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The Award Winning

Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club    

Volume 8, Number 1

January 1995

January Membership Meeting
Wed., Jan. 4, 1995 Central Lutheran Church

7:00 Open
7:30 PM Meeting




Our December Christmas potluck meeting on December 8th was a complete success, with between 45 and 60 people of all ages in attendance! There was plenty to eat, including a turkey by Mike McKinnon and a ham by Larry Nakata. An abundance of desserts were available as well!

As usual, lots of people brought coins along, and this led to a lot of showing, trading, buying, and selling.

The big event of the evening was the announcement that Robert Hall was elected as the recipient of this year's Bill Ghering memorial award. The award is given to one club member each year at the Christmas potluck for outstanding contribution of time and effort toward keeping the club alive and running.

Robert's efforts this year, as well as many past years, included regular attendance and input at the regular membership meetings and E Board meetings, setting up at shows and organizing the Northway and Cottonwood Creek shows, and attacking the question of liability insurance. He also put in a lot of effort toward getting the club incorporated as a non profit organization. Congratulations to Robert Hall!


Robert Hall is this year's winner of the Bill Ghering memorial award!


The award was presented to Robert after we were done eating. At the time, he had his mind completely set on a box full of coins in 2X2's (a true numismatist!), leading to a response of great surprize. The award itself is a miniature gold pan, plated in gold, and mounted on an engraved plaque.



Upcoming Show Schedule:

Dimond Mall Jan. 7-8

Cottonwood Jan 13-15

Sears Mall Feb. 4-5

Northway Mar. 10-12



At this time, both of these shows are full. It was decided to have the Dimond Mall show be a standard two day event on the 7th and 8th of January, while the Cottonwood Creek show runs for three days on the next weekend. 

The Dimond show will have fifty tables and will be set up in the new area of the mall, along the long straitaway running from near Bosco's at one end to Payless at the other end.

The Cottonwood Creek show has been expanded to 20 tables due to the purchase of two new tables by the mall.


Names are not being taken for these shows yet, but lists will be started, at least for the Sears show, during the weekend of the Dimond Mall show. To reserve space for the Sears show, see Mike McKinnon. That show is expected to be the usual fifty tables.

The Northway show is still tentative at this time, and will have to be confirmed before names will be taken to reserve space. You may check with Robert Hall at the Dimond show to find out the status of the show at that time, but it is certain that no names will be taken before the Dimond show.

Also - due to the tremendous demand for tables at the shows, there is a possibility that prepayment may become a requirement to reserve tables. There are still a few people that try to skip out without paying or that cancel at the last minute, leaving it up to everybody else to pay for their table. This is not fair to those people that do pay for their tables, and prepayment seems like a simple solution to the problem, and will in no way raise the rental fee.



Some of the regular club business was conducted at the December E-Board meeting since we did not have an actual meeting at the December potluck.

Two separate motions were made and passed at the E-Board to donate money to the American Numismatic Association. The first donation of $25 goes toward the purchase of a new sign for the ANA. This new sign for the exterior of the ANA building in Colorado Springs, Colorado will allow the ANA to better promote itself in the local area. Total cost of the sign will be $8500, and numerous donations have already been received by the ANA.

The other donation, also $25, is to be used by the ANA for it's early spring program.

The club has donated to this event every year for the last several years, and the money is used for educational programs during the ANA's early spring show. This year the show will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on the first weekend of March.

On the subject of donations, Robert Hall has several packs of cards showing errors and varieties. These cards were produced by J. T. Stanton (Co-author of the Cherrypicker's Guide) to finance his campaign for ANA governor. These packs include many varieties that are shown in the Cherrypicker's Guide, as well as some that are not listed in that book. The cost is a $5 donation.



Last month, in the section titled Years Gone By, two errors creept in, and are thus corrected below:

1837 No Stars Half Dime

Good                                      0.40

Fine                                        0.60

Shield Nickel With Rays

Good                                      0.35

Fine                                        1.50

For those that missed last issue, I gave a sample of dealer buy prices as listed in the 1949 edition of R. S. Yeoman's Handbook of United States Coins (The Bluebook). There will be more, as space permits, in future months.


The YN Corner
by Larry Nakata

        With 1994 at an end, thanks are in order to our Anchorage Coin Club members for their support of the YN (Young Numismatist) program! Bill McGinnis, Mike Orr, and yours truly continue to remain as the adults involved with the YNs.

