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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 15, Number 2

February 2002

February Membership Meeting
Wed., February 6, 2002 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

It may have been the hangover, whatever the reason, it was a sparse attendance at the January 2nd membership meeting. Fortunately Larry, Bill, and Loren were there to give a talk on quarters. But first we gave out coin prizes. Loren picked out the tickets. Bill, sitting next to Loren, got the door prize, a 1999 US Silver Eagle in BU, and Loren got the membership prize, a 1964 proof set. No one suspected a thing.

The new raffle prize was displayed. It is a pair of classic silver half dollar commemoratives. A white MS-63 1936 Cleveland Great Lakes Exposition Commemorative and a white MS-62 1946 Iowa Centennial Commemorative. The two will be put on display at the local dealerships. The pair will be given to the one who buys the right $5 ticket.

An opportunity has opened up for one of our members to become the president of the largest, most prestigious coin club this state has ever had. Bill Hamilton is stepping down from the presidency after his second term as required by the clubs laws. Whoever wins the office will be supported by a team of experienced club members. The elections will take place at our March membership meeting. Check the minutes of the board meeting for more details.

1932 Washington Quarter Obverse

1932 Washington Quarter Obverse

Jim Somerville joined our club in December and Harold Write joined at the January 2nd meeting. The more people who find out about the benefits of belonging to this club the more new members we will get. It is nice to have your friends in the club with you. To encourage you to get your friends to join the club we have begun an award program. For every new adult member you get to join you will receive a PR-69 DCAM coin of your choice from the years 1999 or 2000. These slabbed coins were donated by Greg Samorajski. Every YN who signs up one of their friends as a YN will receive a mint roll of coins.

We talked about quarters at the January meeting and a long follow-up article takes up most of this newsletter. We believe the history portrayed on the new state quarters is just starting to wake people up to coin collecting. As state quarters are issued for the western states we will see more interest in coins on our side of the country.

One of the projects for the club this year is putting on a seminar in September. We need to find experts in a chosen field of interest, make arrangements for them come to Alaska, have a good time, and teach us everything they know. The first thing to do is chose a seminar subject. What do you want learn about from someone who really knows? Come to the February meeting and give us your ideas....Your Editors.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of February:

1. Monthly Membership Meeting : February 6th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcome. Member Greg Samorajski will be giving a presentation on the subject of "Set Registries". 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: February 8th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. We welcome YNs, club members, and the general public. The YN meeting will be on the subject of "U.S. Cents". YNs are asked to bring in your US cent collections as part of a show and tell session.

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: February 20th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the January 16th Board Meeting:

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

First order of business was the officer board elections scheduled for our club's membership meeting on March 6th. Election time is coming up and this is a formal announcement for members wishing to run for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Board Officers. In accordance with our coin club's by-laws. Bill Hamilton can only serve two consecutive terms as President. Bill will step down this year as President and will fill one of the three Board officer positions.

At the time of the January 16th Board meeting, the following club members have put in for the following positions:

The position of President of the Anchorage Coin Club is open

The position of Vice President: John Larson

The position of Secretary: Larry Nakata

The position of Treasurer: Greg Samorajski

The position of the First Board officer seat: Corey Rennell

The position of the Second Board officer seat: Loren Lucason

Bill Hamilton will fill the Third Board officer seat as the exiting President

Members interested in serving for any of these officer positions can send a letter to the club's post office box, apply at our club's February 6th or March 6th membership meetings, or get with any of the club's officers (phone numbers listed in the club's newsletter).

1807 Draped Bust Quarter Obverse

1807 Draped Bust Quarter Obverse

The agenda then moved to a planning session for the club's coin seminar scheduled for September 13-15 here in Anchorage. The organizers of this seminar, Larry Nakata and Loren Lucason, want to have the membership decide on the topics for the seminar at the February 6th membership meeting.

At our club's January 2nd meeting, possible subjects for consideration were:

Coin Grading,

Counterfeit Detection,

Variety and Error Coins,

Foreign Coinage,

Ancient Coinage,

Investments in Coins & Paper Currency,

Grading Paper Currency,

Gold Coinage, and

 Exonumia (tokens).

