July 2016 - Welcome

Study Images4543Study Images
VAMs in Collection78VAMs in Collection


We always seem to have something going on in the 1881-O world and this month has been no exception.  The biggest thing was a house full of grandchildren which delayed this update to the 16th.  But they are all back home and we are back at the work.


We sent a fresh five coins to LVA last month for his review.  Two were just for clarification, but the others are potential new varieties.  When we got them back we had three new varieties, so our hat is off to VSS for helping spot these.  More on these coins in the next column.


We have about 19 coins at PCGS for crossover analysis and grading.  We had hoped these would be back in June, but here we are in mid-July and no coins.  Some day they will come home again!


We had a small group of 5 coins at ANACS for crossover analysis and grading, and these all came back in holders.  So at some point these will make it to PCGS to see if they will cross there.


And lastly we have 40 coins packaged and ready to go to VSS for photography and VAM certification.  We also have another 50 coins for eventual grading and processing by VSS.

New Study

In our spare time we are working on a new study of the New Orleans Mint that we believe will offer new insights into its workings.  This is a view we have never seen done, so it should be interesting to do and interesting to share.


The study will take most of June and July, but it will produce some interesting reading.


Updating The Web Site

When we get new VAMs it takes a good bit of time to set them up on the web site and to make the needed cross-referencing connections.  We have the core of the information up on the web site but will be rechecking our work several times to be sure it is correct.


So check back to see more details.


VAM 67 - Doubled18 and Upper Reverse

There are several doubled 18 VAMs in the series, but this doubling is unique.  The 1 is doubled on the right side of the vertical shaft, and the first 8 at the top of the upper loop.

The obverse die is 44 and it shares the reverse die "s" with VAM 62.  The discovery coin is PCGS 32617358, an MS61.

VAM 68 - Doubled18, O Tilted Left

It is nice to have these two VAMs next to each other because we can clearly illustrate the difference in date doubling when we have two coins and both are designated as "Doubled 18."  The VAM 68 discovery coin is clearly doubled differently than the VAM 67.

The obverse is die 45 and it shares the reverse die "d" with 11 other VAMs.  The discovery coin is PCGS 25642926, an MS65, so a solid coin for analysis.

VAM 69 - Doubled Profile, Cap, and Left 8, O/O Left

VAM 69 has totally different characteristics from the other two.  For us it is reminiscent of VAM 28 with the doubled profile, and it fact we will be doing some work to reexamine them.

The obverse is die 46, and it shares the reverse die "i" with  VAMs 11 and 56.  The discovery coin is PCGS 33176730, an MS63, also a solid coin for analysis.  This coin also made our toned coin group for analysis

Moving Up the Food Chain

In late June we found an MS65DMPL at a reasonable cost, so we continue to move toward a full grading set one step at a time.  We will be sending VSS our 65+, 65PL, and the 65DMPL all in the next batch so we will have them professionally photographed for the web site soon.

We needed two MS65 coins to hit our goal of 1% of each grade so we have been looking around for two that would be interesting.  This one showed up and we grabbed it for several reasons.

First, there is a little color to it which always adds some interest.  And second, it is clashed.  The clash is not immediately obvious, but many of our missing VAMs are clashed and this one at least has the possibility of filling a hole.

So this coin is at least a twofer, and maybe with a little luck it becomes a threefer.  In these pictures it does not look like a great MS65, but like some prom dates she looks better in person than she photographs.