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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 18, Number 10

October 2005

October Membership Meeting
Wed., Oct. 5th, 2005 Central Lutheran Church

7:15 PM Meeting


Hope everyone enjoyed their summertime activities.

We had a pretty good club meeting on September 7th with Larry Nakata giving a great presentation on “Alaskan Tokens” (see Larry’s follow-up article). Thanks go to Roy Brown for providing all those tokens for the presentation that evening.

The winner of that evening’s door prize, a 2004 Alaska Mint Silver Medallion (Eagle), was won by YN Matthew Isada.

Matthew’s father, Nelson, won the membership prize, an 1882-S Uncirculated Morgan Dollar.

A reminder to everyone that there will be a coin show at the Northway Mall on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd. We will have our coin club table at the Northway Mall and look forward to seeing all of you there that weekend.

Our next membership/YN meeting will be on Wednesday, October 5th, 7:15 PM, at the Central Lutheran Church. One change…..we were contacted by the church last week asking that we move our October meeting from the downstairs meeting area (Fellowship Hall) to the upstairs area located directly across the hall from the main worship sanctuary of the church. That area will be partitioned to accommodate our meeting that evening.

Loren Lucason will be giving a presentation on “Coins of the Bible”.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS…..Our club’s Christmas Party has been scheduled for December 12th, 6:30 PM, downstairs meeting area. The highlight event of that evening will be our traditional Christmas Coin Auction.  This is your opportunity, as a coin club member, to submit coins, currency, and other numismatic items as lots for this auction. If you have that extra coin or numismatic item that you want to sell, make the most of the auction. Notify Larry Nakata of the lots you wish to submit so that it can be posted in the club’s newsletters leading up to the December 12th event.

See you at the October 5th meeting……Your Editors.

Alaska Gold Tokens
1909 (AYPE) Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition


Schedule of Events for the Month of October

  1. Monthly Membership/YN Meeting:  October 5th (Wednesday) at 7:15 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (we will meet in the upstairs area located across the main hallway from the main worship sanctuary). The Central Lutheran Church is located at 1420 Cordova St. on the corner of Cordova and 15th Avenue. Loren Lucason will be giving a presentation on “Coins of the Bible”. There will also be a bullet auction of no more than 15 numismatic lots. Members, YNs, and general public welcomed. Refreshments provided.
  2. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting:  October 19th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the New Cauldron Restaurant located at the University Center. Club members welcomed.  

Minutes of the September 21st Board Meeting

The Board meeting was called to order at 7 PM by President Carl Mujagic.

Secretary Larry Nakata stated that there were no bills or correspondence to address that evening.

The Board discussed the upcoming Northway Mall Coin Show scheduled for Sat, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd.  A number of board members volunteered to man the coin club’s table at this event. The Board would like to encourage our club members to come to this event. Lots of free numismatic items will be given away at our coin club’s table that weekend.

On the subject of new business, the Board picked at date (December 12th) for the coin club’s Christmas Party. Larry Nakata will get with the Central Lutheran Church staff to make certain that this date is available. If so, it will be announced in the upcoming newsletter.

The final item addressed by the Board was an “atta boy” to Bill Hamilton. Bill…besides being our club’s representative to the American Numismatic Association (ANA)… lives in Ninilchik. Bill makes it a point to come to our monthly membership meetings and to our club’s monthly board meetings. He drives from Ninilchik twice a month to attend these meetings. Often, he spends the night here in Anchorage since these meetings end rather late. That takes dedication!!!

Consequently, the Board wishes to make it a matter of record in these minutes that Bill Hamilton is hereby awarded “The Mileage Award” from the Anchorage Coin Club for his dedication to our club and the cause of Numismatics in Alaska.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 PM.

Thank you Bill……From Your Board and Especially From Your Club (The Anchorage Coin Club).

from Stan Mead (Member #64 and Commission Board Member)

        The Alaska Legislature established the State Commemorative Coin Commission by Legislative Act on April 20, 2005.

The meeting (a teleconference meeting) was held on August 4th, 2005. Ms. Swenson and I (Stan Mead) were the only two individuals present at the Anchorage International Trade Conference Room. All other individuals were present by teleconference, along with Mrs. Nancy Murkowski (wife of Governor Frank Murkowski).

Since the budget is small, most of our meetings will be conducted by teleconference. Meetings are scheduled for the first Thursday of every month for the rest of 2005.