Once a decision is made on the topics for the seminar, Larry and Loren will then move forward with a plan to canvas the membership to ensure that approximately 20 - 25 members will commit to attending this seminar. Estimated cost for the three day seminar will be somewhere between $225 - $250 per attendee with meals served all three days of the seminar. As of the January 2nd meeting, 9 club members have expressed interest in attending this year's seminar. If enough members commit, it will be possible for us to also include YNs (i.e., our Young Numismatists) as participants in this year's coin seminar.

Interested club members are asked to attend the February 6th meeting to select the seminar topic.

Greg Samorajski has donated nine (9) PCGS certified coins as part of a program to increase our club's membership by 20% for year 2002. These are year 1999 and year 2000 minted coins graded Proof 69 deep cameo (DCAM). This is an assortment of state quarters and other denomination U.S. proof coins. Typically such coins cost at least $25..... or more.

The Board made the decision that any member signing up an adult regular member for the coin club will get one of these PCGS graded coins.

Also.... any YN who signs up a new YN for the club will be given a roll of uncirculated coins. This uncirculated roll of coins will be of a specific date and mint mark. It could be a roll of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, or even halves.

1835 Capped Bust Quarter Obverse

1835 Capped Bust Quarter Obverse

Final discussions at the Board meeting then moved to new business. In the area of new business, Loren Lucason pointed out that 2003 will be the club's 15th year. Loren stated the club should look at programs commemorating 15 years as a coin club. Among the ideas discussed were:

A silver and bronze medallion commemorating our club's 15th year. Such medallions were made in the 5th and 10th year of our club. We will be looking at this program around the 4th quarter of 2002 for planning purposes.

Putting out a CD with all of the club's past newsletters for sale at a nominal fee. The CD would have software to search the articles for certain numismatic subjects. Larry Nakata stated that he has all of the newsletters on computer going back to November, 1995 and if he can get copies of the early years they can be added. This Board considered this to be a great idea and it is expected that we will also target the 4th quarter of 2002 / early 2003 for implementation of this idea.

And, of course, we have high expectations of a ANA sponsored coin show in September here in Anchorage. It certainly would be a highlight point of our club in it's 15th year.

As there was no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

1888 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter Obverse

1888 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter Obverse

 

YN CORNER
by Larry Nakata (Member #41)

January 11th saw a number of YNs come to the YN meeting. At that meeting we covered the subject of collecting quarters.....a follow-up session to the "Quartermania" presentation given by Loren Lucason, Bill Hamilton, and Larry Nakata at our club's January 2nd membership meeting.

At the YN meeting, I also brought my quarter collection to show the YNs. Among the coins shown were a complete sets of Washington quarters, Liberty Standing quarters (minus the 1916....a tough coin to get in any grade), and Barber quarters (which included the 1901-S and 1913-S key dates). Also shown were my Liberty Seated quarter collection, Bust quarter collection, proof quarter collection, and high grade coins. Greg Samorajski brought some premier examples of nice slabbed quarters.....and some of the YNs even brought examples of their collections.

While eating pizza, potato chips, and drinking soda pop.....we all talked about the different ways a YN can collect quarters. Among the ways discussed were collecting quarters individually by date / mintmark, collecting BU rolls of quarters, collecting as a type set, collecting proof quarters, or even collecting error quarters. Discussed were coin holders, coins books, and capital type plastic holders for housing one's quarter collection.

It proved to be a pretty good evening event for the YNs.....and a very informative one.

At the conclusion of the YN meeting, I did ask YNs what would be a very good topic to cover at our next YN meeting on February 8th. It was agreed that "U.S. Cents" would be a great topic to cover since all YNs seem to have a number of such coins in their collections. Accordingly I would ask that YNs coming to the February 6th YN meeting bring in the types of US cents they collect as part of a show and tell session that evening.

I certainly will bring my U.S. cent collection that evening for the YNs to enjoy.

