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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 11, Number 11

November 1998

November Membership Meeting
Wed., November 4, 1998 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

In October we had a bunch of people get together and talk coins.... just what a coin club meeting should be. We even had a visit from Jerry Allen, one of our associate members from Texas, in town on business. Coins were auctioned off, including some nice ones from Bill Fivaz. When we broke to settle up on the auction lots, members started talking to each other about coin books, coins from their collections, coins in the auction, and other coin subjects. In fact, so many friendly conversations were going on that we skipped the scheduled video tape.

The November membership meeting will have the "Jeopardy" style YN competition for YN Bucks. Good honest competition demonstrating the YN's knowledge of numismatics. It promises to be a good game. Members are encouraged to attend and support their favorite competitor. YNs....do not miss this one- it means money!

Lots are being accepted for the December 10th Christmas Parry / Coin Auction. Minimum bids can be set and mail bids wilt be accepted giving this auction the potential for some good bidding. The lots will be listed in this and next month's ACCent newsletter.

From all accounts Robert Hall's coin show in Wasilla went well. As a source of coins closer to home, Mike McKinnon has organized a coin show at the Northway Mall for November 21st and 22nd. Tables are $40 for the weekend. Leave a message for Mike at 248-0955.

Finally, the Grubstake Auction Co. is having a coin auction November 24th at 211 E. 5th Avenue. They are accepting consignments. Contact them at 272-3458 for more information.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of November:

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: November 4th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. The featured event will be the YN Bucks Contest in which YNs will be vying for YN Bucks in a "Double Jeopardy" Numismatic Contest. There will also be a bullet auction limited to 10 coin lots. Members wishing to submit coins can bring them to the meeting.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: November 13th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. This YN meeting will feature a contest to select the best design for a "YN Buck". YN Bucks will be awarded for the winning designs. Member Mike Orr will be giving a presentation on "Coins and Currency of Israel". Time permitting, YNs will be working on the upcoming Coin Display to be featured at the Loussac Library.

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: November 18th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

1856 $1 Gold Coin

1856 $1 Gold Coin

Minutes of the October 21st Board Meeting:

The Board meeting was called to order at 7PM.

Following a review of correspondence received, the meeting focused on club schedules going into the end of the year.

November 4th will be club's membership meeting. Featured event will be the YN Bucks Contest. The Board reviewed the format of the contest and even selected the "Final Jeopardy" question. The Board encourages members to come to this meeting. It should be a fun event.

November 13th is the club's YN meeting. See the "YN Comer" article on the events.

November 21st and 22nd will feature the Northway Mall Coin Show.

December 10th (Thursday) will be club's Christmas Party/ Membership meeting/ YN meeting/ Christmas Coin Auction all combined into one event. This will be potluck style Christmas party with members providing main dishes, salads, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts. The club will provide the remainder of items. Ann Brown will be calling members in November to see what potluck items will be brought for the party. The event is expected to start at 6:00 PM.

The Board also discussed the issue of a coin seminar in 1999. Bruce Gamble will be putting together a survey that will be distributed through our local coin dealers to the general public. The survey asks for inputs on what coin subjects should be covered in a coin seminar. The results to be tabulated at a future club membership meeting.

As there was no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

A number of YNs brought in their coin collections (at the October 9th YN meeting) and worked together in setting up a coin display. This display is to be featured at the Loussac Library from January 15th through February 15th. Thanks go to member Loren Lucason who made necessary arrangements with the library. Loren is also working with our YNs in helping to set up this display. There is still much to do and plenty of time between now & January 15th for YNs to participate in set up of this display. The amount of time and effort by you YNs towards this display will dictate the amount of YN Bucks earned.

Speaking of YN Bucks...of the $250 available, only $38.50 of YN Bucks have been earned to date. That means there is still a lot of bucks yet to be earned. I want to remind all of you YNs that we have a "YN Bucks Contest" that will be the featured event at our club's membership meeting on November 4th. Last year YNs who participated in this contest earned some $150 YN Bucks by answering questions on coins. Answers came from the "Red Book". So...if you want to earn some "Bucks", come to the November 4th meeting and bring your "Red Book". The contest is patterned after the game "Jeopardy" and YNs will be allowed to use their books in this contest. The questions will not be easy, so read those "Red Books" with care.

There are other categories in which YN Bucks can be earned. These categories were listed in last month's newsletter.

