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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 18, Number 4

April 2005

April Membership Meeting
Wed., April 6th, 2005 Central Lutheran Church

6:30 PM YNs, 7:15 Meeting


 

FROM YOUR EDITORS

    With some members discussing at length their latest coin and others wanting to put the example coins for the night's presentation into the bullet auction we got a late start to the March meeting. The first thing to do was the drawing for the prizes. The door prize was a BU 1953 Franklin half and the ticket drawn was owned by Vice President John Larson. At the last meeting John won the raffle prize; a capped bust half. When the membership prize ticket was drawn, amazingly enough, it also belonged to John Larson. To show that it was just good fortune and not a sign that the fix was in John passed on the prize and another name was drawn. The prize, a BU 1887 Morgan Silver Dollar, was won by Ruth Mead. Ruth collects paper money because it's small and easy to store.

We quickly went onto the elections.

Carl was a shoe-in for president. He showed some interest in the job and had the qualifications to do it. Then we had something not seen in the club in years (if ever). We had a race for the office of Vice President. Loren Lucason squared off against John Larson. John stated he had shown competency in the job the years he has held the office. Loren promised to support the president in his plans for the club and to step in if Carl gets into another bicycle accident. By a narrow margin Loren won the race.

The elections resulted in the following Board of our club for the next year:

President Carl Mujagic

Vice President Loren Lucason

Secretary Larry Nakata

Treasurer Greg Samorajski

Board Member Stan Mead

Board Member Bill Hamilton

Board Member Justin Samorajski

Congratulations go out to the new Board for the upcoming year.

Coin Tables at the Northway Mall Coin Show

Coin Tables at the Northway Mall Coin Show

The presentation for the evening was given by Loren. It was the history of the use of gold in coins. From the start of gold being traded by weight in the form of nuggets... to the first coins being struck in Greece... to the Caesars on Roman gold... to Islamic coins of the middle ages... to the wealth of  gold from the new world... to modern bullion coins... Loren discussed the changing face of numismatic gold. Coins representing these changes were passed around. The last coin to be viewed was a slabbed proof 2001 Krugerrand; an example of the first modern bullion coin having become a piece of gold art. The presentation ended with Loren going around the room asking each member about their favorite gold coin. Almost exclusively the favorites were American gold coins. They ranged from the Capped Busts... to the Indians... to the beautiful works of St. Gaudens. We truly are the "American" Anchorage Coin Club.

The public is catching on to us being the best game in town for unbiased opinions on coins. The club was represented by Steve Mead and Loren Lucason at shows in the valley and at the Northway Mall. There were a lot of interesting people who came by our table. We gave out a lot of free information and traded new commemorative nickels for donations to the club. But nobody actually laid down money to join. Perhaps, if we had a little more Anchorage Coin Club representation we could get more people to join the club.

We will be having the Young Numismatist (YN) Numismatic Donation Auction at our May or June membership meeting. This is an auction where we donate interesting coins and numismatic items to be auctioned off to our members. All of the proceeds go to the support of our YN program. We already have some very interesting items in th«-aa€tion-iHelud4ng-

Ancient Roman, early US silver, and exotic foreign coins... as well as important reference books on paper money. We ask that you bring your auction donations to the April meeting. On the day of the auction, we ask that you buy something interesting to add to your collection.

At our upcoming club meeting on April 6th, we ask that our club members bring in examples of their favorite coins. We're going to do a "Show and Tell" that evening so that our members can show off coins and other numismatic items they have collected over the years. Lets also give Stan Mead and Larry Nakata a break that night by bringing in some "potluck dishes" as our refreshments for the evening. They can use the break......Your Editors.

FROM YOUR NEW PRESIDENT

Important Announcement to all Members of the Anchorage Coin Club from the Board!

The Anchorage Coin Club is an important place for all members to discuss, enjoy, and share information about all numismatics, education, and collecting. We have had sort of a lower amount of members attending our monthly meetings and a slower turnout for new coin club members. We are asking all club members to encourage new memberships and attend the regular meetings.

Membership is a vital part of the club. We need new members to continue and succeed as a club. Everyone is encouraged to give any suggestions or ideas on how we can improve memberships and participation. We would like to see an aggressive campaign of acquiring new members so the club can prosper, grow, and bring numismatic interests to the community.

Please....lets all work together and make an effort to increase club membership.....Sincerely, Carl.

YNs Filling Out Their Penny Books At The Coin Show

YNs Filling Out Their Penny Books At The Coin Show

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Schedule of Events for the Month of April:

YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: April 6th (Wednesday) at 6:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area). YNs, club members, and general public welcomed.

