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The Award Winning

Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club    

Volume 7, Number 3

March 1994

March Membership Meeting
Wed., March 1, 1994 Central Lutheran Church

7:00 Open
7:30 PM Meeting



There is a lot to report this month so let's get into it.



It's time once again to applaud the tireless efforts given by the movers and shakers of our club. I'm speaking of the ten per cent of our club who do ninety per cent of the work. Without the hard work and leadership of such fine men as Larry Nakata, Paul Wheeler, Mike McKinnon, Mike Orr, Bill D'Atri, Mike Nourse, Robert Hall, and others (whose names escape me just now) this club would not be the vital force that it is.


It's time once again
to applaud the tireless efforts
given by the movers and
shakers of our club


How many other cities of a quarter million boast clubs who put on multiple coin shows and annual seminars as we do? None, I'll bet. We're doing something right since our club has greatly expanded it's membership during the past year. Here then, are the nominees for the offices of the Anchorage Coin Club: 

Mike McKinnon for President. Mr. McKinnon has served during the past year as Vice President and Program Chairman and organized the recent Sears Mall Coin Show.

Mike Orr for Vice President. Mr. Orr has served on the informal organization known as the E-Board, and given a presentation on Canadian coins.

Paul Wheeler has agreed to serve again as Secretary/Treasurer. Mr. Wheeler has kept the club books, kept the auction books, arranged our club prizes, and provided myriad other services for the club including getting our act together to apply for incorporation and reaffirm our status as a non-profit organization.

Mike Nourse has been nominated for the Board of Directors. Mr. Nourse has also served on the E-Board and organized coin shows including the upcoming Dimond Mall Show.

Roy Brown has also been nominated for the Board of Directors. Mr. Brown has given invaluable service in the reproduction of the newsletter as well as other behind-the-scenes activities.

Speaking of behind the scenes, Director Robert Hall has acted as our liaison with the ANA and the numismatic luminaries who lead our seminars.

All of the above deserve a big round of applause for their work and dedication to the club.

Finally, everybody give a standing ovation for Larry Nakata, our departing president, whose diligent effort has made our club stronger and more vigorous than ever. Thanks Larry.



About 6PM on the night of the meeting I got a call from Robin Sisler (#117) who wondered if a club meeting was to be held that evening. I responded in the affirmative, and later that evening Robin was found to be in evidence at "Ye Old Club Meeting. Good thing for him since he won the membership prize which was an uncirculated 1886 Morgan Dollar donated by Roy Brown.

Next up was the door prize which was a Walking Liberty Half, 1936, in VG-F condition.

The coin was donated by Bill Hamilton who drew the winning ticket - his own! Bill drew another ticket. This time the ticket belonged to Jim Hill. Look for a contribution by Jim elsewhere in this newsletter.



The new Anchorage Coin Club banner was presented at the February meeting. The five by ten foot banner has a blue field with devices embroidered in gold consisting of the logos found on the masthead. The legend "Anchorage Coin Club" is also emblazoned in gold. The banner is finished in gold piping. All-in-all it's a sharp bit of advertising for our club.



The club had a spirited discussion on the merits of signing up non-numismatic (read: SPORTS CARDS) exhibitors at our coin shows as regular ($25) members or as associate ($10) members. The associate membership, as originally conceived, was intended to accommodate those who wanted to be affiliated with the club but were not able to attend regularly and were thus unable to gain the full benefit of the club. It amounts to a one-year subscription to the newsletter you hold now.

The problem seems to be with adult members who try to save fifteen dollars by joining as associates and participating as regular members.

According to Mike McKinnon who organized the Sears Mall show about half of the 43+ tables were displaying cards.  Most of these paid for a ten dollar membership in addition to the table fee.

The upside of cutting these exhibitors a break (who, I suppose, are as interested in coins as most of us are in cards) was that some of them may have balked at paying a 25 dollar membership fee plus the table fee. So by making it easy for them to join the club got the benefit of their contributions to the club coffers.


The problem seems to be with
adult members who try to save
fifteen dollars by joining as
associates and participating as
regular members.


On the other hand, if we send them newsletters which most of them probably don't want anyway, some of that monetary benefit will be lost. I estimate the marginal cost of each newsletter to be approximately 30˘ for reproduction, 1˘ for envelopes and labels, and exactly 29˘ for a stamp for a grand total of 60˘ per newsletter per month. Run that out twelve times per year and you get $7.20 or $2.80 profit for every associate membership.

