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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 15, Number 1

January 2002

January Membership Meeting
Wed., January 2, 2002 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

The Christmas party was stocked with great food . Larry's luscious ham, Bill's beautiful turkey, many marvelous salads, and a myriad of deserts. Everyone enjoyed the food so much there wasn't anything left but a couple pies and half a cake. And that was just because we didn't have enough time to eat them.

We did, however, have enough time to auction off all 90 lots in our annual coin sale. But before that we gave Mark Nagy the award for being the club's numismatist of the year. It was heart warming to see his wife there to accept the award for him.

Justin Samorajski was given the award for young numismatist of the year. The Samorajski brothers have been there for the club since they joined. Justin has gain some maturity in the past year. I actually saw him get more mature at the party in the way he dealt with the other members and in the way he placed bids on coins in the auction.

Billy McGravey was the big winner when his name was drawn for the club's raffle prize of two U.S. notes; one in very high grade and the other quite early and rare. His dad bought the ticket for him minutes before the drawing.

The auction had a wide range of coin lots. Every thing from interesting inexpensive coins for the kids to very rare type coins and errors for the rich folk. The kids generated some heated bidding on some unexpected coins and some denarii went very cheap. It was a good auction for everybody.

Looking to the future our first membership meeting of 2002 will be on the 2nd of January. We will be talking about quarters. The state quarter program has made quarters a hot sector of numismatics. The first thirteen colony's quarters are out and they offer a good lesson in early American history.

All quarters are hot. This includes the six major types of U.S. quarters as well as the colonial Mexican 2 reale and the rare German 1/4 Thaler. Bill will give us an introduction to quarters, Loren will give us a little history, and Larry will finish off with the current trends in quarters

We are also looking to having a seminar in 2002 (probably September). Think about what you would like to learn first hand from the nation's numismatic experts and bring those thoughts to the membership meeting.

Our club has so much to offer; bring a friend to a meeting...Your Editors.

1871 Pattern Quarter

1871 Pattern Quarter

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of January:

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: : January 2nd (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcome. There will be a joint presentation by members Bill Hamilton, Loren Lucason, and Larry Nakata on the subject of "Quartermaina". 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: January 11th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. We welcome YNs, club members, and the general public. The YN meeting will be a special follow-up session to the "Quartermama" presentation.

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: January 16th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the December 19th Board Meeting:

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:15PM.

First order of business was a review of correspondence received in the last month. The Board approved a patron donation of $25 to the ANA for the National Money Show scheduled for March 7-9.

The Board then discussed any pending business for Year 2001. At this time the only pending business is the issue of the coin show scheduled for 2003 in Anchorage. At this time, we are awaiting a decision from the ANA on their sponsorship of this event. That decision is expected in the first or second quarter of 2002.

The Board then discussed club goals for next year (2002). The goals for next year were determined to be:

Organize a coin seminar for September of 2002,

Gear up for the 2003 coin show based upon the decision on sponsorship by the ANA , and

Increase our club's membership by 20% next year.

On the subject of a coin seminar, a timeline was established for this coin seminar to be held in Anchorage over September 13-15, 2002. As announced in last month's newsletter, our membership will be polled on possible subjects for the seminar. Among the possible subjects for consideration are:

Coin Grading,

Counterfeit Detection,

Variety and Error Coins,

Foreign Coinage,

Ancient Coinage,

Investments in Coins & Paper Currency,

Grading Paper Currency,

Gold Coinage.

The Board will be selecting a committee to organize the show next month. We are looking for a commitment to this event of between 20-25 people. It is estimated the cost of the seminar will be approximately $250 per person, A discussion of this seminar is expected to occur at our January 2nd membership meeting.

1856 Proof Flying Eagle Cent Obverse

1856 Proof Flying Eagle Cent Obverse

On the subject of the 2003 coin show, it will require a complete commitment in terms of club membership participation for such an event. Our club will need to be prepared for such an event.

At our Christmas party meeting on December 15th, President Bill Hamilton brought up the issue club membership and proposed that each member bringing in at least two friends to our club meetings within the next year. This is one step in meeting our goal of increasing club membership by 20% next year. It is important that our club grows in membership numbers, so an emphasis will be placed in next year's agenda to come up with programs to meet this goal.

