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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Membership Meeting 1st Wed. each month, 7 PM, Central Lutheran Church, 15th and Cordova

Vol. 21  No. 3


MARCH 5th, 2008 MEETING UPSTAIRS IN COMMUNITY ROOM


 

THE NEW PROOF QUARTERS ARE OUT

The U.S. mint has released proof sets of both clad and silver quarters. At least they have them listed on their web site as in stock. As of this writing nobody has received any. Check with Roy, Carl, or the Alaska Mint for the first available locally.

 

2008 State Quarter Proof Set

This set has the last of the fifty quarters including the the Alaska Quarter. You will want to pick up a few. Our quarter will not be released for general circulation until September.

 

SMALL CHANGE: THE DIME

In the beginning small nuggets found in river beds in Lydia were measured out and traded for all manner of goods in ancient Greek city-states. The nuggets were electrum a natural alloy of silver and gold and Lydia is now part of northern Turkey. Somewhere about 700 B.C. someone started punching their mark into nuggets as a guarantee that they had a specific standard weight. This was the beginning of coinage. Eventually the Persians figured out a way to separate silver from the gold enabling a dual metal money system with silver worth a small fraction of gold. Then the drachm (pronounced dram) was born. It was about the size of a dime only twice as thick. The biggest coin known in ancient Greece was ten drachms (ignoring those Egyptian folks who had some twelve drachm coins)

There was a trade between the Greek city-states and they had a loose agreement as to how much a drachm weighed. Each city-state had its own mark on its drachms i.e. Athens had the owl. As time went by individual economies changed and the weight of a drachm fluctuated. So city-states had money changers who swapped incoming coins for local money (with a cut for themselves). Then about 325 B.C. Alexander the Great came through, united ancient Greece, and set a standard drachm weight that everyone had to stick to. Then Alexander died, Greece broke up, and the Romans came in with their denarius - about the size of a thin drachm but still thicker than a dime. The denarius was standard small change for about 500 years.

When Rome fell the western world went into a dark age where small coins about the size of dimes popped up everywhere, had all kinds of names, and got very thin. But they were still small change. After the renaissance, silver was found in northeastern Europe, and the silver rich new world was discovered. Dime size coins got thicker (a little thicker) and silver cobs started being struck in America.

Eventually the uppity English colonies wanted independence and wanted to set up their own system of money. They did not want the pence-to-pound English system or the 8 reales Spanish system they wanted something different - something better. It was figured out that a system based on the number ten made financial accounting easier. So the standard dollar was invented with one tenth being the dime. We gained independence and the U.S. mint was set up. A small trial coin called a disme (rhymes with cream) was struck but it wasn't until 1796 that the U.S. mint started striking the small dime for circulation.

Those early American dimes were so popular as small change that it is now very hard to find one that is not worn down to a ghost of its self. Those were the draped bust dimes. Production increased with mint experience but it wasn't until the capped bust that early dimes become affordable to the average collector today.

Collecting U.S. dimes is a very rewarding numismatic adventure. U.S. dimes offer some good challenges. Besides the early "flowing hair" types and the mini-medal looking "no stars" seated liberty variety there is the mysterious 1894-S barber and elusive 1916-D Mercury. Everyone can afford, and should have, a set of Roosevelt dimes. And Mercuries back to 1934 are easy enough to find. From there a type set of dimes is nice to have in your collection.

In the end it is all small change. We have always needed fractions of the big money people use every day. It went by different names and some in different metals but it was still just a dime.

THE 1792 DISME WAS ACTUALLY CONSIDERED A PATTERN

There will be a complete set of mercury dimes (less the '16-D) as well as some other nice dimes in our next bullet auction. The starting bid on the mercury set is only $165!

 

THE PRESIDENT'S WORD

At our last membership meeting we talked about dimes and passed around a couple collections to look at. Loren gave us a rundown of the ancient history of dimes and Larry brought us up to date with U.S. dimes.

There were choice coins from Bill Fivaz in the bullet auction and choice coins from Robert Hall for sale. We plan to have coin for sale in a coin show at all our membership meetings. The room in the back of the meeting area is well lit and has tables for us to use. The March meeting however will be in a smaller room upstairs.

Elections for club officers will be at our twentieth anniversary march meeting. The following people have expressed interest in the following club board positions:

Jack Vinson, President

Ed Vey, Vice President

Larry Nakata, Secretary

Stan Mead, Treasurer

Loren Lucason will fill board seat # 1 per our club by-laws

There is a race for the other 2 board seats. John Larson, Bill Hamilton, and Carl have all expressed interest in occupying those seats. If you think you would be belter in any of these board positions or want to vote on who is in the board seats come to the next membership meeting.

The last word is that the die for our twentieth anniversary coin is at the cutter. To set a price for coins and coin sets we need to know how many we will be getting struck. Your silver coin will have your club membership number on the edge. You can also get coins struck in other metals. Bronze, nickel, aluminum, and even Gold are all possible. Let us know what you want.


If you count the number of steps on your nickels,

You are probably a numismatist.

 

COINS FROM BILL FIVAZ IN THE NEXT BULLET AUCTION

1. Complete set (except' 16-D) Mercury 10c (above average some high grade pieces) min.$165

2. BU Roll (25) 2008-P James Monroe $1 no min.

3. 1968-D 5c MS-64 w/nice steps (Rare) min. $35

4. 1903-P $1 BU min. $70

5. Civil War Token EF (R-3) min. $20

6. Hobo Nickel ("Blackie") min. $55

7. 1957 Ceylon 5 Rupees AU min. $15

8. 1978 Russian 10 Rubles (1980 Olympics - Cycling) -900 Fine Silver CAMEO PROOF min. $20

9. 1925-S California 50c PCGS MS-64 min. $395

10. 1936-S Calif. Bay Bridge 50c PCGS MS-64 min. $150

 

BOARD MEETING

The meeting was called to order at 7:30PM. after a nice diner at the New Caldron. Elections were discussed, coin shows were discussed, and Stan Mead decided to talk about proof coins at our next membership meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 8 PM. The next board meeting will be march 19th.

 

NEWS FROM THE MINT

The Alaska Mint is working on a medallic copy of the Alaska Stale quarter that will be 39 mm in diameter.

 

MISNUMICAT SCRAMBLE

IGOFU___________________

LAST MONTH: CUCURINDELTA --- UNCIRCULATED

The condition of a coin that has never been spent.

 

 

ANA EVENT

National Money Show

Phoenix Arizona, March 7-9, 2008

Phoenix Convention Center, West Building

100 North 3rd Street

Phoenix, Arizona

Phone: 800-282-4842

I can only hope that you already have your bags packed

 

Come to the next

meeting and meet the

new officers