Return to Alaska Coin Exchange homepage
Return to ACCent homepage
ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club
|Volume 9, Number 11||
|November Membership Meeting|
|Wed., November 6, 1996||Central Lutheran Church||
7:30 PM Meeting
Hopefully.....this newsletter has gotten to you before the start of our club's show at the Dimond Mall. If it did...your editors hope to see you there. Remember the dates...October 26th and 27th. Those members who wish to help set up tables at the Dimond Mall can show up at 6 PM on Friday, October 25th. We can use the help....
The next show after this one will be held at the Post Office Mall located at 333 West 4th Avenue on November 23rd (Saturday) and November 24th (Sunday). Parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays at the Post Office Mall parking lot. Those of you interested in getting tables can get with Loren Lucason (ph# 272-3700) or see Loren at the club's show at the Dimond Mail. Table fees will be $40 per table with a $5 per table discount for prepayment.
Our club's traditional December membership meeting / YN meeting / Christmas Party is officially scheduled for Thursday, December 12th. This is our Christmas Potluck event where we ask our members to bring in dishes of their choice for the potluck. Larry Nakata will bring the traditional ham. Other needs will be for main dishes, vegetable dishes, desserts, and salads. The club will provide the soda pop, chips, dishes, utensils, and other condiments. People are asked to start showing up at 6 PM with dinner to occur at 6:30 PM. Following dinner, there will be a contest amongst the YNs for "Final Auction Bucks" (see the YN Corner article in this month's newsletter) in which the YNs will be tested on their numismatic knowledge. It should be a very entertaining event.....
Traditionally, our club has held a major coin auction at the Christmas party event. Because of the length of the December program, the Coin Auction will be held at our club's January meeting (January 8th). Members wishing to submit any coins or lots for the auction can notify one of the board members. Auction lots will be posted on our club's Internet Home Page and in the newsletter. Browsers of our club's WEB Page will be allowed to place a bid for any coin lots posted. During the January 8th Coin Auction, these Internet bids will be called "from the book". It should be interesting to see what kind of bids will come in via Internet...
Schedule of Events of the Month of November
1. Monthly Membership Meeting: November 6th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. The meeting will be "Show and Tell" event in which club members are asked to bring in their favorite coins (especially coins that were purchased this summer).
2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: November 8th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. There will be a short coin subject (to be determined) followed by a discussion on the progress of "The YN Bucks Program".
3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: November 20th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.
4. Club Show at the Post Office Mall: November 23rd (Saturday) and November 24th (Sunday). Members and general public welcomed. Coins, cards, collectibles, and displays.
October 2nd Membership Meeting
October's membership meeting was a very informative, no politics get together. Loren Lucason gave a summary of the upcoming coin shows including the Dimond Mall Oct. 26 & 27 and the Post Office Mall during Fur Rondy. Larry Nakata announced that the next YN meeting would include his computer. The door prize. "A Basic Guide to US Commemorative Coins" by Bowers was won by Mike Gentry. The membership prize, a 1909-O Barber half was won by Roy Brown.
President Mike Greer gave a presentation on the "Preservation and Enhancement of Coins". This consisted of two parts; "cleaning" and "cooking". "Cleaning" involved dipping in Jewel Luster or MS-70 and rinsing in cold water....perhaps using a little baking soda dissolved in water to neutralize the mild acid that makes these cleaners work. Mike advised "don't dip copper (it turns funny colors) and wear rubber gloves".
Cooking is done to tone coins (darken them). Mike showed the effects of wrapping the coin in aluminum foil along with a couple bay leaves and baking in the oven at 450 to 500 F for 20 to 30 minutes. This may generate some smoke so use the fan or disconnect the smoke detector (temporarily). Another way to tone coins is to use Vigor, a dip that tones silver in seconds.
Mike provided us with many examples and demonstrations. The meeting broke up before 9 PM and we ail went home with the knowledge of "better coins through chemistry".
