Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A few easy to spot but valuable VAM Morgan Dollar varieties

Ah, cherry picking.  Sometimes Ebay sellers just don't know what they have and a sharp eyed scout can score big.
Photo Heritage Auctions, used by permission

For example, a few months back a coin like the one in the picture was purchased at the price of an ordinary 1888-O.  That's an incredibly unusual example because "Scarface" is rather easy to spot - did the seller think those were scratches on the coin?

However, often the sellers most likely to list rarities unknowingly are the ones with the poorest photos. You might be lucky to make out a mintmark at all, never mind being able to see slight doubling!

Nevertheless, there is a short list of Morgan VAMS that have greater value and should be able to be spotted even in a poor photo.  Here is my list:

  • 1880-P knobbed 8
  • 1880-P spiked 8
  • 1886-O E on reverse
  • 1887 P donkey tail
  • 1888-O E on reverse
  • 1888-O Scarface
  • 1888-0 Hot Lips
  • 1889-O E on reverse
  • 1891-O E on reverse
  • 1896-O Micro O
  • 1899-O Micro O
  • 1900-O Micro O
  • 1900-O Die break through date
  • 1901-P Shifted Eagle
  • 1902-O Micro O
  • 1903-S small S

I didn't show details on those; you can look them up at VAMworld or buy the "Top 100 Morgan Silver Dollar Varieties: The VAM Keys" book.

Did I miss anything?  Let me know in the comments!

Note:  All my coins in a safe deposit box.  I keep nothing in my home. 

This week's Coinweek Giveaway:  http://www.coinweek.com/~cd534ba8f4568ba

Also multiple contests going on at http://www.moderncoinmart.com/forum/forums/contests/


  1. Liked the article. And no, my 21 micro s was a common. :( You were correct. I do have a possibility of a VAM-2 Double Tiara Peace. It may even be a top 50! Unfortunately, the heavy wear makes it iffy and if it is, the condition hurts it a lot...

  2. I don't remember that one - will have to look it up.