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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 18, Number 2

February 2005

February Membership Meeting
Wed., Feb. 2nd, 2005 Central Lutheran Church

6:30 PM YNs, 7:15 Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

    It's another year for the most successful coin club in Alaskan history. We started the year with the sale of our 2005 Anchorage Coin Club Calendars. It is a full size Calendar with the club's main events noted on their dates and great numismatic art on each month. See any of the local coin sources for your copy.

There is a coin show at the Northway Mall (March 5th and 6th) and a coin show at Cottonwood Creek Mall (in Wasilla on March 12th and 13th). We need your help representing the club at these shows. It is a good way to hone your people skills and share your love of coins with others.

Our club president, Stan Mead, announced that Gov. Murkowski has created the Alaska State Commemorative Board to oversee the design of the Alaska state quarter. These board members will review design ideas and submit our best concepts to the U.S. Mint for consideration. The board will be made up of people from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, the bush, the Alaska State Arts Council, and a student from one of our schools. People we know who have put their names in to be on the board's commission include: Stan Mead, Michele Robuck, Bill Hamilton, Larry Nakata, and Justin Samorajski. All of these applicants are fine choices with a deep knowledge of Alaska, very good taste in art, and an important understanding of numismatics.

After a short break there was a cherry filled bullet auction of mainly Buffalo nickels from Bill Fivaz. These nickels were so choice the buffalo's hips were poking out of the 2X2's. It is rare to see a prooflike Buffalo nickel. After the auction we took a short break to settle up.

This is the end of the holidays and a lot of gifts were given out. Loren obviously was given something because as he started his "Quarter Report" you could tell he was losing his voice. He started with the basic observation that the quarter was the ideal size for a coin. A thin dime was too small to be taken seriously and a silver dollar was too big to carry around.

Loren passed around examples of quarters ranging from a Hungarian 1/4 Thaler to a Mexican Pillar 2 Reales. He then started "rambling on" about the origin of the quarter being 1/4 of a Thaler. The Thaler being the crown sized coin of the European Renaissance. The 8 reales was the crown coin of Spain. Spain ruled much of America so we get 2 reales as a quarter or 2 bits. The first U.S. quarters were based on the size of the Spanish 2 reales. There was also the origin of the word dollar going from Thaler to Daalder to Daler to Dollar. Loren "rambled on" about quarters, handing out slabs of the U.S. quarter types and giving out a lot of good 2-bit information.

In the last few minutes before his voice faded he got down to his point: The mint has instituted changes to the 50 State Quarter Program. The presentation was actually an introduction to his article in this newsletter. If you were not there you missed out on the full color examples and a chance to test your hearing aid. Check out the new situation in "Designing New Quarters".....Your Editors.

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of February:

  1. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: February 2nd (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 15th Avenue. YNs will be working on a Numismatic (Coin) Display for the Loussac Library. All YNs, their families, and members are welcomed.
  2. Monthly Membership Meeting: February 2nd (Wednesday) at 7:15 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area), following the YN meelmg. Larry NakatalvuTbe giving^ a presentation on "U.S. Silver Dollars". There will 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: February 16th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the Lilly's Restaurant located at 1440 E. Tudor Road (located next to Tony Roma's). Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the January 19th Board Meeting

The Anchorage Coin Club Board meeting was called to order at 7:20 PM by Vice President John Larson.

The Board met at Lilly's Restaurant located at 1440 E. Tudor Road.

There was no correspondence to be reviewed at this meeting.

The Board then reviewed Old Business.

As of the January 19th Board meeting, Secretary Larry Nakata stated that the club has received three requests for endorsement for ANA Board positions for Year 2005. Two are for the position of ANA President and one for ANA Board of Governors. In last month's meeting, it was decided to table endorsements to the January Board meeting. Decision made by the Board was to endorse Remy Bourne for ANA Board of Governors. Since the deadline for endorsements is March 31st, the decision for endorsement of ANA President will be deferred to the February Board meeting. It is expected that our club will receive other requests for endorsements in the coming weeks.

We have a number of Year 2005 club calendars that were not sold. The Board discussed disposition of these calendars. It was decided to use a number of these calendars as door prizes for our club's February 2nd meeting. Larry Nakata will also put together a mailer to key people in the lower 48 who will receive complementary calendars courtesy of our coin club. Remainder of calendars to be designated for the upcoming March coin shows at the Northway and Cottonwood Creek Malls.

The Board then went onto the matter of new business:

One of our club founders, Bill D'Atri passed away on December 28th. Bill was an active member of our coin club and past Anchorage Coin Club President (1992). Bill will be missed.

Secretary Larry Nakata brought up the matter of our upcoming elections for new Board officers scheduled for our club's March 2nd meeting. Our club's by-laws require a yearly election for the positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and one Board member (who will serve a term of two years). Loren Lucason was elected as Board member last year...and has one more year to go. Justin Samorajski has completed his second year as Board member with his seat now up for election in Year 2005. A announcement will be made in this month's newsletter for nominations.

