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PCGS now grading VAMS

With VAM varieties of U.S. Morgan and Peace silver dollars gaining in popularity, Professional Coin Grading Service is now authenticating, grading and attributing more than 325 of the most popular varieties. 

PCGS announced the new program on opening day of the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo with a display of three dozen major VAM varieties, and immediately began accepting submissions.

“The VAM varieties that PCGS now certifies have been identified by collectors as worthy of special recognition,” said Ron Guth, PCGS director of numismatic research.

VAM is an acronym for Leroy Van Allen and A. George Mallis, authors of the precedent-setting reference book, A Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars. The varieties of the coins are listed by VAM number. More than 3,000 different VAM numbers have been assigned for major and minor varieties.

The initial PCGS VAM certification program will involve attribution of 277 Morgan (1878-1921) and 52 Peace (1921- 1935) dollars’ major varieties.

In addition to the Van Allen and Mallis reference guide, these varieties are listed in several other numismatic books: The Top 100 Morgan Dollar Varieties: The VAM Keys; SSDC Official Guide to the Hot 50 Morgan Dollar Varieties; The Official Guide to the Top 50 Peace Dollars; and The 1878 Morgan Dollar 8 Tail Feathers Attribution Guide.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the values of some VAM varieties, such as VAM-44, the 1878 Morgan dollar with tripled cotton blossoms on the obverse, and seven over eight tail feathers on the reverse design. An example of that variety was included in the PCGS display at the Long Beach Expo. 

The cost of the VAM variety program is $15 per coin in addition to the level of certification service requested by the submitter.

Prices are listed this way: Walk-through at PCGS headquarters, $115; Express service, $65; Regular $45; and Economy $33 per coin. 

VAM attribution will not be available for on-site “show service,” however, submissions for the other levels of service will be accepted by PCGS during various coin shows and conventions.

For information about specific VAM varieties now being attributed by PCGS, call  (800) 447-8848 or visit www.PCGS.com, or call

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