Two and Through

The "Two and Through" group of VAMs are just like the "One and Done" group but obviously need one additional characteristic for identification.  Sometimes these are in the VAM title and sometimes not needed.  Experienced VAMers know instinctively what these shortcuts are, but they are not always committed to paper.  Below are the ones we know and as we learn others they will be posted.  These are often the keys that opens the door to finding VAMs of value before others can spot them.  Please note, this is circumventing all the detailed discussion about dies and focusing solely on visual keys.

You can actually recognize this VAM first by the distinctive gouge through DOL.  But unlike VAM 1B2 it only is clashed once and there are faint traces of some denticle impressions above the gouge.  The denticle impressions wear away quickly and they are often very difficult to see.

 

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

VAM 2 - O/O Low

There are three VAMs in this grouping 2, 2A, and 2B.  VAM 2B can be identified by a special clash, but 2 and 2A are different.

 

The O/O mint mark is easy to recognize because it is centered in the bottom of the O and looks like it has a second line.  VAM 2 has no Spike in the first 8 upper loop.

VAM 2A - O/O Low, Spike in 8

There are three VAMs in this grouping 2, 2A, and 2B.  VAM 2B can be identified by a special clash, but 2 and 2A are different.

 

The O/O mint mark is easy to recognize because it is centered in the bottom of the O and looks like it has a second line.  VAM 2A has a Spike in the first 8 upper loop.

VAM 3 - Doubled 18-1, O Set Left

The numbers 18-1 are doubled in the date. The first 1 has doubled vertical bar on right side. The upper and lower loops of the first 8 are doubled on the left inside and on the surface on right outside. The right 1 has broken doubling diagonally across bottom left side of vertical shaft to center of the base, possibly due to a defective digit punch.

 

The O mint mark is very obviously set to the left.

VAM 6 - O Tilted Left

This VAM would be a "One and Done" if there were no VAM 6A.  This VAM has an O mint mark that is clearly tilted left, and no spike in the first 8.

 

But the O is not tilted sharply left and may be misinterpreted.

VAM 6A - Spike in 8, O Tilted Left

This VAM would be a "One and Done" if there were no VAM 6.  This VAM has an O mint mark that is clearly tilted left, and a spike in the first 8.

 

But the O is not tilted sharply left and may be misinterpreted.  This is not a tough VAM but so far mint state coins have been difficult to locate.

VAM 10 - O/O Top Right, Tripled/Quadrupled 18-1

VAM 10 is in this group because you obviously need to look at both the obverse and reverse to verify the features.  The O/O is shared with the rare VAM 21 where the obverse lacks the date doubling.

VAM 11 - Spike in 8, O/O Left

VAM 11 has the ubiquitous Spike in 8 but it must be verified to be sure this is the right VAM.  The O/O left appears as a thin vertical line.  The mint mark is set a little left.

 

There can be some doubling of the legend and leaves, but these are not essential to the identification of the VAM.

VAM 13 - Doubled 8, O/O High

VAM 13 is one of those that can throw you off because the description is not completely indicative of its characteristics.  In addition to the first 8 being doubled, the first 1 can also be doubled.

 

One way to recognize it is that the doubling on the 8 and the mint mark are largely surface doubling.  The 8 does have doubling inside the lower loop that is also recognizable.  If there is a spike in the first 8 it is just starting to be formed.

VAM 14 - Doubled First 8, Die Gouge DO

Without seeing the coin the description of "Die Gouge in DO" might indicate an association with VAMs 1B1 and 1B2.  But this gouge is almost a polar opposite and runs from northwest to southeast.  The gouge is also much rougher and does not appear to have come from rim contact but rather a true gouge.  This is the same gouge seen in VAM 42.

 

The 8 is doubled on the surface and there is the familiar Spike in the first 8.  So far this VAM has been a little elusive and we have only found one.

