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1884 P Morgan - Ok, so what on earth is a "DOT" VAM-4?  

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Valued Member
United States
100 Posts
 Posted 02/08/2012  02:50 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add EarlB to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This one peaked my interest, it was only a little over spot so I figured WTH..I have several Peace and Morgans probably some are VAM's have no idea which, but since the seller says this one is a "Dot" VAM4 what on earth is that variation?


Pillar of the Community
United States
1150 Posts
 Posted 02/08/2012  03:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mitchhailey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
On this VAM there is a small 'dot' of raised metal just to the right and near the designer's initials on the obverse. The dot, I believe, was caused by a die chip.

Hope this helps.
Edited by mitchhailey
02/08/2012 03:10 am
New Member
United States
28 Posts
 Posted 02/08/2012  08:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TMR to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The link below will take you to the VAM World web page and the description of the VAM 4. Some of the features used for attribution will require magnification to locate and examine.

Every Morgan and Peace dollar has a VAM which is a description of the die pair used (obverse and reverse) when that specific coin was minted.

Some VAMs are more desireable and / or rare and may carry a price premium over the same year and mint mark but made with different dies.

What is interesting about the VAM side of collecting is that not all of the die combinations have been catalogued as a few new ones are found each year, researched and assigned a new VAM.

VAMing opens a whole new aspect of collecting. When you start to examine the fine details of the coin, it connects you back to the person who engraved the die as you can see the work of their hand. You can see how a planchette was prepared and handled prior to minting. You can see the mechanical flaws of the machine used to stamp the coin and you can see the progression of the die state and how it changed and deteriorated in the process.

For me, I basically was acquiring coins to build sets. Now, I am searching for and collecting coins that have specific features and flaws, many of which are frequently overlooked by most collectors.
Valued Member
United States
100 Posts
 Posted 02/08/2012  10:28 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add EarlB to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Aha, thanks for the additional info. Yes, I am amazed by all the facets of collecting in coins. I got into it and am still primarily interested in just acquiring common 90% silver. I come from a firearms and militaria collecting background. This is very different. The differences and attention paid to VAMs and cost differences between the normal to high MS grade levels are to say the least interesting.

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