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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 10, Number 8

August 1997

August Membership Meeting
Wed., August 7, 1997 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

Your editors would like to wish all of you a Happy Holiday Season!

It's been a good year for our club. We have continued to grow, especially in the number of YNs and Associate Members (members living outside of Anchorage). This year saw lots of activity....one of which was our club's major project in April . the "History of Money" display at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art (coinciding with National Coin Week). This year also saw our coin club's September seminar in which Bill Fivaz and Mike Ellis were our instructors. Our club's President, Mike Greer, got the Young Numismatist of the Year award from the American Numismatics Association.

It all culminated in our great Christmas Potluck Party on December 12th in which some 60 people attended the event. The evening's event was the YN Bucks Contest in which some 11 YNs competed for YN Bucks that will be used to bid and buy coins at our club's January 8Th Coin Auction. The contest was patterned after that game show. Double Jeopardy, in which our YNs were divided into three teams and asked questions on various subjects of coin collecting. Santa Claus (Editor's comment: He sure looked like our illustrious president) even showed up for the event . To date, some 15 YNs have won $240 YN Bucks. That should give the YNs some pretty good bidding and buying power at the club's coin auction next month.

Seeing so many new faces and so many YNs tells your editors we have a healthy club..........pretty good for an 8 year old club.

We want to remind our members January 8 is our next regular membership meeting. The date was changed since the first Wednesday of the month falls on January 1st (New Year's Day). The event for our January 8th meeting is our club's annual Coin Auction. Some 35 lots have been submitted to date for this auction. Lots submitted thusfar are:

Lot #1 $1 State Bank Note / Virginia Treasury Note / October 21, 1862 / Haxby C# 18 / VF / Estimated Value $18.

Lot #2 $1 Legal Tender Note/ Series 1917 / Speelman-White / F / Estimated Value $35.

Lot #3 $1 U.S. Silver Certificate / Series 1923 / Speelman-White/ VG / Estimated Value $15.

Lot #4 $1 State Bank Note/ Boston-New England Bank/ March 1, 1841 / Haxby H# MA-315-G28 / G / Estimated Value $18.

Lot #5 $10 Liberty Coronet Gold / PCGS VF-35 / 1857 / Estimated Value $520.

Lot #6 10 Shilling Note / Great Britain / Printed between 1949-1955 Bank of England / Unc / Minimum Bid $15.

Lot #7 England Rose Farthing Struck during the reign of Charles I (1625-1649) / F Minimum Bid $10.

Lot #8 Great Britain Florin 1903 VF / Minimum Bid $28.

Lot #9 Great Britain / Half Crown 1902 / VF / Minimum Bid $14.

Lot #10 Great Britain / Half Crown 1887 / XF Minimum Bid $10.

Lot #11 1945-S Liberty Walking Half Dollar NGC-63 / Minimum Bid $26.

Lot #12 Alaskan Silver Proof Medallion / Inuit - E. Hopson 25 Year Commemorative 1984 Minimum Bid $15.

Lot #13 Alaskan Bronze Medallion Official 1959 State Medallion / Minimum Bid $15.

Lot #14 Alaskan Statehood 25th Year 1 oz. Silver Bar / Made by Oxford 1984 / Minimum Bid $15.

Lot #15 Alaskan Token / 5c Trade Token made sometime between 1914-1948 / A. & P. S. C. Co. - Glacier Cannery / Location: Excursion Inlet Minimum Bid $10.

Lot #16 1828 Half Cent / 12 star variety / ANACS EF-40 / Minimum Bid $125.

Lot #17 1934-D Lincoln Cent / NGC-64 Red / Minimum Bid $24.

Lot #18 1959 Franklin Half Dollar / PCGS-65/ Minimum Bid $116.

Lot #19 1885 Morgan Dollar / ANACS-64 DMPL / Minimum Bid $108

Lot #20 1903 Five Ruble Gold Piece / NGC-65 / Minimum Bid $115.

Lot #21 1987 Constitution Commemorative 2 Coin Set / Proof Silver Dollar and Gold $5 / Minimum Bid $115.

Lot #22 1989 Congress Commemorative 3 Coin Set / Proof Half Dollar, Silver Dollar, and Gold $5. Minimum Bid $130.

Lot #23 1991 Mt. Rushmore Commemorative 3 Coin Set / Proof Half Dollar, Silver Dollar, and Gold $5 / Minimum Bid$125.

