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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 10, Number 11

November 1997

November Membership Meeting
Wed., November 5, 1997 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

The October 1st membership saw an excellent presentation given by member Robert Hall on the subject of "Coin Auctions".

Member Robin Sisler also gave an update on his efforts to try and organize a coin show before the year ends. Bad news...problems with finding a location and the cost factor has resulted in a decision by the Board to cancel the coin show for the year.

Your Chief Editor's article last month "On the Issue of Coin Shows" has certainly given the senior membership "food for thought".

As a result, a volunteer committee consisting of members Scott Hornal, Mike McKinnon, and Robert Hall will work together to evaluate and develop a plan for coin shows for next year.

A fresh perspective is clearly needed on how we must approach these shows. Club members are encouraged to put forth their ideas on this matter. You can talk to the committee members... or even drop a note to the club's post office box.

Also discussed were details for the club's Xmas Potluck Party scheduled for the evening of December 4th. As in years past...the membership meeting, YN meeting, and Xmas Potluck Party will be combined as one event. It's a time for all of us to get together and have a great time.

Details of the Dec. 4th Xmas Politick Party: The club will pick up costs on the soda pop, ice, chips, coffee, plates, bowls, forks, spoons, and knives. This will be a buffet potluck dinner. The potluck items needed will be main dishes, salads, and desserts. During the month of November, members will be called to see if they will attend and which potluck items will be brought. Members can come with their potluck items at 6 PM, with dinner to occur at 7 PM. The Xmas Potluck Party to be held at the Central Lutheran Church.

Be sure to bring coins for showing, trading, or selling...since we have an hour before dinner. We will have a bullet auction limited to 10 lots. The club's raffle prize, a 1925 $20 Gold St. Gaudens in NGC-63 grade, will formally be raffled off that evening.

The Xmas Party will also feature an event in which our YNs (i.e., Young Numismatists) will participate in a numismatic contest to vie for "YN Bucks" that can be used at our club's January Coin Auction. (Note: For you YNs...see details on the YN Bucks Program in this month's YN Corner article).

Roman Denarius Mark Antony Minted 31 BC

Roman Denarius Mark Antony Minted 31 BC

10th Year Commemorative Designs: Your editors would like to remind all club members to get your designs in for the obverse side of our club's 10th Year Commemorative coin. The winner of the design will be announced at our club's Dec. 4th Xmas Potluck Party. Besides receiving recognition as the designer, the winning member will receive their 10th year anniversary set for free. Please submit your designs at our club's November 5th membership meeting or mail them into our post office box by no later than November15th.

We are accepting orders at this time for the 10th year numbered sets. There is a little form you can fill out in this month's newsletter to reserve your numbered set for next year. Your numbered set. a two coin proof-like silver and bronze set with your member number stamped on the edge of the coins, will cost $30.

Members wishing to order their set can fill out the form and mail it into our club's post office box address.

January Coin Auction: The January club meeting, scheduled for January 7th, will feature our club's traditional "Winter Coin Auction." This is our club's major coin auction for the year. As in years past, our members submit their extra coins which they would like to sell at this event.

Your editors can list the lots in our club's next two newsletters and in our club's WEB Page. This will give members an opportunity to have your lots listed well in advance of the auction date.

In this newsletter is a little form you can fill out to enter any of your lots for the January auction. You can mail the form to our club's post office box or bring them into our next club meeting.

Mail bids will be accepted for the January Coin Auction.

Upcoming November 5th Membership Meeting: The featured event will be a one hour presentation on how US paper currency is made and how the US Bureau of Engraving and Priming is evolving our paper currency production to address counterfeiting. This presentation will include a VHS tape produced by NOVA on "The Secrets of Making Money". It's a great tape.

Be sure to bring in coins for the bullet auction.

Even though the club meeting starts at 7:30 PM, the half hour before the meeting is becoming a popular time for members to sell, trade, or buy coins from each other. Be sure to come in a bit early (around 7 PM) with your extra coins or even your wish list of coins. You'll be surprised at what's available...

