My Dream VAM List
terryi2o's most wanted VAMs.
If I were able to collect one VAM from each date and mint mark in the Morgan series, these would be my choices:
1). 1878-p, VAM-14.17, R-7. Discovered by Michael Fey in 1996. Less then a mere dozen known graded examples by PCGS, NGC or ANACS and none known in mint state, possibly the rarest of the VAM-14. examples.
2). 1878-s, VAM-50, R-6. Discovered by Martin Field in 1981. Not one of the rarest of the 1878-S VAMs but still very rare and one of the most interesting with its tripled eyelid obverse and its "Funky Feather" lava flow reverse. Its also a "Hit list 40" Morgan dollar.
3). 1878-cc, VAM-7a, R-7. Discovered by Mark Kimpton in 2004 and one of only three R-7 cc dollars in the entire series (The others being the 1878-cc, VAM-19A and the 1882-cc VAM-2d) This coin has many strong clashed features on both obverse and reverse and is also listed as a "Kimpton 12" Morgan dollar. The obverse has clashed partial G next to liberties neck, partial incuse of st in the right lower hair vee, bottom edge of wing clashed near liberties chin, also possible clashed cc below the B of PLURIBUS. On the reverse, above the eagle and motto, nearly all of central liberties bust is clashed and also, clashed designers initial m clashed above G.
3a)1878-cc, VAM-19A, R-7. Discovered by Alan Simmons in 2010. Obverse II 1. Radial die crack from rim down between RI in PLURIBUS to I of LIBERTY with displaced field break at RI. The late die state of VAM-19 Die 2 in the VAM update or VAM 19.2 in the 78-CC book. Currently only four examples are known, by far the rarest 78-CC variety. First reported in 2008 during research for [A Guide to the Varieties of the 1878 Carson City Morgan Dollar]. Listed in 2010 VAM update (revised).
4). 1879-p, VAM-74, R-6. Newly discovered in 2011 by Brian Raines, the 1879-p mintage of Morgan dollars, hasn't a single listing in the "Top 100", Hot 50", "Hit list 40", "Kimpton 12" or "The elite Clashed" Morgan dollars, but from what Leroy Van Allen said about this coin, that should change very soon. Here are Mister Van Allen's comments: "WOW! Really a lot of pitting on this coin. Amazing that hadn't been reported before - must be rare. Dies must have been retired early since hard to polish off with so much pitting in die recesses. Must be a scarce variety to not have been reported already!" Thats good enough for me to make it as my 1879-p pick. Congratulations once again Brian!
5). 1879-s, Reverse of '78, VAM 34b, R-7. Another of the many discoveries from Brain Raines, discovered in 2003. This coin is the die progression of VAMs-34 and 34a with each stage of the VAM being more difficult to find. At this time, there are only 6 of the VAM-34b known to exist. A "Top 100" Morgan dollar.
6). 1879-s, Reverse of '79, VAM-45, R-6. This VAM was discovered in 1999 by Herb Zepke and although the VAM-45 is believed to be privately struck and considered to be a counterfeit, who wouldn't want this rare perfect copy of the 1879-s with III 21 obverse and C3m reverse in their collection of VAMs. Like most all of the San Francisco minted coins, the 1879-s has some of the most beautifully struck coins in the Morgan series, many with mirror like cameo fields. The reverse of '79-s has not a single R-7 example but it has 23 reverse dies starting with the C3a and ending with the C3w, the C3m is number 13.
7). 1879-cc, VAM-3, R-6. One of my personal favorites, "The Capped Die 1879-cc Morgan Dollar". This VAM has the distinction of having two of the most respected coin experts in the coin industry as co-discoverers, Leroy Van Allen in 1965 and Art Kagin in 1962 (not sure how that happened but it was revised just recently in Feb. 2012). Whatever the die makers were thinking to change the mint mark to a large cc, it seems they completely botched the job. Lucky for us, it makes the VAM-3 one of the most unique varieties in the cc Morgan dollar series! A "Top 100" Morgan dollar.
8). 1879-o, VAM-28, R-6. In 1967 A.G.Heins discovered the 1879-o, o/Horizontal o mint mark, it was assigned the VAM-4 designation. In an article written by Rob Joyce in VAMview magazine, Mr. Joyce had this to say about the 1879-0, VAM-4, "If this is indeed a horizontal mint mark example, this variety is the only known o/Horizontal o reverse in the Morgan dollar series". End of story, no. In 1997, Kyle Aber discovers a new obverse of the old VAM-4 variety and its assigned a VAM-28 designation by Mr. Van Allen. The VAM-28 die pairing seems to have a relative rarity of ten to twenty times that of the VAM-4. Both varieties are "Top 100" Morgan dollars.
