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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 17, Number 11

November 2004

November Membership Meeting
Wed., Nov. 3rd, 2004 Central Lutheran Church

6:30 PM YNs, 7:15 Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

    A MEMBER'S VIEW .....Not only is the United States running on paper capitalism, paper money is our safety net. This point was brought home in Larry Nakata's presentation at our October membership meeting. Larry gave out examples of special issue notes for us to look at. He then told us how fractional currency helped us weather the civil war gold and silver hoarding. And how military payment script averted the counterfeiting of paper dollars overseas. This was Part 2 of Larry's enlightening series on paper money.

It is clear we are living in a paper money world. Coins are old world money and now just small change. When was the last time you bought a six-pack with a handful of coins? Everyone thought plastic was the next step in commerce but it was just the face of electronic money. Though there are plastic notes out there. The Australians call them polymer notes.

So we came out of the stone age where "checks" were written in cuneiform on clay tablets and stone beads representing cows and grain were traded around the fire in tents. We then went into the metal age of money about 500 B.C. with the help of the Greeks. The harder a metal was to find the more it was worth. Gold was not only hard to find it seemed to last forever. It never got eaten by those annoying demons (they thought they were everywhere back then). After all Egyptian gold works of "art" were still shiny as new. Even though they were 2000 years old 2000 years ago.

Coins as a medium of trade lasted about 2500 years. Then a little over a hundred years ago the money we spent every day became paper. There are still some who demand metal. Especially for very large transactions between those who don't trust each other. We are now well entrenched in money's paper age. So, as numismatists, it is good for us to know paper money.

Thanks go to Larry Nakata for bringing us old coin collectors into this modern age of money. The new, plastic covered age of money may have to wait until we get the identity theft problem solved. And then it may not even be electrons we trade.

Before we were given this help in appreciating paper money we gave one of the club's young numismatists; John Michaud a 1976 Philadelphia Coin Mint Set for the door prize. We then drew his name for the membership prize and gave him a year 2000 Hand Painted Silver Eagle. This should keep him in the metal age of money for a few more days.

The bullet auction had a few interesting items. Included was a copy of Krause's phonebook size Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. Also in the auction were some military payment script and a few fractional currency notes.

Local coin shows were announced for October and November, The next raffle prize; a crisp uncirculated 1923 $1 note was passed around. The winning ticket for the raffle prize will be drawn at our Christmas party. The cost of club calendars was announced and the date of the Christmas party was set.

With this expanded view of numismatics we dealt with the last of the munchies, wrapped up the place, and went home looking forward to our next informative and rewarding membership meeting. See you there......From One Of Your Editors/ Loren Lucason.

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of November:

  1. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: November 3rd (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area). The Central Lutheran Church is located at 1420 Cordova St. on the corner of Cordova and 15lh Avenue. YN Kyra Mead will be giving a presentation that evening. All YNs, their families, and members are welcomed.

  2. Monthly Membership Meeting: November 3rd (Wednesday) at 7:15 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area), following the YN meeting. Larry Nakata will be giving a presentation on "Odd Denomination U.S. Coins". There will also be a bullet auction of no more than 15 numismatic lots. Members, YNs, and general public welcomed. Refreshments provided.

  3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: November 17th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Country Kitchen located at 346 E. 5th Avenue (near the corner of Cordova and 5th Ave.). Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the October 20th Board Meeting

The Anchorage Coin Club board meeting was called to order at 7:20 PM by President Stan Mead. The Board met at the Abbott Way Cafe located at 2102 Abbott Road..

Following a review of correspondence and bills, the Board reviewed old business items.

All materials were reviewed for the Calendar project. Vice President John Larson was tasked with final coordination for printing of the calendars. John's report to the Board stated that we must have all information ready by the end of this month (October) in order to make possible printing of the club calendars in a timely manner. Now that all materials necessary for the calendar have been put together, John will go ahead and see about getting the calendars ready by our club meeting on November 3rd. If the printing cannot be done by our November meeting date, it will be ready by our club's Christmas Party date on December 9th. Approval was given by the Board to John to move forward towards completion of the calendar project.