On yet another hand, however, one of our big moneymakers is the proceeds from our coin shows, so if we can develop a large stable of card dealers, we may tap into a healthy source of revenue.

In any case, it was resolved to discuss the issue further the March meeting.



Mike Nourse announced that this show was going strong. At the time of the report about twenty tables had been sold, with a total of sixty planned. The show is scheduled for the first weekend in March (right after the March Meeting) and promises to be well attended. Certainly the show will be well advertised. Mike reported that ads will appear in the Anchorage Opinion, Beckett's, Coin World, and Numismatic News. Interested parties should contact Mike at 344-9856.



Robert Hall announced that the Northway Mall arrangements are proceeding nicely. The show is scheduled for three days the weekend following the Dimond Mall show (March 11-13).

Table fee is $35 each for one or two tables. Those desiring three tables or more will receive a discount. Call Robert days at 265-8782. Since Robert is out of town from time to time, this will also serve as a message number. Alternatively Mike Nourse may also be contacted regarding table reservations at 344-9856.



Robert also reported on progress with the seminar. Anthony Swiatek responded to our invitation to lead our seminar in September saying he would be available for three days from September 16-18. Robert Hall reported that Mr. Swiatek had called him and that his wife Gloria is planning to accompany him on the trip.

The plan at this point is to begin the seminar on Friday followed by dinner with the Swiatek's. Do it again Saturday followed by another dinner. Wrap it up Sunday. According to Robert Swiatek loves to tell stories and said "Be ready for some off-color ones." Good. If Roy Brown shows up there will be no lack of entertainment. Roy can hold his own with the best of 'em, as he demonstrated when Bill Fivaz joined us for dinner at the last seminar we sponsored.



The raffle prize was a set of four silver dollars. Two were Morgan dollars (1885-O Compugraded¨ MS 60.5, L43[1] and 1921 NGC graded MS 61) two were Peace dollars (1922 PCGS graded MS 62 and 1923 NGC graded MS 62). The raffle was held over from the January meeting since too few tickets were sold then. I hate these hold overs since I usually forget to bring my tickets the next time. Sure enough, I had forgotten them again, so I bought three more. Raffle King (and Lame Duck) Larry Nakata ensured a drawing by purchasing twenty tickets just before time for the drawing. We can always count on Larry to provide staunch support for our raffles. The winning ticket, drawn by Jim Walston, belonged to Yours Truly. Sure am glad he didn't draw one of those sitting at home!

Grading Early U.S. Copper to be Topic of Presentation

Program Chairman Mike McKinnon has arranged a video presentation on the grading of early U.S. copper. The presentation will last 53 minutes and was produced by ANA. If this program is like others I've seen by ANA it'll be well worth the trouble to attend and view. Old Copper is cool stuff. I dare any coin collector to view a lot of old copper and not get at least a little interested. In any case, come for what will undoubtedly will be a fascinating video.

EAC to Issue CD-ROM Disc

On a related note, Early American Coppers (Inc.) which is THE organization for U.S. copper collectors, is offering all twenty seven years of their excellent  bi-monthly publication Penny Wise on CD-ROM (which is short for "Compact Disk-Read Only Memory"). The disk will feature search programs for DOS, Windows, and Macintosh operating systems as well as the ability to view pictures, ads, letters, announcements, and articles. WOW!


Early American Coppers

 is offering all twenty seven years of "Penny Wise"

on CD-ROM.


I've been getting Penny Wise for a year and must say I've been impressed with the publication and the obvious energy and expertise that is goes into it.

This would seem to be an affordable and immensely convenient means of enhancing ones numismatic library. Those possessing extensive libraries would do well to look into this opportunity as this represents the state-of-the-art in archival information storage and retrieval.

The regular price is $94. Pre-publication price if ordered before April 1, 1994 (no foolin') is $79 plus $4 shipping and handling. Add $5 if not an EAC member.

"Send no money now" says the announcement, "an invoice will be shipped with the disc."


Send to:                         Digital Dynamics

                                        3055 Plymouth Road

                                        Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Indicate EAC # and mailing address with your reply. Indicate also if you want "great pricing on a CD-ROM drive."


A Letter from the Prez

Larry Nakata caps his energetic tenure as President with the following message:

I hope all of you had an opportunity to attend the Sears Mall show several weeks ago. It proved to be the most successful show to date for our club. Altogether, there were some 43 tables at the show and business was brisk.

