1888-O VAM-1D Pitted Obverse, Gouged Denticles
Discovered by Bill Van Note, October 2004.
1D III2 1 · C3a (Pitted Die Right Obverse, Die Gouges Denticles Left Obverse) (180) I- 2 R-5
Obverse III2 1– Raised dots from rusted die above UNUM, in front of lips and top right stars near denticles. Die gouge lines thru denticles opposite first and seventh left star. Very slight doubling of profile on forehead edge and lips.
1. The 1888-O VAM-1D is a 2004 discovery that has largely gone unnoticed due to the number of significant varieties already representing the date. It is very difficult to locate even if you are sincerely seeking it out. One big reason is that the pitting around UNUM (and elsewhere) is very fine and does not image well. You only see it accurately in hand with a loupe. The best advice is to use the denticle gouges as pick up points (PUPs) to this variety. They appear as pins in the denticles by the first and seventh stars to the left of the date. Pitting is more easily noted along the profile than elsewhere on the obverse, though the image here barely is able to capture some of it.
1 Photo's added.
LVA Plate Photos:
Surprisingly the only specimen found by the author here is a prooflike (NGC MS64PL). That is not an expectation for a pitted die VAM. As no others have been identified by me, I am not sure if prooflikes are more common than others or if this might be a singular extant case. Later states would absolutely need to be identified by the gouges as the pitting is of a nature that would be overwhelmed by even a little die erosion.
The pitting along the lower hairline and neck is substantial.
Full Coin Photos
NGC MS64, RAW MS63+, PCGS MS62