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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 14, Number 11

November 2001

November Membership Meeting
Wed., November 7, 2001 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

Christmas will soon upon us. Our club's Christmas party, planned for 6 PM on Thursday, December 13th, will be at the Central Lutheran Church in the downstairs kitchen / meeting area. Traditionally, our club's Christmas Party is also the same date as our December membership and YN meetings. Such will also be the case this year.

Roy Brown will be contacting members next month on potluck items to bring for the Christmas party. The club will supply the chips, dips, plates, bowls, forks, spoons, utensils, soda pop, coffee, and hot chocolate. Members will be asked to bring main dishes, desserts, salads, and hors d'oeuvres.

As in years passed, there will be a Christmas Coin Auction planned as the evening's event. Members wishing to submit numismatic items or coins are asked to contact Larry Nakata (evening ph# 563-1729) with a list of their lots so (hat it can be posted in next month's newsletter. Larry asks that you bring your auction items to the Christmas party on December 13th.

Our club's present raffle prize is two U.S. notes:

A U.S. 1862 federal $1 Note in VG / F condition, and

A U.S. series 1917 $2 note in CU (crisp uncirculated) condition.

These notes will be raffled off at our club's Christmas party.

Also expect a number of numismatic door prizes to be given away that evening.

Our October 3rd membership and October 12th YN meetings saw a somewhat sparse attendance by our club members and YNs. We did have a bullet coin auction on October 3rd. Roy Brown won the door prize, an ancient Roman coin. YN Justin Samorajski won the membership prize, a series 1995 Federal Reserve note signed by Mary Ellen Withrow / Treasurer of the United States. And there were presentations given at both meetings.

Members and YNs are encouraged to attend meetings.

Our membership meeting on November 7th will be a VHS tape presentation by Carl on the "S.S. Central America's Gold". This will be a follow-up presentation to the one made on October 3rd by member Robert Hall. It is a well made presentation from the Discovery Channel. Our YN meeting on November 9th (Friday) will be a "Show and Tell" meeting in which YNs are asked to bring coins and other numismatic items that they collect. See the YN Corner article on details for the November 9th meeting.

1796 Draped Bust Dime Obverse

1796 Draped Bust Dime Obverse

By the time our members receive this newsletter, the Northway Mall Coin Show will have come and gone. However.....we want to remind members that Frank Jasper and Robert Hall will be selling coins and other numismatic items at the gun show at the University Center on October 27th and 28th. Also... November 17th and 18th will see a coin show at the Cottonwood Creek Mall in Wasilla.

Hope to see a lot of our club members at our upcoming meetings and at the coin shows....Your Editors.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of November

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: November 7th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcome. There will be a VMS tape presentation by Carl as a follow-up to last month's presentation on "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: November 9th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. We welcome YNs, club members, and the general public. This is will be a "Show and Tell" session in which YNs are asked to bring examples of their coin collections to show to other YNs. See details on this session in this month's "YN Corner".

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

4. Coin Show: Cotton wood Creek Mall in Wasilla: November 17th (Saturday) and November 18th (Sunday).

Minutes of the October 17th Board Meeting:

The Board meeting was called to order by President Bill Hamilton at 7:17 PM.

The first order of business was a discussion by board members on ways to improve attendance and increase membership at our club meetings. It was noted by Bill Hamilton that the last several months of meetings have been sparsely attended. Better monthly presentation programs were discussed and the key will be to identify someone who can organize such programs. Al this time we are looking for such a volunteer.

Also discussed were ways to increase our membership size. Among some if the ideas that will be explored and implemented:

Use of local newspaper ads by our club,

Coin Show handouts,

Setting up of an information table at malls around Anchorage, and

Encouraging our club members to bring in friends and colleagues to our club meetings.

These will be issues discussed at our next November membership meeting. Some of these ideas will need volunteer participation by our club members.

