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The Award Winning

Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club    

Volume 8, Number 2

February 1995

August Membership Meeting
Wed., Feb. 1, 1995 Central Lutheran Church

7:00 Open
7:30 PM Meeting




The big news right now is the upcoming YN auction, to be held at the February membership meeting, on Wednesday the first.

Large amounts of material have been donated by several generous dealers from outside, and donations are rolling in from the local collectors and dealers. Members should bring their donations to the Feb. meeting. More information on the auction, along with a list of lots to be auctioned, can be found on pages two and three.            

Get ready for the upcoming YN donation auction!


Already, once again, it is time for our club elections. This matter was discussed at the January 18th E-Board, and the following recommendations have been made:

                President - Mike Orr

                Vice President - Mike Greer

                Treasurer - Kurtis Hawke

                Secretary - Mike Nourse

Keep in mind that these are just recommendations. Elections are open to anybody that wishes to run for one of the posts. Nominations will be open at the March meeting, just before the election. If you wish to run for office, make sure that you attend the March meeting.


On the success of our seminar last fall featuring Anthony Swiatek, ideas are being tossed around about having another seminar this coming fall. The topic of choice is ancient Greek and Roman coins, including Medieval coinage. Emphasis will be on the proper way to grade these pieces (very different from regular issue US coins) and counterfeit detection.

Larry Nakata, who puts a substantial amount of time and effort into setting up these seminars, would like to get some idea of the interest level for such an event at the February meeting. In making your decision, assume that the seminar will cost approximately $225 and be taking place in mid September.



There are two shows remaining in the spring lineup:

Sears Mall - February 3-4

Northway Mall - March 10-12

Upcoming Shows:

Sears Mall Feb. 4-5

Northway Mar 10-12

Table setup for the Sears show will be on Friday the third at 5.00P. Any help in this department will be appreciated!

Another reminder is that payment is due for the Northway show by the February 15th E-Board meeting.



        The Young Numismatist donation auction is set to be held at the February 1st membership meeting. For those that have not kept up lately, this is an auction of donated coin related material, the proceeds of which will be used to pay for a scholarship to send one of our club's Young Numismatists to attend an ANA summer seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The cost for this scholarship is expected to be in the area of $500, which will cover the cost of airfare (assuming that we can find somebody with a dividend ticket for sale) and the cost of the seminar. Food and lodging, as well as instructional materials, are included in the cost of the seminar.                     

The scholarship is estimated to cost $500, including airfare and the cost of the seminar

Longtime auctioneer Bill D'Atri has agreed to take his post once again at the front of the room for this event. For anybody that has never attended an auction conducted by Bill, be prepared for a bit of fast action. The more lots that are available, the faster Bill will go. It is suggested that participants have some idea of which lots he/she is interested in before the auction begins, to prevent missing out.

One difference between this auction and our other auctions is that there will be no minimum bid on any lots. All lots will be sold to the highest bidder. It is hoped that bidders will be willing to pay close to market value for these items, as the objective is to make sure that we have enough money to cover all of the costs of sending a YN to Colorado.

It has yet to be determined exactly how to decide which YN from our club will be the lucky recipient of the scholarship. Anybody with ideas on how to make the decision, please bring them up at the meeting or contact board member Larry Nakata.

And now, here is our listing of the lots that will be auctioned. The lots are not in the order that they will actually be auctioned, so plan on spending some time at the meeting looking over the lots. Also, you may want to take a look at some of the lots that are only given a general listing, such as "3 different coin books".

With no further ado:

1. King of Siam sale video (VHS)

2. Coin video (VHS)

3. Four silver bullion coins: Poland, China, etc.

4. Three 1994 Redbooks (may be broken into separate lots)

5. Three different coin books

6. Chinese commemoratives (two)

7 Fifty mixed foreign notes (two groups)

8. Cherry Picker's Guide, third edition

9. Alaska bronze statehood medal

10. 1941-D Jefferson nickel MS-66 full steps

11. 1934 Peace dollar EF

12. 1983 Lincoln cent pre-cud

13. 1945-P Mercury dime AU-50 partial split bands

14. 1936-S/S RPM#1 Buffalo nickel F-12 only 9 to 16 known

15. 1964-D/D Kennedy half BU

16. 1961 Franklin half proof. Double die reverse #2

17. 1950-D Roosevelt dime BU full lower bands

18. 1953-S Roosevelt dime MS-63

19. 1939-S Lincoln cent RPM #2 BU

20. 1982-P Jefferson nickel BU misaligned die

21. Nathan Palmer commemorative silver

22. 1972 Lincoln cent double die obverse #7 BU

23. 1947-S/S Lincoln cent BU

24. 1946-S/S Lincoln cent BU

25. 1961-D/D Lincoln cent BU

26. 1963-D/D Lincoln cent BU

27. 1960-D/D Lincoln cent BU

28. 1880-S 80/79 Morgan dollar AU

29. 1971 Lincoln cent double die obverse 2-O-I AU

30. 1955 Washington quarter Proof

31. 1956 Washington quarter Proof

32. 1939 Jefferson nickel double die reverse VG/F

33. Selection of three books (may be divided into three lots)

34. Book - Coin Collector's Survival Guide

35. 1995 Coin Dealer Rating Guide

36. One year free rental of a safety deposit box at Safety Deposit Boxes Of America.

                Size is 3" by 10" by 24" deep. Approximate value $125

37. NCI Grading Guide

38. 1828 1/2 cent ANACS-40  12 star variety

39. 1834 1/2 cent ANACS-40

40. Group of five 1975-S proof sets

More to be added with local donations and other donations still coming in from outside.

Congratulations go out to Mike Greer for his success in soliciting material for the auction. He contacted a large number of dealers outside and took care of inventorying the lots and preparing them for auction.



Robert Hall has passed on to your editor a group of news releases from the ANA. A summary of these releases is presented below:

December 1, 1994

"Call for nominations of ANA officers begins biennial election process"

Nine offices are opening up: the presidency, the vice presidency, and all seven governors' positions. Each position is a two year term.

On this subject, our club has endorsed the nominations of the following candidates:

Anthony Swiatek - Vice President

Joseph Boling - Board of Governors

Gary Lewis - Board of Governors

December 9, 1994

"Dues increase and term limitations among issues to be considered by ANA board in January meeting"

A proposal has been made to raise dues by 11.5 percent to offset increasing postal rates. This will be the first increase in dues since 1988.

Also, two different term limit proposals will be considered.

December 9, 1994

"Du Pont class I 1804 Bust dollar donated to ANA museum"

Willis du Pont is donating one of eight known 1804 class I silver dollars to the ANA Money Museum. The class III specimen that had been on loan to the museum by du Pont will be given to the Smithsonian Institution.

December 21, 1994

"New additions and old favorites scheduled for ANA summer conference"

A listing of 18 new classes to be offered in July 1995 is presented.

December 21, 1994

"Batters up for the 1995 ANA world series of numismatics to be held at 104th anniversary convention in Anaheim"

ANA members are encouraged to submit questions to be used in the numismatic world series. Questions must be in one of the ten categories listed.



Entitled "The biggest little show in town", a series of monthly shows will be held at the Valley River mall in Eagle River.

It should be noted that these are not club sponsored shows; they are strictly a private enterprise.

The show schedule is as follows, with other significant events in parenthesis:

January 14&15 (21&22 gun show)

February 11&12 (Antiques show after Fur Rondy)

March 11 & 12 (10-12 Anchorage Coin Club show - Northway Mall)

April 22&23 (15th Tax day)

May 20&21 (7th Mothers day)

June 17&18 (Fathers day)

July 15&16 (6-9 Bear paw festival)

August 12&13 (Summertime)

September 9&10 (school starts)

October 14&15 (3 day holiday)

November 11&12 (Veteran's day)

December 16&17 (pre Christmas)

Anybody that is interested in finding out details about these shows should call bourse chairman Ben Guild at 688-3082.



Readers of Numismatic News should keep their eyes open for a string of mail bid sales to be run by club member Ben Guild. They may be found in the Collector's Marketplace section of the paper under the name GE coins.