Minutes of the October 16th Board Meeting
A productive E-board meeting held on October 16th got plenty of work done. The meeting started promptly at 7 PM with an update on the Dimond Mall show. At the time there were 17 coin tables, 9 card tables, and 8 display tables assigned, leaving 6 tables available.
Educational presentations for upcoming meetings were discussed. Among the ideas for the November meeting was a "Coin Show and Tell". Members would be invited to bring coins that represented an assigned subject of their interest. These coins would be viewed by the other members and described by the owners. Subjects could be as specific as Second World War coinage, or animals pictured on coins, or as general as coins you got last summer.
The Christmas Potluck Party was discussed and a date was set for December 12, 1996. The annual auction will be scheduled for the January membership meeting (January 8th....since January 1st will not do for our club's January meeting). The December 2nd party will feature a YN competition for "Final Auction Bucks". The young numismatists will be given an opportunity to earn auction bucks at the Christmas party by answering numismatic questions. These auctions bucks can then be used to bid on coins in the January auction.
Mr. Nourse, Mr. Greer, and Mr. Orr were nominated for the Bill Garing "Numismatist of the Year" Award. We took a silent vote and Mike won.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM. Final Items. Ken Bressett / President / ANA sent our club a letter regarding Mike Nourse's October article "The Redbook: Then and Now".
In his letter, Ken writes:
"Please tell Mike Nourse that I appreciated his article on the old and new Red Books. Very well written and accurate. I enjoyed reading it and remembering all of the changes that I have made in the book over the past 35-40 years."
As usual I pushed Larry and Loren till the very last minute to get this letter to them. Sorry guys.
Well, our shows are back on track again. With our first one of the season going on at the Dimond Center at the end of October. The show will consist of 40 tables with 75% of them being coin material. For the first time in about a year arid a half our show will represent a mainly numismatic market, rather than sports cards. But of course there will be a few sport card tables too.
A number of new faces will appear at the show. Including Carl of Carl's and Mike Robuck of The Alaska Mint. This event will be fun for all. All credit for this awesome show should be given to Loren Lucason who spent much time organizing our show. Loren says more shows are in the works for the future including a possible December show at the Post Office Mall. If anyone has any questions or suggestions just give Loren a ring.
Make sure everyone shows up at our next few meetings. All sorts of fun and interesting things are planned. Including a "Show and Tell" at our November meeting. Everyone is welcome to show off their new coins, etc. that were purchased over the summer. A type of a "mini" bourse will be set up so everybody has a chance to show, buy, sell, trade, etc. their cool numismatic stuff. I think this will be a fun event for all involved. In the near future look for a presentation to be done by "Skip" (the Valley Copper guy) on none other than Copper Coinage- And of course, there is our December Xmas Parry / Potluck which is in the works. Also, be ready for the traditional auction to be held at our January 5th meeting.
Plus a special YN Trivia Contest to be held at our December event. A lot of fun is planned for our next few meetings, so please show up.
In ending, I would like to commend Jim Susky and his humorous articles. I try to use as much humor as possible in my writing. But I think none of my articles could amuse me as much as some of Jim's.
Oh...by the way Jim, I have too entered "the working stiffs world". As of five months ago....when I ended my high school career. So, I too know the pain of working 40 hours per week.
P.S. I didn't know people actually worked in Homer......... Mike G.
This is An announcement to all of the YNs in our club:
At least $100 in YN Bucks will be available to our YNs for purchase of coins at our club's upcoming January Coin Auction.
Between now an our January auction, YNs will be able to earn these "bucks" in a variety of ways:
YNs may write articles on coins that will be considered for publication in our club's upcoming newsletters. Articles accepted will earn between $5-$10 in YN Bucks depending upon the quality of the article. Articles must be at least 125 words.
YN Bucks can be earned by helping set up at meetings, and help clean up after meetings. $2 - $3 in bucks can be earned.
