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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 15, Number 9

September 2002

September Membership Meeting
Wed., Sept 4th, 2002 Central Lutheran Church

7:00 Open, 7:30 PM Meeting


 

FROM THE EDITORS

During the summertime, our club's membership attendance tends to decline at our meetings....so it was good to see a pretty good turnout of club members and visitors to our August 7th membership meeting.

At our membership meeting, a briefing was given by Larry Nakata on the status of the Sept. 13-15 coin seminar and a briefing on the matter of a club ballot vote that will go out later in August on expansion of our club's gaming license to include "pull-tabs".

In his briefing, Larry stated that we need to get more members to commit to attendance at this seminar. Since we are now having to pay for upfront costs for the seminar, our club has committed to move forward with this event. At the time of this meeting, about 5 more commitments were needed to reach the "break-even" point for this seminar.

There was a discussion by members in attendance on the expansion of our club's gaming license. Our club's June, July, and August newsletters have given our members an opportunity to express their points of view on this issue. At the briefing, there was a discussion on the methodology of the ballot vote.

Members were told to expect the ballot to be mailed out by the end of August with all ballots to be received at our coin club's post office box by no later than September 18th...the day of our September Board meeting.

On the subject of new business, member Robert Hall announced that there will be a coin show at the Cottonwood Creek Mall for October 19th and 20th. Members interested in getting tables for the coin show are asked to contact Robert at his home phone number (#561-8343).

There were two door prizes that evening....two proof 1972S Kennedy half dollars....that were won by YN Jonathan Samorajski and Carl. Thanks go to Roy 1

Brown for providing the door prizes in keeping with the evening's presentation on proof coinage.

The membership prize was a 1976 $10 Canadian XXI Olympiad Silver Commemorative won by member Jim Hill.

There was a great joint presentation that evening on the subject of "Proof Coinage". Larry Nakata gave the major talk with an emphasis on the history of colonial and U.S. Proof coinage (see Larry's article this month on "A Condensed History On U.S. Proof Coins"). There was a great display of proof U.S. coins with a number of 19th century and early 20lh century proof U.S. "slabbed" coins provided by various club members and coin dealers.

For those club members who did not come to the August 7th meeting.....you missed a great session.

Our next club meeting will be on September 4th at the Central Lutheran Church. The presentation that evening will be on the subject of "U.S. Gold Coinage". This will be a presentation whose theme will be in keeping with the upcoming coin seminar in September.

With summer now coming to an end, we look forward to see you at our next club meeting.....Your Editors.

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of September:

  1. Monthly Membership Meeting: September 4th (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members, YNs and general public welcomed. The September 4th membership meeting will feature a presentation on "U.S. Gold Coinage". A bullet auction of no more than 15 coin lots will occur at this meeting. Members wishing to submit lots can bring them to- the meeting.

  2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: September 11th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. YNs will be working on a neat project in preparation for our club's upcoming coin shows this fall and winter. Be sure to come.

  3. Anchorage Coin Club Seminar: September 13th - September 15th at the Westcoast International Inn. The seminar will focus on grading & counterfeit detection with an emphasis on gold coinage. The seminar will also cover investment and other subjects on gold coinage. Members who have signed up for this seminar are asked to come by 8:30 am for coffee and juice. Lunches will be served each day. YNs are welcomed to attend the seminar (see details in "YN Corner").

  4. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: September 18th (Wednesday) 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the August 21st Board Meeting:

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM by Vice President John Larson.

The first order of business was a review of correspondence and bills to be paid. In the correspondence received by our club, there has been a letter sent by the Central Lutheran Church of an increase in costs for use of the church by our coin club. The church will be charging $25 for each single event use of their facilities by our coin club. Presently our club uses the church for our membership meeting the 1st Wednesday of the month, our YN meeting the 2nd Wednesday of the month, and our Board meeting the 3rd Wednesday of the month.. Factoring out special meetings that will occur outside of the church, it appears that use of the church will increase from $600/year to $825/year. After some discussion, it was decided to look into ways in which we can either consolidate meetings or have our Board meetings held in some other location as a cost savings measure. Final review and a decision on use of the Church will be determined by the Board at our September 181h Board meeting.

