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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 10, Number 9

September 1997

September Membership Meeting
Wed., September 3, 1997 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

Summer is almost over with the temperatures gelling a little cooler and those flocks of Canadian geese flying over Anchorage town. School is soon to start for our YNs and... activity will soon pick up again with our coin club. Hope everyone enjoyed their summer.

During the summer months, we usually have a sparse attendance at the meetings. Such was the case with our August club meeting. You missed a good meeting with member Loren Lucason giving a great presentation on the "Origin of Coins".

The presentation was so good that we encouraged Loren to write an article this month on that subject. There was a bullet auction at our August 6th meeting with the following 10 lots that made the cut:

• Book- World Paper Currency / Volume Two / 16th Edition.

• Partial Mint Set of coins from the Netherlands.

• Gold Plated Kennedy Half Dollar.

• 1899 Liberty "V" Nickel- Good Condition.

• Great Britain's First Decimal Coin Set. Mint Set.

• 1935-D Buffalo Nickel- VG Condition.

• 1950 Proof Dime.

• 1904S Liberty $20 Gold Piece-AU50 Condition.

• 1909 Indian Head Cent- Fine Condition.

• Roman Bronze Coin minted around 200 AD.

Thanks go to member and coin dealer. Carl, for his generous donation of coins and numismatic materials to the coin club. These items will be submitted as items for the bullet auction in the upcoming club meetings.

Also of interest...the August 6th meeting saw our club's raffle coin, an 1871 Liberty Seated Dollar in VF-20 condition, won by our youngest YN, Gunnar Robuck. It's got to be club record!!! This makes three raffle coins won by Gunnar in the last year: A 1972 doubled die Lincoln cent in ANACS-62 RB condition, a 1915 $2 and 1/2 dollar Indian Gold piece in PCGS-55 condition, and now this coin.

Our September 3rd club meeting will see a new raffle coin. Be sure to come to this meeting to check out this coin. It's a great one!!! One worthy of any member's collection. We won't tell you any details about the new raffle coin...you'll just have to come to the club meeting. Your editors will tell you this, however: The coin will likely be raffled off by the club's Christmas Party. It's that good.......

1941 Liberty Half Dollar

1941 Liberty Half Dollar

Speaking of our club's Christmas Party, the tentative date set for this event will be the evening of Thursday, December 4th. You members be sure to keep that date open. More details to follow in the coming months,...

Club News of Interest: At the ANA (American Numismatics Association) convention in New York City earlier this month, it was announced that our club's president. Roy Brown, was honored with the ANA Presidential Award "for outstanding contributions to the ANA and hope to see the award at the meeting. Congratulations to Roy for an award well deserved!!!!

Other Club News of Interest: Your editors tried their best, but could only win 2nd Place in the Local Club category of the ANA's 1997 Club Publications Contest. The announcement was made at the ANA New York City convention. We got beat out by the Elgin Coin Club of Illinois. Being a good sport, your Chief Editor sent the Chief Editor of the Elgin Coin Club newsletter a congratulatory letter and a copy of our club's latest newsletter. We're hoping to set up a program between our clubs where we exchange club newsletters over the next year. Our

Still more Club News of Interest: John Wright, an esteem Early American Copper coin collector and club officer for the EAC (Early American Coppers Club), was in town this past month doing a bit of sightseeing. Club member. Skip Pelleteer, hosted a get-together at his Ranch in Palmer on the afternoon of August 9th / Saturday. A number of club members came to the event and had a real good time swapping coin collecting stories, eating all sons of wonderful goodies, and getting a chance to see Early American coppers with John Wright. A fine time was had by all....

Reminder to all YNs: Our YN meetings will resume again on September 12th.

Finally, be sure to come to the club's membership meeting on September 3rd. This particular meeting will focus on our club's upcoming projects for the remainder of this year and for next year (our club's 10th year). Your Board has planned some very ambitious programs, including getting our club back on the "Show Track" again. The meeting will also see a review of the latest video put out by the ANA and BEP (Bureau of Engraving and Printing) on "The Money Story".