Selling & distributing raffle tickets. YNs can earn one YN Buck for every two raffle tickets sold.
Helping out at our club's upcoming shows in October and November. Up to $2/hour of YN Bucks can be earned.
Prepare a YN Display at our club's upcoming shows in October and/or November. Displays will earn somewhere between $5-$ 10 in bucks depending on the quality of the display.
Do a presentation at our club's November 6th meeting or at the YN meeting on November 8th. The presentation can earn somewhere between $10 - $20 in YN Bucks depending upon the quality of the presentation. Presentations should consist of a minimum of ten minutes of well prepared material.
Recruiting new members. Up to $5 in YN Bucks can be earned for every new member recruited.
Best design for the "YN Buck" note. By our next YN meeting on November 8th, we are asking YNs to submit a design for a $1 YN Buck. The YNs in attendance will choose the winning design. (Note: YNs cannot vote for their own design). The winning design will receive $10 in YN Bucks. Each YN submitting a design will receive one YN Buck. The design should be the size of a regular US one dollar bill. The winning design will be copied and used as the actual YN Buck for the January Coin Auction transactions by the YNs.
Attendance at our club's November 6th meeting and the YN meeting on November 8th will earn one YN Buck per meeting.
Contest Bucks. Following our dinner at the December 12th membership meeting / Christmas Potluck Party, a contest will be held among the YNs in attendance on their knowledge of numismatics. Final contest bucks will be awarded.
For further information contact Larry Nakata or Mike Greer, Good luck to all of you YNs!!
My favorite coin is the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Penny. The reasons of rarity and that almost every other coin collector wants one are not the most important. I reason I like the 1909-S VDB is the history behind the coin. In 1909, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, introducing the Income Tax. The Indian Head Penny was being replaced by the Lincoln Penny after 50 years of circulation.
The 1909-S VDB Penny was minted for as few as five days with a total output of about 484,000 pennies. Why so few 09-S VDB Pennies?! The designer. Victor D. Brenner and Chief Engraver, Charles Barber, had an argument. Barber thought Brenner's initials VDB were too large. Barber won, and changed the dies. The rest is history.
The 1909-S VDB has become a classic American rarity.
For seven years the club has sponsored seminars on a nearly yearly basis. The same faces (more or less) turn up at these affairs which generally belong to the Numismatically Advanced. Notably absent are those that could benefit the most from these educational opportunities (call them the Numismatically Challenged). These Numismaticallv Challenged routinely overgrade their own material (and severely undergrade the stuff they 're buying). They swear the strike-doubled proof they bought is in fact a Doubled Die (as if the loud proclamation of belief would alter the tangible reality of the coin. If this sounds familiar, you are a prime candidate to provide fresh blood (cash?) at next year's seminar. If so, no one need know you are part of the NC ranks. Just pay your money, listen, watch, examine, ask, and learn.
Day One: Coffee and doughnuts were, as always, the first order of business. Instructors Bill Fivaz and Mike Ellis (president of CONECA, The Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America) showed up early to greet their fellow Numismatists and to help set up.
The Minting Process. Mike Ellis kicked off the seminar with a slide presentation showing how dies are cut. Starting with wax molds, a galvano (or copper shell) is made. It is then used to cut the master hub using a reduction lathe (known as a Javier reducing lathe). The master hub is then used to imprint the image the image onto dies. These dies are then hardened and then prepared for use.
The presentation then addressed the production of planchets. ingots are rolled into strips that are annealed and bonded with other materials (apparently to produce "clad" planchets). These rolled strips are then fed through a machine that punches out blanks which are then weighed, cleaned, and processed into planchets. Once the rim of the blank is raised, it is officially called a planchet. These planchets are then fed into minting presses.
Next Mike showed how errors are caused. Overstrikes, clips, die cracks, and die breaks (otherwise known as cuds) were discussed. Understanding how coins are struck sheds light on the production of errors.