Larry Nakata then gave a briefing to the Board on the status of the ballot vote for expansion of our club's gaming license to include "pull-tabs". Larry Nakata provided a sample ballot that was reviewed and approved by the Board for mailing. It is anticipated that ballots will be mailed out prior to the end of August. All ballots are expected to be received by no later than September 18th.....the day of our club's next Board meeting. The ballots will be counted by the Board at that time. Results will be posted in our club's newsletter following that Board meeting.

Larry Nakata then gave another briefing on the status of the club's coin seminar scheduled for September 13th (Friday) through September 15th (Sunday) at the Westcoast International Inn. Larry stated that with our club now having to pay bills for the seminar, we are committed to move forward with the seminar. At the time of this Board meeting there have been 21 commitments to this seminar. Based upon costs paid to date and the projected costs of the remaining items necessary for this seminar, Larry stated that the club will fall about $250 in the "red". In order to meet the minimum cost for use of the Westcoast International Inn, it was necessary to commit to 25 attendees. Since there are 4 extra seats available, it was the decision of the Board to allow YNs to attend the seminar session at no cost. It was also decided that if attendance by the YNs exceed the 25 headcount limit, the club's YN fund will pick up that difference in cost. Treasurer Greg Samorajski indicated that there should be sufficient moneys in the YN fund to cover this cost. Meantime, members of the Board and our coin dealers will be encouraging people to sign up for this seminar...since there is still three weeks to go before the event.

 

THE YN CORNER

With summer now coming to an end and with the start of Autumn, our YN meetings will again resume with a YN meeting scheduled for Wednesday, September 11th at the Central Lutheran Church. We trust that all of you YNs (Young Numismatists) had a great summertime.

At the September llth YN meeting, Don and Marilyn Stubblefield will have the YNs in attendance work on a really neat project intended for this year's upcoming coin shows. Loren Lucason has been working with them on putting together this project. YNs are encouraged to come to this meeting. This project will benefit the YN Program.

Finally....and most important.... is an announcement to our YNs that the upcoming September 13th- 15th coin seminar is free to those YNs who wish to attend this event. In our club's newsletter, which you have been receiving, there has been a lot of information provided on this seminar. Details will also be provided in this month's newsletter.

Realizing that Sept. 13th (Friday) will be a school day...if YNs cannot attend that Friday session, they can certainly come to the Saturday (Sept. 14th) and Sunday (Sept. 15th) sessions. The coin seminar instructor, Mary Sauvain, will tailor the seminar subjects accordingly for those days.

Because it is necessary to determine the number of lunches to be served on each day, I am asking that any YNs wishing to attend the coin seminar contact me at my home number (#563-1729).

Hope you enjoyed your summertime. We're looking forward to some great YN events this fall and winter.........Larry Nakata.

 

FINAL UPDATE ON THE ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB'S
SEPTEMBER 13TH - 15TH SEMINAR

With the September 13th - 15th seminar coming up in a little over two weeks, this will be my last opportunity to give a final briefing and update to those attendees coming to the September coin seminar.

By this time, those attending the seminar should have received a letter confirming your attendance. Expect that there will be YNs in attendance on the Saturday and Sunday sessions.

At the time of our Board meeting, we had commitments from 21 people for attendance at this year's seminar to be held at the Westcoast International Inn. We still have seats for the seminar and would like to encourage our adult members to attend this event. The cost for adults to attend is $250 for the three day session. You will get a lot for that price.........

I have been in contact with Mary Sauvain, the instructor for our seminar. Mary is a professional numismatist out of Colorado Springs with the Minneapolis Gold, Silver, and Numismatics Services, Inc. Mary came very highly recommended by senior people within the ANA (American Numismatic Association). In keeping with our theme of gold, Mary will be concentrating on seminar topics covering:

Grading with an emphasis on Gold Coins,

Counterfeit Detection with an emphasis on Gold Coins,

Investment in Gold Coinage,

U.S. Gold Coinage, and time permitting.....

