Return to Alaska Coin Exchange homepage

Return to ACCent homepage


The Award Winning

Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club    

Volume 7, Number 10

October 1994

October Membership Meeting
Wed., Oct. 5, 1994 Central Lutheran Church

7:00 Open
7:30 PM Meeting




The time of year that most of us have been waiting for has arrived. The three shows are listed below. The first two shows are completely full, including wait lists. The Northway Mall show may still have very limited space remaining. For information about table space availability, call Robert Hall at the phone number listed at left.

There are some things to remember about show organization. For the Sears show, dealers can generally arrive at the mall at 8:00 on Saturday morning to set up their displays. On Sunday morning, dealers may show up at 9:00 if they wish, but as the mall does not actually open until noon, many people choose to come in at 11:00 AM.

Times are roughly the same for the Eagle River show. The main thing to remember is that dealers must bring their own skirting for their tables. Coin dealers will be set up along the windows near Payless; card dealers will be set up in an island near the card store in the mall.



EAGLE R. OCT. 15-16


A new program will be implemented for the shows. Displays will be set up by members to promote the hobby of coin collecting to the general public, which seems to have a very limited supply of knowledge on the subject. Our first volunteer is our past president, the honorable Bill D'Atri. He is not giving out any details about what will be exhibited in his display; the only thing he will say is that it will be impressive. Keep your eyes out at the Northway mall show, where Bill's display will likely make its debut.

Larry Nakata would also like to set up an exhibit of counterfeit coins at the club table. Most collectors have managed to accumulate a few bogus pieces during the years, and Larry would like for members to bring some of their fakes in to be used in the display.

Cards or other forms of written material will be made up to explain the various ways that counterfeits can be produced. Hopefully we can come up with examples of all of the most popular forms of copying coins including casts, struck pieces, electrotypes, and others. Anybody having fakes that they would like to lend to the club to be included in the display may speak to Larry at any of the club meetings or at the club table at most shows.



The members of the Anchorage Coin Club have collectively donated $100 to the YN program. This donation comes in the form of 10 grab bags with a retail value of approximately $10 each purchased from the ANA. How the grab bags will be distributed will be decided by the YNs and the YN program administrators.

While we are on the subject of YNs, this seems like the ideal time to announce our newest member, a young and ambitious young fellow named Joel. Joel presently classifies himself as a United States type coin collector. His present focus is on nickels, from Shield through Buffalo. Welcome to the club!

YNs should note that there is a letter from Larry Nakata updating the YNs on the plans for their fall programs.

Another item to note is that Mr. Nathaniel Grabman donated an uncut sheet of 16 one dollar notes to the YN program. As will be shown on a later page, the uncut sheet was given away in a drawing held among the YNs that showed up at the seminar.



The September meeting program was a slide show borrowed from the ANA library about regular issue United States gold coins.

Mike Orr took the honors of orating the presentation, which gave vital statistics about each of the major gold types from 1795 through 1933. Pictured were some amazing gold pieces including many pre 1834 specimens, $4 gold pieces, and other great rarities.

Jim Susky provided current value information for many of the early varieties that we all dream of but few will likely ever own.



The program for the October meeting will consist of our second bid board auction. Some coins have already been submitted to the auction, and these pieces are listed later in the newsletter.

For people that have coins to submit to the October bid board, remember to bring them with you to the meeting on the 5th. It may be a good idea to show up a few minutes early to get your cards filled out and get the coins on display for others to see.

The actual auction will be held immediately following the regular meeting.

The November meeting will feature a video on the subject of counterfeit detection, a subject that should concern all collectors.

This video was donated by Mr. Anthony Swiatek at this year's seminar. It starts out showing the methods and tools used in counterfeit detection and then goes into examples showing some of the most popular coins to copy. As can be expected, the most popular key date coins are also the ones that are most often faked.

Our December meeting will see our annual potluck. Please note, the December meeting will be held on THURSDAY, December 8th. Mark your calendars now! It is necessary to switch days to avoid conflict with another function that will be using the kitchen area on Wednesday.

Decembers meeting, besides being on a different day, will also be held in a different location. Instead of our usual room on the main floor, we will be downstairs in the large room near the kitchen area.



Remember to bring your entries for the investment contest to the October meeting. Entries are due by the end of the meeting on Wednesday.

