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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 11, Number 1

January 1998

January Membership Meeting
Wed., January 7, 1998 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

Well... here we are as our club approaches the end of it's ninth year of existence. Next year, being our club's 10th year, will see lots of events planned to commemorate this occasion. We've done well these past 9 years....

Your Chief Editor goes on vacation in about a week, so we are putting out this month's newsletter a bit earlier than usual.

The big event for the month of December was our club's Christmas Party on December 4th.

December 4th Membership / YN Meeting / Christmas Party

About 50 people showed up for this event. It was a Christmas Potluck party that saw some 23 door prizes given away.

The winner of the 1925 $20 St. Gaudens gold coin in NGC-63 grade was won by member Robert Hall. Member Mike Robuck was given the honors of picking the winning raffle ticket.

Mike Robuck became the winner of the club's 10th Year Commemorative Coin Set design. (Editors Note: Next month's newsletter will feature the design by Mike Robuck...a beautiful design.)


YN Buck Winner Corey Rennell

YN Buck Winner Corey Rennell

The Bill Caring Award for Anchorage Coin Club Numismatist of the Year was awarded to Ann Brown. The YN Numismatist of the Year was awarded to YN Sarah Bilak. Congratulations to both Ann and Sarah for their fine efforts in making this club a successful one.

There was a small coin auction consisting of 15 lots submitted by esteemed member, Bill Fivaz,:

1851 Large Cent AU-58 (N-1) R-3

1912-D Liberty Nickel AU (semi-key date)

1938-D Nickel MS-67

1945-S Jefferson Nickel / 5 steps ANACS-64

1963 Roosevelt Dime Pr-65 / Doubled die reverse

1997-P Roosevelt Dime BU Cent Variety B' w /indent

1836 Bust Half O-118 (R-4) F

1916-S Walking Half (Key date) AG

1915 Pan Pacific Half AU

1918 Lincoln Cent MS-64 RB

1936-D Mercury Dime MS-64 FSB

1836 Bust Quarter VF

1915 Buffalo Nickel NGC-63

1913-S Barber Quarter NGC F-12

1917-D Liberty Standing Quarter T1 NGC-63

The prime event of the evening was the YN Contest that was patterned after the game Jeopardy. Approximately $145 in YN Bucks were given out that evening at the contest. The sum total of $263 YN Bucks have been earned by 12 of our YNs (see The YN Corner article). That should give our YNs some pretty good bidding power at our coin club's January 7th Coin Auction.

To date, some 75 coin lots have been submitted to our coin club's January Coin Auction. There is still time to submit lots to the January auction. If you wish to submit coin lots, drop a note to our club's post office box with the type coin, grade, and minimum bid (if desired). You can also bring in coins on January 7th prior to the start of the auction. Mail bids will be accepted for this auction.

Finally, we want to remind all club members that there will be no Board meeting for December. The next YN meeting will be held on Saturday, January 10th at 10 am (See The YN Corner article).

Have a Happy Holiday Season....Your Editors.

 

LOTS OF COINS SUBMITTED THUSFAR
FOR THE JANUARY 7TH COIN AUCTION

MB= Minimum Bid

Lot#:

1. 1986 Silver Eagle BU

2. 1886 Morgan Dollar MS-60

3. 1890 O Morgan Dollar MS-60

4. 1891-CC PL Morgan Dollar MS-60 MB 120

5. 1879-S Morgan Dollar MS-63 MB 23

6. 1922-D Peace Dollar MS-60

7. 1886 Morgan Dollar MS-60

8. 1884 Morgan Dollar MS6-0

9. 1964 Proof Wash. Quarter

10. 1982-D George Washington Commemorative Half MS-65

11. 1987 Silver Eagle Proof

12. 1909-S Lincoln cent VG MB 32

13. 1913 Lincoln cent AU-58 MB 13

14. 1802 Large Cent AG MB 10

15. 1862 Indian Cent XF MB 16

16. 1858 Flying Eagle Cent Small Letters VF MB 26

17. 1870 Indian Cent G MB 27

18. 1923 $1 Silver Certificate Ave Cir MB 18

19. 1923 $1 Silver Certificate Ave Cir MB 18

20. 1976 $2 Federal Reserve Star Note MB 3.50

21. 1976 $2 Federal Reserve Star Note MB 3.50

22. 191? Amer. Bank of Alaska - Fairbanks Note BU MB 16

23. 1969 $1 US Military Payment Currency (MPC) BU MB 15

24. 1923 $1 Silver Certificate Speelman / White BU MB 45

25. 1917 $1 US Legal Tender Note Elliott / White F MB 30

26. 1958 5 Pounds South Africa VF MB 16

27. 1956-67 10 Pounds New Zealand VF+ MB 35

28. 1956-67 1 Pound New Zealand BU MB 25

29. 1917 I Pound Great Britain VF MB 65

30. AD 54-68 Greek Imperial Alexandria Billon Tetradram G/F MB 55

31. 1551-53 Shilling / England / Edward VI F MB 85

32. AD 180-192 Roman Denarius Emp. Commodus G / VF MB 55

33. AD 222-235 Roman Denarius Emp. Severus Alexander VF MB 30

34. 1485-1509 1/2 Groat / England / Henry VII G/F MB 45

35. 1327-77 Groat / England / Edward III VF MB 115

36. 1808 Half Cent VG

37. 1853 Half Cent VG

38. 1800 Large Cent AG

39. 1803 Large Cent G

40. 1810 Large Cent AG

41. 1816 Large Cent VG

42. 1826 Large Cent VG

43. 1841 Large Cent G

44. 1851 Large Cent F

45. 1908-S Indian Cent F

46. 1912-S Liberty Nickel F+

47. 1913 T1 Buffalo Nickel BU

48. 1915 Buffalo Nickel AU

49. 1937 Buffalo Nickel F/VF

50. 1937-D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel F/VF

51. 1883 Hawaii Dime VF / Solder Spot Rev.

52. 1917 T1 Liberty Standing Quarter XF+

53. 1943 Washington Quarter AU

54. 1922 Grant Commemorative Half AU

55. 1876 Liberty Seated Half G

56. 1949-S Franklin Half AU

57. 1890-CC Morgan Dollar VF

58. 1980 Proof Set MB 4

59. 1808 Shipwreck Coin from the East India Co. Admiral Gardner wrecked in Jan 1809 MB 7

60. 1964-D Mint Set MB 4

61. 1964 Kennedy Half Pr-48 MB 3

62. 1957 Franklin Half Pr-48 MB 3

63. Five (5) each assorted medals in BU condition. Medals dated between 1939 & 1985. MB 5

64. 1984 Impaired Proof Set MB 6

65. Three (3) each Savings Bank Dime Holders filled with Roosevelt dimes dated 1965-67. Each an original holder from the Salem Five Savings Bank. Each holder carries $3 worth of dimes. MB 10

66. Book "Alaska's Coinage Through the Years" by Kaye Dethridge & Ken Bressett c. 1965

67. Nine (9) each 1980 US Olympics Sterling Silver Postage Stamps in original holder. Set is missing one stamp. From Franklin Mint. MB 35

68. One (1) each 1885 Morgan Dollar BU in Encased Plastic commemorating the 100th Year anniversary (1985) of the Dr. Pepper Co. Very Unique Item MB 10

69. One (1) bag of assorted Capitol Single Coin Holders. At least 10 holders.

70. New Zealand / 1969 Mint Set & Holder MB $3.50

71. New Zealand / 1968 Mint Set MB $3.50

72. New Zealand / 1967 Mint Set MB $3.50

73. New Zealand / 1965 Four Coin Set: 3 pence, 6 pence, shilling, florin.

74. 1984 US Olympic Silver Dollar BU MB 14

75. 1984 US Olympic Silver Dollar BU MB 14

 

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of January

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: January 7th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. This will be our coin club's January Winter Coin Auction.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: January 10th (Saturday) at 10 AM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. The YNs will be taking a field excursion to The Alaska Mint (located at 445 W. 4th Ave.- corner of 4th & E St.). Owner and club member, Mike Robuck, will show our YNs how his Alaskan commemorative coins are minted.

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: January 21st (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

Well...I trust all of you YNs had a great time at our club's Christmas Party on December 4th. The YN contest saw $145 in YN Bucks given away. As you YNs found out, the Jeopardy type questions were not easy ones. That is why each team was given two "Red Books" for the contest.