1858 Three Cent Silver Obverse

1858 Three Cent Silver Obverse

The remainder of the evening was then focused on planning of our club's Christmas party. It was decided that our club's Christmas Party / Membership meeting / YN meeting wilt be scheduled for the evening of December 13th. Besides a potluck dinner, there will be our club's traditional Christmas Coin / Numismatic Auction held as the evening's event. Roy will be contacting members on potluck items to bring. Larry Nakata and Loren Lucason will arrange for pickup of all other necessary items needed for the event. Larry had indicated that he will work on a "YN Bucks" program in which YNs can earn YN bucks that can be used for bidding on items at the Christmas auction. Rules for the program will be announced in this month's "YN Corner".

As there was no further business to discuss... and since it was snowing outside at the time... the meeting was adjourned at 8 PM.

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

We had another light turnout of YNs for our YN meeting on Friday, October 12th over at the Central Lutheran Church.

Those YNs that did attend got a pretty good session on grading coins. Specific emphasis was placed on the differences between proof, uncirculated, and circulated coins....and how one grades such coins.

We will have our next YN meeting on Friday, November 9th, 7 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. I would like to have YNs bring coins, paper currency, and other numismatic items that they collect to this meeting. It will be a "Show and Tell" event in which YNs will be asked to show and describe the types of coins they collect, how they collect them, and why they like to collect such items. It is an opportunity for YNs to show everyone aspects of their collections.....and much more.

On December 13th (Thursday), we will have our club's Christmas party at the Central Lutheran Church. Every year, a program is setup in which YNs are given an opportunity to earn YN Bucks that can be used for purchase of coins and other numismatic items that will be auctioned off at the club's Christmas Coin/Numismatic Auction.

This year, I will be awarding YN Bucks in two categories:

First, it is my intent to award YN Bucks to those YNs who participate in this "Show and Tell" session based upon the quality of their presentation. The better the presentation... the more YN Bucks earned.

Second, YNs can earn even more YN Bucks for writing articles that will be published in our coin club's newsletter. Articles can be on any numismatic subject such as a type of coin you like to collect, paper currency, or a subject related to coin collecting. YN Bucks will be awarded on the basis of the quality of the article- how informative, how thorough, how interesting, as well as how well written. If any of our YNs have other ideas on how YN Bucks can be earned between now and our Christmas party on December 13th, feel free to give me a call at home. My home phone number is 563-1729.

Also...keep in mind that we do have some upcoming coin shows that YNs can attend in October and November. I hope to see a number of you attend the upcoming coin shows and our club meetings......Larry Nakata.

 

 

COINDUST REVERIE II: DREAM PRICES OF 1940
by John Larson (Member #18)

In the June issue of our ACCent newsletter, I wrote an article describing how I had visited a bookstore in Victoria, British Columbia, .and purchased a copy of the 1940 edition of the Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia. I went on to explain how it was basically a "buy" list or a blue book listing published by Max Mehl of the Numismatic Company of Texas, Fort Worth. From there, I applied a "rule of thumb" conversion factor by multiplying these prices by 2.2 to arrive at estimated equivalent Red Book prices for the year 1940. Thus was unveiled the coin collector's dream, a coindust reverie of how amazingly reasonable (!) the price of your most coveted half cent, large cent, Flying Eagle, Indian Head or Lincoln cent in high grade to uncirculated condition, might be - if only you could drop by the old 1940 coin shop to pick it up!

Our newsletter editors also provided an additional column of prices - a coin collector's reality check - to show what prices you could expect if you dropped by the 2001 coin shop to look at the same coins today. Inflation and the law of supply and demand have taken their toll on our coin dreams.....