It's that time of year when John Larson and Larry Nakata will be doing the state taxes for our club's raffle program. The tax filing must be completed by March 15th. It is expected that the taxes will be filed prior to the February 16th Board meeting.

Final subject of discussion was on the matter of finding ways to increase our club's membership. Membership has flattened out in the last couple of years. It is important that we find ways to get more people to join our coin club. This year's drive will start with an article in this month's newsletter asking participation by our club members in these efforts. The Board is also looking at various ideas to encourage people to join the Anchorage Coin Club. This will be an issue of ongoing discussion in the coming months

The Board then agreed to have it's next Board meeting at 7 PM, February 16th at Lilly's Restaurant located on 1440 E. Tudor Road (located next to Tony Roma's).

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

BILL... YOU WILL BE MISSED

    Bill D'Atri....one of the founders of our coin club and past club president (1992) ...passed away on December 28th here in Anchorage.

Bill was a very vital part of our coin club over all of these years. Besides being our past president, Bill also headed up the YN Program in the early 1990s. When time permitted from his busy work duties, Bill gave a number of presentations at our monthly membership meetings on various numismatic subjects. Bill helped to grow our club through the years.

Bill was an avid coin collector who developed quite a collection of high grade type coins that was the envy of many of us collectors.

Bill......you will be missed.....Bill D'Atri (1955-2004).

ANNOUNCEMENT OF ELECTIONS FOR ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB

    On March 2nd elections will be held for the following Anchorage Coin Club positions:

President

Vice President

Secretary

Treasurer

One Board Seat

Our club's bylaws require that such elections be held every year at our March club meeting by those members in attendance.

We are looking for good people to run for these respective offices. Interested members can contact any one of our club officers or make your intentions known at our club meetings in February and March.

We are looking for good people willing to volunteer their time and efforts....Your Board.

THE YN CORNER

    We want to remind all YNs that we are having YN meetings every 1st Wednesday of the month starting at 6 PM. Location is at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area).

At the January 5th YN meeting, we looked at the kinds of coins a YN (Young Numismatist) can find in "everyday loose change".

It might surprise you!!!

Some of things you should look out for are the Jefferson nickels that were minted during World War II. Did you know that those nickels were made of silver?! You can still find them in everyday loose change.

You will come across wheat pennies that were minted before 1959. Lots of them can be found. You might even be lucky and find a key date.

On pennies minted after 1959.....look for the error and variety type pennies. 1972 doubled die, 1983 doubled die, and 1995 double die pennies can be found. If you look up the prices of these pennies, you might be surprised.

Be on the lookout for silver Jefferson dimes and silver Washington quarters. These were coins minted before 1964.

If you come across Kennedy Half dollars, be on the lookout for coins minted before 1971. Did you know they also contain silver?!

The point is that there are still good finds out there when searching through your "everyday loose change".

Our next YN meeting is scheduled for February 2nd, 6 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. We are going to put together a coin display for the Loussac Library. For you YNs coming to this meeting....come to the meeting with some ideas on the subject and type of coin display you would like to see.

It should be a fun event.......

ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

    We need your help in this year's club membership drive.

Besides ideas to promote increased membership in our club, the best way you can help (as a coin club member) is to encourage friends and relatives to come to our monthly coin club meetings. The food and refreshments are free. We have monthly coin auctions in which members and visitors can bid on and get some very nice coins. The presentations are pretty good with lots of nice coins for all to see.

We're looking for ideas from you, our members, on ways in which membership can be increased in the Anchorage Coin Club. At our February 2nd membership meeting, bring those ideas with you for discussion.....Your Board.

 

DESIGNING NEW QUARTERS
by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

    As of January 1st, 2005 the state commemorative quarter program is running under a new set of design rules. You do not need to submit art with your design. You do not need to be a Laurence or a Machetanz to have your design put on the Alaska state quarter. The new program involves communication between the Alaska State Commemorative Commission and the U.S. Mint. Volunteers have already asked to be on the commission - the clearinghouse for your design ideas.

There are some restrictions on designs; no portraits, nothing offensive, nothing private, and five other things they don't want on quarters. To read all the rules go to usmint.gov then click on Special Programs... then click on 50 State Quarters Program... then click on Design Criteria. The U.S. Mint's web site also describes the evaluation process which I like to call the Ping-Pong evaluation game. It goes like this:

The referees in this game include state historians, federal historians, art societies, the Secretary of the Treasury, mint engineers, and our governor. I make light of this process but it really is a good way to get good art on a quarter that we will all be proud to own.

To submit an idea you need to know something about Alaska. This is the largest state in the union, we have more coastline than all the rest of the country put together, our western edge is further west than any other state including Hawaii, we are the farthest north state, and we have the tallest peak on the continent. On the other hand we do not live in Igloos (at least most of us don't), we do not have penguins, we can't pull gold nuggets out of every stream, and the state is not always covered with ice and snow.