One final note...remember the Bullet Auction. While only 10 lots will make the cut, your editors want to remind members that you can still exchange or sell any of the remaining coins to each other. This is a good opportunity for all members to show, trade, or sell their extra coins. Take advantage of it.....

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events of the Month of September

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: September 3rd (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. Presentation by the Board on upcoming club projects for the duration of the year and for next year (1998 - our club's 10th year), A video presentation will be made on "The Money Story". There will be a bullet auction for only 10 coin lots. Members wishing to submit coins for the bullet auction can bring them to the meeting.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: September 12th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (comer of Cordova and 15th Avenue). YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. See YN Corner article on details of the YN meeting,

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: September 17th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the July 16th Board Meeting

The meeting of July 16th proved to be a very short meeting. The Board meeting started at 7 PM. The meeting focused on payment of club bills and review of club correspondence.

Among the club's correspondence was an official notification from the ANA that we won 2nd place for the Club Newsletter Contest. The award was to be presented at the August ANA Contention in New York City. Larry Nakata. Secretary and also Chief Editor of the newsletter, will write to the ANA requesting that the award be mailed to the club.

There was an announcement that John Wright of the EAC (Early American Coppers Club) was to be in town during the early part of August. Member Skip Pelleteer wanted to get an announcement in the club's newsletter on a get-together at his ranch in Palmer. Larry Nakata agreed to put a flyer with the August newsletter.

As there was no further business, the Board meeting adjourned at 7:40 PM.

August 6th Membership Meeting

The membership meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.

Club President Roy Brown announced a get acquainted party for EAC member, John Wright, over at Skip Pelleteer's Ranch in Palmer for Saturday afternoon, August 9th. Interested members were asked to call Skip on any details.

Electrum Lydia 650 BC

Electrum / Lydia 650 BC

Member Bill Hamilton brought up an idea of having club members distribute common date/ no longer in circulation type coins into the Anchorage community to stir interest in coin collecting Bill proposed the club put together such a program for the latter part of this year. Ideas discussed were circulation of key date coins in the community with possible media coverage. Also brought up was a desire by the membership in attendance to have the club get back into coin shows, preferably in the October/November time frame. The Board will come up with a number of proposals for approval by the club's membership at the September club meeting.

The door prize, a 1990 Uncirculated Mint Set, was won by John Larsen. The membership prize, a 1979 Proof Set, was won by Jim Hill. The club's raffle prize, an 1871 Liberty Seated Dollar in VF-20 condition, was won by YN Gunnar Robuck,

Following a ten minute break, the Bullet Auction was held. Following the bullet auction, member Loren Lucason gave a presentation on the "Origin of Coins".

Following Loren's presentation, the club's meeting adjourned at 9 PM.

Minutes of August 20th Board Meeting

The Board Meeting started at 7 PM. On the agenda was discussion on formulation of plans around member Bill Hamilton's idea brought out at the August 6th club meeting. It was agreed that we should coordinate a plan in which members circulated common date' no longer seen coins into the community (to include semi-key and key date coins) concurrent with our next club coin show. It was agreed the coin show should be organized to occur in October...and that the club get media exposure for the project. Ideas that came from the Board meeting will be presented at the next club meeting on September 3rd.

Larry Nakata brought up the point that we need to use this program and develop other programs to increase the adult membership of our coin club in the Anchorage area. Al this time we show a total of 103 members in the Anchorage Coin Club. Of these 103 members: 40 are regular members living in the Anchorage area, 9 are life members, 23 are YNs, 1 subscriber, 24 Associate members (members living outside of the Anchorage area), and 6 Senior & handicapped members.

There was agreement among the Board that it will be necessary for the club to get back into coin shows in order to increase our adult membership numbers. Since no members have been willing to organize coins shows, it has been decided to have the club get back into organizing these shows. Member Robin Sisler will be organizing the next show with active club support, possibly al the Sears or University Mall for the October timeframe. Other malls will also be considered for future shows. Robin has asked for help in organizing an October event. Announcements on the show to be made at the next club meeting in September.