Mike Nourse, who is putting together the Dimond Mall show scheduled for March 5th and 6th, told the E-Board he has commitments for 51 tables at this point. There is still plenty of room for those interested in tables. Contact Mike Nourse for details.

There are significant commitments for the Northway Mall show scheduled for March 11th, 12th, and 13th. Those interested in tables should contact Robert Hall.

I had a great time at the Sears Mall show manning the club tables. There was great interest from the general public in coin collecting and we added quite a few new members to the club roster as a result of that show. For the first time in our club's history we had a very significant number of tables dedicated to cards. In canvassing those card tables, I was surprised to find out that many of those card collectors also collect coins.

At our E-Board meeting, 57 lots of coins were submitted for the April auction. Those members wishing to submit additional coins to round out the 100 lots for the April auction can do so at our March 2nd club meeting, at the Dimond Mall & Northway Mall shows, and at the March 16th E-board meeting.

I will have the April auction coins on exhibit at the March 2nd meeting and the upcoming coin shows.

Mike McKinnon informed the E-Board that our March meeting will feature a session on Early American Copper coins.

On other business, I want to say my piece on "delinquent membership dues". Paul Wheeler pointed out at our last E-Board meeting that some $700 in back dues are owed by our members. I don't like to sound like a "broken record", but those members participating in our club programs should not procrastinate on payment of their membership dues.

Reminder notices have been sent to all of you. I have asked Paul to give each of you a personal call on this matter. Some of you are almost 6 months behind in your dues. You will be dropped from the club membership and your newsletter discontinued if these dues are not resolved shortly. 

Our March 2nd meeting will be our election for new club officers. It will be the first order of business on our meeting agenda. As I will not be running for any of the club officer positions this year, I will be turning over the gavel to the new president following the election vote.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support of this club during my term as president. I had a great time seeing this club grow and evolve this past year. The new president takes over as our club goes into it's 6th year of existence......a sign of a good, healthy club.


Roy Brown Sponsors

YN Cherrypicking Contest


YN program coordinator Bill D'Atri  offers the following report entitled:

Cherrypicking Blues

The long anticipated and much appreciated YN Cherrypicking Contest has come to a fitting end. January 29th,1994 was the eventful day, and I'm proud to report that everyone who participated came away a winner.

This inaugural event was held at Roy's Coins in beautiful, downtown Spenard, and on behalf of all of us I'd like to extend a "Thank You" to Roy for all his support and generosity.

The participants were Billy McGinnis (who can share info on where I came up with the title of this article), Greg D'Atri, Mike Greer, and Nathaniel Grabman. A total of eleven coins were submitted for the competition, judged by Roy Brown, Larry Nakata, and Curtis Hawk. An awesome collection of repunched dates, off center strikes, doubled die obverses and repunched letters were able to keep the judging panel behind closed doors for what seemed like hours.

The prizes were a wonderful assemblage of mint screw-ups that Bill Fivaz had donated, accompanied by 30th anniversary Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation commem-oratives that Roy presented to every YN. Thanks again to Bill and Roy for all their support!

The winners, in order of prize selection, were Greg , Mike , Nathaniel, Billy, and Greg. Winning submittals included a 1905 Indian Cent with repunched date, 1937-D Washington Quarter with repunched mintmark, 1830 Half Dime with repunched letter, 1865 Three Cent Nickel with repunched date, and an 1868 Shield Nickel with doubled die obverse. All in all, a great collection of rare and unusual varieties found here in Anchorage.

Everyone had fun sharpening their skills, the submittals were almost as good as the prizes, and the door is wide open to make this an annual event.

On behalf of all the YN's, "Thank You!" to our sponsors (Roy and Bill), our extinguished panel of judges (Larry, Curtis and Roy), to Mr. Bill McGinnis for all of his volunteer time this past year, and to the parents who made time to support this program.

A Comment on the "Mail Bid Only Auction"
Submitted by Bill D'Atri, 
Past President

    There apparently is a bit of momentum within the Club to sponsor a mail bid-only auction.

My first impression is that it sounds like fun, and that the Club treasury will benefit from it, so why not? From here the story takes a decidedly different turn than you may imagine.

My experience with mail bid auctions is not that great nor varied, as I've participated in auctions run by three different firms. I've had good experiences with all of them, and I was able to purchase some quality goods at reasonable prices. Please notice that I specifically stated FIRMS and not CLUBS. These FIRMS are all on a rather specific agenda, and I'll leave it unstated for now.