Monthly Membership Meeting: April 6th (Wednesday) at 7:15 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area). This will be a "potluck dish" event. Bring a dish to the meeting. Also...bring your favorite coins, currency, or numismatic collectable to the meeting. We are having a "Show and Tell" event. There will also be an bullet auction of no more than 15 numismatic lots. Members, YNs, and general public welcomed.

Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: April 20th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the New Cauldron Restaurant located at the University Center. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the March 16th Board Meeting

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by club president Carl.

There were no bills or correspondence to review that evening.

Larry Nakata brought up the club's next event....the YN Numismatic Donation Auction. This is a yearly event in which club members donate coins, currency, and other numismatic items that are auctioned off at either our club's May or June meeting. Larry will be soliciting donations and will post a request to all members in the upcoming club newsletter. Depending upon the amount of donations, we will have the auction at either the May 4th or June 1st club meetings.

March 5 - 6 Coin Show at the Northway Mall

March 5 - 6 Coin Show at the Northway Mall

The remainder of the meeting concentrated on the beginning planning stages for a club sponsored show that would occur around the time of the Permanent Dividend checks. This show will be our club's Year 2005 major project.

The first phase of the planning focused on the issue of location of such a show. Discussed were issues such as:

• Hosting such a show at a mall. Result: After some discussion, a mall has certain restrictions...one of which is the ability to host a coin auction for the public. Also, seminars that could be held during the course of the show. Again... restrictions. Accordingly, it was decided that this was not an alternative to consider unless we scale down the show events considerably.

• Hosting a show at name location such as a big hotel or Convention Center (Sheraton, Captain Cook, Hilton). Result: Cost became an issue for conducting such a show. Several years ago, our club researched such costs around a 35 to 50 table show. At that time it was determined that the cost of conducting such a event would have exceeding $15,000. Such a show would have to be subsidized out of significant donations and/or club funds. It was determined that, in light of such costs, this would not be a viable alternative to consider.

• Hosting a show at a smaller hotel or at a community location. Result: This was considered to be the most viable alternative to consider. The upside is that costs would be more reasonable. Downside...we would need to actively advertise such an event in order to make the show successful. After some discussion, it was decided that this would be the plan for our Year 2005 Coin Show.

The next phase will be to look at events that we would like to consider for the show and the logistics needed to make the show successful. This will be the agenda for the next Board meeting on April 20th. As there was no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8 PM.

YN NUMISMATIC DONATION AUCTION
WE NEED DONATIONS FROM YOU

    It has been a yearly tradition in our coin club to have a donation auction that benefits our club's YN Program. Each year, I have been asking our club members to donate coins, currency, and other numismatic items for this auction. Over these years, the generosity of our club members have seen such items as the 1909-S VDB penny, gold coins, U.S State Bank Notes (pre-civil war), pre-1900 Federal currency notes, ancient coins, books, and many other nice numismatic items donated to our YN Auctions.

Over the years, the moneys have been used to host seminars for the YNs, sending YNs to the ANA Summer Convention in Colorado Springs, and providing YNs with coins and numismatic material for their meetings. This year will see an effort to increase membership in our YN Program. Over the 17 year period of our club's existence, The Anchorage Coin Club has seen three generations of YNs grow up in our club. Our latest generation is getting older. Some of them have gone onto college. Others have achieved adulthood and are now members of our coin club. It's time for building up our 4th generation of YNs.

That is what a coin club is about.

Accordingly, 1 am asking all members of our club to be generous and donate what you can to such a good cause.

You can donate by:

• Bringing your donated coins, currency, and numismatic items to our April 6th club meeting.

• Dropping off your donations to Roy's coin shop (Roy's Coins) or to Carl's business (Carl's at the University Center).

• Mailing the donations to our club's mailing address at Anchorage Coin Club/ P.O. Box 2301697 Anchorage, AK 99523.

The auction will be held at either our May 4th or June 1st membership meeting. I will post the auction lots in the upcoming newsletter(s).

It is for a good cause......Larry Nakata.

 

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE ALASKA STATE QUARTER
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

    OK, boys and girls, your assignment for tonight is to start thinking about a design for the Alaska state quarter. Even though our quarter will not appear until fall of the year 2008, the entire process of selecting a design must be completed by late summer to early fall of 2007 so that the Mint can prepare dies for Proof coin production. Proof coins are often minted a month or two of the date that appears on the coin so that they are available for the Mint to put them on sale right at the beginning of the year they are dated.

At this time, in early 2005, the states that will be featured on quarters in 2007 are forming their design selection committees and getting ready to accept designs. We will likely be at this same stage a year from now, though I have heard that the ball has already started rolling in terms of choosing members for an Alaska design selection committee. I suspect that design concepts will be accepted by spring of 2006 if not sooner.

