Return to Alaska Coin Exchange homepage

Return to ACCent homepage

ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

ACCent Header

Volume 18, Number 11

November 2005

November Membership Meeting
Wed., Nov. 2nd, 2005 Central Lutheran Church

7:15 PM Meeting


        A correction on the date of our coin club’s Christmas Party/ Christmas Coin Auction. The correct date for the Christmas party is December 8th, the second Thursday in December. So….we ask that you adjust your calendars accordingly.

Roy Brown will be giving calls to all of our members next month on who and how many will attend.

In keeping with our club’s tradition, the membership meeting and YN meeting for the month of December will be the club’s Christmas party event. So remember, no meeting scheduled for the first Wednesday of December. The meeting will be on Thursday/ December 8th.

As in years past, figure that everyone will arrive around 6 PM with dinner served around the 6:30- 7PM timeframe.

Lots of door prizes are planned to be given out that evening. The club’s raffle prize, a 1914-D $2 & ½ U.S. Indian Gold Piece graded in MS60 condition, will be raffled off that evening.

Listed in this month’s newsletter are the coins and numismatic items submitted thus far for the Christmas Coin Auction.  If any of you wish to submit coins for  the auction, you can bring them to our November 2nd membership meeting or drop them off at Roy’s coin shop (Roy’s Coins on Spenard) or with our President Carl at his place of business at the University Center. We will post the lots that will be auctioned off in this month’s and next month’s club newsletter.

Biblical Widow's Mite / Judea Alexander Jannaeus


Figure this event to be a potluck Christmas party with members asked to bring some sort of dish. The club will provide the rest.

The club meeting on October 5th saw Loren giving a great presentation on “Coins of the Bible” (see Loren’s follow-up article in this month’s newsletter).

The door prize, a set of 15 Uncirculated 1973 PDS Lincoln cents in original U.S. Mint bag was won by our President Carl. Carl immediately donated the door prize as one of the lots to our December 8th Christmas Auction. Member Greg Samorajski subsequently announced that he will match the winning bid on this lot as a further donation to the club.

There were two membership prizes given out that evening. The first prize, a Year 2000 Gold Plated Uncirculated Set of Quarters was won by John Larson.

The second prize, a Carson City Mint bag, was won by Joyce Zorick. The Carson City Mint bag was donated by our newest club member, Dave Shapiro. Dave was formerly with the Reno Coin Club in Nevada. Thank you, Dave, for this particular donation.

At our upcoming November 2nd club meeting, our President Carl will be giving a presentation on “Error Coins”. Should be a pretty good presentation. See you at the November 2nd meeting……Your Editors.


Schedule of Events for the Month of November

  1.  Monthly Membership/YN Meeting: November 2nd (Wednesday) at 7:15 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area). Our Club President Carl will be giving a presentation on “Error Coins”. 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: November 16th (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the New Cauldron Restaurant located at the University Center. Club members welcomed.  


Minutes of October 19th Board Meeting

The Anchorage Coin Club board meeting was called to order at 7:18 PM by President Carl Mujagic. The Board met at the New Cauldron Restaurant located at the University Center.

Following a review of correspondence and bills, Greg Samorajski stated that his son, Justin, is now attending a private school on the East Coast and will not be able to serve as a Board member of the club. Greg also stated that this will be his last year as Treasurer of the Anchorage Coin Club and would like to see another member serve in that capacity at the next election cycle.

The remainder of the Board meeting focused on planning for the upcoming coin club’s Christmas Party on Thursday, December 8th. Larry Nakata pointed out that last month’s newsletter had an error on the planned date for the Christmas Party and will correct that error in the upcoming newsletter. December 8th is the agreed to date with the Central Lutheran Church for our club’s Christmas Party/ Christmas Coin Auction.

The Board then enjoyed the rest of the evening with a nice dinner amongst friends.

The Board meeting concluded at 8:20 PM.



        Myself and the club would first like to give a special thanks to Robert Hall, Mike McKinnon, and Don Thurber for their extraordinary efforts and help in promoting and organizing local coin shows. It is a vital part of our club’s functioning and well-being. We, as a club, really do appreciate all of their work. It is participation like this that will help the club succeed and continue to grow.

