In 1893, the famous Carson City Mint ceased all production, and closed its doors. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Mint was still producing Morgan Dollars at full steam. Many Morgan Dollar dies that were once used in Carson City made their way across the country and wound up in the New Orleans Mint. The dies were usable, but still bore the Carson City mintmark on the reverse. The New Orleans Mint decided to simply strike the “O” mint mark over the existing “CC” mint mark, and reuse the dies.
This process is what caused the VAM I am excited to bring you this week. In 1900, seven years after the Carson City Mint closed, the New Orleans Mint struck this beautiful specimen of the VAM 12 variety, which is now featured on the VAM Top 100 List. There were several “O over CC” varieties made in 1900, but the VAM 12 has some special characteristics that set it apart from the others. For example, the original “CC” mint mark is set high and slightly to the right. This variation of mint mark placement is unique in its own right, but add the centered “O” mint mark over it, and you have a very special coin. The VAM 12 also features a die scratch on the reverse that can be seen between the ribbon and the leaf to the right, just below the eagle’s tail feathers. The obverse of the coin includes a large die crack that is visible with the naked eye. This die crack runs from the top fold of liberty’s cap all the way down to just below the “U” and “M” of “Unum.”
The Morgan Dollar we have to offer our customers this week in our online coin store is especially interesting because it’s actually missing a common aspect of the VAM 12. When looking at other VAM 12 specimens they may show a die crack on the reverse that falls across the end of the eagle’s left wing. After looking over this coin I noticed that die crack wasn’t there! This tells me that this particular VAM 12 is an early die state variety, meaning the coin was struck toward the beginning of the die’s use, before it started to crack. This coin tells us an amazing story of a die that traveled across the country to be reused and to strike a coin possibly moments before a very famous crack occurred.
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!