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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 20, Number 4

April 2007

April Membership Meeting
Wed., April 4, 2007 Central Lutheran Church

7:15 PM Meeting


 

WHAT'S UP WITH THE CENTS OF 1909? THEIR PRICES!
by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

Some of you may remember that I did an article about four years ago about the need to gather up some Lincoln cents from the year 1909 in anticipation of a possible price increase in said cents. Well, it turns out that I was about three years early in that prediction, but starting about a year ago the prices of all 1909 cents, Lincoln and Indian Head, started to go up with a vengeance. We are not talking small gains here folks: the 1909 VDB cents have doubled in low grades and the 1909 Indian cents have tripled!

This is good stuff, people!

Where will the prices on these relatively common cents go from here? Nobody knows for sure of course, but I would suspect that there is still some room for prices to advance, though the majority of the move is over.

First, let me recap that article from four years ago, Summer 2003. At that time, I suggested that the prices of 1909 Lincoln cents, both with and without the VDB, would advance as the year 2009 approached. My thinking at the time is that a large number of coin promoters would be assembling and selling to the public coin sets in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln cent. By promoters I mean the companies that sell coins and coin sets to the general public as opposed to collectors. The sets are generally housed in plastic holders with cardboard inserts with pictures and historical information about the coins in the set. There is usually a fancy certificate of authenticity and other gee whiz kind of stuff enclosed. The coins themselves are generally low grade and often cleaned because the non collecting public likes shiny coins. You will find these coin sets advertised in high circulation magazines and in newspapers, but not in numismatic periodicals. The price charged is much higher than an experienced collector would pay, but in their defense the companies building these sets do have a huge advertising bill to pay. While the price charged for these sets is rather steep; I think that this whole process is beneficial to the hobby by getting people exposed to the hobby.

1909 Lincoln Cent

1909 Lincoln Cent

Now here we are in 2007, and the prices on all 1909 cents have been advancing strongly for the last year. In the original article, I suggested that gains for the two keys from that year would be limited as they would not be used to build sets for the general public. The companies that build and sell these sets want to do so at the lowest possible cost, so that means sticking with the Philadelphia issues and staying away from the 1909-S and 1909-S V.D.B. key coins. I had originally envisioned the promoters building sets consisting of the 1909 plain and 1909 V.D.B. cents along with whatever cent designs are issued in 2009. Based on the recent price trends, I would say that they are also planning on including a 1909 Indian head cent in their sets.

1909 Indian Head Cent

1909 Indian Head Cent

As I mentioned earlier, the promoters wish to build these sets as cheaply as possible. This means that the condition of the coins is rather irrelevant. As long as the date is clear, they do not need to be any higher than Good-4 or maybe even an AG-3+, again as long as the date is clear. In order to get the quantities needed, they will probably have to buy all they can in say Good-4 to maybe Fine-12 condition or maybe even a bit higher if they are having trouble acquiring enough volume. Of course, if prices surge in these lower grades, the higher grade coins will be taken along for the ride.

Lets look at the individual issues.

I was correct that the 1909-S plain and V.D.B. coins would not move much in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln cent. Both coins have moved up about 10 to 15 percent in value in lower grades. This is actually fairly poor performance, as coins in general, and key date coins in particular, have been on a roll for the last several years. These two dates have actually underperformed many other key dates in other series. Even within the universe of Lincoln cents, the other key dates have done much, much better. Looking at the other two keys of the series shows that the 1914-D has jumped an impressive 20 to 40 percent in value, depending on the exact condition. The 1931-S has done even better, advancing a whopping 30 to 60 percent in lower grades. I was incorrect, however, in expecting a price jump in the 1909 plain Lincoln cents. Because they were starting from such a low price level, it seemed like they could easily make a 50 percent jump and still be fairly cheap. That has proven so far to not be the case, and prices on these coins have hardly budged at all.

One coin that did make a big jump forward in price over the last year, nearly doubling in lower grades, is the 1909 V.D.B. cent from the Philadelphia mint. Comparing their prices in the March 2006 and March 2007 Greysheets shows a jump in the bid price from $4.05 up to $8.00 in Good condition. Fines moved from $4.50 to $8.40. Very Good condition shows a similar leap in price. While this is an extremely common issue in all grades, it is also very, very popular. It is one of those coins that the general public has heard of even though they may not know anything else about coins other than how to spend them. A Lincoln cent with the V.D.B. on the reverse is an essential ingredient in any set commemorating the 100th anniversary of this design.

