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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 10, Number 2

February 1997

February Membership Meeting
Wed., February 5, 1997 Central Lutheran Church

7:30 PM Meeting



Your Chief Editor, and the guy with the computer, is now back from vacation......and a wonderful vacation it was from all this Alaska snow and ice. Since this month's newsletter needs to be completed in the next couple of days, please pardon the rushed format of the newsletter.

Election lime for Board officers of the Anchorage Coin Club will occur at the March 5th membership meeting. Officers are elected by a majority vote of those club members in attendance at that club meeting.

Board offices needing to be filled are:

President - Serving a term of one year.

Vice-President - Serving a term of one year.

Secretary - Serving a term of one year.

Treasurer - Serving a term of one year.

One (1) Board Director - Serving a term of two years.

Any interested club members can submit their names as candidates for these offices by notifying club Board members, or by submitting their names at the March 5th membership meeting.

Your editors want to encourage club members to serve in these Board positions. The continued growth and success of the Anchorage Coin Club's programs can only be made possible by having people volunteer their time and efforts.

Finally, Member Robin Sisler is making arrangements for the YN Donation Auction to be held at our club's May Membership meeting. Members wishing to donate numismatic material for the auction can contact Robin at his home ph# 243-2116.



Schedule of Events of the Month of February.

1. Monthly Membership Meeting: February 5th (Wednesday] at 7:30 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members and general public welcomed. There will be a presentation by club member Dean Pulver on "Cataloging of Error and Variety Coins". As part of our monthly meetings, there will be a bullet coin auction of no more than 10 coin lots. Members wishing to submit coins for the bullet auction can bring them to the meeting.

2. YN (Young Numismatists) Meeting: February 14th (Friday) at 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. YNs, club members, and general public welcomed. Due to a mix-up at last month's YN meeting, the scheduled program for that session did not occur. The February session will correct that situation. Our sister club, the Tasmanian Numismatic Society, has sent us a number of Australian coins along with a numismatic book on their coinage. The YN Session will sort, catalog, and distribute these coins among the YNs. It should be fun session........

3. Anchorage Coin Club Board 7:00 PM at the Central Lutheran Church. Club members welcomed.

January 8th Membership Meeting

The Membership meeting started at 7:30 PM. Prior to the start of the coin auction. Vice President Ann Brown made the following announcements:

The Anchorage Coin Club's 1998 10th Year Anniversary Coin Set. Like our club's 5th year set, there will be a set of bronze and silver coins that will commemorate our club's 10th year in 1998. The reverse design of the coin will be State of Alaska state seal. There will be contest this year for the best coin design for the obverse side of the coin. The size of the coin will be similar as in the 5th year....silver dollar size. Members can submit their obverse designs for the coin to any of the club officers, or by mailing their designs to our club's post office box. The person winning the best design will receive his/her numbered set for free.

Starting with the February meeting, we will be having bullet auctions for coins. Members can bring in coins for this auction at our club's monthly membership meetings. Only 10 coins will be chosen by lottery for the auction. The coins can be anything of your choosing....Lincoln cent, foreign coin, paper currency, etc.

The door prize was a 1990 Uncirculated Mini set won by YN Nicholas Bilak.

The membership prize was a 1988 Proof set won by YN Nathan Hansen.

Editors Comment: Another clean sweep of prizes by our YNs.

Following these announcements some 51 coin lots were auctioned a the January 8th Membership meeting. The auction lots included US coinage, US paper currency, foreign coinage. Alaskan tokens, ancient coins, and numismatic books. The YNs in attendance, fresh with lots of YN Bucks, purchased at least 50% of the available lots. Bidding was very spirited amongst the YNs for these coin lots.

Following the auction, the meeting concluded at approximately 9:30 PM.

Minutes of the January 15th Board Meeting

The Board meeting started at 7:00 PM.

The Board received Mike Greer's resignation letter as President of the Anchorage Coin Club at the January 15th Board meeting. Discussions followed. In accordance with the club's bylaws, the resignation was accepted upon receipt of his letter. Interested members may request a copy of the resignation letter from the Board.

In accordance with the club's bylaws, Vice President Ann Brown will take over the responsibilities of President until the next club elections (scheduled for the March membership meeting).

