INTEREST/RARITY

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VAM-PIRE
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INTEREST/RARITY

Post by VAM-PIRE » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:08 am

Greetings World, Would someone please send me a link or explanation of the "I" and "R" designations, that a dummy (me) can understand. Also, I'm thinking that it would take time for a coin to earn its I and R designation, yet I see DC's given #'s from the beginning. How can Interest or rarity be determined from just 1 coin? Finally, can these #'s change for any given coin over time?

Thanks for looking, VP

DHalladay
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by DHalladay » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:34 am

"I" is interest... essentially the popularity the marketplace has for a given VAM.
"R" is rarity... how scarce a coin is, which may or may not have anything to do with marketplace Interest.

R can a very flawed thing, too, since a coin with a relatively high R rating may be common in low grades, but massively hard in high grades. A prime example is 1888-O Hot Lips. It's a monster in Mint State, but they're everywhere in low grades.

Both (I think) are given at the time of discovery.
Neither (I'm pretty sure) are ever re-rated, but they sure as heck should be.
When in doubt... don't.

blh74
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by blh74 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:51 am

All the I/R is from Leroy at his first impression of a discovery or revised coin. I sent him a 1890 CC 2 times and he changed the I/R from a common coin to a I 5 R 6. He liked it a lot. You can read his letter on the 1890 CC V 13 page. Only his opinion of the coin. The market does the rest.

Pareidoliac
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by Pareidoliac » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:25 am

Great subject. It would seem to me rarity would affect demand and value, but as previously noted there are VAMs with low R values that are sought after and command a premium. That seems to be a contradiction because everywhere else in the coin world low mintage translates into higher value. Exceptions exist, for example in cases where large numbers of a particular date were melted thereby effectively lowering the number of surviving coins of that date/mint. Other exceptions may exist.

On the VM Attribution 101 Page. we see estimates of the number of coins thought to be minted that correspond to R values. An R factor of 5 indicates “several thousand” are believed to exist; R-6 indicates “several hundred” are believed to exist. If Leroy made those determinations, my question is this: did he do so with mint records of die problems and repairs? Do such records exist? I would think that a severe die break would be discovered rather quickly and repairs made, resulting in only several tens or several hundreds of coins being minted with that die pair. Common sense suggests that would be the case, but are there mint diaries or log entries by mint workers in mint record books that document when die pairs were changed?

Maybe this information exists somewhere on this website, and I have just not discovered it yet. Or maybe this information is in the Morgan dollar book that I used to own but gave way.

Maybe someone can comment who knows. Thanks.

VAM-PIRE
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by VAM-PIRE » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:32 am

Back to my original quandary. How can one rate a certain variety of coin having only seen one specimen. I agree, there should at least be room for change if need be. Also, are the numbers for both 1 thru 8, with 1 being least and 8 being most?

DHalladay
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by DHalladay » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:19 am

VAM-PIRE wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:32 am
Back to my original quandary. How can one rate a certain variety of coin having only seen one specimen. I agree, there should at least be room for change if need be. Also, are the numbers for both 1 thru 8, with 1 being least and 8 being most?
It's the opposite... R-1 is tripping over them every time you take a step. R-8 means you may never see one in person your whole life, and if you see 2 it may not deserve to be R-8.
When in doubt... don't.

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messydesk
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by messydesk » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:06 am

The following is reprinted from the VAM-e of Februrary 10, 2010. It was reviewed by Leroy before being published.
----
One of the pieces of information a collector of any series or specialty wants to know in order to help establish value or desirability of a given coin is how rare it is. Die marriage collectors of many series have adopted a rarity scale that ranks a particular die marriage on a scale from R-1 to R-8, with R-1 being most common and R-8 being unique or nearly so. When a new VAM is discovered, Leroy Van Allen assigns it an estimated rarity number. It is important to understand what this number means and how it is derived. This article will address both of these.

Series like early copper, bust half dollars, and patterns have been collected by die marriage for a long time. These coins all have relatively low mintages and lower survival rates when compared to Morgan and Peace dollars. When Leroy Van Allen created the rarity scale used for silver dollars, he used a logarithmic scale that considered the relatively high populations of these coins rank the rarity that would provide for a much smaller margin of error than would be obtained with the traditional rarity scale. As a result, the rarity scale used with these coins is quite different. For example, an R-6 Morgan dollar might rate R-2, R-3 or R-4 on the scale used for large cents.

Here is a comparison of the two scales.
R valueMeaningLg. CentsVAM
1Common> 2000Tens of millions
2Not So Common601-2000Millions
3Scarce201-600Hundreds of thousands
4Very Scarce76-200Tens of thousands
5Rare31-75Thousands
6Very Rare13-30Hundreds
7Extremely Rare4-12Tens
8Nearly Unique1-3Less than ten


As the typical life of a pair of silver dollar dies is on the order of a couple hundreds of thousands of strikings, one would be wise in asking why R-1 and R-2 are even part of the table. In the 4th edition of the VAM book (1998), the only Morgan dollar that was called R-1 was the 1921 VAM 3. At the time, there wasn't the detailed study of the die breaks, gouges, and scribbling scratches that have given us a couple hundred suffixes on VAM 3. Instead these were all considered part of the same VAM entry with the knowledge that multiple dies existed with those characteristics. If a VAM entry covers only one die pair, as most do, the coin can be no more common than R-3.