By the way, YN Billy McGravey won the door prize of the evening.....a 1964 Proof Set.....the last year when silver coinage was minted for general circulation to the public.

See you at that February 6th membership meeting and at the February 8th YN meeting.......

        Larry Nakata.

1888 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter Reverse

1888 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter Reverse

 

THE 2 BIT COIN COLLECTOR
by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

My name is Laurence and I am a 2 bit coin collector... I bought a PC to get on eBay and buy quarters. That was a year ago. At first it was just a couple type quarters: an XF Barber, a 1853 Seated Liberty, and a fine 1815 Capped Bust. Nothing too expensive but then I realized a Draped Bust quarter was missing from my collection. There were plenty AG's around but it is hard to find draped bust with good hair detail - even on eBay. A fortune would buy me a high grade Draped Bust Quarter tomorrow. But, being a 2 bit collector, I didn't have a fortune.

I began combing the web for draped bust quarters; checking web sights found through friends, searching with key words and phrases such as coins for sale, bust quarter, even draped bust. I still could not find a decent draped bust I could afford....one that didn't look like a ghost of a coin. I kept coming back to eBay. I used different search words and watched the few expensive draped busts go by. Then one day a draped bust quarter showed up that didn't have the typical key words in its auction title. It was slabbed XF by ACG. Actually, judging from the picture, it was a very nice problem free VF. According to the counter not many people had viewed the coin. The price was still in range. I started bidding and noted the end time of the auction. Minutes before the auction ended I had my last bid typed in and anxiously watched the clock tick down. I lined up the cursor on "place bid". Then, my heart pounding, in the last few seconds I clicked it.... I won the 2 bit slab. It was a lot of coin for a 2 bit coin collector but I had a key type coin in a nice grade.

1894 Proof Barber Quarter Obverse

1894 Proof Barber Quarter Obverse

In the search for quarters. I got a slabbed proof Seated Liberty from 'Lone Wolf' Mike, a BU full head type I Standing Liberty from Frank, and a nice AU capped bust from Roy as well as miscellaneous Washington, Barber, and Seated Liberty quarters from other local dealers.

Then, after I got a key date AU 1932-D Washington from 'Lone Wolf, I picked up a partial set of lustrous AU and BU Washingtons on the web and started collecting quarters by date to fill the holes. The later dates I filled with proofs. I even got carried away and bought another '32-D. Then I started the Proof Washington set. I collected all of the proofs including the modern silver and the silver state quarters. All but the proof '36 and '37. I started bidding on a 1937 PR-65 but dropped out at $350... after all I'm just a 2 bit coin collector.

There aren't any Standing Liberty proof quarters but the slabbed BU Full Head Type I Standing Liberty Quarter fit into my type set quite well. However I could see my collection was missing a very high grade Barber quarter. I went back to eBay determined to find a proof Barber. After many, many hours of searching and bidding I won a nice slabbed proof Barber quarter. At the same time I had a bid in on a proof Barber quarter not in a slab and won that too.

While searching for those 2 bit coins I came across other types of quarters such as the classic Spanish 2 Reales. Cob 2 Reales are available, interesting and rarer than the 8 Reales but it's hard to tell if one is real. The most historic 2 Reales coin is the Pillar 2 Reales. Struck in the 1700's this coin was so common and well received in the colonies that there was no need for the new country of USA to strike its own quarters. That is why our draped bust quarters are so rare.

There are many Pillar 2 Reales coins available. Most are corroded sea salvage and some are ripped clean. But a few nice original Pillar 2 Reales are around. I found one that look good on eBay and started bidding. I won the coin easily then found it to be in Hong Kong. But that did not stop me. I sent my money off and waited. After about a month I got a nice VF with good color.

But that was not good enough I had to have an XF or better to measure up to my type set. Then I found a PCGS AU Pillar 2 Reales. It was going to cost lot but quarter mania had me and I had already spent a lot on other coins in the set. Besides, it was the model for the American quarter. I was one of two people hungry enough to go after the slabbed 2 Reales and I won it.