Foreign, Ancient, Byzantine, and Medieval Gold Coinage.

We ask that you come each day anytime after 8 am to the McKinley West Room of the Westcoast International Inn located at 3333 West International Airport Road/ phone number (907)249-4420.

Coffee and juice will be provided in the morning at 8:30 am. A two entree buffet lunch will be provided between 12 noon and 1 PM each day. Sodas will be provided in the afternoon.

Expect that the seminar will start each morning at 9 am and conclude no later than 5 PM.

Course material, pads, and pens will be provided for the session. The seating will be set up so that two people can sit at a table with a lamp between them...for inspection and grading of coins. We will have two stereo microscopes set up for the seminar.

Mary has asked that we provide certain other items for the seminar. Among those items are velvet pads and 7x eye loops. For those of you who have velvet pads and eye loops, we ask that you bring them to the session. We will make arrangements to have our coin dealers bring extra velvet pads and eye loops....for those of you who do not have them...items which can also be purchased at the seminar.

There will be one more briefing given by me at our club meeting on September 4th. At that briefing, I will go over final details and ask for help in setting up the seminar room prior to it's start on Friday morning

For those of you considering attendance at this seminar, your support is needed. You can contact me in the evenings at my home number (#563-1729).........Larry Nakata.

 

BALLOT VOTE ON EXPANSION OF CLUB'S GAMING LICENSE

By the time you receive this month's newsletter, the adult members of our club will have received a mail ballot. This mail ballot is a result of discussions on the matter of whether on not our coin club should expand it's State of Alaska gaming license to include "pull-tabs".

At this time, our club has a State of Alaska gaming license which is used for our coin club's raffle prizes. It is a state law that any organization, doing raffle prizes, must have a State of Alaska gaming license.

It has been proposed by members of our coin club that we expand our state gaming license to include "pull-tabs". Expansion of our club's gaming license is anticipated 10" provide additional income to our coin club for it's programs. The Board of the Anchorage Coin Club is considering expansion of our club's gaming license to include "pull-tabs". The By-Laws of our club give the Board the authority to make this decision. The Board has decided to seek the opinion of the adult members of our club in the form of this advisory vote. The Board will honor the decision of this vote.

In our June, July, and August club newsletters....members have been given an opportunity to comment on their points of view on this matter. We ask that you review those comments prior to voting on this matter.

If any adult member of our club has not received their ballot at this time, please contact Larry Nakata/ Secretary/ Anchorage Coin Club/ home phone number (907)563-1729 for arrangements on a replacement ballot. All ballots must be received by no later than 5 PM, September 18th at our club's post office box. Ballots will be counted that evening....at our Board meeting. Results will be announced in the newsletter following that Board meeting.

 

A CONDENSED HISTORY OF U.S. PROOF COINS
by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)

I gave a joint presentation at our coin club meeting this month on August 7th on the subject of "Proof Coinage". As a follow-up to that presentation, I figured that I could put my research notes to good use in the form of this month's article in our club's newsletter.

Like any presentation, I looked at a number of reference books. Among the books used were:

In this article I will focus on a condensed history of U.S. proof coinage.

According to Walter Breen's book, a position was made that the development of the screw press, which started in the Renaissance (around the 15th century), led to coin presses which replaced the older technique of hammered coins. This was a significant event. With the advent of coin presses, it made possible mintage of much higher quality coins.

It then only took a matter of time for someone to figure out that polishing the dies and blank planchets (i.e., those round pieces of metal used to make coins)....and doing multiple strikes on the planchet resulted in a superior quality coin of proof quality.

Breen's book goes on to say that the earliest known proof coins were minted around 1651 in England, a Commonwealth half-crown.

By the 18th century, the British mints began to distinguish proof coins from business strike coins.

In colonial America, there were coins minted for use in the British controlled sectors. Such coins were minted in England. Among these coins were the William Wood Rosa Americana and the Hibernia pieces. The first known colonial proof coins, which were patterns, come from the British minter, William Wood, around 1722... and are considered extremely rare.