As I understood things, the main mission of the Club was to provide an educational forum for the membership. Events like the Grading Seminars that the Club has sponsored fit that educational criteria exceptionally well. I have participated in them, and found them very beneficial to my ongoing numismatic education.

I've worked the Club table at coin shows, attempted to share a bit of my knowledge with the younger members of the club, and generally tried to share as well as receive when it came to the Club. In a nutshell, I've supported the educational agenda that I believe embodies the main focus of the Club.

My concerns regarding the mail bid-only auction are these: What is the BENEFIT to the Club membership to sponsor this event? Does it fit the educational agenda that we should be pursuing? If it doesn't, are we mature enough to realize it and put the brakes to this momentum?

Let's look a two different approaches that we've taken in the past regarding buying and selling coins: coin shows and coin auctions.

Coin shows benefit the club very directly, both from new membership as well as revenue production to add to the treasury. These events are very specific, easily managed, and fit the educational focus that we should be pursuing. Judging from the participation of both the membership and the community in general, this type of event fits our educational agenda very well.

Auctions are a different story. These very minor (to date) events require quite a bit of administration. Accepting the coins and assigning consensus grades, physically managing the lots before and after the auction, and accounting functions associated with the auction all require lots of people's time.

My experience as auctioneer leads me to believe that these functions are not very well received by the club, judging from both the lots submitted and the bids that I've received. They provide minor educational opportunities for the membership, and very little chance for the community in general to participate in. I'll leave it up to you to decide which of these two types of events best fit with the Anchorage Coin Club's main agenda, Education.  I believe that only the coin shows come close.

So now it's time to ask ourselves if we, as a club,  really want to devote Club resources to a mail bid auction. I challenge anyone to bring me a copy of Coin World's Mail Bid Section and show me one sponsored by a coin club. They are all held by individuals or firms, and there is a reason for it.

These are profit driven functions, period!  There is no opportunity for education, except to learn from your own personal mistakes regarding that specific lot that you aren't happy with.

I believe that if individuals within the Club want to have a mail bid auction, fine. Let them pursue it as individuals, as there is no overwhelming logic in having the Club sponsor this type of financial pursuit.

In closing, it is my contention that the main motive of sponsoring this type of event is financially driven, and best left to private enterprise to pursue.

Thank you.


New Grading Scale Proposed


        Everybody's got a better idea. One example would be Ford Motor Company (or at least their ad executives) Another would be PCGS (and later NGC) who came up with a single-grade eleven-mint-state-scale with a "guarantee" behind it. This one worked at least as far as the marketplace was concerned. ANACS lost the greater portion of the coin certifying business to these two, and later adopted the concept of micro-graded slabs. Compugrade¨ (otherwise known as "Compuslab") tried to sell computer graded slabs containing Morgan Dollars with 101 possible Mint State grades and a 100 point luster index. This was a better idea whose time has perhaps not yet come.

All the above is a somewhat over-long intro to a succinct offering by James Hill a relatively new member in our club:

After sixteen years collecting coins I have come up with a grading scale that accurately grades coins. The scale is as follows; Metal, M-0. Fair, F-5. AG-10, G-15, VG-20, AF-30 (about fine), F-40, VF-50, EF-60, AU-70, U-80 (Uncirculated), U-85, MS-90.


The Anchorage Coin Club

Meetings:       Membership meeting - First Wednesday of the month, 7:30 PM
                        E-Board meeting - Third Wednesday of the month, 7:00 PM
                        Meetings held at the Central Lutheran Church, at the corner of 15th and Cordova


Club Officers

President-                     Mike McKinnon      Days: 786-7490
                                                                        Eves: 248-0955

V. President-                 Mike Orr                 Days: 258-9100

Treasurer-                      Paul Wheeler         Days: 563-3910
                                                                        Eves: 694-0962

Sec./Editor-                   Mike Nourse          Any: 344-9856

Board of Directors

Robert Hall-                     Days: 265-8782

Roy Brown-                     Eves: 563-6708  

Larry Nakata-                 Days: 269-5603
                                         Eves: 563-1729


Life Membership                      $250
Regular Membership               $25/year
Associate Membership           $10/year
Junior Membership                  $5/year


To save cost, members not responding to renewal notices within three 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: PO Box 230169  Anchorage, Alaska 99523