Return to Alaska Coin Exchange homepage

Return to ACCent homepage

ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

ACCent Header

Volume 7, Number 7

July 1994

July Membership Meeting
Wed., July 6, 1994 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


Membership News

A healthy turnout numbering nineteen showed up on a sunny summer evening for the June ACC meeting.


Exhibitor Extraordinaire Ben Guild (rhymes with "wild") has produced yet another display for public perusal. The display is located at the Eagle River branch of the First National Bank of Anchorage. The theme is Colonial and Early American Coins. The display is slated for June 23 to July 6, so if you're in the neighborhood during banker's hours stop by and have a look.


Jump on this one, kids! Ken Bressett, ANA Governor and former guest of our club, has made an offer to our YN's. namely a FREE one-year ANA membership. The most tangible benefit of membership is ANA's monthly called The Numismatist. Upon hearing of this offer Bill D'Atri asked: "What's the age limit?" adding. "I'm asking for Greg, of course." What's the diff Bill, as long as Greg is living at home?


Enthusiasm will occasionally overcome good judgement and ordinary prudence. When I heard that Jerry Cleworth would be approached about holding an auction concurrent with our Seminar this fall. I took the ball and ran with it (perhaps in the wrong direction). I operated on the hypothesis that a rumor, when repeated often enough, looks, smells, and tastes like a fact. Well, it seems that it ain't gonna happen. Just to show that I'm still enthusiastic: Did I hear right that it might happen in the Spring??


Mike deserves a great big pat on the back for stepping up to take over the production of the newsletter. He is well-prepared with a fine mind, an ardent interest in Numismatics and numismatic marketing, a screaming fast 486 microprocessor, and Word for Windows. He will be well supported. I am sure, by all of the tine contributors who have supported me over the last couple years. And as for the rest who are more inclined to read rather than write, give Mike plenty of encouragement. Tell him what he's doing wrong, but especially tell him what he's doing right, just as you have for me. And don't forget, keep those cards and letters coming!


The Anchorage Mint, producer of some of the finest Alaskan souvenirs I've ever seen, is seeking an earnest and talented individual to mint medals on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Qualified applicants must be able to deal with the public.


Paul Wheeler reports that $145 in raffle tickets must be sold before the Half Cent is raffled. As of meeting time 30-40 more tickets were needed. The prize is a 12-star variety dated 1828 and graded ANACS XF40. Odds are we will raffle it at the July meeting.


An embarrassed Marsha beat the odds yet again by winning yet another door prize. This time it was a George Washington 250th Anniversary Commemorative Half Dollar--which is small compensation for running around with Jim Walston.


Billy McGinnis was charmed once again by having his number (#85) drawn. He was not charmed enough to win, however, having been absent. Instead, an unembarrassed Jim Walston (140) won this one. The prize was a 1922 BU Peace Dollar described by Jim as grading "MS-something-or-other".


Oh yeah, we had an auction--though you'd hardly know it from being there. Way more than half the lots failed to bring even one bid. It's high time to try something else. We will try a Bid Board beginning with the August meeting. Stay Tuned for details next month.

Treasurer Kicks Some Booty

Sometimes you gotta take a stand. Paid Wheeler, our intrepid Keeper-of-the Books (not to mention the checking account), has been very patient (until now) with recalcitrant, indifferent, and just-plain late dues-payers. Below is printed the inauguration of what is planned to be a regular feature which may provisionally be called the "Back-Dues Report"

The issue of back club dues is getting out of hand, and it's time to take action. I have sent numerous cards and letters, called individuals and made announcements at each meeting for some time with very little response. In the interest of trying to retain members the club has continued to send newsletters to members who are in some cases up to 10 months behind on their dues.

