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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 8, Number 10

October 1995

October Membership Meeting
Wed., October 4, 1995 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting


Membership News


The big event of the year, our fall seminar, took place as scheduled in late September. The three day event was well attended, and enough funds were generated by the event that our Young Numismatists, YNs, were able to attend for free.

Robert Hoge, the instructor at this years seminar, was able to enjoy a great Alaskan vacation, including a fishing trip with several members.

See page three for Larry Nakata's summary of the events and topics covered at the seminar.


This month's presentation will be on the topic of "US Paper Currency and It's Evolution Since the Revolutionary War". The speaker for this discussion with an impressive sounding title is none other than Larry Nakata.

Larry has been working hard to fill in his type set of US one dollar bills by type since the middle of the nineteenth century. His collection has reached a very impressive size and level of completion.

You can expect to see a good number of his specimens at the meeting. In case you happen to miss the meeting (inadvisable!), the display of currency will be on exhibit at the Northway Mall coin show.


As mentioned in previous months, there will be a coin show at the Northway Mall from October 20th (Friday) through the 22nd (Sunday). Cost of table reservations is $35 per table.

The show has been organized by Robert Hail. At this time, Robert reports that all tables have been reserved and a waiting list has been started. For those who need to contact Robert, he can be reached in the evenings at 561-8343. Setup will occur at 6:45 AM on Friday morning. Everyone who has tables at the show are requested to show up at this time to set up their tables.

On the subject of shows, several club officers are working to set up a show in concert with the Anchorage Gun club. This show will be held in the middle of March 1996 at the Egan Center. Nothing is definite yet, but stay tuned for developments on this show.

In the meantime, if anybody has ideas about where to hold a show, or wishes to help organizing a show, let it be known at the meeting!


Novembers program will be on the subject of US commemorative coins. I suspect that the primary focus of the discussion will focus on the classic commemoratives which were produced from the 1890's through the I950's in both gold and silver.

The speaker will be Robert Hall, a big fan of commemoratives. Robert was one of the people who attended last year's seminar on this subject given by Anthony Swiatek. Robert's presentation will be given at the regular membership meeting on November 1st - be there!


One of our club's most looked forward to events each year is the Christmas party. It has been decided that an auction will be conducted that evening as pan of the festivities. There will only be a limited number of lots, so if you wish to submit coins for auction, bring them to the regular or board meetings. More about this event later.


Robert Hall is currently filling in as the club's treasurer after Kurtis Hawk was forced to resign due to a conflicting work schedule. Robert plans in fill this post until election lime in March. Thanks go out to Robert for taking on this extra work load for the next few months.

In another case of conflicting job schedules, we currently have an opening for the position of secretary. Your editor, the current secretary, works during the hours of the club meetings, making it rather difficult to lake notes! If anybody is interested in filling this post, let me or any other club officer know. There is not very much involved in the post - mostly taking down notes at the meetings.

A committee of lour people are planning on taking over the newsletter duties The recent purchase of a fancy new computer by Larry Nakata provides a base of operations for the committee.

Members of the committee are. Loren Lucason (computer whiz) Larry Nakata (past president) Robin Sisler (YN) Brad Webb (graphics artist).

This group should be able to produce quite a newsletter! Larry has written a number of articles in the past (and present - see page 3) for the newsletter. Also, many of you know Robin as the creator of the YN newsletter which appeared a few months ago.

Good luck to the new committee! It is a lot of fun putting together a newsletter (I will not make any comments about the amount of work it is).

To everybody out there - if you wish to write an article for publication in the newsletter, go for it! It is neat to see something that you have written being published. It is not that hard, and I have never rejected an article for publication, so your work will not go to waste.


Calling all YNs! The first YN meeting of the fall will be held on Friday, October 13th at the usual meeting place (Central Lutheran Church at the corner of 15th and Cordova).

All YNs are encouraged to attend to help plan out the events for the upcoming months. Of course, anybody may attend the meeting no matter how old you are. There are typically ten or so people in attendance, and it is quite a good lime.


One item that will be a part of one or more YN meetings is a coin grading correspondence course purchased by our club from the American Numismatic Association for use in the YN program. For a minimal cost of $40, the course should be very educational and instructive. The ANA's products lend to be very well made and well worth the money.


Synopsis of "Ancient Coinage" Seminar
Larry Nakata

The Anchorage Coin Club seminar on "Ancient Coinage" was held on September 8-10, 1995.

Twenty four people attended the seminar. Among the 24 attendees were four of our YNs.

Robert Hoge gave an excellent presentation on "Ancient Coins of the Greek and Roman Times" which started with the beginning of coins in Asia Minor (circa 600 BC) with the electrum from Lydia (a composite of gold and silver).

