Return to Alaska Coin Exchange homepage

Return to ACCent homepage

ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

ACCent Header

Volume 11, Number 5

May 1998

May Membership Meeting
Wed., May 6, 1998 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting



Despite snow and rain there was a good turnout at the 4/1/98 membership meeting - no April fools! Promptly at 7:30 PM Larry Nakata (#41) started the meeting with distribution of the 10th year coin sets. The numbered sets featured a crown size silver coin sporting a small gold nugget and a bronze coin, both with the state seal of Alaska on the reverse. The beautiful boxed sets were finished by the Alaska Mint and handed to Larry earlier that same day.

The door prize, a 1964-D Roosevelt Dime slabbed by PCGS as MS-64, was won by Steve Mead (#65) and the membership prize, a 1942 Mercury Dime PCGS-64 was won by Richard Bilak (#176).

We broke for a few minutes to look at the coins in the bullet auction. There were ten coins submitted and all were auctioned. The highlight was a 1950 Proof Jefferson Nickel with a double die reverse. The lot went to Zach (# 263), a YN, for $10.50! A great buy! Also sold were several BU Buffalo Nickels and a 1908 Indian Head Cent.

The YN (young numismatist) donation auction is set for May 6th (our next meeting) and members are encouraged to donate coins to support this educational program. Already several coins have been donated including twelve coins from Bill Fivaz (#110) as well as coins from other members. There is even a key coin in the auction: a 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent donated by Kaye Dethridge (#98) - no April fools!

In addition the May 6th meeting will feature 10 choice coins from Bill Fivaz in a bullet auction highlighted by a 1793 Wreath Cent in VF condition (minimum bid $2050).

Larry's presentation on key coins was quite enlightening. It was pointed out that many things could make a coin a key. Low mintage coins are destined to be keys such as the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent and the 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter. But some error coins are considered keys such as the 1937-D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel and the 1955 Double Die Lincoln Cent, their mintages are not exactly known. Another rarity comes from a lack of survivors, for instance the 1934-S Peace Dollar had a mintage over a million. Yet few BU specimens still exist, making it a key coin in BU. Larry also pointed out that counterfeits are to be watched out for and to use books that show the tiny characteristics of the "Real McCoy" such as the shape of the numbers in the date and the spacing of the digits.

Peace Dollar Reverse

Peace Dollar Reverse

On display were 27 of the 30 coins members considered the key coins of the 20th century. A very impressive display! Larry, tired of collecting coins by date, decided to donate the entire collection of key date coins to the YN auction and devote his time to collecting ancient Greek silver coins from the island of Thasos.... April fools!

The meeting wrapped up early at 9 PM so every one could get home before the roads froze up - no fool'in.

Later it was learned that Robert Hall has organized a show at the Cottonwood Creek Mall in Wasilla to celebrate National Coin Week. The show will be Saturday April 25th and Sunday the 26th. Contact Larry Nakata about manning the club table.



Schedule of Events for the Month of May:

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: May 6th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. There will be a bullet coin auction of no more than 10 coin lots. Following the Bullet Auction, the YN Numismatic Donation Auction will be held. See list of donated items in this newsletter.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: May 8th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (comer of Cordova St. and 15th Avenue). YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. There will be a presentation on "US Commemorative Coinage".

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: May 20th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the April 15th Board Meeting:

The board meeting was called to order at 7PM.

Bills and club expenses were reviewed. After the review, Larry Nakata gave a status of the club's 10th year commemorative coin program. All but 5 numbered sets have been delivered and mailed to club members. At this time the club has 27 matched numbered 5th & 10th year sets and 39 matched bronze 5th & 10th year coins.

The board approved a plan to allow the club membership first opportunity to buy any of these matched sets. The matched 5th & 10th year numbered sets to be sold at $75...and the matched bronze 5th & 10th year coins to be sold at $15. Interested members can contact Larry Nakata regarding purchase of these sets.

Also approved was extension of the "window" for members to order their 10th year numbered sets. Orders will continue to be accepted until June 30th.

An order for additional sets and coins will be placed with The Alaska Mint in the month of July. The order will be for any final numbered sets, 10th year bronze coins, and 10th year reeded edged sets. Any members also wishing to order additional bronze coins (cost $5) and reeded edged sets (cost $30) should contact Larry Nakata.

