It seems a lot of folks do not fully understand my issue with, or even my definition of, "die poop".
In the few die studies I have done, yes, I use what some would call "die poop" to differentiate between dies. This helps sort out the VAM
listings, and create new VAM
listings. So "die poop" can be helpful in the right situations.
My problem is when "die poop" is used to list a new VAM
, or sub-VAM when it was on the VAM
all along, but not listed originally. This then effectively eliminates the original VAM
listing, meaning no coins will fit into the old or duplicated listing.
The crux of this is VAM
pollution, that can likely NEVER be fixed. VAM
listings with no coins that match. So how helpful is that?
I have refrained using examples because it could be construed that I am calling out an individual if I was to do so. However, I will highlight one example, to show what I am talking about. This is not an indictment of any one person.
Take the 1904-O VAM-18A. The base VAM-18 Die #1 is known for a dominant (and cool) die gouge at the junction of Liberty's neck and chin. This marker is all that is needed to identify this VAM
. The obverse die with this gouge was only used with a single reverse die. The "die-is-the-die" is in play here.
So someone looks at the reverse, and notes three die scratches on eagle's right wing. So bingo, the VAM-18A is assigned. ALL VAM-18 Die #1 coins have these three scratches. So effectively, with the assignment of the VAM-18A based on what I would call die poop (virtually every 1904-O VAM
has similar die scratches on the reverse, so this is nothing unique or new for the series), the VAM-18 Die #1 becomes obsolete. You will never find a coin that will fit into the VAM-18 Die #1.
In addition, there is no way to undo this situation. So I repeat, what good did it do?
Sure, somone got a "discovery coin" out of it. But is it really a discovery? I say "NO".
Hope this helps explain my frustration.