Robert Hoge then showed the evolution of the coins as the Greek city-stale empires matured and declined to the lime of Alexander The Great, who mustered in the Hellenistic era that lasted up through the Roman Empire. The generals of Alexander the Great went on to establish empires through the civilized world that were conquered by Alexander and established their own dynasties with according coinage.

The rise of the Roman Empire saw the absorption of these empire slates, including the Greek city-states, with a shift towards coinage that was more and more dominated by the Roman Empire.

Robert Hoge's presentation showed the evolution of Roman coinage from the time of the Roman Republic, through the reign of the various emperors, ending with the fall of the Western Roman Empire. During these times, gold and silver coinage was primarily controlled by Rome through a series of mints (established throughout the empire) that were allowed to operate under Rome's control. Bronze coins were allowed al a local level. Discussion on various types of local bronze coins were included as part of the presentation.

Finally, Robert Hoge delved on counterfeit detection. Seems that counterfeits on ancient coins are very similar to counterfeits of US type of coins: cast coins, electrotypes, and die struck counterfeits. Detecting such counterfeits is very similar in nature with the exception of key things to look for when looking at that 2000 year old coin. Among the things to look for were toning, wear, and patina that may reflect their age.

On the subject of grading, ancients were found to fall in three categories:

1. Beautiful, well struck coins, with little evidence of wear (typical of coins stored in hidden caches, not subject to much exposure to the elements). Such coins command premium values in the thousands of dollars.

2. So-so coins that would be equivalent to what we consider VG to F condition with quite a bit of toning.

3. Terrible looking coins that we would consider to be of AG condition with heavy pitting and corrosion.

Cleaning of ancient coins is very common considering that 2000 year old coins can he very encrusted with soil and other contaminants. Use of chemicals and brass brushes are not unusual for enhancing the appearance of an ancient coin.

Finally, many examples of beautiful struck ancient coins from the ANA were shown. As an exercise, Robert Hoge had a set of six coins that were shown lo all attendees with instructions to determine which were real and which were counterfeit.

At the conclusion of the seminar, each of the YNs in attendance were given a free ancient bronze coin.

A number of free raffle prizes were distributed among the rest of the attendees (7 books on ancient coins, and three beautiful examples of ancient coins):

1. Book #1: "Glimpses of History" c. 1992 by Brian Hannon. Won by Loren Lucason.

2. Book #2: "Coins/Pleasures and Treasures" c. 1964 by John Porteus. Won by Paul Wheeler.

3. Book #3: "Coinage In The Greek World" by Ian Carradice. Won by Bruce Gamble.

4. Book #4: "Greek Coins and their Values" Volume II c. 1975 by David Sear. Won by Bill D'Atri.

5. Book #5: "Roman Coins and their Values" c. 1988 by David Sear. Won by Scott Hornal.

6. Book #6: "Coins" c. 1964 by John Porteus. Won by Tom Taylor.

7. Book #7: "Roman Provincial Coins" c. 1988 by Kevin Butcher. Won by Mike Orr.

8. Roman Judea Lepton / Ponlius Pilate / circa 30-31 AD. Won by Carl Mujagic.

9. Macedonia / Alexander the Great / Silver Drachm / circa 336-323 BC. Won by John Larsen.

10. Lydian Silver Siglo / circa 450-330 BC / struck sometime during the reigns of Arlaxerxes I - Darius III of Persia. This coin was donated by one of our new members, Marc Bettinger, who is a dealer in ancient coins. This coin was won by Robert Hall.

A fine time was enjoyed by all and concluded on Sunday. September 10th.


by Bill Fivaz, NLG

For many years I've been preaching, in one way or another, in just about every article I write, the importance of looking at your coins...  really looking at them. Much too often we see what we want to see and not what's really there. As an example, see if you can read the following correctly the first lime:


If you read: "PARIS IN THE SPRING", you are wrong... try again. Still get the same thing? OK, now read it one more time and point to every word as you read it. You will see that it really reads: "PARIS IN THE THE SPRING" with the two "THE"'s. We see what we want to or expect to see!

Correlating this to our hobby, I was recently guilty of not heeding my own advice until it was almost too late. I purchased a few errors from a local shop dealer who had just gotten them in from a Brinks or wells Fargo counting room employee, and among them was a very nice 75% off center (stretch strike, uniface reverse). Jefferson 5 cent piece with about a 20% straight clip opposite the off center area. This "double error" is not one you run across very often and I was happy lo purchase it to include in the next "JOJA JEMZ". I look pictures of both the obverse and the reverse, put it in a "flip" and marked it as I indicated above.

