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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 16, Number 4

April 2003

April Membership Meeting
Wed., April 16th, 2003 Central Lutheran Church

7 PM open, 7:30 PM Meeting



This is the start of it. We saw the start of spring then winter started again, This is also the start of the club's new regime with Stanley Mead as president. This started with the members in attendance accepting the slate of candidates nominated for office at our March meeting. This meeting also saw Krystal Stubblefield winning a proof Ike dollar given to the club by Greg Samorajski and a crisp uncirculated 1987 Disney Dollar won by Doug Williams given by Doug to John Larson for his kids.

The raffle prize of a slabbed MS60 $10 gold piece donated by Carl is just getting started. Tickets are still only $5. So far not many tickets have been sold so your chances of winning the big gold coin are good.

The real reason for us being at the meeting was to learn about grading paper money. Larry gave us some tips and a handout on the subject then had us grade a group of notes arranged in a circle around a table. As we walked around the circular table viewing each note in turn we jotted down the note's grade on the form given us. When we finished, each of us thinking he had the notes' grades nailed, Larry read off the grades given by professionals. It was an eye opener. Some of us thought paper money grading was a voodoo science. Certainly we all had a lot of learning to do.

The competition for the best 15th year Anchorage Coin Club Commemorative coin design has started to heat up. So far Jim is in the lead but new designs are coming up. Get your coin design sketches into one of the local coin dealers; Mike, Bill, Roy, or Carl. The coin die will be cut and the coin will be minted at the Alaska Mint on 4th Avenue.

Preparation has begun for April events. Loren has a coin display scheduled for the Loussac Library. The theme is "coin tales". This is the stories behind coins.

There are several categories; the first coins, biblical coins, key coins, error coins, Alaska token coins, coins that changed history, bad coin designs, good coin designs, even favorite coin designs. This display will be in the Library the entire month of April including National Coin Week; the last week of April.

Bill has a display scheduled for the First National Bank of Alaska on 4th avenue. The theme will be "the golden age of coins". It will highlight the use of gold in numismatics. Everything from the earliest gold coins to gold rush coins to bullion gold coins will be on display in a well protected bank. Bill has also started gathering materials and volunteers for Kid's Day Saturday April 19th at the Egan Center. The event is one day from 10 am to 5 pm. Setup starts between 7 and 9 am. Volunteers get free parking in the 6th avenue parking garage. Stanley has found some interesting fliers about getting into coin collecting to give out. Contact Bill at Loose Change Coins to volunteer at the coin club table.

The club has started a search for a possible new meeting location. In an effort to cut down on the costs of having meetings we are looking for a centrally located place with little or no cost for the room. The Pioneer Schoolhouse on 3rd and Eagle suffered damage" during the big wind storm and is not available and a room at the BP building on Benson had some restrictions that would cost too much so it is also out but the search has just started.

And, of course, the war has started. What is strange is that everyone expected the price of gold to go up with the start of the war in the middle east. Gold has actually gone down since the start. Who knew.....Your Editors.



Schedule of Events for the Month of April:

  1. YN (Young Numismatists) and Monthly Membership Meeting: PLEASE NOTE: April 16th (3rd Wednesday of April). The YN meeting will start at 6 PM. Stanley Mead will be giving the YNs a presentation on "Hobo Nickels". The regular membership meeting will then commence at 7:30 PM. We ask that the YNs stay for the regular membership meeting. There will be second presentation on "The Good Old Nickel Story". A bullet auction of no more than 15 coin lots will occur. Members wishing to submit coins for the bullet auction can bring them to the meeting. Club members and general public welcomed.
  2. Kids Day Event/ Egan Center: Saturday April 19th 10 am to 5 PM. The Anchorage Coin Club will have a table at this event. Lots of numismatic material to be given out that day to the kids of Anchorage.
  3. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: Since the club meeting will occur on April 16th, the Board will consolidate it's meeting with the regular club meeting. Club members welcomed.

Minutes of the March 19th Board Meeting:

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:35 PM by President Stanley Mead.

After a review of bills and correspondence, the Board reviewed issues regarding old business.

Secretary Larry Nakata announced that the Central Lutheran Church has been officially notified by e-mail of our club's intent to consolidate to one meeting a month effective the month of April.

As requested by the Central Lutheran Church, our club will conduct it's next meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of as not to conflict with the church's Lent event schedules. Accordingly, our club will have it's joint YN/Membership club meeting on the evening of April 16th. The YNs will conduct their meeting at 6 PM...followed by the main membership meeting at 7:30 PM.

Effective May, our club will then go back to joint YN/Membership meetings on the first Wednesday of each month.