Next, the difference in the production of proofs and business strikes was discussed. A key difference is that proof planchets are polished using ball bearing type pellets. Proof planchets are then hand fed into the minting presses where they are struck twice using highly polished dies. Another difference is the intentional contrast produced between "frosted" devices surrounded by mirrored fields. Low points in the "negative" die are periodically treated to maintain frosted devices and fields polished to maintain the mirror-like finish. This is necessary as planchet metal flow wears the dies during striking.
Interestingly, proof dies are often reused for regular business strike coins. Another interesting point was that proof coins are manufactured in minting presses that can only strike one coin at a time vs. coin presses used for business strikes that can simultaneously strike up to 4 coins. Inspections tend to be more stringent with proof coins vs. business strike coins. As a result it is very difficult to find errors in proof coins.
When used up, the face of the dies are then ground down and the remaining metal (called die metal) is sold as scrap.
Grading. The session centered on a slide presentation that covered grading the Buffalo Nickel, Mercury Dime, Standing Liberty Quarter, and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. The key characteristics that determine the grade of a coin is strike, luster, contact marks, and eye appeal.
Technical vs. Market Grading. We found that market grading predominates today. One surprise was finding that a technically graded AIJ58 coin can be slabbed as an MS-62 or MS-63 grade by certification services. It was argued that such AU58 coins can often have better eye appeal than a technically graded MS-60 or MS-61coin....the only difference being a bit of rub on the coin. By the same token, a weakly struck technically graded MS-65 com can be market graded MS60 because of poor strike and eye appeal.
Cleaning vs. Preservation of coins was discussed by both Bill Fivaz and Mike Ellis. Nowadays treating coins for the sake of preservation is acceptable. Removal of contaminants on a coin through the use of "Dissolve" promotes better preservation of coin surfaces.
"Counterfeit Detection". Bill and Mike's presentation largely focused on key date coins and key diagnostics that one should look for when determining a coin's authenticity. The first day concluded with an exercise in which we all inspected coins and determined them to be either counterfeit or the real thing.
Day Two (Saturday): was graced by the YNs. The session started with "Numismatic Terms and Descriptions". Terms such as adjustment marks, brockages, clashmarks, hammer dies, anvil dies, and hubs were discussed. So?... Don't tease, inquiring minds want to know!
"Errors and Varieties". It was interesting to find that errors are recognized only if it is a result of an error on the die. Key diagnostics, such as splits in the serifs of the lettering, are key indicators of die doubling.
Machine (or strike) doubling happens during the striking process. Loose dies can shift causing machine doubling. Such strike doubling results in a "shelf-like" appearance on the doubling....as if the doubling is sheared with a shininess on portions of the doubling.
Other errors and varieties discussed were repunched mintmarks. broadstrikes, partial brockages, indents, and finned coins.....all caused by the minting process.
For instance, a finned coin is caused by a heavy planchet in which the stock was rolled too thick. The result is a coin with very high raised rims on the hammer die side of the coin.
"Slang Terms in Numismatics". After lunch, we had fun going over some numismatic jargon. Do you know what it means when someone says "I just got this rip from a fish and sent it back to slab city, figuring it was a 4- shot -5, but it came back in a body bag as AT." ?
Well.........what that guy said was "I just bought this underpriced (or undergraded) coin from someone who didn't know what he was doing, and sent it to (one of the grading services) as I felt it was at least an MS-64 and maybe an MS-65; it came back without a grade as they felt the toning on the piece was artificial."
The Do's and Don'ts of Coin Collecting.
• The proper handling of coins.
• The importance of taking an overall look at the coin first before putting a magnifier glass on the coin.
• The type of magnifier one should use. In most cases, a 5x-7x magnifier is recommended.
• Use of good lighting. Incandescent (100w) lighting is recommended. Avoid fluorescent lights.
• When grading high grade coins, look for wear on the high points of the coin. Look at both sides of the coin and the edge of the coin.
• Storage of coins.