VAM 16 Doubled 1, Over Polished Reverse

The date on the VAM 16 is easily identified with the doubling of the flag and vertical shaft.  But the real identification criteria is on the reverse with the over-polishing in areas like the motto, eagle's wings, and leaves.  There is an additional marker of a very slightly doubled profile, but it is not essential to the identification.

VAM 18 - Doubled 18, Die Gouge DOL

There are five VAMs with the gouge through DOL reverse in the same pattern as VAM 18.  Most need to be paired with an obverse die to sort them out.

 

VAM 18 is paired with an obverse die a, but with the 18 in the date doubled.  This VAM also has the familiar chip in the upper loop of the first 8.

VAM 19 - Doubled 1-1 & Profile

All the identification markers for VAM 19 are on the obverse.  The two 1s are both doubled under the serif and there is a chip in the upper loop of the first 8.  The other marker is a slight doubling of the profile at the top of the cap.

 

There can be a slight doubling of the right stars but it is very faint.

VAM 22 - Doubled 1-1, O Tilted Left

True to the date being the primary focus on the 1881-O this VAM has some unique doubling of the 1s in the date.  Both 1s are doubled at the top, with the first 1 showing a small notch where the two punches differed slightly.  The second 1 has a slight doubling at the lower portion of the vertical shaft as well as the top.

 

The mint mark is tilted slightly left.

VAM 23 - Doubled Profile, O Set Left

There are several doubled profile VAMs where the profile doubling on the face is similar.  Also, on coins where the mint mark is set left this offset is often so slight as to be difficult to discern.  So for the VAM 23 these challenges  could make it difficult to identify.

 

The doubled profile is easily identified so once you know you have it you can then move on to a different set of markers.  This is the only double profile coin with a highly over-polished right eagle's wing.

VAM 25 - O/O Right

Looking for distinctive markers on this coin gives you at least four.  But it can be distinguished by just two.  The mint mark is doubled on the inside right as a vertical like and it is tilted slightly left.  Then the left wreath is over-polished leaving gaps in the overall appearance.

 

There are other markers such as a slightly doubled profile and over-polished right wing, but these are secondary.

VAM 26 - Doubled 18

The 18 in the date is doubled at the top but like many others it is how the doubling appears that makes the difference.  The the 1 is doubled slightly at top right of vertical shaft and the left 8 doubled at top outside, left inside and right outside of upper loop.

 

You need the secondary marker of some fine pitting in front of the hair curl in front of the ear to verify the variety.

VAM 32 - Doubled 18-1, O Set Left

You must look for both the date doubling and the mint mark set left to really verify this VAM, but it may truly be a one and done.  When we look at it we first of all see an unusual doubling of the right 1 with a diagonal across the base to the notch.  The O set left is subtle as in all of that type, but there.

 

To see a more in-depth description of the date doubling see the full VAM description by clicking the title of this section.

VAM 33 - Doubled Ear Bottom

This VAM identification will drive you a little crazy because it has nothing to do with the description.  Apparently the doubled earlobe was one of the first but is now one of many so it does not really help.

 

To quickly spot this VAM check for a strong die crack that runs horizontally across the ribbon.  Then check the mint mark to see if it is doubled on the inside right while being tilted left.  It can be clashed without letter transfer.

VAM 34A - Doubled 18, Pinned Wing

We have found several of these and the VAM seems to exist more readily in the clashed state.  As on VAM 34, the 1 is slightly doubled on the left side of 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.

 

The pinned wing is there, but if the coin is clashed it most likely is the 34A without a lot of other work.

VAM 35 - Doubled 188, O Set Left

VAM 35 is pretty straight forward except for the need to compare the date doubling with other VAMs.  The 1 is doubled below upper crossbar.  The first 8 is doubled at the top inside and right outside of the upper loop, and the bottom outside of the lower loop.  The second 8 is doubled at the right outside of the upper loop.  It also helps to know that there is a strong die crack that runs from the second left star all the way through the date.  The mint mark is centered, upright, and set to the left.  If you need a final check the eagle's right wing is over-polished.