Detailed study of 1889-CC Morgan dollar helps in authentication of key date in series

About VAMs column from the July 28, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 07/11/14
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A critical element of a coin grader’s job is to determine the authenticity of the pieces submitted.

With this need in mind, several years ago I did a detailed study of the 1889-CC Morgan dollar, one of the key dates in the series.

Illustrated descriptions of all the personally encountered marriages and major stages were published on the ANACS website in 2007.

Two varieties, including what has turned out to be the most common marriage for the 1889-CC issue, were described for the first time.

In subsequent editions of New VAM Varieties of Morgan Dollars by Leroy Van Allen, these previously unlisted varieties were cataloged as VAM-5 and VAM-6.

They share the same obverse die.

It’s not all that surprising that neither had been noted earlier because, from a variety standpoint, they’re fairly unremarkable.

The VAM-5 variety is listed for its date and Mint mark positions.

The date is set in what is considered the far position with the left edge of the base of the 1 over the space between the third and fourth dentils from the point of Liberty’s neck.

A strong die scratch also appears in the protected space between the edge of the right wheat leaf and the left edge of the upper cotton leaf.

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