In this issue, I would like to continue the exercise, showing the 1940 "Red Book" prices for some 2-cent, 3-cent, 5-cent, 10-cent and 20-cent pieces:

Here are some Star Encyclopedia ("Blue Book") prices for some high grade or uncirculated United States Half Cents and Cents, and their adjusted "Red Book" prices of 1940 (in 1940 dollars):

 

  1940 Star Catalog 1940 Red Book Current PCGS
  Top Price High Grade /
Uncirculated
2001 Prices

Two Cent Pieces

1864 Small Motto $0.10 $0.22 $585.00
1872 0.20 0.44 910.00
1873 3.50 7.70 1225.00

Three Cent Nickel

1877 2.25 4.95 1050.00
1884 0.15 0.33 585.00
1885 0.15 0.33 780.00
1887 0.15 0.33 450.00

Three Cent Silver

1855 0.25 0.55 550.00
1864 2.00 4.40 650.00
1872 0.60 1.32 780.00
1873 1.00 2.20 750.00

Shield Nickel

1879 0.35 0.77 650.00
1880 0.50 1.10 1200.00
1881 0.50 1.10 585.00

Liberty Nickel

1885 1.50 3.30 925.00
1886 0.75 1.65 555.00
1912-S 1.00 2.20 880.00

Buffalo Nickel

1921-S 0.25 0.55 1575.00
1927-S 1.00 2.20 880.00

Half Dimes

1794 5.00 11.00 8125.00
1796 6.00 13.20 8450.00
1802 150.00 330.00 57,500. in EF
1846 1.50 3.30 3250. in AU
1860 stars on obverse 3.00 6.60 130.00

Draped & Capped Bust Dimes

1796 5.00 11.00 9125.00
1797 12.00 26.40 10,800.00
1804 25.00 55.00 2350.00 in F
1807 0.35 0.77 4325.00
1809 3.00 6.60 2950.00
1822 3.50 7.70 6500.00

Seated Liberty Dimes

1837 0.20 0.44 1050.00
1844 1.00 2.20 2250.00
1846 0.75 1.65 780.00 in EF
1856-S 0.50 1.10 3900.00
1866 0.20 0.44 910.00
1867 0.50 1.10 1175.00
1871-CC 2.00 4.40 1125.00 in F
1873-CC with arrows 2.00 4.40 475.00
1878-CC 0.75 1.65 850.00
1885-S 2.00 4.40 5200.00

Barber Dimes

1895-O 0.35 0.77 3250.00
1903-S 0.75 1.65 250.00

Mercury Dimes

1916-D 1.00 2.20 5450.00
1921 0.50 1.10 1050.00
1921-D 0.50 1.10 1250.00
1931-D, 1931-S 0.12 0.27 59.00

Twenty Cent Pieces

1876 0.35 0.77 650.00
1876-CC 100.00 220.00 65,000.00

 

For your information, following my earlier June article on one cent piece prices, club member Robert Hall approached me and reported that he had located a 1940 volume of The Numismatist in which there were advertisements with retail coin prices. Apparently for at least some of the coins I had listed, like the Lincoln cents and some of the Indian Heads (and perhaps others), I had over estimated the 1940 prices!!!...

        John Larson.

 

LOOK OUT FOR PINHOLES IN YOUR 2x2s!
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

Look out for pinholes in your 2X2 coin holders! Pinholes are tiny holes in the thin clear Mylar (windows that allow you to view the obverse and reverse of the coins in your collection). These holes do not have to be large at all to cause problems with your collection. Even microscopic holes will lead to toning spots on your coins that are far from microscopic!

Toning spots are the result of allowing air to enter the otherwise relatively airproof space in a properly sealed cardboard 2X2. In general, the toning spot will be roughly circular, spreading out from the spot where the hole is, and getting lighter as the distance from the hole increases. In my experience, these toning spots are almost invariably black and quite unattractive. I have seen cases where a very tiny hole will eventually produce a black toning spot a quarter of an inch across!

How do these pinholes occur? Contrary to their name, they are not caused by pins; that is just a generic term used to describe any extremely small hole. Pinholes can be created in a great many ways, but I have found that they almost always occur in one of three areas: the highest point on the design, an area of rough detail such as Liberty's hair curls on a Morgan dollar, or right on the rim. In the case of a pinhole forming in the highest point or on the rim (also one of the highest points on a coin) it may have formed simply by having two coins in their 2X2s rubbing together in a storage box. When the hole is in an area with rough design detail, it may have been formed by a light impact with another coin.