Lot #24 1992 Olympic Commemorative 3 Coin Set' Proof Half Dollar, Silver Dollar, and Gold $5. Minimum Bid $165.

Lot #25 1984-S Prestige Proof Set / Minimum Bid $23.

Lot #26 1994-P Jefferson 5 Cent - Matte Proof / PCGS-69 / Minimum Bid $80.

Lot #27 1942 Walking Liberty Half BU / Minimum Bid $16.

Lot #28 1976-S 40% Silver Proof Ike Dollar. Minimum Bid $6.

Lot #29 Three (3) each Proof Susan B. Anthony Dollars: 1979-S, 1980-S, 1981-S / Minimum Bid $7.

Lot #30 Seven (7) each Franklin Half Dollars, AD, Dates: 1949-P, 1949-D, 1950-D, 1951-P, 1951-S, 1952-P, 1952-S / Minimum Bid $45.

Lot #31 Book "Paper Money of the United Stales" by Ira and Arthur Friedberg

Lot #32 Racketeer Nickel / 1883NC / VG Condition.

Lot #33 Sonic cleaner unit for coins.

Lot #34 $1 Silver Certificate 1935A / Brown Seal / Hawaii Dollar / VG/ Estimated Value: $6

Lot #35 1943 Liberty Walking Half Dollar / PCGS-64 / Estimated Value: $51

All of these lots have been posted on the club's Internet Home Page to allow numismatic browsers the ability to bid. Internet bids will be called from the book at the January 8th Coin Auction. Members can still submit coins by bringing them in to the January 8th meeting.

See you at the meeting and enjoy your Holiday season........Your Editors.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events of the Month of January.

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: January 8th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. Our club's annual Coin Auction. Members wishing to submit coins can bring them to the meeting.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: January 10th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. Our sister club, the Tasmanian Numismatic Society, has sent us a number of Australian coins along with a numismatic book on their coinage. The YN Session will sort, catalog, and distribute these coins among the YNs.

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting; January 15th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the November 20th Board Meeting

The meeting began at 7:30 PM. First item on the agenda was Correspondence and Announcements.

Correspondence was received from the PNNA (Pacific Northwest Numismatics Association...of which the Anchorage Coin Club is a member). The Anchorage Coin Club was declared the winner of the PNNA National Coin Week Award. A check for $100 was sent by the PNNA to the Anchorage Coin Club as an award.

Correspondence was also received from our sister club, the Tasmanian Numismatic Society. Besides a number of Australian coins sent to our club, an article was also submitted on the History of Australian Coinage, which will be printed in our club's newsletter.

President Mike Greer announced that the seminar certificates should be arriving shortly for those members who attended the September seminar and will be distributed accordingly.

On the matter of Old Business, Treasurer Robert Hall is looking at insurance cost proposals from several local companies. The Board voted and approved picking up insurance from the lowest bidder. The Board also signed according signatures for renewal of the club's gaming certificate.

On the matter of New Business, President Mike Greer concentrated the Board's agenda on determining ways to get better participation in our club meetings and activities. The meeting became a "think tank" session in which the ideas forwarded will be announced at the club's Christmas Party/ Membership Meeting on December 12th.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.

December 12th Membership Meeting / Christmas Party

Following the Christmas Party meal, the Membership meeting started at 7:45 PM. President Mike Greer (dressed as Santa Claus) made a number of announcements that were the results of decisions made at the Board Meeting.

Among those announcements were:

With 1998 being the 10th year anniversary of our club and the ANA Portland Convention, our club activities in 1997 and 1998 will focus towards 1998 events.

Programs will include the club's 10th year anniversary coin set in which a contest for best obverse design by members will have the winning member get recognition and a free numbered set in 1998. Members wishing to submit designs can do so during the course of 1997. Also included will be a program in which the most deserving member of the club will receive a free trip to the 1998 ANA Portland Convention based upon that person's overall contributions to the club over the next year and a half (The 1998 Convention Award).

Through 1997 there will be a number of surprise type awards to members for such categories as Best Article written by a club member (YN or Adult) and Best Idea for 1997 National Coin Week (Editors Comment: National Coin Week will occur in April...so get your ideas together). Among other awards will be YN of the Year. Best Presentation/Club Meetings, and Unsung Hero for the Anchorage Coin Club.

