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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 17, Number 6

June 2004

June Membership Meeting
Wed., June 2nd, 2004 Central Lutheran Church

6:30 PM YNs, 7:15 Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

    Apologies are in order for the lateness of this month's newsletter from your editors. It's been a busy time with summer now upon us. We trust that all of you are enjoying this great weather.

We have discovered a professional auctioneer among us. Carl of Carl's Jewelers fame presided over the YN donation auction at our May membership meeting. We raised in the neighborhood of $700 for the young numismatists part of our club. Thanks go to the generous members who donated the numismatic auction lots and to Carl who moved through the large number of lots with the smooth speed of an experienced auction attendee. Carl not only knew the numismatic material... he knew the members bidding on it. We should keep him at the podium.

It was a very well attended meeting with lively bidding and Maribel's tasty spaghetti. It was good to see friends who have not been able to make it to meetings lately.

There were those at the meeting who did not have to bid on a lot to win coins. Dave Wilson won the door prize; an 1897 Liberty nickel in VG. Justin Samorajski won the membership prize; a 1987 U.S. mint set. And someone at the meeting probably bought the winning ticket for our raffle prize; an AU 1861 Liberty Seated Half Dollar.

Many of you are missing out on an opportunity to get good coin investment advice by not submitting your $10,000 portfolio. Current coin values can be drawn from Coin Values magazine or from Coin Prices magazine (found at any bookstore).

Our next meeting will be on June 2nd when Larry Nakata gives a presentation on U.S. Cents. Larry will be bringing his cent collection for all to see. It is possible that by the time you receive this newsletter, the coin club meeting will have occurred. Knowing this, Larry was kind enough to write a follow-up article in this month's newsletter for the benefit of those who could not attend.

We trust you are enjoying your summer and look forward to seeing you at the Anchorage Coin Club's coin show at the 5th Avenue Mall (see follow-up article in this month's newsletter) on June 25th (Friday) thru June 27th (Sunday)....Your Editors.

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of June:

  1. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: There will be no YN meeting on June 2nd. However, YNs are encouraged to come to the Anchorage Coin Club's regular membership meeting that evening.
  2. Monthly Membership Meeting: June 2nd (Wednesday) at 7:15 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (Main Community Room). The Central Lutheran Church is located at 1420 Cordova St. on the corner of Cordova and 15th Avenue. Larry Nakata will be giving a presentation on the "U.S. Cent". Members, YNs, and general public welcomed.
  3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: June 16th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the "Sunrise Grill & Pancake House" (# 272-1150) located at 3230 Old Seward Highway (where the Old Seward Highway begins next to the Moose's Tooth Pizzeria). Club members welcomed.
  4. Anchorage Coin Club Coin Show: June 25th (Friday) thru June 27th (Sunday) at the downtown 5th Avenue Mall. Club members and general public are encouraged to attend.

THE ALASKA SUMMER COIN EXPO

    For years we have talked about having an annual club sponsored coin show. We have now found the ideal place and time to have it. The 5th Avenue Mall has a spacious lower floor that is available in the summer.

The 5th Avenue mall is a well managed mall with guards on duty, a food court, a post office, and a bank open on Saturdays. One block away is the Alaska Mint on the once infamous 4th Avenue. The lower floor is open to view from above but can be made as exclusive as we want. There is a down escalator where we can set up an information/entrance fee table. There is elevator access to the floor and out back is a loading ramp. The mall is topped with skylights giving lots of natural light to the showroom floor.

This space has been available in the summer for the last several years. If we are to bring people up from the states to go to this expo - they want it to be in the summer. There is nothing like Alaska in June. It is easier for Alaskans to travel to a coin show if they do not have to put chains on their tires. And there is sooo much daylight to stream through those skylights at the mall. Besides "Alaska Summer Coin Expo" starts with an A and sounds good.

Of course the Alaska Mint is all for having a coin show one block away. We also have support from Don, Frank, Carl, Mike, and Loren as well as the club itself. To reserve a table at the show contact Loren at 272-3700.

