Return to Alaska Coin Exchange homepage

Return to ACCent homepage


ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

ACCent Header 3


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

Vol. 23  No. 5


NEXT MEMBERSHIP MEETING MAY 5th, 2010:
CINCO de MAYO - MEXICAN LIBERTY DAY
END OF MEXICAN-SPANISH REALES, PIRATE TREASURE!


FIRST STATE PARK QUARTER IS OUT

   

    The first of the quarters from the new "America The Beautiful" series is available in roles and bags from the mint usmint.gov. It features the facade of the Hot Springs National Park headquarters building. The park was first established as a national site in Arkansas in 1832. Waters from the 47 springs in the park were not only used for drinking they were used for medical therapy.

    This coin represents the start of a deeper look into American history. Yellowstone is the next quarter.

    THE U.S. THREE CENT COIN
by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)

   

    There is a view that the U.S. Three Cent coin came about because of two issues:

The California Gold Rush of 1848, and

The nation's postal system which had set the cost of the stamp at 3 cents.

    The California Gold Rush resulted in massive amounts of gold being mined and turned into gold coinage. It created such a glut that the value of silver accordingly increased against that of gold. It got to a point where U.S. silver coinage was being melted down because the value of the metal was worth more than the face value of the silver coin. This resulted in the hoarding of silver coins by the American public.

Three cent silver obverse

    By 1851 hardly any silver coins remained in circulation. At this time, most Americans did not like having coinage that was worth substantially less than its face value. Existing silver coins at this time were 90% Silver/10% copper alloy.

    With the coming of the 3 cent stamp, the U.S. Congress came up with a compromise. A Three Cent coin comprised of 75% Silver / 25% copper. Although it debased the value of the coin, the thinking was that there was enough silver in the coin that the American public would accept it. This resulted in the Act of March 3, 1851 which saw the Three Cent Silver coin introduced that year.

    The designer, James Longacre, had to deal with the small size of the coin...which proved difficult. The coin was prone to weak strikes with the Type I coin (minted from 1851-1853) also prone to discoloration.

Three cent silver Reverse

    Despite the design problems, the American public readily accepted the new coin. With the average wage of a worker at that time about 10 cents/hour, this denomination coin proved popular as a good medium of exchange as well as for buying a stamp.

    In 1853, Congress solved the silver problem by officially lowering the weight of U.S. silver coins to compensate for the rise in silver bullion prices. The Act of March 3rd, 1853 also authorized the Three Cent silver coin to go to 90% silver/10% copper content. This resulted in a change in the weight and design of the Type II Three Cent silver coin....which was minted from 1854 to 1858.

    The design was changed to correct the striking problems as well as to identify the change in weight and fineness (alloy) of the Type II coin. As it turns out, the new Type 11 design proved even more vexing. Again... the size and weight of the coin continued to result in weak strikes...especially around the borders of the coin. As a result... when you try and grade a Type II silver Three Cent coin, it's difficult when trying to make a distinction between weak strike or wear on the coin. In 1859, John Longacre would again modify the design to try and solve the striking problem. This came to be known as the Type III design. I guess the third time was the charm. It worked. The Type III coin was to then be minted from 1859-1873.

    The Silver Three Cent coins were affectionately called "Fish Scales" by the American public.....no doubt because of its looks.

    With the outbreak of the Civil War, silver and gold coinage of every kind was being hoarded by the American public. The situation got so bad that by 1862, the Federal Government (in the North) allowed for Fractional currency to be used in its place. After 1862, virtually no Silver Three Cent coins could be found in circulation. Production of the Silver Three Cent coin was also cut way back from 1863 onward. In fact, it is rare to come across Three Cent Silver coins minted from 1863-1873. You better be willing to pay a high price fur such coins.

    By 1865 it was clear that the Federal Government (in the North) was winning the Civil War. By this time the American public showed a distaste of Paper Currency. Realizing this, the U.S. Congress took steps in 1865 with the introduction of Copper-Nickel coinage in smaller denominations. 1865 saw the introduction of the Nickel Three Cent coin which was comprised of 75% copper / 25% nickel alloy.

Three cent nickel piece obverse

    This new Nickel Three Cent coin became immediately popular in replacing Fractional Currency. Again..... the designer was James Longacre. This time... the larger size and weight of the coin did not pose a problem in terms of strike.