So...the first proof coins were essentially pattern coins minted out of England and France.

By 1792, we see the U.S. Mint established. There were proofs made by the U.S. Mint from 1792-1816, which were patterns or presentation coins for some dignitary.

From 1817 to 1833, one sees development of presentation proof sets by the U.S. Mint for dignitaries and the occasional collector. With the U.S. Mint going to steam presses in the 1830's, this allowed for raised rims on coins and improved dies...and with such improvements, the first true quality U.S. proof coins starting with the proof half cent in 1831. It was also during this time that the U.S. Mint found that proof coins could be struck with fewer strikes if you went to a reeded edge coin.

The fabled 1804 Silver Dollar was part of the proof set minted in 1834.

The first complete yearly proof set was made in 1843, a 10 coin set consisting of the proof half cent up to the $10 gold piece. There is one such set displayed today at the Smithsonian. For your information...this set was offered in 1843 at a cost of $22.50.

Starting in 1858, the U.S. Mint began offering proof sets to the general public and even went to the effort of advertising sales of such sets. The initial price offering was $46. Ironically, this price discouraged the general public. Despite this problem, public offerings of proof sets continued.

1907 saw experimentation begun on matte proof coinage. The French came up with this concept using a "sandblast" proof finish on the dies....giving the proof coin a granular appearance vs. the mirror-like finishes we are used to seeing on a proof coin. From 1907-1916, there were at least a dozen variations of matte proof coins....first with gold coins and then on copper alloyed coins. There were a few silver coins (such as the 1921 & 1922 silver dollars) that were matte proof type, but such coins were never publicly sold. Such dies were treated with acid to provide such a matte finish. Matte proof coins from this period of time are tough to find and command high prices. Matte proof coins did not meet with acceptance by the general public and was subsequently discontinued in 1916.

From 1917 to 1935, no proof sets were publicly sold. Those proofs made were largely meant for dignitaries. The only proof coins made during this time for the general public were the 1921 dollars and the 1928 Hawaiian Commemorative half dollar.

In 1936, proof sets for the public sale resumed...this time only brilliant mirror-like proofs being minted. With the exception of 1943 - 1949, such proof sets were sold through 1964.

In 1965, we see the introduction of "clad coinage" by the U.S. Mint. Proof coins were not minted from 1965-67. It resumed again in 1968 and continues to this day.

Today we see both clad and silver proof sets minted by the U.S. Mint for public sale....the silver proof sets being introduced in 1992.

Some points of interest:

Although matte proof coins were effectively discontinued in 1916, there is only one true recent matte proof coin minted that is recognized by the Red Book....the 1998-S matte proof Kennedy half dollar. To make this matte proof coin, the U.S. Mint treated the dies by sandblasting them with glass beads and aluminum oxide....prior to hardening of the dies. This particular coin today commands a price of $400.

Do not mistake the special frosted 1994 and 1997 Jefferson nickels as matte proof. The Red Book refers to these coins as special frosted uncirculated pieces that resemble matte proof coins.

The Red Book also has a reference to a third type of proof coin....the "Frosted Proof" which has a frosted design against a mirror-like field. There are two type of such frosted proofs: The present U.S. proof coins we see today. The dies are treated to provide this effect. The second type is the "Cameo Proof"....coins minted in the 1950-1970 era. Such cameo proofs were the result of the first initial strikes from the proof dies that gave this effect....and are highly prized by the collector.

Grading proof coins is much like grading regular coinage. There are proof coins that, for some reason, saw circulation in the public, and are referred as "impaired proofs". These are graded using the Sheldon 70 point system. In the uncirculated grades, proof coins are graded primarily on the basis of eye appeal.

So...this is my article's condensed history of "U.S. Proof Coinage". I trust you enjoyed this article.....Larry Nakata.

 

 


The Anchorage Coin Club

Club Officers

Board of Directors

Editors

ANA Local Club Representative

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