Dates planned for the show are June 25th (Friday) thru June 27th (Sunday).

During the week of the coin show, watch the Collectables Section of the Anchorage Daily "News for our club's advertisements of this event.

Your support is important for this club sponsored show......

Minutes of the May 19th Board Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM by President Stan Mead. Meeting was held at the Sunrise Grill and Pancake House.

First order of business was to review correspondence and bills.

The meeting then moved onto the matter of addressing old business.

The May 5th YN meeting saw the conclusion of Part 11 of the Scout Merit Badge session on the subject of coin collecting.

Greg Samorajski and his son, Justin, were very instrumental in putting together this program. Six (6) merit badges were awarded to scouts as a result. Altogether, some 26 scouts and YNs benefited from the sessions presented by Greg and Justin. There are plans to continue this program in 200 5.

Larry Nakata gave a final report on a successful YN Donation Auction. Approximately $700 was generated as a result of this donation. The Board wishes to thank all members who donated coins for this auction.

With summer now upon us, among the projects planned for the YNs were setting up displays at two locations in Anchorage. The YNs are also involved in putting together a calendar for 2005. With so many projects going on, it was pointed out that it will be better to have the YNs focus on one project to complete this summer. After some discussion with the adults who are heading up the YN Program, it was decided to focus efforts on the calendar project. The displays can be set up later in the year...time permitting for the YNs.

Loren Lucason gave an updated briefing on plans for a club sponsored coin show in late June at the 5th Avenue Mall.

Discussed was a 10 table show. Loren will formalize arrangements for the show and expects to have the show occur over June 25th - 27th. Loren pointed out that there has been a problem with a lack of coin shows in Anchorage this past year. Individual members of our coin club have been putting these shows together over the years with mixed results. The time has come for the club to organize at least one yearly show. There will be advertisements in the Anchorage Daily News of the coin show and in our club's newsletter.

On the matter of new business, Larry Nakata brought up this year's Anchorage Coin Club summer picnic. Larry Nakata will look into arranging a picnic at Bicentennial Park for July. He will be checking with City Parks on available dates. Once the date is determined, this information will be posted in the club's newsletter (either the June or July issues).

As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

 

THE YN CORNER

    There will be no YN meeting planned for June 2nd.

While it is summertime, the club will be trying a new approach this year and put together summertime programs for the YNs.

One key goal as a summertime project is to complete the design of the 2005 calendar by August of this year.

As part of the program, the club is arranging a field trip for the YNs to visit the calendar company that will be working with us. We thought it would be good for the YNs to see how calendars are designed and printed. That field trip is planned for one of the weekend days in June. When that date is formalized, Marilyn Stubblefield (one of the adults heading up the YN Program) will be calling each YN on the field trip date.

Meantime, there are membership meetings still planned for the summer. And, of course, there is our annual Anchorage Coin Club summertime picnic.

We want to encourage the YNs to continue coming to these meetings through the summertime.

See you at the June 2nd meeting....Don and Marilyn Stubblefield.

 

CONTEST TIME UPDATE
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

    I am is still accepting theoretical $10,000 portfolios for the contest. Members (or anyone wishing to participate) can e-mail their theoretical portfolio to me at mike@alaskacoinexchange.com or drop off their portfolios to any of the Board officers of our club at our upcoming meetings. The Board officers can get the lists to me via my e-mail address.

Participants can use either Coin Prices magazine (which is sold in magazine stores and Roy's Coins) or the Coin Values section of Coin World. Please specify which magazine you used for determination of your $10,000 theoretical portfolio.

At this time, I have only received about 5 or so portfolios. Now that the rules have been expanded to allow for use of two magazines, the club wants to encourage people to participate in this great contest that is expected to finish late next year.

Lets see who can predict what coins are going up in value over the coming months. 1 will be posting updates during the course of the contest on various portfolio strategies and how they are fairing.