With 15 seconds to answer each question, it definitely became a game of strategy for each of the two YN teams. YN Bucks in the amounts of $5, $6, $10, and $12 questions were given out in five categories:

General Information on US Coins

Early US Mint Coins

Odd Type US Coins

US Commemorative Coins (1892-1954)

US Silver Dollars

How did you like that Final Jeopardy question for $25: "What US commemorative coin features the Anchorage Coin Club's logo on it's reverse?"

YN Buck from Nicky Bilak

YN Buck from Nicky Bilak

Both teams did very well and should be congratulated for their numismatic knowledge.

At this point in time, the YN Bucks contest has seen $263 in YN Bucks given out to 12 YNs: Kento Azegami, Sarah & Nicholas Bilak, Isaac Croas, Bart and Nathaniel Grabman, Zach Green, Kalgin Koch, Amanda Lenhardt, Corey Rennell, Charles and Robert Wells.

YN Buck checks will be mailed out to all YNs prior to the January 7th Coin Auction. These YN Bucks can only be used to bid on coin lots for that auction. With some $263 to spend on coins, that should give you YNs some pretty good purchasing power for that upcoming auction.

Congratulations also goes out to those YNs who submitted designs for the "YN Buck". YN Corey Rennell should be commended for his unique design which centered around our club president, Roy Brown. I loved the mono, "In Roy We Trust". It was a nice touch getting Roy and our club treasurer, Robert Hall, to sign the YN Buck as the officials.

All of the YN submissions for the "YN Buck" are featured in this month's newsletter.

Finally, our next YN meeting will be held on a different day...Saturday, January 10th at 10 AM. Club member, Mike Robuck, owner of The Alaska Mint, will show us how his coins are minted. This will be a field excursion to The Alaska Mint that Saturday morning. I ask that the YNs be at the Central Lutheran Church before 10 AM and I would like to have some parents volunteer to shuttle the YNs to The Alaska Mint. It should be a great event for everyone.

Enjoy the Holiday Season......

 

 

THE AL ASKA TEMPLE CENT
by Bryan E. Cleary

 

Editors Note: The following article was submitted by Bryan Cleary to our president, Roy Brown. This particular article on an Alaskan token proved to be very interesting......Enjoy.

A few years ago Mr. Charles E. Wellong, a member and past Potentate of the Al Aska Shrine Temple in Anchorage, was attending a convention in Georgia. While there, he saw a counterstamped "Masonic" cent that gave him an idea.

As many people know, the Shriner's Hospitals provide excellent health care and treatment for children. The financial burden is absorbed by the hospitals and all services are rendered at no charge.

Transportation is also provided but at times this too can be very expensive. So Mr. Wellong's idea was to make a piece that could be used in a fund-raising activity to benefit the Shriner's "Travel Fund for Crippled Children".

The Al Aska Temple Cent

The Al Aska Temple Cent

Working with Mr. Vinton Edwards, a jeweler friend, they came up with the counterstamp design. The die, costing $350, was made by a company in California and then shipped to Alaska. The work was done at Mr. Edwards' shop called "Vintons Jewelry" located in Coopers Landing, Alaska.

Using an electro hydraulic press to shape the cents, Mr. Wellong spent many of his weekend hours at the shop operating the press. The amount of force required to do the job was 17,000 psi. Thousands of counterstamped cents were produced beginning in 1982 and then intermittently as demand required through 1984.

The piece is a U.S. Lincoln Memorial cent that has been repressed into the shape of a gold pan. On the reverse (back/bottom) of the pan is written in a raised, cursive style "Al Aska Temple". On the obverse (front/top) looking into the pan is the raised Shriner's emblem. The top outer rim edge measures 19 mm in diameter. The rim then slopes from the edge inwards toward the bottom. The diameter of the bottom of the pan is approximately 15 mm (see sketch). The Al Aska Temple cent is a very nice piece and on both inner and outer rim sides you can still read "IN GOD WE TRUST' and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ONE CENT".

In 1982 the pieces sold for 3 to 25 cents, and by 1984 they were 10 for $1.00. Mr. Wellong gave several thousand away to members in Denver, Colorado during the 1983 Imperial Session of Shriners. All cents were sold or distributed within the Shriners organization. Some even made it to Fairbanks and were then made into tie tacks, some gold plated, by a Shriner for other Nobles in the area.

Will there be anymore counterstamped cents produced in the future? It's possible since the dies still exist, but any future production would first have to comply with Shriner Imperial bylaws and the governing hierarchies approval. The following of time honored regulated policies and procedures is die key.