The final order of business discussed was the club's insurance. Treasurer Robert Hall announced the club's insurance has been renewed.

The meeting concluded at 9:00 PM.


by Robin Sisler (Member #117)

The last YN meeting was quite exciting. but due to a small delivery problem, the Australian coins did not show up at the meeting. An alternative event took place though. We graded, classified, and carded a nice little selection of United States coins that were donated by Larry Nakata and will be sent to our sister club. The Tasmanian Numismatic Society in Australia.

Mike Orr and I presided over the meeting. Besides the "assembly line" style grading and carding that went on. Mike showed us some of his world coins and his "Phone Book" of coins, the famous World Book, of course. (This particular book was quite ragged and in need of replacement, but you could still read it, so keep the book, Mike!)

For the next YN meeting, on the 14th of February, we'll redo the Australian coin session. I, personally, have seen these coins and I recommend that any coin club member interested in Australian numismatics attend, it's a great little grab bag

This is my first attempt at writing this little section called "The YN Corner". I hope you enjoy it. By the way......we ended the last meeting with a little game of "Slab Hockey". The puck was a slabbed 1885 MS-65 Proof-tike Morgan. Needless to say, it was fun and I won all five games of it. You YNs gotta work on your competition!

See all you little ones at the next meeting........Robin Sisler.

P.S. The YN Auction is coming up soon, so you parents need to be prepared to hand over your child for the betterment of the coin club. Seriously

YNs can start writing those letters to every "Coin Collector Person" (numismatist) that you can think of to ask for donations to our next YN Auction. Good Luck!

Holey Dollars and Dumps

Holey Dollars and Dumps



Through our sister club, the Tasmanian Numismatic Society in Australia, your editors downloaded via Internet the second and final installment article for publication in our newsletter. This article is also posted on their WEB Page:

This particular article on Australian Decimal Coins continues their country's coinage from the introduction of Decimal Coinage in 1966 to present. Enjoy the article...


by Graeme Peterwood / Tasmanian Numismatic Society

Where has the time gone? The fateful day that dollars and cents eventually arrived in Australia was February 14th, 1966.

I suppose anyone in the age bracket of 35-40, probably has only vague recollections of the introduction of the decimal system to our currency or, perhaps, they only remember the important things like Mum having to pay the extra cent when she wanted to buy the kids two threepenny ice creams and the ice cream man insisting that they now cost three cents each because one penny equaled one cent!

For those of us who are old enough to remember the public education campaign that preceded the actual release of the new currency, it was rather an anti-climax when everything went according to plan and there was no panic in the streets!

For months the Australian public had been subjected to an intensive media barrage that was intended to drive home the Government's decision of September 1963, to convert our old Imperial Pounds, Shillings, and Pence into the decimal system used nearly everywhere else in the world.

The program paid off because the public, in the main, were actually looking forward to the prospect of Australia having its 'own' currency!

Many of the older generation, however, were not completely convinced that they were not going to be 'ripped off' in the process of conversion. The proposed exchange rate from old to new was published but, as there were some slight anomalies, the pessimists seized upon the table to highlight the fact that there was scope for the opportunists to rort the system, and like the ice cream man, some did!

The official conversion table was prepared by a specially appointed group, the Decimal Currency Board, and printed on cards to be handed out at all sorts of places where people gathered to spend money. Quite often a cartoon-style character, named 'Dollar Bill', would also turn up a shopping mails to emphasize the 'dollar' was the new name for the impending new currency.

Many novel and inventive names had been suggested for the currency, but eventually it was decided to keep it simple and follow the lead of the United Slates of America with the 'Dollars and Cents' system.

Pounds, Shillings, and Pence to Dollars and Cents. A guide for you when you go Shopping after 14th February:

Pence to Round Cents:

1d... 1 cent.
2d... 2 cents.
3d ... 2 cents.
4d... 3 cents.
5d... 4 cents.
6d... 5 cents exactly.
7d... 6 cents.
8d... 7 cents.
9d... 8 cents.
10d... 8 cents.
11d... 9 cents.
1/- shilling... 10 cents exactly.

Shillings to Cents

1/-... 10 cents.
2/-... 20 cents.
3/-... 30 cents.
4/-... 40 cents.
5/-... 50 cents.
6/-... 60 cents.
7/-... 70 cents.
8/-... 80 cents.
9/-... 90 cents.
10/-... $1.00.

