The other day I was so happy for myself. I found my first Peace Dollar VAM. Not one that is already slabbed. One I found â€śin the wildâ€ť. A little back story is in order. As some of you know I am in a hunt to complete a Peace Dollar Top 50 and an Elite 30 sets. I am a huge fan of Peace Dollar VAMs. I love the series, the artist, the model and the history. Letâ€™s not forget I am a VAM nut.
Normally I buy VAMs that already have been slabbed or at least attributed by someone that knows more than me. I wanted to find my own so I have started a new plan. Whenever I visit my coin dealer I try to buy some raw Peace dollars. I only go for ones that are in nice shape so I am able to see any of the, sometimes tiny, attribution points. I am concentrating on 1922 and 1923â€™s as they have the most amounts of VAMs in those years. The mint seemed to try to make those dies and hubs last forever. This led to a number of VAMs. He normally only has one or two but last visit I hit the jackpot with three nice AU raw coins.
I never look at them at his shop. Just seems rude to me, not that he would care. He knows what I am doing and gives me good prices. When I got home I couldnâ€™t wait and gave them a quick look. That was a mistake. I didnâ€™t see anything on the first two but on the last one I noticed something on the rim. I asked my wife to look and she saw what I saw, after I told her where to look and what to look for. That was my second mistake. I got all excited and decided to wait a day and check again.
The next day I whipped out my loupe and gave that baby a good look. Yep, just as I thought, definitely something going on there. I went to VAMWorld and checked for some rim problem VAMâ€™s. I didnâ€™t see anything like what I was seeing. Could it be? Could I have a new â€śDiscovery Coinâ€™â€™? Now I am really pumped up. I couldnâ€™t see any damage to the reeds around where the problem was. It was time to take some photos and put them up on VAMWorld for guidance. I bought an inexpensive digital USB microscope for just such an emergency.
I took a couple of photographs and was zooming in on the reeds. I had to hold the coin on edge and asked my wife to click the photo when I had it in focus. As I was doing this I finally noticed what was there all along. Above the problem with the rim I saw the eaglesâ€™ tail was crushed as well. That ruled out my possible collar problem during the striking process. This was clearly a PMD or Post Mint Damage. Dang, foiled again. Well as I already had these photos taken I decided to show you people my almost mistake.
The moral of my story is always really see what you see. Donâ€™t see what you want or hope to see. Hope you enjoyed this blog. Please check out the photos. Feel free to comment. Thanks for looking.