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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 13, Number 4

April 2000

April Membership Meeting
Wed., April 5, 2000 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

BILL IS IN!!! By a nearly unanimous vote Bill Hamilton was elected president of the Anchorage Coin Club. President Hamilton promises to increase learning programs at the regular membership meetings. He believes in our club tenet of numismatic education. We look forward to the days when we will know more about grading paper money, identifying counterfeit coins, and judging between MS-62 and MS-63 silver dollars. Bill will be working with the ANA library to obtain educational materials (videos, etc.) to help us be a more informed group of numismatists. We are behind Bill on this 100%!

To educate the public... ex-president, Loren Lucason, is sponsoring a coin display titled "Changing Money" at the Loussac Library from March 23rd to April 6th. Mark Nagy helped with a set of nickels and Steven Keyes with a set of US gold pieces to illustrate the change from images of Miss Liberty to images of Indian Chiefs. Several YN's are helping with the illustration of changes in specific coin denominations. YN Nick Bilak put together a set of dollar coin types, YN Corey Rennell put together a set of cents, and the Samorajski YNs (and their dad) are working on a set of quarters.

1859 Liberty Seated Silver Dollar

To educate the YN's the club is sponsoring a young numismatist to go to "Coin Camp" in Colorado Springs for the week beginning July 8th. Mike and Michelle Robuck, owners of The Alaska Mint, also offered to sponsor a second YN. Mike said that they could grow up to work for him at the mint; some already have. Larry Nakata gave us the details of how the worthy YN's will be chosen. To pay for this education of the YN's we rely on the moneys raised in the YN Numismatic Donation Auction. We are in need of more donation lots for the auction. To date we are only up to 30 lots. Go through your collections and find some to give. Drop off items at the Northway Mall show club table, or contact one of the club officers. Give generously.

1859 U.S. Gold Dollar

1859 U.S. Gold Dollar

Before we got into all this politics and education we gave Carl of Carl's Rare Coins a BU 1965 Canadian Silver Dollar for the door prize and YN Scott Hall was given a 1964 U.S. Mint Set for the membership prize. A bid board of 20 lots was set up at the back of the room for members to view throughout the meeting.

The announcement was made that Don Thurber is sponsoring a coin show at the Northway Mall on March 25th and 26th. Tables are $40. This is the first coin show in a while and if you are like me you will be eager to see what the vendors have picked up lately and what you can add to your collections. The club will have a table at the show and YN's are invited to man the table, pass out free information, sign up new members, and sell raffle tickets.

After announcements we settled down to a video presentation: "Mints and the Minting Process". In the video, along with how to make coins, was an interview with Glenna Goodacre the sculptor of the image on the obverse of the new dollar coin and Randy'L Teton the Shoshone model for the image of Sacagawea.

After the video we settled up on the bid board then drew the ticket for the raffle prize. The 1907 Gold Certificate in VF condition was won by club member Stanley Mead.

Our club's next raffle prize is a NGC slabbed 1893 Barber Quarter in AU-58 condition..... Your Editors.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of April

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: April 5th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcome. There will be a presentation that evening by club member, Larry Nakata, on the subject of "The History of U.S. Paper Currency". A bullet coin auction of no more than 15 coin lots will occur. Members wishing to submit coins for the bullet auction can bring them to the meeting.

2. Special YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: April 15th (Saturday) at 2:00 PM at The Alaska Mint (address: 445 W. 4th Avenue). YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. This session will be on "How Coins and Medallions Are Designed and Minted at The Alaska Mint". It will be a fun event. Remember: This YN meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 15th at 2:00 PM.

3. Shipcreek Center Coin Show: April 15th (Saturday) and April 16th (Sunday).

4. "Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: April 19th (Wednesday) 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

1859 Liberty Staled Half Dollar

1859 Liberty Staled Half Dollar

Minutes of the March 15th Board Meeting

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM by newly elected president, Bill Hamilton.

First order of business was a review of bills and club correspondence.

Then board then went over old business. Loren Lucason gave an update on the status of the Loussac Library coin club display, "Changing Money". The display is expected to be ready on March 23rd and will be featured at the library up to April 6th.

Larry Nakata then gave an update on the progress of the YN Numismatic Donation Auction and the YN Scholarship program. On the matter of the YN donation auction, approximately 30 lots have been donated to date. Larry anticipates the month of April will see lots of donated items for this auction. On the subject of the YN Scholarship program, Larry sent application packages to approximately 20 YNs in our club who are believed to be 13 years or older. Interested YNs have been asked to submit scholarship applications to our club prior to the April 19th board meeting. Our April board meeting will see the board, Mike & Michelle Robuck reviewing these applications. Two YNs will be selected at that time with the scholarship awarded for attendance at the ANA Summer Conference in Colorado Springs during the week of July 8th.

