Obverse Die Fingerprints

Below is a list of each identified obverse die together with images illustrating cracks and breaks on the most extreme examples in our collection.  You can then follow those links to the die page for a more detailed discussion on that die.  Dies that show no cracks on coins in our inventory are also noted and can be followed to their respective die pages.

Die

Potential Cracks and Breaks

Late Stage Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

  • Die 1 is a whole different animal and requires a unique type of analysis.
  • The obverse of coins are examined for cracks based on their grouping with a reverse die, or by VAM
  • Said another way, "Do the Die 1 coins grouped for a single VAM all have the same die cracks and breaks?"  The obvious answer is "no."

 

The Aging 1D

Submissions

Clashed Denticle

Date Issues

Encyclopedia

New Orleans and the Mint in 1881

The Devolving 5

One and Done

Two and Through

Fakes

Die Fingerprints

Pricing

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

  • In the earliest example in our collection there are coins with no die cracks
  • A single die crack below the E in the legend appears and extends downward to just above the third star below the E
  • The die crack is visible on only two of our coins, both toned

 

VAM 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

  • We have many coins using obverse die 3 and on VAM 5 we have located a very minor die crack near the letter E
  • Most uses of Die 3 show no sign of cracks or breaks

VAM 4

VAM 4A

VAM 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

  • This die does appear without cracks or breaks when paired with Reverse Die g to form VAM 9
  • There is conflicting information on later pairing with Reverse Die k and after use began to fail
  • When paired with Reverse Die k it forms VAM 13 and the coin to the right is a VAM 13
  • All the die cracks appear around the periphery of the die with the exception of a small crack at the base of the neck
  • There were no signs of polishing between the two uses of the die
  • Further work is needed to determine if there were two uses of the die

VAM 9

VAM 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

  • Our examples exhibit no die cracks

VAM 15

VAM 41

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

  • Our only example is an MS64DMPL and exhibits no die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

  • As a common VAM we have many examples, the highest graded is an MS64+
  • Of the 18 coins reviewed none had any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

  • We have four examples of VAM 18 and 10 examples of VAM 1B2, so plenty of material for analysis
  • Die 10 is used on VAMs 18 and 1B2.
  • It shows faint die cracks when used in VAM 1B2, but very minor
  • Die polishing would indicate that VAM 18 came before VAM 1B2

VAM 1B2

VAM 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

  • We have five examples, all Mint State coins
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

  • We have five examples, but only two Mint State coins
  • The most advanced is an MS 62 with long die cracks from about 6 o'clock around to 9 o'clock

VAM 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

  • We have twenty-three examples of VAM 22 and three of VAM 49.
  • There are no visible die cracks or breaks on any of the examples

VAM 22

VAM 49

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

  • There are two sub varieties of VAM 24.1 and 24.2 and both are paired with Obverse Die 14
  • None of the coins for either sub-variety show any signs of die cracks

VAM 24

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

  • Obverse Die 15 is paired with VAMs 26, 26A, and 51
  • Die cracks do not appear on VAMs 26 and 26A
  • Small cracks are beginning to show on VAM 51 at about 9 o'clock

VAM 26

VAM 26A

VAM 51

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

  • Obverse Die 16 is paired With a Reverse Die a to form VAM 27, one of the most significant in the 1881-O series
  • We have many examples, but none that are Mint State, so our analysis is from our best AU 58 example
  • The coin exhibits several short die cracks which are interspersed among the date and left stars
  • One of the cracks terminates into the point of Liberty's bust, making this somewhat unique

VAM 27

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

  • This die will take a lot more study to determine if in fact it was used on VAMs 23 and 28
  • VAM 23 and VAM 28.3 both show die cracks, but in different areas
  • VAMs 28.1 and 28.2 do not exhibit any die cracks

VAM 23

VAM 28.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

  • We do not have an example of VAM 29, so we lack any analysis data

VAM 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

  • Obverse Die 19 appears only on VAM 30 where it is paired with Reverse Die n
  • We have many examples that span from AU 58 up through MS 64 and these cracks are visible on most, but not all
  • The coin exhibits several short die cracks which are interspersed among the date and left stars
  • One of the cracks terminates below the point of Liberty's bust, and then continues over between the 1 and 8

VAM 30

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

  • We do not have an example of VAM 31, so we lack any analysis data

VAM 31

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

  • We have eight examples of VAM 32, ranging from AU 55 to MS 65
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 32

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

  • Obverse Die 22 appears with VAMs 33 and 33B.
  • On both VAMs the dies show similar die cracks, in about the same degree of severity which is light in most cases
  • All cracks are on the circumference of the coin, originating at about 6 o'clock and progressing to 11 o'clock.
  • There is a small die crack at about 1 o'clock
  • Despite the severity of the clashes, the die cracks are all just beginning to show
  • Although we have only one example, it appears that VAM 33B may have come first

VAM 33

VAM 33B

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

  • Obverse Die 23 shows no die cracks on any of our examples when paired to create VAMs 34 and 34A
  • On VAM 61 when paired with Reverse Die l, a small die crack begins to emerge on some coins at about 3 o'clock

VAM 34

VAM 34A

VAM 61

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

  • Obverse Die 24 appears paired with Reverse Die l to form only VAM 35
  • There is a significant die crack running from about 8 o'clock down through 6 o'clock.  The crack at times approaches a die break
  • There is a second die crack running through the top of RI in PLURIBUS

VAM 35

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

  • We have but a single example of Obverse Die 25 and VAM 36
  • It shows no die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 34