    The Nickel Three Cent coin would see mintage from 1865 through 1889. While there were Silver Three Cent coins also minted from 1865 to 1873, very few of those silver coins were minted in those years. This was probably because the Nickel Three Cent coin was cheaper to mint.

    The Act of 1873 would do away with the Three Cent Silver coin. The Nickel Three Cent coin would continue mintage until 1889. The need for this Nickel Three Cent coin would end when postal rates changed.... in other words, the cost of the stamp went above 3 cents. The Three Cent denomination was officially discontinued by Congress in the Act of September 16th, 1890.

    While millions of both Silver and Nickel Three Cent coins were minted, these coins were to be melted down for their metal and reused in mintages of other U.S. coinage.

    As a collector, putting together a full set of Silver Three Cent coins will be very tough...... when you consider only 42,000 Silver Three Cent coins were minted from 1863 - 1873...... and that a number of these coins were also melted down. Finding Silver Three Cent coins in higher grades is also difficult since they were heavily circulated and prone to wear.

    Key dates are the 1851-O with all other coins minted from the Philadelphia Mint. Of course..... other key dates are Silver Three Cent coins minted between 1863 to 1873.... if you can find them.

    Putting together a set of Nickel Three Cent coins is a bit easier. Mintages were higher overall for the Three Cent Nickel. Keep in mind that there were three years when no Nickel Three Cent coin was minted: 1877, 1878, and 1886. Reason...too many Three Cent coins in circulation. In fact, mintages of the Three Cent Nickel coin was cut back in the period of 1883 to 1887... making these dates key date coins as well.

To conclude..... in the end..... the U.S. Three Cent coin would give way to the U.S. Nickel, which is use today.......

        Larry Nakata.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you checked for breaks in luster on your BU coins...

You are probably a numismatist...

And you should belong to the Anchorage Coin Club.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

MEMBERSHIP MEETING APRIL 7th

Door prize: Set of six (6) Buffalo nickels in display holder "American Frontier Nickel Set" won by Mike Gentry.

Membership prize: Set of:

1909 Indian / Lincoln cents,

1938 Buffalo / Jefferson nickels, and

1916 Barber / Mercury dimes.

In display holder "Double Minted Collection" won by Glen Dean.

Need for more coin shows discussed at meeting. Board will look into scheduling more shows.

Presentation given by Larry Nakata on the subject of "U.S. Three Cent Coinage".

Coin auction followed. Meeting ended about 8:30 pm.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MISNUMICAT JUMBLE

IMTRE__________________

Last: COURFEE - FOUREE: An ancient counterfeit coin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

WE STILL NEED COIN SHOW TABLE STORAGE SPACE 4'X5'

 

BOARD MEETING APRIL 21st

    Meeting was called to order at 7 PM by club president Tim Burke. Meeting held at the New Cauldron Restaurant.

    Following a review of correspondence, the Board was informed by the New Cauldron Restaurant that their new hours of operation will result in 7:30 pm as their closing time. Board then made the decision to start the Board meetings at 6:30 pm in the future.

    The Board then addressed the issue of more coin shows. It was decided the club should sponsor three such shows each year:

Fur Rendezvous,

A coin show in mid-August, and

A coin show following the release of the permanent dividend check in October.

    John Larson gave an update on the progress of our club's raffle. Drawing to be held at our club's July 3rd Summer picnic event. Need to promote ticket sales between now and the event.

    Larry Nakata then brought up the point that our club's Summer picnic features a Donation Coin Auction as the highlight event. We need to make sure to announce the need for donation coins and numismatic items in our newsletter and at our May / June membership meetings.

    The Board then discussed the need for a webmaster to revamp and maintain our coin club's webpage. There have been no updates in some years to the webpage. It was decided to use the club's newsletter and announce at our club meetings the need and see if one of our members will take up the cause.

    For our May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) Membership meeting, Loren will be giving a presentation on the subject of "Reales". Food for that evening will be a potluck with members asked to bring dishes in keeping with the "Cinco de Mayo" theme.

As there was no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm. Next meeting may 19th.

