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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 5, Number 12

December 1992

December Membership Meeting
Thurs., December 3, 1992 Central Lutheran Church

6:30 PM Potluck


 

Christmas Potluck Slated for Thursday

Make a note: When your calendar clicks December, run your finger over the top row, pass by the usual WEDNESDAY and end on the THURSDAY next to it. Mark:

COIN CLUB POTLUCK 6:30

Once again, we will meet to break bread, cut up a ham (and a turkey), show off our Christmas season purchases, and generally indulge in the good feelings that come with Christmas and enjoying our hobby.

Bring your family, bring your friends, bring something to eat and/or drink, and be prepared to participate in what promises to be one the more lively meetings we've had in awhile.

Attendees will have to consider the following:

• Particulars regarding the medal we will coin to commemorate the fifth anniversary of our club. We have a lot to discuss about the medal. See the companion piece on page two.

• How many tickets to buy for the Fugio Raffle

• Which of the colonials (and other coins) to bid on.

• What coins to bring to offer for auction.

• What to bring for the potluck

Regarding the latter: expect a call (if one of us hasn't already) from myself or Bill D'Atri to invite you and ask what you'd like to bring. Hope to see you there!!

 

MEMBERSHIP MEETING

Thanks be to Benita and Neal. They showed up this time so we had a smooth auction! Thanks be to Robert Hall who set up a slide presentation supplied by Bill Fivaz called "Name That Coin" (Thanks, Bill).

Discussion centered around the ACC Five-Year Commemorative Medal which we hope will be coined before breakup. The membership agreed in general to the idea and commissioned Robert Hall and Paul Wheeler to investigate particulars. Robert reported on the findings at E-Board on which a synopsis is offered later.

Any who have anything to say regarding this medal are asked to read the synopsis and to prepare your own comments for presentation at the Christmas Potluck Thursday, Dec. 3.

We hope to have a substantive plan worked out at that meeting.

PRESENTATION

"Name That Coin" is a regular feature in "The Commemorative Trail" which is a quarterly journal for the

Society for United States Commemorative Coins
 P.O. Box 302
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Bill Fivaz provides Extreme Closeups (XCU's) of portions of coins and challenges readers to identify it. ACC members had their chance last meeting to demonstrate their I.D. skill (or lack thereof)- Slides were shown of XCU's followed by the full view of the associated coin. YNs were invited to try first, then "Seniors" (haven't been called that since my fourth year in college).

Mike Greer did well when he wasn't talking to that rarest of numismatists, a girl (we're talking about the under-sixteen variety here)! I hope Mike was able to sell the YN club to Christine. If so, welcome, Christine. Hope you enjoy our club and the hobby! Add her to another new YN guest who showed up, Nathaniel, and we potentially have two new members.

In closing, the MEMBERSHIP INTEREST PRIZE would have been won by member #30, Walter Fournier, except he wasn't there to claim it. Where have you been lately, Walt? Maybe we'll see you at the Potluck.

 

ACC Commemorative Medal Planned

The fifth anniversary of our club will be March 1993. It has been suggested that we, like many other clubs, coin our own medal in commemoration of the milestone. We certainly have a lot to commemorate. The club is healthy with nearly seventy paid members, we contribute books regularly to the the Lousaac library's reference section, and we frequently hold shows. A commemorative medal is a good way to celebrate our legacy as a club. There was general assent for the idea at the November meeting where about 25% of the membership attended. The other 75% is certainly encouraged to show up and throw in a two-cent piece on the idea.

COSTS

Mike Robuck of the Anchorage Mint has kindly offered to supply the Seal of the State of Alaska as the reverse die of the medal. He has also given us the following to help determine coat:

Obverse die (from design supplied by us)     $900

One oz. silver planchet (each)     spot + $2

Bronze planchet (each)     $2.50

Numbered edge      No Charge

Airtight holder (each)     $0.50

Startup costs will be about $1000. Marginal cost (for each extra set) given $4/oz. silver appear to be about $10 for a set of bronze and silver medals.

Cost per set for seventy sets will thus be about $25.

I believe two-coin display cases are available as an extra.

Gold planchets are are also available in 1, 1-1/4, 1-1/2, and 2 oz. weights for spot plus $40.

TENTATIVE PROPOSAL

The E-Board thrashed around some ideas and came up with the following:

•At the advice of the general membership, the cost can be subsidized by the remainder of the Bill Caring Memorial Fund.

•A set can be reserved with your member number for $30.

•Deadline for orders to be the March meeting.

•If paid by the February meeting your set can be reserved for $25.

•To save cost use the Seal of the State of Alaska as the reverse.

