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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 9, Number 10

October 1996

October Membership Meeting
Wed., October 2, 1996 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

Your editors want to remind all of our club members of the upcoming show at the Dimond Mall on October 26th (Saturday) and October 27th (Sunday). This is the first coin show sponsored by the club for this year. It will feature a number of coin displays. Coins, cards, and other collectables will be available for sale. All of our local coin dealers will be represented at the show. Contact Loren Lucason at 272-3700 to reserve tables.

There is a coin show planned for the Post Office Mall on November 23rd (Saturday) and November 24th (Sunday).

There is a good possibility that several major dealers from the lower 48 may participate in either or both of these upcoming shows......

See ya there!!!!

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events of the Month of October

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: October 2nd (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. Presentation: "Preservation and Enhancement of Coins". Presentation to be made by our president, Mike Greer.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: October 11th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. Subject to be covered will be "Internet and the Latest and Greatest in Cyber coins".

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: October 16th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

September 11th Membership Meeting

The Wednesday night meeting was both informative and delightful. Attended by Bill Fivaz and his wife Marilyn as well as Mike Ellis, the meeting became a mini seminar. Mike answered questions about minting coins and how errors occur. Bill knew virtually everything about numismatics and was very good at communicating it 10 us. One of Bill's favorite subjects is the Hobo nickels. He gave us background on the how and why they were made and then passed around a set of Hobo nickels that showed the various grades of engraving, Mike discussed the 1995 double die cent and invited everyone to the seminar to hear his inside information on the error's origin. Bill and Mike brought some coins for sale which were largely responsible for the meeting starting late (7:55 PM) and running long (10 PM). Tom Taylor won the door prize, a video: "Money: History In Your Hands" and Robert Hall won the membership prize: a book "Collectable American Coins" by Ken Bressett.

Minutes of the September 18th Board Meeting

The E-board meeting started at 7:20 PM. Jim Susky, our HOMERFAN member, offered through e-mail to help edit the newsletter. It will be good to have his wit back in print. Larry Nakata announced that our club lost out on the ANA local newsletter and National Coin Week awards. It was suggested we had a lack of involvement with ANA in promoting our cause. (Comment from one of your editors: Perhaps I should become an ANA member.) Coinage magazine e-mailed Larry Nakata some questions about our club's Homepage on the Internet as pan of an article they were planning. The E-board put together answers that were e-mailed back to Coinage. Loren Lucason announced that the upcoming Oct. 26-27 show at the Dimond Center Mall currently has 16 coin, 4 card, and 4 display tables spoken for. Since the raffle prize, a 1972 doubled die Lincoln Cent ANACS MS-62 RB, was won by member Mike Robuck at the coin seminar, it was decided that the next raffle coin would be a 2 &1/2 dollar Indian gold coin.

Upon recommendation from Mike Greer, the E-board approved a plan for the YN Program involving "Auction Bucks". YNs could earn dollars that can be used to buy coins at future club auctions, starting with the December Christmas Auction.

Discussed were ideas such as:

• Presentations by YNs at YN and regular meetings,

• Helping out at the club shows with club & display tables,

• Writing of articles for the club's newsletter, and

• Putting together displays for future club shows.

The adults overseeing the YN Program will formalize the criteria for earning "Auction Bucks" at the next YN meeting on October 11th.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9 PM.

The 1996 Coin Seminar

A lot of subjects and information were covered during the coin seminar held on October 13-15. Covered were topics such as The Minting Process. Grading. Preservation of coins. Counterfeit detection. Errors and Varieties, Coin Photography, Hobo Nickels, and Love Tokens. The seminar was geared to the sophisticated collector, who has some knowledge of these subjects..... (Editors Comment: Many of those who attended the seminar have participated in previous club sponsored seminars. So the course material reflected the latest information in these areas).

An enjoyable time was had by all who attended (YNs as well). Instructors Bill Fivaz and Mike Ellis had a wonderful time while in Alaska.

Next month's newsletter will feature an in depth article on the Coin Seminar.......

 

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Well....all those that could not attend the seminar missed a good one!! The September membership meeting likewise.

Mike Ellis and Bill Fivaz put on a great mini seminar at the September meeting. Thanks go to Ann, who brought shrimp cocktail and to Larry, who made moose kabobs that were served at the meeting. I must say that the September meeting ranked among the best.

The last two weeks (Sept. 5th - 18th) have been very hectic for me. But I must say I have had an equal amount of fun. We offered a number of activities for the seminar instructors. Bill Fivaz went on a wildlife cruise. Mike Ellis went halibut fishing with Bill Hamilton, Larry Nakata, and me.

