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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 12, Number 2

February 1999

February Membership Meeting
Wed., February 3, 1999 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

It was Show and Tell night at the January membership meeting and several nice coin sets were put on display.

But before we talked about them we had the drawings for door prize and membership prize. Sarah Bilak's name was drawn for both prizes. The lucky YN won a 1968 Proof Set and a 1935 $10 Federal Reserve Note in crisp uncirculated condition. The bullet auction was highlighted with a blazing uncirculated Oregon Trail Memorial half dollar selling for $100.

Back to Show and Tell, we each got up and described our coin sets. An interesting collection was the complete set of 1796 coins in MS65 including the sold.

They were reproductions, but very nice reproductions. In the end we discussed using rigid plastics to store and display coins as opposed to cardboard or paper.

1853 Liberty Sealed Half Dime

1853 Liberty Sealed Half Dime

The 1999 Delaware quarters are out, talk to Bill Hamilton at Loose Change or Mike Orr about getting them.

An 1865 Three Cent Nickel, NGC graded MS-61, is up for raffle, the tickets are $5.

Mike McKinnon has opened an Excalibur store across the street south of the Dimond Center next to Blockbusters. Go see Mike's coins there.

The YNs coin display is in the Loussac Library on the third floor in front of the elevators and it is well worth seeing.

Elections are coming up in March and positions are open for president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and board member. This is your chance to join an award winning team and be listed on the Internet as an officer in the club.

Finally there will be a coin show at the Northway Mall February 13th and 14th. Tables are $40 each. Contact Mike McKinnon (344-9392) or Don Thurber (338-7488). See you there!

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events of the Month of February:

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: February 3rd (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. There will be a presentation on "Collecting US Gold Coinage" and a bullet coin auction of no more than 10 coin lots. Members wishing to submit coins for the bullet auction can bring them to the meeting.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: February 12th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. YN Corey Rennell will be giving a presentation on the "Coins from Chile". The YN meeting will also cover the subject of the "New US Coins That Will Be Introduced in 1999 and 2000". Discussed will be what US coins can best be collected by YNs during this period of lime.

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting; February 17th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the January 20th Board Meeting

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.

First order of business was a review of bills to be paid. The Board approved renewal of our club's membership with the Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association (PNNA) and Northern California Numismatic Association (NCNA). The Board also approved a club patron donation to the ANA's National Money Show,... to be held in Sacramento, CA / March 13-14.

Next order of business was the upcoming March elections of club officers. This year the positions of President. Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and one Board seat up for election. Under our club by-laws, President Roy Brown can only serve for two consecutive terms and will therefore automatically fill one of the Board seats. The Board seat presently filled by member Bruce Gamble is up for election. Your club officers and Board encourage members to step forward and run for these positions. We need good people. Interested members are asked to contact any of the club officers on this matter.... or make your intentions known at our February or March membership meetings. Elections for the new Board to occur at our club's membership meeting on March 3rd.

Planning for the coin club's September seminar continues. All of our member coin dealers have a survey form at their shops for members and the general public to fill out on desired subjects for the seminar. The Board asks that you fill out these surveys as well to help in planning.

Correspondence was reviewed by the Board, The club has received requests for endorsements of candidates to the ANA's Board election. Under ANA guidelines, our club can endorse one candidate for ANA president, one candidate for vice-president, and seven candidates for Board of Governors. Your Anchorage Coin Club Board has reviewed requests and will submit recommendations to our membership for approval al our February and March membership meetings.

As there was no further business the meeting adjourned at 8:05 PM.

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

By the time you read this article, the YN coin display at the Loussac Library will have been completed. It's basic theme is "Kid's Coins" with our YNs using portions of their coin collections as display material. Go see the display which is located in the third floor display case by the elevators. It will be there through February 13th.

Our YNs have been working to put this display together since October. A lot of planning and preparation went into it's design. Special thanks go to member Loren Lucason for working with our YNs in moving this project forward. When all of you go to see this display, I believe you will be impressed with the coins and currency collected by our YNs. It shows a lot of knowledge and sophistication. A direct result of our wonderful YN program.

So.... here we are in 1999. It's a year that brings changes lo our U.S. coinage. There is the new U.S. quarter program which features commemorative designs from every one of our 50 states over the next ten years. By the way,... did you know that last year (1998) was the final year of the Washington quarter?! Over the prior three years we've seen changes in the design of our $100, $50, and $20 U.S. paper currencies. Next year (2000) will see the introduction of our new U.S. one dollar coin.

