Return to Alaska Coin Exchange homepage

Return to ACCent homepage


ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

ACCent Header


Volume 14, Number 10

October 2001

October Membership Meeting
Wed., October 3, 2001 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

What a difference a member makes. Mark Nagy was our club representative to the ANA (American Numismatic Association). He helped make sure we had informative presentations at our membership meetings and now he is gone. Mark found it enjoyable to deal with the coin-smart people at ANA. Now we need to fill his shoes with someone who would like to interact with the nicest people in the coin collecting world. The club rep would call the ANA library and ask them to send up a video or educational program on something of interest to us.

An exciting new prospect is to have an ANA sanctioned coin show in Anchorage. They have expressed interest in having a coin show here and we, being the popular well organized club that we are, would be intimately involved. Robert Hall is our club's voice in discussions with the ANA about a show in 2003 but we need a club representative to tap into their vast educational resources now.

At the beginning of our November membership meeting we gave Loren Lucason a 1989 PROOF SET for the door prize and gave Roy Brown a 1934 $10 SILVER CERTIFICATE for the membership prize. Then Robert Hall gave us a summary of his phone conversations with the ANA. After a short discussion we decided to put the club's plans for the big show on hold until we get a decision from the ANA sometime before spring.

1856 Flying Eagle Cent Reproduction

1856 Flying Eagle Cent Reproduction

Announcements were made of Don Thurber's coin show at the Northway Mall October 20-21 and Robert Hall's coin show at the Cottonwood Creek Mall November 17-18. It should also be mentioned that Frank Jasper and others will be selling coins at the gun show at the University Center October 27-28.

After a short break to view auction lots we had the bullet auction. Then we went to a video about the history of gold going back to ancient times....how gold became a standard medium of exchange through history. It then delved into the history of Spain's raids on the indigenous cultures of Central America....how precious works of non-Christian art were melted down to make coins of standard European weight. We ran out of time and slopped the tape before we got to the dramatic ending of the story. Continued next month......Your Editors.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of October:

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: October 3rd (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcome. There will be a presentation by member, Robert Hall, on the subject of "The SS Central America's Gold". A bullet 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. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: October 12th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. We welcome YNs, club members, and the general public. There will be a presentation on "Grading Coins and Paper Currency" by Larry Nakata. YNs are encouraged to come to this YN meeting.

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

4. Coin Show: Northway Mall: October 20th (Saturday) and October 21st (Sunday). Contact member Don Thurber for tables ($40 / table) at 338-748S.

Minutes of the September 19th Board Meeting:

The Board meeting was called to order by President Bill Hamilton at 7 PM.

On the matter of old business, Loren Lucason will be checking with member, Richard Bilak, on getting a banner for a club display information table that would be set up at various shopping malls around Anchorage. Loren is presently working on a project to setup such a table that could be moved around from one mall to another. Such a Cable would have club literature and numismatic information that would be available to the general public.

John Larson needs copies of the April through August 2001 editions of the ANA publication, "The Numismatist", for the Loussac Library. Apparently, the club has not been receiving the publication from the ANA due to an address mix-up. Larry Nakata will be looking into getting those back issues for the library.

There was discussion on finding a new club representative to the American Numismatic Association. At our September 5th club meeting, it was announced that we need a volunteer to fill this position. The club's representative to the ANA would be a liaison who would correspond with the ANA, coordinate programs with the ANA, and make arrangements for presentations at our monthly membership meetings. As of the September 19th Board meeting, no one has volunteered to fill this position. Your Board is asking for good people to volunteer. Please contact any of our Board members. It is not a difficult job. The main criteria for this position is that you must be a member of the ANA. If someone wishes to volunteer and is not an ANA member, according arrangements can be made for them to become one.