Example of the Pinhole Effect

Example of the Pinhole Effect

Whatever the cause, the fact remains that these pinholes do occur, so how do we find them and prevent them from happening? As for preventing holes in your 2X2s, I am not sure that you can. The fact is that they are susceptible to damage any time they are moved simply through normal wear and tear. Finding pinholes before a toning spot starts to form is not a simple task either. About the only way to find them is to check your coins regularly to look for the beginnings of any toning spots. If you see a spot starting to form, hold the 2X2 so that it reflects a bright light like a mirror and you will be able to tell if there is a hole in the Mylar window. This lakes a bit of practice but you will pick it up with experience.

Curing a pinhole in a 2X2 is the easy part. Replace that 2X2! They only cost a few cents, which is probably far cheaper than the coin inside which is in danger of developing a big ugly black spot. Even if you are not certain if there is a hole or not, it is a good idea to replace the 2X2 just to be certain. Again, it is cheap insurance against a damaged coin.

Your 2X2 flips are not immune from ugly toning spots either. While I personally have never seen a pinhole in a 2X2 flip, the flips do have the unfortunate habit of splitting at their seams, usually at either the 3:00, 6:00, or 9:00 positions. This is especially likely to happen with larger coins, particularly silver dollars. When a 2X2 splits a seam, the result is not a toning spot but rather a dark toned area spreading in from the area of the split. Similar to the toning spots formed by pinholes, this is usually not an attractive form of toning!

So the moral of the story is: check your coins often! If you see any unusual toning pattern or spot developing, the cure may be as simple as butting that coin in a new, high quality 2X2, at a cost of only a few cents and about a minute of your time. While that will not get rid of the toning, it should stop it from increasing in size....

        Mike Nourse.

 

 

BUILDING A MINT STATE EISENHOWER DOLLAR REGISTRY SET
by Greg Samorajski (Member #287)

Modern coins are hot, and nothing is stoking the fire like Mint State Eisenhower Dollars! Previously ignored, Ikes have taken their rightful place besides Peace, Morgan, and other large U.S. dollar cartwheels in the hearts and minds of collectors.

Several factors explain the exploding popularity of Mint State Eisenhower Dollars. Of course, the wildly successful statehood quarter program is creating a large class of new numismatists. Looking for related series, many of these new collectors are finding that Eisenhower dollars definitely fit the bill.

Existing collectors are also jumping aboard this runaway train. The series is relatively short, just 21 pieces. This makes assembly of an entire set well within reach. However, there are surprisingly few higher-grade pieces. The Mint struggled with strike and other quality control problems when producing Mint State Eisenhower Dollars. From a collector's point of view, there are millions of ugly BU pieces, but there are only a handful of true gems. As collectors build their sets, they are beginning to realize the scarcity of truly nice pieces, and the competition for Gem Ikes is intensifying. The discovery of the marvelous peacock hoard, with their intense royal purple, gold, and red colors, and other toned masterpieces, have led to a chase for these pieces in the highest grades. Prices for beautifully toned MS-66 and MS-67 copper-nickel Ikes are off the charts. These pieces truly have become modem classics.

Nothing has fueled the popularity of Eisenhower Dollars and other modern coins like the PCGS Set Registry.

The Registry program allows collectors to rank their sets on-line by average grade and to compare their sets with other sophisticated collectors of the same series. As this article was written, 35 Eisenhower Dollar sets were registered, 17 being complete. As registrants seek to complete their sets, upgrade, and as new collectors enter, demand for better pieces soars.

Building a Mint State Eisenhower set with a top-five ranking would require an initial investment of many thousands of dollars and additional amounts to retain that ranking over the years. This is a task for only the most serious of the series' collectors. However, it is still possible to enter the game at respectable levels for only a modest cost.

1978-S Ike Dollar Obverse

1978-S Ike Dollar Obverse

Presented here are three plans. The Basic collection can be completed for well under $1,000 and would likely place in the top 25. The Intermediate collection would cost less than $1,500 and would yield a top 15 set. The Advanced collection would cost just over $3,000 and would probably enter in the top ten. With a few upgrades to the Advanced collection, a top five set is within reach.