Following a discussion of our club goals for 2002, our Board then discussed presentation programs for our membership meetings in January, February, and March.

Bill Hamilton, Loren Lucason, and Larry Nakata have agreed to do a joint presentation for our January 2nd meeting called "Quartermania", the subject of quarters.

Greg Samorajski will be doing a presentation at our February 6th membership meeting on the subject of "Set Registries". Greg wrote an article on this subject in our club's newsletter several months ago. Greg's presentation will be a follow-up to that article.

Larry Nakata will be doing a presentation at our March 6th membership meeting on "The 20 Most Desirable US Coins".

The meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM with the Board members wishing each other a happy holiday season.

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

There was a pretty good turnout of YNs to our club's Christmas Party on December 13th. Four of our YNs received YN Bucks that evening. These YN Bucks were used for bidding on coins at our club's coin auction. Congratulations go out to Justin & Jonathan Samorajski as well as Michael and Krystal Stubblefield for the YN Bucks earned. All four of these YNs purchased quite a few coins that evening.

Justin Samorajski was chosen as our YN Numismatist of the Year. Justin received a very large trophy that evening. Congratulations goes out to Justin for winning this well deserved award.

YN Billy McGravey won the club's raffle prize, two very nice paper currency notes:

A US Series 1917 $2 Note in Crisp Uncirculated condition, and

A US Federal 1862 $1 Note in VG/F condition

Billy's father bought one ticket that evening for his son...his son won the prize. WOW!!!!

So.... with the year coming to end, we can now look forward to what next year (2002) will bring - As stated in this month's newsletter, one of our goals will be to increase our YN membership by 20% this next year, I want to encourage our YNs to bring in their friends to our YN sessions in the coming months.

Our next YN meeting will be on the evening of January 9th. The session planned for that evening will be follow-up on the subject of collecting quarters. I want to encourage our YNs to attend the membership meeting on January 2nd in which Bill Hamilton, Loren Lucason, and myself (Larry Nakata) will be giving a joint presentation on "Quarternania". I believe it should be a pretty good session and a good lead-in to the January 9th session.

So....I expect to see a lot of YNs at the January 2nd and January 9th meetings.

Hope you enjoyed your holiday season.........Larry Nakata.

 

ARE POPULAR MINT ERRORS A GOOD VALUE NOW?
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

When I read the various numismatic periodicals that I receive in the mail, I often limes end up spending about the same amount of time looking at the advertising as I do reading the articles. There is no better way to see what the current trends are. Even just a quick glance through the two major weekly periodicals will show that slabbed modern coins are all the rage right now, as they have been throughout the year 2001. You can find full page spreads advertising all sorts of modern regular issue, commemorative, and bullion coinage, mostly Proofs, and all in slabs. You will learn what types of coins are being promoted, and what collectors are buying by looking at the ads, not by reading the articles. Just remember that looking at the advertisements will tell you what is popular now, but not what will be the next big thing.

Where am I going with this rambling on about reading advertisements? One day an ad catches my eye. Not the ad itself, but the coins in it. I am looking at the October 9, 2001 Numismatic News, page 29. It is an ad by prominent auction house Spink in which they illustrate some of the highlights of an upcoming (now passed) auction to be held in New York. Along with identifying the coin pictured, the auction company provides an estimated price range in which they expect the winning bid to fail.

On the top row, there is illustrated a 1916 Buffalo nickel with a doubled obverse die. This coin carries an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000, the highest estimate of any of the 17 coins pictured in this full-page ad. What struck me about that fact is that the other coins pictured in this ad are very scarce and / or desirable pieces, including century old Proof gold coins, an 1856 flying eagle cent, a 1795 draped bust dollar, a 1907 high relief $20 gold piece, and an array of patterns.

Back to the buffalo nickel. With an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000, it is obviously in excellent condition, probably a lower Mint State grade, although a specific grade is not given. There is no disputing that it is an impressive example of a doubled die, with bold doubling clearly visible in the date area. And, of course, it is a scarce coin with only about 120 pieces having been slabbed by NGC and PCGS thus far and an estimated 200 pieces in existence. Certainly this is a desirable coin. But is it truly the most desirable (indicated by being highest priced) coin on this page of auction highlights?

