Obverse Die 16

Primary Characteristics

Die 16 is one of the more important dies in the 1881-O series because it appears only once, in VAM 27, and produces the most valuable VAM in the series.


Die 16 is distinguished because the doubling of the back and base of ear are more pronounced and longer as a feature.  The front inside of ear and hair above ear also appear as doubled.  As a marker the LIBERTY in the headband can be slightly doubled on right side.


Die 16 also distinguishes itself because on VAM 27 it is not overshadowed by reverse features and stands alone as the determining identification.


There are other dies in the 1881-O series with double ear features, but these dies focus on a doubling of the earlobe and not the ear.



(You can see the coins in our collection by clicking on the VAM link below.)


VAMs Featuring Die 16

27 - Double Ear

Die Crack Characteristics

Obverse Die 16 is only associated with VAM 27, the only Hot 50 VAM in the series.  We do not have any coins above grade AU 58, so we have taken our best example of that grade to examine.



We are always looking for ways to identify key VAMs over the Internet and this set of die cracks offers some new hope.  There is a tiny Spike in the first 8 that is so small that it takes magnification to see it.

These images are from coin 14106210 an Almost Uncirculated 58 VAM 27 coin.