Once again, the holiday times are upon us. Our annual holiday auction and party will be held on Thursday evening, December 8th. We are right now in the process of putting together and listing all of the auction lots. We are hoping to have the best and largest auction ever. I ask that you please have all of your auction lots turned in as soon as possible so they can be listed in the newsletter. This is your opportunity to sell that extra coin or piece of currency that you might have in your collection. We will be accepting auction lots right up to the day of the auction.

The club is making an extra effort this year to raise moneys for our Young Numismatist Program. So we are asking and urging all members to please be generous and donate any coins, currencies, books, and numismatic related items to the club in this auction.

Auction lots may be dropped off at Roy’s coin shop on Spenard Road or at my location (Carl’s at the University Center). Or you may contact club member Larry Nakata (ph# 563-1729) to make arrangements to pick up the auction lot item.

We are asking all members to encourage new memberships and attend the November 2nd meeting and the December 8th Anchorage Coin Club Christmas Party/Christmas Coin Auction. Lets all work together to increase club membership and participation.

I would like to thank Loren Lucason for giving a very informative presentation at our October 5th meeting on the subject of “Coins of the Bible”.  I would also like to thank Larry Nakata for putting together all of the auction lots and that catalog listing….and also for creating a new Anchorage Coin Club membership flyer.

At the November 2nd meeting, I will be giving a presentation on “Error Coins”.   It will be a “hands-on” display with many interesting error coins to be examined and discussed. I urge everyone to attend.  As a door prize, I will be giving an error coin to a lucky participating club member.

I hope to see everyone there.

Your friend in numismatics………..Sincerely, Carl.


from Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

QUESTION:  Which was the first regular issue U.S. coin to be debased? In other words, which was the first coin minted in which there was no effort made to put nearly the full face value of metal into the coin? Here is a hint: It was earlier than 1965 when copper nickel clad took the place of our sliver coins. The answer appears in the later pages of this newsletter.



Editors Note:                For those of you in the club who are not aware… member Stan Mead was appointed by the Governor’s Office to serve as a Commissioner in the Alaska Commemorative Coin Commission. It is an honor for our coin club to have a senior member in the capacity as a representative to these proceedings. Stan will be providing a series of progress reports, through our club’s newsletter, in the coming months. Thank you, Stan, for being part of this important process…..Your Editors. 

The Alaska Commemorative Coin Commission’s website is:

        The October 6, 2005 meeting was very informative and interesting for the commissioners that were not familiar with numismatics. Not only was it our first “face to face” meeting with all commissioners present, along with the Governor’s wife (Nancy Murkowski), but we also got a tour of the Alaska Mint.

The tour started at 1:30 PM with the owner and club member (Mike Robuck) giving a presentation of the state quarter program and showing the commissioners a very large collection of proof state quarters. This brought us into the dialog of proof coins versus mint and circulated coins. Mike went to great lengths to show and explain to the commissioners a vast array of medals that the Alaska Mint produces for a variety of state programs and organized events such as the Fur Rendezvous, Iditarod Race, Alaska State Fair, etc. Mike and his employees soon took us into the production room to further explain and show, first hand, the techniques on how the medals are produced from the design phase, onto the planchets, and then onto the striking phase.  The commissioners left the tour with a better knowledge on coin/medal productions: an excellent tour that the commissioners were still talking about 4 hours later.

Our thanks to Mike Robuck and his employees for giving the commissioners an extraordinary tour.

The monthly meeting started at 5 PM in the Governor’s Conference Room. As stated in last month’s newsletter, we had two Department of Treasury United States Mint representatives in attendance, Gloria C. Elkridge (Associate Director, Sales and Marketing) and Jean A. Gentry (Deputy Chief Counsel, Legal Counsel). The presentation was based on the narrative concepts or themes. The United States Mint will produce original artwork, focusing on aesthetic beauty, historical accuracy, appropriateness, and coinability. Once the Alaska commission sends in the three (3) to five (5) narrative concepts to the Mint (Sept. 2006), the United States Mint will contact the State to collaborate on the artwork. The State will appoint a historian to participate in the collaboration to ensure historical accuracy. The United States Mint will refine the artwork before forwarding it to he U.S. Commemorative Coin Commission and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. The Alaska Commemorative Coin Commission and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts will review the candidate designs and make recommendations. The U.S. Mint may make changes to address such recommendations. The U.S. Mint will then present the candidate designs to the Secretary of the Treasury for review and approval. From among the designs approved by the Secretary of Treasury, the Governor of Alaska (or his designee) will recommend the final design within a timeframe specified by the U.S. Mint. Then the U.S. Mint will forward the state’s recommended design to the Secretary of the Treasury for final approval. Hopefully by next month’s meeting I can get dates that correspond with all phases of this process.

