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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 6, Number 2

February 1993

February Membership Meeting
Wed., February 3, 1993 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


Scott Hornal Takes Design Contest


Twenty six members attended and voted on the designs entered for consideration for our fifth anniversary club medal.

Scot Hornal's design, shown above, survived to be selected as the club's choice to appear on our fifth year commemorative medal.

Seventeen designs were submitted at the January meeting. When the dust settled Scott's design emerged victorious. It took three rounds of voting to come up with a winner. The first round cut the field down to five and the second round demonstrated two clear favorites. The other designs surviving the first cut included:

A fearsome mastodon charging head on (which was the runner-up entry).

A birds-eye view of Alaska with a "V-Nickel" inside.

A front view of an eagle with an anchor shield resembling the Club logo.

An eagle in profile.

Scot will be granted the set embossed with the number '2' as a prize for his winning effort.

The more I look at Scott's design, the more I like it. The elements are well balanced, and arranged with slight asymmetry. The words ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB and the numeral "5" are drawn with serifed fonts with the remainder of the motto unserifed. And Scott drew the stars on the Rag in mirror image (as if viewing the back of the flag). There's far more in this design than first meets the eye. In fact, I'm definitely going to bid for some of the "unclaimed" numbered sets next meeting.


Meeting Notes

A clean-shaven1 Bill D'Atri opened the meeting. Sharp-eyed as ever, our Prez asked a guest to stand and introduce himself. What followed was as eloquent and engaging an introduction as I have heard for a long time.

Ben Guild (rhymes with "riled") stood up, stated his name, referred to himself as a "newbie", and explained how he came to join our throng. It seems he's been collecting guns "for about fifty years", has been exhibiting at shows for nearly as many, and recently acquired a number of "Ouster period" coins to enhance his display of firearms at a recent gun show.

As the show progressed the coins "kinda grew" on him so he sought out a few more. Of course he ran into Robert Hall,2 who can be counted on to show up at nearly every gun show within fifty miles. Ben describes himself as "bit pretty bad" and figures "I'll soon be afflicted with a short arm and a squinty eye". Robert said "I'll tell you how bad he's bit. Ben wouldn't trade his coins for a gun I had. Instead he paid cash."

Sounds pretty bad off to me, like moat of us. Welcome, Ben. I have the feeling you're going to be a addition to in our club.


ANA will soon hold its election for officers and its Board of Governors. David Ganz and Helen Carmody have requested that the club endorse them as candidates for office. Mr. Ganz, currently ANA vice president, is running for president. Ms. Carmody is running for Governor. I seem to recall that Mr. Ganz regularly publishes in one of the two main coin rags (I don't recall which) an informative column as a soft sell for his shop. Helen Carmody is the driving force behind the SUSCC (Society for U.S. Commemorative Coins) which publishes the quarterly "The Commemorative Trail" which is must reading for anyone who collects comments.3

A motion was made, and the endorsement passed, nearly unanimously, save for one lone, vocal dissenter. Regular attenders know who he is so he'll remain nameless here. Those who must know are encouraged to show up at the next meeting.


The door prize, an XF-40 1901 Indian Cent, went to Bill McGinnis though it appeared Billy, his son won it since he went up to collect it. I know otherwise having seen Bill give the winning ticket to Billy. When I went to inspect the coin, I found it to be a very attractive piece with dark blue toning. Nice Prize.

An attractive, original (original looking, anyway) 1911 Barber Quarter went to member number 26, Mike McKinnon who was supposed to remain nameless.

Oh, well.


Our club, judging by the number of newsletters we send each month, has about seventy active members. The highest member number is over one-hundred, so when we strike numbered ACC commemorative seta we can expect a minimum of forty numbers to go unclaimed. The question came up: "What do we do with these sets?" The answer: "Auction 'em." And so we will. At the February meeting members will have two opportunities to reserve medal sets.

One, with the member's own club membership number embossed on the edge of each medal, will be available for a $25.00 advance payment. The second, will be an auction for each number corresponding to an expired membership. The minimum bid for these "expired numbers" will be $25.00 (no lowballing allowed). It should be interesting to see which numbers are popular.

