The Aging 1D
Our Total Collection
Coins by Grade
Coins by VAM
As our collection has grown the span of grades for each VAM has also grown. This gives us the somewhat rare ability to compare how a VAM looks as it wears. For the 1D - Pummeled Eye, or Flaky Eye, we have 8 coins in 6 different grades. The grades range from Very Fine 35 to Mint State 64, with duplicates in grade AU55.
As coins wear, identification of VAM characteristics can increase in difficulty as key features wear or become obscured with dirt. But we have not found this to be true with the VAM 1D because the key identifying feature is in the recess of the eye and the lower area of the nose.
VAM 1D - Pummeled Eye As It Ages With Wear
These first two images compare an MS64 VAM 1D to a MS 63 VAM 1. With the VAM 1 it is obvious how the eye was designed and how it should look.
This is a Mint State 63 coin, PCGS 28488723 and at this state there is little change from the Mint State 64. The fine lines at the bottom of the lower lid are gone in this example. On this specific coin there are some additional bag marks around the eye, but obviously not a VAM feature.
This is a Mint State 62 PL coin, PCGS 15339012 and at has some unusual characteristics that are a little difficult to explain unless the die was pulled, polished, and put back into service. The flakes in front of the eye are much less prominent and the eyelashes are less damaged, but this is a VAM 1D for sure.
At Almost Uncirculated 55 things start to change a little. The indention on the eyeball is starting to flatten a little. But interestingly the detail in front of the eyeball to the nose bridge is largely intact. However, the detail in this area looks a little smoother indicating wear. This is coin PCGS 20310520.
At Almost Uncirculated 53 the coin is taking on a smoother look and toward the bridge of the nose the metal flakes are starting to wear. The remainder of the flakes are smoother and the cheek is losing some detail. This is PCGS 26746239.
Down to grade Extra Fine 45 other damage and wear to the coin are starting to detract from the ability to identify the eye features. Much of the detail still visible at AU 53 are gone. A good wear indicator is the curl at the brow that is almost flattened. This coin is PCGS 24392368.
And finally at our lowest grade it takes more knowledge to find the VAM marker. The hollow in the eyeball is still identifiable as well as the flakes closest to the eyeball. Toward the bridge of the nose almost all the detail is gone or obscured by wear. It is also obvious that at this grade you are looking at a well worn and scared coin. This coin is PCGS 26287173.
The Aging 1D
New Orleans and the Mint in 1881
The Devolving 5
One and Done
Two and Through