After introductions of all the commissioners on this board, we recapped the Commissioners Responsibility and Statutory Authority.

Getting started- the first part of the meeting revolved around state procedures, state solicitations, and the processes used in other states.

Moving along, we started discussions on the timeline for completions of:

Last order of business was the Web Page on how, when, who, and what type of information will be needed to start up operations.

The September 1st, 2005 meeting saw further developments in all phases of the process. The Commission has been in touch with the U.S. Treasury to start making plans. Two U.S. Mint representatives will be attending our first face-to-face meeting on October 6th, 2005. Most all of the commissioners will be present, as we will be having a tour of the Alaska Mint around 1:30 PM that afternoon, then on to our regular meeting with the U.S. Mint’s representatives. Our Commission was informed that the narrative submissions do not have to be into the U.S. Mint until September, 2006.

The coin design is a narrative that will be an emblem of our State that will be viewed by everyone in the United States and into the next century by those who collect coins. It is something that I am proud to be part of and I can only hope that we can select something that all Alaskans can be proud of. The review process may be the hardest part for the commissioners based on the number of submissions. Ideally, all commissioners will have an opportunity to review all submissions, in all categories. My narrative will be the State Fossil. As most commissioners are artists, I recommended that they visit the Alaska Mint for a tour to see first hand the process of how coins/medallions are produced.

The Alaska Commemorative Coin Commission website is:  

The website is only in the beginning stages and should be up and fully operational by January, 2006.

As most of you have probably seen, press releases have been sent to the Juneau Empire and Anchorage Daily News.

Guidelines for the narratives should be no more than 100 words. Submissions will start around January, 2006 (after the holidays) and last for two months. By this time all information for suitable subject matters and the narrative forms should be on the website. Narrative forms may be obtained by calling Patricia Swenson (#907-269-8108).

The October 2005 meeting will be very informative with the U.S. Mint’s representatives in attendance and our first face-to-face meeting with all commissioners.

In trying to keep this report to you brief, I have received and reviewed over 50 papers of correspondence. I have probably left out some information, but that should be on the website soon as well as the Commission’s monthly meeting minutes.

Remember….this is only an informative article. So do not start calling, mailing, faxing, or e-mailing for narrative forms until after January, 2006 (or until other information becomes available)……Stan Mead.

by Mike Nourse  (Life Member #1)

        Have you opened an issue of Numismatic News lately? Writer, lawyer, and politician David Ganz of Fair Lawn, New Jersey does a great job of keeping an eye on the numismatic happenings in Washington D. C. He gives regular updates concerning the bills making their way through congress that are seeking to authorize new commemorative coinage programs. It is always amazing to see how many groups are trying to have commemoratives issued to generate funds for their pet project.

Well, flashback to January 1937. Mr. Ganz would be suffering from a rough case of carpel tunnel syndrome typing up a report on all of the new commemorative issues that are being proposed. As numismatists, we are all very familiar with the flood of commemorative half dollars that were issued during the decade of the 1930’s. Well, for every commemorative half that was issued, there were bunches that did not make the cut. Here is a sample, excerpted from the February 1937 issue of the Numismatic Scrapbook.

February 1937 Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine

‘The new Congress lost no time in indulging in a favorite legislative sport – introducing bills for the coining of commemorative fifty cent pieces. A flood of bills have been introduced already and the new Congress is only one month old. Copies of the following bills have been received from our Washington correspondent, Mr. Boosel.

  1. Fort Peck Dam. Calls for 5,000 pieces of years 1937 and 1938.
  2. International Peace Gardens. A hold over from last year. Asks for 100,000 coins with one date but produced at all three mints.
  3. 160th Anniversary of Washington at Morristown, New Jersey, 10,000 pieces.
  4. 150th Anniversary of  the Constitution. Proposed as a circulating commemorative.
  5. Booneville Dam. 50,000 Pieces for the year 1937 only.
  6. Cincinnati Music Center. Calls for an additional 15,000 1936 coins and 30,000 1936 with a small 1937 similar to the Boone 1935 – 34.
  7. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. 100,000 Pieces to be dated 1940.
  8. New York World’s Fair. Mintage not specified.
  9. Dr. Charles Steinmetz, 25,000 pieces.
  10. Battle of Antietam, 50,000 pieces. This is another bill that failed to pass in the last session and is being re-introduced.
  11. Wilkinsburg, PA, 25,000 pieces.
  12. Sesquicentennial of General Benjamin Logan expedition, 25,000 pieces.
  13. 100th Anniversary of Montgomery, Alabama, 50,000 pieces.
  14. 150th Anniversary Northwest Territory, 25,000 pieces.
  15. Toledo, Ohio centennial, 25,000 pieces. If passed, this one will be distributed by Mr. Melish, a prominent coin dealer of the era.
  16. 300th Anniversary of Norfolk, Virginia, not less than 50,000 pieces.
  17. Port Chester, New York, 25,000 pieces. Commemorates the changing of the name from Sawpit to Port Chester.
  18. Grover Cleveland, 25,000 pieces. Sponsored by the Caldwell, New Jersey Coin Club and requests that coins be produced at all three mints.
  19. University of Louisville, Kentucky, not less than 50,000 pieces.
  20. 160th Anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, 25,000 pieces.
  21. San Francisco Bay Bridge. Bill seeks to reduce the authorized mintage from 200,000 to 100,000, and to have the date 1937 appear on the coins no matter what year they are actually produced.