Space does not permit the listing of each of the coins entered in the investment contest this month but here are the standings as the contest winds down:

Robert Hall:

Portfolio Value = $1001.00

Larry Nakata:

Portfolio Value = $845.00

Mike McKinnon:

Portfolio Value = $975.00

Mike Nourse:

Portfolio Value = $953.50


The YN Corner
by Larry Nakata

Our February 1st coin club meeting will feature a YN coin auction who's proceeds will go towards YN (Young Numismatist) scholarships for the summer ANA seminars in Colorado Springs. Coins and other numismatic donations will be auctioned off at this meeting.


A number of coin dealers and contributors in the lower 48 have already donated material towards this auction. We also have donations that were made by club members and additional donations are expected at the February 1st meeting to round out the auction lots. There are approximately 40 to 50 lots towards the YN coin auction and we hope to see more donations from our membership.

This is certainly a very noble cause and we are confident that there will be a very good turnout for this auction by our club membership.

We have also been encouraging our YNs (ages 13 thru 17) to put in for scholarships with the ANA for the Summer seminar. Only so many scholarships are available throughout the country........hence the need for this auction. If the proceeds from this auction can at least send one YN to Colorado Springs this year, we will have succeeded.

See you at the February 1st meeting.........

- Larry Nakata

The 1850's: Ten Years In History

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

        I found the 1850's to be a surprisingly uneventful decade - obviously the calm before the storm!

The US population increased quite rapidly, growing from 23 million in 1850 to 31 million at the end of the decade. The national debt actually decreased from $63 million to $60 million (barely one hundred thousandth of its present $5 trillion!).

Of note to numismatists, in 1851 congress reduced the price of a stamp to three cents for up to a half ounce, to be delivered within 3000 miles. This led to the introduction of the three cent piece that same year, with the three dollar gold piece soon to follow.

With the country growing in size and population, Americans started thinking about opportunities overseas. In 1850, the Americans and British signed a treaty to jointly build a canal across the narrowest part of Central America in Panama. The Panama canal would not be built for a number of years, but they wanted to let the rest of the world know who had control over the area.

In 1852, President Fillmore sent Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan to try to persuade the Japanese to open their ports for American trade. He would not leave until he was assured that his request would be passed on to the emperor. He returned to Japan a year later to get an answer, which was yes. Six ports were open to American ships by 1858.

The next attempt at expansion turned out to be a failure. This was the plan to try to purchase Cuba from Spain in 1853.

Northerners feared that Cuba would be added as a slave state, and protested loudly. The plan to buy Cuba had to be abandoned.

On the home front, slavery was an issue that was receiving more and more attention. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1851, and sold 300,000 copies in the first year. The author's gift for character development made many people see slaves as individuals for the first time.

The underground railroad, a string of hideouts from the south up to Canada, allowed between 40,000 and 100,000 slaves to escape to Canada. The famous Harriet Tubman made two trips each year to bring slaves north.

The famous Lincoln - Douglas debates took place in Illinois in 1858. Both men were running for the post of Senator for that state, but their widely opposing views attracted national attention. In addition, the debates made Abraham Lincoln a nationally known name, which would serve him well in the Presidential election of 1860.

The south was loosing its share of control in the US government. In 1858, Minnesota was admitted as a free state, and Oregon was added the next year, also as a free state. This brought the balance to 18 free states and 15 slave states. There were no new slave states in sight, and there was little hope left for allowing slavery in the territories.

In other news, 1859 was a year of discovery in the US. The first oil well in the country was drilled that year in Oil Creek, Pennsylvania. Also, silver was discovered in the Comstock Lode in Nevada. This, of course, led to the establishment of the Carson City Mint in Carson City, Nevada a decade later.

On the coinage front, there was quite a bit happening in the decade of the 1850's. The gold dollar, introduced in 1849, saw heavy production in the 1850's. The twenty dollar gold piece, authorized in 1849 as well, saw its first general production in 1850 in numbers exceeding one million coins per year in most years. As mentioned earlier, the three cent piece and three dollar gold piece also made their debut in the 1850's.