I estimate this practice has cost the club $35.00 in stamps for newsletters, and cards/letters reminding people their dues are due. In many cases it isn't that members want to drop their membership, they just forget to pay, even after repeated reminders. I don't think it's cost effective to send individual notices to each member, so to remind everyone whose dues are due, starting with this issue, each month I'll report on back dues. There will be four categories:


Over three months behind who will receive no newsletter next month:

#14 - Cort Broberg

#24 - Mike Robuck

#43 - Michael Paoletti

#45 - Neal Lydick / Benita Meyer

#52 - Scott Hornal

#56 - Benji Vincent

#57 - Danny Vincent

#65 - Stephen Mead

#73 - Jim Campbell

#78 - Steve Messer

#80 - Leonard Able

#89 - Richard Cochinos

#90 - Ralph Kiehl

#95 - James Jones

#100 - Kevin Hickman

#101 - Rodney Palsey

#104 - Daniel Greer

#105 - C.R. Breshears

#106 - David Dowd

#107 - Victor Izzo


Between one and three months behind:

#19 - Tom Taylor

#48 - Chris Schmiedeskamp

#112 - James Hailey

#113 - Robert Luetzow

#114 - Tim Wynn

#115 - Lee Stewart

#116 - Brady Young

#117 - Robin Sisler


Currently due:

Nobody in category three this month.

Those in Category 4 below who fail to pay will be in category 3 next month.


Due next month:

#30 - Walt Fouraier

#51 - Greg Durocher

#119 - Fred Mersinger

Paul H. Wheeler Treasurer


Plated Roman Denarii
by Scott T. Rottinghaus

It would seem that the "Racketeer Nickel" plating scam is hardly a new idea, even back when Josh Tatum was prosecuted for it in the 1880's. Below is a transcript of the March 29 "Money Talks" program provided courtesy of the ANA and E-Mailman Bill D'Atri who tripped down the information highway to procure this and other transcripts.

Counterfeiting is an ancient problem. As long as there's been money, there have been counterfeiters. Ancient Rome was no exception.

Most of us today are more worried about counterfeit paper money than counterfeit coins. But in ancient Rome, coins were the only money used. And since a person might work for days to earn a small silver coin, making fake coins could be highly profitable. Roman counterfeiters practiced their craft even though they knew the penalty was death.

The usual method of counterfeiting the silver denarii of the Roman Republic was by plating a copper core with good silver. Genuine coins contained almost their full value in pure silver, so it wasn't profitable for a counterfeiter to use solid silver for his fakes. Silver-plated copper blanks were used to produce fakes that usually passed undetected until part of the silver wore off, exposing the copper core.

Plated coins were so common in ancient Rome that there was a profession devoted entirely to detecting them. Many people would cut into their coins with a knife or chisel to make sure their coins were made of solid silver. Many coins surviving today still contain these "test cuts" and "banker's marks".

Host counterfeiters made their own dies to strike their fake coins. But some plated coins seem to have been made from the same dies used to produce authentic coins. So dishonest mint employees apparently used government dies to fatten their salaries with official-looking counterfeits. Some of these fakes are so good that if their copper core doesn't show, collectors today have to become amateur scientists and check the specific gravity of the coins to determine whether they are really fakes.

In fact, many people actually collect these ancient fakes. Some plated coins are worth almost as much as pure silver ones. So some counterfeit coins really are worth good money!



McKinnon's Corner

The President writes:

I would like to give some overdue thanks to the following members: Bill Hodges for donating a card for the raffle at the Sears Mall Show, and Tim and Mikki Foster for their donations of the other three cards that were a part of the same raffle - even though Tim won the raffle! Maybe I should not have coerced Tim into buying a ticket! Being good sports they donated an Uncirculated George Washington Commemorative for the June meeting door prize, again our thanks to Bill. Tim, and Mikki.

There was a good turn-out for the June meeting. Summer meetings can be a good time to introduce friends and family, and your summer visitors to a new interest.

The program for the July meeting will be a slide show titled "Coins with Special Significance." The show features U.S., foreign, ancient, and colonial pieces. Each com has a story of its own that would be of interest to both numismatists and a general audience.

Unfortunately, column space must be used to bring up a behavior problem that is frequently being observed. At the Sears Mall Show a dealer was inebriated. Although not specifically mentioned in our Code of Conduct, a list intended to provide general guidelines, it is assumed that drunkeness on the part of ACC members at our shows is unacceptable.