The Board is already conducting it's board meetings at the New Cauldron Restaurant at the University Mall on the third Wednesday evening of every month (starting at 7 PM). For the month of April, the Board decided to consolidate the Board meeting with the YN/Membership meeting on April 16th.

Central Lutheran Church is agreeable to the new arrangement.

Larry Nakata gave a briefing on the 15th year medallion program. A number of members requested that the deadline be extended for submittals of designs. The Board agreed to extend the deadline with the goal of having the medallions minted by September of this year.

Gary Lewis/ Vice President of the American Numismatics Association (ANA) has sent the Anchorage Coin Club an e-mail offering assistance in getting our club involved in the U.S. Commemorative Quarter Program for Alaska. Gary pointed out that even though 2008 will be the year the US Mint puts the Alaska quarter, our club needs to develop a plan in working with our state leaders on this program. Information 'is being sent to our club on this matter. The Board did agree that this is a worthy long term project that merits our attention.

Bill Hamilton will be working with Don and Marilyn Stubblefield (who heads up our YN Program) on the Kid's Day event (Saturday/April 19th) at the Egan Center. This event was very successful last year resulting in a decision by the club's Board to participate again this year, Stanley Mead is expecting a shipment of brochures from the ANA for distribution to kids attending this event. Free coins and other numismatic items will be given away at our club's table that day.

Loren Lucason is setting up a display at the Loussac Library that will be featured through the month of April. The display will be consistent with the ANA's 2003 theme of "The Tale of the Coin". Look for the display on the third floor of the library.

Loren Lucason and Bill Hamilton will also be setting up a display a the downtown branch of First National Bank of Alaska on 4th Avenue. The theme of this display will be "The Gold Age of Coins". This will be a gold coin display.

Richard Bilak is still formalizing the plans for the Anchorage Museum exhibit slated for later this year.

The Board then discussed putting together a 2004 Anchorage Coin Club Numismatic Calendar. John Larson will be contacting various companies in town on costs with the intent of providing a report to the Board for according action.

On the matter of new business, Larry Nakata announced that there will be a YN Numismatic Auction. He will make an announcement in this month's newsletter asking for numismatic donations to this auction. Proceeds from this auction goes to the YN Program. The YN Numismatic Auction will be held at our club's June 4th meeting.

Bill Hamilton will check with the Municipality of Anchorage's Parks and Recreation for a location and date for our club's Summer picnic. The picnic will be held in the month of July. Bill will formalize a date by the time of our board's next meeting.

Finally, our Board discussed programs for our next club meeting on Wednesday/April 16th. Stanley Mead will be giving a talk to the YNs on "Hobo Nickels". The membership meeting later that evening will feature a presentation on "The Good Old Nickel Story".

As there was not further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10PM.



    There will be a YN Donation Coin Auction to be held at our June 4th club meeting at the Central Lutheran Church 7 PM. This is one of the two main auctions held by our coin club.

As in years past, members of our club are asked to donate coins and numismatic items for this auction. Proceeds from this auction are used to benefit our club's YN Program.

I ask that our club members be generous and donate accordingly to this auction.

Any members wishing to donate items can drop off the lots to any of our coin dealers who advertise in our club's newsletter...or contact me (Larry Nakata) in the evenings at 563-1729.

It is a worthy cause.......Larry Nakata.




    The Anchorage Coin Club will have a table at the Kids Day Event, which will be held on Saturday, April 19th, at the Egan Center. The scheduled time of the event is from 10 am to 5 pm.

We ask that our club members and their children come to this event. It should be a fun event for all of the kids in Anchorage.

Our club will be giving out lots of numismatic material and coins at this event.

Interested members who wish to volunteer their time for this event can contact Bill Hamilton at Loose Change Coins (#277-6110). We need volunteers to help give out material for this event.

Any members wishing to donate numismatic materials... such as coin magazines or coins....can drop them off with Bill for the event.

Hope to see a lot of you there.......



    The YNs met on Friday, March 14th. There were four YNs in attendance: Danielle, Kyra, Adam, and Michael. We had a short class on the grading of paper currency. After the class, we had a grading contest on eleven different bills. Michael graded all of the bills correctly and had first choice of four different bills. There was a three way tie for second place. Each of those participants had their choice of the other three pieces of paper currency.

Next month....we will be meeting on Wednesday, April 16th at 6 PM. We will be meeting just prior to the regular coin club meeting which meets at 7:30 PM. Stanley Mead will be giving a presentation on "Hobo Nickels". Hope to see all of the YNs at the meeting.....Don and Marilyn.


by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)


    I am sure that most of you have had occasion to ship coins through the mail at one time or another. You have done it in the past and you will do it again in the future. Buying, selling, and trading coins is part of the fun of being a collector. Sometimes we conduct that buying, selling, and trading locally with one of our several local dealers, or possibly among a group of collectors at our monthly club meetings. However, in all likelihood, some of this activity takes place across great distances. The time has now arrived to pack up and ship the coin(s) that we are trading or selling. There are ways to do this reasonably securely and inexpensively.