So when Leroy Van Allen examines a coin, just how does he arrive at an R-value? First, it is important to know that his initial R-value assignment is merely a rough estimate that he is making based on seeing the variety only once or twice. For a starting point, Leroy currently uses R-4 or R-5, with the following factors influencing his final decision:
  • Underlying mintage of the coin
  • Number of die pairs known thus far. Mintage divided by number of die pairs known gives a good limit for how common the coin is.
  • Number of coins of the same date and mint that have been inspected without seeing the new variety.
  • How dramatic a die sinking feature is. Dramatic doubling or repunching that should have been seen by now is likely more rare than a more mundane die sinking artifact like scribbling scratches or minor doubling.
  • Die wear. The more a die is worn, the longer it was in service, therefore the less rare the die marriage is.
  • Expected remaining die life. Terminal and late state die damage like large die breaks and displaced field breaks can indicate that the die was about to be retired, and results in higher R-value.
  • Die wear in the presence of near terminal breaks. Die erosion and fuzzy breaks imply a higher mintage, while PL surfaces and sharp details with breaks (especially radial breaks) indicate early die failure.
Once an R-value assignment is made and the variety is listed, it is important to realize that the actual rarity in the marketplace will only be determined over time as collectors attempt to locate a specimen for their collection. Population reports at grading services will also serve to refine the R-value. If the coin is relatively easy to find, the number could be revised downward. If people are looking and can't find another, the number could be revised upward.

One thing the R-rating assigned to the coin makes no attempt to address is "condition rarity." Condition rarity refers to how rare a particular die marriage is in a certain grade. Coins like the 1891-O VAM 1A clashed E are not difficult to find in F and VF grades, but only a couple uncirculated coins are known. Condition rarity assessments can only be made by collectors seeking and finding specific varieties and observing the grades in which these coins are found. Over time, these observations will also be reflected in population reports of third party grading services.

Regarding value, the rarity of a particular die pair is only part of the equation. Unlike early U.S. material, which is exhaustively cataloged and collected, by die pair, there are many VAMs that are for the most part ignored by collectors, simply because there are thousands of die pairs through the Morgan and Peace dollar series. A coin can have an initial rarity rating of R-6 and no demand and sell for no more than an unattributed coin. Use caution not to simply react to the R number when shopping for coins, and remember that RARE L@@K is also not part of the scale.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

morganman
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by morganman » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:12 am

Thanks JB; For the answers to many of us here on R & I
Imho- It is a guide that is not very accurate & can be quite useless /misleading on
certain Vams. Many others /especially more commons , the R & I seem to fit properly
I am in the camp that somehow these numbers need periodic review & change as necessary
I am also thinking Leroy is going to need some help sooner than later on issues such as this
I personally understand , its his decision etc, but with that said, i am not a proponent of one
person controlling a groups or assn etc business/hobby /etc
I feel we will need help soon to help propel this niche of vam collecting, and in no way am
suggesting Leroy's legacy/importance be under mined or less appreciated. hes the king period
i think theres a SSDC/???? plan in place- but everything is hush hush when anythings brought
up. this is not good either. Just a IMHO thoughts- Please- this seems a very delicate subject
and i hope in no way turns to a negative deal here. Lets keep it all positive as intended
:|

Pareidoliac
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by Pareidoliac » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:46 am

I appreciate the information. Thank you messydesk. Solved a mystery to me. Certainly, the man (and his partner) who pioneered the work of this esoteric part of he hobby are to be admired for their selfless dedication to it, which has provided many years of enjoyment to those who pursue VAM identification, and for some, like me, only a partial year of enjoyment.

Not sure why this issue of rarity would be controversial. It needn’t be. Someone (ljs ?)) suggested in a 2018 post that Leroy made the rules of the hobby we enjoy and every hobby has its rules, written or unwritten; who is more qualified than the pioneer? So to ‘coin’ a worn out cliche, “It is what it is.” Regardless of the accuracy of the R assignment, the fun of identifying VAMs is what will drive the hobby, I believe, along with the excitement of finding a coin that the “market” deems valuable. Because, let’s face it, everybody enjoys a treasure hunt.

dave700x
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by dave700x » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:01 pm

Great post JB!
1883-O nut

RogerRock
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by RogerRock » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:45 pm

Very informative post ! THANKS JB
Stage 3 TERMINAL DIE STATE SILVER DOLLAR EXPLORER

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ORGirl1!
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by ORGirl1! » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:06 pm

Thank you JB!

VAM-PIRE
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by VAM-PIRE » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:23 am

Thanks for all the views and replies. Good stuff JB. Most informative. Are the "I" #'s also 1 thru 8 (least to most)?

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Unc90o
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by Unc90o » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:07 am

This discussion regarding I and R happens quite a bit. Perhaps we should add them on the "definition" page?

VAM-PIRE
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by VAM-PIRE » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:27 am

SUPER IDEA UNC

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messydesk
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by messydesk » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:41 am

VAM-PIRE wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:23 am
Thanks for all the views and replies. Good stuff JB. Most informative. Are the "I" #'s also 1 thru 8 (least to most)?
"I" goes from 1 to 5, and is explained in the VAM book.
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messydesk
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by messydesk » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:42 am

Unc90o wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:07 am
This discussion regarding I and R happens quite a bit. Perhaps we should add them on the "definition" page?
Sometime over the next couple days, I'll put this on the Wiki.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

collectinsince65
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Re: INTEREST/RARITY

Post by collectinsince65 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:16 pm

Great read. Thanks JB!

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