1909 VDB Lincoln Cent

1909 VDB Lincoln Cent

Now here is one that I did not see coming: the 1909 Indian Head cent. I never expected the 1909 Indian cent to be part of the cent sets that would be sold to the public, but I have to assume that somebody is accumulating these cents in huge quantities for inclusion in such a set. Other late date Indian head cent&have not budged at all in price in lower grades. The semi key 1908-S is stagnant as well though the key date 1909-S Indian cent has zipped up about 25%. That 25% increase sounds good, but it is less than one tenth as great as the huge move in prices of the 1909 Philadelphia Indian cent! In Good condition, they have jumped from $2.75 all the way up to $7.00, a 255% increase! In Fine condition, they have moved from $3.00 to $7.50, a 250% increase in one year. The pattern is the same for the Very Goods. Wow, how great is that for a one year investment? Sure wish I had bought a few thousand of them last year.

So, what is the point of all of this? It just goes to show that sometimes you can predict the price trends of certain coins, though not with perfect accuracy. And timing such a move is nearly impossible. Is it time to sell these cents now and buy them back in 2010 after the promotions are done? Or has the price increase only just begun? Nobody knows for sure, but prices on these three cents are likely to be in nearly continuous motion in one direction or another for at least the next two or three years.....

        Mike Nourse.

 

THE ALASKA STATE QUARTER
by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

It is time for us to decide what image goes on the quarter to represent Alaska in the state quarter program. This quarter will not be released into circulation until late in 2008 but proof sets and mint sets will be released in the spring of 2008. The U.S. mint is currently reviewing these four designs:

Polar bear with midnight sun

Dog musher in Denali Park

Brown bear with salmon

Gold panner

Alaska State Quarter Bear on Ice

The final renditions of these designs will be back in April (or maybe May) and, according to Patti in the Alaska State Commemorative Coin Commission, they will be posted publicly for people to view and offer their own input as to the final choice. Stan Mead, a long time active member of the club, is on the commission and should be able to keep us up to date on this.

Alaska State Quarter Musher

It has taken us a long time to get to this point. From back when Murkowski was governor and the call went out for design ideas up to now when the last choice has to be made. The time went by so fast I must have been hibernating. In that time many design suggestions have been discarded: whale hunters in umiacs, northern lights, igloos, even the Exxon Valdez sinking. But we can't go wrong. Though we have great artists up here the mint just wanted narratives so they could design a coin they could mint easily. Even with the government getting in on it four great designs have been created. It is just up to us now to pick one. Stay tuned for the times and places of the showings......

        Loren.

Alaska State Quarter Bear in River                        Alaska State Quarter Miner

THE ALASKA STATE MEDALLION
by Mike Robuck (Member #24)

I would like to congratulate Christy Ruby, the designer of the 2007 Official Alaska State Medallion!

The 2007 Official State Medallion: This series of state medallions started in 1989, and is mandated by an actual state law. I talked with Representative Alice Hanley in 1988, after reading an article in Coin World about similar programs in California and Texas. She worked with a Rep. from Fairbanks and together they got the law passed.

For the first 3 years the Alaska State Medallions were minted by a company in Oregon. Silver and gold medallions had different patterns then. That company went out of business in 1991. There were only a small number of silver medallions minted that year. There may have been a few gold patterns, although I have never seen one.

1992 Alaska State Medallion

Our company (called The Anchorage Mint at that time) won the contract in early 1992. After a quick art contest, a beautiful rendition of a bald eagle was chosen, we had the dies cut and by early summer we were minting the Official State Medallions right here in Anchorage.

We decided it was more cost effective to have the same pattern on both gold and silver medallions because the mintage of gold is so low that we could not afford all the extra dies. We are able to use some of the same dies for both gold and silver because some of the diameters are the same.

These medallions are sold mainly as souvenirs, we wholesale them to many stores in Southeast Alaska, Fairbanks, and other areas during the summer.

We keep mintage figures of each type and a royalty is paid to the state every year. Over the years, some designs have been more popular than others, the eagle from that first year, 1992, has definitely been the most popular.

A 1 ounce proof silver medallion sold for $25.00 at that time; we will pay $200.00 to buy one back today, although most of the items we have minted over the years have not had that kind of popularity. This program has been very exciting and we are thankful to have the work.

The design contest is going on right now for the 2008 medallions, the deadline is early June. Go to the Alaska Mint downtown with your design to be submitted. Wouldn't it be exciting to be the designer of the Official Alaska State Medallion for the same year our state quarter comes out?......

