Obverse Die 15
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1881 The Mint & NO
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Die 15 appears in three different VAMs and is anything but a nondescript die. With only a doubling of the 18 in the date there is little to use as identification on VAM 26, but with 26A and 51 there is some unusual clashing.
The doubling of the 18 in the date shows the 1 doubled slightly at top right of vertical shaft and the left 8 doubled at top outside, left inside and right outside of upper loop.
As an additional die marker there can be some indication of pitting just in front of the hair curl by the ear.
With only a doubling of the 18 in the date the obverse becomes overshadowed in VAM 26A and 51. In those two VAMs the reverse and clashing become more identifiable features.
(You can see the coins in our collection by clicking on the VAM link below.)
VAMs Featuring Die 15
26 - Doubled 18
26A - Doubled 18, Clashed Obverse us
51 - Doubled 18, Tripled Left Wreath, Doubled Legend
Die Crack Analysis
Obverse Die 15 is paired with Reverse Die a to produce VAMs 26 and 26A. We have large quantities of these two VAMs for analysis. As of this writing there are eighteen VAM 26, thirty-two VAM 26A, and three VAM 51. When Obverse Die 15 is paired with Reverse Die p it produces VAM 51.
VAM 26 is unclashed, while VAMs 26A and 51 are both clashed, but in very different ways. Neither VAMs 26 or 26A show any die cracks, while VAM 51 is starting to develop a small crack.
33025127 Almost Uncirculated 58
The cracks shown are light, small, and just starting to develop. It seems logical that VAM 51 would have come later since it has the double clash.