•Hold a contest for the obverse design.

DESIGN CONTEST

A contest to determine the obverse design was also discussed at E-Board:

•Submit designs by the January meeting which will be published in the newsletter.

•Hold a contest at the February meeting to be determined by secret ballot.

•Voting for designs will be runoff style until a majority is established: Half or more of the designs to make the cut at each vote. For instance, if five designs are voted on, then the top three make the next vote. Ties allow designs to survive, so if third and fourth place have equal vote, then they both make the cut.

Mike Robuck reserves the right to alter designs to facilitate successful striking.

SUGGESTED DESIGN CRITERIA

Appropriate items for the design might be:

"Five Years" "Anchorage Coin Club" "1988-1993"

Bill D'Atri kindly offered his own visage (mustache and all) as an appropriate motif for the medal, much like the idea that because he was President at the time, Richard M, Nixon is on the plaque left by the Apollo 11 Astronauts on the moon. Thanks, Bill.

Anyway, this all sounds like great fun to me. I think it would be well worth some vigorous participation by a substantial number of us.

 

Cottonwood Creek Show In January

Yet another three-day extravaganza will be held at the Cottonwood Creek Mall in Wasilla January 8th-10th next year "two weekends prior to the Super Bowl"

 

Fugio Raffle Selling Out

It was reported at the November E-Board Meeting that less than 35 tickets remain for the Fugio Cent Raffle. Last month I received a short note from Bill Fivaz with a ten dollar check for two tickets (make that less than 33 tickets remaining). I like it. I also suspect he's trying to make up for the money he may have lost when the Blue Jays won this year (Alas, the Braves are bridesmaids one mo' time. Still, it's better than missing the wedding altogether. If only the Reds would get in again). On the other hand maybe Bill likes the idea of maybe, possibly, hopefully getting a nice copper cheap. Larry Nakata certainly does. He's trying to make up for not winning last year's proof gold eagle after buying 20+- tickets.

Last year I blew it. I showed up late and the tickets were GONE (the food was nearly so). Don't you make the same mistake. Buy a ticket, enjoy the fest and maybe, just maybe you'll be the proud owner of a fine colonial copper.

From the 1993 Red Book under Fugio Cents:

1787 WITH POINTED RAYS

Note: The following types with painted rays have regular obverses punctuated with four cinquefoils (small five-bladed clover design).

STATES UNITED at sides at circle. Cinquefoils on label. Fine = $250.00, VF = $450.00

STATES UNITED at sides of circle. Fine = 225.00, VF = $425.00

STATES UNITED Label with raised rims (simply two concentric circles). Large letters in WE ARE ONE. Fine = $350.00  VF = $1000.00

STATES UNITED, 8 - pointed stars on label  Fine = $300.00  VF = $675.00

It's up to interested parties to determine which description fits the prize.

 

The Secret Of An Old Estate

Michael Hodder related the following in Rare Coin Review No. 68, Spring 1988.

The following narrative is typical in a way of experiences of just about any coin dealer you name. But, it does have an interesting "twist" to it--which certainly isn't typical!

Early in June last year, a couple arrived at our offices in New Hampshire, having driven hundreds of miles to keep an appointment made with Tom Becker of our staff. They owned, so they said, some "valuable coins" which had been rescued from an old trunk that once belonged to a long-departed ancestor.

After making his visitors comfortable, Tom asked to see the coins. It took him only a few minutes to realize that he would have to tell them their journey had been in vain, for unfortunately, all of the coins were well-circulated common-date Liberty nickels, early Lincoln cents, Washington quarters, and the like, pieces of some slight value, but none worth anything significant over face value or bullion content.

The disappointing news was delivered, after which Tom was set to bid his guests farewell. But wait! They had another item, something old from the same estate, but it wasn't a coin, they said.

As a courtesy, Tom said he would look it over. Soon, he was gazing at a relatively modern frame enclosing a printed reproduction of the signature of President Andrew Johnson. Above the signature was a silver medallion-nothing valuable, the visitors thought, but possibly a curiosity of the type one might find at a flea market.

At this point, Tom called me in, for he knew that I could glance at the medal and tell the visitor about it

Before my eyes was the finest authentic, original 1865 Andrew Johnson 62mm. silver Indian peace medal I had ever seen, complete with its original ring mount! Only 90 such medals were reported as having been struck, and the specimen I was holding was a previously unknown survivor of that small mintage. Just think, if our visitors hadn't brought it with them, perhaps it would have been carelessly sold or traded away, and would have lost to the numismatic fraternity.