With all of these changes, opportunities are there for YNs to collect affordable coins and currency.

Our next YN meeting on Friday. February 12th, will be a session on what sort of coins and currency can be collected in light of these changes. YN Corey Rennell, just back from his Boy Scout trip to Chile, will also give a presentation on the coins of Chile... with Chilean coins to be given away to YNs at that meeting.

1832 Bust Half Dime

1832 Bust Half Dime

It should be a fun event. See you there.......

        Larry Nakata.

 

 

Art, the Art of Forgery and Coinage

Editors Note: Our club has received a request from the PNNA to post this announcement for an upcoming seminar.

A three day "hands on seminar sponsored in part by:

The American Numismatic Society

The University of Washington

The American Numismatic Association

And others

March 26, 27, and 28 on the University of Washington campus.

The seminar will cover coin production methods from the early Greek period to modern day. The casting, hammer struck, and machine struck methods of producing coins will be discussed. You will have a complete understanding of how coins have been produced over the centuries. With this knowledge you will begin to learn how to recognize coins that have been produced to fool the contemporary shop keeper as well as the collector.

We will have coins from all time periods for you to examine to gain a better knowledge of the styles employed during different time periods. After each lecture, time will be devoted to the coins themselves. Our experts will all be available to help you learn how to look for the marks of the forger and counterfeiter.

Speakers:

Dr. Ute Wartenberg, recently named the Assistant Director of the American Numismatic Society. Previously she was Curator of Greek coins at the British Museum. A great deal of her work has been studying and classifying Greek forgeries.

Mr. Robert Hoge, Curator of the American Numismatic Association Museum. Mr. Hoge has taught seminars on the coinage of the Ancient World for the ANA and examines all items submitted for certification by the ANA Authentication Bureau.

Mr. J. P. Martin is currently a Senior Grader with the Independent Coin Grading Co. He has been a professional numismatist since 1980 and has personally taught the art of authentication and grading to more students than anyone else in over 50 seminars across the country,

Mr. John M. Kleeberg is the curator of Modern Coins and Currency at the American Numismatic Society in New York. In addition to his curatorial duties he has edited the following books: "Money of Pre-Federal America", "Canada's Money", "America's Silver Dollars", and "America's Large Cent".

Mr. Brian A. Silliman is the Chief Authenticator for the American Numismatic Association. He also writes the monthly Authentication Bureau column in "The Numismatist".

The price of the three day seminar includes lunch on Saturday and a breakfast on Sunday. The tuition is $175. A $50 discount coupon is attached and will be applied if a $50 deposit is sent in by February 15th, 1999. Tuition for

University faculty and students is $50 if received prior to February 15th, it will be $75 thereafter.

All checks are to be made payable lo the ANS and mailed to Tom Sheehan / P.O. Box 33576 / Seattle, WA 98133-0576.

Additional information by e-mail to Tom Sheehan: twsheeh@ibm.net

 

 

WHAT WAS HAPPENING BACK THEN?
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

Lets take a quick look at the years 1794 and 1795 when these flowing hair half dimes were produced. Actually these coins were all struck in 1795, but we will overlook that fact for the moment.

1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime Obverse

1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime Obverse

To start with, the country was less than twenty years old, having just declared independence from Britain in the summer of 1776. The Constitution was less than ten years old. Eleven states ratified it between December 1787 and July 1788. Four more states would ratify the Constitution by the time 1794 arrived, which is why you will find fifteen stars on the obverse of the flowing hair half dimes.

George Washington, of the Federalist Party, was elected as our first president in 1789 and would defeat Republican Thomas Jefferson to be re-elected in 1792. The population of the United States is 4,500,000. The national debt stood at $80 million or $17.75 per person. Philadelphia was our nation's capital.

The big news of 1794 was The Whisky Rebellion. Spirits were a medium of exchange back in these days and the federal government decided to put a tax on the liquor. The military was called in to restore order. Nobody was killed but several arrests were made and the tax remained (of course). In Fall of that year the Jay Treaty was signed with Britain, clarifying a few issues and preventing another war.

