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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 11, Number 10

October 1998

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

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

It was good to see ail our friends back from the summer. A full meeting started with filling up with pizza. It was then announced that we were to have a coin show in October at the Ship Creek Mall. Unfortunately the Saturday Market is moving into the Ship Creek Mail and we will not be able to have a coin show there So...we will have to cancel the Oct 17/18 Coin Show. It's disappointing and after more than a year and a half it is becoming very evident that setting up such shows is a difficult task. But we'll persevere....

Member Mike Orr, who tried to organize the event, will be calling up each of you members who requested a table for that weekend coin show. For those members who have already paid for their tables, Mike will be returning your checks.

On a lighter note the Christmas Party is still on, although moved to December 10th to combine the membership meeting and the Young Numismatists meeting with the Christmas Party/dinner/auction. Members wishing to submit lots to the auction can fill out the form in this newsletter. We will accordingly post the lots in our upcoming newsletters.

The Christmas Party on December 10th will also see the drawing of our great raffle prize: a complete set of Lincoln Cents (minus error coins: such as the '22 Plain and '55 doubled die). The set will be available for inspection at our meetings leading up to our December 10th Party / meeting. The set contains a nice '09-S VDB in VF-30. Raffle tickets are still only $5 each. In light of the cost of this raffle prize (which was a "reach" for us), we will need to sell a lot of tickets and need your membership support. So be generous and don't miss this one!

Membership and door prizes were drawn. Mark Nagy won the door prize, a 1969 US Proof Set and Robin Sisler won the membership prize, an 1864 Two Cent Piece. After a short break, the meeting moved on to the bullet auction. Some interesting coins that came up in the auction included a George II shilling and an 1883 Hawaiian dime.

After another short break to settle up on the auction lots, we began an open discussion about the ANA Convention in Portland. Member Scott Hornal led the discussion. We discussed not only the overwhelming number of tables on the show floor, but also the array of seminars.

Larry Nakata talked about the Awards Dinner he attended. During the course of the convention, the club received a 2nd place award for the 1998 Local Club Publication, "ACCent". Last month in our article "A First Timer's Experience- The ANA Convention in Portland" we misstated the winner of the First Place Award. It was actually the Greater Orange Coin Club in Texas for their newsletter, "The Double Eagle"- editor Reed Marlon. Congratulations to their coin club for such a fine newsletter.

Alexander the Great Silver Tetradrachm 323 BC

Alexander the Great Silver Tetradrachm 323 BC

Souvenirs brought back from the ANA Convention included an "Ides of March" denarius copy in uncirculated condition (without the word "copy" on it).

Another nice souvenir was a special token struck by the fine people at Gallery Mint Museum who make copies of coins impossible for normal people (like us) to afford.....and they always mark their coins with the word "copy".

Scott brought back a number of great looking ancient coins including an early Greek silver coin with a sharp image of a turtle on the obverse. This coin was part of a hoard recently discovered and made available at the convention. Scott went on to talk about his experiences at the ANA Convention and the multitude of ancient coins he examined.

Other club members who attended the ANA Convention also talked about the coins they bought, the seminars they attended, and the coin auctions that were going on every day. In all cases, the sheer size of the convention was always brought up. It's good to see a number of our club members had an opportunity to enjoy such an even!.

So...Summer is now over and we're all getting back into our normal club routine. The minutes of the Sept. 16th Board Meeting outlines our club's schedule between now and our December 10th Christmas Party.....Your Editors.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of October:

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: October 7th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. There will be a "swap & trade" event in which members are encouraged to bring in coins and other numismatic items. The meeting will also feature a VMS presentation "Money / History in Your Hands" narrated by James Earl Jones. There will be a bullet auction for only 10 coin lots. Members wishing to submit coins can bring them to the meeting.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: October 9th (Friday), 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, general public welcomed. YN's attendance will be earning YN bucks by putting together a display for the Loussac Library. YNs are encouraged to bring in their best coins to display.

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

Minutes of the September 16th Board Meeting:

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM. Correspondence was reviewed by the Board including bills needing to be paid.