Following a close inspection, Tom and I both recognized that the medal we were holding was far finer than the specimen appearing in our sale of the David Dreyfuss Collection in 1986. As many present readers will recall, the Dreyfuss Collection, auctioned jointly with Joe Levine, was by far the finest presentation of American medals to cross the auction block in our generation. If it was desirable, chances are the Dreyfuss Collection had it—and in the finest available condition.

The Dreyfuss specimen of the Andrew Johnson Indian peace medal had been graded by us as Very Fine and it had sold for $5,720.

Tom and I graded the newly-discovered medal even finer, as About Uncirculated. After telling the couple what we knew about the medal, and showing the description of the Dreyfuss piece, they decided to consign it to our next available auction, which happened to be that scheduled for November 1987 in conjunction with the offering of the Ebenezer Milton Saunders Collection.

The sale date approached, and, as expected, the Andrew Johnson medal created quite a bit of pre-sale attention, including several telephone calls from a

Midwestern client who was especially eager to acquire the piece. What it would sell for, we couldn't say. Perhaps the DreyfusB piece had absorbed much of the market demand, and the new discovery would sell for less. But, we didn't think so, for its quality was superb and every time we offer a classic in a sale, there are more bidders than there are pieces available.

The medal came up for sale at the appointed time, and we were pleased to see that the winner was our Midwestern friend. Two days after the auction, Tom and I had the very pleasant task of telling the consignor couple that their unsuspected treasure more than repayed the time and trouble they spent to come to our office-for it had sold for $7,480!

 

'93 Show Schedule

Not only is Scot Hornal our Vice President, diligently stepping up when duty calls, but he also arranges our coin shows. His competent behind-the-scenes work makes it easy far exhibitors to smoothly set up and break down with nary a hiccup. Scot has kindly submitted the following for our edification:

FOLLOWING IS THE SHOW SCHEDULE FOR THE SEARS MALL SEMI-ANNUAL ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB COIN AND CARD SHOW FOR THE YEAR 1993. ALL SHOWS ARE A SATURDAY-SUNDAY EVENT AND ARE HELD DURING REGULAR MALL HOURS. NO ADMISSION FEE TO ATTEND.

INTERESTED PARTIES AE REQUESTED TO CONTACT SCOTT HORNAL AT (907) 344-8351 OR (907) 243-7296 FOR SHOW INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS.

FEBRUARY 6-7, 1993
APRIL 17-18,1993
OCTOBER 2- 3, 1993

TABLES ARE CURRENTLY SET AT $20.00 EACH FOR BOTH DAYS. OPEN TO ALL COIN CLUB MEMBERS WHO WISH TO PARTICIPATE. NON-MEMBER TABLES AVAILABLE AT A SLIGHTLY HIGHER RATE, DEPENDING ON SPACE AVAILABLE.

SCOTT HORNAL
VICE-PRESIDENT
ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB

 

Mr. Goody Buys a House

Readers may recall the notice given to Tom Becker's book Confessions of a Coin Dealer in an earlier ACCent issue. This, and other humorous writings by Becker have been up for sale far moat of 1992 and are now available to ANA member coin clubs for half price. Robert Hall has ordered a number of copies of these stories and will make them available to members so soon as they arrive. I have thoroughly enjoyed Becker's work since I began receiving Numismatic News. The following is offered to whet your appetites for his work:

Mr. Goody watched the weeping widow walk slowly from the grave toward the mourners who were waiting by the hearse. Suddenly, as though he had just remembered something important, Goody ran and caught up with the woman.

A half stride behind, he reached forward and touched her arm, like a relay racer trying to pass the baton. Startled, the puffy faced woman whirled around.

"Pardon me," said the out-of-breath Goody. My intention is not to intrude on your grief, but your late husband had something that I would dearly love to buy."

"What?" asked the suddenly annoyed widow. "Lance never had any hobbies.

"All he did was work. We hadn't taken a vacation in the last 20 years. And now he's gone."

The puzzled Mr. Goody stepped back as the crying, resentful woman walked away.

Goody had met Dr. Lance at the only coin-club meeting the surgeon ever attended. The fact that they both collected high-grade Lincoln cents made them instant friends.

The doctor mentioned that his wife was out of town, visiting her ill mother. As it happened, Goody's wife was away on a business trip.

After the club meeting, the doctor invited Goody to his home. Perhaps they could look at a few of Lance's coins and have a splash of brandy while doing so?