I have probably shipped at least 5000 or more packages since I started collecting coins in the mid 1970's, and I have pretty well perfected my method of packing and shipping. My focus is^^on getting 4he-job done securely for the least possible expense with materials that are available for free or very close to it.

All of the shipping methods outlined below are designed based on shipping coins in standard 2X2 coin holders. That is probably the safest and most secure way to store the coins for transit, and it makes identification easy.

Lets start out with a small shipment of a few coins. What we will be doing here is packing the coins into a folded piece of cardboard for protection, then sticking this cardboard folder into a standard four inch by nine and a half inch white envelope. There is nothing special about the envelopes that I use. I buy them in boxes of 500 envelopes at Costco, though you can probably get smaller quantities for a reasonable price at Wal-Mart. Always get the security type envelopes, which have a blue pattern on the inside to make the contents a bit less visible. I think a box of 500 security envelopes runs about $7.50 or so at Costco, which works out to about 1 1/2 cents each.

I am sure that you have received coins in the mail at one time or another, and have noticed that they are probably packed in a folded cardboard holder that has a kind of glue on the inside that sticks very well to itself but not to anything else. These mailers are convenient and secure, and they work very well. They are also very expensive. Even in quantity purchases they cost at least 25 cents each, which really adds up if you ship a lot of coins. I manufacture my own cardboard folders from cardboard which is readily available for free in the form of used boxes. I make cardboard mailers in two sizes: 6X6 1/2 inches and 6X8 1/4 inches. The smaller size perfectly holds three 2X2's while the larger size holds four 2X2's side by side. The 2X2's can be stacked also, so if you have 16 coins in 2X2's to ship, you can have four stacks of four coins inside one of the large cardboard mailers. Do not make any cardboard mailers smaller than the 6 X 6 1/2 inch size because they will move around inside the envelope too much. One or two coins will travel just fine in the 6 X 6 1/2 inch mailer. Not only that, but if you are sending slabs, one slab fits nicely in the 61/2 inch holder while two slabs can be placed in the 8 1/4 inch holder.

When you cut the cardboard to make the two different sized cardboard mailers, make sure that you have the long dimension (6 1/2 or 8 1/4 inches) going with the grain of the cardboard so that it will fold straight and easily. Place the coin(s) into the cardboard mailer, fold it over, and seal it shut with tape. Make sure that you seal it securely! I put one piece of fiber tape on each of the ends and three or four pieces across the top to make sure that the mailer does not come open inside the envelope. Write your name or the name of the person that you are shipping the coins to on the outside of the cardboard mailer just in case it does get broken out of the envelope (I have never had this happen, but there is a first time for everything!). You can only make the cardboard mailer so thick before it will not fit into the envelope. It works out that you can stack thin coins like dimes and cents up to about seven deep (28 coins total) while dollars can only go three deep for twelve corns total.

Now that you have your coins packed into the well sealed and addressed cardboard mailer, they can be placed into the envelope. Always address the envelope first because it will become a much more difficult task once the cardboard mailer is inside. Remember your return address! Seal the envelope as you normally would, then turn it address side down. Get yourself two pieces of 2 inch wide clear shipping tape about six inches long each. Each strip should be placed about an inch in from each end of the envelope. Since the envelope is only four inches tall and the strips of tape are six inches long, they will extend an inch or so beyond the top and bottom of the envelope. These extra bits of tape will be folded around to the front of the envelope so that they serve dual purpose of holding the envelope closed and reinforcing the top and bottom seams. Get another piece of tape about 11 1/2 inches long and run it lengthwise down the back of the envelope, trying your best to cover the flap of the envelope. Again, this piece of tape will extend about an inch beyond each end of the envelope and this excess should be folded around to the front.

Lastly, use a bit of the clear shipping tape, whatever amount is necessary, to cover the address of the person that you are shipping the coins to. The reality is that mail occasionally gets wet, and this will protect the address from getting obliterated by the water. By packing the coins in this manner, using the free cardboard mailer that you made yourself, the total expense is only about a nickel, 1 1/2 cents for the envelope and maybe 3 1/2 cents worth of tape.