Well, folks, that is the wish list of commemoratives for the year 1937, as it stood in January of that year. Thank goodness we now have in place a limit of two commemorative programs per year, otherwise we would be seeing lists similar to the above in the various numismatic publications.

1936-S San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge Commemorative

Those of you that are familiar with the classic commemorative series will recognize that some of the above actually made it through the system and were actually issued. The vast majority, of course, did not come to be.

The Numismatic Scrapbook magazine had a column each month during this era that covered the commemorative coin action in Washington D. C. Students of numismatic history probably recognized the name of the Washington correspondent noted above as Mr. Harry X Boosel, the author of many numismatic articles in a variety of publications over a time frame of many decades. He made an extensive study of the coinage of the year 1873, and was thus known as Mr. 1873.

The interesting thing is that with all these commemoratives being issued, they appear to be a really hot sector of the numismatic market of the time. Looking through my issues of the Scrapbook from the late 1930’s, a measurable percentage of the advertising space is taken up by ads seeking to buy and / or sell commemorative half dollars.

Lots of fun looking at coin collecting as it was decades ago!…..Mike Nourse

by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)

Alaska Token:
Reindeer Commercial Company / Savoonga, AK

        By the beginning of the 20th century, gold was discovered throughout Alaska. This resulted in an influx of gold miners into Alaska.

At first, gold dust was primarily used as the medium of exchange since U.S. coins and currency was scarce in Alaska. Abuses on how gold dust was handled resulted in the use of trade tokens in Alaska. These tokens were used like coins or currency with the local store or merchant in that local community. The beauty of using these tokens was that they stayed in that community and could continue to be used as a medium of exchange. It also provided for a degree of economic stability for that region.

Trade tokens in Alaska actually go back to the late 19th century (1890s) when the Alaska Gold Rush began. Trade tokens continued to be used right up into the 1950s and could be found everywhere in use in Alaska. I refer to these particular tokens as “Alaskan Trade Tokens” These trade tokens would slowly die away as more and more U.S. coinage and  currency would circulate in Alaska. This would first happen in the major cities and later in the rural areas of Alaska.

With the coming of statehood in 1959, Alaskan token would be relegated to the status of commemorative tokens or medallions, used to commemorate an event.

As a result, Alaskan Tokens are divided in two categories:

Now that the history is out of the way, let’s zero in on what are considered to be collectable Alaskan tokens of value.

The most famous of trade tokens are the ARRC (Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation) tokens of 1935. In last month’s newsletter, published was an article by club member Roy Brown on their history (see last month’s newsletter). The main thing I want to point out is to be careful to make sure that you are buying the “real McCoy” and not the 50th Anniversary Set (put out in 1988 as a commemorative set). The 50th Anniversary set is so identified on one side of each coin. The “real McCoy” actually had the same design on both sides of each coin. So…be careful.

Alaska Trade Token Set:
Icy Straits Salmon Company

So…what are the factors that dictate the worth and desirability of Alaskan tokens.

There are a number of reference books that are available at the Loussac Library as reference material. Member Roy Brown also has a complete set of reference books on the subject of Alaskan Tokens…along with display cases filled with Alaskan tokens that one can purchase. Among the reference materials are:

I would recommend that each of you collectors in Alaska should have a few nice Alaskan tokens in your collection…..Larry Nakata.

Alaska Trade Token Set:
1935 (ARRC) Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation

The Anchorage Coin Club

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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

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