US Coins

ICG certifies rare 1878 Morgan dollar VAM variety

A rare variety of 1878 Morgan dollar of which fewer than six examples are known was recently graded and encapsulated by Independent Coin Graders.

Images courtesy of Independent Coin Graders.

The following news release was provided to Coin World by Independent Coin Graders from Tampa, Fla.:

A very rare variety of the 1878 Philadelphia Morgan dollar was certified recently by ICG Grading Service of Tampa, FL.

The coin is an example of VAM-44A an 1878 coin with the 7 over 8 tail feather reverse. This particular die pair features tripled edges of the leaves and blossoms on Liberty’s head plus clash marks. On the obverse there is a faint clashed “N” by Liberty’s throat. Evidence of the designer’s initial “M” shows in the field above the “D” of “GOD” on the reverse.

This reverse die also features three extra feather tips protruding below the normal 7 tail feathers plus doubled legs on the eagle.

The coin was submitted to ICG at the recent Baltimore Rare Coin and Currency Expo. It was attributed as VAM-44A by ICG Senior Grader Randy Campbell, a silver dollar specialist and a former President of the National Silver Dollar Roundtable. It was certified MS-61 by the ICG graders.

According to Campbell, “fewer than five examples of this variety are known to me. This is the first Mint State example of the 44A I’ve ever seen.”

For more information, Campbell can be reached in Tampa by telephone at 877-221-4424.

Note: VAM is an acronym for "Van Allen - Mallis," surnames of authors Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis who more tan 40 years ago published research on the variations in dies used to strike Morgan and Peace silver dollars (and Van Allen continues to update the work).


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