The rules are presented in full in last month's newsletter, but I will give a brief summary here.

You have an imaginary $1000 with which to build an imaginary portfolio of up to ten different coins. You are allowed to have as many of each particular coin as you wish, within the bounds of your $1000 limit. For example, you may have 100 of a coin with a trends value of 50 cents each, and this will count as one of your ten coin selections and $50 of your $1000. All values must be taken from Coin World's trends.

by Larry Nakata

With the Summer of '94 now at an end, our YN (i.e. Young Numismatist) meetings will again resume. The next YN meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 14th at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. On the October 14th YN meeting agenda will be VHS tape presentations on "Money: Summing It Up" (a National Geographic narration on the history of money) and "Building a Coin Collection From Pocket Change" (as narrated by Scott Travers).

Bill McGinnis, Mike Orr, and myself (Larry Nakata) are the adult club members working with the YN program. We hope to see all of the YNs at the October 14th meeting.

Thanks are in order to our Anchorage Coin Club members for donating $100 in ANA (i.e. American Numismatic Association) grab bag coins to the YN program. At the YN meeting on October 14th, the YNs will be discussing programs that will put these coins to good use.

The September Coin Seminar held at the Golden Lion Hotel was attended by five of our YNs: Billy McGinnis, Nathaniel Grabman, Joel Yarmon, Robin Sisler, and Jerry Robinson. Thanks to the generosity of the club members attending that seminar, it made possible free attendance by these YNs. Anthony Swiatek gave an excellent seminar on subjects covering coin grading, counterfeit detection, and U. S. Commemorative Coinage. All five YNs received ANA Certificates of Completion for attendance at this seminar.


So with Autumn now upon us, YN activities are expected to resume. See you YNs at the October 14th meeting.........


1994 Seminar: Anthony Swiatek on Commems

        Nineteen individuals were lucky enough to have attended our 1994 seminar featuring Mr. Anthony Swiatek. Anthony was a wonderful speaker with a nearly bottomless pit of numismatic knowledge to draw from. Mixed in among the numerous lawyer jokes (Doug Williams would not have been a happy camper) were a wide array of topics including commems, grading, counterfeit detection, and investment advice.

Friday's focus was counterfeit and altered coinage. There are many ways to make an ugly coin look "better", as well as a variety of ways of "improving" dull Uncirculated pieces. Several carousels of slides were used to illustrate these modifications to coin surfaces. 

On Saturday, we continued with the discussion of altered and otherwise improved coins in the morning. We also discussed diagnostic markers that are used to identify certain genuine key date coins. In the afternoon, we started an analysis of commemoratives by types.

Sunday was spent continuing with our type by type analysis of United States commemoratives. After the slides, we looked through several boxes of mostly overgraded slabbed commems. By the end of this third day, most participants were a bit worn out and had a lot of information to digest.

We ate very well over the three days. In the morning, there was a tray of assorted danishes to munch on. Lunch featured sandwiches, except on Sunday, when we all enjoyed a large buffet. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, groups of people went out to fancy local restaurants for some good food and socialization.

All persons that attended received several books, including Mr. Swiatek's own book on commemoratives, a 1995 Redbook, an ANA grading guide, and a guide to commemoratives by Q. David Bowers.

At the September E Board, the members present began discussing possibilities for future seminars. If anybody would like to suggest a topic and/or a speaker, let your suggestion be known.


85 Years Of Lincoln Cents

By Roger E. Wollam

Anchorage Coin Club member #17



Eighty-five years ago the first Lincoln cents were struck. But for a reverse design change and metal composition, this one cent coin is the most popular and longest running minted coin in U.S. history. More Lincoln cents have been minted than all other coins before it, yet, there are very few real key coins to collect, considering the 85 years of production.


1909-S "VDB"

1909 Found the end of the series of the "Indian Head Cent" and the ushering in of the "Lincoln Cent" and controversy. After a short time of production, the Secretary of the Treasury, Franklin MacVeagh, ordered the removal of the "VDB" (Victor D. Brenner - designer) from the dies. The San Francisco mint had already minted 484,000 coins and the removal of the initials caused the price of the 1909-S "VDB" to jump to 25 cents each. It is to this day one of the most sought after of all the Lincoln Cents. CAUTION - You must watch out for some very good die struck counterfeits.