 

PURCHASE OLD U.S. COINS AT FACE VALUE:
Well, Not Exactly...

by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

The title of this article probably got your attention fairly quickly. However, this is not a report on Numismatic bargain hunting. It is, in fact, a look at how inflation has eroded the spending power of the coins (and currency) in our pockets (assuming that you still carry such items and do not yet make all your purchases with a plastic card of one type or another).

Using a book called "Historical Statistics of the United States- Colonial Times to 1970" by the U.S. Department of Commerce along with several more recent economic reports, I was able to trace the path of inflation from 1800 to present. What I found was that prices actually dropped during the first three decades of the 19th Century, probably as our infrastructure was improved, reducing transportation costs and increasing competition.

Price levels remained fairly steady from 1830 to 1915 with one notable upward spike during the financial panic of the early 1870's. Prices were roughly identical in 1830 and 1915. In the late 1910's World War I sent prices up sharply, but the depression of the 1930's saw them decrease, though not all the way back to their pre-war levels. Prices have risen steadily (though sometimes faster than others) from the start of World War II on through the present day.

So, what about that title claiming that old U.S. coins may be purchased at face value? Obviously this cannot actually be done. It is, however, possible to purchase some old coins for their inflation adjusted face value.

Wheat cents can currently be purchased for three cents each in quantity...although inflation has eroded their purchasing power by a factor of six times since they were last made in 1958. This means that if you spend $150 to buy a $50 face value bag of wheaties, you are only giving up half as much spending power as the person who originally set them aside in 1958. If Buffalo nickels are your cup of tea, you are still in luck. The five cents of spending power that the Buffalos had in 1938 is roughly identical to the spending power of the 50 cents that these coins cost today for common dates in circulated condition.

So, you want silver? No problem! Junk silver coinage can currently be obtained for around 3.5 times face even though its value has been reduced by a factor of 5 since it was put aside in 1964, However, I doubt anybody in the mid 1960's would have believed that they would have been better off to just spend those silver coins rather than set them aside and forget about them for 33 years.

Junk silver is not old enough for you? As it turns out, Mercury dimes and Walking Liberty halves would have to worth nine times face value now to have the same spending power that they had when they were last produced in the mid 1940's. They are, however, readily available for half that amount when purchased as common date circulated rolls. What, Mercs and Walkers are not old enough? Then go ahead and get some Barbers: Barber dimes, quarters, and halves can be purchased for roughly ten times face value in Good condition although they would have to have risen to fifteen times face just to keep pace with inflation since they were last produced in 1916.


YN Buck from Amanda Lenhardt

YN Buck from Amanda Lenhardt

If silver dollars are more your cup of tea, no problem. For Peace dollars to keep their spending power the same as it was when they were last minted in 1935, they would have to be worth $12 each. Unfortunately for anybody that may have set some of these aside back in the mid 1930's, they are only worth about $7. Pre 1904 Morgans have fared even worse (or are currently a bigger bargain depending on how you look at it) at $9 each compared to their inflation adjusted value of $18.

Liberty Head ten and twenty dollar gold pieces have done somewhat better than their silver counterparts. Circulated VF-XF examples of common dates may now be purchased for 18 to 19 times face value which is virtually exactly the same amount as inflation has reduced their value since they were last produced. What this means is that the $375 that you will spend on a circulated Liberty Head double eagle today has the same spending power as that coin had back at the start of the 20th century.

So, while it is not actually possible to buy old U.S. coins at face value in an absolute sense, it is possible to get them for their inflation adjusted face value or sometimes even less. Of course these coins are not necessarily a good investment just because of this as they may always sell at a discount to their relative face value. But have fun with this the next time you pick up a roll of circulated Mercury dimes!

Final Editors Note: Our club's November newsletter featured a series of articles on ancient coin subjects. Your Chief Editor wanted to follow-up with this interesting article on the cleaning of ancient coins. This particular article was found in the Sept. 1997 issue of The Celator.

 

 

COINS OF THE BIBLE: CLEANING YOUR ANCIENT COINS
by David Hendin

Unlike modern coins, a great number of ancient coins must be cleaned. Since these coins lie in the ground for 1,000 years or more before they are found, they often acquire a thick layer of encrustation which must sometimes be removed before the coin can even be identified.

