1878-S Long Nocks
1878-S Long Nock Reverse
A small quantity of 1878 coin minted in San Francisco used a B1 reverse die. This B1 reverse can be detected by looking for a long center nock on the arrow shaft. These dies appear to have been used for the first coins that left the mint and any 1878-S coin with a B1 reverse is a rarity. Most of these coins are well circulated with even XF coins being exceedingly rare.
There are nine known varieties of the long nocks. All are Top 100 Morgan VAMs.
The keys to identifying them are die clashes and gouges in Liberty's eye as well as mint mark position. Differentiating them can be difficult, especially on well worn specimens.
B1 Long Nock Reverse Mint Marks (Top 100 Morgan VAMs)
1878-S VAM-26 Long Nock Reverse, S Tilted Left
1878-S VAM-27 Long Nock Reverse, Broken D of Dollar
1878-S VAM-56 Long Nock Reverse, S Set High
1878-S VAM-57 Long Nock Reverse, S Set Left
1878-S VAM-58 Long Nock Reverse, S Set High
1878-S VAM-59 Long Nock Reverse, S Set Slightly Left
1878-S VAM-60 Long Nock Reverse, S Set High and Left