For the first time, a newly discovered Peace dollar variety has been
crowned the Society
of Silver Dollar Collectors’ “VAM of
The VAM-8B 1924 Peace dollar was listed in May 2014 and is included
in the 2015 update of Peace Dollar Die Varieties Descriptive
Listings by Leroy Van Allen. The new clashed die variety was
discovered by Bill Toland, who spotted some of its unusual
characteristics in online auction photos.
When he got the coin in hand, he instantly noticed the E clash (from
IN GOD WE TRUST), but had trouble believing what he’d found. When I
asked him about his reaction to the coin, Toland said, “I probably
picked the coin up 30 times that evening and examined it under any and
every light source I could find around the house.” His further study
of the piece revealed its link to the VAM-8 progression.
The Official Guide to the Top 50 Peace Dollar
Varieties by Jeff Oxman and David Close includes a later stage
of this marriage, VAM-8A, with die breaks in Liberty’s hair, as part
of their Top 50 set. The new find of this earlier stage may be part of
the reason the obverse broke in the manner it later did.
In 2012, Close and Ash Harrison co-authored
The Elite 30 Peace Dollar VAMs. In this
newer set, one of the slots was for two other known 1924 dollars with
E clashes, VAMs 1D and 1BB. After Toland’s discovery, Close has stated
the VAM-8B would also be considered part of the set.
Currently, five stages are known in the VAM-8 progression. All of
them are of interest to Peace dollar variety enthusiasts, with the
unique distinction of die linking the Top 50 and Elite
Additionally, all three varieties of “E clash” 1924 dollars are
extremely rare. The new VAM of the Year is still only known from its
discovery piece. Any estimate of value without a trading history of
several examples is purely speculative.