We started off to the Ninilchik fishing grounds on Saturday (the 7th) in Bill Hamilton's camper (motorhome). Overall it was a great ride down. The night we spent on the beach was very cold though. Bill's heater "kicked the bucket" sometime during the night. So....Larry, Mike, and I found ourselves huddling together for heat.

The fishing day (on Sunday) was beautiful, the sun was shining, and the water was calm. The fish were not biting very well that day, but eventually we had our limit. The biggest fish was about 25 pounds.

Well....that's about it for the fish story. I'll see you all at the October meeting...........

        Mike Greer.

 

YN CORNER
by Mike Greer

Well, for all YNs that missed the September meeting and coin seminar............I'm sorry you did.

All YNs attending the seminar were able to learn from two well known experts for two days, for FREE!! (Editors Comment: And lots of free coins from Bill Fivaz and Mike Ellis).

In any case, I want to make sure all YNs show up to the next regular membership meeting (on October 2nd) when I will be giving a presentation on "Preservation and Enhancement of Coins" (Editor's Comment: It ought to be a good one.......in the tradition of Dr. Greer).

I also want to make sure you YNs show up at the next YN meeting (October 11th) when Larry Nakata will be giving a special presentation on "Internet and the Latest and Greatest in Cybercoins". He's even bringing his fancy computer for the presentation.

See you there!!!

 

 

"SURFING THE INTERNET"

Contributing editor, Jim Susky, e-m ailed us some editorial comments regarding articles published in last month's newsletter. Thought you would enjoy the comments.

From homerfan@xyz.net:

Congratulations to all responsible for the September ACCent. The variety of articles contained therein bespeaks a vigorous club.

Numismatist of the Year. Congrats again for President Greer's latest honor (that of being named the ANA YN Numismatist of the Year), When former President Larry Nakata informed me of this the other day I inquired as to the booty attendant to this award (Seminar tuition? Cash prize? Airline tickets to ANA HQ?) and was informed there was none (none, at least, as far as Larry knew). Well, I suppose Mike will soon find his photo somewhere inside ANA's journal, "The Numismatist". At that point he should buy "five copies for (his) mother" (as Doctor Hook did in the lyrics of their 70's hit, "The Cover of the Rolling Stone"). Next time I'm sure we'll see Mike's mug on the cover.

President's Message. As a working stiff I was very sorry to hear President Greer missed the July meeting because he "... need(s) a vacation sometimes." I surely do appreciate that sentiment since I (as do most members) look forward to my vacations as a welcome break to the 250+ working days I put in annually. I was not aware that school had become so demanding these days. Are school kids attending more than 9 months / 180 days of late? I certainly appreciated the tip on ANA's Summer Seminar. Indeed, this does sound like a very well kept secret.

Mike Paoletti's Articles. Mr. Paoletti should be commended for his articles on ancient Corinthian coinage and American Paper Currency. I was disturbed by the faintly polemical tone of the latter article, however (and the Politically Correct / feminist / multicultural vernacular used). I find it interesting that such vernacular addresses everyone as hyphenated-American except "whites", "white man", and Paoletti's "generous white instructors". Note also the ironic phrases "a white woman teaches her Native American sister" and "a branch of cotton which enslaves them both "(referring to a mother and child). The article was filled with interesting insights, but had it used a more neutral and detached tone, it would have been more effective as a piece of historical reportage. How much more appropriate, in these days of "sensitivity training", to be more sensitive to the sensibilities of one's audience (ACC in this case, and this ACC member admits to being sensitive to the vernacular noted above)? My suspicion is that all ACC members, including "persons of color", would greatly prefer to be collectively addressed as Americans (no hyphen), men, women, and/or collectors.

OK, I feel better now.

Grading Presentation. It seems a shame to have missed this presentation by our very busy President. That was a provocative comment that a circ coin can "be improved by one or two grades" by dipping it. Perhaps seeing is believing, but this deserves more thorough treatment. May we get a little explanation on this, Mr. President?

"Til Next Time......Jim Susky."

 

MY FAVORITE ANCIENT:
ATHENIAN OWL TETRADRACHM, PART II
by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

In a previous episode Athens had just released the most accepted coinage in the ancient world. The tetradrachm (Seaby #2526) weighing 17.2 grams was the basis of the Attic standard, Athens was in a period of great prosperity having defeated the Persians. However there was a growing resentment against the city-Sparta. In the war with Asia, Athens was sacked twice before their fellow city-state Sparta sent any help. Then in 431 B.C. a city-state allied to Athens was attacked by a city-state allied to Sparta. They both sent armies and the first Peloponnesian war was on. This on/off war lasted decades and drained Athens financially. In the final stages emergency debased coinage had to be issued. The tetradrachm was the same design as S-2526 but made of bronze and silver coated.

