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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 20, Number 3

March 2007

March Membership Meeting
Wed., March 7th, 2007 Central Lutheran Church

7:15 PM Meeting



    Our next coin club meeting on March 7th will see the yearly election of club officers. As of this newsletter, the following members have submitted their names as candidates:

The other two Board seats will remain filled by John Larson and Jim McFarlane. These Board seats are not up for election this year.

Club members wishing to run for any of these officer positions can still submit their names at our March 7th meeting. We want to encourage you to participate in our club’s activities.

Members in attendance will vote for club officers at this March 7th meeting.

At our last club meeting on February 7th, Larry Nakata gave a great presentation on the subject of “U.S. Half Dollars”. Those attending that meeting saw Larry’s U.S. Half dollar collection. That collection took quite a few years for Larry to put together. Lots of compliments were given to Larry about that collection.

For those of you who missed that meeting, Larry has followed up with an article on this subject in this month’s newsletter.

One of the main topics of discussion at the February 7th meeting was asking if there is interest in our club having a September coin seminar. In order to conduct a seminar, the key is to see if there is about 15 to 20 of our members who would like to attend such a seminar. See article on this matter in this month’s newsletter.

1794 U.S. Half Dollar

1794 U.S. Half Dollar

The February door prize….a certified 2004-D Roosevelt dime graded NGS (Nu Grade Services) MS66….was won by Don Somers.  The February membership prize….a 1979 Set of Gold Edition State Quarters….was won by Howard Wright.

Bill Fivaz has sent us another group of coins for our March 7th coin club’s bullet auction. 

Feel free to bring that extra coin to add to these lots for the coin bullet auction. It’s your chance each month to sell off that extra coin you might have in your collection.

At our March 7th meeting….we are asking our members to bring a potluck dish item as refreshments for the evening. Let’s give Larry Nakata and some of the other club members an evening off….from having to provide the refreshments….and bring food items for this meeting.

Hope to see a lot of you there…..Your Editors.

1826 Capped Bust Half Dollar

1826 Capped Bust Half Dollar





Schedule of Events for the Month of March

  1. Monthly Membership: March 7th (Wednesday) at 7:15 PM at the Central Lutheran Church (downstairs meeting area). Stan Mead will be giving a presentation on  an update of the Alaska State Quarter program. There will be a bullet auction of no more than 20 numismatic lots. Members, YNs, and general public welcomed. Refreshments provided.
  2. Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting: March 21st (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM at the New Cauldron Restaurant located at the University Center. Club members welcomed.  

Minutes of February 21st Board Meeting

The Anchorage Coin Club Board meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM by club president (Carl). Meeting location: New Cauldron Restaurant located at the University Center.

First matter of business addressed was correspondence and bills. A number of candidates running for offices in the American Numismatic Association (ANA) have requested our club’s endorsement.  The Board decided to create a three person committee consisting of Carl, Stan Mead, and Jim McFarlane to review the requests and make recommendations for endorsement at our club meeting on March 7th.

Next subject discussed was our club’s upcoming elections in March. It was noted that there is only one person running in each of the open officer positions. It seems to have been this way for the last few years…with the same people running for office. The Board wants to encourage our members to become more active in our club’s activities. One way is to volunteer and serve as an officer of the club.  In order for our club to continue to grow and prosper, new perspective is necessary.

Under the subject of New Business, it was brought up that we need to put in our reservations with City Parks to secure a summer picnic location for our club’s yearly event. Our club normally has it’s summer picnic in the month  of July on a Saturday. The Board also discussed and decided the main event at the Summer picnic will be the YN Numismatic Auction. Accordingly, several of the Board members will be looking into this matter.

As there was no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM. 

1861-O Liberty Seated Half Dollar

1861-O Liberty Seated Half Dollar

Announcement of Elections for the Anchorage Coin Club

    On March 7th elections will be held for the following Anchorage Coin Club positions:

·         President

·         Vice President

·         Secretary

·         Treasurer

·         One Board Seat

Our club’s bylaws require that such elections be held every year at our March club meeting by those members in attendance.

We are looking for good people to run for these respective offices. Interested members can contact any one of our club officers or make your intentions known at our club meetings in February and March.….Your Board.