Finally...your editors want to remind everyone about the Coin and Card Show at the Cottonwood Creek Mall in Wasilla on October 25th and 26th. Member Robert Hall is the organizer of the show. If you happen to be in the Wasilla area that weekend, be sure to drop on by. There will be a club information table at this show.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of November

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: November 5th (Wednesday) at 7;30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. Presentation: "The Making of US Paper Currency and How Counterfeiting Has Changed It."

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: November 14th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. This YN meeting will feature a contest to select the best design for a "YN Buck" and a second contest to select the best coin display by YNs. These contests are intended to award YN Bucks to YNs for use at the January Coin Auction.

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: November 19th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

October 1st Membership Meeting

The October 1st membership meeting was called to order by club President Roy Brown at 7:30 PM.

The door prize, a 1987 Uncirculated Mint Set, was won by member Scott Hornal.

The membership prize, a 1968 Proof Set, was won by member Loren Lucason.

Member Robin Sisler gave an update on his efforts to organize a coin show for the 4th quarter of this year. Robin indicated problems in setting up a show at the desired shopping malls. Availability and cost were cited as the reason. Robin will continue in his efforts to see what can be done.

Larry Nakata announced the club's Xmas Potluck Party date set for Thursday evening, December 4th, starting at 6 PM. A brief discussion followed on the details for the Christmas Party.

As there was no further business, the bullet auction then followed. The following 10 lots made the cut:

1912 Liberty V Nickel XF-40

Roman Ancient: Constantius II 337-384 AD

1894-O Morgan Dollar VF-30

1913 Type I Buffalo Nickel VG

1931 Canadian Nickel F

1817 Large Cent 13 stars VG

1853 Large Cent G

1883 Liberty V Nickel NO Cent G

1919 Buffalo Nickel VG

1897 Barber Quarter G

Following a short break, member Robert Hall gave his presentation on "Coin Auctions".

The membership meeting concluded at approximately 9 PM.

Roman Denarius Nero AD 54-68

Minutes of the October 15th Board Meeting

The Board meeting started at 7:00 PM.

The first order of business was a discussion of the progress on setting up a coin show for the 4th quarter of this year. In light of the difficulties encountered by member Robin Sisler in setting up this event, the Board decided to cancel the coin show.

Since the organization of coin shows have been a problem this year.... a clear, fresh perspective is needed.

Accordingly, the Board has decided to set up a three member committee, consisting of members who have organized coin shows in years past, to evaluate and come up with a plan for setting up coin shows for next year.

Other issues discussed were details for the club's Dec. 4th Xmas Potluck Party and details for the YN Bucks Program (Editors Note: See details of the YN Bucks Program in this month's YN Comer article).

The final order of business was payment and review of club expenses. Treasurer Robert Hall has been looking into the club's Liability Insurance. Through the ANA. ..Robert found an insurance company, Albert H. Wohlers & Co, who will provide comparable club Liability Insurance at $325/year. Since this is a considerable cost savings to the club (~$500-$600 savings/year), the Board approved the new insurance policy,

As there was no further business, the Board meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

Ten YNs, with a number of parents, came to the October YN session that covered the subject of Buffalo Nickels. Yours truly gave the session and covered the history of the Buffalo Nickel with a heavy emphasis on how to grade those type coins.

As an exercise, the YNs graded 21 Buffalo Nickels that ranged in grades from Good to Uncirculated MS-63. Each YN got a chance to keep two of the Buffalo Nickels that were graded. Depending upon how well that YN fared in the grading exercise, they got "the pick of the litter." YNs Sarah and Matt were the top two people who did a great job in grading those Buffalo Nickels. It was a fun event.

At the YN meeting, we also discussed a "YN Bucks" Program to be held between now and our Dec. 4th Xmas Party.

For our newer YNs who joined the Anchorage Coin Club this year, the YN Bucks Program was a fun and successful event where YNs could earn YN Bucks. These YN Bucks were used to bid on coins at our club's January 1996 Coin Auction. Some $240 YN Bucks were used in that auction to buy quite a number of coins. I believe the adults had just as much fun as the YNs at that auction. There certainly was some very spirited bidding by the YNs on a number of those lots.