        Mike Robuck.

 

FOR OUR NEXT MEETING

Congratulations to Nikos Pastes for winning the March membership prize- a series 1976 $2 Federal Reserve Note stamped by the U.S. Post Office and to Larry Nakata for winning the March door prize- the Alaska Mint Year 2002 Salmon Silver Medallion.

We're going to tailor our club meetings so that they conclude by 8:30 PM.

In order to do this, our monthly coin auctions will be limited to 15 lots. However, if you have a lot that did not make it into the auction, you can still sell that item after the auction. Our club meetings encourage buying, selling, and trading of numismatic items. If you have an item for sale that you would like posted in the newsletter prior to the club meeting, get with Larry Nakata.

For our April 4th meeting, these are the lots submitted thusfar:

Bill Fivaz has sent us another group of coins:

1828 U.S. Half Cent (12 stars) in XF condition. Minimum Bid $85

1845 U.S. Large Cent in XF condition. MB $25

1943-D Lincoln Cent PCI graded MS-65. No minimum bid.

1938-D Buffalo Nickel graded NGC MS-66. MB $85.

1942-P Mercury Dime graded NGC MS-66 FB MB S39.

1943-D Mercury Dime graded NGC MS-66 FB. MB S35.

1943-D Washington Quarter graded PCI MS-64. MB S35.

1954 Proof Washington Quarter graded SEGS PF-64. MB $15.

1810 US Bust Half Dollar in XF condition. MB $155.

1963-D Franklin Half Dollar graded ANACS MS-65 FBL. MB $95.

We also have our feature coin as the 11th lot, a 1903 Indian Cent in circulated condition. This coin has been donated by Roy Brown with proceeds going to the club.

Effective our May 2nd meeting, there will be a $1 surcharge placed on each lot that makes it to the monthly coin auction. This $1 surcharge will go to the club.

Thanks go to Ed Vey for bringing the spaghetti for our March meeting potluck. That potluck was so successful that we would like to do it again for our April 4th club meeting.

So... bring potluck items to our next meeting.

At our April 4th meeting, club president Loren Lucason will be giving a presentation on "Doing Unmentionable Things to Silver Coins". An interesting topic.

See you at the next club meeting..... Your Editors.

Schedule of Events for the Month of April:

1. Monthly Membership: April 4th (Wednesday) at 7:15 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area). Loren Lucason will be giving a presentation on "Doing Unmentionable Things to Silver Coins". There will be a bullet auction of no more than 15 numismatic lots. Members, YNs, and general public welcomed. Refreshments provided.

2. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: April 18th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the New Cauldron Restaurant located at the University Center. Club members welcomed.

 

FROM YOUR PRESIDENT

I am happy to become the president of this, the largest coin club in the state of Alaska. There are great things happening now in numismatics. Internationally; since the dollar began flagging overseas the demand for gold has gone up, including gold coins. Nationally; since the state quarter program is winding up and the president dollar program is starting up proof sets have regained their popularity. Locally; the Alaska state quarter design is going to be decided upon in the next month or so. Inside this club, not only is a new generation of collectors finding their way to us, our twentieth year anniversary is coming up. And even inside this newsletter the board has voted for a few changes including a column from the Alaska Mint, and a monthly coin book report.

With all this going on I figure it is time for a game so I have made one up. It is called The Coin ID game. A free coin will be given to any of you who wants to play. Bring that coin back with a full attribution and you not only get to keep that one, you get another coin to ID. We will start this game as soon as we get an administrator to keep track of it.

This is a new world of changes in all levels of numismatics and we are at the front of it. I am looking forward to a year of great achievements by this coin club.....

        Loren.

A MESSAGE FROM YOUR VICE PRESIDENT

Sorry for the delay in the last two newsletters. I have been very busy and never got around to writing an article. We have had our recent elections and I am now Vice President of the Coin Club. It has been a great experience being the President and I look forward to continuing my service to and support of the Club for growth and positive direction.

2007 has started off to be a run and interesting year for numismatics. The new golden presidential series dollar coins and its error varieties started a successful collectors trend. Hopefully the year will bring more exciting numismatic surprises.

Spring is now here and the Club has decided to change the venue for our annual summer picnic which is only about 4 months away. At the next meeting we should be able to narrow down the location and determine dates. Last year's auction at the summer picnic was a great success and we are hoping to equal or better that this year. The Club is looking for numismatic items to be donated to the Club for the summer auction. Please consider donating - items can be dropped off to Carl's or Roy's store or you may contact the Coin Club directly.