Pounds in Dollars.

1 Pound.... $2.00
5 Pounds.... $10.00
10 Pounds.... $20.00

The 'powers that be' also made sure that we were constantly being bombarded, on TV and radio, with the following musical message to help us remember the decimal conversion rates:

Remember this rhyme to covert pence to cents.

'One and two remain the same,
The only difference is the name.
Three lo nine lose one its true.
And for the rest you lake off two. '

One of Australia's oldest newspapers, "The Examiner', published in Launceston, Tasmania, stated that the first decimal currency included in any Australian employee's pay packet was made to a local hardware store (now defunct), in that city soon after the start of business on February 14th, 1996-'C Day'.

The reason that the staff of J.R. Green Pty. Ltd. were paid first thing on Monday morning instead of Friday, was a legacy from the founder of the store who, about 70 years previously, saw what a weekend of 'depravity' (or an unprofitable trip to the Saturday races) did to his workers and their families the following week when they had no money and were asking him for advances to their wages to survive. John R. Green took it upon himself to suggest to his staff that, to protect them from themselves, he be allowed to change their pay-day so that if they wished to go out over the weekend they would have to save some of their money from their Monday pay packet.

After some discussion the deal was agreed to, and it appeared to have worked well both for management and staff over the next three score years and ten!

Eventually the 1966 staff members, who continued to be paid under the same arrangement (because it still seemed to make sense), made their own little bit of numismatic history' when they opened their pay packets early on Monday morning of the 14th February.

It had been estimated, in the forward planning, that it would take up to two years for the nation to absorb all the necessary changes, both 10 convert the old office machinery to decimals (and learn to use it), as well as cope with the problems associated with having two different currencies in the market place simultaneously.

In fact, it only took most young Australians a few weeks to adapt to the new coinage and. within an 18 month period, the bulk of the old Imperial style money had disappeared from the pockets of most Australians, forever!

THE OLD AND THE NEW. For some time, the old sterling .925 fine and .500 silver content coins with an exact decimal equivalent value, e.g. the sixpence (5 cents), the shilling (10 cents), and the florin (20 cents), were in circulation with the new copper-nickel coins, but as they were passed into the banking system they gradually disappeared and ended up in the Government melting pots to help affray the cost of the conversion.

Australian Polymer $10 Note Front

Australian Polymer $10 Note

The bronze halfpenny and penny, mainly because of their size, were doomed to be melted and converted into the very much smaller 1 cent and 2 cent pieces. The tiny silver threepences, which had no equivalent decimal value, disappeared almost immediately except for those that were kept as mementos of the days when an ice cream could be bought for a 'trey".

In fact, millions of well circulated pre-decimal coins, mainly the 'Kangaroo" halfpennies and pennies, were saved by a numismatically naive public, and while it is still possible to locate some interesting pieces as those small family hoards continue to come onto the market, most end up being sold off as scrap metal. They are relatively worthless, usually because of their condition and because they are still so abundant.

However, this was the time that numismatics in Australia really took off, with many newspapers and dealers extolling the investment potential of the pre-decimal silver coins that were fast disappearing from our pockets.

For some years the trade was in a frenzy of buying and selling and many 'investors' had their fingers burn! when, eventually, the bubble burst and a more realistic market level was reached.

With much more factual information regarding mintage, variations, faults, etc. in the pre-decimal coinage becoming available from people such as Dion Skinner and his Renniks (read it backwards!) catalogues, and the formation of numismatic clubs that were educating us about our new hobby, we became more aware of what to look for; and it wasn't long before our decimal currency came under scrutiny!

UNIQUELY AUSTRALIAN. When the new decimal currency was being planned, it was decided that the monarch's portrait by Arnold Machin would grace the obverse of the coins while the reverses, designed by Stuart Devlin, would feature some of our unique species of fauna.

After some experimentation, the final selection for the bronze One Cent coin was the Feather Tail Glider, the tiniest Eastern Australian marsupial capable of stretching the membrane between its limbs to assist it in its gliding flight-like leap from tree to tree.

The bronze Two Cent coin featured the smallish Frill-neck Lizard which defends itself hissing and jumping forward with mouth agape as if to attack.