At our club meetings presentations will be kept short...at approximately 30 minutes and there will be a short bullet auction of coins (commencing with the February membership meeting) in which no more than 10 lots to be chosen by raffle will be auctioned to members in attendance.

Also announced was a new member attendance prize which will replace the present membership prize commencing with the March meeting. If a member attends two consecutive meetings (starting with the February meeting), that person will get a raffle ticket at the second meeting. Depending upon the number of consecutive meetings attended, that member will get two. three, four, etc. raffle tickets. An attendance coin or prize will be awarded 10 those members every 1 month.

Awards given out at the Christmas Party / Club Meeting were

YN of the Year / Nathaniel Grabman.

Unsung Hero for the Anchorage Coin Club / Dean Pulver.

The 1997 Bill Garing Memorial Award- Anchorage Coin Club Numismatist of the Year / Mike Orr.

The door prize, a 1960 Proof Set, was won by YN Nathaniel Grabman.

The Membership Prize, an 1811 Eight Reale Coin was won by YN Robert Daniel Wells.

The Club's Raffle Coin, a 1915 $2 & 1/2 dollar Indian Gold Piece, PCGS-55, was won by our youngest YN Gunnar Robuck (son of member Mike Robuck).

Yet Another Editors Comment: Looks like a clean sweep this year on all the prizes by our YNs.... and by the way, it seems to us editors that Gunnar won a previous raffle prize earlier in the year (the 1972 double die ANACS-62 RB Lincoln Cent). Not bad for a YN who's under a year old.

Following the meeting, the YNs participated in the YN Bucks Contest. The Christmas Party/ Membership Meeting concluded at 8:45 PM.

Minutes of the December 15th Board Meeting

The Board meeting started at 7:30 PM.

Subject of discussion was the issue of Coin Shows. Following discussions, it was decided that the club will no longer act as the promoter of coin shows. Lack of support from club members in organizing these events has resulted in this decision. Local coin shows are nonetheless important. Accordingly, the club will continue to support local coin shows and will offer it's resources to individual club members who wish to organize these shows. Club resources available are table skirting, advertising at attractive rates, and member support for shows. Interested members should contact the Board for enlisting of club support.

The meeting concluded at 8:30 PM.

 

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

One of our instructors. Mike Ellis (who is also the President of CONECA, the errors and varieties club) sent us this article about our coin seminar held in September. Thought this would be of interest to all of you members. This article will also be published in next month's edition of CONECA's newsletter, "Errorscope". You got it firsthand.......

 

COIN SEMINAR - ALASKA STYLE
by Mike Ellis (Member #246 and CONECA President)

For the last several years the Anchorage Coin Club has conducted its own version of the ANA's Summer Seminar and I had the privilege of being one of the invited speakers this year. Previous years have included J.P. Martin, head of the ANA's Authentication Bureau; Anthony Swiatek, soon to be President of the American Numismatic Association; Robert Hoge, ANA Money Museum Curator; and our own Bill Fivaz, better known as co-author of the "Cherrypickers Guide to Rare Die Varieties." It seems Bill Fivaz was such a hit they invited him back again this year. I was invited by default as J.T. Stanton had to bow out at the last minute but I am glad I went. The Anchorage Coin Club has a lot they could teach local and state coin clubs.

Australian Coins

Held in the well equipped conference room of the Westcoast International Inn on September 13th through 15th, the attendees enjoyed a well rounded seminar with emphasis on the minting process, varieties, hobo nickels, love tokens, and coin grading. Though adult seminar goers had to pay a nominal registration fee. YNs were permitted to attend at no cost on Saturday and Sunday. Seminar organizer. Anchorage Coin Club President. ANA YN of the Year last year, and new CONECA Board Member Michael Greer was assisted by Robert Hall, a familiar face at large coin shows in the lower 48 and past seminar organizer Larry Nakata. Larry is currently serving as Chief Editor of "ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club" and impressed me in so many ways. He has created a WEB Page for the club (http://www.alaska.net/~nakata/coinclub.htm). It is my understanding that he single-handedly recruits more YNs to the ANA than just about anybody else and he is one of the most modest gentlemen I have ever met. Hot meals were provided for attendees each day. refreshments were in abundance throughout and a good lime was had by all.