Other projects discussed were events for 1998 when the Anchorage Coin Club makes it's 10th year anniversary. The Board members in attendance commented that it is hard to believe that this club will be making 10 years....how time has quickly gone by. Among the 1998 projects that will be discussed at the Sept 3rd club meeting will be the club's 10th Year Commemorative Coin Set and an ambitious plan to organize a coin club group trip to Portland for the August. 1998 ANA Convention. Among the ideas forwarded was a plan to allow a deserving YN go to the convention on a free trip next year. Another idea was to possibly extend this plan to a deserving adult club member as well.

The Board also picked Thursday, December 4th as the tentative date for the club's Christmas Party. The announcement of the winner of the coin design for the club's 10 year commemorative coin set to be made at the Christmas Party. The winner of the design will get his or her 10th year anniversary coin set free...not to mention recognition for the winning design.

As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

Hope all of you YNs had a great summer and are ready to back into our monthly meeting routines again. Our next YN meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 12th at 7 PM at our usual meeting place (The Central Lutheran Church). We have a great program scheduled for that evening: "How A YN Can Collect Ancient Coins".

Club member Loren Lucason will be showing all of you how collecting ancient coins can be very affordable with your allowance monies, the types of ancient coins that can be collected, and how to preserve & treat these coins. Loren will be bringing a number of ancient coins for you to check out and even give a session on how to grade ancient coins. Who knows..... there might even be some coins for you to take home for your collections.

I hope to see a good turnout of YNs for this particular session. It should be lots of fun...

 

 

TWO OF MY FAVORITE COINS
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

This month we will take a look at two of my long time favorite regular issue coins: the 1876 Twenty Cent piece and the 1892-S Silver Dollar. While neither of these items fill the number one slot of my all time favorites (that honor falling to the 1794 Silver Dollar...but more on that in a future article), they both have certain appealing features.

Morgan Dollar

Morgan Dollar

First, we look at the 1892-S dollar. As anybody knows the Morgan Dollar series is certainly one of the five most widely collected series of US coinage due to their size, weight, history, romance, and many other factors. One of these other factors is that a complete set of these coins, 97 pieces in all, can be assembled over a period of time by many collectors. This is certainly not an inexpensive pursuit, a nice circulated set is only about one third the cost of a new car and makes a very impressive display.

It is the affordability factor combined with most collectors desire to complete a set that first made the 1892-S stand out. Using the standard advice of buying the best you can afford, most collectors will gravitate toward the higher circulated grades in the Morgan Dollar series. A quick look at the price guides will show that most dates cost only a little more for an XF or AU specimen than a well used VG grade.

The 1892-S is one item that violates the above generalization about prices by making a good sized jump in price from VF to XF followed by a huge leap from XF to AU and still another from AU to BU condition. While this item is untouchable for most of us in BU condition with a Redbook value of $12,000, even an AU is out of reach for many at $1,600. This would seem to put extreme pressure on the coins in XF condition which are valued at a relatively affordable $150. Therefore I consider XF to be the ideal condition for the 1892-S dollar. A case could probably be made for investing in VF 1892-S dollars as this is the highest grade in which this is a truly inexpensive item at $40, but my experience shows that VF specimens are quite readily available even in quantity while properly graded XF's are rather difficult to locate.

While the 1892-S dollar is certainly not rare or even scarce in circulated condition with a mintage well over one million pieces, our 1876 Twenty Cent piece is a scarce item with a total mintage of 15,900 pieces.

As many of you know, I like buying scarce coins at close to the same value as the common date, and here is another example- The Twenty Cent series contains only four pieces in circulated condition... if we ignore the nearly impossible 1876-CC. Of these four pieces the most common is the 1875-S by a wide margin with a mintage over one million. In all grades listed in the Redbook, the 1876 is roughly double the price of the 1875-S. For a nice XF specimen the common date 1875-S runs about $160 while the 1876 Redbook's at $325. How's that for a great deal: 1/70th the mintage for only double the price!!