1. Avoid PVC type holders which can cause green slime to form on coins over a period of time. Mylar flips are good for short term storage. The collector should flatten the staples on the holder,
2. Koin Tains and Air Tite holders are good for long term storage of coins.
3. The best type of holders to use for long term storage are the hard plastic holders, such as the Capitol holders. Slabbing is a good long term storage method, but one which conceals the coin's edge.
4. Avoid coin albums that use Mylar slides; the slides tend to scratch the surface of the coin, which can make a Mint State coin AU. Coin albums that use Mylar slide out holders are OK to use if care is taken not to rub the coin surface.
5. Coin tubes are another good way to store coins.
• Preservation of Coins. If a coin shows PVC damage, it can be dipped in "Dissolve" to remove PVC damage. This applies to silver coins only.
• Avoid overdipping coins (in mild acid dips such as Jewel Luster and MS70)...it will result in a washed out look with a degradation in luster. Gold coins can be treated with warm water and ivory soap.
• Security of Coins. One should store coins away from heat and humidity. A safe deposit box in a temperature controlled environment (such as in a bank) is a good place for storage. If you store coins at home, use a fire safe with silica gel packs inside (to control humidity). Have a good security system at home.
Mike Ellis and Bill Fivaz then presented Certificates of Appreciation to members Mike Greer and Robert Hall for their efforts in organizing this seminar. A Certificate of Appreciation was also presented to the Anchorage Coin Club for recognition of our club's activities in the promotion of numismatics.
Kudos continued when President Mike Greer presented Mike Ellis with one of our club's numbered 5th Year Commemorative sets and an honorary membership with the Anchorage Coin Club. (Bill Fivaz has been an Anchorage Coin Club member since 1992 and received his numbered set in 1993 when our commemorative sets were made).
Free samples of error and variety coins were subsequently given to the YNs and members in attendance at this seminar by both Bill and Mike.
Coin Photography. Bill Fivaz is somewhat famous for his work with high-magnification coin photography (see "Name that Coin" below). He emphasized good lighting and a good stereo microscope with camera adapter. For example, when photographing a coin from straight up does not give the expected results, a good alternative is to tilt the coin for an angle shot with the lighting coming from the opposite angle.
Hobo Nickels. Bill Fivaz opened with a history of hobo nickels and specifically of George Washington Hughes (otherwise known as "Bo"). Hobo nickels arose from the era of the depression when hobos would carve buffalo nickels and use them to trade for lodging and food. In the arena of hobo nickels. Bo is acknowledged to be the foremost practitioner of the art. His work is widely sought after.
Yet another slide set was shown reviewing the subject of hobo nickels with lots of Bo's work pieces spanning a 60 year period. The slide presentation also covered representative pieces by Bo's teacher, "BERT, who signed his name by scraping the "LI" and "Y" off LIBERTY on the Buffalo Nickel. The artisan's techniques and tools were presented. One such technique involved "push metal" in which metal was pushed on the coin with a tool giving the image a 3D effect.
Day 3 (Sunday): On Sunday, Bill Fivaz treated us with his very impressive collection of hobo nickels. The morning's slides showed numerous examples of hobo nickels made by Bo around 1950 - his best period. Also shown were carvings of Indian Cents, Liberty Nickels. Lincoln Cents, Jefferson Nickels, and foreign coins which were produced by "BERT and other "hobos".
At the break we drew lots for two copies of "The Top 100 Morgan Dollar Varieties: The VAM Keys" c. 1996 by Michael S. Frey, PhD and Jeff Oxman which were donated by Bill Fivaz. Winners were Bill Hamilton and Larry Nakata,
The club's raffle coin, a ANACS slabbed 1972 doubled die Lincoln Cent in MS-62 RB condition, was won by none other than Mike Robuck.
Love Tokens. Love tokens were created by artists in carnivals who would carve the initials of a loved one onto American coins of the period. The coin was typically rubbed down until the design was obliterated. Upon this blank the artist would engrave or stamp a pattern. These love tokens were used in bracelets, pendants, and necklaces.