President Roy Brown and Larry Nakata will be writing to "The Numismatist", "Coin World", "Numismatic News", and the Token and Medals Society (TAMS) on our club's 10th Year Commemorative Coin program.

Summer Picnic. Member Mike Robuck has offered to have me club's Summer Picnic held at his place on Sand Lake. The Board accepted Mike's generous offer and has tentatively set Saturday, July 11th as the Anchorage Coin Club's Summer Picnic date. Details of the picnic to be worked out in the coming months.

The final segment of the board meeting covered the issue of coin shows. With the University Mall show falling through, a coin show at the Cottonwood Creek Mall in Wasilla will be held on the weekend of April 25-26. The event is being organized by Robert Hall. At this time all available coin tables have been filled. There will be a coin club able set up at the show. The next window of opportunity for another coin show will be in the Fall of this year. Volunteers are being sought to organize the Fall events.

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


by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

The YNs that did not make the May 10th YN meeting missed a one-time A opportunity to see a great bunch of key date coins. Coins like the 1909-S VDB penny, the 1955 doubled die penny, and the 1937-D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel were handled by the YNs in attendance. These YNs also bad a chance to see complete sets of Indian Head pennies, Lincoln cents, Buffalo Nickels, Barber Dimes, Mercury Dimes, Barber Quarters, Liberty Walking Half dollars, and Peace Dollars. It's rare to see so many of these kind of coins under one roof at one time.

We talked about what makes a coin a key date coin. We talked about what type of inexpensive 20th Century coins can be collected by the YN....coins that may one day become key date coins.

Safe storage of your valuable coins is important

Safe storage of your valuable coins is important

At the end of the YN meeting each YN took home two Barber Half dollars for their collections. Those Barber Half dollars have the potential for one day becoming key date series coins... .considering the low mintage population of that series.

Because of the time constraints, we were not able to go over the subject of US Commemorative Coins. That will be our next topic of discussion at the YN Meeting on May 8th (the 2nd Friday of May). Be sure to come to that meeting. You never know what sort of free stuff you'll be going home with .

Our May 6th Anchorage Coin Club regular membership meeting will see the YN Donation Auction event. At this time some 92 lots have been generously donated by our club membership. Looking over those lots, there are a number of really neat items....the best one being a 1909-S VDB penny donated by club member Kaye Dethridge.

There is a lot of affordable stuff that you YNs can bid on.

See you at the YN Auction..........


by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

In my last article, I explored two different sets of half dimes that most anybody would be able to assemble. My suggestion was to build these sets in Very Fine condition, a grade that provided the best balance between forming an attractive set within the budget of most collectors.

In this article we will explore the possibility of forming a set of the ultimate half dimes - the Seated Liberty set with legend obverse in Proof condition! The half dimes of this design were produced every year from 1860 through 1873 for a total of 14 pieces. While it is hardly a huge collection, the 34 pieces together will make a very impressive display. Bragging rights come along with the completion of this set- you would be one of a very, very small number of people worldwide with a set like this.

So what is the big deal about a set of legend obverse seated liberty half dimes in Proof condition? Well, to start with, they were not exactly produced in unlimited quantities.

In fact, only about ten thousand were produced for the entire type from 1860 through 1873. Of those ten thousand pieces, at least one thousand were never issued, and sent to the mint's melting pots for a net mintage of nine thousand specimens. This gives us an average of 645 pieces produced for each of those 14 years. Compare that to the 2-3 million proof coins of each denomination that have been minted each year for the last four decades and you can see where I am going with this analysis.

If you should decide that you want to dazzle your friends and/or fellow coin club members with a set of these tiny coins in proof, what will it cost? Here is the bad news - it will cost an enormous amount of money. If one adds all of the values of the 1998 Redbook together, a figure of $9750 would be arrived at for a full set of Proof-63. Coin World's Trends does not give an individual values for each date in Proof-63 but it does give a type coin value of $425 in that grade. With a bit of shopping around, one should be able to purchase virtually all of the coins in the set for $500 or less for a total cost in the $7000 area.