Earlier this year, the goals set were threefold:

1) First, to provide education programs for our YN's designed to show them the different kinds of coinage and currency that are collectable.

At our monthly YN and regular club meetings, education programs were provided thanks to the ANA Resource Center and presentations by club members on various numismatic subjects. Subjects covered included errors and varieties, counterfeiting, ancient coinage, paper currency, foreign coinage, and various topics on American coinage.

2) Second, to help our YNs enhance their collections.

Lots of donated coins and currency pertinent to the YN education programs were provided at our monthly YN meetings thanks to donations by our club members. Our coin club's Bid Board auction and our coin shows throughout the year have provided opportunities for our YNs to improve their collections. At these coin shows, many a club member has been known to "cut a deal" to help our YNs with their collections.

3) Third, to increase the size of our YN membership.

In this respect, we've held our own. While we've added YNs to our club this year, it certainly could be better. Right now, our YNs belong in two age groups: the older YNs who are approaching that age when they will become regular Anchorage Coin Club members, and the younger YNs (9 years of age and below). We need to get more of these younger YNs into the program next year.

Going into 1995, we're off to a great start. The Anchorage Coin Club executive board approved a Donation Coin Auction to be scheduled for the club's February 1st meeting. Proceeds from coins and other numismatic material donated to this auction will go towards scholarships for our YNs to the ANA Summer Conference in Colorado Springs. It's a noble cause and we hope to see good support from our Anchorage Coin Club membership....

- Larry Nakata



The guts of the story with a heading that could only be found in a numismatic publication is that Larry Nakata has donated two scarce slabbed Extra Fine half cents to the auction for the YN scholarship. The YNs wish to say that they appreciate the support!



Dues report, again courtesy of treasurer Paul Wheeler. Lots of folks are either currently due or come due next month, but it is good to see category two nearly empty and category one completely empty. As usual, you may pay your dues by mail to the address on the front cover, at any regular or E - Board meetings, or at any of the many upcoming spring coin shows.


Over three months behind who will receive no newsletter next month

Nobody this month !


Between one and three months behind

#99 - Nathaniel Grabman

#120 - Daniel Gross

#122 - Brenda Hayes


Currently due

#102 - Ben Guild

#123 - Tim Sullivan

#129 - John Nutini

#130 - Richard Krause

#135 - William Hodges

#136 - Randy Cry

#137 - Maurice Hamby

#140 - Jerry Ballik


Due next month

#75 - Greg D'Atri

#105 - C. R. Breshears

#125 - Shane Ruuttilla

#126 - Randy Butler

#127 - Paul Twait

#128 - Michael Harcourt

#131 - Karyn Mucklow

                Kelly Simon

#132 - Chris Puetz

                John Fox

#133 - Eniar Larson

#134 - Jerry Beavers

#138 - John Mckinnon

#139 - Jamie Woodard



Four entries were received for the investment contest. Each contestant starts out with a hypothetical $1000 with which to form a portfolio of coins. The person with the most valuable portfolio at the end of the contest this spring is the winner.

Three of the portfolios stayed exactly the same this month. Only President McKinnon's coins showed any activity, with a $25 increase in the Grant and a $15 decrease in the Lexington - Concord, for a net increase of $10. The contest is half over now, and at this time it appears that there is a run off between Robert Hall and Mike McKinnon. Stay tuned...