Original mintages are not always a perfect indictor of survival to this day but at least it gives a starting point. Besides...the differences in mintages are so enormous that even if we make the absurd assumption that every 1876 has survived the last 120 years undamaged (while 90% of the 1875-S have been lost or destroyed), we still have the 1876 being seven times scarcer than the 1875-S. A search through the weekly newspapers will usually reveal a fair number of 1875-S Twenty Cent pieces for sale (often just listed as "type"), but few if any 1876's.

Admittedly there are not many individuals assembling the four piece set of Twenty Cent pieces but that is probably the only reason the 1876 is not much more expensive than it is. These coins did not circulate much so they probably have a fairly high survival rate. However, even if we assume a generous 90% survival rate, that leaves only 14,300 pieces remaining. Folks, that's not many coins....only one for every 20,000 people in the United Slates. The thousand or so proofs help out a little but the 1876 is certainly a scarce item at a very reasonable price level.

If any readers out there have any particular coin or coins, consider writing a short article about them (that includes you YN's!). Your favorites may be regular issue US. or may a colonial issue, or foreign issue, or the always popular ancients. Let us know what you like and why!

 

THE FIRST AND LAST COINS
by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

Everyone knows the Greeks were the first to invent coins- sometime after 700 BC. These first coins were worth a lot to the people back then. For instance, a single stater could several cows. It is now thought that coins were used as weekly pat for soldiers. The first coins were one step up from the use of weighed metals as barter.

Lydia, a city-state in what is now Western Turkey, is credited with the first coins. These were small coins of electrum (a silver and gold mixture) with not much more than scratch marks on the obverse and punch marks on the reverse. It was basically a lump of metal of a certain weight with a mark on it so you can believe it weighs the proper amount. Before pre-measured coins, silver was hammered into wire and cut to make change in barter. Simple balance scales were used to measure amounts of metals very accurately.

However several hundred years before the Greeks, the Chinese were casting copper "cash". The Chou dynasty began making "cash" soon after their beginning in 1122 BC. These became the round copper and brass "cash" with the square hole in the middle that circulated for more than 3000 years. Generally containing Chinese symbols indicating the emperor, the mint, and value, one particular design called "wu-shu" money, first made in 118 BC, was still in circulation 600 years later.

Electrum Lydia 560 BC

Electrum / Lydia 560 BC

The Chinese "cash" was a combination of weighed metal and a much more ancient practice of using counters. In pre-history, a mark was put on a lump of clay representing a sheep or cow. To find out how many cows you owned , you counted the counters with cow symbols. To make a deal with someone, you sat around the fire and moved counters around- much easier than running around the fields counting sheep. Many counters have been found by archaeologists. By putting symbols of cows and sheep on counters, writing was developed. Keeping track of how many counters you owned and how many you were willing to trade led to numbering systems and accounting. But "counters" are not "coins".

Chinese Cash

Chinese Cash

To "coin" is to strike. Striking gives a coin it's ring. Drop a coin on hard surface and you will hear it ring. Cast "coins", such as "cash" do not ring. So... in the race to be the first to make coins, the Greeks win by detail on the definition of "coins".

Han Dynasty Cash 150 BC

Han Dynasty Cash 150 BC

Another aspect of coins is the use of precious metals. Copper was not considered "precious" even in ancient times- 8.5 grams of gold could buy 60 pounds of copper. Today's coins are struck though not in precious metals.... making them more like counters. Today's bullion coins, such as the Chinese "Panda", are made of precious metals and struck...making them more the like the last true coins.

However times do change- during the second world war, nickel and copper became so precious that silver and steel were substituted in coins. So...perhaps that copper nickel clad coinage in your pocket will, someday, be considered precious and worth something.....

 

SURFING THE INTERNET

Not much to report from the Internet this month. Your Chief Editor browsed the Internet, got a few nice pictures of coins for future newsletters, and did manage to get a couple of pretty good "Money Talks" transcripts for the month of August that he felt would make some pretty good articles in this month's newsletter. Here they are:

From the ANA's WEB page; http://www.money.org

 

GOLD DISCOVERED IN THE KLONDIKE
(Transcript #1270) by Vicken Yegparian

The Klondike. The word alone conjures up thoughts of Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, the short stories of Jack London, or maybe, for some, an ice cream bar. To tens of thousands of miners, the Klondike River, located in Canada near the Alaskan border, meant gold and riches.. .and disappointment.