Discussions followed on copyrights and public domain issues. For example, California wanted to use the “Hollywood” sign (Copy right infringements), Tennessee has musical notes (the Mint had to make sure they did not correspond with any song), and Vermont wanted to use a single snowflake (the Mint said that this is non-significant and refused the design). Also we must remember that no full headed portraits or bust designs are permitted as we cannot have a two-headed coin.

The commission continues to update the draft of the Official Design Narration Submission Form. With the assistance of the Treasury Department representatives we are now almost completed with this process.

Don’t forget to visit the Alaska Commemorative Coin Commission’s website as it is being updated monthly….Stan Mead.


Biblical Silver Tribute Penny / Roman Denarius
Tiberius AD 17 - AD 37

by Loren Lucason (Member #97)

    The Bible spans some 4000 years completely eclipsing the origin of coins and the transition from the barter system. Commerce permeates the bible. Coins were traded in the bible from the time they first appeared in the 7th century B.C. The trouble is the scriptures are not clear as to exactly which coins might bear the fingerprints of a saint, an apostle or Jesus Christ himself.

However three coin types are referred to so precisely in the new testament as to be most assuredly identified, we think. All three were in circulation during the lifetime of Jesus. At that time the Roman empire dominated the Mediterranean and coinage was very well established. Homage was given, taxes were paid, and even bribery was done through the medium of coins.

The most endearing of the three coins is called the “Widows Mite”. This coin has been identified by learned people as the little bronze lepton. Leptons were minted and in circulation in the holy lands for a couple hundred years. It was just the kind of coin a poor old widow woman would have had with her when she went to temple to pray.

People went to pray regularly. It was customary to give an offering at the temple; the better the offering the better chance of getting your prayers answered. People traveled from far and wide to pray at the temple bringing foreign coins with them. They needed to exchange for coins acceptable as temple offerings. Money changers set up tables outside the temple and set exchange rates that made them rich. Jesus saw this as an evil business and proceeded to upset the tables and expel the money changers. The people thought this was great but the temple priests were not happy, more on that later.


Biblical Temple Silver Half Shekel - Tyre / Obverse

After casting out the money changers Jesus sat by the temple treasury for a while watching people and the offerings they made. The great truth Jesus observed was that the poor widow who gave just two mites had a better chance of having her prayers answered than the rich who gave large offerings. Whereas the rich gave from their excess the widow gave simply all she had.

In  April of the year 30 the unhappy temple priests Caiaphas and Annas saw Jesus as trouble and made a plan to get rid of him. Everyone was required to pay taxes so if Jesus refused to pay taxes (tribute) he would be turned over to the Roman authorities. A man was sent to Jesus to ask why he should pay tribute to Caesar. Jesus, seeing the trap, asked to see one of the coins used to pay taxes. He was shown a denarius. Jesus asked the man what face and name he saw on the coin. “Ceasar”, the man replied. Jesus told the man give Ceasar his coin give your heart and soul to the lord. When the King James version of the bible was written the word denarius was translated as penny thus the coin shown to Jesus was given the name  “Tribute Penny”. At the time the caesar was Tiberius. So this “penny” is thought to be a Roman silver denarius the size of a very thick dime with Tiberius on the front and the inscription PONTIF MAXIM around a seated figure on the back. At $150 for one in VF this is by far the most popular bible related coin.

The third coin identified in the bible is called “blood money” by some. The Romans wanted to get rid of Jesus for reasons beyond this discussion. They needed help identifying him. Thirty pieces of silver was paid to Judas Iscariot for the betrayal of Jesus. These pieces of silver are believed to be shekels from Rome’s large mint at Tyre on the shore of the Mediterranean. A shekel is about the size of a Greek tetradrachm; 15 grams or so.