Robert Hall

1. (5) 1893-O Barber Quarters Fine    95.00

2. (10) 1898-S Barber Quarters Fine    190.00

3. (8) 1900-S Barber Quarters Fine    148.00

4. (5) 1907-D Barber Quarters Fine    95.00

5. (5) 1911-D Barber Quarters Fine    350.00

6. (5) 1912-S Barber Quarters Fine    110.00

7. (1) 1939-S Washington Quarter Extra Fine    13.00

Portfolio Value = $1001.00


Larry Nakata

1. (1) 1936-D Lincoln Cents BU Roll    135.00

2. (1) 1942-P Silver Nickels BU Roll    280.00

3. (1) 1945-P Silver Nickels BU Roll    160.00

4. (1) 1945 Washington Quarters BU Roll    85.00

5. (1) 1952-D Franklin Halves BU Roll    185.00

Portfolio Value = $845.00


Mike McKinnon

1. (1) 1922 Grant No Star Commemorative Half MS-65              800.00

2. (1) 1925 Lexington - Concord Commemorative Half MS-64    200.00

Portfolio Value = $1000.00

Mike Nourse

1. (4) 1880-S Morgan Dollars MS-64    152.00

2. (4) 1881-S Morgan Dollars MS-64    152.00

3. (4) 1882-S Morgan Dollars MS-64    160.00

4. (4) 1885-O Morgan Dollars MS-64    160.00

5. (4) 1886 Morgan Dollars MS-64        160.00

6. (4) 1887 Morgan Dollars MS-64        160.00

7. (1) 1875-CC Seated Dime CC Below Wreath VG    9.50

Portfolio Value = $953.50                             

Current standings:

Robert Hall: $1001

Mike McKinnon: $1000

Larry Nakata: $845

Mike Nourse: $953




        A program developed and being promoted by YN (soon to be just N) Mike Greer is the Young Numismatist Donation Auction. Anchorage Coin Club members as well as a number of coin dealerships outside are being contacted to ask for donations to fund a scholarship to the ANA summer seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Mike prepared a flyer to be mailed out to a variety of dealers throughout the country to let them know of the program. In return for donations, the individual or company will receive a free three month business card sized advertisement in our newsletter.

All materials received will be auctioned off at our regular membership meeting on February 1st, 1995, with all of the proceeds going directly into the scholarship fund. The amount needed is estimated to be around $600 to include airfare and the cost of the seminar. On this subject, if anybody has an extra Permanent Fund airline ticket coupon that they wish to sell to the club, please contact Mike Greer.

Only two weeks after sending out the flyers, the first response was received from California dealer Fred Weinberg.

In the words of Mike Greer:

Fred Weinberg & Co. of Encino, California, has donated an assortment of coins, videos, and books to be auctioned in February. Mr. Weinberg deals mostly in mint errors and if you collect errors, feel free to contact him or send your want list. Our thanks go out to our first out of state donator, Fred Weinberg.

Your editor had a chance to go through the materials donated by Mr. Wienberg, and I must say that it is a very impressive group of materials, and a very generous donation!

If this is any indication, we are looking at an amazing auction in February! As a bonus for being our first out of stare donor, we have reproduced one of Mr. Weinberg's advertisements from the inside cover of the Errorscope, journal of the Combined Organization of Numismatic Error Collectors of America.

Late word is that two more donations have just arrived from out of state. It looks like Mike's efforts will be very successful in sending one lucky YN to Colorado Springs. For information or questions, write to:

Mike Greer

c/o Anchorage Coin Club

PO Box 90612

Anchorage, AK  99509

The 1840's: Ten Years In History


Editor's note: this is the sixth installment in a series of articles started in August 1994.

        The decade of the 1840's started with a big presidential election. Democrat Martin Van Buren was running for reelection against Whig candidate William Henry Harrison.

Harrison was chosen because he could be billed as a true American, having been born in a log cabin in the western frontier. His only claim to fame was that he led the forces that battled Native Americans at Tippecanoe just before the war of 1812. The Whig vice presidential candidate was John Tyler, chosen for his support of the states rights position, which would give them support from most areas of the country.

The Whigs came up with the still well known campaign slogan of "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" as part of their noisy, attention getting campaign. Even with all of the fancy stunts being performed by the Whigs, nothing was said about the candidates position on any issues of any real importance. This was best summed up by Harrison's campaign manager: "Let no committee, no convention, no town meeting ever get from Harrison a single word about what he thinks now , or what he will do hereafter". Needless to say, Harrison won by a landslide.

After only four weeks as president, Harrison went out in the early morning rain, caught a cold, and died - making John Tyler the new president. Tyler tended to disagree with both parties, even his own party. This resulted in no important or lasting laws being passed during his term in office.

The only real achievement during Tyler's presidency was establishment of part of the northern border of the United States. Canada was still part of Great Britain at this time, meaning that there was a threat of war based on logging rights in northern Maine. A new British prime minister came to power in 1842, and he wanted to settle peacefully with the US. The British sent Lord Ashburton to meet with secretary of state Daniel Webster. The meeting was so successful that the border was established in Maine and all the way west to Lake of the Woods, Minnesota.