The doctor's residence was a small place much in need of paint. It was the opposite of the kind of house you'd expect a prosperous doctor to live in. The building may not have been much, but the coins were many and magnificent. Goody drooled over the beautiful sets of copper coins. There were albums filled with silver dollars and dozens of gold type seta. The doctor, being a very trusting fellow, showed his new friend the large safe that had been installed that morning. This slim, but tall, unit was cleverly hidden behind a sliding panel in the den wall.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Lance, but I'm afraid the information I gave you over the phone is correct," the lawyer said. "My people have looked everywhere, for weeks, but all they could find in the way of assets if $2,500 in a checking account and a little life-insurance policy." "That can't be!" exclaimed the horrified widow. "Lance has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years. "We lived in a modest home because he didn't want his eight no-account brothers and sisters to move in with us. "He had to have been making several hundred thousand dollars a year. Lately, he was yanking gal bladders like they were turnips.

"Where did all our money go? What am I going to do?"

The lawyer reached over and gently patted the hand of his beautiful, red-eyed client.

"Whatever you decide, you had better make it snappy to cover our fees," the lawyer said. "Ill tell you later what amount we filled in.

"Maybe you should sell the house. At least that's paid for.

"One of my brothers is an auctioneer and another one buys and sells repossessed house trailers. I'll bet that, by working as a team, the three of us could fix you right up.

"Are you doing anything this evening? I'm free."

The timid Mr. Goody drove past the late Dr. Lance's home. For the past two weeks he had been cruising the area hoping to catch the widow out of doors. The dead doctor's 1909-S "V.D.B." cent was far superior to the one that Goody had "lost."

Ever since the stupid incident at the Friends of the Forest meeting, Goody had been anxious to replace this key coin in his set. None would fit better than the doctor's fully red, spot-free specimen. Goody stopped the car 50 feet from his destination. A man was in the front yard nailing a sign to one of the huge oak trees. The placard announced that the property was going to be offered for sale at auction in 10 days.

Goody had not been sleeping well. Pills didn't seem to help. This night he was particularly restless. He tossed and turned and suddenly awoke. His heart was pounding, and sweat seemed to come for every pore. He sat up in bed and said, wondering where the words were coming from, "She doesn't know the coins are hidden behind the wall."

The next morning Goody called his boss at the accounting firm where he worked and told the receptionist that he was sick. He was only half lying. Goody was first in line when his bank opened for business. Goody thought the filthy hand gestures given by the pompous little princess who finally decided to unlock the door were unwarranted, but he said nothing. After pacing in the lobby for an hour, Goody was finally called to a loan officer's cubicle.

The man with the money looked up over his reading glasses and said, "I see from your application that you are looking to buy some risky real estate. First off, I need $250 in real money, no checks, before I can go any further.

"Lately we've been having people come in saying that they want loans, but they are really just financial tire kickers. We'd like a non-refundable show of good faith."

Mr. Goody put the money on the desk. "I notice that you have listed a paid-up life-insurance policy as an asset," Buck said. "You need to sign this form that makes the bank the irrevocable beneficiary.

"Signing in no way obligates me to further consider your loan application, but since we're trying to develop a good-faith relationship, I'll cheat a little and say that if you are willing to pledge your life insurance, then 111 read on." The loan officer then excused himself, promising to be back from lunch in a few minutes. An hour-and-a-half later, he slipped back into his comfortable chair.

"Now that you've pledged everything you own, and we've managed to place a secret lien on your aged mother's home, all that's left for you to do is to sign these organ-donor cards and I'll cut you a check," the banker said.

The bank would loan him only $65,000. Such a sum might, if Goody was really lucky, be enough to buy the Lance home, but it would be cutting it close.

Goody drove by the Lance property. Luck was finally with him, Mrs. Lance was unloading groceries from her car.

Goody pulled into the driveway and rushed to help her. The widow, caught off guard, had no choice but to let Goody follow her into the house.

"I'm thinking of bidding on your place," said Goody. "It is really a lovely home."

"Are you blind?" said the widow. "I'm really quite busy.

"If you have any questions or want to snoop around, I wish you would call the auctioneer and make an appointment. He is handling everything."

"I was just wondering," said Goody, ignoring the pointed invitation to leave. "If I don't buy your home I was thinking of fixing up my own place. 'Tour husband told me that he once had some specialized carpentry work done. You wouldn't happen to remember the tradesman's name, would you?"

"Maybe he had some work done at the office" said Mrs. Lance. "He never replaced a board in this place during the 30 years we've lived here. He wouldn't even let me buy a cheap rug to throw over the spots where the carpet has worn through."

"Where are you going?" While the woman was talking, Goody had walked down the hall to the doctor's den. Boxes filled with books, and the goner's other possessions were stacked in front of the secret door.

There was enough dust on the paneling to indicate that the hiding place had not been visited for a long time.

Goody departed without saying thanks or apologizing for his intrusion. He was too busy trying to think of ways to raise more cash.