Though the seminar itself was all an attendee could hope for, the full participation of the attendees was all the instructors could hope for. However, the hospitality extended Bill Fivaz, his wife Marilyn, and myself was second to none. Perhaps I shouldn't be putting this in print because others will want to go. (I'd rather keep it a secret so Bill and I are the only ones who want to go so they'll invite us back again and again!) They entertained us so well that I have to tell you about it, though. I arrived a day or two before Bill so Larry Nakata, Michael Greer, Bill Hamilton (captain of the "Halibut Express" and owner of Loose Change Coin Company in Anchorage) headed south for Ninilchik and a fishing trip I'll never forget. We limited out on halibut and the Anchorage Coin Club will be proud to know that the fish I brought back fed 50 or 60 people from Ohio to South Georgia. Mike Orr threw in a smoked salmon and some moose meat so that all of us here in Holly Isles on beautiful Lake, Seminole enjoyed surf and turf Alaska style! Grilled halibut and salmon certainly whet the pallet! Perhaps even more impressive, even to me. than the fishing was the scenery there and back.

After Bill and Marilyn arrived they, Michael Greer. and myself took a daytime charter in the Kenai Fjords and enjoyed a lovely dinner overlooking the bay at Seward. Then we went to Hope, Alaska, the site of Alaska's first gold rush, hoping to find some gold of our own. Like everything else we did while in Alaska we were not disappointed. Every pan of dirt yielded "color!". We went to so many places and experienced so many wonderful things that there is simply no more room to tell you about it. I must tell you that if you are planning a family vacation you should consider Alaska. There are enough splendid, well stocked coin shops in Anchorage to keep you busy while the rest of the family is out seeing the local scenery! This article would not be complete if I did not mention that Roy and Ann Brown run the most hospitable coin shop I ever been in! Also in Anchorage are Loose Change Coin Company, Excalibur Cards and Collectables, the Alaska Mint, and Carl's, located in the University Center. Sorry Carl, that's all I know you by and that's all you advertise as! All of the above have retail shops but many others, including Robert Hall and Mike Orr, carry an extensive inventory which I am sure they will be delighted to give you a private viewing.

For those coin club members who were not afforded the luxury of attending the seminar, they were given the chance to meet with Bill and myself at the monthly coin club meeting. The date was changed to coincide with our visit and upon arrival at the meeting Bill and I were greeted with a large, lavish decorated cake depicting local scenery and activity, welcoming us to Alaska. What a class act! And last, but not least, Bill and I were treated with a tour of the Alaska Mint, a fine little private mint commissioned by the State of Alaska to strike medals in precious metals each year. Mike Robuck, owner of the Alaska Mint and coin club member concluded the tour by allowing Bill and I to strike our own Alaska medals. In the process of explaining how his equipment worked Mike explained to me that the collar device in his presses was a free moving object. So, Bill and ! did not just strike a coin, we double struck them with significant rotation. Mine proudly resides in my private collection. For those of you not familiar with the Alaska Mint's products, they are amongst the finest issued by private mints anywhere in the world. They carry a full line of artistic medals depicting various state activities and scenes including that of the world famous Iditarod dog sled race. If you collect private mint issues in precious metals you owe it to yourself to write to them for their colorful product brochure. Contact Mike Robuck at: Alaska Mint, 445 West 4th Street, Anchorage. Alaska 99501.

Though this summary of my trip is by no means complete I must conclude by saying that the Anchorage Coin Club's timing could not have been better. I was there for 8 or 9 days and all the colors changed before my very eyes! When I arrived all the foliage was green. When I left everything exhibited their resplendent fall colors of yellow, gold, orange, and red.

Anchorage Coin Club, I salute you and thank you for the memories!

 

 

YN CORNER
by Mike Greer

One of our YNs submitted this article for this month's "YN Corner". This article on Hobo Nickels was a result of this YN attending this year's seminar. Enjoy the article:

 

 

THE HOBO NICKEL
by YN Sarah Bilak (Member #177)

If you went to the coin seminar last September you would have had a chance to meet Bill Fivaz like I did. At the coin seminar he talked about the Hobo Buffalo Nickel. That was where I became interested in finding out more about the Hobo Nickel.

The earliest hobos were seen shortly after the Civil War. Hordes of veterans had no homes, families, or jobs to come back to. They wandered in search of a new life using the rails as a way to travel.