Coin shows were discussed by the board for the months of March and April. The board wrapped up with a discussion of presentation topics for our membership meetings in the coming months.

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

UPCOMING COIN SHOWS

By the time you receive this newsletter, coin shows will have been planned for March and April.

The March 25th (Saturday) and 26th (Sunday) coin show will be held at the Northway Mall in Anchorage. Coin tables can still be arranged with member Don Thurber (evening ph# 338-7488) who is organizing the event. Table fees will be $40/table.

Our club president, Bill Hamilton, is also organizing a coin show to be held at the Shipcreek Center (formerly known as the Post Office Mall) over the April 15th & 16th weekend. For your information, the week following this coin show will be "National Coin Week". Bill can be contacted for tables at his daytime ph# 277-6110.

The club will have a table at both coin shows. We're looking forward to seeing all of our members at these upcoming shows........ Your Editors.

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

Our March 10th YN (Young Numismatists) meeting was concentrated on putting together the club's display that will be featured at the Loussac Library from March 23rd through April 6th.

1859 U.S. Silver Half Dime

1859 U.S. Silver Half Dime

A number of our YNs, parents, and adult members of our coin club met that evening with coins from their collections that will be used in the display, "Changing Money". This display is intended to show how U.S. coinage and currency has changed over the years. One need only look at the U.S. Commemorative State Quarter program, the changes in U.S. paper currency design these past three years, and this year's introduction of the U.S. Sacagawea dollar coin to see the recent changes.

Thanks go to the adults and YNs Corey Rennell, Jonathan & Justin Samorajski, and Nicky Bilak for helping to set up this display. Special thanks go to member Loren Lucason for organizing everyone together in this effort. We will be meeting at the Loussac Library on Thursday, March 23rd starting at 10 AM. Loren will be there from 10 AM to work with each member in setting up their portion of the display. It's shaping up to be a very good display.... and our club members are encouraged to come and see the results of our efforts.

Our next YN meeting will be a very fun event to be held at The Alaska Mint on Saturday, April 15th. Owner (and club member) Mike Robuck has invited all of our YNs to his business to show us how coins and medallions are designed from the making of the die to the actual production of the coin/medallion.

I would like to have all YNs and their parents meet at The Alaska Mint (address: 445 W. 4th Avenue/ ph# 274-8414) at 2 PM that Saturday afternoon. Adult club members can also come to this event...

So remember.... we will not be having our YN meeting on Friday (April 14th). It has been rescheduled to Saturday (April 15th) to be held at The Alaska Mint.

I want to remind all of our club's YNs who are 13 years of age or older to fill out the scholarship application forms for the ANA Summer Conference to be held in Colorado Springs on the week of July 8th. Two deserving YNs from our club will have an opportunity to attend this one week event through scholarships provided by our coin club and from Mike & Michelle Robuck. The ANA (American Numismatics Association) hosts this conference in which YNs can attend numismatic seminars for that week. These YNs will stay at the dorms with meals provided at the Colorado College campus.... where the conference will be held.

The scholarships will provide for plane fare (to and from Colorado Springs), room & board, and evening events hosted by the ANA. YNs wishing to apply are asked to fill out and submit applications to the ANA and to our club's post office box. Application packages were sent out to all YNs who we believe are over 13 years of age or older. If any of you have not received a package, please contact Larry Nakata (evening ph# 563-1729).

Our club's board, and Mike & Michelle Robuck will be selecting the winners of the scholarships at our April 19th board meeting. So make sure you have applications mailed to our club's post office box in plenty of time. Applications must be received by April 19th.

Finally.....the winner of our door prize at our March 10th YN meeting was YN Corey Rennell who won a 1966 Canadian Silver Dollar in BU condition.

I expect to see a lot of YNs and parents at our April 15th (Saturday) YN meeting (2 PM) at The Alaska Mint.......

        Larry Nakata.

 

THE 1859 PROOF SET: THE EARLY YEARS
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

In 1857 and prior years, proof coins were mostly sold on an individual basis to collectors who visited the mint in Philadelphia. Starting in 1858, proof coins were sold in sets consisting of two separate options: the silver-minor set containing the cent through dollar, or the complete set containing the cent through double eagle. These sets were larger than today's proof sets; the silver-minor had seven pieces while the complete set had a whopping thirteen pieces.