1907 U.S. Proof Barber Half Dollar - Obverse

1907 U.S. Proof Barber Half Dollar - Obverse


Club Seminar in September?

     At our last couple of meetings and newsletters……the subject of having a formal seminar in the month of September was brought up.

The last seminar held was approximately 4 years ago.  That seminar was a three day seminar (held on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday event on the 2nd weekend of September) at the Westcoast International Inn located near the Anchorage International Airport. The training session focused on “Grading and Counterfeit Detection of U.S. Gold Coinage”. The trainer was numismatist Mary Sauvain from Colorado Springs. Cost of the seminar (at that time) was $250 per person with meals served on all three days at the Westcoast. The costs paid for the transportation and lodging of the trainer, the rental of the meeting room, and the meals.

Over the years, since the trainers are volunteering their time for conducting these seminars, our club has traditionally provided some sort of nice sightseeing or fishing trip while they are up here.

In years past….we have had the honor of trainers such as Ken Bressett, Bill Fivaz, Mary Sauvain, JP Martin, Robert Hoge, etc…….all being esteem numismatists who are the best experts in their fields.

The time has come for us to decide if we wish to conduct a seminar this coming September and what that subject matter should be.

The first step is to determine if there is enough interest within our club for a commitment of 15 to 20 people willing to pay about $300 for cost of the seminar. With the rise of airfare and other costs (over the last 4 years) the projection for conducting such a seminar has accordingly gone up.

In this month’s newsletter is an interest form that you can fill out. If you are interested in attending such a seminar, just fill out the form. You can mail the form to our club’s address at Anchorage Coin Club/ PO Box 230169/ Anchorage, AK 99523, drop them off at Roy’s Coins or Carls, or bring that form to our club meetings in March or April.

What we need is your commitment by the end of April on this matter. Those agreeing to attend will then determine the training course for the seminar.

Give this some thought…….Your Board.

1942 Liberty Walking Half Dollar - Obverse

1942 Liberty Walking Half Dollar - Obverse


Book Report
by Loren Lucason


“Guidebook to BIBLICAL COINS 4th edition” by David Hendin.  Published by Amphora 2001.

    This is the definitive book on coins of the bible. When collectors talk about bible coins they cite this book. Hendin has more than thirty years experience studying and collecting ancient coins related to the bible. His book has a numbering system so you can look up coins based on the reference number. The tribute penny from the bible’s gospel according to Mark is Hendin’s 516. The coin values in the book are given in two grades and were set by Herbert Kreindler, another well known expert on biblical coins. He based them on the last decade of world wide auctions and private sales.

This is a wide ranging book that covers every coin even remotely related to the bible, from coins of cities visited by people mentioned in the bible to coins that may have been handled by Jesus himself to “Judea Capta” coins issued by the Romans to celebrate the putdown of the Jewish revolts. More than 550 different coins are listed in this 510 page book. Bible passages citing the coins and 38 photograph plates of ancient coins are included.

If you have an interest in collecting coins of the bible this should be in your library even though it is a $78 book. If you just have a mild interest in these coins our Anchorage Coin Club has donated a copy of this book to the Loussac Library and it can be checked out at any time…..Loren Lucson.

1950 Franklin Half Dollar

1950 Franklin Half Dollar

U.S. Half Dollars
by Larry Nakata (Life Member# 3)

    Since the beginning of it’s mintage in 1794, there have been eight different series of U.S. Half dollars:

Until about 1830, the Flowing Hair/ Draped Bust/ Capped Bust halves circulated very little and were primarily used for large bank to bank transaction…with the half dollars essentially used as bullion. Mintages were low with the 1794 to 1830 period seeing roughly 43 million half dollars minted. Because these half dollars were primarily stored in bank vaults, surviving coins tend to be in pretty good condition today.

After 1830, mintage of U.S. Half dollars would significantly increase with more and more half dollars circulating in the U.S. public. At this time, foreign silver coins (such as the Mexican reale) were allowed as coinage for use in the U.S.  In effect, the U.S. Half dollar was in competition with other foreign silver coins. As time went on, U.S. silver coinage would eventually predominate until in 1857, by Act of Congress, U.S. coinage would be the only legal tender coins of use.