Another form of token carved used black enamel paint , was ornately scribed, and was used to remember a loved one who recently died.
Other types of tokens featured elaborate designs made by jewelers. The higher the denomination of the coin, the more prosperous the giver. The Lord's Prayer was a popular engraving.
The Wrap Up. The seminar concluded with an exercise called "Name that Coin". A series of some 60 slides were shown in which only a partial image of the coin could be seen. We tried to ID the type of coin. !t proved to be quite a challenge.
The seminar concluded with this key point: that the collector should be well versed on the three basics of Numismatics:
• The Minting Process
• Counterfeit Detection
A knowledge of these three basic topics will give the collector a great advantage in the arena of Numismatics.
The seminar thus concluded,..
Marilyn and I want to thank you sincerely for the absolutely wonderful time we had up there recently. We were looking forward to the trip for months, and it was even more fun than we had hoped.
Everything was so well organized, and your hospitality and graciousness was just marvelous... we really felt right at home wherever we went. Ann's shrimp, Larry's moose and the cake at the meeting were very much appreciated, and it was nice to renew old friendships as well as make many new ones.
We have very fond memories (revisited over and over through the photos we took), and hopefully will be able to visit again sometime down the road. We'd love to bring our son and daughter-in-law up there sometime...the only problem would be that he'd send for all his possessions and settle up there once he saw the beauty of the land and the friendly folks who make Alaska the great state it is.
Thanks again for making our visit so nice - for the first time that we can remember, it was really tough to come home from a trip!
Kindest regards. Bill and Marilyn Fivaz.
In researching the history of money in Alaska, one finds a rich, historical background that starts with the early native Alaskan cultures. Before the arrival of the Russian explorers, the barter system was used as a method of exchange among early native Alaskans. Commonly traded by the early native Alaskans were such items as:
• Objects made of ivory.
• Everyday necessities such as weapons, tools, needles, buttons, fish hooks.
• Animal teeth.
• Oomiahs (walrus skin boats)
• Items of ceremonial significance such as native art work.
• Sheets of copper (called "tinnah") that was used in trade by the natives in Southeast Alaska.
• Dentalium sea shells.
By 1743, Russian- explorers began expeditions that resulted in their occupation of Alaska for 125 years. The Russian settlements were largely confined to coastal areas and islands south of the mouth of the Yukon River. Little trade existed between the Russians and native Alaskans at this time.
Before very long, fur traders from different nations came to the Aleutian Islands and shores of Central and Southern Alaska to trade beads for furs with the native Alaskans. The bead-fur trade subsequently attracted merchants from nations such as Britain and America. Among them was Captain Cook, who came to Alaska on his third sea voyage.
But it was Russia who profited most from this trade. During the early days, one large glass bead could trade for as many as 40-50 fur skins. The bead trade subsequently became the first standardized currency used in Alaska.
By 1799, the Russian-America Co. was established under a charter granted by Russia. The Russian-America Co. was to become the governing body for Alaska for the remainder of the Russian occupation.
It was during this time that the ''sealskin note" was introduced. This was simply a piece of sealskin on which was printed the denomination of the Russian currency. This was the first form of currency used by the Russians that was indigenous to Alaska. This currency was only used around Russian settlements. Very few specimens survive today.
During the Russian occupation, poor treatment of the native Alaskans by the Russians resulted in numerous uprisings. As time progressed the Hudson Bay Company began making inroads on Russian territory in Alaska. Sharp competition by British and American ships resulted with the Russians.
By 1862, Russia became weary of their Alaskan enterprise and subsequently chose not to renew the charter of the Russian-America Company.
Arrangements were first made for it's sale to an American firm, the predecessor of the Northern Commercial Co., which is still in business today.