1883 U.S. Shield Nickel

1883 U.S. Shield Nickel

Prices were a lot more reasonable back in those days. The silver-minor set cost $2.02 which is really quite a bargain when you consider that the buyer received seven proof coins with a face value of $1.94. Unfortunately, the days of an 8 cent surcharge for a proof set has passed into history now that we pay $22.00 for nine coins with a face value of $1.91. The face value is roughly the same but the surcharge is now 250 times as much. For those individuals of the day that had deep pockets, the complete proof set could be purchased for an even $46 for the thirteen coins with a face value of $43.44 for a surcharge of $2.56.

So what is so great about the 1859 Proof Set? It contains a few special coins, but we will get to that shortly. The biggest attraction of this set is that it is the oldest set that can be assembled for an even remotely reasonable amount of money. It will cost a huge amount to put one of these sets together... but even as expensive as it is, it is only about half as much as an 1858 set and a small fraction of the cost of an 1857 or earlier set. By comparison, putting together an 1859 Proof Set will not be much more expensive than other 19th century proof sets from 1860 on..

You will probably have to assemble an 1859 Proof Set yourself. Virtually all of the original sets that were purchased six generations ago have been broken up for the individual coins over the past 141 years. If you happen to see an 1859 Proof Set for sale, it is a safe bet that somebody has purchased coins from several sources to build that set. Thus it is not an actual set that has remained intact since 1859.

Lets take a look at the coins that make up an 1859 Proof Set starting with the seven pieces in the silver-minor set. I have written an entire article about the 1859 Proof Indian head cent, as it is incredibly undervalued in my opinion. With only 50 to 75 survivors it is a genuinely rare coin that is a one year type in one of the most popular series of United States coinage. Suffice it to say that I think this piece is the big winner in the 1859 Proof Set. However, it is not the only one year type coin in this set. The other one is quite obscure and little known so don't feel bad if you don't know which coin it is. Read on and you will find out!

Our next step is the silver three cent piece, or trime, or even fish scale if you wish. In this case, 1859 happens to be the first year of issue of the so called Type 3 Three Cent silver coin in which there are two lines surrounding the six pointed star on the obverse.

1859 U.S. Liberty $20 Gold

1859 U.S. Liberty $20 Gold

This leads to our second one year type coin, the half dime. It just so happens that a new obverse hub was prepared by Anthony Paquet for the half dime of 1859. The two most noticeable distinctions about this obverse die are that the thirteen stars surrounding the seated liberty figure are hollow, and lady liberty herself has thinner arms. Much more drastic changes were in store for 1860 when an entirely new reverse design was put in use and our national identity was moved to the obverse where it would remain for the rest of the series.

The 1859 dime is the final one with the small wreath on the reverse and stars on the obverse. Like the half dime, the stars were eliminated, some of the verbiage was moved to the obverse, and the slender wreath on the reverse was replaced with an explosion of foliage.

There is nothing particularly noteworthy about the proof 1859 quarters or halves other than they are very scarce, old , and desirable coins. They both exist only to the tune of 50 to 100 pieces, about the same number of survivors as we have for all of the previously discussed denominations.

The 1859 Proof seated dollar is somewhat more common than the other denominations as extras were sold as singles at the mint while the other coins we have looked at thus far were only obtainable as part of a set. One could stroll up to the cashiers counter at the Philadelphia Mint and purchase, for $1.08, a single proof seated dollar. Yes folks, that 8 cent surcharge was the same for a single dollar as it was for the entire silver-minor proof set. Due to this policy of selling single dollars, about 250 coins remain out of an original distribution of approximately 450 pieces. That does not mean that these are common! Quite the contrary they are very tough to locate (and quite spendy I might add) due to the enormous popularity of the silver dollar denomination.

Before we start looking at the incredibly desirable proof gold coins, lets see how much our proof set has cost so far. We will assume an average of Proof-63 as a good compromise between condition and cost that allows you to get some decent coins for a somewhat reasonable amount of money. In this condition, the cent will run $1100, the three cent $450, the half dime $1100, the dime $900, the quarter $1100, the half dollar $1000, and the silver dollar $2750.... for a total cost of approximately $8400. By comparison, the set of seven coins, could cost about $4500, but the coins would be hairlined, nicked, scratched, or have other undesirable characteristics. On the other hand, those collectors with especially deep pockets may wish to consider putting together a Proof-64 set for approximately $15,500 or even a Proof-65 set for $35,000. When looking at these quite large dollar figures, remember that there are about 250 of the 1859 silver dollars still remaining in proof condition and less than 100 each of the other six denominations. These coins are occasionally available, but in absolute terms, they are all very scarce!

