Obverse Die 23
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Obverse die 23 is distinguished from others with date doubling in how the doubling appears. On die 23 it is more obscure than on other dies.
Specifically, the first 1 is slightly doubled on the left side of the vertical shaft. The first 8 is doubled on the surface of the right outside of the upper loop and the top right inside of the lower loop.
Identification of these takes a little practice because surface doubling can vary in appearance and line showing on the sides of a numeral shaft can often appear to be reflections. But we have been able to identify this die in a grade 50, so it hangs around even when worn.
(You can see the coins in our collection by clicking on the VAM link below.)
VAMs Featuring Die 23
34 - Doubled 18
34A - Doubled 18, Pinned Wing
61 - Doubled 18, O Set Left
Die Crack Characteristics
Obverse Die 23 is associated with VAMs 34, 34A, and 61. The VAM differential comes from two sources, clashing and reverse die pairing.
In its earliest state Obverse Die 23 is seen as VAM 34, where it is paired with Reverse Die a.
28502825 Almost Uncirculated 50
Our only example is this AU 50, and it is possible that some features like light pitting have worn away. But the distinctive date doubling is there. Our one example shows no die cracks, but at AU 50 they would be difficult to distinguish. We will need more examples in higher grades to prove a lack of cracks.
31774629 Mint State 63
On the VAM 34A the die received a hard clash that is most distinctive at the lips and neck. But it is the die pairing and not the clash that defines the VAM because the die exists in both clashed and unclashed versions. At this writing we have sixteen examples in a wide range of grades, and none of these coins exhibit and die cracks.
81669484 Mint State 64
But then when we get to VAM 61, and the reverse pairing with Reverse Die i, a small die crack begins to emerge on some coins at about 3 o'clock. The die crack is superficial, but there is also a little rim cud which indicates that the die was in decline.