All club members are encouraged to enter, and the contest is wide open to all young numismatists, old numismatists, and even us middle-aged numismatists. The more entries we get, the greater the bragging rights will be for the winner!

Now, here once again are the basic rules of the contest. They are essentially identical to what they were before, just with the appropriate changes reflective of the change in our source of pricing information.

The modified rules:

You may pick out any coin(s) in any grade listed in Coin Prices magazine or the Coin Values / Coin World magazine. Each item you select must have an actual value listed and not just a hyphen (-) or a blank space. Your total portfolio must add up to $10,000 or less. I suggest that you spend it all, as any unspent funds disappear (i.e. there is no 'residual cash' account). The final valuation tally will be made based on the January 2006 issue of Coin Prices or Coin Values / Coin Word, though this may be bumped back to the November 2005 issue if the January 2006 issue is not available in time for the December 2005 Christmas party.

Please specify which magazine you are using.

You may have up to ten pieces of any one coin in your portfolio. For example, you may have ten 1914-D Lincoln cents in Good and you may have ten more pieces of the same date in Very Good, but you may not have twenty pieces in Good. This is to prevent somebody from buying 200,000 pieces of a five cent item and having that item go to ten cents, doubling their portfolio value to $20,000 from $10,000. That would be luck, not skill!

Again, the contest is open to all club members. The best way to enter is to send me your list of coins by email at Mike@alaskacoinexchange.com and don't forget to give me your name and email address so that I can contact you to let you know that I have received your list and ask any questions if necessary.

Have fun and good luck!.........Mike Nourse.

 

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE U.S. CENT
by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)

    At our club meeting on June 2nd, 1 gave a presentation on the U.S. cent. For those of you who did not have a chance to attend this meeting, 1 thought it would be good to do a follow-up article on my presentation that focused on the history of the U.S. cent and my perspectives on this subject.

The beginning of the U.S. Cent really started in 1787 when the U.S. Congress authorized the mintage of the Fugio cent. At that time, there was no U.S. Mint. Subsequently, the mintage of this cent was contracted out to Mr. James Jarvis by the U.S. Board of Treasury. By act of Congress, the cent was specifically designed with one side having thirteen circles linked together, a small circle in the middle (with the words "UNITED STATES" around the small circle), and in the center of the coin the words "WE ARE ONE". On the reverse of that coin was a sundial, the sun above the sundial, the word "FUGIO" (which means "time flies") on one side of the sundial, the year "1787" on the other side of the sundial, and below the dial the words "MIND YOUR BUSINESS". The dies for the Fugio Cent were made by Abel Buell of New Haven.

With the establishment of the U.S. Mint, regular yearly mintage of U.S. cents started with the Large Cent which was minted from 1793 through 1857. During that period of time, a number of different designs of the U.S. cent followed. Among the different designs were the:

Flowing Hair Large Cent (1793)

Liberty Cap Large Cent (1793-1796)

Draped Bust Large Cent (1796-1807)

Classic Head Large Cent (1808-1814)

Coronet Large Cent (1816-1857)

By 1857 the cost of making and distributing the Large Cent had risen to a point where it was no longer cost effective. These Large Cents, being made of copper, was to give way to a smaller sized Cent...the type you see today. The first small cent minted was the copper-nickel Flying Eagle Cent (1856-1858). The design was subsequently changed to the Indian Head Cent (1859-1909). During the 50 year period of the Indian Cent, it evolved from a copper-nickel cent- 1859 to 1864 (.880 copper, .120 nickel) to a bronze cent- 1864-1909 (.950 copper, 0.50 tin and zinc). At first the reason for the change was the U.S. Civil War which saw gold, silver, and nickel disappearing from circulation. Also, since the bronze cent was a softer metal...it was easier to mint with less dies being damaged from heavy mintage of the U.S. Cent.