But now, it is time to turn from the very scarce over to the exceedingly rare. Whereas no more than one hundred of each of the silver-minor proof coins remain in existence, all six of the gold coin denominations put together would not even add up to 100 specimens. More specifically, there are roughly 15 three dollar gold pieces. As for the quarter eagles, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles, the number of survivors is estimated to be less than ten of each. Yes folks, these coins are rare by any measure.

As for costs, the proof gold coins are astronomically expensive. Only the gold dollar can be acquired for a four digit price, in the $4000 to $4500 range. The other five coins will probably cost between $15,000 and $50,000 but it is difficult to get accurate pricing information on coins such as these that trade so infrequently. If you happen to have the financial resources to assemble a set of these six proof gold coins it will take years to accomplish since quite a bit of time will pass between appearances of these items on fixed price lists or at auction.

So, white the proof gold coins are way off the radar screen for most people, the seven piece silver-minor set is a reasonable goal if a person wanted to try and put one together. Just remember that coins this scarce do not show up on the market every day....so even if you have the financial ability to put a set together it will likely take at least a year or two find all seven coins in decent condition. Upon completion you will have an incredible 141 year old proof set that will be the envy of any coin collector!.......

        Mike Nourse.

 

BACK TO BASICS
by Carl Mujagic (Life Member #2)
Carl's Rare Coins / University Center

I've been reading this award-winning newsletter for over ten years now and I figured it was about time for me to contribute something. I hate boring articles, so I'm going to make this short and to the point.

As a coin dealer, I would like to say that not all coin dealers are in it for the money. I do get satisfaction when I help someone fulfill their collection or even answer simple questions.

Here are a few helpful hints that I believe can make coin collecting enjoyable for everyone:

1. Personally, I think one of the most important parts of coin collecting is simply being educated. Good research items are books, grading guides, magazines, auction catalogs, Coin World and other types of publications.

2. Keep coin collecting as a hobby, not as an investment. It seems once coins are purchased for investment, the simple and basic enjoyment of coin collecting is forgotten.

3. Ask questions, but think first. I hear a lot of questions that could be easily answered by the person asking them. For example, I receive calls daily with questions like "I have an old silver dollar. What's it worth?" I'm sorry, but I'm not psychic. But for a mere $3.95 that particular person can buy a current copy of Coin Prices Magazine that can answer almost all of their questions.

4. Most important of all, in my opinion, is to collect what you like. Don't let anyone lead you into certain coins that you may not want or are unsure about. You can specialize in a certain series of denominations or collect everything. Being happy with all of your purchases is what matters the most in the long run.

Many people jump head first into buying rare coins before even owning a Red Book. Most of these people have many regrets about their coin purchases. I was one of them.

Remember, ignorance is costly and education priceless!.......

        Carl

 

NICKELS
A Short Piece from Member Loren Lucason (Member #97)

In the early 18th century Germans mining copper were frustrated by copper ore that would not smelt out as copper. It looked like copper ore but it could not be refined into copper. The ore was said to be possessed by a "kupfernickel" or copper demon. In 1751 the Swedish mineralogist, Cronstedt, isolated the metal from the ore. It was hard to purify and he gave it the name "nickel" from the German miner's reference to a copper demon.

1866 Three Cent Nickel

1866 Three Cent Nickel

Nickel turned out to be a very hard metal that did not corrode easily. There was lots of it around and countries started making coins with it. The US began using nickel in coins with the copper/nickel flying eagle cents of 1856 and continued with the copper/nickel Indian head cents until 1864. These coins contained 12% nickel. Then in 1865 a nickel three cent piece was circulated containing 25% nickel - pure nickel was much too hard to strike into coins.

In 1866 the shield five cent piece was circulated. The first of what we call nickels although they are 75% copper and only 25% nickel. It does have a silver-gray color and is quite hard. In the 1960's many countries around the world dropped silver as a coinage base and took on nickel as a replacement. Now nickel coins are among the most common in the world - offspring of the demon that once possessed copper.....

        Loren.

 

YN DONATION NUMISMATIC AUCTION LOTS

Donated by Robert Hall (Member #1)

1. Four (4) books: "The Strange Career of Dr. Wilkins- A Numismatic Inquiry" c. 1987 by Q. David Bowers. "Coinage Laws of the United States 1792-1894" c. 1990 by Bowers and Merena with a forward by David L. Ganz. "Coins and Collectors" c. 1988 by Q. David Bowers. "The Compleat Collector" c. 1985 by Q. David Bowers.

2. Same as Lot #1.

3. Three (3) books: "The Standard Catalogue of Encased Postage Stamps" c. 1989 by Michael J. Hodder and Q. David Bowers. "Coins and Collectors" c. 1988 by Q. David Bowers. "The Compleat Collector" c. 1985 by Q. David Bowers.