The latest incident was particulary offensive since the the card portion of the shows are very youth oriented, and this type of behavior tarnishes the Club's image. Such conduct will not be tolerated. Any dealer at future shows who becomes inebriated, or is using drugs, will be shut down immediately. Renting tables at the club shows is a privilege, and abuse will put you in jeopardy of losing that privilege and participation in other shows.

I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of this matter. If we are all vigilant and use common sense, we can educate others, enjoy sharing our interest, and have a good time at our club shows.

The Tribute Penny
by Scott T. Rottinghaus

Scott Rottinghaus goes two-for-two with his March "Money Talks" pieces. In your Editor's bumble opinion, his were the most interesting of the transcripts which were downloaded by Apprentice Cyberspace Jockey Bill D'Atri. Below is a piece of fascinating storytelling from the days of Jesus of Nazareth who was Himself a fascinating storyteller.

Imagine holding in your hand a coin that is mentioned in the Bible and was used by Jesus to teach an important lesson. If you're a collector of ancient coins, you can do just that.

In chapter twelve of his gospel. Mark tells the story of the Pharisees trying to catch Jesus with his words. They asked Jesus whether or not they should pay taxes to Caesar. They knew that if Jesus said it was unlawful to pay tribute to Caesar, He would be rejecting the authority of the Roman government. But if Jesus said to pay the tax, He would appear to be putting Caesar's authority ahead of God's. Jesus realized they were trying to trap him. According to Mark, He commanded them to bring Him a penny. When they showed it to Him, Jesus asked, "Whose is this image and inscription?"

"Caesar's," they replied,

Jesus answered, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

This story, also told by Matthew and Luke, has made the "tribute penny" one of the most popular and famous coins. The "penny" mentioned in the King James translation of the Bible, was actually a Roman denarius, a small silver coin about the size of our dime. The Roman emperor during Jesus' ministry was Tiberius Caesar, who ruled between 14 and 37 A.D. So Tiberius' denarii are identified today as the famous tribute penny.

The front side of Tiberius' coin shows the emperor's head, along with his name and royal titles. The most common reverse side depicts a seated figure of Tiberius' mother. Livia, with an inscription identifying Tiberius as the high priest of the Roman religion.

A denarius would have been a good daily wage in Jesus' time. Today, a "tribute penny" is worth about $150. And we can still gaze at Tiberius' portrait, and imagine that this might just be the coin that Jesus once held.



The YN Corner
by Larry Nakata

The June 10th YN meeting at the Central Lutheran Church featured two VHS tape presentations on "Collecting U.S. Paper Currency" and "Collecting Ancient Coins". These VHS tapes were made available to our club through the Education Program of the American Numismatics Association (ANA).

At that meeting, the YNs were shown examples of U.S. paper currency and ancient Roman coins that were provided by various club members. Our thanks go to club member Roy Brown who gave each YN a nice ancient Roman coin for their respective collections. Our thanks also go to our club president, Mike McKinnon, for providing excellent examples of U.S. paper currency for the presentation.

Now that summer is upon us, everyone of our YNs will be involved in various summer activities. Accordingly, the next YN meeting will be held on the second Friday of October.....October 14th at the usual meeting place (Central Lutheran Church). We are foregoing summer YN meetings to let our YNs enjoy the Alaskan summer.

Rest assured...there will be other club activities throughout the summer for the YNs. Activities include our regular club member meetings and our planned Anchorage Coin Club summer picnic on August 13th at the Valley of the Moon Park. In September, we hope to get a good membership turnout for our coin seminar that will allow participation by our YNs.

Finally, thanks go out to Ken Bressett and Kim Dixon (of the ANA) for setting up a program where our deserving YNs were given a one year free membership with the ANA. A very generous offer...indeed.

Enjoy the summer everyone.....when next you see this article, we hope to say that our YNs will be able to participate in the Anchorage Coin Club coin seminar in September.



The Anchorage Coin Club

Club Officers

Board of Directors



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