In 1909, the U.S. Cent saw a redesign to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. The Lincoln Cent (1909 to present) prevails today with the same obverse design (Lincoln's bust). This is the longest running design (95 years) to date of the U.S. Cent.

Meantime, a number of other changes did occur in the Lincoln Cent. Among those changes were:

A change in the metallic composition of the Lincoln during World War II. Since copper was in great demand for the war effort, zinc-coated steel Lincoln Cents were minted in 1943.

Bronze cents were again resumed in 1944.

In 1959, the reverse of the Lincoln Cent was redesigned to show the Lincoln Memorial. This was done to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.

In 1982, the composition of the Lincoln Cent changes from bronze to copper plated zinc (99.2% zinc in the core, 0.8% copper for the plating). Reason: Like the Large Cent, it was more cost effective to change the metallic composition of the U.S. small cent.

So.....there you have it....a condensed history of the U.S. Cent.

At my presentation on June 2nd, it was a good opportunity for me to show all of these different type U.S. Cents from my collection. I like to collect coins by date and mintmark. Over the years, I was able to put together a pretty good collection of Cents...as well as other U.S. type coins.

Collecting U.S. Cents is easy and affordable to the YN as well as any coin collector. My recommendation is that a starting collector should try and put together an uncirculated set of Lincoln Cents by date and mintmark. Cents minted from about 1935 to present are reasonably priced in uncirculated condition. You can go with XF condition Lincoln cents in the earlier dates (1900- the early 1930s) and replace those cents with uncirculated cents on a one by one basis as the pocket book can afford. 1 did it this way with good success. I still have a few Lincoln Cents that need to be upgraded. I'm down to about 10 such coins to round out my Lincoln collection.

You can also collect the earlier type U.S. Cents in this same manner. Coins such as the Large Cents, Flying Eagle Cents, and Indian Head Cents can be collected in VG or Fine condition to start. Once you fill out the coin book, try replacing each of the coins with a higher grade coin as the pocket book can afford. If you do this on a consistent basis (such as buying a coin or two a month), you will be surprised on what is accomplished. When you look at those nice coins in that coin book, it gives one a good feeling of accomplishment.

Another way of collecting U.S. Cents is focusing on purchase of key dates. There are collectors who like to buy key dates such as:

The 1856 Flying Eagle Cent,

The 1909-S Indian Cent,

the 1909S-VDB Lincoln Cent,

the 1914D Lincoln Cent,

the 1922 Plain Lincoln Cent,

the 1955 doubled die Lincoln Cent.

There are a number of other key dates that one can purchase in any of the series of U.S. Cents. One thing about collecting key date coins is that the value of those coins always go up with each passing year. Of course, the collector also has the "bragging rights" of saying that 1 have these key date coins.

Still another way of collecting U.S. Cents is to buy uncirculated rolls of U.S. Cents by date and mintmark. I have been doing this for years. Since there are 50 coins in each roll, it is a good feeling knowing that I have collected enough rolls to put together 50 sets of uncirculated Lincoln Memorial Cents. Try buying an uncirculated roll of U.S. coins by date and mintmark every year. It will not be long before you have a pretty good group of coins with the potential of increasing in value as the years go by. You could even get lucky and have an uncirculated roll that may have a mintage error (or maybe a mintage variety) coin in that roll. In my case, I never have searched or cherrypicked through any of my rolls.

So these are the different ways one can collect U.S. Cents.

It's future?!....It's hard to say. The purchase power of the U.S. Cent is not significant anymore. Inflation has taken it's toll over the years since this coin came into being. Two hundred years ago, the U.S. Cent could buy a lot more. What will happen when even the copper plated zinc cent we see today is not cost effective to mint?! It is possible this coin may give way to a higher denomination coin one day (such as the nickel). When that day happens, we will see the passage of a piece of history in U.S. coinage. A sad day indeed.....Larry Nakata.

 


The Anchorage Coin Club

Club Officers

Board of Directors

Editors

Club Archivist / Photographer

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