About VAMS column from Aug. 24, 2015, iswue of
The Official Guide to the Top 50 Peace Dollar Varieties by Jeff
Oxman and David Close presents a group of some of the most significant
and dramatic varieties in the series. Several have features that can
be seen with the naked eye, and are strong enough to earn a catchy nickname.
One such die variety is the “Moustache” 1922 Peace dollar, which was
first reported in 1964 by Clark Yowell. Its discovery predates the
standard reference, the
Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan
& Peace Dollars.
The VAM-12A dollar is instantly identified by a prominent die break
on Liberty’s upper lip, strongly resembling facial hair. This
diagnostic break is progressive, with a thin raised line like a pencil
moustache forming early on in the die marriage. It then lengthens and
widens to a much bolder feature that is plainly visible without
magnification. On the earlier stage, the attribution can be confirmed
by noting a thin horizontal crack through the base of the tiara and
the lower ends of a couple of the central rays.
The reverse is slightly doubled with a minor spread on the olive
leaves and the first three rays above ONE.
The first stage with no trace of the obverse break was designated as
VAM-12 for the doubled die reverse in 1998. It took several years
before the link to the better known “Moustache” variety was uncovered.
Prior to this detail being noted, the die break on the upper lip was
cataloged as VAM-2B. Examples in older slabs can still occasionally be
found with this antiquated designation.
While the variety isn’t particularly rare, it commands a great deal
of interest. This typically translates into greater value as well.
Recent auction sales of Mint State 62 examples have varied in the $200
to $300 range.