I was just about ready lo add it lo my stock box when I noticed that there was something just not right about the piece. All of a sudden it hit me, there was a copper core oozing out from the extremity of the off center portion, and upon examining the edge, of course there was the same copper core all the way around, including the area of the straight clip, the planchet was the proper thickness for a nickel and the diameter was correct, but the dadgummed thing was struck on a planchet which had been punched from a strip of clad material rolled to nickel thickness!

I was dumbfounded! I had never heard of a 5 cent piece with the proper diameter and thickness struck on a clad planchet, and certainly not one with a bonus of an off center amd a straight clip. Obviously, a clad coil of metal had passed through the rolling mills and had been reduced down to the prescribed nickel thickness of 1.981 mm. It was then fed through the blanking machine where it was punched by the nickel diameter rods, producing the proper diameter and thickness planchets for a 5 cent piece. On this error al least, no one noticed that it had been struck on the clad composition and not the regular 75% copper, 25% nickel alloy prescribed for a "normal" nickel.

TAKE NOTE: Because of the nature of this error, there could very well be other 1990-P* nickels lurking out there sporting a copper edge! CHECK IT OUT!

As I said, this one almost got by me, so I want to remind you (and myself!) to look at your coins.... really look at them!

* Although the date is not showing on this coin. I'm assuming that it is a 1990-P as all the other nickel errors in the group were that date.

Editors note: The above article was written a few years ago by noted Anchorage Coin Club member Bill Fivaz, and submitted for the October newsletter. Thanks for sending it in! Bill sends his regards to the members of the Club.

Bill Fivaz is a noted expert on numismatic errors and varieties and co-author of the Cherrypickers Guide.


Membership News


Door prize: A grading set consisting of various assorted US coins won by Robert Hall.

Membership prize: Ancient Roman bronze coin from England dated 267 AD won by Ben Guild

Kitty Prize: the member #139 was not present to collect the kitty prize, so it will roll over to the October meeting.

Raffle prize: the raffle prize, a 1899 US $1 note in crisp uncirculated condition worth a small fortune, is expected to be auctioned off at the October meeting.


Robert Hall would like lo put all of the club's files into one place to prevent loss of important records. The board of directors has agreed that this is a good idea, and Robert is willing to donate space at his house for the cabinet.

If anybody has a filing cabinet, preferably a two drawer model, that they wish to donate to the club, or sell at a reasonable price, please contact Robert or any other club officer.


Discussion was held concerning the continuation of our insurance policy. The policy covers the club at any function. If you have any input on this subject, let it be known at the October meeting.


President's Message #7 - October 1995
by Mike Orr

September has been an active month!

As I predicted, our September meeting was well attended. Many thanks lo Loren Lucason for an excellent presentation on ancient coinage. It had to be intimidating with Robert Huge, our expert on ancients from the ANA. in attendance but Loren did an outstanding job. To me best of my knowledge there was only one minor dispute on any issue. I am still not sure who won.... Thanks again Loren. Your effort was much appreciated and the photos were a nice touch.

The seminar was a great success. We had excellent attendance and were able to bring in the YNs for free again. I caught a lot of members taking detailed notes and judging by the enthusiasm shown, I expect to be seeing a lot more of these coins in the future. Thank you again to Robert Hoge, and the ANA, for a great job. Special thanks to Larry and all our people who worked hard behind the scenes to make it a success.

Until this seminar, ancients had been mostly a mystery to me, and now I have been searching for them now that I know what to look for. I especially like seeing diverse fields of numismatics and really believe it makes for a stronger coin club to have varied interests. For those of you who did not attend, you missed a rare opportunity to learn about a great field. The information shared went far beyond the cost of attendance so try lo make the next one. More on that later.

As a result of the seminar, we have added four new members. Please join me in welcoming Robert Shaw and Les Notestine of Anchorage, Tom Swapp from Washington, and Mark Bettinger from Oregon. We look forward to your participation.

You won't want to miss our October meeting. Larry Nakata is up to bat with US currency and it's evolution since the Revolutionary war. I am really looking forward to this one and expect it to be both fun and educational so come out and join us.

This meeting will be the last chance for tickets on the raffle prize of an 1899 Black Eagle one dollar silver certificate. We will have a drawing for it at the meeting and tickets for the next raffle prize will go on sale then. I will make an announcement at the October meeting about our next raffle prize.

Last but not least, do not forget our next club show at the Northway Mall. It's our first show of the season on October 20-22. We'll see you there. Until then, good luck and good hunting!