 

BECOME A WEBMASTER

    This is your chance to take over the webpage of a nationally recognized organization. The Anchorage Coin Club has a website. It has fallen into disrepair for lack of a master. This is your chance to gain knowledge that you will use for the rest of the cyber-age. Running the website is just a matter of keeping the information up to date and posting the newsletter. Contact a board member to take this opportunity.

OUR CAREFULLY CHOSEN RAFFLE PRIZES
BECOME GREAT INVESTMENTS

    One of our recent raffle prizes, a Peace Dollar Set, had a book value of $1014 when we gave it away now the book value is $1927. Many of the coins tripled in value. Some years before that we put together a Buffalo Nickel Set including a 3 legged buffalo and raffled that off. Now you would have to sell the car to build a set like that.

    Our current raffle prizes include a solid investment and a well known treasure. The certified Indian $10 gold piece is of guaranteed value and Victor D. Brenner (VDB) bronze plaque of Lincoln is the very same art he used to make the Lincoln cent. A website offering Americana for sale has one for $2,200.

    Buy raffle tickets. They not only keep the program going they are great investments carefully chosen by wise numismatists.

 

DONATION AUCTION LOTS NEEDED

    The summer picnic, July 3rd, in when we draw the winning tickets for the raffle. It is also when we have our donation auction. We are starting new programs (coin shows, public awareness campaign....) and we need support in these endeavors. We get it from selling coins you no longer need. Donate to the auction.

VIVA CINCO de MAYO BRING MEXICAN FOOD, BUY COINS, & BE MERRY

 

BULLET AUCTION LOTS
FROM BILL FIVAZ, BILL HAMILTON, AND TIM BURKE

1. 1917-P Lincoln Cent MS-62 Brown MB $15

2. 1995-P Lincoln cent 50% off center BU MB 15

3. 1999-P Lincoln cent Centered broadstruck BU MB 13

4. 1918-D Buffalo Nickel Nice strike EF MB 160

5. 1956-P Washington Quarter "B" Rev very scarce in EF MB 20

6. 1963-P 25c "B" Rev Scarce AU MB 20

7. 1916-D (Obv.) Half Dollar Good MB 30

8. 1919-P Half Dollar Good MB 15

9. 1938-D Half Dollar VF MB 75

10. 1884-S Morgan Dollar EF MB 25

11. 1890-CC Morgan Dollar Fine MB 70

12. Store Card Token (Pittsburg) EF MB 18

13. 1984 Great Britain Mint Set MB 16

14. 1984 Great Britain Proof Set MB 21

15. 1976 Bicentennial Medal MB 10

16. 1979 Susan B. Anthony First Day of Issue Set MB 10

17. 1970 25th Anniversary Silver United Nations Coin MB 16

18. 1964 Silver Half Dollar-Colored MB 8

19. 1999 Susan B. Anthony MB 10

20. 1980 Netherlands Coin Set MB 7.50

21. 1978 Denver Mint Set MB 4

22. 1962 AK Native Brotherhood Token / Sitka AK MB 6

23. 1847 Large Cent, Fine MB 25

24. 1856-O Liberty Seated Half Dollar VF - MB 66

25. 1853 Gold Dollar PCGS AU-55 MB 250

26. 1990 Silver American Eagle Proof. In Orig. Box. MB 50

 

WE STILL NEED STORAGE SPACE FOR COIN SHOW TABLES

 

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION

NAME:_____________________________________________________

ADDRESS :_________________________________________________

CITY:________________________ STATE:_______ ZIP:___________

TELEPHONE (HOME):________________________________

                (BUSINESS):________________________________

DUES: Regular; Full membership for those living in Anchorage $25

Sponsored membership - first year $15

Senior, Handicap, & Associates outside Anchorage area $10

Junior; those under the age of 17 $5

Life membership $250

Send application and dues to :

Anchorage Coin Club
P.O. Box 230169
Anchorage, Alaska 99523

E-mail Address: coinclub@pobox.alaska.net

 

 


 

ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB
RAFFLE PRIZE

 

WINNING TICKET TO BE DRAWN AT OUR SUMMER PICNIC

COME TO THE NEXT MEETING
AND SEE THE 1908 $10 GOLD COIN:
OUR NEXT RAFFLE PRIZE!

TICKETS: $5 each or 5 for $20

SECOND AND THIRD PRIZE SAME TICKET


ANCHORAGE COIN CLUB OFFICERS:

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