Hobo Nickel

James Earl Frazier designed the Indian Head Buffalo Nickel in 1912. The obverse and reverse of the Buffalo Nickel became a block of stone to many hobos. These hobos would carve portraits of themselves, women, clowns, Indians, and war heroes. The list could go on and on for the obverse. Now the reverse most hobos left alone. But some hobos carved Dimond Head, the buffalo, into walking hobos, turtles, and donkeys (and the reverse list could go on and on).

One of the kings of Nickel carving was George Washington Hughes also known as "Bo". Born in Mississippi around 1900 he was the son of a sharecropper who had been a slave. Bo had a large family of some 10-12 brothers and sisters. Bo ran away from home in 1915. He went to a Hobo Jungle.

The other king of carving was Bertrand Wiegand also known as "Bert", Bert was believed to have been born around 1890 in Illinois and probably was the son of a railroad employer. According to hobo lore, Ben killed a man in Illinois during a card game and took to the rails to avoid the law, Bert would sign his name by erasing the L, I, and Y in LIBERTY.

When Bo went to the hobo jungle he was befriended by Bert. Bert taught Bo to carve on nickels, and how to survive riding the rails. Ben and Bo's art is sometimes hard to tell who carved which nickel.

Hobo nickels were used as art and payment. If a hobo went to someone's house and asked for some food or a place to sleep for the night, the hobo would give the kind person a hobo nickel in exchange for their kindness.

 

 

"SURFING THE INTERNET"

Our sister club, the Tasmanian Numismatic Society in Australia, sent our club this article for publication in our newsletter. This article is also posted on their WEB Page:

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html

This particular article on Pre-Decimal Australian Coins covers their country's coinage up to their introduction of Decimal Coinage in 1966. There will be a Part II that covers their Decimal Coinage in our future newsletter.

 

A SHORT HISTORY OF PRE-DECIMAL AUSTRALIAN COINS
by Graeme Peterwood
Tasmanian Numismatic Society

Introduction. In 1642, the Dutch explorer, Abel Janzoon Tasman sailed around the South of the unexplored continent of Australia in an endeavor to find a passage through to the Americas. He called that land that he briefly visited. Van Dieman's Land, after the Governor of the Dutch East Indies at that time. Tasman sailed on. and it was left to that other intrepid explorer. Captain James Cook to arrive on the scene in the late 1700's to lay claim to Australia for the British. For years it was assumed that Van Dieman's Land was joined to Australia until other explorers, George Bass and Captain Matthew Flanders, as well as circumnavigating the continent, proved that it was separated from the mainland by a treacherous strait of water which was eventually named after Bass.

Australia was originally used as a dumping place for criminals of all types, being seen as a remote, hostile environment that no one could possibly escape from and return to England and European civilization. Tasmania was the British version of Devil's Island and Port Arthur Penitentiary was the most dreaded destination for the most dangerous and incorrigible of the convicts.

However all things change, and transportation of convicts ceased in 1853 after years of bitter debate from the free population. Many tradesmen and farmers had arrived after 1815 as free settlers, and they found that the prospect of sharing the island with cut-throats and thieves was not an acceptable one for bringing up families and establishing a civilized community. By early 1835, much of New South Wales and some of Victoria had been opened up to settlement and. in Ma\ of that year, John Batman from Launceston arrived in Port Phillip Bay. al what was eventually going to be the site of the city of Melbourne, and purportedly signed a 'Treaty' with the aborigines to purchase 242,812 hectares (600,000 acres) of land for a group of 'businessmen' organized by John Pascoe Fawkner. The treaty was later disallowed but the development went ahead with illegal settlement taking place well before the district was officially opened by Governor Bourke in 1837.

Colonial Currency. Because Australia was originally going to be used as a giant prison continent, the idea of needing money was not high on the priority list of the British Government of the time but. as the population grew, it became obvious that, initially, it would not be self-sufficient and would need to trade to survive.

What little coinage that was available came with the officers and men of the New South Wales Regiment and the Transport fleets that were used to bring prisoners and supplies. Systems of barter were developed, using rum and imported goods and produce, but for obvious reasons these proved to be unsatisfactory and created a criminal class even amongst those soldiers who dealt with black-market merchandise.

To offset his insidious trade, the Governor of the period. Philip Gidley King, eventually allowed other foreign currencies obtained from passing trading ships to circulate alongside the British coinage and proclaimed, on Nov. 19th 1800. that they would be acceptable at a set rate of exchange.

