Obverse Die 1

Primary Characteristics

The placement of the date is in the normal position with regard to distance between the first 1 and the bust point.


Without deviations this is the coin as designed and intended for production.  However, there are 27 coins with VAM characteristics that have die 1 as the foundation.


From the list of VAMs below one can see that the VAMs primarily relate to dominant issues on the reverse of the coin.  When the issues do relate to the obverse they are focused on die deterioration, clashes, and not modification.


The spiked 8 appears in 28 different VAMs, making it one of the most common features in the list of 1881-O markings.


So how do you know you have a coin with an obverse Die 1?  Die one has a normal profile, and normal date with no doubling.  Some of the VAMs have the common feature of the chip in the upper loop of the first 8, but this is all within the context of a normal die.  Clashes do not count since they are a production issue not a die creation issue.


Perhaps the most difficult coin to find in the 1881-O is a VAM 1 where you have Hub III2 and Die 1 for the obverse; and Hub C3 with Die a for the reverse.  We have yet to see one!


(You can see the coins in our collection by clicking on the VAM link below.)


VAMs Featuring Die 1

1 - Normal Die

1A - Spike in 8

1B1 - Die Gouge in DOLLAR, Denticle Impressions

1B2 - Die Gouge in DOLLAR, clashed obverse n & st

1D - Pummeled or Flaky Eye

1E - Pitted Ear

1F - Pitted Obverse Right Field and Eagle

1G - Die Gouges Inner Wing #1

1H - Die Gouges Inner Wing #2

1I - Clashed Obverse n and st

1J - Clashed Obverse n and st

1K - Clashed Obverse n and st

2 - O/O Low

2A - O/O Low, Spike in 8

2B - O/O Low, Pitted NE-D

6 - O Tilted Left

6A - Spike in 8, O Tilted Left

7 - O Set High

8 - O Tilted Right

11 - Spike in 8, O/O Left

12 - O/O Lower Right

This image is from PCGS serial number 28656264 an Mint State 64, VAM 1G coin.  In this image there is no spike in the upper loop of the first 8.

This image is from PCGS serial number 28488723, an Mint State 63, VAM 1D coin.  In this image the spike is prominent, but it can also be found in various states of height and width as a result of wear.

21 - O/O Top Right

25 - O/O Right

37 - Doubled Reverse Legend and Motto

37A - Doubled Reverse Legend and Motto, Clashed n and st

37B - Doubled Reverse Legend, Beveled Field STAT and AM

38 - Triple Left Wreath, Doubled Reverse Legend

44 - Doubled Reverse Legend and Wreaths

48 - O/O Lines

59 - Doubled Reverse Legend and Motto

60 - Doubled OF AMERICA, O/O Left and O Set Left