Biblical Temple Silver Half Shekel - Tyre / Reverse

The shekels of Tyre have the face of Melqarth on the front and an eagle on the back. They were minted for several years and in several cities. On the back of the coin in front of the eagle is date marks and behind the eagle is mint marks. Jews were taught to scorn idolatry and Melqarth was idolized as an all-powerful god. This may have contributed to Judas throwing the coins away and hanging himself. These negative images and the fact that a nice “Shekel of Tyre” from the time of Jesus costs about $750  makes this typically the last of the three to buy.

I have given three references in the bibliography. The first, “The Man In The Roman Street”, gives a feel for what it was like to live back then. The second, “Coins Of Bible Days”, not only lists the coins but points out the problems with translation and the doubts that these are the right coins. It also challenges you to assemble a set of ancient coins from all the places apostle Paul visited. The third, “The NIV Learning Bible” has the pertinent quotes, timelines, and maps of the apostles’ travels….Loren Lucason.


“The Man In The Roman Street”, by Harold Mattingly, 1966

“Coins Of Bible Days”, by Florence Aiken Banks, 1955

“The NIV Learning Bible”, Zondervan pub., 1995



Submitted by Jim Hill

1.        Set of ten (10) uncirculated Lincoln cents. Various dates 1950-1956. Minimum Bid $1

2.        1946-D Lincoln Cent in uncirculated condition.  Minimum Bid $5

Submitted by Carl

3.        Complete set of Jefferson Nickels 1938-1964. Circulated to Uncirculated condition. Minimum Bid $75.

4.        Ancient coin. Roman- Constans/ 337-350 AD/ Siscia Mint. Graded ICG VF25. Minimum Bid $40.

5.        U.S. Mint set of 11 medals “Commemorating Battles of the American Revolution”. Minted in 1973 in Original Mint book holder.  Minimum Bid $60.

6.        Complete set of Gem BU Lincoln Cents in Dansco Holder 1959-2001. Minimum Bid $40.

Donations by Carl to the Anchorage Coin Club- Proceeds to go the YN Program.

7.        Custom framed $1 note. Donation Item.

8.        Roll of circulated Lincoln cents. Various dates in the 1940s and 1950s. Donation Item.

9.        1943 Silver War Nickel Blank Planchet. Originally purchased in 1991 from J.T. Stanton for $75. Donation Item.

10.     1961 Roosevelt Dime. Graded PCGS Pr65. Donation Item.

11.     Original U.S. Mint bag of fifteen (15) 1973 P, D, S Lincoln cents. Donation Item. Note: Club member Greg Samorajski will match the winning bid as a further donation to the YN Program.

12.     1981 “Redbook”- “A Guide Book of United States Coins- 34th Edition” by R. S.  Yeoman. Donation Item.

13.     Set of five (5) Auction Catalogs. Four of the catalogs are from Australia. The last auction catalog from Mexico. Donation Item.

Donation by John Pastos

14.     Set of six (6) Auction Catalogs. Five of the catalogs are from Smythe. The last auction catalog from Ponterio and Associates. Donation Item.


by Mike Nourse (Life Member #1)

ANSWER:  The year was 1864, and the coin was the Indian Head cent. Prior to that time, we had the large cent which contained nearly a cent worth of copper, and then the white cents of 1857 through early 1864 which had close to a cent worth of copper and the more valuable nickel. The transition to the bronze cent later in 1864 was a true debasement, as the thin new bronze cent had nowhere near a full cent worth of metal. There was some fear at the time that these cents would not be accepted by the populace due to their lack of intrinsic value, but it turns out that the public accepted them all the same. It would take 106 years for the process to be completed when the last silver was removed from the Kennedy half dollar.

As for the lowly cent which was debased, it would take roughly another 110 years before the metal value of the cent would once again approach it’s face vale. In the mid 1970’s, the copper in our one cent pieces again started approaching the face value as it had in the 1850’s. In 1982 such was the case when the value of copper exceeded the one cent face value. This resulted in another debasement of the cent in mid 1982 when the copper cent was replaced with a copper coating over a zinc core…….Mike Nourse.


The Anchorage Coin Club

Club Officers

Board of Directors


Club Archivist/ Photographer


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

Email is