Return to Alaska Coin Exchange homepage

Return to ACCent homepage


ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

ACCent Header


Volume 11, Number 4

April 1998

April Membership Meeting
Wed., April 1, 1998 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

Our coin club's March 4th membership meeting saw the following members voted in for our 10th Year Board:

President Roy Brown

Vice President John Larson

Secretary Larry Nakata

Treasurer Robert Hall

Board Member Mike Orr

Board Member Ann Brown

Board Member Bruce Gamble

Congratulations go out to these people for volunteering their time and effort to make our coin club a successful organization.

For this month, your editors want to remind all of our members to get their orders in for their Anchorage Coin Club 10th Year Commemorative Coin set. Orders have been placed for some 57 numbered sets at this time. Club member, Mike Robuck (also the owner of the Alaska Mint), will be minting these numbered sets in time for our club's April 1st; meeting. Members have until the end of March to place their orders. Cost of the set will be $30. Be sure to get your orders placed!

In other news Roy Brown is working to set up a coin show at the University Mall during National Coin Week. At this time we have a request into the mall management for either the weekend before or the weekend after National Coin Week (April 19-25). We should shortly be getting word from the management on availability and on requirements for setup of a show at their mall. Interested members wishing to get tables for the coin show can contact Ann Brown (Ph# 563-6708). Ann is presently taking reservations for tables at this time. By our April 1st membership meeting we should have word as to whether or not the coin show will occur.

Our April 1st club meeting will feature a presentation by club member Larry Nakata on "The Most Desirable U.S. Key Date Coins of the 20th Century".

Have you ever wondered what the 1909-S VDB and 1955 Doubled die Lincoln cents look like?! Have you ever seen the 1937-D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel?! Larry will be bringing in a selection of about 15 of the most sought after U.S. coins of the 20th century: Indian cents, Liberty nickels, Mercury dimes, Barber quarters, and many others. Be sure to come to this particular meeting. It's not often one sees so many key date coins in one location.

Our April 1st meeting will also see our club's new raffle prize, an 1899 $5 Silver Certificate graded in Fine condition. For those of you not acquainted with U. S. Paper currency, this is a very popular note that is in high demand. This is a note that features the face of Chief "One Papa" and would be an excellent addition to anyone's collection. Who knows...you may be as member Brad Webb who won our last raffle prize (an ANACS slabbed 1937 Walking Liberty Half Dollar graded MS-65) with the purchase of one ticket that evening. Raffle tickets are $5 each for this popular note.

Ancient: Greek Athenian Owl

Ancient: Greek Athenian Owl

Finally, we want to make an announcement that our annual YN Donation Auction is scheduled for our club's May 6th membership meeting. Donated coins and numismatic items (such as coin supplies and books) will be auctioned that evening. Anyone wishing to donate items for the auction can contact member Larry Nakata or one of the Anchorage Coin Club board members. A list of the donated items (and the contributors) will be posted in next month's newsletter. Proceeds from the auction will go towards the club's YN Education Fund.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of April:

1, Monthly Membership Meeting: April 1st (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. Larry Nakata's presentation on "The Most Desirable U.S. Key Date Coins of the 20th Century". Bullet coin auction of no more than 10 coin lots will occur. Members wishing to submit coins for the bullet auction can bring them to the meeting.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: April 10th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (corner of Cordova St. and 15th Avenue). YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. There will be a repeat presentation on "The Most Desirable U.S. Key Date Coins of the 20th Century". Time permitting...a second presentation on "US Commemorative Coinage".

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

March 4th Membership Meeting:

The membership meeting started at 7:30 PM.

An update was given on the club's 10th Year Commemorative Sets. It is expected that numbered sets will be ready by the club's April 1st meeting for distribution.

Member Larry Nakata announced the YN Donation Auction is planned for our club's May 6th meeting. Members have already donated a number of items for this year's auction, but we can use more, Larry asked that interested members please get with him on any donations for coins or numismatic items.

Ideas for National Coin Week were discussed. Member Loren Lucason is planning a coin display at the Loussac Library (see Loren's article). Latest updates were given on the possibility of a coin show at the University Mall. Assuming a coin show can be held at the University Mall, ideas were discussed on how best to advertise the show (radio and newspaper ads) and how best to organize the events. One idea recommended was distribution of common date hard to get circulated coins (such as wheat cents, buffalo nickels, mercury dimes, etc.) and other related numismatic items to mall shoppers using numbered certificates. These numbered certificates would be distributed to the mall shopper with the idea of having them redeemed for a numismatic prize.

