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The Award Winning

Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club    

Volume 7, Number 9

September 1994

September Membership Meeting
Wed., Sept. 7, 1994 Central Lutheran Church

7:00 Open
7:30 PM Meeting



It's showtime again, folks! Our most popular program each year is the fall and spring coin and card shows. This is where we go out into the public to promote the hobby, educate the public, and sell some coins and cards. But first, some old business...



With eighteen members in attendance, it was finally time to vote on the new bylaws for our club. Anyone wishing to review the new bylaws had ample opportunity to request a copy for their inspection. In a unanimous vote, the new version was accepted with no further discussion.

With the new bylaws being accepted, the long road to incorporation is nearing the end. The entire process will likely be completed by the time we meet for the September meeting or shortly thereafter.

In a unanimous vote, the new club bylaws were accepted



Here's the news we have all been waiting for: the fall show schedule. It is time once again to reserve tables for any or all of the three shows in our fall lineup. Two shows are scheduled in Anchorage, and the third in Eagle River. As always, space will fill up very fast, and many people that want tables will be disappointed.

That duly noted, here is the show lineup:



The Sears Mall has been the site of more club sponsored coin shows than any other location. There is a constant stream of people walking through this mall, which often results in sales being made before you even finish setting up and all through the day.

The show size will be fifty tables, of which about fifteen to twenty were snatched up immediately at the meeting when the show was announced. At this time, all tables have been filled, and a waiting list has been established. Cost is $20 per table, which includes your table, one chair per renter, and table skirting.



This will be our second visit to the Eagle River mall, which is managed by one of our club members. Several coin dealers reported that our first show in Eagle River last winter was their best show ever. Several factors are coming together this year that should help make this another successful venture out of Anchorage.

First of all, the date for direct deposit of permanent fund checks is October 12th, the Wednesday immediately preceding the show. In addition, the mall will be promoting our show on the radio with part of their advertising budget. Space is extremely limited, with room for only thirty four tables due to space restrictions. Mike Nourse (your editor) has taken names for this show at the number listed on the front cover. At this time, the show is full, and a waiting list has been started.

Tables are $20 each, which includes a table and chair. Table skirting is not provided. While skirting is not required, I can tell you from several years of experience that it is nice to be able to pile your stuff under the tables without displaying it to the world. This is especially true if you plan to store valuable inventory under the table.


It's Show Time Again!


This is another mall that is visited by us on a very regular basis, twice per year. Tables are set up in islands in the courtyards in front of the major department stores. The Christmas season is approaching at this point, and many people are looking to start their shopping early, especially for the young ones. We had a very successful show at this same time last year, and expect this to be a good one again.

Space is very limited here, with room for only 40 tables. Although the mall is large, we are only allowed to set up in the three courtyards, not in the hallways, due to fire code restrictions. As of this writing, reservations are not yet being taken because we do not yet know exactly what the table fee will be. This mall is more expensive to set up at than the other malls, but an exact figure must be determined before reservations are taken.

When the time arrives, Mike McKinnon will be taking names at the telephone numbers listed on the front cover.



The members of the Anchorage Coin Club have built up a good reputation for putting on a high quality show. Things are generally quite casual at the shows, but a certain degree of professionalism is required. Each person having a table at the show will be required to read and sign a one page list of rules.

The rules are essentially common sense items, such as keeping kids under control, no drugs/booze, no wheeling and dealing at other people's table, except with the person behind the table, etc. Many of the rules are based on the guidelines that the malls lay down for us. One thing that table renters should be on the lookout for is people coming in off the street and "setting up shop" on a nearby bench and attracting customers away from their tables. Several times people have attempted to do this in order to take advantage of our promotional activities without paying for a table. This activity is not allowed, and the person should be asked to conduct business only with table renters.



Enough about shows... the big news for the month of September is the coin seminar taking place in the middle of the month featuring commemorative specialist Anthony Swiatek. At this time, 18 people have agreed to attend, with four more needed to reach the break even point. The final push is on to recruit those final few people needed to move us into the black.



The first attempt at a bid board was not quite the landmark success many of us were hoping for, but the mood of those participating was upbeat. About 50 lots were put up for sale, of which 5 to 10 actually sold. The low percentage was attributed to our traditional low mid summer turnout. Bargains were abundant, with many lots sporting minimum bids well below the current Greysheet bid level.

There was enough interest and positive comment concerning the new auction format that it will definitely be tried again. The next bid board is scheduled for the October meeting. All ready, ten lots have been submitted by member Bill Fivaz (see the listing of these lots later in the newsletter).

The same rules will be observed for the next bid board, as everything seemed to run quite smoothly.



Much to the surprise of the people that did show up for our annual picnic, the turnout on that sunny Saturday afternoon was very limited. About half of the expected fifty people showed up to enjoy a substantial feast of all of the usual picnic goodies.