The well-loved Echidna (or Spiny Ant Eater), a marsupial with spines similar to a porcupine, and which is one of the only two furred animals in the world with the ability to lay eggs, was the selection for the copper-nickel Five Cent coin.

The copper-nickel Ten Cent coin features the elusive Lyrebird, a diminutive bird with an uncanny ability for mimicry. The male bird has a glorious lyre-shaped tail plumage which he uses to attract a mate during the elaborate rituals of his courting dance which usually takes place in the seclusion of the forest.

Like the Echidna, the duck-billed Platypus, can lay eggs and like the beaver it has a broad tail to help it when it swims. The platypus lives mainly along the eastern coastline of Australia and in Tasmania. It has been found in high mountain streams as well as the warmer coastal rivers of far Northern Queensland and it lives on small insects, worms, etc. As another uniquely Australian mammal, the platypus was ideal for inclusion in the range of coinage and has been depicted on the copper-nickel Twenty Cent coin.

The last to be considered was the prestigious .800 fine silver Fifty Cent coin, and it was decided that it would be appropriate to present a stylized Australian Coat-of-Arms with its Kangaroo and Emu motif, as the most suitable reverse.

Australian $10 Polymer Note Back

Australian $10 Polymer Note

Because of the enormity of the mintage program, it was also deemed appropriate that over 50% of the copper-nickel coins would be minted in London to enable the release deadlines to be met. All of the bronze One and Two Cent coins, and the round 50 Cent .800 silver coins were produced in Australia at the Canberra. Melbourne, or Perth Mints.

1966 PRIVY MINTMARKS. The issuing mint in the days of pre-decimal currency could often be identified by various means*, e.g. Perth Mint would usually place a dot after the denomination on its bronze coins. By the time decimal coinage arrived on the scene most of the old coins had been identified by mint. (* refer to any good catalogue for details) but it took a little time before numismatists spotted the subtle differences in the 1966 issues.

Renniks 1970 (Sixth Edition) Coin and Banknote Guide gives a four line report on the discovery of mint privy marks after the Royal Australian Mint stated, 'that the new coinage would not carry a mint-mark as such'. However, no further detail was published regarding what form that the privy marks took.

By 1980, however, we had discovered that with the One Cent coins issued from the Canberra Mint, al! the facial whiskers on the Feather Tail Glider were pointed, but on the coins from the Melbourne the first whisker on its left side were blunted, while the second whisker on its left was blunted on the Perth Mint issue.

We also noted that the Two Cent coin was also affected. Melbourne issues had a blunt third left claw on the Frill-neck Lizard and Perth had a blunt first right claw.

Of course the copper-nickel coins also had their variations, the spines near the right shoulder of the Echidna were of a different length between the Canberra and London issues and there was an extra spike on the top feather of the London Lyrebird's tail.

It takes a close look to pick the gap where the platypus' duck-bill doesn't quite meet its face under its left eye on the Canberra 20 Cent coins.

Only the round silver 50 Cent coin seemed to escape these privy marks, but an astute examiner noticed that some of the coins had a small double bar running from behind the Emu's head into the design. This was found to have been caused by a fault on the Master puncheon, which had been prepared in London, and then had been passed on to the working Australian dies.

The problem was rectified, but strangely re-occurred in 1979 and 1980 on the dodecagonal (12 sided) copper-nickel 50 Cent coins that had been introduced in 1969 to replace the 36,454,000 original round .800 silver 50 Cent coins. The silver coins were being bought up by private enterprise, for their bullion content, owing to the big increases in the price of silver that had taken place, and. at one stage, they were selling for up to between ten to fifteen times their face value before the price dramatically dropped as fast as it had risen!

THE CHANGES. The old saying, ' Nothing ever stays the same!' also applies to Australian coinage. In 1985, a new obverse design, by Raphael Malouf, of Queen Elizabeth II was implemented on all coinage including a $1.00 aluminum-bronze coin which had been introduced in 1984 to coincide with the withdrawal of our paper $1.00 note.

Our $2.00 note only lasted a few more years until 1988 when it too fell to inflation and was replaced by an aluminum-bronze $2.00 coin.

