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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. 22  No. 2


FEBRUARY 4th, 2009 7:00 PM - COUNTERFEITS


 

PRESIDENTS COME AND GO, INDIANS STAY

 

    The U.S. mint is starting another series of dollar coins. In addition to president dollars there will be Native American dollars. The new series will have Sacagawea (some pronounce it saw-cog-away) on the obverse and a Native American scene on the reverse. The first scene chosen is a native woman planting seeds:

 

2009 Native American Dollar

 

    The mint will confer with National Indian Councils and the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of the American Indian. The final designs will be chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury. There is no clear termination date for this program but it will continue to least 2016.

    Each year four presidents will come and go on dollar coins but for the entire year one Native American design will stay on the back of the Sacagawea dollar. So each year there will be five new dollar coins in circulation to collect: four presidents and one Indian.

 

BERKSHIRE BUCKS

 

    In GREAT HARRINGTON, Massachusetts, Norman Rockwell's face adorns the 50 BerkShares note, one of five denominations in a currency adopted by towns in western Massachusetts to support locally owned businesses over national chains.

    There are about 844,000 BerkShares in circulation, worth $759,600 at the fixed exchange rate of 1 BerkShare to 90 U.S. cents, according to program organizers. The paper scrip is available in denominations of one, five, 10, 20 and 50.

    In their 10 months of circulation, they've become a regular feature of the local economy. Businesses that accept BerkShares treat them interchangeably with dollars: a $1 cup of coffee sells for 1 BerkShare, a 10 percent discount for people paying in BerkShares.

    The BerkShares program is one of about a dozen such efforts in the nation. Local groups in California, Kansas, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin run similar ones.

    U.S. law prevents states from issuing their own currency but allows private groups to print paper scrip, though not coins, said Lewis Solomon, a professor of law at George Washington University, who studies local currencies."As long as you don't turn out quarters and you don't turn out something that looks like the U.S. dollar it's lecal" ... . from Reuters

Berkshire Bucks

 

"GAMING TOKNES"
by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)

    Essentially, a gaming token is nothing more than a gambling chip that you see in casinos around the world. These gaming chips come in various denominations. Here in the United States, gaming tokens come in two varieties:

    Gaming tokens you see on casino tables for games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, baccarat, etc. Such tokens are gambling chips that are made of compressed molded clay with a secret composition of other materials mixed with the clay. The process used to make these gambling chips is a trade secret proprietary to the manufacturer. This is done to prevent counterfeiting of gambling chips.

    The second variety are metallic dollar gaming coins used by casinos for their slot machines. I happen to collect these slot machine $I gaming tokens (coins). I've been collecting them over the years from various casinos around the country. There are other metallic gaming coins of higher denominations used by these casinos as well. But today.... if you go to a typical casino..... you'll find that slot machines have been converted to use paper currency instead. You just don't see very many coin operated slot machines anymore.

    The history of the gaming token goes back to 1626 when the first gambling house was legalized in Venice, Italy. The so-called "poker chips" (gaming tokens) we see today really did not come into their own until the 1800s when you see the game of poker being played on Mississippi riverboats. The gold dust, gold nuggets, coins, and paper currency used for gambling gave way to these "poker chips" which were made of ivory, bone, wood, paper, ceramic, and finally a chip composed of clay and shellac. By the turn of the 19th century, there were companies specializing in the production of clay composition "poker chips".

Among the features used to avoid counterfeiting gaming tokens was:

The composition of material used to make the chip.

Use of multicolored clay to give that unique chip edge (called the edge spot) effect you see on a typical table gaming chip. Such edge spotting is distinctive to the particular casino.

The artwork of the chip being of high photographic resolution.

How the printed graphics are inlayed onto the center of the chip.

The latest generation of high denomination chips use RFID technology with an RF semiconductor imbedded into the chip.

    Such table gaming chips are called compression molded chips since they are placed in a special mold that heats and compresses the chips at approximately 10,000 psi at 350 degrees F.

