Obverse Die 1 Fingerprints

Obverse Die 1 is somewhat unique because by definition it is a die without distinguishing characteristics, and it is the reverse pairing that creates the VAM.  However, that just creates a different type analysis where we analyze the Die 1 pairings to see if there are die cracks or breaks that will identify associations between these otherwise featureless dies.

 

As of this analysis there are twenty-nine Die 1 pairings, so a significant portion of all identified VAMs are reverse die focused.  When we get to the reverse dies a similar issue will exist for Reverse Die a.  Although incomplete in its detail, you can see a matrix of all die pairings here.

 

All coins in this analysis are officially designated as Obverse Die 1.

Reverse

Die

VAM

Potential Cracks and Breaks

Late Stage Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

  • VAM 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1A

  • VAM 1A is defined as the "Spike in 8"
  • None of our five examples show any signs of die cracks or breaks

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1B1

  • VAM 1B1 is defined as "Die Gouge in DOL & Denticle Impressions above DOL"
  • We have five examples and only one exhibits small die cracks around the fifth left star

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1D

  • VAM 1D "Pummeled Eye" seems to be unique because of the die deterioration around the eye socket and nose bridge
  • As of this analysis we have nineteen examples and none exhibit any die cracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1F

  • VAM 1F "Pitted Obverse Right Field and Eagle" has only some die pitting on the obverse as a distinguishing feature
  • We have six examples of VAM 1F and all the mint state coins exhibit the same die crack around the E at about 10 o'clock

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1G

  • VAM 1G "Die Gouges Inner Wing #1" can be clashed, but without letter transfer
  • We have nine examples, and six of them are mint state
  • None show any signs of die cracks or breaks

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1H

  • VAM 1H "Die Gouges Inner Wing #2" possesses one of the most distinctive set of die cracks in the 1881-O series
  • We have twelve examples, and seven of them are mint state
  • All exhibit some or part of the cracks shown

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1I

  • Our collection dies not contain a VAM 1H "Clashed obverse n and st"

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1J

  • VAM 1J "Overpolished Reverse" possesses some very distinctive die cracks
  • We have only one example, an AU 58, but the cracks are still clearly identifiable

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

1K

  • Our collection does not contain a VAM 1K "Clashed n and st"

 

 

 

 

 

 

b

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

  • Our collection contains seven VAM 2 "O/O Low" examples
  • The mint state examples, four, all show significant die cracks in the field immediately below the cheek and on to the date area

 

 

 

 

 

 

b

 

 

 

 

 

 

2A

  • Our collection contains eight VAM 2A "O/O Low, Spike in 8" examples
  • The mint state examples, seven, all show die cracks in the field to the left of the date, through the date, and again up at the legend
  • While the same die class as the obverse of VAMs 2 and 2B, this does not appear to be the same physical die pairing

 

 

 

 

 

 

b

 

 

 

 

 

 

2B

  • Our collection contains only two VAM 2B "O/O Low, Pitted NE-D" examples
  • Both are mint state examples,and show some die cracks in the field to the left of the date, and again up at the legend
  • While the same die class as the obverse of VAMs 2 and 2A, this does not appear to be the same physical die pairing

 

 

 

 

 

 

d

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

  • Our collection contains only three VAM 6 "O Tilted Left" examples
  • Only one is mint state and it is heavily toned
  • None of the coins show signs of die cracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

d

 

 

 

 

 

 

6A

  • Our collection contains only two VAM 6 "Spike in 8, O Tilted Left" examples
  • None are mint state nor are they suitable for this analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

e

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

  • Our collection contains only one VAM 7 "O Set High" example
  • It is not suitable for this analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

f

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

  • Our collection contains twenty VAM 8 "O Tilted Right" examples and many are mint state
  • Most are free of die cracks, but one mint state and a number of lower grade coins show these same cracks
  • The cracks start at the second left star and run through the date

 

 

 

 

 

 

h

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

  • Our collection does not contain a VAM 21 "O/O Top Right"

 

 

 

 

 

 

i

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

  • Our collection includes ten VAM 11 "Spike in 8, O/O Left" coins, and six of the ten are mint state
  • None of the coins show any signs of die cracks or breaks

 

 

 

 

 

 

j

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

  • Our collection includes three VAM 12 "O/O Lower Right" coins, and two of them
  • None of the coins show any signs of die cracks or breaks

 

 

 

 

 

 

m

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

  • Our collection includes thirteen VAM 25 "O/O Right" coins, so we have many examples to work from
  • Eleven of those coins are mint state and exhibit full to partial die cracks
  • The cracks follow the rim as is often the case as dies show signs of fatigue

 

 

 

 

 

 

n

 

 

 

 

 

 

37

  • Our collection includes only six VAM 37 "Doubled Reverse Legend & Motto" coins, but only half are mint state and none above MS 61
  • Half of the six coins show a significant die crack across the bottom of the bust, as well as some minor cracks at the rim
  • All of the cracks in our examples are just starting to develop, so they are light

 

 

 

 

 

 

n

 

 

 

 

 

 

37A

  • Our collection includes only six VAM 37A "Doubled Reverse Legend & Motto, Clashed Obverse n, us" coins, and half are mint state
  • All the coins display the same die cracks in the neck and date area

 

 

 

 

 

 

n

 

 

 

 

 

 

37B

  • Our collection includes nine VAM 37B "Doubled Reverse Legend & Motto, Beveled Field STAT & AM" coins, and five are mint state
  • Not all the coins show die cracks, but the one that do have a small crack between the 881

 

 

 

 

 

 

n

 

 

 

 

 

 

59

  • We have only one example of a VAM 59 "Doubled Reverse Legend and Motto."  It is an MS 62 and die cracks would show clearly at this grade.
  • The one example shows no die cracks or breaks, but more data is needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

38

  • We have five examples of a VAM 38 "Tripled Left Wreath, Double Legend"
  • The range in grade from Au 55 to MS 64.
  • None of the coins show any signs of die cracks or breaks

 

 

 

 

 

 

q

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

  • We have three examples of VAM 44 "Doubled Reverse Legend & Wreaths, Vertical Die Scratch in Front of Eye."
  • None show any die cracks or breaks

 

 

 

 

 

 

r

 

 

 

 

 

 

48

  • Our collection dies not contain an example of VAM 48 so we cannot analyze Obverse Die r as used in this VAM

 

 

 

 

 

 

r

 

 

 

 

 

 

60

  • VAM 60 "Doubled OF AMERICA, O/O left and Set left" is one of our discovery VAMs
  • We have only one example and it shows no die cracks or breaks