First order of business was the planned Oct 17/18 Coin Show. Mike Orr informed the Board that the coin show will have to be cancelled. The Ship Creek Mall is instituting a Saturday Market Event. Because this event is in conflict with the club's coin show, it resulted in the cancellation. Efforts to tandem the coin show with the Saturday Market Event fell through because the event is a one day event with higher table fees.

Next order of business was discussion of events planned for the remainder of the year.

Our membership meeting for October 7th will be a "swap & trade" event in which coin club members are encouraged to bring in coins and other numismatic items. The meeting will also feature a VHS tape on "Money/History in Your Hands".

October 9th was to be the YN meeting in which YNs will be earning YN Bucks by putting together a YN display for the October 17/18 Coin Show (see YN Corner article). After some discussion, it was decided that the cancellation of the coin show should not change plans for YNs to put together this display. Member Loren Lucason will make arrangements with the Loussac Library to have the display featured at their location.

The Nov. 4th membership meeting will feature the YN Bucks Contest as the main event. YNs will vie for these bucks in a Double Jeopardy type game in which numismatic questions must be correctly answered.

The Nov. 13th YN meeting will select the winner of the YN Buck design. Member Mike Orr will also give a presentation to the YNs on "Coins and Currency of Israel".

December 10th will be the club's Christmas Potluck Party/ Membership/ YN meeting. Featured event that evening will be the club's Christmas Coin Auction.

The Board approved expenditure of up to $250 towards the YN Bucks Program. These YN Bucks will be used by YNs to bid on lots at the Christmas Coin Auction,

Larry Nakata will post a form in this month's newsletter that will allow members and interested parties the ability to submit coin lots for the December 10th coin auction, Larry will then post the Christmas auction coin lots in the next two newsletters prior to the Dec, 10th event.

Also discussed was the possibility of the Anchorage Coin Club hosting a Coin Seminar in 1999. All Board members were favorable to the idea. Details to be worked out in the coming months.

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

Ptolemy 1 Egypt Tetradrachm 323-285 BC

Ptolemy 1 Egypt Tetradrachm 323-285 BC

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

It was good seeing all of you YNs at our September 9th meeting.

Member Loren Lucason did a "bang-up" job in his presentation on "Ancient Egyptian Coins". I'm not going into detail on Loren's presentation since he has written a follow-up article in this month's newsletter. The main thing was that YNs attending the meeting enjoyed the presentation and were able to take home an ancient Egyptian coin (from the Roman period) for their coin collections. As usual, we had refreshments in the form of pizza, pop, and chips for the YNs and their parents.

Plolemy II son of Ptolemy I 285-246 BC

Ptolemy II (son of Ptolemy I) 285-246 BC

The YN meeting also discussed YN events and programs that will occur in the coming months.

The big event we ail look forward to is our coin club's Christmas Party. This year that party is scheduled for Thursday evening, December 10th, at the Central Lutheran Church, In keeping with our coin club's tradition over the years, the YN meeting/membership meeting/ Christmas Party are combined into one event. The December 10th meeting/party will also feature our coin club's Winter coin auction. For you YNs who recently joined, our coin club has two major coin auctions held each year. The Winter coin auction is the big event. In the months leading up to the Winter Coin Auction, we always have a YN Bucks Program in which all of you YNs have an opportunity to earn "YN Bucks" that can be used for bidding on coins at this auction. Discussed at our September 9th meeting were ways in which YN Bucks can be earned.

First, a table was to be provided at the Oct 17/18 Coin Show for the YNs. This table to be used as a display put together by the YNs on a numismatic subject. Unfortunately, the coin show has been cancelled. However, in it's place will be a YN Display at the Loussac Library. The theme chosen by the YNs at our September meeting was "Ways to Collect Coins and Currency". Our next YN meeting on October 9th will be a work session with all of you putting together this display. What is needed is YNs to bring in portions of their coin collections to see what can be used for the display. Anywhere from $5 -$10 YN Bucks can be earned in this category. The amount of bucks earned will depend upon the amount of time and effort put in by each of you.

Other categories in which YN Bucks can be earned are:

• Writing articles for our coin club's newsletter on a numismatic subject. Anywhere from $5-10 YN Bucks can be earned depending upon the quality of the article.

• Selling raffle tickets at our club meetings and coin show. A $1 YN Buck will be awarded for every two tickets sold.