Based upon that success, the Anchorage Coin Club Board has agreed to do the "YN Bucks" event again this year.

At the October 10th YN meeting, the YNs gave their inputs on what they felt were good ways to earn those YN Bucks. Their ideas and recommendations were reviewed by the Board with the following results:

Between $5 to $10 in YN Bucks will be awarded to those YNs who write articles for publication in our club's newsletter and WEB Page. Articles can be written on subjects of coins (and paper currency), your favorite coins, and even about the meetings you've attended this year. The quality of the article will dictate the YN Bucks awarded.

$1 in YN Bucks will be awarded for attendance at each event at the Nov. membership meeting (on Nov. 5th) and YN Meeting (on Nov. 14th).

$2 in YN Bucks will be awarded to those YNs who help out at each of the meetings (i.e., Nov. membership meeting, Nov. YN Meeting, and Xmas Party events).

$1 in YN Bucks will be awarded for every two club raffle tickets sold by a YN.

At the November 14th YN Meeting, there will be a contest in which YNs are asked to bring in a small coin display of their favorite coins. Be prepared to give a short presentation on your display. The quality of the display will be judged by the club's Board members. First Prize: $10 in YN Bucks / 2nd Prize: $5 in YN Bucks / 3rd Prize: $4 in YN Bucks / 4th Prize: $3 in YN Bucks. All other YNs will receive $1 in YN Bucks for bringing in a display.

At the November 14th YN Meeting, there will be a second contest on the best design for a "YN Buck" check. $10 in YN Bucks will be awarded for the winner of the best design. Second prize will be $5 in YN Bucks. All other YNs will receive $1 in YN Bucks for bringing in a design. The design should be in the form of a "YN Buck" check where the dollar amount to be awarded can be written onto the check.

Recruiting of new members into the Anchorage Coin Club. $2 in YN Bucks will be awarded for bringing in a new YN member. $5 in YN Bucks will be awarded for bringing in a new adult member.

Final "YN Bucks". At our Dec. 4th Xmas party, there will be a contest event for the YNs to earn final YN Bucks. Last year's event centered around a Double Jeopardy contest in which YNs were tested on their numismatic knowledge. It was a great event and a fun time that was enjoyed by all. We will have a similar type event...not necessarily a Double Jeopardy event. So you YNs better brush up on your numismatic skills. We'll have more details in next month's newsletter.

So... there are 8 ways in which you YNs can earn YN Bucks for the January Coin Auction, I would recommend you start working on your mini-displays and "YN Bucks" check design for the November 14th YN meeting.

Good luck...

Roman Denarius Domitian AD 69-79

Roman Denarius Domitian AD 69-79

 

COLORFUL FIGURES IN ANCIENT TIMES
by Scott Hornal (Member #52)

Lately I have been gratified to see more and more articles appearing in our club's newsletter concerning ancient coins and their backgrounds. I hope many of you out there are as happy as I am to see more and more interest within our club in an area that has been sorely lacking for a long time. This is unfortunate also because of the length and breadth of history and countries that are omitted only by unfamiliarity. That is one of the purposes of this, my second article on ancient coins. I am writing on behalf of our members who have an interest in ancients, but just haven't found that collecting 'niche'.

As you may have derived from the title, this article will focus on a few of the "personal" lives and scandals that revolved around some of the more controversial figures in Roman times. Indeed, we can even go back further and find many aspects from the historical record of many famous people who accomplished fantastic feats while living...and yet had another side that would be considered comic or tragic depending on the circumstances. Today, many of these scandals would shock the entire world should they happen, when in fact many were repeated time and time again.

Many of us already know about some of the more popular figures in history such as Alexander the Great who was arguably one of the greatest conquerors and leaders in ancient times and was revered almost as a god. In fact many of his coins often pictured "Heracles" in a lion's cape or shroud which often is said to represent a likeness of Alexander himself. Could you imagine any scandal surrounding such a great figure? Writings refer to Alexander as having a lifelong "companion" who was always at his side and it is said he only took a wife to produce an heir to the empire he created. So I will let the reader make his or her own conclusions in deference to any young ones who may be reading this.