It was at Rabbit Creek, a stream that fed into the mighty Klondike, that George Washington Carmack discovered gold 101 years ago. Rabbit Creek was quickly renamed Bonanza Creek, and the gold rush was on. Men piled into the region. The population of Dawson City and the surrounding area grew almost overnight, for just a few Eskimo families to more than 32,000.

Conditions were more than a little tough. Miners paid up to $1,000 for a ticket on a ship from Seattle heading for the almost inaccessible gold mines. But this was only the start of their Klondike misery. Once the boat dropped them off, the miners had to trudge through miles of hip-deep snow, and over steep mountain passes with well over 100 pounds of provisions on their backs.

Those who made it to the Klondike found conditions anything but favorable—even by boomtown standards. Provisions were scarce, since was almost impossible to gel supplies of food across the difficult terrain. It meant some wild prices for food— dozen eggs cost more than an ounce of gold. Some really had found a goose that laid golden eggs!

The money used to pay these exorbitant prices was either US or Canadian currency, or more likely, raw gold that traded at $16 per ounce. Most miners paid for their provisions out of their poke— their little gold dust carrying sacks.

 

 

MODELS FOR US COIN DESIGNS
(Transcript #1275) by Bill Jones

 

All our current US coins feature portraits of historical figures. And if you're tired of these coins, imaging how the people who design coins feel. They don't get much chance to show their artistic license and skills Bui ii wasn't always that way.

Bust of 1804 Dollar

Bust of 1804 Dollar

Before the early 1930's. idealized portraits of Lady Liberty appeared on almost all of our coins. This allowed artists to invite people they knew to be models. The earliest known model for a US coin was Mrs. Anne Bingham. a wealthy Philadelphia socialite. Her profile appeared on almost all US copper and silver coins from 1796 to 1807.

Bust of 1925 Peace Dollar

Bust of 1925 Peace Dollar

In 1807, the Mini hired John Reich as a die engraver. Reich's enemies claimed "his fat Mistress" was the inspiration for the buxom lady who graced all of his coin designs. Reich never denied the charge.

In the late 1870's. a kindergarten teacher. Anna Williams, modeled for George Morgan, who designed a silver dollar issued from 1878 to 1921. Although only William's facial features appeared, she was dismissed from her teaching post after a newspaper reported she had posed for the coin. !n the Victorian era. this kind of thing was considered improper for refined young ladies.

In 1911, three Native American chiefs modeled for James Frazer when he designed the Buffalo nickel. One model, Chief Iron Tail, fought Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The model for the reverse side of the coin was "Black Diamond", a surly bison that roamed New York's zoo.

Teresa Cafarelli posed for her husband, artist Anthony De Francisci, when he designed the Peace Dollar, first issued in 1921. Although the front side of the coin was inspired by a classical Greek sculpture, the facial features were clearly Mrs. De Francisci's. In an expression of pure affection for his wife, De Francisci wrote: "I opened the window of my studio and let the wind blow on her hair while she was posing for me...the nose, the fullness of the eye and mouth are much like my wife's."

Final Editor's Notes to close out this month's newsletter: Check out the latest changes made to our club's WEB Page. Thanks go to club member Mike Paoletti in putting in a "Test Your Grading Skills" section. We've been getting rave reviews in our e-mail from people browsing our WEB Page..........

 


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-                    Roy Brown          Days: 563-6708
                                                                    Eves: 243-5732
V. President-                Mike Orr            Eves: 522-3679
Treasurer-                      Robert Hall        Eves: 561-8343
Secretary-                   Larry Nakata        Days: 269-5603
                                                                    Eves: 563-1729

Editors -                     Loren Lucason    Eves: 272-3700
                                    Larry Nakata
                                    Robin Sisler
                                    Mike Nourse
                                    Jim Susky
Club Archivist / Photographer - Robin Sisler

Board of Directors

Ann Brown-                      Days: 563-6708

Bruce Gamble-               Eves: 345-6273

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