Not a whole lot of earthshaking events occurred in 1795. A treaty was signed with Spain which helped to start to establish our southern border with Mexico. Famous explorer Daniel Boone traveled West along what would become known as the Wilderness Road.

So that is what was happening back then.... 200 years ago while dies were being prepared in 1794 and flowing hair half dimes were being struck in 1795.

 

 

AN EARLY BARGAIN - IF YOU CAN AFFORD ONE
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

The coin to which I am referring in the title of this article is the Flowing Hair Half Dime. Admittedly this is not an item that you find on many people's dream coin list, it still is a coin that is an essential coin for a complete type set.

Considering how many people assemble type sets it is quite surprising that the flowing hair half dimes are not more expensive than they are. A total of 86,416 of these coins were produced in 1795 with the dates 1794 and 1795. It is unlikely that a particularly large number of the original mintage has survived 200 years of use, abuse, and melting. If we assume that half of the original mintage still exists (probably a high estimate) then there is only one coin available for every 6000 people in the United States. That is not many coins to go around, folks!

Now lets focus on two particularly undervalued (in my opinion} areas of this short series. First are the half dimes dated 1794. Only about one-tenth as many half dimes were produced with the 1794 date as were made dated 1795. Researcher Walter Breen notes that the Flowing Hair Half Dimes are available today in roughly a ten to one ratio between the 1795 and 1794 issues. However the 1794's are not priced ten times higher. In fact they are only about 1.4 times as expensive in each grade. Sounds like the 1794 dated coins are quite a bargain!

The readers out there with particularly deep pockets can take advantage of another bargain in this series- the uncirculated coins. Yes, they are very expensive- about $4500 and up- but consider for a moment what you are purchasing. You get a coin that has survived 200 years without even being spent... even though there were several times in the early 1800's when the American economy was not so hot and these coins could have been spent at face value as they had no numismatic premium until the 1850's.

1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime Reverse

1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime Reverse

It is actually quite amazing that any uncirculated Flowing Hair Half Dimes are still available. Luckily a group of uncirculated specimens were put aside at the time of issue. This hoard of about 15 coins dated 1794 and 100 coins dated 1795 was disbursed in the 1880's. If this group of 115 coins had not been put aside at the time of issue there would be hardly any uncirculated specimens available for collectors today, and only the very rich would be able to afford them.

So what is my favorite Flowing Hair Half Dime? It is probably not that difficult to guess by now that I consider an uncirculated 1794 specimen to be the best investment. To me, the retail price of $6700 for a MS-60 specimen seems absurdly low for our first half-dime. Good luck trying to find one of these! Even if you have the funds available, you may have to wait quite a while before a specimen comes to market.

 

 

SURFING THE INTERNET

Chief Editor: While surfing the Internet, I was looking for a good article to complement member Mike Nourse's articles on the Flowing Hair Half Dime. I came across this article from the ANA's November Moneytalks series:

 

MY FAVORITE ANCIENT:
ATHENIAN OWL TETRADRACHM
by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

 

On November 6. 1792, President George Washington announced the minting of the first coins of the new federal government.

During America's colonial period, money was issued sporadically, and almost all silver and gold coins in use were foreign issues. Under the Articles of Confederation, our national coinage was launched. But the central government was not yet well organized, and only a few thousand copper coins were struck by a contractor and issued by Congress.

1803 Draped Bust Dollar Obverse

1803 Draped Bust Dollar Obverse

In 1789, the new Constitution was adopted. The first coins authorized were the cent, the half dime, and the quarter dollar. However, only the half dime was produced in any quantity, and it wasn't really produced until spring of the following year. In all, just over 86,000 of these small silver coins were made in 1794 and 1795.

The half dime weighed just over one and one-third grams, less than four one-hundredths of an ounce. As mall as it was. it still represented a lot of purchasing power for people who lived on farms and in small towns.

1803 Draped Bust Dollar Reverse

1803 Draped Bust Dollar Reverse

For almost 25 years- from 1806 to 1829-no half dimes were struck. Then, in 1829, the federal government finally issued over a million of them. Many millions more were made over the next 40 years. The half dime was discontinued in 1873. replaced by the 5-cent nickel that had been used side-by-side since 1866. But for over 100 years, the half dime was a reminder of that day in November 1792 when President Washington told Congress that America now had its own silver coin.

 

 


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