By 1839, there would be a major change in the design of U.S. silver coinage. The U.S. Mint Director, R. M. Patterson, wanted to model U.S. coinage after the English copper coinage. A U.S. Mint employee, Christian Gobrecht, subsequently designed the Liberty Seated coinage…among which was the Liberty Seated Half Dollar (1831-1891). Christian Gobrecht would go on to become the Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint in 1840. The Liberty Seated Half Dollar would become the longest minted series of it’s denomination…enduring for 52 years.

In 1869, William Barber would become the Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint. His son, Charles, joined as an Assistant Engraver. Both William and Charles Barber would subsequently dominate and influence U.S. coinage design for nearly a half century.

By 1890, the Liberty Seated design had been around so long that a change was needed. A design competition was held among 10 of the most distinguished artists in the U.S. for the new design. Two of the three judges in the contest were Augustus St. Gaudens and Charles Barber. The designs were deemed unsatisfactory with St. Gaudens believing that he was the only competent person who could do such a design….and Charles Barber viewing himself as the only one capable (as well). In this rivalry between St. Gaudens and Charles Barber, the politics were such that Barber’s design prevailed….resulting in the Barber coinage…among which is the Barber Half Dollar (1892-1915). This rivalry would nonetheless continue in the years to follow.

When Theodore Roosevelt became President at the turn of the 20th Century, fortunes would turn against Charles Barber. With President Roosevelt wanting a major renaissance type change in the design of U.S. coinage….the Barber coinage would give way to the likea of the Liberty Walking Half Dollar (1916- 1947) as designed by Adolph Weinman. This half dollar is considered to be one of the most beautiful coins ever minted.

As the 20th Century progresses, the U.S. coinage designs move towards “Dead Presidents” as the major theme. By 1947, there was the Lincoln Cent, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, and Washington Quarter in circulation.  In 1947, the U.S. Mint Director asked Chief Engraver John Sinnock to design a new half dollar. Breaking the trend, the Director asked that Sinnock design the Franklin Half Dollar (1948-1963). 

In Sinnock’s reverse design of the Franklin half dollar, note that the size of the Eagle is small compared to the size of the Liberty Bell. This was done deliberately in deference to Franklin, who disliked the Eagle as the national bird….and preferred the Turkey instead. Sinnock had to incorporate the Eagle into the coin’s design as it was a mandated requirement by Act of Congress.

1969-S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar Obverse

1969-S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar Obverse

With the death of President John Kennedy, national fervor was such that the Half dollar design finally moved towards the “Dead Presidents” theme as the final mainstream U.S. coin. This was in 1964. The Kennedy half dollar prevails today as the current design. It is approaching the 43rd year of its existence and is the 2nd longest enduring series of half dollar. During this 43 year period, the Kennedy Half dollar has seen three changes:

·         The transition from silver composition to copper- nickel clad composition coinage.

·         A change in the reverse design in 1976 to commemorate our nation’s Bicentennial.

·         A return back (in 1977) to the Eagle design on the coin’s reverse.

In collecting U.S. Half Dollars, there are some of things a collector should consider.

Flowing Hair Half Dollars command high prices due to small mintages. These coins are hard to find and you better be willing to spend anywhere from $1500 - $7500 for a coin in Fine condition.

The Draped Bust Half is expensive in the early years ($40,000+ in Fine condition for Years 1796-1797). The second series (1801- 1807) can run upwards of $235 on up. These years are tough to find.

Capped Bust Half Dollar coinage is more plentiful and can be bought at an average cost of about $90 in Fine condition.

Liberty Seated Half Dollars price out at $50 on up in Fine, but are not that easy to find in this condition and in the higher grades. Reason is that many of these half dollars were circulated in the U.S. public.

With the Barber Half Series its even tougher. In Fine, prices range from $30 on up. Since the series was so heavily circulated, it’s tough to find specimens in the higher grades. If you can collect a set of Barbers in Fine condition…’re doing good.

Finally, by the time you get to the Liberty Walkers, Franklins, and Kennedys….I would recommend you try and collect these designs in Uncirculated condition. From my perspective…..the collector should try and collect the later designs in Uncirculated condition……..Larry Nakata.

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