There is no clear answer to that question as it is a matter of opinion. Eventually we will be able to confirm that the nickel did receive the highest bid of all these coins once the auction results are published. The real question is what will this coin's price performance be in the years ahead? Few people can spend $20,000 to $30,000 on a coin without concern for its future value.

One thing to consider (back to reading advertisements again!) is that error coins are very popular right now. This is likely due to the abundant press coverage of the spectacular Sacagawea dollar / quarter mule errors. There is also a lot written on the subject of errors and varieties on a regular basis in the form of weekly columns, news articles, and books. A great deal of interest has been generated in this field by the publication of the immensely popular Cherrypickers' Guide To Rare Die Varieties by Bill Fivaz and J. T. Stanton, now in its fourth edition.

As for the other coins in the ad, are they m sectors of numismatics that could currently be described as hot? Well, early silver dollars have started generating some interest and increasing prices, but the other fifteen featured coins are in sectors that can pretty well be described

as dead. My area of expertise is Proof coinage of the 1817- 1917 era, which has been as cold as a dead fish for years (I am glad for this as I can buy these coins that nobody else wants nice and cheap!). The beautiful Proof gold coins featured here may be purchased today for less than they would have cost 20 years ago. Patterns too have been dead for years. These magnificent coins, for the most part, carry the same valuations they had a decade or two ago. Therefore, by being in a hot sector of the coin market, the 1916 doubled die buffalo nickel is currently the most valuable coin in this ad even though it is also one of the most common.

1882 Proof Sealed Dollar

1882 Proof Sealed Dollar

But it is not the fact that the error nickel has the highest estimate of all of the coins on that page that really got my attention. I was looking over the seven pattern coins illustrated, to which more than half of (he page is dedicated. There are three trade dollars with markedly different designs, a nickel with a Liberty head that resembles the head on regular issue nickels starting in 1883 but otherwise completely different, a metric dollar, and a double eagle. The most common of these seven patterns is about equal in rarity to the buffalo nickel while the least common is about ten times scarcer. Except for the nickel, they are all large coins, and all of them are in Proof condition. With all of that going for them, would you believe that if all seven of these coins sold for their highest estimated price, all seven could be purchased for a total of $23,000, which is far less than the $30,000 high estimate for the nickel. That goes to show you what a difference it makes when a coin is in a hot area versus those that are currently out of favor.

What does ail this mean for those of us not in the market for $30,000 nickels or Proof gold? It means that you have to keep an eye on that advertising, and avoid pouring all your money into the currently hot sector of numismatics! Jefferson nickels were the greatest thing since sliced bread in the 1960's. Many are worth less now (out of favor) than they were back then (in favor). In the late 1970's, a Proof 1973-S silver Eisenhower dollar would cost you $100 minimum (in favor). Now they are $25 (out of favor, a possible bargain?). Five years ago I had about fifteen double row boxes of Washington quarters, and nobody wanted to buy them. Most of them were Uncirculated, and lots of (hem retailed for only a small premium over silver melt value (out of favor). You know what has happened to their values since the state quarter program began in 1999!

If the coins you are collecting now are not near the top of the current hot list (anyone want a Mercury dime?) do not worry. Every sector of numismatics will have its day in the spotlight, and you will then be glad that you collected those coins when nobody else wanted them. I mentioned Jefferson nickels being popular in the 1960's. They are pretty dead right now except for the super high grade slabbed Proofs, but one day a design change or the publication of a book on the series will re-ignite interest in the Jeffersons. The old Proof coins that I enjoy so much will also one day be back in favor though nobody knows when. On the other hand, Beanie Babies will never... O.K., I won't go there.

1907 High Relief St. Gaudens $20 Gold

1907 High Relief St. Gaudens $20 Gold

Returning to the 1916 doubled die obverse nickel again, please note that there are lots of great errors, including doubled dies, that may be purchased at a tiny fraction of the price of those popular pieces. The previously mentioned Cherry pickers' Guide is the bible of the error and variety world. Flip through the pages and see what is available, often for a minimal premium, or no premium at all if you find it yourself. The authors do an absolute first class job of illustrating and describing the varieties that are out there, so make sure that you have a copy of the most recent edition.

The moral of the story: do not be afraid of collecting a series that is not in favor (does anybody collect capped bust halves any more?). You may end up with a gold mine when attention returns to that series!....

        Mike Nourse

 

 


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