There are three categories of Mint State Eisenhower Dollars to consider when planning a set composition.

The first category is the five silver pieces. Minted from 1971 to 1975, these coins have the highest average quality. They can normally be collected at the MS-66 to MS-67 level without undo expense. The best quality is found in the 1972s, where MS-68 pieces typically trade at about $125. The 1973s and 1974s are only a little harder to find. The Bicentennials minted in 1975, but dated 1976, are much tougher, with MS-68s trading for over $1,000. But the most difficult, grade for grade, is the 1971. No PCGS MS-68 pieces exist. MS-67 pieces typically trade for over $400.

The second category is the five key date copper-nickel pieces. In order of rarity these include the 1972, the 1971, the 1976 Type I, the 1973, and the 1974. No MS-67s have been graded by PCGS for any of these dates. MS-66s are difficult and expensive, with only the 1973 and 1974 being occasionally available. Collectors often seek these pieces in MS-64 or MS-65.

The last group is the eleven more common copper-nickel pieces. While condition rarities in MS-67, they can usually be found in MS-65 and MS-66. The two most difficult dates are the 1972-D and the 1976-D Type 1. The remaining pieces would be considered common dates.

The table illustrates three possible sets with typical prices. Use these levels as a guide only. Prices are increasing rapidly, in the highest grades. Even in the near future, prices may well be higher than indicated. Prices also represent the author's view of typical pieces at auction Dealers who sell Eisenhower Dollars often seek and sell premium quality coins. These often sell at a premium to auction prices. As an eye is developed for what constitutes premium quality, it may be beneficial to consider paying more for such pieces.

The Basic set can be assembled for just over $500 and has an average grade of MS-64.90. This set would currently rank in the top 25. Each coin is typically priced under $50. All the coins are gems or getter with the exception of the five key copper-nickel dates and the more expensive 1972-D for which MS-64s are proposed. The set is very suitable for a young numismatist, and adult beginner, or any collector with a limited budget. The coins are beautiful and have appreciation potential. Select the pieces carefully, especially the MS-64s. Look for those pieces with attractive toning, and good strikes. Don't worry too much about bag marks, as they will be there on these large coins. Pay attention to eye appeal, eye appeal, and eye appeal.

Currently, the Intermediate set can be assembled for about $1,335 and have an average grade of MS-65.61. This set would now rank in the top 15. Each coin would typically cost less than $ 100 or so. Each piece is a gem except for the key 1971, 1972, and 1976 Type 1 dates, which are MS64s. This collection would appeal to the same type of collector who finds the Basic set appealing. The major difference is cost. If the cost is manageable, start here rather than with the Basic set. The main attraction is that more of the pieces are next to highest in grade. For example, the 1973 can be acquired for about $65 in MS-65, while the MS-66 coin would cost about $750. As the price of an MS-66 piece climbs into the $1,000 range, many more collectors will be compelled to seek the MS-65s. This will make them targets for a $100 or more value. Similar logic applies to the 1973-S,the 1974, and the 1976-S.

The Advanced set is ideal for a collector who can invest $3,000 to $4,000, and who wants to enter with a magnificent collection. Each piece can reasonably be acquired for under $500. Most are far less. With an average grade of MS-66.14, this set would rank in the top ten. Three of the pieces are currently highest in grade. These are the 1971-S, the 1973-S, and the 1974-S. Most of these pieces have excellent appreciation potential if the popularity of the Eisenhower Dollar continues to grow. From this set, it is a short step into the top five. The most logical upgrades going forward include the 1973 and 1974 in MS-66 at about $750 per piece, the 1976-S in MS-68 at about $1,200, and the 1976-D Type 2 at about $1,500.

Whatever level is collected, be assured that the result will be a beautiful and satisfying set of coins in !he finest collector's tradition of U.S. dollars......

        Greg Samorajski.

 

 


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