The next order of business addressed was the club's Christmas party event on the evening of December 9th (Thursday). In the planning of the event, the following decisions were made:

Christmas Party to. start at. 6 PM at Central Lutheran Church.

Event will be a "potluck" Christmas party. Larry Nakata will provide the ham. Stan Mead will provide the turkey. In late November, Roy Brown will make phone calls to all members of the coin club on items that can be brought for the event (desserts, salads, and hors d'oeuvres).

Besides lots of door prizes to be given out that evening, the highlight event will be the club's annual Christmas coin auction. Larry Nakata has asked members to submit a list of coin lots that they would like posted in the next two club newsletters. Carl has agreed to be the auctioneer for this year's Christmas coin auction.

As there was no new business issues to discuss, the Board then moved onto the club's November agenda. The next meeting on November 3rd will see another presentation by Larry Nakata on the subject of "Odd Denomination U.S. Coinage". The presentation is expected to focus on coins like the half cent, 2 cent piece, 3 cent piece, twenty cent piece, California gold, and unique type U.S. gold coinage. The YNs will need prior to the membership meeting with a presentation by YN Kyra Mead.

As the final order of business, the Board agreed to have it's next Board meeting at 7 PM, November 17th at The Country Kitchen located on 346 E. 5th Avenue.

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

 

ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB'S CHRISTMAS PARTY
 ON DECEMBER 9TH

    This is an announcement that the Anchorage Coin Club will have it's annual Christmas party on Thursday, December 9th at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area).

In keeping with our club's tradition, the membership meeting and YN meeting for the month of December will be the club's Christmas party event. So remember.....no meeting scheduled for December 1st. The meeting will be on December 9th.

Figure that people will arrive around 6 PM with dinner being ready between 6:30 and 7 PM.

Lots of door prizes will be given out that evening. The club's raffle prize, a 1923 $1 U.S. Note in crisp uncirculated (CU) condition, will be raffled off that evening.

The highlight of the evening will be our club's annual Christmas Coin Auction. Anyone wishing to submit coin and numismatic auction lots can drop off their auction lists to Roy at Roy's Coins or Carl at Carl's. We will post the auction list in the upcoming club newsletters leading up to the Christmas party date.

Figure this event to be a potluck Christmas party. The club will supply the usual chips, dips, sodas, ice, coffee, plates, forks, and spoons. We ask that the members bring in items such as main dishes, salads, desserts, and hors d'oeurves. Roy Brown will be making phone calls to members in November to determine what potluck items will be brought.

It should be great family event......Your Editors.

 

U.S. PAPER CURRENCY -
UNIQUE TYPES OF CURRENCY THAT WERE ISSUED
by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)

    In my article, that came out two issues ago, I focused on a short history of U.S. paper currency from Continental currency to the present. In that article, I mentioned that there are some interesting aspects of U.S. paper currency that would require another article.

This article is Part II of this series covering the unique types of currency that were issued during the course of our country's history.

Let me begin with State Bank Notes. As earlier stated in my Part I article, "the U.S. government allowed private banks in each state the ability to issue their own paper currency notes. Such notes were backed by the gold and silver resources of that bank."

During the early part of our country's history, these private banks played a vital role in helping to promote the economy of a fledgling country. From my view as a collector, there are a number of state bank notes still surviving today. These notes come in a variety of different designs and are very collectable. Almost all of these notes were printed on one side only. These notes were printed on poor quality paper. As a result, many of the surviving specimens (especially those state bank notes made in the early 1800s) are seen in grades of Good to Very Good. If you feel the paper, it is very thin and needs to be handled with care lest you tear the note. Notes of higher quality command according prices. If you are a collector of state bank notes, my recommendation is that you go for notes of high quality (Crisp Uncirculated if possible) that have been signed by the bank president. Occasionally, a bank will come across a stack of unsigned crisp uncirculated notes in their bank vault. These are unissued notes that were forgotten as the bank evolved over time. These type notes also command a pretty good price...second only to signed uncirculated notes.

Still....the price for state bank notes are very affordable to the collector.