4. Same as Lot #3.

5. Same as Lot #3.

Donated by the Anchorage Coin Club

6. Two (2) each ANA Tapes: "Grading Mint-State U.S. Coins" with J. P. Martin. "Detecting Counterfeit and Altered U.S. Coins" with J. P. Martin.

7. Two (2) books: "Helpful Hints for Enjoying Coin Collecting" c. 1999 by Bill Fivaz. "Counterfeit Detection Reference Guide" c. 1997 by Bill Fivaz.

8. Same as Lot #7.

9. U.S. Civil War Fractional Currency: Federal Third Issue 50 cent note. Fair condition.

10. U.S. Civil War Fractional Currency: Federal Second Issue 5 cent note. Good condition.

11. Civil War: State of North Carolina Fractional Currency 5 cent note. January, 1863. Good condition.

Donated by Bill Hamilton (Member #108)

12. Five (5) each coin books: Whitman Morgan Silver Dollars No. 1 thru No. 4 books (1878-1921) and Whitman Peace Dollar book (1921-1935).

Donated by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)

13. Set of twelve (12) $1 Gaming Tokens from all of the Atlantic City casinos: Bally's / Caesars / The Claridge / Harrah's / Hilton / Resorts International / Sands / Showboat / Taj Mahal / Tropicana / Trump Marina / Trump Plaza.

14. Set of three (3) $1 Gaming Tokens: O'Shea's (Las Vegas) / Primm Valley (Primm, NV) / Rio (Las Vegas-1989).

15. One (1) BU roil of 1999-D Delaware Quarters.

Donated by Roy Brown (Life Member #4)

16. Set of eight (8) Kennedy Silver Half Dollars in a deluxe case: 1964 / 1965 / 1966 / 1967 / 1968-D / 2 each 1969-D / 1976-S. All in BU condition.

17. One (1) each 1972 Bicentennial Commemorative Medal with First Day of Issue Postage Stamp Cover. BU condition.

18. One (1) each 1986 Proof Statue of Liberty Commemorative Silver Dollar.

19. One (1) each 1986 Proof Statue of Liberty Commemorative Silver Half Dollar.

20. 1909 VDB Penny (Circulated Fine condition) in Special Information Display Holder on the "1909 VDB Penny".

21. 1900-S Barber Half (Circulated G/AG condition) in Special Information Display Holder on "Barber Half Dollars".

22. 1973 Set of nine (9) U.S. Mint Medals Commemorating Battles of the American Revolution. In original holder labeled "America's First Medal- United States Mint".

Donated by Carl (Life Member #2)

23. Complete denomination set of fifteen (15) Turkish coins (BU condition) in special display holder.

24. Set of twelve (12) coins from Hong Kong and Macao: 1995 Hong Kong $1 / 2 each 1997 Hong Kong $1 / 1993 Hong Kong $2 / 1994 Hong Kong $2 / 2 each 1995 Hong Kong $2 / 3 each 1992 Macao 1 Pataca/ 1998 Macao 1 Pataca / 1995 Macao 5 Pataca. XF or better condition.

Donated by Greg Samorajski (Member #287)

25. 1971-S Proof Ike Dollar in Original Holder. "Peg Leg" variety.

Donated by Roy Brown (Life Member #4)

26. 1896-S Morgan Dollar (Circulated Fine condition) in Special Information Display Holder on "The Morgan Dollar Collection".

27. One (1) each coin book: H.E. Harris "Washington Quarters- State Collection 2004-2008- Volume II".

Donated by Carl (Life Member #2)

28. Set of five (5) coins from Costa Rica: 1989 5 Colones / 1983 10 Colones / 1985 20 Colones /1997 50 Colones / 1997 100 Colones.

Donated by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

29. 10X Hastings Triplet Eye Loop (Magnifier lens) - 21 mm size.

Donated by Mike Nourse (Member #94)

30. Set of eleven (11) Canadian cents: 1920/1921/1927/1928/1929/1930/1932/1933/1934/1936/1944. VG-AU condition.

31. One (1) roll of Canadian cents: 10 each 1920/10 each 1929/30 each 1932. Good or better condition.

Thanks go to all of the people and organizations who donated numismatic materials for this year's YN Donation Numismatic Auction. Members or interested parties wishing to place a mail bid can do so by corresponding to our coin club's address: Anchorage Coin Club/P.O. Box 230169/Anchorage, AK 99523.

 

 

 


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-                  Bill Hamilton        Days: 277-6110
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

Roy Brown-                      Days: 563-6708

Don Thurber-                  Eves: 338-7488

Loren Lucason-               Eves: 272-3700

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