Attribution Tips

Here are some thoughts on how to attribute a VAM that could prove useful.

- Date position is not important for 1878 and 1921 Morgans. They were punched into master dies. Some repunching of digits, however, on the working dies can be useful.

- The 18 part of the date was, similarly, prepunched into the master dies for many of the other years. Repunching on those digits and the positions of the last two digits (and position markers, like dashes) can help attribute an obverse a lot.

- Normally, clashed dies stay paired. Looking at the reverse die, you can predict whether the n, t, mint mark, ... are likely clashed onto the obverse. If the cotton blossoms are not clashed above the arrowheads, the likelihood of an E clash is low.

- Doubling of LIBERTY indicates a II/I dual hubbing of the obverse die. This can help reduce the candidates to consider.

- A doubled olive on the reverse for an early 20th century Morgan indicates a C4/C3 dual hubbing and can, similarly, reduce the number of candidates.

- 1921 obverse and reverse dies were completely different from the previous Morgans. A lot of people see listable details that are simply part of that design. Examples are doubled ear/lip/tailfeathers, doubled reverse right star, spike from F of OF (one of the two hub designs), ...

- Cracks are not listable for a new designation. Nor are grease filled dies, though some have made it in the past. In general, striking errors or strike issues are not die varieties.