Our next YN meeting will be on Friday, November 13th. Bring in your designs for the "YN Buck". The winner with the best design will earn $ 10 in YN Bucks. Second place earns $5 in YN Bucks. All other submissions will earn a $1 YN Buck. Member Mike Orr will also give a presentation on "The Coins and Currency of Israel". Time permitting...we will work further on the coin display for the Loussac Library.

See you at the November meetings. Larry Nakata (Member #41).

 

To the YNs:
50th Anniversary Coins of Israel

by Mike Orr (Member #91)

History has saved a special place for the Jewish state. Exiled and scattered for hundreds of years, the Jewish people formed a new state in 1948. However, before this could come about many things had to happen to transform this land into a modern state. Thus, the study of the history of Israel also has a fascinating history of commerce. The coins and currency necessary to drive the new economy is the subject of my presentation. The reason is this year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of that new state. Come to the YN meeting on November 13th and we'll start what could be the beginning of a fascinating journey into Israeli numismatics.....

        Mike Orr (Member #91).

 

 

IT'S NOT EASY... IT'S NOT CHEAP... BUT IT CAN BE DONE
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

So what on earth am I talking about? I am referring to building two very scarce complete sets of gold coins: the $2 1/2 and $5 Classic Heads! When was the last time that you saw a complete set of either denomination of classic gold coinage? It has probably been a very long time unless you live around the comer from the Smithsonian.

1851 $2 1/2 Liberty Head Gold Coin

1851 $2 1/2 Liberty Head Gold Coin

We will start with a look at the ten piece set of classic head $2 1/2 gold pieces. These coins were minted each year from 1834 through 1839 at up to four different mints. As for scarcity, it should be noted that less than one million of these coins were originally minted back in the 1830's, and seven of our ten issues have mintages below the fifty thousand level. It is unlikely that any more than one percent of the original mintage remains in existence to this day.

What is involved in building the classic $2 1/2 set? Well, you are going to need plenty of time, access to plenty of numismatic advertising, and a healthy wallet. Locating these coins will not be easy, especially the scarcer dates. And then there is the question of what condition to build the set in. In order to make it affordable for many people, Fine is about the best that we can hope for. This will keep all ten of the coins below the $600 level according to Coin World's Trends. Moving up to Very Fine Condition will boost two of the coins slightly above the $1000 mark which makes this too expensive an undertaking for most folks.

Finding all ten coins in uncleaned and undamaged Fine condition will likely take at least a year. So many of these pieces have been used in assorted jewelry that it will be tough to find a coin showing just even honest wear. And remember that most of the mint marked issues are represented by less than 100 pieces remaining in existence in all conditions.

Now for a quick look at the classic head $5 series. Here we only need seven coins to have a complete set. Of the seven pieces, five are reasonably available and two are very scarce. The two scarce issues, the 1838 coins from the Charlotte and Dahlonega mints, will probably set you back close to $1000 each when you are lucky enough to find them in problem free Fine condition. With less than 100 of each remaining in existence to this day, you may have to wait quite a while for one to come up for sale.

When building either one or both of these sets, I recommend the purchase of slabbed coins. This greatly reduces the chance that you will end up with a fake, altered, or damaged coin. And if slabs have no place in your collection, you can simply break the coins out of their cases and display them as you wish.

So, how much will it cost to build these sets? In Fine condition the $2 1/2 set will run you about $3200 while the $5 set will be in the $3700 area according to Trends. If you wish to jump up to Very Fine, the sets will cost around $5200 and $6300 respectively. Quite a bit of money considering that both sets together contain $60 face value of gold coins! But just think of how few other people in the entire world have either one of these sets!!

 

 

SURFING THE INTERNET

Chief Editor's Note: It's been a while since last we "Surfed the Internet". We came across these series of "Moneytalk" articles on the subject of US gold coinage.

From the ANA's http://www.money.org

 

THE FIRST UNITED STATES GOLD COINS
by Mark Van Winkle

All that glitters is not gold. But our Founding Fathers knew the fledgling United States would have to make a gold coin that would be easily recognized and accepted world wide... if it ever hoped to be received by the outside world as a solid, legitimate nation. Remember- this was a lime when the new government was paying its own citizens only one-cent on the dollar for paper money printed during the Revolutionary War!