The American dollar was modeled after the crown sized Spanish 8 Reales and 2 bits is 1/4 of 8 Reales. The 8 Reales coin came from Europe where the countries were dominated by crown size Thalers. Thalers originated in the German states of the 1500's. As they were copied across Europe their name gradually changed until it came across the channel to England as the Dollar. So I went off on another search to find the grandfather of the American quarter: the 1/4 Thaler. Most Germans dealt in 1/3, 2/3, and 1 Thalers. A few 1/2 Thalers could be found but very few 1/4 Thalers. Even an Austrian 1/4 Thaler would be a good example of the type but in high grade it was proving very difficult to find and afford.

As I grew tired of the search I remembered that I am just a 2 bit coin collector and there are many modern foreign quarters available. Countries such as Panama, Belize, Barbados, Bermuda, and The British East Caribbean Territories all issued quarters much like our own. Easy to find and beautiful in proof as well as being affordable; these quarters are a great addition to a quarter collection.

1917 Liberty Standing Quarter Obverse

1917 Liberty Standing Quarter Obverse

Mexico has a cap and rays version of their 2 Reales, a modern classic but hard to find well struck up. Costa Rica issued a 25 Centavos coin in the 1800's with a cool tree on the reverse but all you ever see are the newer ones with a wreath on the back. In the early 1800's the Central American Republic issued a wonderful 2 Reales version of their popular "sun peeking over the mountains" coin I am told many are fakes but, never the less, it is a great 2 bits.

Then there are the Canadian quarters. Canadian quarters have been circulating in Alaska ever since my parents can remember. It is true that we issued the first commemorative quarter; the Isabella quarter of 1893 and the 1932 Washington quarter was the first circulating commemorative quarter (celebrating Washington's 200th birthday). But it was the Canadians who were the first to issue a circulating series of quarters celebrating their states (provinces) in 1992 - 7 years before our state quarters. They had only 12 so they issued them all in one year for their 125th anniversary. They were very popular and the Canadians put out a set in silver. Now the Canadians have taken to issuing a new set of reverse designs on their quarters each year. They are an interesting bunch, easy to get, and the designs are multiplying fast.

We all know the trouble we had with mistaking an SBA dollar for a quarter. Thai was only fixed by changing the color on the Sac dollar. Canada issued the quarter size Loon dollar and took paper dollars out of circulation to force their people to use them. Their people resented that and coveted the paper dollar. Some people think the paper dollar is on its way out and we should be collecting dollar bills as 'soon to be' relics of be past.

Across the world countries have been reducing their base currency to quarter size coins. The British quarter sized their pound when they went decimal in 1971. The French went to a quarter size Franc at the time of the French revolution. Swedish Krona started as a quarter size coin in 1875, and the Austrians used a quarter size Corona in the 1890's. There are many easy to find quarter size base currency coins around including the Dutch Gulden, Norwegian Krone, Russian Ruble, and Venezuelan Bolivar There is also the quarter denomination of the big ancestors of these foreign coins such as the French 1/4 Ecu and the Russian 1/4 Ruble (25 Kopeck). The Russians had a quarter size 25 Kopeck coin in circulation at the time of Alaska's purchase in 1867.

Going way back in time you find a quarter size medieval coin called the Dirham traded across the middle east. They were around so long that they are quite common but hard to read without some study. In Europe there was a quarter size coin called the Grosso or "big one". Venice was a good source of 'big ones' in the 1300's and in the 1400's England had the quarter size Groat.

These are all hand-hammered, paper thin coins. The other Medieval European countries were dealing in paper-thin dimes.