In March, we will have another auction for numbers, this time unclaimed ones. The March meeting is the LAST CHANCE to reserve a set with your club member number. If you fail to make payment by auction time at the March meeting, it goes up for grabs. Incidentally, any reservation for medals made after the February meeting win cost $30.00.


When I arrived I noticed a woman seated near the back quietly enjoying a novel (or some sort of thick paperback). I briefly wondered who this woman might be, but failing to come up with anything worthwhile soon turned my thoughts to the designs in the Contest.

Later it became clear that this was Kevin Guido's mom who endured the proceedings. She is encouraged to clip this article for posterity and for Kevin when he gets older as proof in case (just in case) he somehow forgets that HE HAS ONE GREAT MOM!!


This prize is a cash prize which is funded by voluntary five-dollar contributions each month. Only members who are present are eligible to win. Typically, the number drawn belongs to someone who stayed home, and thus gets notice in this journal as absent. The idea is to give some small encouragement to members to attend. This prize has had no winners the past four months so it amounted to $20.00. Ben Guild, our newest member, draw the winning number, which was Robert Hall's. Why not? Robert doubled his usual interest by signing Ben up in the first place.

Bruce Gambell replenished the fund by donating five dollars.


The raffle prize, won by Bruce Gambell, was a VG 1902-O Barber Half with good honest wear and nice toning. This prize was promptly given to our youngest member, Kevin Guido, who was lucky in more ways than one that evening.


1 Now we know why Bill wore the mustache and beard for so long!

2 When Ben mentioned meeting Robert, Rod Meade interjected. "We're sorry'.

3 Interested parties should send $20 or contact Helen at:

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


D'Atri's Corner

Good ol' Bill has come through again. One phone call he morning of E-Board, and Bill coma forth with the missive you see below. That's two-in-a-row folks. One more and we will have a trend on our hands (love it!). With no further adieu, then, our Prez:

Well, 1993 is really here, and it's bringing in a whole lotta change. Slick Willie, Senator Ozone, and associated sycophants4 are now in office, and Fleetwood Mac has disbanded and gone home. We know what one of those groups is capable of producing. Best of luck to the other.

Next month well have our own special version of presidential politics, so let the barnstorming and mudslinging begin5. If you are interested in providing leadership for the Club, now is a good time to let people know. As I stated in the January newsletter, we need leadership that will instigate and shepherd our next five years of growth.

The January meeting had an excellent turnout, and went almost according to plan (my fifth anniversary medal submittal6 came in second place).

The Club chose a wonderful design submitted by Scott Hornal. Curses and congratulations, Scott! Mike Robuck, with the Anchorage Mint, is working his magic as you read. With little luck and a few reminders, I'm confident Mike will make the February meeting to share an update of our little project.

The first weekend in February is the Sears Mall Coin Show. This should be a tremendous opportunity to sign up new members. Working the Club table is always fun, and it's probably one of the easiest ways to sign up new members. Mike "Lone Wolf" McKinnon, Ramblin' Bruce Gamble and yours truly have volunteered to staff the Club table.

Anyone else who feels the desire to physically support the Club's endeavors by working the table is invited to do so.

Last month I alluded to the fact that the Club is only as cosmopolitan as its membership. In the paragraph above I mentioned signing up new members. So, it should come as no really major surprise that I want all of us to think about bringing fresh ideas (read: NEW MEMBERS) into that collective consciousness we refer to as the Anchorage Coin Club. My thoughts on the matter are a reflection of my own blazing intellect:

Fairly simple and less than cumbersome. Quite simply, I think that we should have a membership drive. We could have a contest, and whomever signed up the most new members would win a fabulous prize! Let's talk about it at the February meeting. You already know my thoughts on the matter, so if you have any bring them with you and we can all compare notes.

One last reminder: NO AUCTION this month. Bring coins, questions or whatever for our recently inaugurated Swap N Shop Extravaganza to be held after the business portion of our meetings. Hope to see you there.