President George Washington appointed William DeSaussure as the first director of the US Mint- over DeSaussure's own protests. After DeSaussure reluctantly accepted the job, he laid plans for the immediate production of gold coins. And on July 30th, 1795- those first gold coins were produced. They were $5 gold pieces, commonly known as half eagles.

Five Dollar Gold Turban Head

The half eagles had a classic design copied directly from art objects. The coin's front side featured a Greek goddess- representing Miss Liberty, wearing an oversized cap that symbolized freedom. Of course, Miss Liberty had to be draped, so the modern eyes of the 18th century wouldn't be offended by the sensuality of the ancient goddess.

The coin's reverse was almost directly copied from an onyx cameo of first century Rome. It showed an eagle with wings outspread, holding a wreath in its beak, perched on a palm branch. The eagle on these coins was more stylized, and hardly resembled ones seen at the time. As a result, it was often called the "chicken eagle"- a name still used by coin collectors today.

These so-called "chicken eagle" $5 gold pieces were produced for only three years, and they're highly prized by collectors today. Even coins that show considerable wear sell for several thousand dollars... and no collection is considered complete without one.

        Transcript # 1519 / July 30, 1998

 

 

GOLD DOLLARS
by Thomas LaMarre

Gold- The magic word that lured thousands of prospectors to California in 1848 and '49. At the height of the frenzy. Congress gave its blessing to a new $1 gold coin, a miniature work of art that outlived the great California gold rush by 40 years.

The exodus of "forty-niners" resulted in a severe labor shortage in other mining areas of the country. Among the hardest hit were Dahlonega, Georgia; and Charlotte, North Carolina, where dwindling stockpiles of gold threatened the existence of United States branch Mints.

To keep the Southern Mints from closing, North Carolina congressman James McKay introduced a bill authorizing the production of $1 gold pieces. The new coin would be smaller than a dime, enabling the greatest quantity of coins to be struck from a given amount of gold. On paper, at least, the Southern Mints would appear to be more productive.

President James Polk signed the measure into law on March 3rd, 1849, in one of his last official acts before leaving the White House. Production of gold dollars began later that year. The "head's" side pictured Miss Liberty, and may have been inspired by a statue of Venus. The "tail's" side had the date and the denomination in a wreath, surrounded by "United States of America."

Later, the "head's" side was changed to show Miss Liberty wearing an Indian headdress. According to one banking industry magazine, the new portrait represented "the head of the ideal American."

US $1 Gold Type II

US $1 Gold Type II

But when new silver mines opened after the Civil War, and paper money returned to a sound footing, the gold dollar was no longer needed. Congress eliminated the unpopular coin in the 1880s. Gold dollars were never again made for everyday transactions.

        Transcript  # 1412 / March 3,1998

 

US Indian Gold Piece Obverse

US Indian Gold Piece Obverse

 

CALIFORNIA GOLD
by Thomas LaMarre

Gold! That magic word lured thousands of prospectors to California after James Marshall struck it rich in 1848. And soon there was an unusual two-and a-half dollar gold coin marking the great California gold rush.

There had been earlier gold discoveries in California, but nothing like the find that ignited the gold rush of 1848 and '49. "Doubting Toms" back East thought it sounded too good to be true. So California's military governor, Richard Mason, sent more than 200 ounces of California gold to the Secretary of War in Washington. With construction of the transcontinental railroad still years away, the gold had to be sent by ship, by way of Peru, Panama, and Jamaica.

When it arrived, Mason suggested that a good thing to do with the metal would be to turn it into $2 1/2 gold pieces bearing some type of "distinguishing mark." That way anyone who wanted a souvenir of the California gold rush would be able to get one at face value.

Back then the $2 1/2 gold piece was known as the "quarter eagle"...because it was worth one-fourth of the $10 golden "eagle". Since it was the smallest gold coin at the Mint at the time, it would enable the Mint to strike the most coins from the first shipment of California gold.

One side had a Liberty Head design. The other side pictured an American eagle clutching bundles of arrows and an olive branch. The distinguishing mark that Mason suggested was the abbreviation "CAL." for California, and it was punched into each coin by hand, right above the eagle's head.

The Philadelphia Mint turned out nearly 1,400 of the special coins. But only one or two hundred survived, and even heavily worn examples sell for thousands of dollars.

        Transcript #1410 / February 27,1998

 

MORMON GOLD COINS
by
Robert Campbell

The history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints-Mormons- is also a history of much of the American's West, including the West's first gold rush and gold coins.