Hopefully you have started to think of a design. It will have to be good — competition is likely to be fierce. In a great state like Alaska, there are hundreds of ideas that would certainly work very well on a quarter, so you have to make your design stand out from the 5,000 to 10,000 other entries that are likely to be submitted. "Moose standing in a patch of fireweed" probably isn't going to cut it. Get specific. And remember that you will have to be able to describe your design in words, as the Mint is not accepting graphic designs. Loren Lucason went over some of the specific rules and regulations concerning the design criteria in the February issue of this same fine publication.

What have we seen so far in the state quarter series? Everyone will agree that we have some quarters that are good, some that are bad, and some that are downright nasty. There will, however, be disagreement about which quarter fits into which category, but the fact remains that some are better than others. I am hoping that our Alaska statehood quarter will fall into the 'better' category rather than the 'others' category, but only time will tell.

You will have to keep some things in mind when coming up with a design. It goes without saying that your design must make people think of the State of Alaska. Helen Keller was very famous for overcoming her physical handicaps of being both blind and deaf, but she really does not make me think of the state of Alabama at all. It should also be noted that no busts of individuals may be portrayed, so scrap your idea for a bust of William Seward.

Remember that your design must look good on a monochromatic canvas not even an inch across. You don't realize just how small a quarter really is until you start trying to draw a design in actual size. Things look different when they are small; the charter oak on the Connecticut quarter looks more like a brain cell than a mighty oak. Also, the Mint has a policy of using the lowest possible relief on our modern coinage in order to extend die life, even though it this is done at the expense of fine details and artistic merit.

A popular theme throughout the state quarter series has been the use of an outline of the state being honored. Alaska has a very distinctive and unique outline to be sure, but I can summarize my thoughts on the use of our state outline in one word: boooorriinnnnng. Is that really the best we can come up with, given all the possibilities that this state presents? Let's be more creative than that, folks!

The state quarters issued thus far can be pretty well separated between those that focus on a single theme and those that try to cover several themes in the small space provided. Realistically, there just isn't enough space on a quarter to effectively cover several different topics. My own personal preference is heavily weighted toward the single topic quarters rather than the ones with several tiny unrelated items pictured. A moose will work. A moose, musk ox, caribou, bear, eagle, raven, fox, porcupine, and seal all together in front of a mountain range with a stream below and northern lights above just will not work. Focus, people, focus!

Let's take a  look at some of the designs that have appeared thus far. Goodness knows I have no artistic talent or ability of any kind, but I will share my thoughts about these quarters, pointing out what I think went right and what went wrong. Remember, these are just one person's opinions.

Delaware State Quarter

Delaware State Quarter

Delaware got things off to a great start. A simple, uncluttered design covering a single theme.

New Hampshire State Quarter

New Hampshire State Quarter

The artistic merit of the New Hampshire quarter can be debated, but again they have stuck to a single theme and an uncluttered design.

Rhode Island State Quarter

Rhode Island State Quarter

Rhode Island did a great job with their quarter. They stuck to a single theme, sailing, and created a quarter that really makes you think of Rhode Island. This is in contrast with the Alabama quarter noted above featuring Helen Keller. Does an image of Ms. Keller really make you think of the state of Alabama? A big thumbs up to the state of Vermont for their depiction of a farmer tapping maple trees for their sap. That image clearly brings up thoughts of Vermont maple syrup, and thus the state of Vermont.

Ohio State Quarter

Ohio State Quarter

The Ohio quarter is a bit of a mess. If you remove the state outline and cover the state name at the top, would you really know that this quarter was meant to represent Ohio?

Maryland State Quarter

Maryland State Quarter

This design is a real disappointment. There is nothing particularly wrong with it on an artistic basis, but does it really make you think of Maryland? I am sure that somebody could have come up with a great design featuring Chesapeake Bay, which would have screamed 'Maryland' all day long.

South Carolina State Quarter

South Carolina State Quarter

South Carolina chose to put several different unrelated state symbols atop the dreaded state outline. Compare that to Mississippi, which concentrated on just one of their state symbols, their state flower the magnolia, and came up with a very decent design.

Tennessee State Quarter

Tennessee State Quarter

Tennessee successfully placed several items on their quarter. In this case, the design works well because the items are all related to a musical theme, and Tennessee is famous as a center for country music.

Pending Alaska State Quarter Design

Pending Alaska State Quarter Design

Lastly, here is our Alaska state quarter as it stands now. Let's hope it is one of the best. You may be wondering if I have a design in mind. Yep indeed. Will I share that design concept with you? You bet... after the design submission period ends! Good luck to all, and remember to have fun coming up with a design for our quarter. See you all at the quarter release ceremony in Fall 2008!......Mike Nourse.

 


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