One additional tidbit of information....state bank notes were printed by private printing companies that specialized in this field. The name of the printing company was usually printed on the note.

As a result of the U.S. Civil War, the state bank note system would come to an end. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is created during the Civil War and still prevails today as the only official printer of U.S. paper currency. During the Civil War, two types of currency stand out as unique. Confederate Currency and Fractional Currency.

There are a number of Confederate notes that survived and are available to the collector today. Following the Civil War, Confederate currency was stored in attics of homes in hopes that the Federal government would one day redeem the Confederate currency for federal dollars. This did not happen.

Confederate notes remained of little or no value to the collector for a long time. Such notes were often used as advertising leaflets with an overprint of the company's name on the note.

I have noted that the numismatic value of Confederate currency is now becoming respectable. As a collector, one should focus on crisp uncirculated notes. This may be a pretty good area for the collector to look at.

Fractional currency is an anomaly that resulted from the hoarding of coins during the Civil War. U.S. coins of all types (copper and silver) were in very short supply by the start of the Civil War. This resulted in the issuance of fractional currencies that could be used like coins. Both the North and the South issued such currency. In the North, fractional currency started as currency that could be used as coins, as well as postage stamps....hence the term "postage stamp currency". As the war progressed, it later evolved to actual coin denominations. The South simply issued fractional currency notes. These currencies were phased out when the coinage supply returned back to normal levels (after the Civil War).

Fractional currency notes were smaller in size than the higher denomination ($1 and higher) type notes. They are very collectable and command pretty good pricing in the crisp uncirculated grades. I would recommend the collector have at least one of these fractional notes since it represents an interesting time in our country's history.

Following the Civil War, U.S. federal currency would prevail and continues to prevail today. I found it interesting that in 1928 the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing moved form the larger type "horse blanket" sized notes to the present smaller sized notes we see today. Prior to 1928, the larger notes had to be folded horizontally across the center before putting them into your wallet. Reason; It would not fit otherwise. That is why a lot of these circulated "horse blanket" notes show a crease horizontally with two creases vertically (in keeping with how the wallet is designed). In grading a note, the collector should look very carefully for these crease marks. If you see such marks (no matter how faint), it's no longer an uncirculated note.

As our country progressed following the Civil War, we come to the period of the 1929 Economic Depression. There are lots of information in our history books of this time period.

When the 1929 Depression occurred, it continued for a number of years. Available moneys were in tight supply. Local governmental entities saw their tax base shrinking....resulting in problems on provision of public services that were still needed. This resulted in a situation where these governmental entities issued depression script as promissory currency that could be used in their local region. In a sense, this was an act of desperation to keep government alive during a difficult period of time. While such script was not actually printed nor authorized by the BEP, it was allowed in light of the times. The collector will see Depression Script listed as numismatic items for sale. My recommendation to the collector is to have at least one of these type script notes in your collection....because of it's historical perspective.

It is my view that with the coming of World War II, this event would take our country out of it's economic depression. With World War II came some interesting types of U.S. currency.

The Hawaii Notes. When the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, there, was a fear that the Japanese government could invade and occupy the Hawaiian Islands. What immediately resulted was the issuance of special Brown Seal notes...otherwise known as the Hawaii Notes. Besides the Brown colored Seal on the obverse side of the note, the reverse side of the note saw the overprinting of the word HAWAII in big bold letters. The BEP used the Series 1935 plates with these changes and replaced the money in the Hawaiian Islands with this type currency. The intent being to demonetize the Hawaii Note currency if the Japanese successfully occupied the Hawaiian Islands....thus rendering that currency useless. After World War II, these notes were slowly phased out by the BEP. Like all notes, the older worn notes are turned in by banks... rep laced with newer type notes....and then destroyed. While the Hawaii Notes are still legal tender, you will not find them in circulation. They are very collectable and command some pretty good pricing in crisp Uncirculated grades.