4 I wasn't sure what it meant, either, so I looked it up.
sycophant (sick'-a-funt), n. a self-seeking, servile flatterer, fawning parasite. All right. Bill!. Good Word!

5 Paul Wheeler read this at E-Board and said.

'What mattes you think you won't be rejected?.

Bill; "Fm not running'

Pad: That hasn't stopped us before."

6 A full frontal rendition of a charging Mastodon purloined from a Frank Ffazetta painting. See the report on the contest above.


Coin Balancer Sets World Record

This odd tidbit is "borrowed" from The Numismatist, May 1984 under the "Numismatics Narratives" column which, apparently borrowed the article from Coin World.

World champion coin-stacker Alex Chervinaky celebrated his 75th birthday February 22 by setting a new record in the Guinness Book of World Records -stacking 390 coins atop a Panamanian 20-balboan piece placed on edge. The Lockhaven, Pennsylvania, resident first established a Guinness record in 1971 when he stacked 126 coins atop a silver dollar standing on edge, and then broke the record in 1978 by adding four more coins to the stack. According to Chervinsky, "The most important thing is to find a solid table where there isn't likely to be any vibrations. Then, it takes a good, steady hand."

Champion Chervinsky hag frequently added "animal acts" to his balancing adventures, in one instance stacking 51 dimes atop a metal washer slung over the shoulder of a toy gorilla figurine. He then topped the dimes with a silver dollar and a toy elk set on the back of a galloping horse. Notes the retired machinist, coin stacking is "nothing to sneeze at."

-Coin World


Woody, Is That a Fair Markup?

Michael J. Fuljenz, writing in the November 1991 Numismatist, offered the following in his "Market Forum" column:

One Saturday afternoon in 1966 when I was 12 years old, I saw "Woody", the local coin dealer, purchase a gleaming $5 Indian gold piece for $40. Unbeknown to him, for the first time in my life I had 50 whole dollars, won the night before at a bingo game I was forced to attend with my grandmother. As my father used to say, "That money was burning a hole in my pocket."

I asked Woody how much he was going to sell the $5 Indian for. His instantaneous response was $50. Since I had never spent more than $20 in his shop at one time - five lawns mowed at $2 each I wonder if he could smell that $50 bill burning that hole in my pocket. After feigning interest in other coins in his shop, I asked to examine Woody's "newp" (new purchase). The "pet shop" owner put the "puppy" in my hands, and I was in love. After a few minutes of haggling, Woody threw in a $2 Capital Plastics holder, and the flammability of my jeans' pocket was no longer an issue. My euphoria lasted until all that weekend's football games were over. Then, about Bonanza time on Sunday night, "buyer's remorse" hit me with the severity of a Monday morning pop quiz in "New Math." I was appalled - no, when I was 12 I was never appalled - I was crushed that my friend Woody would charge me a 20-percent markup. I then began to wonder, would Woody even buy the coin back?

The week passed and my love for the coin was gone, forever tainted by the exorbitant markup I had been charged. As was my ritual on Saturdays, I got up, mowed a few lawns and waited for the mailman to deliver Coin World. I carefully searched for ads offering $5 Indians and found buy-sell spreads in a couple ads to be in the $40 to $60 range. Armed with my research, I went to Woody's that afternoon. Woody was charming, as always. We conversed for our usual hour, then, finally, I offered him my $5 Indian. He encouraged me to keep the coin, but cheerfully offered $41 if I wanted to sell the coin and holder. I was somewhat relieved to know my coin wasn't worth $20 as I had visualized in a bad dream. But, I questioned his $9 buy-sell spread.

Woody pulled out his expense file for the month and shocked me right off when he produced a receipt for a meal in a Houston hotel that included $1 hamburgers. Heck, in Lake Charles, my 50 cent lunch money bought three 15-cent hamburgers at Burger Chef and a 5-cent pack of Black Cat firecrackers at the fireworks stand next door.

He then showed me his bills for security (he had been robbed twice), rent, electricity, insurance, travel, tables at shows, advertising and supplies. He also pointed out he had market risk on his inventory.