The 1909-S with a mintage of 1.82 million, which in most cases would not be considered low mintage, is so popular that it also is a key date. A repunched "S" over a horizontal "S" usually brings the same price as a normal 1909-S. It is not uncommon for the 1909-S and the 1909-S "VDB" to have a wood grain surface with parallel yellow and brown streaks brought on by impurities in the metal. Most times this is overlaid on a yellow - red background instead of the usual red color.


1910-S "VDB"

Yes, 1910-S "VDB"! Some of the unused "VDB" dies of 1909 were mistakenly used in 1910, according to Kenneth Bressetts' "Guide Book". So look very carefully at your 1910-S cents for a faint "VDB" on the reverse.


1910-S TO 1915-S

These dates are more semi-key than key, unless you are looking for Uncs. Even though there were between 4 and 6 million minted each of these years, very few Uncs were set aside and those that you do find will mostly be weakly struck. You will find the "S" mints easier on the West coast and some are being found in circulation even now, including the  1909-S "VDB".



A real classic in the Lincoln Cents - 1.19 million minted, but according to the prices you will pay, you would think that there were less.



Well, it began as a "D"..... Because the Denver mint was the only mint to run Lincoln Cents in 1922, we know the combination of worn and clogged dies and improper spacing of the dies was the reason for the missing "D" mint mark on many coins. If you want a true 1922 "plain", it cannot have the smallest trace of the "D". It will be very weakly struck on the reverse as well as the obverse - look for a small "I" and joined "RT" in LIBERTY.



Here is a case where 866,000 mintage became a large number. Collectors hoarded bags and rolls of this low mintage coin so you should be extra particular in choosing one. Don't settle for the common unevenly struck coins - you can find better.



The Mint denies these were ever minted, but the fact is 17 have been found and it is estimated that maybe as many as 30 exist. A true bronze, will of course, NOT attract a magnet and it will be very sharply struck with wirelike rims.


1944 STEEL

About a dozen of these have been found and came about the same way as the 1943 bronze. Some of the planchets from the previous years run were still in the hoppers when they started the minting process and were run along with all the others.



This coin is easily recognized from the "poor man's double die" in that it has doubling at the date, legend, and motto. The "poor man's" has doubling only on the last five of the date. If you are going to find one of these, it may not be any better than XF as most have already been snatched up.

Most of the rest of the Lincoln Cent series is not sought after like these we have just mentioned. However, there are other varieties in the Memorial series, double dies and etc., that many look for and can, at times, bring a good price. If you really want a good low dollar challenge, try collecting a complete set of the Memorial cents out of circulation. The 1960 small and large dates, 1970 small and large dates, and all 7 varieties of the 1982's? Have fun and happy collecting....

Roger E. Wollam


The 1810's: Ten Years In History

        At the beginning of the decade, James Madison is in the White House; pioneers are moving further and further west; and the country turns 34 years old.

The westerners, now entering the Mississippi River basin, were encroaching more and more onto lands habitated by the Indians. Numerous conflicts ensued. The new settlers became convinced that the British were assisting the Indians due to the advanced fighting techniques that were being used by the natives.

This led to the westerners requesting that war be declared on Britain to stop their assistance of the Indians. Easterners were against this idea because Britain had become one of the country's best trading partners, although they were also guilty of sinking several American cargo ships.

President Madison agreed to request that congress declare war on Britain if the war hawks would support him for reelection in 1812. They agreed, and congress declared war in June 1812, by a very slight majority.

In what is now referred to as the War of 1812, the Americans took the lead at the start before the British could really get organized. The US Army and Navy were tiny and untrained, with only three ships in the Navy and 5000 troops in the Army.

In 1813, most battles took place near the Canadian border area. The Indians had sided up with the British, and were found to be very effective warriors. The Americans were still better organized, and continued to have the upper hand in most battles.

The British finally got organized in 1814, when they defeated Napoleon in Europe in April. Their plan was to launch a three pronged attack, to move south from Canada, west from the sea toward Washington DC, and north from the Gulf of Mexico into the Louisiana Territory.

The greatest British victory took place at Washington DC, where they met limited resistance. They were able to get into the city easily because President Madison had no plan to defend it, believing that there was no chance of the British getting that far inland. The British proceeded to loot the city and then burn it to the ground.