Member Robin Sisler brought up the issue of Senator Ted Stevens bill on establishment of a commemorative coin program for the US Olympic Committee. It appears the US Mint would be required to make a commemorative coin every two years to coincide with the Olympic games. Proceeds from the sale of these coins would go to the USOC. In light of the US Mint problems with too many commemorative coins introduced in recent years, the membership voted a disapproval on this bill. A follow-up will be made to Senator Stevens office to confirm the status of this bill. If reports prove to be true, a letter from the Anchorage Coin Club to Senator Stevens will be written on this matter.

The door prize, a 1988 Proof Set, was won by new member Bob Freese.

There were three membership prizes given out that evening:

A 1977 Proof Commemorative Canadian Dollar (Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee / 1952-1977) was won by Jim Hill.

A book "One Minute Coin Expert" was won by Brad Webb.

A book "1998 Blackbook- Price Guide to US Paper Money" was also won by Brad Webb.

The club's raffle prize, a 1937 Walking Liberty Half Dollar in ANACS MS-65 condition, was won by Brad Webb. (Editors' Comment: Brad was sure lucky that evening....).

The club's bullet auction featured the following 10 lots that made the cut:

1. 1930-S Buffalo Nickel MS60

2. 1950 Proof Jefferson Nickel

3. $1 State Bank Note / Maryland / Harve de Grace Bank / G to VG condition / 1846.

4. 1863 Indian Cent VG

5. 1858 Flying Eagle Cent Small Letter G

6. 1858 Flying Eagle Cent Large Letter VG

7. 1870 Liberty Seated Half Dime G

8. 1842 Liberty Seated Dime AC

9. 1925 Peace Dollar AU

10. 1977-S Proof Quarter

Following a 10 minute break, a presentation was given by member Bill D'Atri on "Anchors in Time-Coinage of the Second Punic War". Bill showed the members examples of coins minted by Rome and Carthage during this period of time which spans form 219 - 204 BC. (Editors' Note: One of the articles this month features Bill's handout given out at his presentation. Those who did not attend this month's meeting missed a great presentation....).

As there was no further business, the club meeting concluded at 9 PM.

Minutes of the March 18th Board Meeting

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM. This month's meeting was held at President Roy Brown's house.

The board reviewed the list of 10th Year numbered sets and bronze coins to be minted by the Alaska Mint. Approval was given to order 57 numbered sets and 39 bronze coins. The board approved one numbered set (Number 49) be donated to the American Numismatic Association for the ANA museum. One numbered set (to include a 5th year set) was also approved for our sister club, the Tasmanian Numismatic Society in Australia. The 10th Year sets should be ready by the club's meeting on April 1st. Meantime, any additional orders placed up until March 31st will be ordered in the month of April. Interested members wishing to have a gold 10th Year Commemorative coin minted by the Alaska Mint can make separate arrangements with owner (and fellow club member) Mike Robuck.

Discussions followed on the status of having a coin show at the University Mall. At this time the club's request for a coin show is under review by the mall management.

The board also reviewed a draft letter that will go to Senator Stevens on his bill for establishment of a US Commemorative Coin Program for the US Olympic Committee. Larry Nakata is following up with Senator Stevens office to see if this bill is moving forward in Congress. If reports indicate the bill is moving forward, the letter will be sent to Senator Ted Stevens with an official club position against this program. The letter to be posted in next month's newsletter as well.

The remainder of the board meeting focused on bills and club correspondence.

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

Series 1913 $50 Gold Coin Note

Series 1913 $50 Gold Coin Note

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

Friday the 13th must be terrible days to hold YN meetings. We've had the second Friday of the last two months fall on the 13th. Last month's YN meeting coincided with the start of the Fur Rendezvous events and the carnival. That may have contributed to a bad turnout. That particular session on Alaskan Tokens saw the YNs in attendance go home with a lot of Alaskan tokens for their collections.

This month also saw a sparse turnout. I'm told it was because of the start of Spring vacation from school. In any event ...you YNs missed another good session. This time it was on US Federal Paper Currency with an emphasis on grading.

The YNs in attendance had an opportunity to see and grade all types of Federal currency dating back to the Civil War. There were examples of Silver Certificates, Legal Tender US Notes, Treasury or Coin Notes, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, and even National Bank Notes dating back to the late 19th Century.

There was a short VHS tape showing how the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing makes their paper currency. I must admit it was a pretty good tape.

At the conclusion of the YN meeting free books were given out to the YNs in attendance. Among the books were the "1998 Blackbook- Price Guide to US Paper Money" (the key book used by many coin collectors on grading and pricing US paper currency) and "One Minute Coin Expert" by Scott Travers. These books were donated to the club by Scott. Apparently, Scott met up with coin club member Robert Hall recently at the coin show in Long Beach...resulting in a whole case of these books. Thanks go to Scott for his generous donation.