I left the shop feeling that Woody was entitled to make his markup, because until that day, I'd considered his cost to be only what he paid for the coin. Woody and I went on to work together for more than decade until he passed away. He was a teacher, a friend and much more.

At a bull session during a recent ANA Summer Conference, I asked some 80 participants, "What is a fair dealer markup?" I divided numismatic products into four categories. For low-cost collector items under $10, as much as 100 percent was tolerable. For easily obtainable bullion, 3 percent.

For generic $20 gold pieces and Morgan dollars (PCGS MS-63, for instance), 10 to 12 percent was deemed appropriate. For rarities like $3 gold pieces in MS-65, a 20-percent markup was determined to be fair.

I pointed out that dealers have to limit risk in some of their low-markup items by taking n on-refundable deposits. 1 also explained the problems that sight-unseen trading has produced in terms of perceived markup. A guidesheet editor recently listed MS-65 $3 gold pieces as having a "bid" of $13,000 and a retail "sell" of $14,300. The low dealer-to-dealer "ask" price on a sight-unseen specimen at that time was $14,000. If I bought that coin for a client, I'd have to pay $14,000, mark it up 20 percent and charge $16,800. But, my client gets to view it as a sight-seen purchase.

If he returns it and the market stays the same, I stand to lose $1,000. If I want to buy the coin light-seen, the owner will ask $14,500. If I require a return privilege, the owner will offer a $500 buy-back for a week.

By now it's obvious that a lot more potential risk and coat goes into obtaining a coin for a customer than is initially apparent, just like in Woody's day. The really hard part is refuting the guidesheets' assumption that dealers can buy a $13.000 coin at bid, sight unseen, and then sell it sight-seen for only 10-percent more. Rarely does a dealer get a coin he needs at bid unless it's a sight-unseen "dog."

Gun Show Update

Those who dislike strong political opinions are advised to skip the following. I debated leaving the political commentary out but decided if you can't politically pontificate among friends, where can you?

Every time I attend a Gun Show there are a minimum of two tables that display significant inventories of coins for sale. Besides coins, you can buy other nifty items. Where else can you buy Leatherman Tools for $30-35 (and one time last year for $25)? The Anchorage show is particularly impressive with, it seems, about 300-400 tables.

Most of us, I'm sure, like Gun Shows even if we're not collectors or handy with firearms.7 They are an expression of two great things about Alaska. One is the relatively unfettered economic liberty we enjoy here8. The other of course is the relatively free opportunity we have to be responsible owners and users of firearms.

Many places down South, especially in the east, and particularly in Washington D. C.9 have strict "gun control", a misnomer in which the only possessors of firearms are the state, "criminals" (by definition and not necessarily by behavior) and real criminals (who behave as criminals). There, citizens are not trusted to opt for the autonomy (and responsibility) conferred by the ownership of firearms.

Why, you ask, is this tirade appearing in a coin newsletter? Well, to stir up the pot, but mainly to make us all incrementally more aware of how good we got it up here. And just in case we have more well-intentioned folks moving up here who want to make this place more like it is where they came from.10

O.K., I feel better now. Here are the upcoming Gun Shows:

Anchorage Gun Show

March 6-7 at Egan Center in Downtown Anchorage

Palmer Gun Show

March 13-14 at Palmer High School

7 And if you don't like them. White, or contact me and say why you don't.

8Unlike Florida, where the best wisdom of their legislators has seen fit to coerce sales taxes from private coin sales such as club auctions.

9 Which has the highest murder rate in the land despite 'CONTROL'.

10 Like, for instance, 'Slick Tony': I'll take a senile old coot over him any day.


'93 Sears Mall Show Schedule

Scott wrote the fallowing for inclusion in the Dec. '92 issue. It is reprinted for the benefit of potential customers and exhibitors alike:



FEBRUARY 6 - 7,1993

APRIL 17 -18,1993

OCTOBER 2 - 3,1993




The Anchorage Coin Club

Club Officers

Board of Directors



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