• Recruiting new members into our coin club. $2 in YN Bucks for new YNs and $5 in YN Bucks for new adult members.

• Best design for the YN Buck. We need a nice design. The first place winner will earn $10 in YN Bucks. The second place winner will earn $5 YN Bucks. All other designs submitted by you YNs will earn a $1 YN Buck. The design to be the size of our present US paper currency. A design is needed on only one side of the buck. We ask that the YN Buck be designed so that we can write in the dollar denomination (or amount) of YN Bucks earned by each of you. Designs must be submitted by our YN Meeting on November 13th The winning design will be decided that evening.

• Attendance at our club meetings and YN meetings in the months of October and November. We will give each of you a $1 YN Buck for attendance at each event.

• Helping out at our club meetings. Anywhere from $1 - $2 YN Bucks can be earned.

• Finally, our YN Bucks Contest. Our November 4th club meeting will feature, as the main event, a contest in which you YNs will have an opportunity to earn lots of YN Bucks based upon your knowledge of coin collecting and numismatics. Read your "Red Books" over the coming months. The contest will be patterned similar to the "Double Jeopardy" game seen on TV.

YN Bucks earned will be awarded and mailed out to each of you prior to the December 10th meeting / Christmas Party / Coin Auction. This past year saw over $250 YN Bucks awarded, which bought quite a few coins for your collections.

So we have a good program set up for you YNs in the coming months. I want to see good participation by all of you......Larry Nakata (Member #41).

Chief Editor's Note: Loren Lucason gave such a fascinating talk at the YN Meeting that I asked him to write an article on the subject he covered. I hope you enjoy the article as much as we all enjoyed his presentation:

Egyptian Bronze Obverse: Zeus Reverse: Eagle 255 BC

Egyptian Bronze Obverse: Zeus Reverse: Eagle 255 BC

 

 

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN COINS
by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

Egypt is a very old civilization. The cradle of civilization may have been elsewhere but Egypt had geography going for it, making it one of the longest lasting civilizations in history. The Sahara Desert to the west, the Arabian Desert and Red Sea to the east, an impenetrable swamp and impassable cataracts to the south, and the Mediterranean to the north kept Egypt isolated from marauders and conquering armies. Egypt was a ribbon of oasis renewed each year with the flooding of the Nile River. Starting about July rains would raise the level of the river, periodically depositing a rich black soil averaging 6 miles wide on both sides. In about September the rains usually subsided and the fanners went to work plowing and seeding the new soil.

The Nile was also the main thoroughfare. Ancient Egypt generated a lot of food, particularly grain such as wheat. Much of this grain was bartered up and down the north flowing Nile. The ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic number system was used in the accounting of these barter trades and papyrus used to record such transactions.

The Egyptians also traded their grain east and west along the coast of the Mediterranean. There were no trees in Egypt and the Egyptians had a liking for metals. After copper and gold was found east of the Nile, the Egyptians took to trading regularly in gold, silver, and copper using very simple & very accurate balance scales. Eventually wire was developed for bartering: the metal was hammered into wire, shaped into bracelets to carry, then cut to fit the amount owed in barter.

This was going on a long time before the Greeks started minting coins. Even after coins such as Athenian owls began to circulate around the Mediterranean the Egyptians continued with the barter system. Greek coins were accepted like any other precious metal and weighed to determine their worth.

Between 1070 BC and 332 BC more than 10 different dynasties ruled Egypt, most of them from neighboring countries such as Assyria, Nubia, and Persia. When Alexander the Great showed up in 332 BC, Egypt was under Persian rule. The Egyptians welcomed Alexander as a savior. This was confirmed when the Oracle of Amon disclosed that Alexander was the son of Amon and therefore a god with the right to rule Egypt.

Ptolemy VI Tetrsdrachm 180-145 BC

Ptolemy VI Tetradrachm 180-145 BC

Alexander founded the city of Alexandria at the mouth of the Nile. A particularly Greek city, it became a major center of Greek culture, A mint was opened there and the Egyptians were brought into the coin age. Among others, bronze coins were minted in various sizes with the bearded face of Zeus on the obverse and Egypt's symbol, the Eagle, on the reverse.