Alaska was ultimately sold to the United Slates, whereupon Alaska entered a period of utter neglect. The Russians went home. Except for a few Army posts, few Americans resided in Alaska. This was to continue until the discovery of gold in Alaska at the turn of the Century.
What followed was a wide open era in which fortunes were made and lost overnight. Hoards of people came from everywhere (especially the United Slates) eager to make their fortunes. This was a period of time that lasted some 20 years.
During the Alaska Gold Rush, Alaska's currency went to a true gold standard -that of raw gold. Other forms of currency were spurned as "cheechako money". (Note: Cheechako is an Alaskan term for a newcomer or tenderfoot.)
The use of gold as a medium of exchange proved to be very cumbersome. The need for stabilized commerce using a better form of currency soon became apparent. The problem was that even when ready cash was available, it tended to be shipped out of Alaska. It parallels the experience of the early U.S. Government and the problems with coinage.
What evolved was the introduction of trade tokens (also known as bingles) Issued by merchants, this form of currency could only be used in the local village and assured merchants of future business. This practice met an important need. Alaskan tokens were used long after the Gold Rush. In some isolated villages, these bingles were the only alternative to barter. Stories are told about native Alaskans who, upon venturing out of their villages for the first time, were surprised to find their monies (i.e. bingles) were not legal tender.
Alaskan tokens came in a variety of different forms. Among them were:
• Brass, aluminum, plastic, copper, and cardboard rounds.
• Copper rounds with gold nuggets imbedded in them.
• Bimetallic copper and brass tokens with aluminum centers.
• Hexagonal and octagonal tokens.
• Scallop shaped tokens.
• Triangular tokens.
• Oval tokens.
• Gold tokens (called "toowahs").
Word reached Federal treasury agents that Alaskan natives were being exploited by the abuse of tokens. Unfavorable publicity ensued which resulted in a "crackdown" by the Treasury Department on use of such tokens. By 1950, their use was outlawed altogether.
After 1950, only a few new issues appeared. These new issues were essentially advertising tokens. With the advent of Alaska statehood in 1958 came a flurry of trade dollars and medals, many of which are beautiful specimens.
Today, commemorative medals and coins (as minted by companies like The Alaska Mint) prevail as our modern day Alaskan tokens.
For those collectors interested in Alaskan tokens, there are a few guidelines:
• Tokens from the 1880s and 1890s tend to be worth more than comparable tokens of the 1940s and 1950s.
• Dated tokens are more valuable than undated ones.
• Tokens with the city name, or better yet, with the city and state name are more sought after.
• Condition is often a secondary consideration because of the scarcity of many tokens. Tokens are not usually collected by grade. As a result, condition is often not mentioned in trade listings.
• Many collectors seek one token from each place.
• Copper tokens tend to be worth more than aluminum and brass tokens.
• Bimetallic tokens generally command a premium.
• Tokens with imbedded gold nuggets are very popular.
• Tokens with pictures are worth more.
• Tokens with incused text are generally more valuable.
• Oval, rectangular, and triangular tokens are worth more than round, scalloped, hexagonal, or octagonal tokens.
• Tokens from places and locations with an interesting history or from merchants who became prominent are highly sought after.
Tokens are still being found in dumps, abandoned villages, and those long forgotten attics and trunks.
For those of you interested in collecting Alaskan tokens......Enjoy!!
• "Alaskan Tokens" 2nd Edition by Ronald J. Benice c. 1994
• "Rubles to Statehood" by Kay Fernald& Kay McDowell c. 1965
• "Alaska's Coinage Through the Years'" 2nd Edition by Maurice M. Gould, Ken Bressett, Kaye & Nancy Dethridge c. 1965.
Loren Lucason Eves: 272-3700
V. President- Ann Brown Days: 563-6708
Treasurer- Robert Hall Eves: 561-8343
Secretary- Scott Hornal Eves: 243-0149
Loren Lucason Eves: 272-3700
Board of Directors
Eves: 2 58-9100
John Larson- Eves: 276-3292
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,