Propsed Overview of Vam Type Resource
VAMworld Vam Type 25
Welcome to the VAMworld Vam Type 25 list. Note that there are currently well in excess of 4,000 VAMs with attribution information at the VAMworld site. If you wish to perform research on a specific VAM, click on the ‘Morgan VAMs by Date’ or the ‘Peace VAMs by Date’ links. Those links provide access to all the VAMs attributed at VAMworld. The “by Date” resources provide access to what is arguably the best and most complete VAM resource anywhere. Without doubt it is the most complete resource on the Web.
The VAM Type 25 list does not point to all the VAMs attributed and listed at VAMworld. It was built with the following objectives:
• To provide a list of the major VAM types the members of this board feel are of interest to VAM collectors. VAM types are listed for both Morgan and Peace Dollars.
• To provide an overview and definition of each type.
• To provide links to 3-5 Common coins that are representative of the type. These common coins are generally available in good supply and are generally not high demand VAMs. For those of you that enjoy cherrypicking unattributed VAMs, these VAMs are relatively common in the market for unattributed coins and can often be cherry picked at unattributed grey sheet prices. For those of you that are interested in purchasing VAMs that have already been attributed, you should find these coins available at modest premiums to unattributed coins.
• To provide links to 3-5 coins that are “Best of Type” coins in each category. Many of these coins are also on Top 100, Hot 50, Hit List 40, and Elite Clashed Morgan lists. Some are very scarce. Many trade at significant premiums to coins with the same date, grade, mintmark, and condition that are not attributed as VAMs. The links point to the attribution pages for these coins at VAMworld. Visit those pages and you will see interesting and sometimes spectacular examples of each type.
VAM Type 25 Set Collecting
In addition to providing descriptions and coin lists by type for you to view and enjoy we would also like you to consider building a VAM 25 Type Set collection. This is especially true if you are a beginning VAM collector. Think about the combination of the VAMworld VAM Type 25 resources and your developing VAM Type 25 Set as a living breathing tutorial that will allow you to get up to speed more quickly on VAM attribution and VAM collecting. One of the reasons we are providing links to multiple Common VAMs by type is that the use of this list will allow you to build your VAM type set relatively quickly and with a relatively modest expenditure of funds.
Want more of a challenge? As your skills develop, you may wish to begin to upgrade your VAM Type Set by replacing your Common VAMs with Best of Type VAMs or upgrading the grade of your coins. You may also wish to move down to the optional areas of the VAM Type 25 Set. It would be satisfying to have a VAM Type 25 set that covered the mint marks from the mints that produced Morgan and Peace dollars. You also might find it interesting if your 25 coins covered the major obverse and reverse types for Morgan and Peace dollars. Your set should also cover the minor types in addition to the major types that make up the set. Can you cover all this with just 25 coins? Of course you can. In addition to carrying the markers that match it to one of the 25 major classes, your Morgan or Peace dollar will match a major obverse and reverse type, carry a mint mark (or none in the case of Philadelphia), and may also cover one of the minor types with a misplaced date or mint mark.
Or you might develop an interest in a specific VAM type like Clashed Morgans causing your collection interest to switch to the Elite Clashed Morgans list on this site. Some of you may want to pursue the development of a Top 100, Hot 50, Hit List 40, or Top 50 Peace set. Your Best of Type VAMs will give you a good running start toward assembly of these 'List' sets. Or you may focus on a specific date or type like 7/8 tail feather Morgans, or a 80/79 Overdate collection. Unlike the VAM Type 25 Set, all of these other collections include stoppers – coins that are both scarce and expensive. One of the joys of Vamming is that you get to choose the future direction of your collecting interests but your VAM Type 25 set is a good place to ‘get your feet wet’ at a low cost with potential for high satisfaction.
Keep in mind the “Best of Type”, and the “Common” lists are just examples of the VAMs you might plug into the ‘empty holes’ in your VAM Type Set. There is no reason why you shouldn’t substitute your latest/greatest ‘find’ for one of the coins on the list. And should you ever locate a ‘discovery’ coin you may want to showcase that coin in your set.
The primary objective is of the VAM Type 25 is having fun, feeling the accomplishment of moving a set rapidly toward toward completion, and learning more and more about VAM collecting and attribution along the way. You may find that the collection itself becomes secondary to those objectives. You will also meet and interact with many experienced Vammers in the Message Board. If you travel to shows you will have the opportunity to meet them in person. They are all VAM addicts and love to spend time sharing their knowledge and meeting new Vammers.