    For years the U.S. silver dollar was traditionally used for the coin operated slot machine. Use of the Morgan and Peace dollars for slot machine use came to an end in 1964 when U.S. silver dollars were selling at a premium well above the value of the coin. This was due to its silver content. This caused the Nevada Gaming Commission to pass regulations permitting casinos to issue their own private dollar denomination metal tokens (coins). This gave rise to private mints that specialized in making these dollar "slot machine" coins..... among them the Franklin Mint. The dollar "slot machine" coins were made for casino use from 1965-1969.... at which time the US Mint came out with the "Eisenhower (Ike) Dollar". For a while the casinos shifted back to use of the "Ike Dollar" for slot machine use. But the United States government decided that the "Ike Dollar" was not meant to be used for slot machines and allowed the casinos to go back to minting their own one dollar tokens (coins). The "Ike Dollar" was phased out in 1979 at which time casinos converted over to their own dollar tokens.

    To prevent counterfeiting of such dollar tokens, the manufacturers used a variety of security measures to include use of different edge reeding patterns on the coin.

    Today dollar slot machines have given away to paper technology. Just feed paper money in to the machine and press a button to get a slip of paper to cash out.

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If the only thing you brought back from your trip to Monte Carlo in Europe was a rare $1 poker chip....

You are probably a numismatist.

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JANUARY MEMBERSHIP MEETING

 

    We gave signed copies of Bill Fivaz's "Counterfeit Detection Guide" to Carl and Jack's son for membership and door prizes. Congratulations went out to Jill Barnhart, Dan's wife, for winning the raffle prize, an 1833 AU55 Bust Half Dollar, at our Christmas party. Thanks go to Jim Sabrowski and Tim Burke for their generous donations of cash to our club and special Thanks go to Jack Vinson and his wife for the donation of all the wrapped Christmas presents given out at the party.

    We had a spirited bullet auction conducted by Carl followed by Larry's presentation on gaming tokens. Larry brought in his collection of $1 gaming tokens for all to see. After the rest of the food was gone we went home looking forward to the next meeting February 4th.

 

BOARD MINUTES

    The board meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM. Correspondence was reviewed and ANA candidates were endorsed. Bill Fivaz submitted several lots for the next bullet auction including some key Indian Head Cents. Coin shows were discussed. Determining the number of members who want to participate was a key issue. We could not decide on a fee for submitting lots for the bullet auction; no fee, fixed fee, percentage fee, or a donation to the club. It was decided to make a $500 FRN the next raffle prize. This will be the biggest single numismatic item we have ever had in the raffle. We will set a calendar for 2009 club activities at our next board meeting February 18th.

 

ANA EVENTS

    This year's ANA theme for coin week (April 19-25) will be "Lincoln's Legacy". Put together a Lincoln Display including numismatics and win prizes from ANA. Lincoln has been on the cent for 100 years now and new reverses are coming out for the coin. He was president during a pivotal time in American history and has left behind an amazing legacy. Check ANA's web site money.org for details on how to win prizes.

 

MINT NEWS

    The Alaska Mint not only has a President Obama medallion they have this year's Fur Rondy coins. The U.S. mint has the first of the Native American dollars and sets of the six quarters for D.C. and the five territories available.

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MISNUMICAT JUMBLE REDLEAF

Last: KNETO-TOKEN -A privately mint coin worth a specific amount in a specific place.

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BRING YOUR COUNTERFEITS

TO THE NEXT MEETING

AND WE WILL CHECK THEM OUT.



ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB
RAFFLE PRIZE

 

$500 NOTE FINE to VERY FINE

Come see this note.
It could become the biggest denomination in your collection.

tickets: $5/each, 5 tickets/$20

WINNING TICKET TO BE DRAWN AT OUR SUMMER PICNIC IN JULY


 

President: Jack Vinson

Vice President: Ed Vey

Secretary: Larry Nakata

Treasurer: Stan Mead

Board Member: John Larson

Board Member: Bill Hamilton

ACCent Editor: Loren Lucason

#91 Mike Orr: themoneymerchant.com

#110 Bill Fivaz: e-mail feev@webtv.net

#210 Tom Cederlind: tomcederlind.com