If you have more coins to ship than will fit inside one of these cardboard mailers inside an envelope, then the time has come to use a box. I save all small boxes that come my way for use in shipping coins. It does not matter what the box has written on it, or if it already has used stamps on it. At Wal-Mart or many other stores you can purchase a roll of shipping paper, either brown or white. Brown is better so that nobody can see what is wrapped up inside. Use rubber bands from your junk drawer to hold the coins in their 2X2's together so that they do not drift around inside the box. Fill in any empty space remaining in the box with some of the Styrofoam peanuts that you have sitting in a bag in your garage. If by chance you do not have any Styrofoam peanuts, crumpled up newspaper works just as well and is also free.

Tape the box closed securely, ideally using fiber tape. See to it that your name and address is visible somewhere on the box in case the shipping paper gets torn off. Wrap the box up like a present inside the shipping paper, using the 2 inch wide clear shipping tape to seal all seams. Put the shipping and return addresses on and then cover the shipping address with some of the clear shipping tape to keep it from getting wet. By re-using a used box and free packing materials, your total investment in getting this package ready for shipment should come in around a dime, five cents for the shipping paper and maybe another nickel worth of tape. I told you we were going to be cheapskates here!

Now it is time for a quick lesson about shipping rates. Unless you are shipping the coins fourth class (not recommended), a package that weighs 13 ounces or less will be considered first class, while anything over 13 ounces will travel by priority mail. You can ship a package that weighs less than 13 ounces priority if you really want to, but it will just cost more in postage and will not get to it's destination any faster. What I am trying to say here is that you only should use the wrapped up box packing method detailed above for shipments that will weigh 13 ounces or less total. I use a small $3 kitchen scale to figure if I am going to be over the 13 ounce threshold. This scale is really intended for use by dieters to weigh lettuce and other vegetation, but it works just fine for weighing packages too, and it does not take up much space.

For our packages that will weigh over 13 ounces, packing materials are available for free right from the Post Office. The item most likely to fit the bill is a small box that they usually have available in the lobby at no cost. The box is not assembled, it is laid out flat, and you just fold it along the easily visible creases to form it into a box about 8 inches wide by five inches front to back by about 1 1/2 inches tall. You can fit quite a few 2X2's in one of these small boxes, and then fill in any remaining empty space with Styrofoam peanuts or crumpled newspaper. These little boxes seal by pulling a paper strip off a flap to expose the adhesive underneath, but I very highly recommend reinforcing this with some strategically placed tape. It does not hurt to add a piece or two of tape on the sides as well to prevent the lid from being pried open. Again, rubber band the coins in bundles to prevent them from floating around loose in the box. A single 2X2 can slip out of a small gap somewhere and then it is gone forever. Total cost is about 5 to 10 cents for the tape you will be using, and the rest of the materials are free.

For small but heavy shipments (read: rolls of coins), the greatest bargain going is the flat rate envelope. It is a large flat envelope about 10 by 12 inches in size that is marked 'flat rate priority mail' on the flap. If it does not say flat rate, it isn't! Those words must be there to get the cheap shipping rate. This will require a bit of work on your part, but it is worth it.

Your first task is to lay out the rolls in a format that will allow them to fit inside the envelope. For cents, you can put two rows of 16 rolls in an envelope for a total of 32 rolls. With the rolls laid out, you will have to get some cardboard and manufacture a box to hold the rolls very securely because the flat rate envelope is rather flimsy and will break open easily.

Wrap the cardboard tightly around the rolls and use plenty of fiber tape to hold it together. As usual, put your name and address on this manufactured box. Slide it into the flat rate envelope and seal the flap. Use some clear shipping tape to reinforce the top flap and all four edges. The beauty of these flat rate envelopes is that you only get charged for one pound no matter how heavy the package actually is. That charge is currently $3.85. My own record is getting 18 pounds of nickel rolls into one of these, which is an extraordinary bargain for $3.85. Just make sure that you do not try to overstuff the flat rate envelope as the flap must close properly to be eligible for the one pound rate. Your total packing cost here will be in the 10 to 20 cent range as you are going to go through a bit of tape, though all of the other materials used will not cost anything.

Well, thus concludes my master class on packing coins up for a safe and secure trip through the mail at the lowest possible cost. One final topic that needs to be revisited is tape. Do not skimp on your use of tape! It is always advisable to use a little bit extra to make sure that the seams are reinforced, flaps are closed, lids on tight, etc., etc. A little bit of extra tape will save you a lot of hassle by avoiding your package breaking open and having the contents lost. However, do not go overboard either. Remember that stamps and postal meter strips do not stick to tape well at all. And never put tape over stamps, as they will not be accepted at the Post Office.

I hope that helps you out when it comes time to ship coins by mail. Good luck!... Mike Nourse.



The Anchorage Coin Club

Club Officers

Board of Directors


ANA Local Club Representative


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