It is not easy to remove such an encrustation safely; this is a job for experts. The best restorers of ancient coins work with steel needles under a binocular microscope, and remove the encrustation physically. Sometimes chemical cleaning is the only alternative.

On the other hand, some types of oxidation are extremely desirable on ancient coins and should never be removed. Such oxidation is called patina, the thin layer of material that often forms on the surfaces of bronze coins after long contact with desirable com bin aliens of atmosphere, soil, moisture, and other factors. The patina can form in various colors ranging from red or orange to deep jade green. Ancient bronze or copper coins with a uniform jade-green patina are worth many times more than coins without such a patina.

Dr. Arie Kindler, director of Israel's Kadman Numismatic Museum, has written that for the purpose of cleaning, ancient coins may be divided into three main categories:

1. Worn- that is, rubbed down so that cleaning would be of no value at all.

2. Covered with a delicate patina- which, if it does not prevent the reading of the legend or cover the design, would only suffer through cleaning and, therefore, no such steps should be taken.

3. Covered with a thick layer of dirt and corrosion-  but with the possibility still remaining that cleaning would reveal enough to identify the coin and leave it in reasonable condition.

YN Buck from Sarah Bilak

YN Buck from Sarah Bilak

As stated above, the cleaning of ancient coins, both bronze and silver, is a task best left to the expert in this field. Nevertheless, it is my experience that collectors of ancient coins will at least once get the urge to buy a corroded and encrusted coin and try to clean it up in the hope it will be of greater value. I have seen coins cleaned by methods ranging from brushing with an abrasive toothpaste for many hours to scrubbing with steel wool. These cleaning methods are generally not effective, since they can do more harm than good.

Here is some advice from Dr. Kindler on cleaning ancient coins chemically: "The solution of the chemical bath consists of one part sulfuric acid to nine parts distilled water. The coin is left in the solution for several hours, by which process the patina is dissolved, as well as the dirt. The coin is them removed from the acid and brushed with a fingernail brush to remove the brown material that has formed on its surface. If dirt still remains on the coin, the process is repeated. If, after the coin has undergone this process four times, it still is not clean, a new solution should be prepared. To remove all traces of the acid, the coin is left in distilled water for two weeks, the water being changed every day. Upon being removed from the distilled water, the coin is to be washed in soap and water."

The coin "plague", as it is known, must be distinguished from the deep-green, stable patina many ancient bronze coins acquire. The "plague" is a light-green, powdery deposit. The "plague" can grow rapidly over an entire collection of ancient bronze coins, especially if they are not stored properly. Coin plague is caused by certain forms of copper, most notably copper chloride, which oxidize rapidly. Humidity combined with harmful, usually acidic substances, either on the coin or in the air, invariably make the problem worse. (There is no bacterial factor to this "disease", so sterilization is of no value).

To prevent coin plague from the outset, make sure that your coins are kept in a clean, dry place. It is also critical to avoid the use of any solution that contains chlorine (including tap water) when cleaning coins. Since coin plague can spread, if you find the green speckles "growing" on one of your coins, remove it from the rest of the collection immediately.

Here is Dr. Ya'akove Meshorer's method of curing a coin of the plague: "With a splinter of wood, a toothpick, or a bristle toothbrush, carefully scrape away as much of the green material as possible. Then begin soaking the coin in a glass of distilled water. In very serious cases you may add a small amount of soap to the water. Change the water, rinsing the coin and the glass every two days. Keep repeating this process for at least three weeks, even if the plague seems to have disappeared sooner. When the process is finished, dry the coin with a cloth, then place it under the bulb of a desk lamp for several hours so it becomes thoroughly dry. You may then spray the coin with a uniform, thin coat of flat-finish lacquer, which you can buy at an supply store. If over a period of time the plague returns to the coin- it should not if you have followed the above instructions carefully-you can remove the lacquer with thinner and repeat the entire process."

This method is effective only if coin plague affects just the surface of a coin. If the plague has penetrated to the core of the coin, it is unlikely that any home-treatment method will save it. If this has happened to a particularly valuable coin in your collection, I suggest you contact an archaeology expert from either a local museum or a university for advice about who will be able to help you preserve this coin properly. Don't be surprised to find that a professional conservator may charge a minimum of $50 to restore one coin. (Excerpted from Guide to Biblical Coins, Third Edition, by David Hendin c. 1997).

YN Buck from Zach Green

YN Buck from Zach Green

 

 

 


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