9). 1880-p, VAM-1A2, R-6. Discovered by Jack Lee in 2005 (Jack also discovered the 1A1) The VAM-1A2 is the "Broken Knob 8, Die Break Wreath Bow" variety. The obverse break runs from the rim and denticles through the right side of the 8 in 18 and continuing into Miss Liberties hair. At the top of the 8, there develops a large knob, the later the die state the larger the knob! The reverse exhibits a long horizontal rounded die break that runs through the wreath bow. The knobbed 8 die break is the type of die break that is easily seen with the naked eye but not easily cherry-picked. A "Top 100" Morgan dollar. The original discoverer of the VAM-1A "Knobbed 8 Die Break" was Mildred Rezabek in 1966.
10). 1880-s, VAM-10, R-6. Discovered by Ted Clark in 1969, the VAM-10 is the rarest of the five 1880-s overdate varieties and the only R-6 among them.
11). 1880-cc, Reverse of '78, VAM-4, (PAF) R-4. This variety is the 80/79 overdate. Discovered by Harry Forman in 1964. Not the rarest of VAMs but interesting in that the 80 of 1880 has the remains of a strong 79 beneath it that were not completely filed from the die before the re-punching occurred. All reverse of '78, 1880-cc dollars are believed to be overdates. A "Top 100" Morgan dollar
12). 1880-cc, Reverse of '79, VAM-3A, (SAF) R-5. Discovered in 2003 by Mark Kimpton. This coin has a lot going for it, dashes, clashes, doubling, polishing lines, die breaks and die chips and, its a "Super CD"
13). 1880-o, VAM-49, R-6. The "ear/hangnail overdate" was discovered by Randy Campbell in 1999 and is the former VAM-6B discovered by Ted Clark in 1968. The obverse is the later die state of VAM-6A with partial clashed n and st from the reverse. The obverse also has an overdate feature with the 8/7, making it the key overdate in the 1880-o series. But for this coin, its the hangnail feature that does it for me, not to mention, its one of the tougher VAMs to collect and, its also a "Top 100" morgan dollar.
14). 1881-p, VAM-17A, R-5. Discoverer unlisted on VAMworld. With no spectacular standout VAMs and only one R-6 listed of the 35 VAMs discovered in the 1881-p series, my choice is the R-5 VAM-17A with obverse clashed n & st. And the same droplet impressions that are also present on the VAM-17.
15). 1881-s, VAM-54B, R-7. "Doubled 18-1, Reverse Die Break Eagle to Rim". Discovered in 1999 as VAM-54 by Charles Cataldo, Reassigned in 2009. Same reverse as VAMs 54A and 69 but a later die state. A "Hit List 40" Morgan dollar.
16). 1881-cc, VAM-2, R-4. Bill Fivaz made this discovery in 1972. The variety has nice doubling on both obverse and reverse, but the feature that intrigues me, is the nearly, if not completely closed left c of the mint mark. With only 6 VAMs attributed for the 1881-cc, this is the first R-4 on my list.
17). 1881-o, VAM-1D, R-5. It was discovered in 2004 by Mark Kimpton, another of his many discoveries. It has the flaky eye feature, unique and easily visible with the naked eye, besides, wouldn't you rather have a flaky eye than a doubled ear? It is another VAM of the "Hit List 40".
18). 1882-p, VAM-1D2, R-5. Mr. Leroy Van Allen discovered this multi-faceted VAM in 2005. This coin has almost one of everything you might find in a Morgan VAM variety, flakes, die breaks, die chips, die polishing lines, rusted die pits, raised dots, raised metal and even some minor clashing, not on any of the 5 popular lists? For what its worth, Its got my Vote!
19). 1882-s, VAM-1B, R-6. This VAM discovered just recently in 2011 is a no-brainer when it comes to choosing a VAM from the 1882-s series. The majority of VAMs in this series (29 of 33) have a doubled or partially doubled date. The VAM-1B has the only concaved obverse, a very acute dish shape that is hard to photograph but is easily seen without the use of any magnification. If you happen to collect two of them, you could keep one in your kitchen cabinet for emergencies.
20). 1882-cc, VAM-2E, R-7. Discovered by Mark Daveler in 2010. VAM-2E is the 12th of 12 "Hit List 40" VAMs in the 1882-cc series of 20 total VAMs, it has nearly everything the first eleven have, cap break, lip counter clash, winged L die gouge and slightly rotated reverse. In addition, it also has a faint partial clashed I and us on the obverse. The second of 2 R-7s.
21). 1882-o, VAM-38B, R-7. Discovered by Jason Henrichsen in 2009. VAM-38B is the die progression of VAMs 38 and 38A. The obverse has clashing of a partial G, T & t of trust, partial D of Dollar, doubled 82 and a die crack on left side of first star. The reverse has clashed raised designers initials M above W in WE, die crack thru n of one and die breaks at rim and wreath leaf. This is a "Kimpton 12" Morgan VAM.
22). 1883-p, VAM-10, R-4. Discovered in 1978 by Martin Field, its the only "Top 100" in the 1883-p series. The VAM-10 has very strong doubling of the entire date with a die crack that runs from the left star through the very tip of Liberties neck continuing through the date. All stars have multiple doubling with the first five stars on the right being sextupled toward the rim. The reverse has an X die scratch above the arrow feathers, I guess you could say, "X" marks the spot!