You may think you will be the next Benny Benson but all the suggestions will probably be fed into a statistics program that generates a composite design. Say 100,000 people think it should be a dogsled, 80,000 vote a moose, 50,000 vote Mt. McKinley, and 2,000 a ptarmigan. Feed this into a computer and you get a design with a dogsled in the foreground, a moose in the woods, Mt. McKinley in the background, and a ptarmigan flying off in the distance. Probably no one person will be the designer. It's like a Democratic choice with Republican polish.

Read the design criteria and you will see that the stern of the Exxon Valdez sticking out of the water would not even make it past our commission. Although it would make a striking image particularly with a dead bird belly-up in the oil slick, it would just be too negative. Think of something positive about Alaska, something nice about being here, think of something real. Write it down, describe what it means to Alaska and Alaskans, and then send it in to the commission. Your good thoughts of our great state could be on our quarter in 2008.....Loren.

 

OUR CLUB'S RAFFLE COIN

Our club's present raffle coin is an 1826 Bust Half Dollar in VF30 condition....a pretty good looking coin.

In that year,

John Quincy Adams was President,

Thomas Jefferson died at the age of 83,

Russia declared war on Serbia, and

Leopoldo Nobili invented the galvanometer.

Our club's raffle prize, the 1826 Bust Half dollar is a nice, large size coin with even toning in the fields and light grey highlights. An excellent type coin for your collection with no distracting mint errors. Book value $90.

 

EDITORS NOTE: Since Larry Nakata will be giving a presentation next month (February 2nd) on the subject of "U.S. Silver Dollars", we browsed the Internet and came up with some interesting "Money Talks" articles from the American Numismatic Association (ANA) on this subject. We thought it would be a good lead-in to Larry's talk next month.

From Transcript # 1850 / November 5th, 1999:

 

OUR FIRST SILVER DOLLAR
by Charles Surasky

    They were authorized in 1792, but a raging plague, lack of the right machinery, and a shortage of raw material prevented their striking for two years.

Today we'll briefly revisit the striking of our nation's first silver dollars.

In passing the Mint Act of 1792, Congress authorized the nation's mint in Philadelphia to strike copper, silver, and gold coins for circulation.

The largest silver coin authorized was the silver dollar. For three principal reasons, silver dollars were not struck until more than two years later:

First, a Yellow Fever epidemic began in 1793 and continued into 1794. The mosquito-borne disease was probably brought to Philadelphia by French refugees fleeing a slave rebellion on the island of Santo Domingo. This plague killed one in ten Philadelphians and caused thousands of others to flee the city.

The second reason for the more than two year wait before the actual striking of silver dollars was the lack of appropriate machinery. The newly founded Philadelphia Mint had problems producing silver dollar blanks of appropriate thickness and weight. And it had no minting press to strike coins larger in size than a half dollar.

The third delay was caused by a lack of raw copper and silver. The shortage of copper forced the Mint to use old coins and recycle scrap. The lack of silver ended in 1794 when fewer than 2,000 silver dollars were struck by the U.S. Mint using silver personally supplied by the first U.S. Mint director, David Rittenhouse. He supplied the metal for the first year's mintage of less than 2,000 silver dollars in return for the metal. This scarcity of 1794 silver dollars was recognized and appreciated by coin collectors as early as the 1850s. Today collectors have identified 125 to 150 surviving specimens.....Charles Surasky.

THE TRADE DOLLAR
by David Vagi

    I'll bet you didn't know there were once millions of official U.S. coins that couldn't be spent anywhere in this country. In fact, they could only be spent in China, Japan, and elsewhere in the Far East.

This is ANA's "Money Talks", and since today is Chinese New Year, let's talk about America's Trade Dollar- the U.S. coin that could be spent only in the Orient.

Nineteenth century Chinese merchants wouldn't accept most foreign coins, other than the Mexican peso. This meant American traders, buying Chinese goods, had to pay a premium of up to 15 per cent for those "hard to come by" pesos. California traders lobbied Congress for a silver dollar with more silver content than the peso, to use in their China trade- and 120 years ago, they got their wish.

The design of the Trade Dollar shows Miss Liberty seated on bales of mechandise and a sheaf of wheat. It expressed America's desire for free trade- showing Liberty extending an olive branch, symboliziing peace, toward the sprawling ocean.

The Trade Dollar proved popular among Chinese merchants, since it contained eight more grains of silver than it's chief competitor, the Mexican peso. To test the purity of the silver, Chinese merchants would take a hammer and punch to the coin- breaking it's surface and leaving a "chop mark". Some Trade Dollars are virtually covered with chop marks.

Though it was intended for use in the Orient, millions of Trade Dollars eventually ended up back in the United States. When the value of silver dropped- employers began buying Trade Dollars for 80- to 83- cents each, and paying unsuspecting workers with them. It wasn't until the workers tried to spend the Trade Dollars that they realized they were duped.

Just three years after the first Trade Dollar was produced, Congress revoked it's legal tender status- leaving many people with coins that were no longer backed by the government... .David Vagi.

 


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