Cleopatra, the famed Queen of Egypt, is credited to have had as her lovers both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, later committing suicide after Antony's death after the Battle of Actium. She was only 39 years old at her death, but her life will always be immortalized in history.

These famous people are all recognizable the world over, and coins are available often at high prices not because of scarcity but of popularity. Now T would like to talk about some Roman Emperors and their families who were maybe not immediately known for their exploits, but nevertheless lead fascinating and controversial lives.

Caligula, whose real name was Gaius Caesar was Roman emperor during the years AD 37-41. His early years in military camps earned him the nickname Caligula, Latin for "little boot" because of his small military shoes. A decent and capable ruler for his first six months of office, Caligula fell deathly ill and later became a monstrous tyrant. Many historians believe he became insane during this illness. He squandered his fortune on public entertainment and building projects; banished or murdered most of his relatives; had people tortured or killed while he dined; made his favorite horse a consul; declared himself a god and had temples erected and sacrifices offered to himself. In AD 41 the officers of his guard became so tired of his antics they formed a conspiracy against him and he was assassinated. Caligula's coins tend to be expensive in all metals, but bronzes are available in the $300 - $500 price range.

Nero. Nero became Emperor of Rome in AD 54 and at first his rein was in the hands of two capable administrators, Seneca and Burrus. Young Nero soon decided to free himself from those constraints and after the death of Burrus and the retirement of Seneca, Nero's conduct soon deteriorated. In AD 59 he had his mother put to death because she criticized his mistress. In AD 62 he divorced and later had his wife executed so he could marry his mistress. In July AD 64, two-thirds of Rome burned while he was away at Antium. However, public opinion was such that they blamed Nero for causing the fire, unlikely as that may be. Nero blamed the Christians and commenced a campaign to persecute them. Nero loved to party to excess and fancied himself a great actor, artist, and athlete...often appearing in religious dramas and sporting events. Virtually ignoring the political turmoil and wars going on around him and after kicking his wife Poppaea to death, the Praetorian Guard rose against him and he fled Rome. Declared a public enemy by the Senate, he committed suicide on June 9th AD 68, near Rome. Nero's coins were many and varied and run moderate to expensive in price.

Domitian, Roman ruler from AD 81 - 96 was very popular with the army and launched many successful campaigns. However he was hated by the Senate, who resented his efforts to dominate them.

During his last three years as Emperor he terrorized the aristocracy, executed many of them for imagined acts of treason and confiscated their property to cover his extravagant expenses. On Sept. 16th AD 96, he was murdered in a plot between court officials and his wife, Empress Domitia, no doubt fearing she could be next. Domitian's coins are plentiful and can be had in silver or bronze in very nice condition for modest amounts of money, usually $100 or less.

Commodus. Made Co-Emperor in AD 177, after the death of Aurelius in AD 180, it was hoped that Commodus would carry on a noble family tradition of government but soon proved himself to be a lousy Emperor. Retiring from public life, Commodus left the administration of the Empire to a series of favorites. During his later years he appears to have gone insane, fighting wild beasts in the amphitheater, embarrassing the nobility. He believed himself to be the reincarnation of Hercules and demanded the worship of the people. After several plots against his life, he was eventually murdered on the night of Dec, 31st AD 192. Commodus' coins are also among the most common and silver denarii typically can be had for under $100 in very fine or better condition.

Roman Denarius Elagabalus AD 218 - 222

Roman Denarius Elagabalus AD 218 - 222

Elagabalus. In AD 218 Elagabalus was proclaimed Emperor by the army mainly on the rumor that he was the son of Caracalla, whom the soldiers had a deep respect for. However, his reign was marked by religious fanaticism, extreme cruelty and excesses of every kind. Finally having enough, Elagabalus and his mother, Julia Soaemias, were murdered in AD 222 and their bodies were dragged through the streets of Rome and thrown into the Tiber River.