In a great display of organized chaos, Spanish Dollars, Portuguese Johannas. Indian Pagodas, Dutch Guilders and Ducats, as well as two new British copper coins, the 1 oz. Copper Penny and the 2 oz. Twopenny pieces, minted in Matthew Boulton's Soho Mint, in 1797. arrived in Australia and joined the others in circulation. These coins are known today as Proclamation Coins by Australian numismatists.

As the colony was forced to trade with outsiders, a large amount of the available metal coinage was disappearing with the traders and. despite many innovative ideas used to retain the little they had left, the Colonial Government were caught in a Catch 22 situation. However, in 1812, an unusual step was taken by Governor Macquarie to stop the coinage drain.

Australia's First Coinage. In 1812, a sloop of war delivered 40,000 Spanish silver dollars to Sydney ad the Governor had the coinage mutilated by punching discs out of the centers, thus creating two coins! One coin, known as the 'holey' dollar had a value of Five shillings (60 pence) and the 'dump' punched from the center was given a value of 15 pence. As the dollars only cost the equivalent of Four shillings and 9 pence (57 pence), Macquarie made an immediate profit of 18 pence when he issued them lo a coinage starved populace, A strict penalty against exporting the 'new' coins, which now had lost their original international acceptability, meant that the problem of shortage was partially solved! For the next ten years this polyglot of coinage coexisted until the British Government in London decided that Australia did, in fact, need coinage.. The coins, of course, would be British!

Between 1824-25 over 100,000 Pounds value in silver coins were sent to Australia and in 1826 the London Parliament passed the Sterling Money Act and withdrew all the assortment of precious metal currencies that had been the mainstay of the colonies since the 1790's. However, the problem of small change still had not been adequately sorted out!

Official Coins. In 1851, the discovery of gold in huge quantities led to the establishment of semi-official 'mints' in South Australia and Victoria but under the laws regarding the manufacture of coinage outside of the London Mint in Britain, it was only possible for these 'mints' to process the gold into flat strips of various shapes and sizes. However, Australians have never let a little thing like regulations and rules stand in the way when necessity demands that action needs to be taken!

In 1852, the alluvial gold and nuggets coining from the diggings had reached such an embarrassing amount that it could not be handled by the local businessmen so, the South Australian Lt. Governor. Sir Henry Young, rushed the Bullion Act No. 1 through the S.A. Parliament in two hours to clear the way for the Adelaide Assay Office to mint gold Pounds. These coins were only made in a limited number (less than 25,000) and are considered rare as most were re-melted because of a higher gold content than their face value.

Australian Crowns

By 1853, Sydney had received permission from Britain to mint gold Sovereigns and Half-sovereigns, designed by Leonard Wyon, bearing the reverse inscription 'SYDNEY MINT AUSTRALIA' until it was decided, in 1871, to revert to the standard British style, with the Benedetto Pistrucci reverse, of St. George slaying the dragon. It is interesting to note that official assay results taken in 1856 showed that the Australian coins contained more pure gold than their British counterparts. The British coins had been alloyed with copper instead of silver as had been used in Australia!

In 1872, the Melbourne Mint had also started to make the gold coins and Perth Mint was officially opened in 1899. (The Perth Mint is still operating to this day and is believed to be the only mint in the world still working from its original premises!). All of the mints were now permitted to produce the British-style coin but each had to bear a mintmark (S), (M). or (P), on the reverse to show its origin. With a value of One Pound Sterling for the Sovereign, the coins still did nothing to help alleviate the chronic shortage of small change for the general population.

Tokens. As the Australian Mints were only authorized to make gold coins it was left to the tradesmen! and merchants to overcome the problem, and they did this by issuing their own tokens to be used as small denomination currency of necessity.

The earliest known "Australian" Token (made in London) was of One Shilling value, dated 1823, and was issued by a Tasmanian sawmilling company, Macintosh and Degreaves of Hobart who actually released it in 1824 when they arrived from England to set up their business. It. is not known how many of these one shilling silver tokens got into general circulation but only a handful exist today and they always bring big prices at auction.

Well over 500 different types of locally issued Australian tokens are listed in most publications that specialize in this area of numismatics, but it is acknowledged that there would have been many more than have disappeared into history. (Many token issuers used standard stock designs provided by the makers of these coins of convenience and the Tasmanian Numismatic Society uses and Emu and Kangaroo emblem (circa 1855) from one such standard token as its official logo!).