Our next YN meeting will be held on April 10th. You YNs will have an opportunity to see some really neat US coins minted in the 20th Century. You'll see coins like the 1909-S VDB penny, the 1955 Double die penny, and much more. You ever wondered what they look like?! This meeting should give you YNs an opportunity to see the really good stuff.

Time permitting, we will also see a presentation on "US Commemorative Coins". Like every YN meeting, you never know what sort of free coins or numismatic items will be given away that evening.

Hope to see more of you at the April 10th meeting.......

        Larry.

 

 

ANCHORS IN TIME - COINAGE OF THE SECOND PUNIC WAR
by Bill D'Atri (Member #27)

Editors' Note: Member Bill D'Atri gave an excellent presentation on "Coinage of the 2nd Punic War" at our club's March 4th membership meeting, There was a handout given out by Bill as part of his presentation. The handout proved to be very informative and certainly worthy of printing in this month's newsletter. Your Chief Editor even found some Roman coins from that era while browsing the Internet.

What was the Second Punic War? It was the second in a series of three wars between Carthage and Rome. The Second Punic War lasted from 219 to 204 BC. The battlegrounds ranged throughout Europe and North Africa, from the walls of Rome, to Nova Carthago (New Carthage, in Modern Spain), to Carthaginian territory in North Africa.

Is (here any historical significance in this conflict? Most certainly. The Punic Wars, which ended with the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC, stopped the diaspora of Punic culture throughout the Mediterranean, and propelled the Romans into an expansionist mode that led to the Roman Empire. Our current historical perspective is a direct result of this series of wars that occurred well over two thousand years ago.

So why collect coins from this period?

My main interest with Hannibal Barca, and his famous exploits. His defeat of the massive Roman army at the Battle of Cannae, in 216 BC, is legendary. Military strategists ever since have tried to duplicate this double-wing envelopment maneuver.

As my familiarity and curiosity levels grew, my research extended to the Barca family, then to Carthage, then Rome, then to Scipio Africanus, etc. Coins from this period present a very specific focal point, both in time and location. The rest is , as they say, History.

Just for your information, our modem alphabet is Punic in origin, our numerals Arabic (although Roman Numerals are still frequently encountered) and our language is primarily extracted from the Romans. You can find examples of all three of these cultural markers in modern US and World coinage.

Where may an interested listener find reading or reference materials to follow-up on this presentation? Books and periodicals are available from a wide range of sources. Coin shops, bookstores, libraries, and the Internet immediately come to mind. The range of available information is truly staggering, ranging from general articles in encyclopedias to classics by authors such as Livy.....

William D'Atri / Past President / Anchorage Coin Club.

Roman Republic Silver Quadrigatus

Roman Republic Silver Quadrigatus

Roman Republic / Silver Quadrigatus / ca. 225-212 BC. Introduced between the 1st and 2nd Punic Wars, replacing the earlier didrachm. The upheaval of the 2nd Punic War caused a complete restructuring of the Roman coinage and the quadrigatus was discontinued in favor of a new denomination, the denarius.

Roman Republic Silver Victoranius

Roman Republic Silver Victoranius

Roman Republic / Silver Victoranius / after 211 BC. This coin was much lighter than a denarius and probably made to facilitate trade with the Greek cities to the south. Rome's influence expanded greatly following the 2nd Punic War and the victoranius was discontinued.

 

COLLECTING US HALF DIMES
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

Admittedly, the half dimes produced by the United States from 1794 through 1873 are not the most popular series in numismatics, but they are quite collectable. I will look at just two of the possible collections that can be formed by most collectors of average financial means within a reasonable period of time.

You will notice that I am not going to discuss assembling a type set. Building a type set is a fairly obvious mode of collecting our first five cent coins, so we will leave that option on the shelf for today while we look at two somewhat less obvious alternatives. Besides, when I started collecting in the mid 1970's, complete sets were all the rage so I still tend to focus on the goal of building complete sets.

With all that in mind, the first set that we will look at is the capped bust half dimes minted from 1829 through 1837. Because all of the coins in this series were minted at the Philadelphia mint, the complete set will consist of nine pieces assuming that varieties are not included. While these coins are not exactly rare, they make a fascinating and eye catching display now that all of them are over 160 years old.

As for assembling the set, Very Fine seems to be about an ideal condition. In this state of preservation the coins should show an abundance of hair detail on the obverse design along with plenty of feather detail remaining in the eagle on the reverse. What will a set like this cost? According to Coin World's Trends, it would run about $495 total for the nine pieces.

If you really like this series and you happen to have abundant financial resources, you may even consider assembling this set in BU condition. This is not as outrageous as it sounds; the total trends for the set is around $2550 in MS-60 and $5050 in MS-63. That is a lot of money, but when was the last time that you saw something like that? Besides, you would earn substantial bragging rights with the ability to say that you have completed a 160+ year old series in Brilliant Uncirculated Condition!