As much as Goody hated to think about it, the only option available was to sell his own coins.

"I can pay you $55,000 for everything," said Fair Deal Farley, the most prosperous of the local coin dealers.

"That's absurd," Goody said. "The coins trend for three times that much. "Your reputation as a rip-off artist seems to be well founded. Ill take $100,000 and not a cent less."

"Are we trying to see who is boss? Sell the stuff to trends," said Fair Deal. "I'm stretching to offer you that much.

"I can't buy every collection that comes along. Times are tough. Maybe I should pass.

There's a rumor going around that some mysterious rich guy in town kicked off and the heirs are going to be selling his huge collection. It would be just my luck to buy your swill and then not have enough cash to awing a big deal."

"Ill take your offer," Goody said. "Wise move, pin head," Fair Deal said. "Like I always say, 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.'"

When Goody arrived at the Lance residence there were only four people waiting for the auction to begin. Goody, after handing over the letter of credit from the bank, and a cashier;'s check as a deposit, was given bidder No. 4.

The auction began promptly at 10. The widow Lance sat in a rocking chair on the front porch. She stared out into space as tears rolled down her cheeks. After much begging and pleading, the auctioneer finally convinced a very tentative-looking soul to bid $40,000 for the property. Goody smiled. He had decided to wait until the last minute to bid. It looked like he was going to be able to buy the house, and the fantastic coin collection it contained, for next to nothing.

"$45,000," said a familiar-sounding voice. Goody looked around and saw a grinning Fair Deal standing behind him.

Goody ignored the coin dealer's wink of recognition and turned back to the auctioneer.

"Fifty five," he said.

It wasn't long before Goody and Fair Deal were locked in a bidding war that was swiftly progressing in $10,000 increments.

The widow Lance seemed to come out of her trance when Goody bid $165,000. The sparse crowd oohed and ahhed in unison when Fair Deal bid $195,000.

The auctioneer was trying not to laugh. He had figured that this dump, which was in a bad part of town, might bring $70,000 to pa.

When it was his turn to bid again, Goody was shaking. All the color had drained from his face, but he atill managed to raise his hand to bid $225,000. The widow couldn't stand the excitement and went into the house.

Fair Deal bid $235,000. Goody immediately screamed, "$245,000." "I guess you just bought yourself a nice little bungalow. I'm out," said Fair Deal as he turned around and walked to his car.

The other bidders, who had stayed around to witness the end of the absurd dogfight, quickly dispersed. Goody was having a hard time holding his hand steady enough to sign the purchase contract.

The widow Lance pranced out of the house dressed in a denim mini-skirt, super-high heels and a short, red-leather jacket.

She shook Goody's hand and said, "Congratulations. I've moved out everything that I want to keep.

"As far as I'm concerned, you own the house and all that is in it. Oh, by the way, I think my late husband would have wanted you to have this."

The widow placed the doctor's superb 1909-S "V.D.B." cent in the palm of Goody's quivering hand.

Fair Deal, who had been impatiently sitting behind the wheel of his new sports car, beeped the horn.

"I've got to run," said the widow. She scurried away, and showing far too much thigh, immodestly climbed in Fair Deal's car.

Goody continued to stare at the beautiful coin in his hand. Then, as if suddenly electrified, he pushed past the auctioneer, ran into the house and rushed to the dead doctor's den. He stared in horror at the large gap in the paneling behind which the safe full of coins had been hidden.

ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB
AUCTION LIST
CHRISTMAS POTLUCK 1992

 

Lot Date Denomination Grade
1 1788 $40 Continental Note Circulated
2 1783 Nova Constellatio VG
3 1787 Fugio Cent, Close Date VG
4 1788 Massachusetts Cent G
5 1958-D Roll Lincoln Cents BU
6 1853 Large Cent EF
7 1948 Washington Quarter MS-64
8 1937-S Buffalo Nickel ANACS MS-64
9 1958 Franklin Half NGC Proof-65
10 1966 Special Mint Set, Doubled Die Half BU
11 1936 Lincoln Cent MS-64
12 1937-S Lincoln Cent MS-64
13 1945-D Lincoln Cent MS-64
14 1946-D Lincoln Cent MS-64
15 1955-S Lincoln Cent BIE Die Crack MS-64

 

 


The Anchorage Coin Club

Club Officers

Board of Directors

Editor

DUES

To save costs, members not responding to renewal notices within 3 months will be considered inactive.

The Anchorage Coin Club is a non-profit organization formed to provide information, education, and a meeting place for individuals having an interest in numismatics.

Correspondence Address: Anchorage Coin Club, P.O. Box 230169, Anchorage, Alaska 99523