1882-O VAM-17A Metal in 882, Long Die Scratches, O Tilted Left, Clashed Obverse st
Discovered by Mark Kimpton in September 2003 and revised per John Roberts in February 2004. September 2003. Revised 2009
VAM-17A (revised) III210· C3e ( Metal in 882, Long Die Scratches, O Tilted Left, Clashed Obverse st) (181) I-3 R-5(R-4???)
Obverse III210– Same die as VAM-9 with metal in 882 and 14A with clashed st at right hair vee in lower hair edge. Clashed n at Liberty head neck not visible anymore from die wear, Later die state than VAM-14A.
Reverse C3e - Faint die crash mark sideways vee at top inside of right wreath.
Die marker - Small vertical die scratch below left talon of eagle's left leg.
1. This reverse shared with VAM-6, VAM-16, VAM-17, VAM-17A, VAM-17B, VAM-27, VAM-28, VAM-39, and VAM-47.
2. Clashed die with partial incuse st of Trust from reverse showing in right hair vee of lower hair edge.
3. Thin die gouge line down from lower cotton leaf, thru TY in LIBERTY and in hair above forehead. Slightly doubled top of Phrygian cap and bottom inside of UN UNUM.
LVA Plate Photos:
Die gouge thru TY in LIBERTY and in hair above forehead. Die break in U is 1882-O VAM-17B
O Tilted Left
VAM-17A is a real mess that more VAM enthusiasts really need to know about. It started with VAM-17, a die marriage made in Hell. We have the III2-10 obverse, previously used on VAM-9 and VAM-14, paired with the C3e reverse. That reverse was also used on VAM-6 and VAM-16. The reverse is infamous in the case of VAM-6 as being for a time regarded as O/S line. It has not been determined, to this author's knowledge, the sequence for which the reverse was used, but it is a fair conclusion that the obverse was retired with VAM-17. It is absolutely shattered in this state. The reverse was likely used first on VAM-16, polished and reused on VAM-17, and finally agressively polished for VAM-6 production. This would account for the polish lines in the mint mark.
VAM-17 likely inherited the obverse directly from VAM-9. It is characterized by a long crack with breaks in it above the date. The open question is whether there are III2-10 pairings with C3e without this feature. It occurred either before or after the commencement of VAM-17 production, and probably the latter. Something for variety hunters to look for?
There is but a single clash evident on VAM-17A. The VAM Update mentions a partial st transfer (from trust) in the hair vee. However, the piece shown here (PCGS MS64, believed to be the finest known) exhibits a partial n clash as well. There is a long, vertical die gouge down from the tip of the lowest leaf as mentioned there as well as gouges through TY of LIBERTY. Not mentioned is a gouge through both cotton bolls and two long cracks a the top of the cap. Notably missing from the description is a strong break through the first U of PLURIBUS from hair to rim. Clearly the coin Leroy Van Allen reviewed was an earlier state as he could hardly have missed this feature. There is also a thorn on the lower lip, a common clash but worth noting. Specimens with the die break through U were assigned VAM-17B in 2007.
As of 10/2007, ANACS census reports 13 coins. The highest graded examples are 2 MS60, 4 MS62 and 5 MS63. PCGS and NGC do not attribute VAM-17A.
Current assessment is that this is a very rare variety, perhaps much rarer than the original R-5 assessment. Besides the PCGS MS64 slab above, another MS-64 coin exists, in an NGC holder. Finally a third coin was found 8/2007 by David Welker which subsequently slabbed as PCGS MS-62. A second PCGS 64 was purchased unattributed in a Heritage Auction in March 2008.