All throughout the Roman Empire many rulers and their families were involved in intrigues, scandals, murders, and plots...all of which was part of the life and times of the era. To live well and glorious was the dream of many Romans, an 'all or nothing' mentality we can barely imagine. But it does make for juicy reading the likes of which today's TV soap-operas will never approach. Should you decide to pursue ancient coins you can find affordable coins from virtually all eras that will have some kind of story to tell...many times more interesting than today's generic and mass produced coins. I hope you will think so too.

 

 

SURFING THE INTERNET

In keeping with this month's article by member Scott Hornal on "Colorful Figures in Ancient Times", your editors came up with these supporting articles from some previous "Money Talk" series by the ANA.

From the ANA's WEB Page: http://www .money. ore

 

THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM
by Kerry K. Watterstrom

More than 2000 years ago, a momentous battle took place in the Ionian Sea, between Sicily and Greece, at the mouth of the bay guarded by the city of Actium. It was here that the future Emperor, Caesar Augustus, defeated Mark Antony - to become the undisputed master of the Roman world.

Today marks the anniversary of the decisive Battle of Actium, which took place in the year 31 B.C.

Mark Antony and his consort, Cleopatra. Queen of Egypt, both escaped to her homeland - only to commit suicide a year later. Antony died for the love of Cleopatra - and she died to avoid the humiliation of captivity in Rome, the city she had once entered as a Queen. With Cleopatra's death, not only did the last great Egyptian monarch die, but the last great Hellenistic ruler. The end of the Hellenistic Age at Actium marked the beginning of the new Roman Empire.

All three of these historical figures involved at Actium left a legacy of coins. Augustus, in particular, issued a series of silver "denarii" that commemorated his triumph at Actium. The front of these coins show a youthful and arrogant Augustus. The reverse sides of his coins show such items as a naval trophy, the god Apollo and his new temple in Rome, and a crocodile to mark the capture of Egypt.

The god Apollo had a celebrated temple at Actium. Augustus believed that Apollo had helped his forces defeat Antony and Cleopatra - and built a new temple for the Actian Apollo near his own home in Rome. With all the glamour, romance, intrigue, and historical importance surrounding the Battle of Actium - it's no wonder that today's collectors try to find the coins issued by the trio of Antony, Cleopatra, and Augustus.

        ....Transcript No. 1282 / Sept. 2,1997.

Roman Denarius Commodus AD 177 - 192

Roman Denarius Commodus AD 177 - 192

 

 

COMMODUS, THE MAN WHO WOULD BE GOD
by Matt Rockman

If power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. In the case of the Roman Emperor Commodus - power was so intoxicating that it drove him totally insane.

Commodus was the son of the famed Emperor Marcus Aurelius and he assumed the imperial throne after his father's death in AD 180. Marcus Aurelius had pledged never to be "too deeply dyed with purple"...but, unlike his father, Commodus sought personal glory at all costs.

He renamed the city of Rome in his own honor. He then gave his name to all the legions of the army, the city of Carthage, and even the Roman Senate.

His megalomania did not stop there. Commodus thought of himself as the greatest gladiator of all times - and he regularly fought wild animals in the Colusseum. The historian Dio Cassius wrote that he could hardly keep from laughing at the emperor's ridiculous gladiator displays. Yet, to honor his own bravery, Commodus ordered coins made - showing him fighting a lion. These coins are inscribed "to the courage of the emperor."

Eventually, Commodus' madness led him to think he was Hercules. He walked through Rome dressed as the mighty hero himself wearing a lion skin and brandishing a club. He even gave orders that he was to be called "not Commodus, son of Marcus, but Hercules, son of Jupiter." Commodus' last coins show him in the guise of Hercules, draped in a lion skin. The inscriptions read "Commodus, the Roman Hercules."

The reign of this 'would be god' came to an end on the last day of the year AD 192, when the leader of the palace guard hired a professional wrestler to assassinate the emperor. The wrestler managed to strangle the life out of Commodus. The emperor's new clothes weren't enough to give him the strength of Hercules.

        ....Transcript # 1274 / August 21,1997.

 


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