Ptolemy was one of Alexander the Great's generals when Alexander died in 323 BC, After a battle with another of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy took control of Egypt, Ptolemy was sensitive to the Egyptian religion and was declared a god. Ptolemy I issued coins with his image on the obverse. The Ptolemaic Dynasty endured in Egypt through 12 Ptolemies as well as a couple of Cleopatras. Egypt suffered some inflation during this dynasty and the coins were debased. Tetradrachms of Ptolemy XT were half the size of those of Ptolemy I and contained practically no silver.

Cleopatra VII was the sister of Ptolemy XIII and ruled in Egypt after her father died in 51 BC. Rome was then a great power in the ancient world. Cleopatra became involved in somewhat risquι activities with prominent Romans. First with Julius Caesar, then Mark Anthony, Cleopatra played Romans against each other. But Augustus (then called Octavian) defeated Cleopatra and Mark Anthony's fleet at the Battle of Actium in 30 BC. The two fled back (o Alexandria and kilted themselves: Mark falling on his sword and Cleopatra submitting to a bite from a poisonous asp.

Roman Egypt Billon Te Ira drachm Claudius 41 - 42 AD

Rome thus won control of Egypt, the breadbasket of the Mediterranean. Augustus was tolerant of the Egyptian religion but played down his deification. The mint at Alexandria began issuing Greek Imperial coins. Coins in local denominations with local deities on the reverse and Roman leaders on the obverse. The inscriptions were in Greek because the upper class in Egypt still spoke Greek and the coins were debased because they were only a province of Rome.

Billon tetradrachms were among the most common coins circulated. They contained very little, if any, silver and usually had some reference to Egyptian deities on the reverse. By this time the Egyptian gods had been diluted with Greek concepts and were further changed to agree with Roman ideals. The Egyptian goddess Hathor, for example, was equated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and then to the Roman goddess Venus. The Egyptian god Re was the Greek Helios and the Roman Sol, the god of the sun. Still, the Egyptian god Horus as well as his mother Isis and other Egyptian deities (such as Osirus) were well represented. Animals were also common on Egyptian Greek Imperial coins. Elephants, crocodiles, and lions were depicted, but the most common was the eagle. Quite often people were depicted with elephant skin head- dresses.

The obverse of the Greek Imperial Coins generally had an image of the ruling Roman leader (since they were Roman coins)....although they were somewhat stylized images. For instance Nero, a well known fat Roman, was portrayed as a skinny Caesar with a long neck. Other images of Caesar are hard to identify because of their poor resemblance to realistic images seen on true Roman coins (Editors Comment: We believe it's called "artistic license").

Diocletian, as part of his extensive reform of the Roman coinage, discontinued Greek Imperial coins at the Alexandria Mint in the year 296 AD, thus ending a series that lasted over 300 years. From then on coins at Alexandria were minted with Latin inscriptions.

As persecution of the Christians ended and the center of the Roman Empire moved to Constantinople, Egypt remained a major source of food. However a disagreement arose among the Christians with regard to whether Christ existed as one body or two. Many Egyptians believed in one body and were persecuted for it.

After ten years of battles, bad politics and double dealing with Islamic Arabs, general Amr ibn al-As marched into Alexandria on September 29th, 642 AD and accepted it's peaceful capitulation. In 1250 AD the Ottoman Empire took over Egypt. The ancient civilization, it's religion, it's language, and the meaning of the images on the back of it's coins were lost until translation of the Rosetta Stone in recent times.

Roman Egypt Billon Tetradrachm Hadrian 127 128 AD

Roman Egypt Billon Tetradrachm Hadrian 127 / 128 AD

Chief Editor's Note Again: Member Scott Hornal also submitted this article on collecting ancient coins. Scott, who attended the ANA Convention in Portland last month, had a great time and no doubt got his inspiration for this article from that convention.

 

BARGAINS IN ANCIENT HOARDS
by Scott Hornal (Member #52)

Chief Editor's Note Again: Member Scott Hornal also submitted this article on collecting ancient coins. Scott, who attended the ANA Convention in Portland last month, had a great time and no doubt got his inspiration for this article from that convention.

