Longstrider's Blog

14 Apr 2018


Coins | Longstrider

VAM man is back from the almost dead. Today I have a favorite type VAM for you. This is a 1923 Peace Dollar VAM 1F Chin Bar. It happens to be graded a nicely toned MS 62. I believe it deserves the star "*" or plus "+" for extra eye appeal but what can you do. I personally would photo grade this a MS 63. Maybe I'm biased. This Peace Dollar exhibits nice toning growing from around the edges. Blues, gold and peach are all present. Just as it should progress naturally. It is mostly on the obverse and edge but it is coming up the reverse nicely. The fields are very clean. Absent most contact marks. There is plenty of original mint luster. The reverse eagle is beautiful. High points crisp and sharp. In the VAM world, this coin as a VAM 1F is in the TOP 50. That is a made up number of different VAM's that we, VAM collectors, try to acquire as a goal. All need to be visible with the naked eye. The 1F designation refers to a normal obverse die with a vertical bar die gouge that runs from Liberty's chin just to the right of the letter "D" in GOD all the way down to the "1" in "1923". Peace Dollars, in general, were designed by Anthony de Francisci using his young wife Francesca as the model for Miss Liberty. They were issued from 1921-1935 with no issues in 1929-1933. They were minted in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. They are 38.1 mm in diameter and weigh 26.73 grams of .900 silver. They also have a reeded edge. Luckily for me, Peace Dollars are an underrated coin by most collectors. I am always on the lookout for another VAM TOP 50 to add to my hoard!! Thanks for looking. Please feel free to comment.

15 Jan 2018


Coins-World | Longstrider

The coin I am putting up today is a silver Un Peso minted in Mexico City in 1948. At first I found this coin to be kind of dull and boring. After research I have changed my mind. It has a rich history and story behind it. Much like all Mexico does. The obverse features the National Arms Eagle facing left. It is inscribed with "ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS". The reverse is the head of Jose Morelos facing left. It is lettered ".UN PESO 1948 Mo. 14 Gr 0.500. MORELOS.." It has a reeded edge, was minted in Mexico City 1947-1949. It's denomination is 1 Peso of .500 Silver. It weighs 14 g and is 32 mm in diameter and is 2 mm thick. Its KM number is 456. Once I researched this coin I was amazed at the history of the man it depicts and the history of his time in Mexico.

02 Nov 2017


Coins | Longstrider

Here is a nice example of the toning progression on a silver Morgan Dollar. To start with it is a 1880-S, graded MS 63 by NGC. This is one of the most common Morgan dollars out there with a mintage of 8,900,000. I purchased this particular coin as I feel it shows how the toning on these coins, Morgans, changes with age and where it was kept. It is also unusual in that both surfaces show toning. AS is typical, but not always, this coin started toning at the edges and rim. It became darker with age and lighter as it moved towards the center of the coin. Not unlike a rainbow. I'll let the reader name the colors as it's hard to describe. My wife is a floral designer and I haven't heard of half the colors she sees! The reverse has a bulls eye pattern on it, also not uncommon. I guess I'm trying to say that a certain coin can tone many different ways based on the metal content and the environment around it and how it was stored. With so many artificially toned coins out there it is important that the buyer have some knowledge of how the coin should look. Beware the work of the "Coin Doctor"! Just to make a point on this, one of the first and still widely used as well as effective substances used to artificially tone coins is human urine.. believe me when I tell you the 'trade" has come along way from that. In closing, knowledge is power. Take some classes, read some books. A professionally slabbed coin is not a guarantee of everything is on the up and up..Not anymore.. Thanks for looking. I hope you enjoyed this enough to do some research on your own. I look forward to your comments.

25 Oct 2017


Coins | Longstrider

Today I'd like to share with you one of my more colorful Morgan Dollars. It happens to be a 1881-O graded MS 62 by NGC. "O" mintmarked Morgans are some of my favorites. They seem to tone nicely. As you can see, this piece has all the colors of the rainbow on the reverse with gold color seeping around the obverse. It appears a piece of tape was put across this Morgan at some point. Most likely to hold it in an album. Interestingly, the coin began toning under the tape. I find specimens like this fascinating! This particular Morgan also has a nicer than average striking for "O" mintmarks. It even has nice defined breast feathers on the eagle. Not seen a lot on New Orleans strikes! With a mintage of 5,708,000 it is pretty common. In closing, I feel the strike and unusually toning make this otherwise common date Morgan noteworthy. As you can see from these photos, I would always opt for scratch resistant TPG slabs. Thanks for looking and, hopefully, commenting!