It seems that we always end up with about 25 attendees at these picnics each year, come rain or shine. Next year, we will probably just plan on about thirty people showing up and hope that there is enough to go around.



The August meeting started out with member Ben Guild giving away two error medals struck at the Anchorage mint where he is working on weekends for the summer.

The medals were given out in two separate contests open to the YNs only. The first contest was simply a guess the number arrangement, which was won by Robin Sisler. The second contest involved having each of the three YNs in attendance that evening examine the error medal and try to determine what the error was. Robin won again by being the first to notice that the medal had been struck using coin alignment (180 degrees) instead of medal alignment (360 degrees).

In other prize action, Mr. Doug Williams won the door prize of a US proof set. Member #112, who was not present, would have won the kitty prize had they been present.



Here is a contest for all of you collector-investors out there. It is based on a contest that has been held in Coin World several times.

The general idea is that you start out with a hypothetical $1000 that you use to purchase a group of coins listed in trends. We wait six months, and whoever has the most valuable portfolio at that time is the

winner. Specifics of this contest are as follows:

Start with $1000

and see how much you have in six months

Start with $1000

Select up to 10 different coins, but you may have as many of each coin as you like. For example, you may have 500 of a particular coin that is listed at $1. This will, of course, use up half of the starting kitty, but it will only count as one of your ten allowed selections.

Prices will be determined using Coin World's trends listing, using the September 12, 19, and 26 issues. Final values will be determined using the March 20, 27, and April 3 issues. Any coin that has an actual value listed in Coin World's US trends is eligible to be included in the hypothetical portfolio. This includes listed varieties, coins listed as being worth face value, rolls, commemoratives, etc. Selections may not be made from the box labeled precious metals prices.

Your selections will be published in the newsletter. Monthly updates of each participant's portfolio value will be listed so that we can watch progress over the six months.

There is no cost to enter. Entries are due at the October 5 meeting, and should be turned in to your editor. Anybody that does not plan to attend the meeting may mail in their entry to the club's post office box (listed on the front cover), although your entry must reach us here in Anchorage by Monday October 3rd.

The prize for the winner has yet to be selected, but it will be worth much less than the real prize: the right to gloat all you want!


Member Notes


It seems that your editor is no longer the only person from Alaska running advertisements in the Numismatic press any more. Club member Ben Guild has run his first ad in the Collectors Marketplace section of Numismatic News. His ad appears in the August 23 edition on page 33, and features type coins, early circulated material, BU modern singles, and proof sets.

Also included in the ad are coins from Mike McKinnon and Mike Orr. Good luck with the ad, folks!



Is anybody interested in setting up a mini show of one or two people? If so, Skip Stiglich, manager of the Eagle River mall, has extended the invitation to any club members that would like to set up in that mall. Just give him a call at the numbers listed below, and find out what weekends are available.

Skip can be reached at the following numbers:

Home 694-6970

Card Store 696-2273

Work 384-2208



Jim Walston's telephone number was given incorrectly in last month's newsletter. If you want to speak to Jim about submitting coins for ANACS slabbing, he may be reached at 248-9540.


The following report comes to us from secretary/treasurer Paul Wheeler:

Four of our category 1 members failed to pay their dues in the last month so we will be sending out four fewer newsletters this month, that's 24 fewer in the last two months. I know that some annual turnover is expected but we are now losing some of our long term members. Come on members, has coin collecting become that uninteresting to you that you do not even want to read about it? I understand that budgets are tight these days, but that's what you do when times are hard and you can not afford to buy coins, you read, study, and research so that when your budget allows you can purchase as a more informed buyer.


Category 1

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

#19 - Tom Taylor

#116 - Brad Young


Category 2

Between one and three months behind:

#30 - Walt Fournier

#51 - Greg Durocher


Category 3

Currently due:

#81 - Michael Greer

#82 - William Preston

#98 - Kaye Dethridge

#120 - Daniel Gross


Category 4

Due next month:

#37 - Debbie's Old Coins

#39 - Hal Wilson

#58 - David Wilson

#85 - Billy McGinnis

#86 - Bill McGinnis

#87 - Cirino Scavone


Paul H. Wheeler



A Fool And His Money
Submitted by Bill D'Atri


Editor's note: For those that are new to the club, Bill is one of our past presidents as well as being a regular contributor to the ACCent (thanks, Bill!). His latest article shows that a fool and his money truly are soon parted...

Imagine a numismatic marketplace where no matter what you offered, it was snatched up in seconds, at prices 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 times the most current price guide available. Just for sh--s and giggles pretend common date Peace Dollars are going for $29.00 in PCGS AU-58, or $39.00 in PCGS MS-60. Try to picture selling common date Morgans for $58.00 in MS-61 or 62., and having them gobbled up in under one minute!