1740 Pillar 2 Reales

1740 Pillar 2 Reales

Way, way back in time you find the Roman Follis, a quarter size copper coin coated with silver to make it more durable and look like a silver coin much like our copper centered clad coinage. Further back before time was measured you find meteorites. It is said that the first source of refined metal may have been meteorites found at impact sites. Certainly there must have been a small meteorite that traded for about the same as a quarter. Finding a meteor crater in Alaska is going to be harder than finding a decent Draped Bust Quarter

Meteorites are way out there on the edge. Just as far out there to afford are pattern quarters. Cents and dollars are the most common patterns if you call 600 coins common. Halves and nickels are even harder to find but quarter patterns are few and far between. When you look into patterns you find a number like J-912 which, according to Judd's "United States Pattern, Experimental and Trial Pieces", is an 1870 pattern quarter struck in silver. This coin has rarity of R.6 which means 13 to 30 silver coins were struck. A coin pattern is typically struck in silver, copper, and aluminum then put through a series tests to make sure it is a good design for circulation. I found a $1000 slabbed silver pattern quarter that had gone through the corrosion tests. It had a VF obverse and a proof 65 reverse.

A slabbed PR-62 pattern quarter in silver goes for $2500 or more.

Back on this planet is the 1883 Hawaiian Quarter. Hawaii is now our beloved 50th state but in the in 880's it was an independent kingdom. A lot of Americans visited Hawaii and for the sake of trade they needed coins. So King Kalakaua issued a quarter (as well as other denominations) with his portrait on the obverse. The same size as the American quarter, these quarters did circulate on the islands so a nice used one could be found for less than $100 but a nice BU will cost you well over $200.

Back in Alaska we had a period of time in the last century when small coinage was hard to find. The local stores issued their own tokens. These Singles were accepted around the state as money. They also did some advertising for the store. Quarter tokens were issued as well as other denominations. Most are aluminum some are brass some are plastic. Not a lot of art in these Bingles but a lot of history; particularly local history (check the ARRC story). People outside are likely to miss out on collecting historic Alaskan Bingle quarters.

We were not the only ones who went through a time of no coins. In the 1860's people did not know who was going to win the civil war so they hoarded coins thinking that whoever won would accept metal money in trade. To allow trade to continue paper Fractional Currency was issued with coin values. These notes went through many design changes. Most were used to death so it is hard to find one in high grade. After a lot of searching I found a 25 cent note in AU for $45. The typical $15 fractional currency quarter is as limp as a wet noodle.

More recently there is the 25 cent military payment script used by soldiers during war. Easy to find in high grade; they have cool designs on them. Not only flying Saber jets but beautiful women to remind the men of what they are fighting for.

I started an error quarter collection with a clipped quarter my mother found in her laundry money. She was going to slip it back into a roll and hope no one would notice. I traded her a nice new quarter for it. After I bought a broad struck quarter and a couple quarters with die cracks I got hold of a dramatic double struck 1996 quarter with the second strike so far off center that only the top of Washington's head showed covering most of the date. It is the highlight of my error quarter collection.

A friend of mine got a 25 cent gambling token on a cruise ship in Europe, The size of a quarter with a simple design; I traded him a quarter for it and put it in my collection.

Back in America there are the new state quarters. You don't want to miss the boat so buy the sets of 5 proof quarters from the mint (usmint.gov). If you really want to get serious about state quarters collect them in rolls. Some states, such as New York, show up at our banks in full Denver mint rolls. Pick up one at face value. Other rolls must be bought at a premium that includes shipping. If you got all the state quarters in rolls you could put together forty sets of the fifty states when the Hawaiian quarter comes out in 2008.

Back in your neighborhood; if all you want to do is put together a set of near BU state quarters you will find some states such as North Carolina never seem to make it to Alaska. The only ones you find are brought up by tourists in July. Build a friendship with a teller at your local bank (they probably collect state quarters too). Check with them often and they may get you that quarter you need to get current with your state quarters.

In the mean time I have gone completely off the deep end. At a nature shop I found a slice of the Gibeon meteorite the size of a quarter. It was acid etched to show the crosshatched pattern unique to meteorites. I slabbed an XF 2 Reales coin issued in Spain in the early 1500's by Queen Isabella who sponsored Columbus on his voyages to America, And placed a bid of hundreds of dollars on a 1740 Austrian 1/4 Thaler slabbed by PCGS as MS-62. God help me.........

        Loren Lucason.

 

 


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