Longstrider's Blog

09 Oct 2019


Coins-United States | Longstrider

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 “in the wild”. 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. Let’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 1923’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 couldn’t wait and gave them a quick look. That was a mistake. I didn’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 VAM’s. I didn’t see anything like what I was seeing. Could it be? Could I have a new “Discovery Coin’’? Now I am really pumped up. I couldn’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 eagles’ 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. Don’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.


VAMWorld 2.0



Level 4

Aw man, I wish you found one. I used a microscope and thought I saw doubling on a 2009 penny. Turns out the light was acting funny and it wan't doubling after all.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Wow, what a tale Longstrider, I was on pins and needles thinking you had found something new and unknown. But Like Gary mentioned, your passion will pay off soon and you will find your VAM in the Peace Dollar Coin Store Bin. In the meantime, let us know more about the VAMS you already have.


Level 7

That would of been great. I really wish you had found one. But I know you and I know you won't stop. Like I say never give up. There is a Peace Dollar with your name on it. As it was stated above the fun my friend is the hunt. I can't wait for the day when you find one. Me I have those dates and nothing not even a rim. It's waiting for you.. Patience.


Level 5

The joy is in the hunt and this disappointment only serves to make you double down and continue the hunt with a vengeance. You sounded like a kid in a candy store when you thought you had something. I know you will eventually find your Peace VAM's because I know your passion! :)

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