You may have noticed that I have been quoting prices for coins in the Proof-63 grade. This seems to be about the ideal compromise between condition and affordability. If you can afford to build the set in even better condition - or you are offered a Proof-64 or Proof-65 coin at an excellent price- by all means go for it. Also a note about toning. While having bright white (i.e. dipped) coins seems to be the rage nowadays, I suggest purchasing these Proofs with some toning. That will make your set unique and make each individual coin in the set something to be admired separately as toning is never exactly the same on any two coins. An added benefit is that many of the toned Proof half dimes that I have seen have acquired attractive blue, red, gold , and green coloration. Toned Proof half dimes are beautiful coins - enjoy them!

So how many people may complete one of these sets? That number is limited by the 1863 and 1864 coins which have mintages of 460 and 470 respectively. Part of this mintage has been destroyed by melting, being used in jewelry, or just simply spent in a time of need when then-value was little more than face value. If we assume a generous 85% survival rate, that would leave 390 of each in existence. Of that figure we may assume that 25% or so were harshly cleaned (which was considered an acceptable practice in the 1800's) which reduces the 390 figure to 295. These harshly cleaned pieces certainly would not qualify for our Proof-63 grade.

Lastly, at least about 20 pieces are permanently impounded in museums leaving an estimate of a measly 275 pieces available of each of the 1863 and 1864. Therefore no more that one out of one million people in the US could ever hope to complete a set of those proof coins, and that ignores the fact that many people overseas collect US coins. So, does $7000 still sound expensive?

One final interesting note. As you probably already know, the Proof coins of this era were all produced at the Philadelphia Mint. As it turns out, due to low business strike mintages, some of these coins are very scarce in any grade, even a worn out Good. The result is that to build this same set of the 14 Philadelphia issues from 1860 through 1873 in Good condition will cost roughly $1000 according to the Redbook! So your beautiful Proof-63 set will cost less than ten times what a heavily worn set will cost! Now that is a bargain!



YN Donation Numismatic Auction Lots

Donated by Kaye Dethridge (Member# 98)

1. 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent VF

Donated by Bill Fivaz (Life Member 7)

2. 1943-D Lincoln Cent. Dot in 3. BU

3. 1955-S Lincoln Cent. Clogged S (Die chip), Rev Die Break #2. Gem BU

4. 1955-S Lincoln Cent. Die Gouge at Date. BU

5. 1955-S Lincoln Cent. Clogged 9 (Die chip), No Rev Die Break. Gem BU

6. 1955-S Lincoln Cent. Clogged 9 & S (Die chip), Rev Die Break #1. Gem BU

7. 1955-S Lincoln Cent. Clogged 9,5, & S (Die chip), No Rev. Die Break. Gem BU

8. 1955-S Lincoln Cent. Clogged 9,5, & S (Die chip), Rev. Die Break. Gem BU

9. 1955-D Lincoln Cent. Doubled Die Obverse (l-O-III) BU

10. 1963-P Lincoln Cent. Doubled Die Rev (2-R-II) Unc.

11. 1963 Proof Roosevelt Dime. Doubled Die Rev (E Pluribus, "United" (top)). Cameo PF-67.

12. 1960 Proof Washington Quarter. Doubled Die Rev (Outer Wings, "Dollar", "America"). PF-65

Donated by the Bilaks (Richard- Member# 176, Sarah- Member # 177, Nicholas- Member # 222

13. 1931-S Buffalo Nickel BU

14. 1926-P Buffalo Nickel AU

15. 1904-0 Morgan Dollar MS-63

16. 1880-S Morgan Dollar. MS-60.

Donated by Larry Nakata (Life Member 3)

17. 1930-S Buffalo Nickel. MS-60.

18. Alaskan Token- Anchorage Parking Meter token/1920. Fine.

19. Alaskan Token-1959 Trade Token/Fairbanks. BU.

20. Alaskan Token- 1964 Alaskan Earthquake Medallion. BU. 21- Alaskan Token- 1978 Fur Rondy Medallion. BU.

22. Alaskan Token- 1984 Fur Rondy Medallion. BU.

23. Alaskan Token- 1992 Fur Rondy Medallion. BU.

24. Token- US Dept. of Treasury Medallion. BU.

Donated by Tasmanian Numismatic Society (Our Sister Club in Australia):

25. Token- Tasmanian Numismatic Society Medallion. BU.

26. Three (3)eachNew Zealand Coins: 1981 5c/1987 10c/1982 50c. Fine or better.

27. Three (3) each New Zealand Coins: 1967 50c/1980 50c/ 1982 50c. Fine or better.

28. Four (4) each Australian Half Pennies: 1920 Sidney/1938 Melbourne / 1943 Perth / 1963 Perth. Fine or better.

29. Nine (9) each Australian Large Pennies: 1944 Perth/ 1945 Perth / 1948 Perth / 1949 Perth/1958 Perth/ 1961 Perth. Fine or better.

