VAM and Coin FAQ

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What is a VAM? See the VAM definition page

How much is my VAM worth? The value of a VAM is a very hard question to answer. The price will be a combination of many factors including rarity, grade, the desirability of the VAM feature and other reasons. Some VAMs are exceedingly rare, others are very common. Some become rare above a certain grade.

People are usually willing to pay more for a certified coin. An independent third-party verified the VAM attribution (if it is listed on the holder) authenticated the coin as genuine and provided their opinion of grade. Sometimes coins are also worth more when verified by a specific grading company. This may be because it will fit into that company’s registry set or it may be because the company’s reputation is perceived to add more value.

Some of the VAM pages in this site contain price history information. VAMview also publishes a Retail Price Guide once a year that contains information on the TOP 100 VAMs, about 200 other Morgans, and the TOP 50 and additional Peace Dollars. If all of this fails you can post to the [Collectors Universe Coin forum] or on the [Buy, Sell, Trade pages] to the left and see if one of the many VAM collectors hanging out there can provide guidance.

My 1899 coin has the same VAM feature as the 1880 VAM-x coin. Does that mean my 1899 coin is a VAM-x also? No, VAM numbers are uniquely assigned for each year and mint mark. Other than VAM-1 being the “normal” or unremarkable die for that year and mint mark, the VAM numbers do not mean the same thing for different coins with different mint marks or different years.

Can my coin have one VAM number for the obverse and a different VAM number for the reverse? No. VAM numbers are unique to a die pair, encompassing both the obverse and reverse dies in a single reference number.

Why is the VAM I am looking for not here? Content is being added daily, but we are far from cataloging every VAM that exists. If you need information on a specific VAM, post to our [Message Board] and hopefully someone help or even build a reference page for that VAM!

My coin has die cracks but I can’t find a VAM number. Why? Not every coin with die cracks has a unique VAM number assigned for those cracks. Typically the break must be wider than simply the thin crack line, have significant displaced metal and be visible to the naked eye.