On the issue of new business, the coin show slated for 2003 was discussed by the Board. In an update given by member Robert Hall, the American Numismatic Association has shown an interest in organizing such an event in Anchorage in 2003. Robert has been in discussions with the ANA on this matter. As a result of the ANA's interest in hosting such an event, plans for the Anchorage Coin Club to organize such a show have been put in hold in favor of the ANA taking a lead role. The ANA is looking into the matter and will make a decision by early Spring of 2002 on hosting such a show. If it's a go our club's role will shift to assisting the ANA on this event. Robert Hall has been chosen to continue discussions with the ANA on this event. More details are expected to follow as discussions continue.

Roy Brown gave the Hoard a briefing on his perspective of the ANA Atlanta Convention he attended last month. Roy was very impressed with the manner in which the ANA organized the event and the level of participation by the local coin clubs in the Atlanta area. Roy did state that an ANA sponsored coin show in Anchorage would require considerable participation by our club members. The Board did agree and felt that our membership would be up to that task when the time comes.

A financial report was given by Treasurer, Greg Samorajski, on our club finances. Greg's financial analysis showed that the club dues are keeping up with club expenses at this time. However, Greg pointed out that members of the Anchorage Coin Club have been picking up costs that should be covered by the club. Expenses such as food for the club meetings and printing costs for (he newsletter are being picked up as donations, Greg also pointed out that if it is the intent of the club to expand it's present programs, the moneys in our club treasury is not sufficient to cover such expenses. Greg's report concluded that as long as we keep the present arrangements at a status quo, the club would keep "an even keel" financially.

1858 Flying Eagle Cent Small Letters

1858 Flying Eagle Cent Small Letters

Our next membership meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3rd at the Central Lutheran Church. President Bill Hamilton will be filling in on setting up club programs until we can identify and appoint a club representative to the ANA, Bill needed someone to volunteer for a presentation at our October 3rd meeting. Robert Hall volunteered to give a presentation on "The SS Central America's Gold". It should be a very good session and we encourage our members to come to this meeting.

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

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

We had a light turnout of YNs for our YN meeting on Friday, September 14th over at the Central Lutheran Church. Perhaps it was the unfortunate incidents of that week that resulted in such a low turnout.

Nonetheless several YNs did come to that meeting and we went forward with the agenda of the evening, "Grading Coins and Paper Currency, Part I".

A VHS tape, loaned to our club by the American Numismatic Library, was shown to our YNs. The tape, "Collecting and Grading US Coins" provided good information on how to handle coins, how to collect coins, and how to grade circulated, uncirculated, and proof coins. Since this was a one hour VHS tape, only half of the tape was shown that evening. The second half of this tape will be shown at our next YN meeting on Friday, October 12th...which will go over grading of various types of US coins, such as the Lincoln cent, Washington quarter, and other denominations. It's a very good tape and I encourage the YNs to come to our October YN meeting.

The emphasis over the next few months at our YN meetings will be on grading coins and paper currency. Last year we concentrated on various types of coins and currency that can be collected by the YN. This year, sorting with our September session, the goal is to concentrate our meetings on more sophisticated subjects..... such as grading classic era coins. I would like to see a good turnout of YNs at our next meeting on October 12th.

YN Michael Stubblefield won the YN door prize.... a one ounce silver proof medallion commemorating cruise ships in Alaska. This medallion was minted by the Alaska Mint and was donated by owner and Anchorage Coin Club member, Mike Robuck, for the YN meeting. Our thanks go to Mike Robuck for such a nice YN door prize.

I also want to remind the YNs that there will be a coin show at the Northway Mall in Anchorage on October 20th and 21st , For those YNs that come to the October 12th YN meeting, I am looking into having a YN contest planned for the Northway Mall coin show.

Hope to see a bunch of YNs at the next YN meeting.......

        Larry Nakata.

 

CONDOLENCES

EDITORS NOTE: Our sister club, the Tasmanian Numismatic Society in Australia, sent our club this message on September 13th. They will be posting this message in their next newsletter.

The Tasmanian Numismatic Society membership expresses its profound sympathy to all the families of those thousands of innocents lost in the recent New York and Washington diabolical and fanatical outrages, and those hundreds who perished as a result of the hijackers actions on board the four airliners.