27 Sep 2017

1886 VAM 21-TOP 100 GOUGE IN "M"

Coins | Longstrider

Below are photos of another Morgan dollar from my VAM collection. It is a 1986 VAM-21. It has some nice dark toning and is a Top-100 in the VAM community. This particular VAM can be seen with the naked eye, on nicer grades. This one needs the help of a loupe due to the toning. One of the things that make it a VAM is on the obverse, what used to be thought to be a gouge in the"M" in Morgan's signature. It was latter determined that the gouge is in fact a MPD, misplaced digit, the bottom of an "8". Additionally there is quite a bit of doubling on the reverse. This includesdoubled "TED OF AMERICA", "AR" and "IN GOD WE TRUST". Then is, at least, tripling of the "ST" in TRUST, as well asright star and right upper wreath leaves are doubled toward rim. As a side note, this VAM was originally designated a VAM-1. This was when the MPD was thought to be simply a die gouge in the "M" in Morgan.When it was later determined to be a misplaced "8" it wasreassignedas a VAM-21. Just a little VAM history and loar. Things are always being checked and rechecked. This probably isn't the most beautiful Morgan,to most people, but I love it as it speaks to me. So much history and so much research. I hope you find it pleasingand learned a little more about VAM's. I look forward to your comments. Thanks for looking.SOURCED: www.vamworld.com

12 May 2017


Coins | Longstrider

I was lucky enough to win this coin from my favorite auction house and wanted to share it with you. As you can see in the photos, it's a 1896. It's graded MS 64 by NGC. This Morgan year issue is probably the most plentiful of the 1890's. In spite of that I fell in love with the toning. My photographic skills do not show it but this Morgan has great iridescent blues, greens and mint luster. Although being a bit baggy, I feel it is a tremendous example of the Morgan Dollar series. I am a firm believer of collecting what one likes. That I got a great deal on it doesn't hurt either. Thanks for looking and your comments.

17 Apr 2017


Coins-World | Longstrider

Here is my new example of a 1913 UN PESO CABALLITO! Also known as "The Little Horse Peso" or "Liberty on Horseback". If you enjoy Mexican coins you have probably heard of this one. A little on it's history. The coin was struck from 1910-1914. It commemorates Mexico's 100th Anniversary in its War for Independence from Spain! The coin weighs 27.07 g and has a diameter of 39 mm of .903 silver. The Caballito was designed by the world famous French medalist, sculptor and coin designer Charles Pillet. The Lady Liberty is riding her horse, side saddle, while holding up the torch of Freedom in front of a rising sun on the reverse. The obverse features the Mexican Eagle perched on a cactus with the snake in its' beak. The edge of the coin is incused with lettering that reads INDEPENDENCEIA Y LIBERTAD.

11 Jan 2017

1882-O Vam-29A Super CD Morgan

Coins | Longstrider

For your consideration I have a 1882-O Morgan Silver Dollar that is also a Super CD VAM 29-A. The Super CD simply means it is part of a collection of 25 VAM dollars that have "Clashed Dies". I'm not going to go anymore into the Super CD part. You can find out all about it on the site listed below. The 1882-O VAM 29-A means the coin has doubled date, clashed obverse G & first T and clashed reverse M. There is also the beginning of some toning starting to happen on both surfaces. I have included 2 pictures from the listed web site to help show the die crack and clashed G. It's is hard to see in the photos of my coin without the use of a loupe. The coin is graded AU 58 by ANACS. Some people shun non mint-state coins. Personally I find the an AU is often more pleasing to the eye. My eye anyway and that's the one I care about. I was lucky enough to win this coin on an internet auction. I can highly recommend these auctions as a good way to see and purchase coins. Some companies do have a high after auction premium so be careful and read the terms. Thanks for looking. I hope you enjoy this coin as much as I do.

02 Jul 2016


Coins | Longstrider

So, it's been a while since I posted a new coin and I think it's time. I recently acquired this 1884 CC GSA Morgan Silver Dollar. I bought this coin from my regular coin dealer. He had set it aside for me as he knows I enjoy toned coins. Not only is this a toned Morgan, It also shows the pattern of the burlap bag it was encased in. That means it was in direct contact with the Carson City mint bag since 1884 till October 1972 when the three most common CC were auctioned off. The 1882, 83 and 84. I'm not going to go into details of the GSA sales,, it was multi tiered, but I greatly encourage anyone interested to look it up. Its CRAZY!!! Some people made a ton of money and some lost a ton, as their rare coin was no longer rare!!!!!! In 1884 the Philly mint produced approximately 14,070,000 Morgan Dollars. Of these, only 1,136,000 were minted at Carson City. Of this reduced number, only 962,638 were GSA holdings.

22 Dec 2015

1917-D Standing Liberty Quarter

Coins | Longstrider

As an award for living 62 years, my wife gifted me with this exquisite 1917-D Type 1 Standing Liberty Quarter graded by PCGS as a MS 63 FH. Not bad for not dying!! This classic coin was designed by Hermon A. MacNeil. The 1916 and early 1917 Type I have Miss Liberties right breast exposed, whiched caused quite a stir at the time. It was changed in mid 1917 into the Type II covering her exposed breast and the reverse had a new arrangement of stars and the eagle is higher. It is a Classic coin. Set by the mint to be honored in 2016. Too bad it is to be minted in gold and not silver as it originally was designed! This particular coin has a mintage of 1,509,200. Uncirculated pieces with fully struck head of Liberty are worth more than double the values listed for Variety II or one fully struck heads! I'm still working on getting some acceptable photos. Help me Ian! I never thought I would own this coin. Thanks Debra!!


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