Much had been learned during this period and in 392 B.C. an improved coin design was issued. The obverse was still Athena and the reverse was still the owl, however Athena's eye was now in true profile. The workmanship on the striking of this coinage suffered resulting in many oblong flans.

In the end, about 166 B.C., a "new design" was developed. A ring of dots around Athena was added to the obverse and a wreath and amphora were added to the reverse making the design much more complex. The coins were struck on a thinner flan and the simple beauty of the coin was lost.

 

 

ON PREPARING FOR A SHOW
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)
 

Yes...it has been a while since our last club sponsored coin show— too long in many people's opinion. However, we are back on track with what may prove to be a strong fall and spring show schedule. So it is time to start preparing. Hopefully, we may even see some new faces behind the tables.

Some things to think about when preparing for one of our local shows. First—plan ahead! It takes a surprising amount of time to get everything ready for a show. You will need a variety of items, some which are listed below, and you are much better off to have this stuff ready ahead of time rather than waiting until the very last minute. By the way, even though this article is written with the coin dealer in mind, many of the hints will apply to cards and collectables as well.

Five Dollar Indian Gold Obverse

First... the basic setup. The club generally provides the tables and folding chairs. For your basic setup you will need some kind of cloth to cover the rather unattractive table tops. Next you will have to buy, borrow, or rent cases for your display, perhaps with standard bourse trays that are made to fit four to a case. Next you will need adjustable clamp on lights, one per table. Trust me - all of your coins will look like junkers under mall lighting conditions. And don't forget extension cords, power strips, and duct tape to tape down the power cords.

Next, there are the coins themselves. It doesn't hurt to do a dry run setup of your inventory at home so that you can see exactly how much space you have. This is where bourse trays come in handy. The coins may be loaded onto trays at home to make your setup at the show as quick as possible. The trays stack very nicely in a standard ten ream paper box available at any copy center. You can fit about a dozen trays in each box and the coins will stay in their slots.

Lastly, there is a sizable array of auxiliary items that you will need. Most important of all is "change" as the banks are usually closed during the weekend shows. You really cannot have too much—I bring over $400 in change and small bills to each show. A bit of extra cash would not be a bad idea either in case some tempting coins are offered for sale. And on that note do not forget to bring your favorite pricing guides and grading book.

Make sure you have plenty of scrap paper, pens, pencils, and markers (to make signs), and scissors. Some customers will want a receipt, so pickup a generic receipt book at the store. While at the store make sure to get some Windex and paper towels to wipe off your glass case lids. Maybe even stop a the bookstore and pick up some light reading—there will be some slow times. (Editors additional comments: Don't forget extra 2x2s, a lens, stapler, and pliers for flattening staples).

This seems like a lot of stuff to haul along—and it is. Try not to bring many extras as you have limited storage space at the show for unnecessary items. Besides, it is a lot of work to haul this stuff from the car to the mall (especially if you forget your wheeled hand truck).

Above all enjoy the show.....and don't forget your display case keys!!!

 

 

THE REDBOOK: THEN AND NOW
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

With the receipt of the new 50th edition Redbook in the mail this week, it seemed like a fine time to blow the dust off the old 1947 first edition and see how much, or how little, the book has changed. I will try to refrain from too many notes about the valuations in the 1947 edition—suffice it to say that coin values were somewhat (!) lower 50 years ago.

Physically, the 50th edition is the same size as the first with the slight increase in the thickness due to the 72 pages added over the years. While the new version sports a special anniversary cover, the original has the familiar gold lettering on red that any numismatist would recognize in an instant.

The very first item one encounters upon opening the first edition is a picture and discussion of the Spanish Milled Dollar, Currently, this item is located just after the title page rather than before it, but it is still the first coin that is found in the book. The first edition pictured a 1766 specimen where the 1734 piece is currently illustrated.

Several new sections have been added to the literary part of the front of the book; however, the section entitled "An Introduction To United States Coins" is a relic from the very beginning. In fact, the majority of the verbiage in this section remains unchanged after 50 years—a tribute to how well written and researched the original was.

The first major section of coinage deals with colonial money. This section which covers a wide array of crudely manufactured coinage with a wonderful variety of designs was expanded from 45 to 52 pages. More notably, the number of conditions listed for each piece has doubled from generally two grades to 3-5 grades in the current edition. Almost all of the photographs in the 1997 edition are not the same ones from the 1947 edition. The pieces are not the same either. This area seems to have experienced greater price appreciation (Virginia halfpennys for 75 cents anyone?) than most other series (how about an Unc. Fugio cent for $7?).

Moving into the United States regular issues, one finds two very noticeable changes in the half cent and large cent listings. The first, a very positive change, is that the number of listed grades has tripled from two to six. The other big difference is that the photographs in the first edition show the whole coin rather than a close up of the area in question.

