1921-D VAM-4A Dots on Reverse, Scribbling Die Scratches #19, Die Break Denticles
Discovered by Leroy Van Allan in July 2007
Revised 2016 / Thomas Petrosie
4A (revised) IV1 - D2a (Dots on Reverse, Scribbling Die Scratches #19, Die Break Denticles) (189) I-3 R-6
Reverse D2a- Small die chip on top of AM of AMERICA. LDS has heavy die crack at top of STATES OF AMER with die breaks at denticles above F in OF and AM of AMERICA and later several displaced field breaks at AT, S-O & AM.
LVA Plate Photos
Late die state (LDS) scribbling scratches, probably more visible on EDS example of the VAM-4:
The VAM-4A variety has extremely heavy die cracks near the top of the eagle's right wing. Additionally, there are long die breaks in denticles above F in OF and a smaller die break touching the denticle above of M in AMERICA.
There are several breaks occurring on the VAM-4A. Most noticeable is the large loop of metal coming off the denticles above the F on OF. Another die break emerges from the denticles above the M in America. Finally, the top right portion of the M has broken, enlarging the serif adorning the letter.
The reverse of this dollar has the appearance of a spider web, with die cracks around the eagle’s right wing. Unlike many other 1921-D coins with extensive reverse die cracking, the known examples of this coin do not exhibit many obverse die cracks. It is likely that the obverse die was mated to a reverse that was already in use. Die “pairs” were not always entered into service simultaneously. In the Morgan dollar series there are numerous examples of die successions that can be followed through their chain of use. The 1878 8-Tailfeather VAMs are one series that has had extensive research on die progression. Interesting work on the 1879-S reverse of 78 series has also revealed die progressions where a single die used on one side of a coin is retired and another takes its place to join the one already in service. No research on die progressions has been performed on the 1921-D production thus far.
This die variety also has a small dot in the eagle's right shoulder. Some Morgan researchers now believe that these small dots, found on many 1921 Morgan dollars, are the result of inferior die steel. Others have hypothesized that the dots are from hardness tests or used to uniquely identify a specific die. The mystery remains unsolved and the VAM-1D is one example of the strangely dotted dies.
Full Coin Photos
Large Full Coin Copyrighted© VAM-4A Images© on loan to VAMworld [courtesy] ® ATTRIBUTED BY Nico Marcus