In 1846, at the outbreak of the Mexican War, the United States government enlisted the Nauvoo Legion in the Army. The legion was made up of 5,000 Mormon men who had been organized earlier to protect church members from mob violence.

As the battalion was discharged from duty at the end of the war its members made their way to the Salt Lake Valley to join up with Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers who had just arrived there.

On their way to the Salt Lake Valley some battalion members had stopped at Sutter's Mill on California's American River. It was James Marshall, a Mormon battalion member, who discovered gold nearby. It was this discovery that led to the California gold rush of 1849.

Battalion members mined the gold for as long as they could before making their way to join other Mormons in the Salt Lake Valley.

Mormon leaders were confronted with a serious shortage of US coins in their new settlement so the California gold the soldiers brought with them was immediately turned into coins.

The Deseret Mint began striking coins just a few months after the settlers' arrival. Brigham Young even helped design the coins. For a short while, the coins helped relieve the chronic shortage of hard money in the West and allowed for trade with settlers heading West.

Today, Mormon gold pieces are rare and revered by both collectors and members of the Mormon Church. The coins remind us of the hardships endured in providing the West with sufficient coinage during its settlement and as evidence of the self-reliance and cooperative efforts of a religious group that was simply seeking to worship as it believed.

        Transcript  #1409 / February 26,1998

US Indian Gold Piece Reverse

US Indian Gold Piece Reverse

 

December 10th Christmas Auction Lots

Mail bids will be accepted for the December 10th Christmas Auction. MB= Minimum Bid

LOT#

1. 1828 Half Cent EF-40

2. 1883 Shield Nickel MS-63

3. 1906 Liberty V Nickel MS-63

4. 1912-D Liberty V Nickel MS-63 ANACS

5. 1942-D Jefferson Nickel MS-65 Full Steps

6. 1927 Mercury Dime MS-63 Full Bands

7. 1917-D Type 2 Liberty Standing Quarter MS63 ANACS

8. 1909-S Indian Cent F-12 ANACS

9. 1931-S Lincoln Cent AU-53 ANACS

10. $5 State Bank Note. The Washington Bank / Washington DC. H# DC-390-G6/ July, 1853. Good condition. This is the only note issued by this bank.

11. 1834 Half Cent VF

12. 1821 Large Cent G

13. 1857 Flying Eagle Cent F

14. 1910 Lincoln Cent AU

15. 1934-D Lincoln Cent BU

16. Greek Silver Drachm, Apollonia, 450-400 BC, VF

17. 1875 France/ 5 franc coin/ XF

18. 1917-S Lincoln Cent Fine

19. 1968 Egypt / 1 pound / Aswan Dam/ AU

20. Small Fortune In a Bottle / Paper / Some assembly required.

21. 1894 Peru / Un Sol coin / XF

22. Nickel Type Set: Shield Nickel- VF / Liberty Nickel- AU / Buffalo Nickel- BU / Jefferson Nickel- Proof.

23. 1857 Flying Eagle Cent Good MB 13

24. 1875 Indian Cent XF MB 60

25. 1909-S Lincoln Cent VG MB 30

26. 1921-S Lincoln Cent XF MB 9

27. 1926-S Lincoln Cent XF MB 6

28. 1939-S Jefferson Nickel MS-63 MB 17

29. 1882 Morgan $1 O/S Variety XF MB 16

30. 1902-S Morgan $1 XF MB 40

31. 1927-D Peace $1 AU50/55 ANACS Certificate MB 50

32. $1 Silver Certificate Series 1957 / Star Note/ CU MB 5

33. Partial Set Roosevelt Dimes / BU and Proof Condition/ In Holder MB 47

34. Partial Set Lincoln Cents / BU and Proof Condition / 1909-41 /  In Holder MB 30

35. Partial Set Washington Quarters / BU and Proof Condition/ In Holder MB 300

36. Set of Ike Dollars / BU and Proof Condition/ Only missing the 1972-S / In Holder MB 130

37. Partial Set of Franklin Halves / BU Condition/ In Holder MB 210

38. Set of Kennedy Halves / BU and Proof Condition/ Complete / In Holder MB 330

39. Partial Set of Jefferson Nickels / BU and Proof Condition / In Holder MB 60

40. Partial Set of Lincoln Cents / BU and Proof Condition / 1941-presenf MB 130

 

 


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