1858 Liberty Seated Half Dime

1858 Liberty Seated Half Dime

The second alternative set for collectors to consider is a complete one a year set of Seated Liberty half dimes. By collecting only one issue from each year that the seated liberty design was produced from 1837 to 1873, the budget minded collector will be able to form an impressive set of these coins.

The seated liberty half dimes were produced at one or more mints during the years 1837 through 1873 meaning that the one a year set will consist of 37 pieces totally and show each of the five design variations that occurred.

Once again, I suggest a grade of Very Fine as this grade will show most of the design details at a somewhat reasonable price. A look at Coin World's Trends shows that the only stumbling block to completing this set is the 1846. In 1846, half dimes were only produced at the Philadelphia Mint with a skimpy 27,000 minted, leading to a Trends value of $650 in VF. However, once this hurdle is crossed, the 1864-S is the only other issue in our one a year set with a three digit Trends value, and it is pegged at an even $100 in VF condition. Some quick number crunching with a calculator gives an estimated total Trends value of $1625 if the least expensive mint issue is selected for each of the 37 coins.

In the case of a one a year set it is not always best to choose the least expensive mint issue for every year. A little research will reveal that you can often acquire some of the much scarcer issues for only a minor increase in the cost. Take 1854 for example. In VF the 1854 has a Trends value of $15 and the 1854-O is valued at $20, a difference of only $5. However the 1854-O has only 1/4 the mintage. While original mintages are not an exact barometer of scarcity, they can at least give you a general idea.

One additional advantage of the one a year set is that it is an excellent starting point towards building the complete date and mintmark set. In fact, with the one a year set done, you will be more than half way done with the date and mintmark set. Best of all, you will already own the 1846 issue which is the key date to the entire seated liberty half dime series.

Have fun assembling your half dime set. Keep in mind that you are building a set of coins in an obsolete denomination that few people have ever heard of. Also notice as you go along that you are purchasing several coins with a lower mintage than the famous 1909-S VDB cent.... for only one tenth the price!

 

 

COINS: KEYS TO HISTORY
by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

Archeological excavations from Babylon to Spain and from Gaul to Egypt have shown that about 450 BC coins from Athens, Greece were circulating around the entire ancient western world. The first single coinage to be so widely accepted.

Roman Denarius Octavian ca. 27 BC

Roman Denarius: Octavian ca. 27 BC

Roman coins started with a profusion of images from Gods to moneyers to generals. Then Octavian took over, changed his name to Augustus and put his image on all the coins of the empire. That way the people would know to whom they were paying taxes. From then on Roman coins had images of the Caesar in power.

After the fall of Rome time was not wasted on fancy coins and the crude follis was circulated. The Christian Byzantines did not place much importance on earthly goods such as money. So while they built beautiful churches, they made simple coins.

Silver Denar Denmark ca. 1020 AD

Silver Denar: Denmark ca. 1020 AD

Throughout medieval times people of the western world were known to be poor. This is evident in their thin, low grade coins. Meanwhile China was circulating cast bronze coins inscribed with the leaders name. This gives us an unbroken list of Chinese leaders for the past 2000 years.

Chinese Cash Coin

Chinese Cash Coin

Christians during crusades to expel the non-Christians from the holy lands came across ancient Greek and Roman knowledge in storage among Arabs. It was hundreds of years before it was understood and put to use but eventually coins contained high quality art and the Renaissance was under way.

Billon Denier Crusader States Tripoli ca 1152-1200 AD

Billon Denier; Crusader States- Tripoli ca 1152-1200 AD

The Renaissance led to the discovery of the "new world" and all it's riches. At first no time was wasted making beautiful numismatic masterpieces, the silver and gold was measured, struck and sent back to Europe. Eventually milled coins appeared with two images of a round earth.

The gold rush in California in 1849 and the Yukon in 1898 led to gold coins being struck both as souvenirs and currency. Abundant silver was found near Carson City, Nevada. The U.S. government gained control of it and set up a mint. Coins struck at Carson City have a CC mint mark.

The standing liberty quarter began circulation in 1916 with miss Liberty bare chested on the obverse . The next year she was changed to wearing steel mail. The official reason from the cost of the change was that the coins did not stack well (she looked well stacked to me).

US Buffalo Nickel

US Buffalo Nickel

Hobo nickels recall the great depression when a man would recarve a nickel so he could sell (or trade) it for more than a nickel just so he could survive. The silver nickel and steel cent during the second world war showed the need for nickel and copper in the U.S. war effort.

Hobo Nickel

Hobo Nickel

Today public and private mints produce coins to celebrate past and present events.

1998 Iditarod Medallion

1998 Iditarod Medallion

Key coins illustrating these points in history will be on display on the third floor of the Loussac Library April 27th until May 1st.

 

 


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