Obverse Die 3
Our Total Collection
Coins by Grade
Coins by VAM
The Aging VAM 1D
Devolving VAM 5
1881 The Mint & NO
One and Done
Two and Through
What Is A VAM?
Interest & Rarity
Hubs to Dies
New VAM Variety
Die 3 appears with two VAMs, numbers 4 and 5. When paired with reverse die a, it produces VAM 4. When paired with reverse die c, it produces VAM 5. VAM 5 is one of the more popular and a member of the Hit List 40.
On VAM 4, the first 8 and the last 1 are doubled. The first 8 is doubled on the inside of the upper loop. The last 1 is doubled on the left side of the vertical shaft and notched on the right side at the bottom.
On VAM 5 only the doubling of the right 1 is visible. VAM 5 is better distinguished by its reverse characteristics where there is a re-punched mint mark resulting in an O over O variety.
(You can see the coins in our collection by clicking on the VAM link below.)
VAM 5 Doubled right 1 distinguished by the notch in the right side of the numeral shaft. This image is from PCGS serial number 15157892.
VAM 4 Doubled first 8 and right 1. However, when you get to VAM 4 things change. We know this is the same die because the doubling of the last 1 is identical. But VAM 4 exhibits several other characteristics. On VAM 4 the first 8 is doubled in addition to the last 1. On VAM 4 it also exists clashed, but without letter transfer. It also lacks the reverse O/O characteristic which separates it from VAM 5.
Die Crack Characteristics
Obverse Die 3 has a pairing with VAMs 4, 4A, and 5. Having studied these dies there is some question in our mind about them being perfect matches, but that is a different investigation for another day. There is enough similarity to understand the current pairing.
None of the three VAMs paired with Obverse Die 3 show any signs of die cracks or breaks.
82490341 Mint State 63
The above coin is a VAM 4 and shows no cracks or breaks. We have eleven VAM 4s and none of them show any die cracks or breaks.
24127031 Almost Uncirculated 50
We have only one example of the VAM 4A (reclassified from 55A when it was retired). At the AU 50 grade fine cracks and breaks often wear away and we would be reluctant to identify any features.
27855650 Mint State 64
Because VAM 5 is a Hit List 40 VAM we have a number of examples, twenty-six as of this writing. None of them show any die cracks or breaks.