By 1863, most tokens had been declared illegal and were being phased out of circulation by the different colonies as the British bronze coinage began to arrive in ever-increasing amounts.

From Federation to Decimalization. In 1901 Australian states formed a federation to be known as the Commonwealth of Australia and discussions were held in regard to the establish men! of a distinctively Australian currency. It was not until 1910 that the first official Australian silver coins were issued from the London Mint bearing the portrait of King Edward VlI, who actually died the same year! The following year, a series of bronze and silver coins with the King George V obverse was also minted and issued from England and these continued to be sent from London for another 4 years.

In 1916 the firs! truly Australian issue of silver was made from the Melbourne Mini in Victoria, and by 1919 all coins, including the bronze that had been produced at Calcutta Mint in India were being made locally.

Tasmanian coin set

The Sidney Mint closed in 1926, but Melbourne and Penh continued 10 cater for all coins, including gold, until the striking of Sovereigns and Half-sovereigns ceased in 1931. The Australian Parliament House in Canberra, was opened in 1927 and the firs! special Australian commemorative sterling silver Florin coin was struck at Melbourne Mint and issued on May 9th of that year Only 2 million of these quite attractive coins were made and they are still available at a ridiculously low price for high grades.

As mentioned previously, Victoria had been briefly explored in 1834 and Melbourne was founded in 1834 and to celebrate the 100th year period, another commemorative sterling silver florin was issued from their own mint and sold at premium price of 3 shillings to help pay for the centenary celebrations. Unfortunately, the World was in the grips of the Great Depression in 1934-5 and of the 75,000 coins struck, 21,000 were re-melted and this has resulted in this florin being a most expensive commemorative still available to Australian numismatists.

History has related the story of uncrowned King Edward VIM and his abdication for the love of an American divorcee and how his brother, George, was thrust onto the English throne just prior to World War II. To celebrate the crowning of King George VI, the Australian Government commissioned the Melbourne Mint to produce 1 million Crowns (Five Shillings) in 1937. A cumbersome coin of 28.27 grams of sterling silver, it's appeal was lost when the Government had another issue of 101,000 released in 1938. The opportunity was also available at that time to also correct and update the old Australian Coat-of-Arms that had been carried through on the coinage of King George V. By 1946 the repayment of silver was being made to the United States for that which was 'borrowed' during the war and, as prices were on a steep incline, it was decided to debase the sterling silver coinage (.925 fine) to .500 fine.

In 1951 because of the changing fortunes of the British Empire, changes were made in the Obverse legend of all Australian coins and, in the same year, 2 million commemorative florins were issued by the Melbourne Mint to mark the 50'" anniversary of the Federation of Australian states.

On the death of her father. Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II of England and Australia and her portrait appeared on the coins in 1953, but no other alteration was made. One her first visit as monarch in 1954 a special issue of 4 million commemorative florins was distributed from Melbourne Mint, showing the English Lion and the Australian Kangaroo as equals.

The decision of the Australian Government to introduce decimal currency in the year 1966 heralded the total break from the traditional pounds, shillings, and pence that had arrived in this continent with the first fleet.

 

Editor's Final Notes:

While browsing the Internet, we came across this interesting item in the ANA WEB Pages. For those club members who attended the 1995 Anchorage Coin Seminar, Robert Hoge was our instructor teaching us about ancient coinage. Your editors thought this article would be of interest to our club members as a bit of Alaskana.

From: http://www.money.org/sealskin.html

 

THE RUSSIAN - AMERICAN COMPANY
by Robert Hoge, ANA Museum Curator

During the first half of the 19th Century, the Imperial Russian-American Company, organized to exploit the frontier regions of the Far East, issued a series of very rare currency notes in several denominations for use in Siberia, the Aleutian Islands, and Alaska.

Called "seal skin money", the notes were mostly printed on parchment believed to have been made from the hides used to wrap bales of furs shipped home from the trading outposts. Less than one hundred of these notes, in all denominations from the entire period of their issue, have survived to the present. Like the ANA Museum's one ruble example of ca. 1825, printed in green ink, all the notes were manufactured at Imperial Printing works in St. Petersburg.

One Ruble Seal Skin Note

One Ruble Seal Skin Note

 

 


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