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An interesting 1884-O Morgan dollar

messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,466 ✭✭✭✭✭

One of my interesting purchases of 2020 was a clashed 1884-O Morgan dollar. As you may know, VAM collectors tend to like die clashes. As you probably don't know, I tend to be indifferent to probably 95% or so of them. This one does not fall into that category.

So where's the big deal? Not in the usual spots. This one has a fully clashed DO from DOLLAR above Liberty's head and IB from PLURIBUS between the DO of DOLLAR and the denticles. The clash is faint and needs just the right light to be seen at all, but I had never seen anything like it on a Morgan before. The dies were also way out of alignment when they clashed, and it's quite possible that the clash didn't occur with the press in operation, but rather during setup, with the obverse die falling out of the press and impacting the reverse die with just enough force to leave these marks. (Other die damage events like this tend to manifest themselves as denticle impressions on the reverse field when the edge of the obverse die strikes the reverse die.) The person who discovered the variety (now known as VAM 56A) early in 2020 found several in a single roll, with the strength of the clash varying among those he had. Die wear would have erased the clash pretty quickly, so there weren't many of these struck. The other light clashes in the usual spots are seemingly unrelated to the interesting ones. Here are some close-ups of the transferred lettering.

This is the IB from PLURIBUS as well as the edge of the wheat stalk in and around the DO of DOLLAR.

This is the DO of DOLLAR in the corresponding location on the obverse. The strongest part of the clash is probably the inside edge of the D near the wheat stalk.


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