30. Four (4) each Australian Small Cents: 1970 Canberra / 1982 Canberra / 1983 Canberra. Fine or better.

31. Four (4) each Australian Two Cents: 1980/1982/1983/1985. Fine or better.

32. Nine (9) each Australian Five Cents: 1967 Canberra / 1982 Canberra / 1993 Canberra / 1994 Canberra / 1995 Canberra/ 1997 Canberra. Fine or better.

33. Four (4) each Australian 20 Cents: 1984 Canberra / 1987 Canberra / 1988 Canberra / 1995- 50th Anniversary United Nations. Fine or better.

34. Two (2) each 1997 Australian $1 Coins. BU.

35. Three (3) each Australian Silver Shillings: 1954 Melbourne / 1957 Melbourne. VG or better.

36. Three (3) each 1951 Australian Silver Florins-Melbourne. Fine or better.

37. 1966 Melbourne Silver Australian 50c. Fine.

38. Three (3) each Australian Commemorative Coins: 1988 50c- 200th Year Anniversary AU / (994 50c- Year of the Family AU/ 1998 $1 Canberra Coin- Howard Florey (The Man Who Invented Penicillin) BU.

39. Two (2) each Australian Commemorative Coins: 1981 50c- Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana AU/ 1997 Medallion-Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania BU.

40. Two (2) each Australian Commemorative Coins: 1977 50c- Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee AU / 1997 Medallion- Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania BU.

41. Two (2) each Australian Commemorative Coins: Australian Bicentennial Medallion- Capt. James Cook BU/ 1997 Medallion-Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania BU.

42. Two (2) each Australian Commemorative Coins: 1970 50c Capt. James Cook VF / 1997 Medallion- Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania BU.

43. 1998 Uncirculated Coin Set / Royal Australian Mint.

44. 1998 $1 Silver Kangaroo Commemorative Coin/ Royal Australian Mint. BU.

Donated by Carl (Life Member 2)

45. Expo 86 Official Silver Medallion - Vancouver, Canada. Proof.

Donated by John Wilson (Member# 243)

46. 1991 ANA Centennial Coin / Isle of Man / One Crown. BU.

47. One (1) each Envelope consisting of a Stack's Commemorative Medallion and Numbered Souvenir Note.

Donated by Tasmanian Numismatic Society

48. Seven (7) each paper currency notes: British Armed Forces MPC Notes (denominations from 5 pence to 5 pounds) / Indonesian Note / Yugoslavian Note / Peruvian Note. All in CU (crisp uncirculated) condition.

49. Same as Lot #48.

50. Same as Lot #48.

51. Same as Lot #48.

Donated by Frank Jasper (Member # 249)

79. 1813 Large Cent VG.

80. 1963 Franklin Half Dollar. Proof.

81. 1885 Morgan Dollar. AU-58.

82. 1923 Peace Dollar. AU.

Donated by Carl (Life Member #2)

83. Ancient Roman Bronze Coin- Constans 348 AD

84. 1956 Washington Quarter Proof.

85. 1957 Franklin Half Dollar. PCG-S64.

86. $1 Gaming Token - Silver Legacy Casino/Reno-Nevada.

87. 1977 Mint Set/Royal Canadian Mint.

88. One (1) each Chinese Cash Coin- date unknown since I cannot read Chinese characters.

89. 1969 Fiji Commemorative Dollar in Plastic holder.

90. 1982 50 Pence/ Falkland Islands/ Commemorative Coin celebrating Great Britain's victory.

91. Gold Plated 1983P Kennedy Half Dollar. Counterstamped 1960-1985. Probably used to commemorate some sort of event.

92. One (1) each Coin/Stamp Commemorative Set in Capital Holder / JFK Memorial. Consists of a pair of gold plated 1964 Kennedy Halves with Commemorative Postal Stamp.

Thanks go to all of the people and organizations who donated numismatic materials for this year's YN Donation Numismatic Auction.



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


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