The History of the 1878-P VAM39A
1878 was the first year of the Morgan Silver Dollar. During this first year there were a few changes made to the reverse of the Morgan. Instead of creating all new dies for the changes, the U.S. Mint would stamp the new design over the old design. This is how the 1878-P VAM39A came to be.
The original reverse depicted an eagle with 8 tail feathers. One of the first changes to the reverse was for the eagle to have only seven tail feathers. When the decision was made, they simply stamped this new design over the other. In the process of doing this, the new design didn’t quite fit, and you can actually see one or two of the eight tail feathers just below the seven tail feathers. This occurrence is fairly common, but what makes the VAM39A so special is that FIVE of the eight tail feathers are still visible! This is an amazing sight to see, considering the average 7 Over 8 Tail Feather only shows one and a half tail feathers from the original design. The Five Tail Feathers variety is so special that it earned the 1878-P VAM39A spot on the Hit List 40!
If you think you see all five tail feathers on the reverse of your 1878-P Morgan Dollar, flip her over and double check the front for the few obverse errors that are also unique to this coin. First, there are several clash marks at the front of Liberty’s neck. This swooping clash mark was caused by the eagle’s wing, and just below it you can make out parts of the “n” from “In God We Trust.” Also, check just next to the “V” shape in Liberty’s hair to spot the “t” from the reverse motto as well. The last error can be found on Liberty’s cap, just next to the cotton leaf there is a die gouge that shows as a horizontal raised line.
I hope you get a chance to add this exciting variety to your growing VAM collection! Be sure to check back next month for another fun and interesting look into the world of VAM collecting.
Don’t miss an exciting example of this VAM variety on the Internet Only Coin Show this week—tune in on Tuesday, at 7pm EST / 4pm PST, to www.artandcointv.com. If you want to get an exclusive pre-show look at this VAM variety, then click here to sign up for our mailing list to get updated as soon as it’s released in our online coin store!
You can contact Rachel at email@example.com
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