-Mike Orr


The YN Corner
by Larry Nakata

Thanks are in order to those who attended the September 8th - 10th seminar on "Ancient Coins", It was a very successful event that allowed our YNs the ability to attend the event over that weekend. Nathaniel Grabman, Mike Greer, Jerry Robinson, and Robin Sisler were the YNs who benefited from the seminar. The seminar, as taught by Robert Hoge, was very rich in historical aspect and covered ancient Greek and Roman coinage.

Each YN was subsequently given an ancient coin at the conclusion of the seminar. Each of the YNs who attended will receive a certificate for the seminar.

So...... with the club's September program behind us, the month of October will see a YN meeting scheduled for Friday, October 13th at 7 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. This will be our first official YN meeting of 1995 following the summer break.

We would like to see a good turnout of YNs (i.e. Young Numismatists) at this meeting.

The fall's first YN meeting will be held on Friday, October 13th.

The YN meeting wilt feature the ANA's (American Numismatic Association's) latest VHS tape on coin collecting as narrated by James Earl Jones. It's an excellent presentation whose intent is to encourage people (especially YNs) to get interested in the hobby of Numismatics (i.e. coin collecting). The YN meeting will also talk about programs that the YNs would like to see implemented as the year progresses.

One of our club's prime objectives is to increase the size of our YN membership over the next year. The Anchorage Coin Club's YN program has been a very good program that has seen a lot of activity this past year. Our YNs have benefited from lots of free coins (as donated by our club's membership), good informational programs at the YN meetings, and even saw one of our YNs (Robin Sisler) attend this year's ANA Summer Conference (in Colorado Springs) under an Anchorage Coin Club sponsored scholarship. The programs are in place, and we need more youngsters involved in the YN club who can benefit from these various programs.

Finally, the Anchorage Coin Club's monthly newsletter (ACCent) will be undergoing some changes in the upcoming months. Among the co-editors of our club's newsletter will be Robin Sisler, who should add a YN perspective to the newsletter.

See you YNs at our October 13th meeting..........

-Larry Nakata



The 1930's: Ten Years In History


Editor's note, this is the fifteenth installment in a series of articles starlet! in August 1994.

Start with a few statistics from 1930: Imports: $3,060,908,000 Exports: $3,843,181,000 National Debt: $16,300,921,501.

During the 1930s, the country was in an economic depression triggered by the stock market collapse of late 1929. Jobs were scarce, and conditions were continuing to worsen during the first few years of the decade.

It was a safe bet that most Americans were ready for new government leadership considering that Hoover seemed unable to bring an end to the depression. That new leadership came from none other than Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt had a great deal of experience with the American political system, and he also had a plan for improving the economy.

After being elected in 1932, Roosevelt put his so called New Deal into action. A group of twelve new acts and agencies were created to try to spread some of the money from people who had it to those who did not. Rather than just giving handouts, most of these new government agencies put people to work so that they could earn enough money to survive on. For those people who were unable to work, the Social Security act was created to lake care of them.

Part of the planned effect of the new deal programs is that they would get money into the hands of the average worker, who would in turn go out and spend that money, which would create more jobs.

Part of the financial crisis was caused by banks making too many risky debts with insufficient collateral.

Roosevelt closed all of the banks shortly after he was elected and had each one evaluated to see if it was being run properly. Those with an acceptable record were reopened, while the others remained closed. The people with deposits in the closed banks lost all of their money, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created to prevent this from ever happening again. Now, everybody's deposits were insured up to a limit, and banks were once again a safe place to put money.

While this was going on in America, war was brewing in Europe. Adolph Hitler had come to power in 1933 and had grand ideas of increasing the size of the German empire. Roosevelt gave a real boost to American businesses by purchasing large amounts of  products to give, loan, or sell to our European allies.

In the final months of the 1930's Hitler (with the help of Benito Mussolini of Italy) started putting his grand plan into action. After a series of invasions, Great Britain and France declared war in order to stop him.

At the end of the decade, America had not yet joined in the war, but there was little chance that we would be able to stay out of it. There was a lot of support for going to war when it was announced that Hitler had started a campaign to exterminate all Jewish people in Germany.

For numismatists, the I930's are best remembered for two events. The first was the ending of production of US gold coins in 1933, and their recall by the government. The second was the riot of commemorative issues that were pumped out during that decade, winch have turned out lo be very collectible.


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 Orr      Days: 258-9100
V. President-                Mike Greer          Eves: 344-1907
Treasurer-                      Kurtis Hawk
Sec./Editor-                   Mike Nourse       Days: 344-9856
                                                                     Eves: 344-9856 msg.

Board of Directors

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

Roy Brown-                   Eves: 563-6708  

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


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