Discovery of gold in California in large quantities forced the price of silver up with relation to gold. This resulted in a reduction of the weights of all silver coins except the silver dollars in 1853. This change was accompanied by the addition of arrows on all denominations from half dimes through half dollars, and rays on the reverse of the quarter and half dollar. The rays only lasted that one year, and the arrows were gone two years later.

Probably the most obvious change came in the area of copper coins. The cent and half cent were not very popular in their day and cost the mint a great deal to produce. The law of 1857 dropped the half cent entirely and completely changed the cent.

The new cent was smaller and thinner and made from a nickel - copper composition. The first design featured a flying eagle on the obverse, but this was only used for general production for two years. The still popular Indian cent first appeared in 1859, made of the same materials as the flying eagle cent. This was a one year type, with no shield on the reverse above the wreath.

Another important factor of the law of 1857 is that it removed the legal tender status of Spanish coins, which circulated freely until that time.

Coming in March: The 1860's


Protecting Uncirculated and High Grade Copper Coins

By: Larry Nakata, As told by Skip Pelleteer

        While manning the coin club table at the Cottonwood Creek coin show in Wasilla earlier this month, I got into an interesting conversation with one of our club members, Skip Pelleteer. Skip is also a member of the EAC (Early American Copper Society).

I commented to Skip that I had a problem with my Uncirculated coppers. Seems that spotting, fingerprints, and even green slime was beginning to show on my copper collection. Being distressed about this situation, I asked Skip what could be done to minimize the problem. What ensued was a fascinating discussion by Skip on how he protects his copper coins.


Items Needed:

Skip told me to get the following items:

1.) Xylene (sold by Spenard Builders Supply). Approximately $7.50 per bottle.

2.) A sable painting brush (sold by art stores in Anchorage). It’s cost me about $16 for this special soft painting brush.

3.) “Blue Ribbon”. It has a texture much like olive oil and is sold in two ounce bottles. Skip buys his “Blue Ribbon” from another EAC member in the lower 48:

                Rod Burress

                9743 Leacrest

                Cincinnati, OH  45215

You can buy it for $2.50 per bottle plus postage.

4.) A #4 soft jeweler’s brush (also known as a goat hair brush). Rod Burress also sells these brushes. Cost is $7.50 per brush plus postage. If you buy the brush and the “Blue Ribbon”, figure on cost of postage at approximately $2.75.

5.) Paper envelopes (2X2 size) no sulfur in paper. Our local coin dealer and club member, Roy Brown, sells these envelopes.

6.) White cotton (100%) flannel material. The fabric sections of Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Payless, or any department store should carry this flannel. A small 3’ by 3’ piece should suffice. Cost is about $3 per yard.


A.) Take your copper coin and apply xylene on the surface with the sable brush. The xylene will emulsify any oils and junk from the surface of the coin. The texture of xylene is much like acetate and will dry quickly.

B.) If the coin is not a problem coin, you can either apply or soak the coin in “Blue Ribbon”. If you have a problem coin, soak it overnight or over a period of months. When done, let the “Blue Ribbon” drip off the coin.

C.) Use tissue paper (thick unscented white Kleenex) and gently pat dry out the excess “Blue Ribbon” from the coin. There will still be a fine layer of “Blue Ribbon” on the copper coin.....but the fine layer is designed to prevent any further oxidation on the copper coin.

D.) Use the goat hair brush to gently remove any excess lint from the surface of the copper coin.

E.) Construct (with scissors) a 4X2 section of white flannel, fold in half, and place the flannel inside of a 2X2 non-sulphur paper envelope. You can label the paper envelope accordingly.

F.) Gently place the copper coin in between the white flannel sections.

According to skip, use of an airtite holder or 2X2 Mylar holder is not recommended. It tends to keep the moisture in the holder and cause corrosion of the coin.

The coin needs to breathe, hence the need for a 2X2 paper envelope with a flannel interior.

According to Skip, the copper coin should last a long time with no deterioration. Whenever handling the copper coins, be sure to brush gently with the goat hair brush to remove any lint before putting it back into the 2X2 paper envelope.

If you have any questions about the care of copper coins, contact Skip. Skip’s evening number is 745-4477.

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