While close up photography is good for some varieties, I find it easier to identify large and small date varieties when the whole coin is pictured.

Continuing on, as with virtually all series in the book, the number of grades listed has increased. It is interesting to note that the entire Lincoln cent series, which is approaching 90 years old and now requires seven and a half pages of Redbook to list, fit on just two pages in 1947. It should be time that the grading are presented for each series in the present edition were nowhere to be found in the first. Grading was obviously less technical back in the 40s, for better or for worse. Also conspicuously missing from the listings are any mintage figures—they are listed in the very back of the book, just before the index.

Whereas coins are listed in denomination order in the current Redbook, in the early edition they were grouped by metal. This resulted in the nickel three cent pieces being listed separate from the silver three cent pieces. This is the same arrangement chosen by Walter Breen for his Encyclopedia in which regular issue coinage is grouped by metal.

Because of the limited number of grades used in the first edition, it was possible to divide pages vertically with a line and thus have two columns on each page. This was used more often in series with few varieties requiring photographs.

Continuing through the first edition, one finds that the Roosevelt dime is such a new issue that it fills less space in the book than even the short lived 20 cent piece. Additionally, the entire Washington quarter series fits on one page with room to spare. There is, of course, no mention whatsoever of a Kennedy or even Franklin half dollar. And with a desire to be complete, Mr. Yeoman went ahead and listed that classic American rarity, the 1947-S Walking Liberty half, obviously unaware that San Francisco would not be producing halves in 1947 or 1948. Nonetheless this fascinating item was listed with a 75 cent valuation in uncirculated condition.

Not surprisingly most Morgan and Peace dollars were valued pretty close to face value back in the 1940s. What is different is that the ultimate king of the Morgan Series was none other than the 1903-O at more than triple the price of the 1895 Proof. It would be almost twenty years before several bags oft his coin would be found in treasury vaults reducing it's once great status to that of a semi-key. The Peace Dollar series has an interesting price structure as well, the 1921 Peace dollar is valued below 20 of the 24 coins in the set in Uncirculated condition. Only the 1922, 1934, and 1935 Philadelphia issues are cheaper. In a situation also related to treasury holdings, the big key of the Peace dollar set was that greatest of rarities the 1925 Philadelphia issue.

Many of the same observations hold true for the gold issues as applied to the copper, nickel, and silver pieces....two column format, two to three grades priced, mintage figures in the back of the book, etc. Switching from two column format to one single column requires more pages. Hence, the expansion of the regular issue gold coin listing from 25 pages in 1947 to 35 pages in the 1997 Redbook. Whether it takes 25 or 35 pages to list them, this is an awful lot of gold coins!

As for pricing there are two things to note. First, the least expensive gold coin issued in 1996 is well over $100. In 1946, several gold dollars listed for only $5 in fine condition. However, a better investment would have been made in Proof gold coins. In the first edition, many proofs were listed for less than double the price of an uncirculated specimen of the same year, whereas today they typically are valued 20 to 40 times higher. Proof Stellas for $550 anyone (Mr. Greer)?

The classic Commemorative Series has changed from a chronological listing to an alphabetic one. Other than that (and the prices!) there is little change in this section. By 1946, most of the classic series (1890s to 1950s) had already been issued, including the riot of new coins in the late 1930s, and the listing fits on the exact number of pages. Of course the 1997 edition contains a section for Modem Commemoratives as well.

The final section of the first edition, other than the mintage listing, deals with Territorial Gold coins. There are more varieties listed in the current edition but more of the varieties are actually accompanied by a photograph in the first. And talk about price appreciation! This would have been one of the best investment areas for one's nest egg in the mid 40s.

Several small new sections have been added that appear in the 1997 edition including Civil War Tokens, Hard Time Tokens. Error Coinage, Hawaiian Coinage & Tokens, and Alaskan Tokens (undoubtedly at the request of Doug and Kurtis). (Editors Comment: Maybe Hobo Nickels and Love Tokens next??!!!).

However, enough of the flavor of the previous 49 issues remains that any numismatist would not have to see the cover to know they are looking at the pages of a Redbook.

 

 

 

 


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 Greer          Eves: 344-1907
V. President-                Ann Brown          Days: 563-6708
Treasurer-                      Robert Hall        Eves: 561-8343
Secretary-                   Scott Hornal        Eves: 243-0149
Editors -                     Loren Lucason    Eves: 272-3700
                                    Larry Nakata
                                    Brad Webb
                                    Mike Nourse
                                    Mike Greer

Board of Directors

Mike Orr-                        Eves: 258-9100

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

John Larson-                    Eves: 276-3292

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