After a brief presentation during the September meeting about the Portland ANA show and my pursuits of ancient coins, it was mentioned to me later that a couple of points that I touched on might make a good article for the newsletter. Specifically, the presence of so much hoard material (large groups of ancients recently discovered) being put on the market and how prices are affected, etc.

Let me just say first that coins really aren't any different from other collectibles in that supply always effects demand and ultimately sets the price someone is willing to pay. Doesn't matter if its U.S. gold, junk silver, or in this case, ancients. Anyone who doesn't think so, wait and see what happens to a lot of supposedly "rare" U.S. California gold pieces and the like when the S.S. Central America coins finally reach the market in a few more years. Prices may take a tumble, maybe not. depending on how the sale is managed.

In the case of the ANA show, I noticed quite a few hoards being promoted at vastly reduced prices over what similar coins would have cost a year or two ago. Specifically, the recent "turtle" invasion of Aegina coins are a good example as anyone who subscribes to Coin World will have no doubt noticed, CNG is running big one page ads to dispose of a LARGE grouping of these coins they were fortunate to acquire. True, they are priced according to style, condition and centering, but anyone who has ever hoped to buy a decent example of this coin in the past had to cough up some serious change to buy one. For at least the present, there are examples to be had at very modest costs while they last, just take a look at the ad. Yes, I did buy one too.......couldn't resist.

Ancient Greek Isle of Aegina Silver Stater Sea Turtle ca. 500-480 BC

Ancient Greek Isle of Aegina Silver Stater Sea Turtle ca. 500-480 BC

This is always the cycle with such material, a person may think that these coins are flooding the market, which, temporarily, they may do. But eventually the supply dries up and in many cases the prices will start lo creep back up as no new material is found to take its place. Ancients are experiencing a surge in popularity which will almost certainly raise prices in many areas. Not only do we have our own collectors seeking these coins, but being ancient WORLD coins, we have the rest of the globe to compete against too.

Sniffing around a large coin show is just neat.....you never know what you might turn up. Hoards are always being found even today with metal detectors and with new farming & building booms in Europe its surprising what makes its way to the bourse floor and what is briefly considered common. I have seen piles of gold Byzantine solidii being treated like change in a supermarket cash drawer; scooped out by hand and dumped in front of you to take your pick. One man carrying a bag so heavy with large bronze Roman coins he had to use both hands to lift it. I asked this gentleman how much they cost and he replied he got the whole hoard for under $10.00 a coin. Still a lot of money for the group, but not bad considering retail price. Neat stuff like that is always going on at large shows which is worth the entertainment value alone just to experience. Yeah, it's not Las Vegas, but I still go away smiling. And like Vegas, I experience the pinch in the pocketbook when I've overdid it and dread the postman's call the following month carrying the Visa bill.

Hoard material can be wonderful for an average collector who can finally afford a coin previously out of reach. But don't get caught up in the hype, remember you are after a good representation of a particular coin, so its best to remove your chosen coin from the pile and look at it for its individual merits or detractions. Almost always hoards have been picked over for the nicer coins to sell at a premium leaving the rest to mass market. Even though the coin came from a hoard, check around to make sure you don't see a similar single piece offered at a dealer's table for a better price. Many times hoard coins are newly cleaned and look bright and shiny in the pile, which is not necessarily attractive in an ancient coin. A nice toned example could be worth a bit more of your money to add to your collection.

Large or small, coins shows can be fun for anyone looking for something a little different. Most dealers are pretty knowledgeable about what they are selling, and if not too busy, will usually be willing to talk to you about what they love. We may never see a major show like the ANA in Alaska, but you will always find the same kind of spirit if you know how to look. Its not just about the coins, its often the stories and histories that go with it that makes it fun. Be sure to attend an upcoming show no matter what field you collect and be sure to TALK to the dealers instead of looking and passing on by, you may be passing an opportunity you weren't aware of just by keeping mum.

I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope to see you at an upcoming show. Please remember to say hello and I'll promise to do the same. Happy hunting!!!

 

 


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-                John Larson       Eves: 276-3292
Treasurer-                      Robert Hall        Eves: 561-8343
Secretary-                   Larry Nakata        Days: 269-5603
                                                                    Eves: 563-1729

Editors -                     Loren Lucason
                                    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

Mike Orr-                         Eves: 522-3679

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