1896-O VAM-4

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1896-O VAM-4 (Privately made) Micro O Mint Mark

Discovered by Francis Klaes, June 1963.
This coin is a Top 100 Morgan VAM,
4(Privately made) III21 · C3d (Small Micro O Tilted Far Right) (181)
Obverse III21– Normal die type but with rounded design were it meets field. Date in normal lateral position but slightly low. Die marker– Single line at base of top cotton leaf. (Specific 1896 die copied not yet determined.)
Reverse C3d– Small micro I O mint mark set slightly high and centered with tilt far to right. Rounded design where it meets field, particularly wing and tail feather edges. Dies copied from 1899 O VAM 6 reverse coin with same micro O mint mark position and couple faint short diagonal polishing lines at inner end of sixth and seventh feather from bottom of eagle’s left wing– same as for 1899 O VAM 6. Also has small raised dot on left side of fifth tail feather-- same as for 1899 O VAM 6. Three different reverse dies used that were copies of 1899 O VAM 6 reverse coin. Die 1-- Extremely fine raised dots around LLAR. Die 2– Small raised dots around LLAR in different pattern. Die 3– Small raised dots around LAR, right star, wreath leaves above AR and below and below and to right of lower arrow head. All three dies have same indents to left of O mint mark and to right of N in ONE from 1899 O copied coin bag marks.

Emission Sequence



  1. [PCGS announcement that they no longer slab these micro Os as they believe they are counterfeit].


LVA Plate Photos:

1896-O VAM-4 Designer's Initial M.jpg 1896-O VAM-4 Micro O Tilted Far Rt.jpg
1896-O VAM-4 Raised Dots OLLAR.jpg 1896-O VAM-4 Wing Edge.jpg
1896-O VAM-4 Lines in Wing.jpg

Additional Photos:

Below is an example comparing a micro O and a normal O (from 1899-O coins but having the same sizes). Notice the Micro O is almost round and the normal O is tall and has an almost oval center.
Micro o normal o.jpg

DC 1896o hg mm.jpg

Full Coin Photos

4 copyrighted© images below on loan to VAMworld courtesy of oldcollectorcoins

From the VAMview archives. Prices fell significantly after PCGS stopped attributing them.