There were still the intertwined questions of annexation of Texas and the balance of power between slave owning states and free states. Being a southerner, Tyler made an attempt to annex Texas in 1843, but fear of war with Mexico led to the treaty's defeat.

Things were starting to happen further west during this time as well. Doctor Marcus Whitman and his wife (one of the first white women to go far west) set up a mission in the Oregon Territory (in present day Washington) in 1836. They returned east in 1842 and published a series of articles in the New York Tribune. The same year, a book was written by Charles Fremont and his scout, Kit Carson, about their exploration of the mountain passes of the Rockies.

These writings were so popular that the next year, 1843, over 1000 pioneers headed west along the Oregon Trail. The occasionally treacherous trail started near Independence, Missouri, and followed an array of rivers to end up at Fort Vancouver in the Willamette Valley. In the 1920's and 1930's, a commemorative was issued to salute these early pioneers and pay tribute to those that died along the trail. A decent specimen of this commem can currently be purchased for just under $100.

President James K. Polk, elected in 1844, originally wanted to claim the entire Oregon territory for the United States. At this time, Oregon stretched from the Russian territory (presently Alaska) in the north to the Mexican territory (presently California) in the south. The British also wanted the whole territory to become part of Canada, so Polk proposed that the area should be divided at the 49th parallel. At first the British held out for the whole area, but finally agreed when they saw how many thousands of American settlers were pouring into this area. Another long running dispute was settled in late 1845 when Texas finally became a state.

President Polk was also very interested in acquiring all of northern Mexico, especially California. He was willing to purchase the area from Mexico, but a recent revolution in that country left them in a non talkative mood. Polk decided to use force to capture the desired territory. War was declared on Mexico in May 1846.


Polk developed a three part strategy for pushing Mexico entirely out of the west


Polk developed a three part strategy for conquering Mexico. Part one was to drive all of the Mexicans out of Texas. A combination of attacking by sea from the Gulf of Mexico and on land. It did not take long to accomplish this part one because the Americans were better prepared and had superior weaponry.

Part two of Polk's plan was to conquer California. Again, this was easily accomplished using a combination of land and sea warfare. There was also help from within as American settlers in the area revolted against the Mexicans. The result of the first two parts of Polk's plan was that in only nine months, Mexico had its northern border moved from Oregon all the way south to just north of Mexico City!

Part three was to take the city of Mexico City. Under the expert command of General Winfield Scott, "Old Fuss and Feathers", the city was conquered with very few American casualties.

A border was finally negotiated with the few remaining leaders in Mexico in February, 1848. That border exists essentially unchanged to this day. In payment for the land taken, Mexico had all of its debt to the United States cancelled, and received a payment of $15 million. The Mexicans in the annexed areas had the option of becoming American citizens or moving south and selling their property without paying taxes.

The year 1848 is well known to numismatists as being the year that James Marshall discovered gold while building a sawmill for John Sutter. This led to the incredible 1849 California gold rush. In that year alone, the population of California increased from 15,000 to 93,000!


Gold was discovered by James Marshall during the construction of a sawmill for John Suter


The forty - niners are commemorated on the obverse of the California Diamond Jubilee commemorative half dollar issued in 1925.

The 1840's saw little action in the area of half cents, but large production numbers in the cents make these coins very affordable and collectable today.

Full scale production of the liberty seated design was under way on the silver coins of this decade. With the exception of the silver dollars, which are scarce, examples of these 150 year old are coins are readily available and reasonably affordable.

Gold denominations from quarter eagles through eagles saw the coronet or Liberty head design get firmly established. In these early years of the design, the motto "In God We Trust" was not used over the eagle on the reverse. In general, these no motto coins are scarcer, in higher demand, and more expensive than the later issues which include the motto.

Two new gold denominations were started in the late 1840's. The tiny one dollar gold piece saw its first regular production, with two separate varieties: the open wreath and the closed wreath.

Twenty dollar gold pieces also got their start at the end of the decade, but only in pattern form. Only one specimen exists of the 1849 twenty, and it is in the collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

Both the gold dollar and the twenty had essentially the same obverse design, as produced by James B. Longacre. While the dollar had a wreath on the reverse, the twenty had a stylized heraldic eagle.

Coming in February: The 1850's


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