The British marched into Washington DC,
looted the city, and burned it to the ground.


Things were going better for the Americans up north. The British were coming south from Montreal along the western coast of Lake Champlain. In a battle near Plattsburgh, New York, 3500 Americans defeated an army of 11,000 British soldiers.

By 1814, the reasons for the war had disappeared. John Quincy Adams led a delegation of diplomats to Belgium that summer to discuss the terms of a peace agreement. The talks dragged on, and the war continued.

In October, 1814, the Americans had their greatest victory of the war at New Orleans. The British brought 50 ships full of troops to the northern Gulf Coast to march to New Orleans. A force of American troops under the command of General Andrew Jackson went south to stop the British.

Jackson and his troops made life difficult for the British through a policy of constant harassment. The British waited two weeks, then attacked.

The British had 5300 troops against 4500 for the Americans. When the battle was over, 2036 British soldiers were killed or injured compared to only 21 Americans.

In December of the same year, a peace treaty was finally signed in Ghent, Belgium. The peace treaty actually showed that the whole war was a ridiculous affair, with neither side really gaining anything.

There were two positive outcomes of the war. First was an agreement that the seas were open to all ships, meaning that American trade with Britain could resume. Second, it was agreed that the border with Canada would not be armed. This created the longest unguarded border in the world, and retains that distinction today.

Now that the war was over, the United States wanted to get back to the business of international trade. During the decade of the 1810's, all of the colonies in South America rebelled against Spain and became independent countries. However, these new countries were weak and unable to defend themselves well.

The United States and Britain saw these new countries as potential trading partners with numerous natural resources and a need for finished products. Spain was thinking about trying to reclaim some of it's colonies and France was thinking about gobbling up some new ones. To prevent all of this, President James Monroe (elected in 1816) drafted the Monroe Doctrine stating that the United States would prevent any European country from colonizing any countries in South or Central America. Great Britain promised the full backing of it's Navy to support the Doctrine.

Passage of the Monroe Doctrine combined with support from Great Britain helped to get the United States recognized as a powerful new country.

With increased trade, there was some support for tariffs to protect American manufacturers. During the war, when trade with Great Britain was greatly reduced, manufacturing in the United States increased greatly to fill the void.

Overall there was a majority support for tariffs. The only opponents were the merchants in New England who were concerned about a reduction in trading volume. However, the tariffs were passed in 1816 prompted by a great increase in imports. In 1814, the last year of the war, $12 million of products were imported from Britain. The next year, imports from Britain increased nine times to $113 million.

During the war, many state banks loaned out more money than they should have. This lead to great support for a second Bank of the United States because the people had lost trust in the state banks.

The new Bank of the United States took the pressure off for only a short while. It was soon discovered that the new bank had issued too much paper money for the amount of silver and gold coins that were on reserve.

On top of the lack of reserves, Europeans stopped purchasing produce grown by western farmers now that war in Europe was over. This made it hard or impossible for the farmers to pay back their loans to the bank, leaving insufficient funds to pay off depositors coming in to make withdrawals. This caused a run on banks as people rushed in to get their money out while there was still some to get.

The banks closed, leaving many people broke. Since broke people can not buy products, businesses went out of business. The people also could not buy food, leaving the farmers in even worse shape.

What we had was the first nationwide depression (unfortunately not the last). It started in 1818 and lasted for three years, causing a dramatic slow down of projects such as roads and canals that help large areas of the country as people adopted a me-first attitude.

A quick look through the Redbook shows that there really was a severe lack of coinage at the Philadelphia mint. Only two denominations saw significant mintages on a regular basis: cents and half dollars.

The only other copper coin in circulation, the half cent, was produced only in 1810 and 1811, with a total output of 280,000. No more half cents would be made until 1825.

Among silver coins, no half dimes or silver dollars were made at all. As for dimes, they were produced only in 1811 and 1814 for a total of 485,000 pieces. Quarters were little better with a total of 600,000 pieces being made in 1815, 1818, and 1819.

The only gold coins to see production were the half eagles, and only 470,000 of these were made in the entire decade. Minting of eagles was suspended in 1804 and quarter eagles in 1808.

Coming in November: the 1820'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