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

  • We do not have an example of VAM 39, so we lack any analysis data

VAM 39

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

  • Obverse Die 27 is paired with a Reverse Die a to form VAM 40
  • We have many examples that span from Good 04 up through MS 64 and these cracks are visible on only some of the MS coins
  • The coin exhibits a long die crack which connects the left stars
  • One of the cracks terminates below the point of Liberty's bust, and then extends down to the rim
  • There are unique internal cracks across Liberty's neck and hair, on the Phrygian cap, and through UNUM
  • Some of the die cracks remain as low as grade AU 50

VAM 40

 

 

 

 

 

 

28

  • Obverse Die 28 appears only once and it is paired with a Reverse Die a to form VAM 42
  • We have two examples, both below Mint State
  • Neither show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 42

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

  • Obverse Die 29 appears twice, on VAMs 43 and 47
  • In both cases it is paired with a Reverse Die a and the two VAMs are distinguished by the gouge through the DO in DOLLAR on the reverse
  • Our single example does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 43

VAM 47

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

  • We do not have an example of VAM 45, so we lack any analysis data

VAM 45

 

 

 

 

 

 

31

  • Obverse Die 31 appears with Reverse Die g to create VAM 46
  • We have four examples, ranging in grade from AU 58 to MS 62.
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 46

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

  • Obverse Die 32 appears on VAMs 50 and 50A and in both cases is paired with a Reverse Die a
  • The two VAMs are distinguished by clashing on VAM 50A
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 50

VAM 50A

 

 

 

 

 

 

33

  • Obverse Die 33 only appears on VAM 52 and is paired with a version of Reverse Die a
  • In the earliest examples in our collection there are coins with no die cracks
  • Cracks appear in front of and behind Liberty's head
  • All of the cracks are superficial

 

VAM 52

 

 

 

 

 

 

34

  • In the earliest example in our collection there are coins with no die cracks
  • A single die crack above and below the E in the legend appears and grows
  • There is a clashed example where the die is showing fatigue toward the rim
  • On the VAM 53 it is the reverse that has the most interesting die issues

VAM 53

 

 

 

 

 

 

35

  • Obverse Die 35 is associated with VAMs 54 and 66
  • We have seventeen examples, ranging in grade from MS 61 to MS 63 DMPL.
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 54

VAM 66

 

 

 

 

 

 

36

  • We have only one example of VAM 55A, an AU 50
  • We have no examples of VAM 55
  • It does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 55

VAM 55A

 

 

 

 

 

 

37

  • Obverse Die 37 appears only on VAM 56 and is paired with Reverse Die l
  • We have only three examples, ranging in grade from MS 62 to MS 64
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 56

 

 

 

 

 

 

38

  • Obverse Die 38 is associated with VAM 57 only.  It is one of several obverse dies associated Reverse Die l.
  • We have three examples, ranging in grade from MS 61 to MS 62
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 57

 

 

 

 

 

 

39

  • Obverse Die 39 is paired with a Reverse Die a to create VAM 58
  • We only one example, an MS 62 and also our discovery coin
  • It does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 58

 

 

 

 

 

 

40

  • When Obverse Die 40 is paired with Reverse Die s it creates VAM 62
  • We have six examples, ranging in grade from MS 62 to MS 64
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 62

 

 

 

 

 

 

41

  • Obverse Die 41 is paired with Reverse Die d to create VAM 63
  • We only one example, an MS 62 and also our discovery coin
  • It does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 63

 

 

 

 

 

 

42

  • There are two die pairings for Obverse Die 42
  • When paired with Reverse Die l the two dies create VAM 64
  • When paired with Reverse Die a it created VAM 72
  • None of our examples show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 64

VAM 72

 

 

 

 

 

 

43

  • Obverse Die 43 is only associated with VAM 65 and it is paired with a Reverse Die a
  • All four of our examples exhibit the same small die crack, a single crack above and below the E in front of Liberty's eye
  • There is a faint Spike in 8 on this die

 

VAM 65

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

  • Obverse Die 44 is paired with Reverse Die s to make VAM 67
  • We have six examples, ranging in grade from AU 50 to MS 62 DMPL
  • None show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 67

 

 

 

 

 

 

45

  • Obverse Die 45 appears only once and is paired with Reverse Die d to make VAM 68
  • All four of our examples exhibit the same series of die cracks to some degree
  • There is a crack running from the second left star down through the date
  • Another crack extends through the third through fifth right stars
  • At the top above Liberty's crown there are new cracks just appearing in the RIB area

VAM 68

 

 

 

 

 

 

46

  • Obverse Die 46 is paired with Reverse Die i to make VAM 69
  • We only have two examples, an MS 62 and our discovery coin, an MS 63
  • It does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 69

 

 

 

 

 

 

47

  • Obverse Die 47 is paired with Reverse Die l  to make VAM 70
  • We only have two examples, both AU 53, one is our discovery coin
  • They do not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 70

 

 

 

 

 

 

48

  • Obverse Die 48 is paired with Reverse Die p to make VAM 71
  • We only have two examples, an AU 53 and our discovery coin, which is ungraded
  • Neither show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

 

VAM 71

 

 

 

 

 

 

49

  • When Obverse Die 49 is paired with a Reverse Die a it makes VAM 73
  • Our one example does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 73

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

  • When Obverse Die 50 is paired with a Reverse Die a it creates VAM 74
  • Our one example does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices

VAM 74

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

  • When Obverse Die 51 is paired with a Reverse Die a it creates VAM 75
  • Our one example does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices
  • However, our one example is an MS 63 DMPL, so the die is highly polished and we need to reserve judgment on this die until we have lower grade coins to analyze.

VAM 75

 

 

 

 

 

 

52

  • When Obverse Die 52 is paired with Reverse Die s it creates VAM 76
  • Our one example does not show any die cracks or breaks in the fields or on devices
  • However, our one example is an MS 64 DMPL, so the die is highly polished and we need to reserve judgment on this die until we have lower grade coins to analyze.

VAM 76