New take on 1889 VAM 23A

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vampicker
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New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:17 pm

Some of you are familiar with some of the background on this story, but it is now official . I opened today's mail and I had a letter from Leroy along with a group of pieces I had sent him. I was expecting to have to drive up with the loaner example of the VAM 23A I've been sitting on, but my offer to do so along with the pictures I put on a flash drive were enough.
It took a while to piece the puzzle together and I got a critical part of the story that's been missing when John Coxe sent me an actual VAM 7B.
The short version of the story is that the VAM 23A is not the result of a harder than normal clash. Rather, it is what happens when a softer than normal die gets hit. I'll also tell a short version of this story in an 'About VAMs' column and I'll blather on in greater detail at VAM Thing at FUN.

Leroy is going thru what may be the toughest time in his life right now, but apparently some of our more interesting finds are of genuine help to him.
Six pages to follow
Last edited by vampicker on Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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vampicker
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:26 pm

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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:26 pm

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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:27 pm

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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:27 pm

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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:28 pm

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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:28 pm

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collectinsince65
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by collectinsince65 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:45 pm

Great read
I can tell that alot of hard work went into this
Congrats on the results!

DHalladay
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by DHalladay » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:02 pm

Awesome.

Great work John.
And hang in there Leroy. The entire VAM community is pulling for you.
When in doubt... don't.

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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by shortnock » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:25 pm

Wishing Mr. Van Allen strength and good health. To Vampicker, thanks for the detailed information.
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crabscrape
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by crabscrape » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:30 pm

Great work & read. A lot of team work! Wish Leroy well!

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messydesk
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by messydesk » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:43 pm

Nice to have a conclusion to this. It looks like the original 7, 7A, and 7B are back to what they were and there is a new 23B that is not what the interim VAM 23B was. I'll rename the appropriate pages and untangle the VAM numbers for these tonight.

I'm glad seeing stuff like this and the 84-O VAM 56A is still something Leroy enjoys.
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vampicker
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:02 pm

Not exactly. VAM 7 is back as a catch all for 'High 9' - or slanted dates other than the VAM 23/A/B marriage. VAM 7A is now a pre-clash version of the VAM 7B. VAM 7B is back to where it was and belongs. The former versions of VAM 7A are now lumped into VAM 23B.

And they're all so much cooler
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vampicker
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by vampicker » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:20 pm

BTW, Leroy said he's sending you a copy of the write up and plates
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lioncutter
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by lioncutter » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:43 pm

This thread is a keeper.
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CascadeChris
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by CascadeChris » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:43 pm

Wow. Amazing to see what a coin sitting in my catch-all coin drawer for a few months until I pulled it out one day sparked. So wild.
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by 78-sLongnock » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:46 pm

John Roberts, thanks for shepherding this research project to its natural conclusion.
It has been 1 year and 7 months since the beginning to end of this sojourn.

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CascadeChris
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by CascadeChris » Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:09 pm

Yeah, much thanks to EVERYONE involved in this. I was just the small spark that ignited the fire for the bucket brigade to douse. What a great experience for Leory, too. Getting to unlock the puzzle of the 23A.

JR, can you bring a copy of his letter for me to Fun? Thx.
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messydesk
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by messydesk » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:17 pm

vampicker wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:02 pm
Not exactly. VAM 7 is back as a catch all for 'High 9' - or slanted dates other than the VAM 23/A/B marriage. VAM 7A is now a pre-clash version of the VAM 7B. VAM 7B is back to where it was and belongs. The former versions of VAM 7A are now lumped into VAM 23B.

And they're all so much cooler
So 7 became 23B, 7A became 23D, which is now more or less 23B, which is no longer VAM 7, as nothing in particular became 7, 7B became 23C, then 7B again, the pre-clash version of which is now 7A. Got it.
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PacificWR
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Re: New take on 1889 VAM 23A

Post by PacificWR » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:18 pm

Nice job. However, I do not agree with the finding of VAM-23A though VAM-23B. Left out of the description is the fact that VAM-23A had multiple hard clashing events and that faint line on the reverse is a faint clash mark that is very hard to see unless you tilt the eagle's head down and use good lighting. I think the mint workers missed this faint clash to the N of IN , because it is so hard to see. That tells me the reverse die was replaced or repolished and there was another light clashing event. Next, the Obverse die of VAM-23A was polished to remove the multiple clashing events and the reverse die was not repolished because the same faint clash mark to the N of In is still there (now VAM-23B). At some point in time the VAM-23B was clashed multiple times. These clash marks are higher up (so that means different location on the reverse die) than the VAM-23A and once again these where very hard clashing events, but when you turn the coin over and look at the reverse you only see the very faint clash to the N of IN. That is just not possible. There had to be deep clash marks on the reverse die (just like what should have been on the VAM-23A). So that tells me the reverse die was either taken out of service and replaced with the VAM-23A reverse die or repolished. There are at least four stages of the old VAM-23D and all four reverse stages have this very faint clash N of IN. How can you have only one very faint clash N to IN (on the reverse) on at least four severe clashing events and one light clashing event? The photos below illustrates my point. It is an early die stage of the old VAM-23D and note the heavy clashing on the jaw and the lips. The reverse has only a very faint clashed N of IN which this photo does not show because it is so faint. In addition to the deep clashing note the die wear on the E and the seventh left star. This die wear progression continues to get worse and includes additional left stars and to a lesser degree the right stars though each stage of the old VAM-23D. The PCGS grade of this coin is MS-64.

***************************** Click the photo to view at full resolution. ***************************************
Image Image
Last edited by PacificWR on Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:09 am, edited 5 times in total.

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