Common date Peace dollars:

PCGS-58 for $29

PCGS-60 for $39

In a similar scheme, your editor found this advertisement in a non-numismatic magazine. Note that the prices are per set.

Name a common grade, common date for most any denomination, and offer it to the drooling, gibbering goards for two to three times what any coin dealer would sell it to you for at full retail. Watch it disappear in less than sixty seconds!

Try to conjecture flocks of these sheep that extend from the Atlantic Seaboard to the shores of the Pacific. Imagine their imbecilic reactions as they salivate over these incredulous deals. Smile and warn them that there are only a limited number of these treasures, and they'd better be quick with their money or be left out.

Now to really crank things up, picture yourself telling the assembled flock that these are rare, and that you feel privileged to be able to offer these treasures. Let them know that you are truly sorry that you don't have 10, 20, or even 100 of each lot, as you feel like you're letting people down.

I wish I could go on, but I'm starting to disgust even myself. I really wish that I could sit here and tell you that this is all just a bad dream, but it's not!

Believe it or not

what I've just described

is reality!

The fact of the matter is that I watched this exact scene play out in the privacy of my own living room. Next time you are channel surfing on a Tuesday night, try landing on channel 33 between 5:00 and 8:00 PM Alaska Standard Time. Bring popcorn, and don't forget to wear your seatbelt, because the ride can be downright scary.

If this is what marketing to the masses is all about, I'm seriously worried. I could not, and still cannot, imagine where in this country that many numismatic idiots can exist.

I've been blessed in having the support that the Anchorage Coin Club offers. The participants of this home shopping scheme obviously don't, but they assuredly can use it. If the ANA is really looking for new members, maybe they can access the phone records of this show, and do a targeted membership campaign directed at folks who really can use the help.

In closing, I'm assuming that what these marketing people are doing is legal, but I find it incredibly distasteful. The coins are not being blatantly misrepresented, nobody is being forced to call in and surrender their money.

I can't help but feel like the good shepherd, and if I could just get my hands on their phone numbers....

1800 TO 1809:

Editor's note: This is part two of what may be a series that continues up through the current time in ten year increments. Part one was published in the August 1994 edition of ACCent.

        The decade started with a presidential election that can be called chaotic at best. In the early days of our government, the laws were not specific enough to account for every possible contingency. As with almost every process, a significant amount of refining had to take place.

The Republicans put Thomas Jefferson on their ticket for president and Aaron Burr as vice president. The opposing Federalists had current president John Adams running for reelection with his vice president of Charles Pickney.

As detailed in part one of this series, the individual that receives the greatest number of electoral votes is elected president and the second place person becomes vice president, no matter what party they are running for. In the election of 1800, Jefferson and Burr both received the same number of electoral votes! Even though Burr had been running for the office of vice president, he refused to give up the possibility of being president, since there was a tie for the job.

Finally, the House selected Jefferson to be president and forced Burr to accept the position of second in command. The whole mess resulted in the twelfth amendment to the constitution providing for separate balloting for the offices of president and vice president. It was too late to help in the election of 1800, and Jefferson never forgave Burr for trying to steal his job.

The election was one of the high points in the new country's history. As pointed out in Jefferson's inaugural address on March 4, 1801, this was the first time that a new party was taking over.

What made it unique was how smoothly the transition took place - there was a complete transfer of power without any assassinations, riots in the streets, or any other form of violence.

International events were top on Jefferson's agenda upon taking office. Napoleon Bonaparte had acquired the Louisiana territory (now the entire gulf coast and Midwest) from Spain in 1800. His grand scheme was to organize a trading triangle between France, the French West Indies, and Louisiana at New Orleans.

Napoleon Bonaparte's plans
for world trade conflicted with
the plans of Thomas Jefferson

This caused Jefferson great distress because he had determined that the United States must control New Orleans in order to make effective use of the land west of the Appalachian mountains.

Jefferson got lucky, and a conflict was not necessary, as things were not working very smoothly for Napoleon. Part of his plan included using Santo Domingo as a stopping off port for the North American corner of his triangle. However, the natives on that island revolted against his forces, putting this corner in jeopardy. At the same time as this was going on, he was also preparing to go to war in Europe again.

In an example of excellent timing, Jefferson ordered the minister to France, Robert Livingston, to offer Napoleon a much needed $10 million for New Orleans and western Florida. By the time the offer crossed Napoleon's in basket, he had given up on the trading triangle for the time being and needed the money to finance his campaign against Europe.

Livingston was able to quickly negotiate the purchase of the entire Louisiana territory for $15 million in October 1803

One hundred years later, this huge land transfer was commemorated in one of the United States first commemorative coin issues. Two gold dollars were issued, one with Jefferson on the obverse and the other with recently deceased William McKinley. Both shared a common reverse bearing the dual date 1803-1903, the denomination, and a piece of foliage. All designs were by Charles E. Barber. For anybody interested in acquiring one of these coins, they are readily available, selling for around $300 in XF/AU condition and $900 in MS-63 for either design. Similar to today's commemoratives, only 15% of the total authorized mintage was actually sold.