To the families of the frontline troops- the fire services and police department personnel, who did their duty and put their lives on the line to try and save thousands of their fellow citizens- we also especially commend our thoughts and prayers. Terrorism will not prevail when the free world has unsung heroes such as these who are prepared to defend it with their very lives.

 

DO YOU COLLECT INDIAN HEAD CENTS?
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

Do you collect Indian Head cents? If you do, there arc two new books by author / dealer Richard "Rick" Snow that belong on your bookshelf. The first is entitled The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide, 2nd Edition, Volume I, 1856-1858 while the second book has the same lengthy title except that it is notated as Volume 6, 1900-1909. The intervening four volumes, numbers two through five, will be released at approximately four to six month intervals as they are produced.

1908 Indian Head Cent Obverse

1908-S Indian Head Cent Obverse

These books are available only in spiral bound format at this time, and both are 8 1/2 by 11 inches in size with a clear plastic cover over a brightly colored front page. Neither book is expensive, with volume one retailing for $30 and volume six at $25, roughly the price of a common date Indian cent in MS-60. The obvious question at this point is why were volumes one and six published first instead of going in a more logical order? It was the author's opinion that these two date ranges had seen the largest number of new developments since the last publication of a detailed variety guide.

You probably already have on your bookshelf the 1992 book by Rick Snow Flying Eagle & Indian Cents and the 1995 book Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Varieties by Larry Steve and Kevin Flynn which also gives details on the many die varieties in the Flying Eagle and Indian cent series. Other books have been written about these popular small cent series, but they were not heavy-duty variety identification guides. If you enjoy looking at your coins through a loupe or a stereo microscope, this six part series will be essential.

What is inside these books? Let's look at volume one. After an introduction, there are seven pages of diagrams, photographs, and instructions to assist the collector in determining which variety (identified using a numbering system known as Snow numbers) a particular coin is. A beginner may think that it would be a very simple task to figure out which variety a coin is just by looking at the coin and the pictures in the book. Not so! Often times two or more varieties will look very similar to each other so other clues must be used to differentiate between similar varieties. Within these seven pages you will learn some of the specific places on the coin where minute positional variations can help in your quest to identify which Snow variety your cent is.

Next come a few pages describing the planning and design process which occurred in the mid 1850's which led up to the eventual production of the Flying Eagle cent. Included are pictures of early design concepts and plaster models created by James B. Longacre during the design phase. Here is a chance to see what our Flying Eagle cent might have looked like. Hint: the eagle might have been heavily encumbered with arrows in one claw, some foliage in the other claw, a banner in his beak, and a shield being carried through means I can not even ascertain!

1908-S Indian Head Cent Reverse

1908-S Indian Head Cent Reverse

We are all familiar with the famous (and expensive!) 1856 Flying Eagle cent, which was produced to the tune of only about 2000 or so pieces. This coin is so highly regarded that prominent 20th century coin dealer and auctioneer Abe Kosoff always had an 1856 Flying Eagle cent as lot #1 in his many public auctions. Five pages of volume one are devoted to a discussion of the likely production dates of these coins (not all in 1856!) and the sequence in which the ten different known varieties were made. At least one full page is dedicated to each of these ten varieties with an additional page for the one 1856 pattern coin which uses the regular 1856 obverse mated with a reverse composed of a wreath similar to that seen on the regular issue coins except for an ornamental shield at top.

A couple of pages are expended telling the history behind the authorizing legislation and preparation Tor producing many millions of small cents in 1857. The really interesting part about 1857 comes in the middle of the listing of the 18 varieties for the year. New collectors may not know this, but there are three instances in which dies meant to strike Flying Eagle cents were clashed with dies of another denomination! It is hard to imagine that this could have happened by mistake, especially three times in the same year, but the results are truly spectacular and vividly illustrated in the Snow book. The clashed dies involved were an obverse Flying Eagle die clashed with a Liberty $20 gold obverse, a Flying Eagle reverse die clashed with a Seated Liberty quarter reverse die, and a Flying Eagle obverse die clashed with a Seated Liberty half dollar obverse. For reference, these varieties are listed as Snow-7, Snow-8, and Snow-9 respectively. By the way, even long time dealer Q. David Bowers considers these multi-denominational clashed cents to be some of the most interesting coins in US numismatics.

