1878 VAM-9 First Morgan Die.
Discovered by Leroy Van Allen, October 1966.
This coin is a Top 100 and a WOW! Morgan VAM.
9 I12 A1h (Doubled Reverse) (193)
Obverse I12 Doubled E PLUR and U-M of the motto at the top of the bottom serifs. First four stars on left and all of the stars on right slightly doubled on outside. First 8 doubled at top inside of upper loop. 7 in date doubled slightly on right side. First obverse die used.
Reverse A1h - All of legend and motto doubled. Left wreath and olive leaves slightly doubled. Three small feathers added on eagle's right and two one eagle's left side between leg and bottom of wing. First reverse used.
DPIS – In 1878 dates were part of the master die so there is no variation in position.
- Emission Sequence
- The 1878 VAM-9 Morgan Silver Dollar is the very first set of dies used to strike Morgan dollars! The 1878 VAM-9 is an 8 Tailfeather Morgan w/ the A1h reverse. Detective work has revealed they began striking the new Morgan coins at 3:17 PM on March 11, 1878. The combination of the die & the time is known because a reporter was present at the event and the first coins struck were presentation pieces for President Rutherford B. Hayes. Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States. His specific coin has been preserved & studied for die features & subsequently identified as a 1878-P VAM-9. The reverse die is identifiable because of the "comma" feather on the lower right side as looking at the eagle. Some VAMmers describe this feather as kidney-bean shaped & it is a key identifier of a VAM-9.
- The more common A1k reverse (VAMs 1878-P VAM-14.1 & 1878-P VAM-14.10) reverse is frequently mistaken for the VAM 9's A1h reverse.
- The clashed version of this coin is 1878-P VAM-9A.
- The obverse was also used on 1878-P VAM-14 & 1878-P VAM-14.15
- VAM 9A was not discovered until 2005 & may be included in VAM 9 populations.
- The first delivery of 303 coins to Linderman on March 12, the day after the first striking, was likely all VAM 9.
- Very tough VAM...
LVA Plate Photos
See 4th Edition of "Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan & Peace Dollars"
On the obverse, there are unique die polish lines in the cotton bolls as well as a line in the Phrygian cap band that can sometimes be seen even on very worn specimens.
Full Coin Photos
Large Full Coin VAM-9 Images © Heritage Auctions, used with permission
EX: Leroy Van Allen Collection
View Heritage's Description for the MS 62 DMPL
View Heritage's Description for the MS 64 DMPL
The ANACS 62 DMPL Presentation Piece
- The Top 100 Morgan Dollar Varieties: The VAM Keys Copyright 2009 RCI. With permission from the authors Michael S. Fey, Ph.D., [http://www.rcicoins.com], and Jeff Oxman, [http://www.vamlink.com]