23). 1883-s, VAM-6, R-3. Mr. Leroy Van Allen made this discovery in 1980. This VAM has obverse doubling of the 18-3 in the date with the 1 in the date having unique tilted doubling. The '83-s has only 11 VAMs attributed to date.
24). 1883-cc, VAM-5B, R-6. This VAM discovered by Michael Ash in 2005, has a lot going for it, including the three clash lines on Liberties neck, die break and clashing at the lower Phrygian cap, doubled date, cc/cc and multiple die scratches both obverse and reverse, which nearly circle the entire coin on the reverse.
25). 1883-o, VAM-22A, R-6. Discovered by Brent Fogelberg in 2002, this VAM is both a "Hit List 40" and "Super CD" Morgan dollar. The VAM-22A has great
clashing on the obverse (III 23) of the O mint mark and D of Dollar, the first discovered legend letter transfer. The reverse (C3a) has a partial clashed E below the eagles tail feathers. And I forgot to mention, it has a doubled 1 in the date.
26). 1884-p, VAM-2A, R-5. Discovered by Ron Downing in 1966 (the year I was inducted). This coin is another that has tons going for it, Far date, dash under second 8 in date, clashed obverse n, s, t, clashed designers initial M on the reverse and the partial clashed E from E in Liberty below the eagles tail feathers. Also on the reverse, bat wing clashing between the wreath and eagles left wing, the outline of Liberties profile between the eagles right wing and wreath, clashed cotton bolls between the eagles left wing and arrows and very strong clashing of Liberties chin, lips and nose from the reverse wreath. Also, the coin has numerous die scratches and die cracks on both obverse and reverse. This VAM is on the "Hot 50" list and is also an "Elite Clashed Morgan dollar".
27). 1884-s, VAM-4A, R-5. Discovered by Martin Field in 1979. This VAM has die chips on both right and left wreaths. The chip on the left wreath is opposite the NI of UNITED and is not in the same placement as the chip on the 4-B, which is higher and directly opposite the I of UNITED. It also has a die chip on the right wreath at the top right, opposite the M of America. It is a far date.
28). 1884-cc, VAM-4B*, R-6. Discovered by Phil Perdue in 2006. The series of 1884-cc has no "Top 100", "Hot 50", "Hit List 40", "Kimpton 12", or "Elite Clashed Dollars", maybe this VAM should be the start to another specialty list! The obverse (III2 4) has a spike in the top of the 1 in the date and some examples of this VAM, have the same horizontal spike on the left lower loop of the first 8, as the VAM-4 and 4-A The reverse (C3a), has a very nice die break on the top left serif of E in America, accompanied by a die crack that runs from the denticles on its left and a die crack running from across the top of the M and continuing through the break and across the top of R and I. Also, there's a noteworthy die crack running from the top of F across the eagles right wing tip and into the bottom of A in America. Die cracks running through States and One of One Dollar. The obverse has a die crack running virtually the entire motto and a die crack running across the bottom of the date. This VAM also has the same pinned wing gouge as VAM-4A. There are 15 attributed VAMs for the 1884-cc with the VAM-4B being 1/2 R-6 varieties the other being the VAM-7A.
29). 1884-o, VAM-37A2, revision of VAM-37A. Discovered by Bill Fivaz in 1997. 18 in denticles, far date, die break U, clashed obverse st. This VAM is the later die state of VAM-37A1. In addition, many die cracks can be found both obverse and reverse.
30). 1885-p, VAM-27A, R-6. Tripled Ear Bottom, Extra Star Point. Discovered by Ash Harrison in 2006. Obverse III224. Die crack thru bottom of left stars over to neck point with break on right side of first left star to form an extra point. Love this VAM, the equivalent of a 4 leaf clover!
31). 1885-s, VAM-9, R-5. Discovered by Herb Zepke in 1999. Obverse, tops of 885 showing in denticles as raised curved bars in single denticle space below first 8 and in single denticle space below second 8, and as raised straight top bar in single denticle space below 5.
Reverse, s mint mark strongly doubled with original showing as vertical spike to left, a thin diagonal line to left of upper loop, a curved line on right inside of lower loop, and a thin line on right inside of upper loop. Obverse shared with the VAM-8. This VAM is the same reverse as the Top 100 VAM-6 with a repunched S over S mint mark. The 1885-S/S is under appreciated for its rarity, but the VAM-9 with a repunched date in the denticles is almost unknown. It is a truly rare coin and seldom encountered.
32). 1885-cc, VAM-4, R-6. Discovered by Mark Kimpton 2004. Dash under 8, Clashed die with faint partial incuse n of In from reverse showing next to Liberty head neck. With a probable mintage of only 228,000, the 1885-cc has only 5 attributed VAMs.
33). 1885-o, VAM-25A, R-6. Discovered by Clayton Christiansen as VAM-1B in 2005. Die crack through Phrygian cap fold just above cap with break near right wheat leaf. Die crack from rim down to wheat kernels between RI with displacement of field. Very slight doubling at right inside and bottom outside of ear.
34). 1886-p, VAM-