The North Africa Notes. During World War II, the U.S. government needed currency to pay it's soldiers. The North Africa Notes (or Yellow Seal Notes) were issued to U.S. troops and featured this special Yellow Seal on the note. These notes were issued so that they could not be used if captured by our enemies. They were probably called North Africa Notes since such notes were first circulated there to our U.S. troops. Like the Hawaii Notes, these Yellow Seal Notes would be phased out by the BEP. They are still legal tender with a smaller population than the Hawaii Notes. Very collectable and slightly higher priced than the Hawaii Notes.

Military Payment Certificates. Upon conclusion of World War II, the U.S. government found itself in a situation where we still needed to "keep the peace" by having U.S. occupation forces in both Europe and Asia. The history books refer to this period of time as "The Marshall Plan". Counterfeiting of U.S. currency was a concern on continuation of North Africa notes to pay our soldiers overseas. Use of the local country's currency was tried for a time, but resulted in a situation where more foreign currency was being redeemed than actually spent by U.S. soldiers. A better system needed to be developed to pay our soldiers overseas with strict "checks and balances" . What resulted was the development of the Military Payment Certificate (or MFC as it was later to be called). MPCs were smaller in size than the U.S. dollar and could only be redeemed at special Military banks overseas. To avoid counterfeiting, MPCs were circulated only for a finite period of time (often time about one year) ....and had to be redeemed when new, different design MPC notes came out. The program proved to be very successful and continued to be used through the Korean and Vietnam War periods. Once these notes were redeemed, they would immediately be destroyed. So...MPCs are very collectable....especially the older series notes. Since U.S. troops were not paid very much at that time, MPC denominations were issued in small denominations...fractional (under $1) to $20 denominations. The higher denomination notes ($10 and above) usually command a much better price. In crisp uncirculated grades, MPC notes command higher prices as well. As the number of U.S. troops decreased overseas....and with the development of the new world economy with floating currency rates, the need for MPCs ended with the conclusion of the Vietnam War.

One has to wonder what unique type of U.S. Currency will come up next. I often speculate it will be the plastic credit/debit card. Is that the wave of the future?!

So there you have it.....my view of the unique types of U.S. currency issued over our country's history. I have no doubt that there are other types that I have not covered in this article, but I chose to cover this particular group since I have these specimens in my collection. Each could be an article unto itself... .but that is for future articles I have yet to write......Larry Nakata.

LIST OF LOTS FOR CHRISTMAS COIN AUCTION
DECEMBER 9TH

Submitted by Bill Fivaz

1. 1857 Flying Eagle Cent in EF45 condition. Minimum Bid $85

2. 1907 Indian Head Cent in MS-65 Red. Minimum Bic $45

3. 1924-S Buffalo Nickel in Good condition. Minimum Bid $10

4. 1936-S Buffalo Nickel in MS-65 condition. Minimum Bid $65

5. 1938-D/S Nickel in MS-63 condition. Minimum Bid $37.50

6. 1905-O Barber Dime in EF40 condition. Minimum Bid $35

7. 1906-O Barber Dime in EF45 condition. Minimum Bid $52

8. 1939-S Mercury Dime S.B. BU condition. Minimum Bid $75

9. 1837 Bust Half Dollar MS-62 (Spoon Edge). Minimum Bid $180

10. 1887-S/S Morgan Dollar (VAM-2 variety) in MS-62 condition. Minimum Bid $70

11.1890-CC Morgan Dollar in MS-61 condition. Minimum Bid $245

12. 1934-D Peace Dollar in MS-60 condition. Minimum Bid $48

Submitted by Loren Lucason

13. "Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Vol. 1" hard cover 6th Edition by Pick.

14. "Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Vol. 2" hard cover 6th Edition by Pick.

15. "Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Vol. 3" hard cover 6th Edition by Pick.

16. "Paper Money of the United States" hard cover by Friedberg

17. Lighted magnifier 10X made in Germany.

18. Roman Sestertius 121 AD Caesar Trajanus Hadrian. Sear # 3623. Value is listed as $130 in Fine condition.

19. Military Payment Certificate (MPC) Series 521 / 25 Cent Denomination.

20. U.S. Fractional Currency/ 25 Cent Denomination.

 

 


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