crack now starts at L/S of 1 and continues thru to L/S of L in PLURIBUS. Die chip forming between 3rd and 4th LS. B-U-S is stronger. Displaced field break above Cap is easily seen with 5X Loupe. Die chips forming in displaced field break but still much smaller than VAM-19B plate photo. Die chip in the depression on the Cap is bigger. Crack from back of Cap across field to M in UNUM now forming very small die chips. Crack from 1st RS to M thicker and easily seen with a 5X Loupe, but radial crack from 4th RS barely visible with a 5X Loupe. The outline of a triangular die chip and elongated die chip is stronger between the 3rd and 4th RS. MPD barely visible. Die chip on right side of 2nd eight.
Clashing Short single clash on Liberty’s neck. No clash at back of cap.
Reverse Cracks Very Weak F to LW. M-E-R-I. Very weak E of ONE to D-O of DOLLAR.
Clashing Wing to N of IN is shorter than DS 3. Clashed under eagle’s neck. Above eagle’s head has almost faded. Clashed cotton bolls, both wreaths and Liberty’s eye above olive branch. Clashing beginning to fade and is no longer sharp.
5 New Camera.jpg Obverse Cracks Very weak crack starts at L/S of 2nd 8 thru date and all LS to L/S of L in PLURIBUS. Large die chip on R/S of 4th LS. A new crack partially crosses the field, from the wheat leaf below the R, toward the 1st U in PLURIBUS. Crack on field extends across wheat kernels, to displaced field break above Cap. Die chips on displaced field break muck bigger. B-U-S. Crack from top of Cap crosses Cap, and then crosses field to M in UNUM. Crack across field now has a large die chip on it below M of UNUM. Very weak crack now starts at R/S of 7, This crack extends thru all RS to M in UNUM. No die chip between 1st and 2nd RS. Crack from 2nd RS thru 5th RS thick and forming die chips. Crack between 5th and 6th RS weak. Radial die break from 4th RS to rim is now a die break and easily seen with a 5X Loupe. Very weak die crack formng on the hair below initial toward neck. MPD no longer visible. Die chip on R/S of 2nd 8. New die chips form on R/S of 1st 8 and L/S of 2nd 8.
Clashing Short single clash on Liberty’s neck. No clash at back of cap.
Reverse Cracks Weak F to Wing. Weak M-E-R-I-C. Weak E-D-O.
Clashing Clash from wing to N of IN is now very short. Clash above eagle’s head gone. Clashing under eagle’s neck, left and right wreaths, cotton bolls, and eye barely visible.
VAM 19A
6 New Camera.jpg Obverse Cracks Very weak thru entire date. Crack extends from date thru all LS to L/S of L in PLURIBUS. New die chip between 7th LS and E. B-U-S. Crack across field from wheat leaf below R, almost reaches 1st U of PLURIBUS. Crack crosses wheat kernels/leaves to cross onto field above Cap. Long displaced field break above Cap, with die chips formed, and almost as big as 19B plate photo. Die chip in Cap depression larger and crack across Cap thicker. Die chip at back of Cap/field junction is larger. Very weak crack on hair below initials starts to cross neck. Die chip has formed on crack below U of UNUM. Die chip has formed at R/S of 1st RS. Die cracks thru all RS much thicker. Radial die break from 4th RS thicker. Die chips on R/S of 1st 8, and both sides of 2nd 8.
Clashing Short single clash on Liberty’s neck. No clash at back of cap.
Reverse Cracks Weak F to Wing. Weak M-E-R-I-C. Weak E-D-O.
Clashing Tiny single clash from wing. Clashes under eagle’s neck, left and right wreaths, cotton bolls, and eye, barely visible.
7 New Camera.jpg Obverse Cracks From date thru LS to R/S of L of PLURIBUS, but doesn’t extend to U. New very weak crack from U-R. Die chip forming between neck point and 1. Die chip on R/S of 2nd LS forming, almost creating a 7th star point. Die chip on R/S of 4th LS has become much larger. Die crack from wheat leaf below R now completely crosses field and connects to U. Crack thru B-U-S. Die chips and long displaced field break above Cap now matches 19B plate photo. Cracks thru all six RS and seven LS all very thick and easily seen without the use of a Loupe. Crack from 7 to 1st RS thicker and clearly visible. Die chip between 2nd and 3rd RS is now large and triangular. Die crack between 3rd and 4th RS is very thick. Radial die break from 4th RS to rim is very thick. Die chip forming between 5th and 6th RS. Die crack now completely crosses neck point. New die chip on L/S of 1st 8 forms. Cracks nearly surrounds the obverse, except for L-U.
Clashing Short double clash on neck with slight rotation. Very weak clash on back of Cap for first time.
Reverse Cracks F now crosses wing to the A in AMERICA. M-E-R-I-C. Weak E-D-O.
Clashing Double clashed with slight rotation, from wing to N. One clash almost reaches N, the other to the right is tiny. Clash below eagle’s neck is stronger. Clashes by left and right wreaths, cotton bolls, and eye very weak and barely visible.
Legend Meaning
LS Left Star
RS Right Star
LW Left Wing
RW Right Wing
MPD Misplaced Digit
L/S Left side
R/S Right Side
DS Die State
Cap Phrygian Cap

Top