A few changes were made to the design before production began in 1858, along with the big mid year change that we are all familiar with: the switch from the large letter obverse to the small letter obverse. Three pages are dedicated to explaining these changes before we head into the listing of varieties. Within the large letters section we will find two versions of the 1858/7 variety. The Snow-1 variety is the stronger (more valuable) version of this overdate while the Snow-7 is less obvious, although neither of them appear particularly impressive with only the upper right corner of the seven visible resting in the field above the eight. Incidentally the Snow-I variety is easiest to identify by noting that the upper wing tip is vague and discontinuous and pretty much disappears in later die states.

We are not even nearly done with the year 1858 yet even though we have examined both the large and small letter variations of the Flying Eagle cent, l! is time to walk through the door into the world of patterns, which command the remaining 45 pages of the book. It all starts with a six page overview of the many cent patterns produced this year. We get to see that there were three vividly different obverses used for the patterns, an Indian head very similar to that adopted for the Indian Head cent, the normal Flying Eagle obverse, and an obverse die with a smaller eagle displaying a painfully bent neck. Mated with these three obverses are four reverses: an agricultural wreath similar to that found on the Flying Eagle cent; a laurel wreath like that seen on the reverse of 1859 Indian Head cents; an oak wreath similar to the one on later Indian Head cent reverses from 1860 on, minus the shield at lop; and another oak wreath combined this time with a large fancy shield at top. These three obverses and four reverses are combined, along with positional variations, to create a whopping 35 different pattern coins. Each of the patterns gets at least one full page description with a picture. A chart at the end of this section cross references all of the pattern coins with other standard references on the subject including books by Walter Breen, Dr. J. Hewitt Judd, and Andrew Pollock.

1907/1907 Overdate Indian Cent

1907/1907 Overdate Indian Cent

In contrast to the first volume, volume six contains not nearly so much historical information and research. We start out again with the very valuable variety identification assistance guide, which is basically identical to the one found in volume one. After that we dive straight into the variety listings beginning with the year 1900 and going through the end of the Indian Head series including the 1908-S and 1909-S issues. Each date has a very brief overview of what to look for in the coins of that year, a listing of the Proof varieties, and then a listing of the business strike varieties.

There is a distressing lack of major varieties among these early 20th century cents, but that is made up for by a large number of minor varieties, most of which are repunched dales and misplaced dates. Many of these years have fifteen or more known varieties, some of which look deceptively similar, so it is essential that you learn how to use the identification assistant at the beginning of the book to avoid confusion. Even though the varieties are not spectacular, they generally command some premium and are therefore worth looking for.

These new volumes are certainly worth their small cost if you enjoy the search for varieties. Volume one is worth getting just for the abundance of background material it contains. The two big changes between the new volumes and the 1992 work by Rick Snow are the addition of quite a large number of newly discovered varieties and the enlargement of the photographs of the relevant part of the coin, usually the date area. In the earlier book the pictures measured about 1 1/4 inches by 2 1/2 inches, and they have now been enlarged to roughly 2 1/2 by 3 inches. I think there still is room to make the pictures even a bit larger, but at least we are heading in the right direction.

The presently available volumes number one and six are available locally from dealers who carry supplies or can be ordered through the mail. They are only available in spiral binding but I am hopeful for a hardbound edition once all six volumes are available......

        Mike Nourse.

 

UPCOMING COIN SHOWS

October 20th / 21st Northway Mall. Contact: Don Thurber #338-7488 (evenings) for tables. $40/table.

October 27th / 28th University Center. See Frank Jasper's table.

November 17th / 18th Cottonwood Creek Mall, Wasilla. Tables sold out. Contact: Robert Hall #561-8343 (evenings).

 

 


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-                 Greg Samorajski   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

Corey Rennell-                 Eves: 563-6459

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