In these days, before detailed maps existed of many parts of the world, Napoleon did not really know what he had sold to the United States, and Jefferson was equally clueless concerning what he had just purchased!.

It was necessary to find out what was out there, so Jefferson asked congress to appropriate $2500 for an exploration of the area. He appointed Merewether Lewis and William Clark to lead the expedition into the new territory.                              

Napoleon did not know
 what he had sold,
 and Jefferson did not know
 what he had purchased

Lewis and Clark gathered up the necessary equipment and hired 48 assistants. The group spent the winter of 1803 to 1804 training for the trip. In spring 1804, they left Saint Louis, Missouri and made it as far as Fort Manden, North Dakota by fall.

They spent the winter there and set off again in spring 1805. The expedition made it to the west coast, near Portland, that fall. A ship was supposed to meet them there, and they waited all winter long for it to show up. Finally they gave up on the ship and decided to walk home (bummer!) during the summer of 1806.

Along their trip, Lewis and Clark gave assorted presents to the native Indians that they met along the way, including small medals depicting a theme of peace. These medals are now extreme rarities, and bring a substantial price on the rare occasions that they come up for sale, usually only in large auctions.

Again, 100 years later, a commemorative gold dollar was issued in honor of the expedition. The coins were minted for distribution at the Lewis and Clark centennial exposition in Portland in 1905. The proceeds (now surcharges) were used to erect a bronze memorial to Sacagawea, the Indian guide that led the group across the Rocky mountains. The designs, again by Charles E. Barber, show one of the explorers on each side of the coin. Two dates are available: 1904 and 1905 and both are scarce. A person wishing to add one of these to their collection can currently expect to pay $400 for an XF/AU specimen and $2100 (1904) to $2900 (1905) for a MS-63 piece.

Other less famous expeditions followed, but Lewis and Clark are the most famous as being the first to do a fairly comprehensive survey. One other notable expedition was led by Zebulon Pike of Pike's Peak fame which explored the Colorado area.

Back to politics. For the election of 1804, Jefferson did not support vice president Aaron Burr for reelection, remembering what happened in 1800. The apparently quick tempered Burr was furious and tried to get the New England states to break away and form a new country. Of course this did not work, and Burr was made to look foolish in the press. Much of this ridiculing came from secretary of the treasury Alexander Hamilton.

Hot headed Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and won, mortally wounding Hamilton. In the end, Jefferson was reelected, with George Clinton as vice president. Burr attempted to get several western states to break away from the United States in 1807. Jefferson had him tried for treason, but he was found to be not guilty.

The remainder of the decade was relatively quiet. In 1808 James Madison was elected president with George Clinton remaining in his post as vice president. In 1809, part of the Indiana territory split off to become the Illinois territory.

Two notable inventions were tested out in the second part of the decade. In 1807 the first steamboat was used to travel up the Hudson river in the northeast. In 1809, John Thompson built the first experimental railroad in Pennsylvania.

Coming in October: the 1810's


The following coins will be available for purchase at the October meeting's bid board. The dollar amounts listed are minimum bids:

1 cent         1915                    AU-50                    31.00

1 cent         1928-S                    MS-60    Cleaned and retoned        23.00

2 cents       1864 LM              EF-45                    20.00

5 cents       1945-S                    MS-65    5+ Steps                15.00

10 cents     1941-D                 MS-64     Full split bands         10.00

10 cents     1945                    AU-50     Partial split bands        27.00

25 cents     1936-S                    AU-58                    15.00

50 cents     1875-CC               AU-58                    375.00

50 cents     1935                    MS-63                    32.50

Dollar         1884-S                    EF-45                    25.00

Please note that the grades given above are those assigned by the consignor, not by the consensus of a panel. The buyer is encouraged to examine each coin before purchase.


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

President-                     Mike McKinnon      Days: 786-7490
                                                                        Eves: 248-0955

V. President-                 Mike Orr                 Days: 258-9100

Treasurer-                      Paul Wheeler         Days: 563-3910
                                                                        Eves: 694-0962

Sec./Editor-                   Mike Nourse          Any: 344-9856

Board of Directors

Robert Hall-                     Days: 265-8782

Roy Brown-                     Eves: 563-6708  

Larry Nakata-                 Days: 269-5603
                                         Eves: 563-1729


Life Membership                      $250
Regular Membership               $25/year
Associate Membership           $10/year
Junior Membership                  $5/year


To save cost, members not responding to renewal notices within three 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: PO Box 230169  Anchorage, Alaska 99523