I'd like to thank all of our past Club members that have donated numismatic items to past auctions. Club member support is vital to the stability and growth of the club, Special thanks to Roy Brown, Robert Hall, Loren Lucason, John Larson, Larry Nakata, and all others that have donated time and materials to the Club. Also a special thanks to Bill Fivaz for sending an outstanding selection of coins to our monthly club auctions. Thanks also go out to Mike and Michelle Robuck of the Alaska Mint for donating an excellent collection of silver Alaska coins for our annual Christmas party. Larry Nakata deserves special thanks for doing a great newsletter and for overall service to the Club. He is a vital part of the Club and truly appreciated. Last but not least, a special thanks to anyone that I may have forgotten to mention.

The past year as President has been very rewarding and now I will be glad to continue to support and serve the Club as Vice President. I hope to see everyone at the next meeting.

Your Friend in Numismatics.......

        Carl.

 

THE COIN IDENTIFICATION GAME

This is friendly game open to every one in the club and will result in coins given to everyone who plays. You will be given a coin in a 2X2 with a blank tag attached. We will write your membership number and the date on the tag. Bring the coin back to next meeting with a full identification and you can keep that coin and receive another. A log will be kept of you having a coin and how many you have identified. The one who has ID'ed the most coins will be given a special coin.

You can use what ever it takes to ID the coin including talking with friends, searching the web, or looking it up in books. You must find out the country, the denomination, the date, and the metal the coin is made of. Your identifications will be check in Krause and Mishler's Catalog of World Coins. Only one coin will be given to a member at each meeting and you can only have one coin out to be identified. You must bring the coin back in the same 2X2 to get another coin.

The member who has Identified the most coins in one year will be given a special prize coin. In the event of a tie one coin in a 2X2 will be put in a bag for each competitor in the tie. The one who draws out the coin with a marked tag will win the prize coin. The special prize coin will be given to the winner at the Christmas party.

NEWS FLASH: The President Dollar coins have the date on the edge of the coin. If you find one without lettering on the edge keep it. It is worth much more than a dollar.

 

BOOK REPORT

This is a colorful book full of pictures and maps. It is organized by country. If you want to know about the coins from any particular place in the world look it up in the section for the continent it is on. Not only will you find great pictures of their coins and maps of the area, there is an easy to read history of their coinage back to ancient times. This book is a good place to get information that gives the coins in your collection some meaning but if you want a continuous time line and solid value numbers for a particular series you will need to go to Krause or Sear. A wonderful book for your library and a great book for showing your kids the world of coins.

 

BULLET AUCTION FEATURE COIN OF THE MONTH

A 1903 Indian Head Cent BV (book value) $2 : A problem free coin given to the club as a donation by Roy Brown of Roy's Coins. An inexpensive coin it just so happens to have been minted in the same year as the Wright brothers flight at Kitty Hawk. This coin may have been in the pocket of someone at the demonstration watching with amazement as Orville lakes off from the ground and flies around in complete control of an aircraft. This coin is just a bit of history for your pocket and the money goes into the club's coin show fund.

Minutes of March 21st Board Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM by club president Loren Lucason.

There was no correspondence or bills to be paid a this meeting.

Discussed at the meeting were:

Changes to the club's monthly coin auctions. Those changes to be posted in the next club newsletter.

Ways to tailor the club meetings so that we can end at 8:30 PM.

Changes to the club's newsletter format.

There were a number of recommendations reviewed on locations for our coin club's July Summer picnic. Since some of our coin club members are looking into these locations and availability..... the Board decided to forego a decision on location until next month.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM.

 

 

STATUS OF CLUB SEMINAR IN SEPTEMBER

As of this newsletter, there have been six members showing interest in a coin seminar for September-estimated cost $300 to attend.

In last month's newsletter, it was pointed out that commitments need to be made by end of April for at 15 people... to cost justify such a seminar.

We need commitments from nine more people....

The last seminar held was 4 years ago.

In this newsletter is the interest form that you can fill out.

 

 

 


The Anchorage Coin Club
 

Meetings:       Membership meeting - First Wednesday of the month, 7:30 PM
                        E-Board meeting - Third Wednesday of the month, 7:00 PM
                        Meetings held at the Central Lutheran Church, at the corner of 15th and Cordova

 

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