Acquiring VAMs for your VAM Type 25 Set
It really comes down to two major choices – cherry-pick or buy. When you cherry-pick, you are attempting to fill a spot in your collection with a VAM that is unattributed until you locate and attribute the coin. By limiting the number of Types and the number of Morgans per type, we are hoping to improve your cherry-picking chances, especially when you start out with VAM collecting, and especially with the coins on the Common lists. You might want to take on a few Types at a time. If you worked with two Types at a time and limited yourself to Common coins, you would only need to be working with a list of 10 coins. Whether you are attributing coins online or at dealers or shows, your initial learning curve will be manageable. Once you have the first pair of ‘holes filled’, move to a second pair and keep going until you have completed your set. When you hit the completion point you will be amazed at how much you have learned and how much your interests have evolved.
Your second choice is to buy coins that have been attributed by someone else. The attribution might be professionally done by a third party grading firm like NGC, PCGS, or ANACS. It could be performed by a professional firm that specializes in attribution, not grading. Varslab is a good example of such a service. Or it might be attributed by the seller. Many VAMs change hands between members of this site in the buy/sell area. You may find attributed coins at shows or at your local dealer. There are online resources like VAMquest that specialize in VAMs.
Then there is eBay, the largest coin store in the world. With an online resource as large as eBay, there are some sellers that misattribute VAMs or claim Common VAMs to be scarce, and market at significant price premiums that are beyond what the market demands. We are not saying you shouldn’t buy VAMs on eBay. But if you do use that resource for cherry picking or to buy dealer attributed VAMS we recommend that you:
1. Attribute the coin yourself from the photos.
2. Research prevailing VAM prices. It is a good idea to join the Society for Silver Dollar Collectors (SSDC) as annual price guide comes with the $20 annual membership fee.
3. Pay attention to the sellers return policy should you end up with a misattributed VAM.
4. As soon after the coin arrives as possible, reattribute the coin.
Getting Help With Individual Coins
You are certainly welcome to post images of coins you have acquired in the Message Board area portion of Vamworld, particularly if you have questions about the coin. However, the Message Board is not an attribution service. If you need help with attribution, it is considered to be best practices on the board for you to attempt to do the attribution yourself first, then ask for help if you need it. Your post should include images as well as a discussion of what you have discovered and where you are running into difficulties. Please read the Vamworld Etiquette page before using the message board. You might also want to lurk for a while in the Message Board watching the exchange as members ask for help. Vamworld is an all-volunteer resource. The level of knowledge on the board is very deep. Some of those regularly visiting the board attribute VAMs for a living.
Asking questions relating to the value of a coin is also not allowed in the Message Board area. If you do have questions relating to value, post them in the Buy/Sell area.
Sharing Your Collection
SSDC is in the process of developing a service that allows members to display sets of coins online. These are often referred to as Registry Sets. It is our hope the SSDC resource will support VAM Type 25 Sets. Many Registry Set environments are fairly competitive. It is our intent to keep the ability to share your VAM Type 25 Set with others on a non-competitive basis. There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes from building a set then sharing with your new friends.
The Bottom Line
The primary focus of both the VAMworld VAM Type 25 Resource and VAM Type 25 collecting is enjoyment, learning, collaboration, and accomplishment. We hope this resource meets your needs on all of those levels. Why not give it a shot and get started. You've read the introduction. We suggest you start at the top of the list of VAM Type 25 VAMs and work your way down the list. Read the overview of each type. Then review the common coins for that type. Each is a mini-case study that discusses how and why this VAM ended up on the list. From each mini-case page there is a link to the Vamworld attribution page for that VAM. There are over 4,000 VAMs along with their attribution pages at VAMworld. They can be accessed by date and mint mark from the Morgan VAMs by Date and Peace VAMs by Date links on the left side Vamworld. The sheer number can be overwhelming to beginners. But by focusing on the VAM Type 25, you'll be limited to a few hundred VAMs rather than 4,000 as you learn the ropes. But keep in mind the complete VAM list stands behind you to help attribute that strange new Morgan or Peace dollar you found.
If you want to see some spectacular examples of the VAM Type 25 Types, review the Best of Type list for each type, read the mini-case on each VAM, then follow the link to the attribution page. Those coins are both scarcer and in higher demand than the Common coins. Many are members of lists like the Top 100, Hot 40, Hit List 40 and Elite Clashed Morgans. But more than anything else enjoy your introduction to the 'Wild West' of Morgan and Peace dollar collecting. There are still exciting and valuable coins waiting for you to discover.