The $1.00 basic circulating issue coin features Kangaroos, whilst the $2.00 has a reverse designed by Horst Hahne. from an engraving by Ainslie Roberts of an Aboriginal named 'One Pound Jimmy', against a background which includes the Southern Cross and some Australia Flora.

Over the last 26 years, some eight issues of the 50 Cent coins and seven issues of the $1.00 coins have been used as commemoratives and, in 1995, the first Australian 20 Cent coins to ever be used as a commemorative was issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

NON-CIRCULATING LEGAL TENDER. Most coins are made to be spent or. at least, jingle in our pockets-but there are some that are so spoilt that they barely see the light of day! To the purists amongst the numismatist fraternity, they see it as a shame that, over the last 10-15 years, a plethora of issues of Non-Circulating Legal Tender* has been marketed by the Government to cash in on a niche market. (*Refer to any good catalogue for details).

Ranging from special designs in individual proof coins, in various combinations of precious or base metals. or even sets of standard uncirculated coins that are sold at a premium and which are unlikely to appear on the streets in the short term, these specialized 'collector' coins have been manufactured to cater for the investment markets both in Australia and overseas.

Usually beautifully prepared and presented, these coins, however, do have their part to play in the changing world of numismatics because, without change and discussion, the hobby and the industry that relies on our continued diverse interests would stagnate!

It takes a dedicated team of artists and technicians, working in close cooperation, to manufacture even the humblest of our coins, so by producing these elegant 'works of an' we are developing a pool of excellence and expertise in our Australian Mints that is becoming the envy of money-makers throughout the world!

As they say, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!"

Let history (and the Numismatic Fraternity of the future) prove what needs to be proven - during the next 30 years!

            Graeme Peterwood

Tasmanian Numismatic Society.


Editor's Notes

While browsing the ANA WEB pages, your editors came across this news release on National Coin Week, April 20-26. Let us see what you members can up with on ideas for National Coin Week for our club......


ANA's 1997 National Coin Week Theme:
"The Changing Face Of Money"


The ANA will lead collectors across the United States in celebrating the 74th annual National Coin Week. April 20-26. 1997 with the theme. "The Changing Face of Money".

Utilizing as a springboard for presentations and exhibits the new designs appearing on our nation's paper money and the serious consideration given to a bill calling for new designs for 25 cent coins, the ANA plans to work with its members and other collectors in promoting the numismatic hobby during National Coin Week. The ANA will help it's members plan activities to include:

Producing a local treasure hunt by putting low-value but rarely seen coins into circulation.

Setting up a coin booth with a treasure chest at a local shopping mall; arranging classroom activities.

Developing exhibits for malls, banks, and libraries.

Preparing talks, including the use of ANA slide and video programs for school, civic, and art groups.

Conducting surveys on the public's knowledge of and suggested changes for the nation's money.

ANA Education Director James Taylor said, "National Coin Week is the one time each year when everyone in this diverse multi-faceted hobby comes together to show the world the wonders it offers. As those of us who already know the enjoyment of numismatics, it is an avocation that is second to none with opportunity."

The ANA is again offering full scholarships to any future Summer Conference in Colorado Springs to the coin club and the collector who submit a report of the best and most innovative method of how they promoted National Coin Week. Michael Fey won the scholarship for 1996. working with his son's school to put collectable coins into the school lunch change and with the school's teachers to help the students identify and learn about their finds The Salem Coin Club of Roanoke, Virginia, won the club award for working with merchants in a local mall to salt each cash register with unusual, but low-value coins and paper money for making change. Shoppers finding the items could then find out more about them from club members manning tables in the mail. Entries must be received by the ANA on or before May 31, 1997...........

Editors Final Notes: Check out the February issue of "COINage" magazine. There is a nice article about our coin club's WEB Page called "Surfing On the Internet"...


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 Greer          Eves: 344-1907
V. President-                Ann Brown          Days: 563-6708
Treasurer-                      Robert Hall        Eves: 561-8343
Secretary-                   Scott Hornal        Eves: 243-0149
Editors -                     Loren Lucason    Eves: 272-3700
                                    Larry Nakata
                                    Brad Webb
                                    Mike Nourse
                                    Mike Greer

Board of Directors

Mike Orr-                        Eves: 258-9100

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

John Larson-                    Eves: 276-3292


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