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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Membership Meeting 1st Wed. each month, 7 PM, Central Lutheran Church, 15th and Cordova

Vol. 20  No. 11





Ten Rupee Note

Corey was actually a competitor in the Discovery Channel reality show: "Last One Standing". Corey traveled to 12 different places around the world to compete in the local sports. Not only did he get a chance to stickfight Zulus, kickbox Indians, and wrestle Brazilians he got to eat bat eye soup and kill animals with his bare hands for the village. The best part was that he got to know some of the people in other societies and collect some of their coins.

By his senior year at Harvard Corey was fed up with that lifestyle just turning him into an old man. After getting an e-mail about the TV show Corey jokingly replied with a video of him repelling out a window. Corey then found himself on his way to doing so many of the things he wanted to do.

Corey was a valuable member of our coin club before he went off to Harvard. We could always depend on him at our regular coin auctions; even if it was a $100 coin he would bid 50 cents.

Corey has expressed some interest in coming back to Alaska and getting involved in politics. We would certainly welcome him back to our coin club. There is bound to be a time when we will need someone to kill an animal with their bare hands for our summer picnic and so far we haven't had bat eye soup at our potluck Christmas dinner. We also need someone to get the bidding going at the auction.



Today carefully selected, polished, and inspected dies are used to strike polished planchets to make proof coins. The coins are struck more than once to make sure the design comes out full. The presses used to strike proof coins run very slow. In contrast coins literally pour out the machines striking coins for general circulation. Proof coins come out of the press on a belt. Then picked up with gloved hands, individually inspected, and put into coin-safe plastic holders that get sonically sealed. They used to be minted in such small numbers that they came out of the press and were inspected one at a time.

1869 Seated Liberty Half Dollar Obverse

1869 Seated Liberty Half Dollar Obverse

Proof coins were never meant for general circulation they are made to a higher standard of quality and represent the best that coin design can be. They were originally struck as presentation coins to be given to the people in control of the coinage. The word proof is probably taken from the printing industry where a page was printed up and sent to be edited. In publishing the same day edits were made the type was reset and the full run was printed. It takes a little longer to edit a coin type. Paperwork has to be filled out, signatures have to be gathered, then new dies have to be cut. That may be why we have type I and type II of many of our coin designs.

It wasn't long ago that putting together date sets of the coins in circulation was something for little boys to do. Serious collectors filled the holes in those sets with the key date coins. Kings, however, collected the worlds great rarities, as well as ancient coins, and the coins especially struck for presentation. The king of Siam was a coin collector and in 1834 an American silver dollar dated 1804 was minted in proof to complete the set of U.S. coins that was presented to him in 1835. That dollar recently sold for $8.5 million.

1936 Mercury Dime Obverse

1936 Mercury Dime Obverse

In the early days you had to have the political power to pull or the money to push to get a proof coin. But in the late 1850's it became clear to James Snowden, the mint director, that there was a market for proof coins in the growing population of American coin collectors. In 1858 proof sets of U.S. coins were offered for sale to the general public. They did not sell very well. But the mint kept making and selling proof coins In 1936 full proof sets were available again. They stopped in 1942 then started again in 1950. Today's proof coins are the best they have ever been; with frosted devices and mirror fields. Sets are made in greater numbers now and sets with commemorative coins are available. So now you too can own coins fit for a King.



We are happy to announce that Bill Fivaz (member #110) has sent us the following numismatic lots for our November bullet auction:


1. CH BU Lincoln Set (1939-D-1969-S) $50

2. 5 Consecutive 1963A Red Seal $2 (all CU) 35

3. Alabama Confederate 25c Note (CU) Nice 15

4. $10 Confederate Note (AU) 35

5. Canada 1925 1c (Key) F/VF 35

Check them out at the membership meeting in November.



Foreign coins were probably not high on Corey's priority list but he did get a chance to pick up some odd coins. Coins that bring back memories of where he had been.

Our last meeting was another episode of "show and tell". Larry's collection of proof sets going back to his birthday was impressive. It brought home the point that everyone should have a proof set from the year they were born. That set is easier to find and afford when you are young. For a while proof sets had lost popularity. You could get an 1982 proof set for $4. But now they are "in" again. The 1999 silver proof set was the first year of state quarters. It now costs $450.

Noted numismatist and our friend Bill Fivaz not only sent us the five coins for this November's bullet auction he sent us thirty more for our big Christmas auction December 13th. One of the thirty is the feature bullet auction coin for this month. We will be talking about some of the other coins Bill sent us at the November membership meeting.

If you buy a proof set for your nephew's birthday and keep it for yourself because the Sis missing from the dime... You are probably a numismatist.




The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM by president Loren Lucason. Larry Nakata had the board review the 990 EZ submittal to the IRS. It looked good. Larry will be sending it in. Lots for the Christmas auction were discussed. We usually have about a hundred. This is not a donation auction but donations are gladly accepted. Already a small library of coin books has been donated that will be sold as one lot. Coins and other items are at Carl's and will be assembled into lots. As there are some key dates, rare types, and obscure errors among the coins Bill Fivaz sent us for the Christmas auction it was decided that we will be having a round table discussion about them at the next membership meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 7:58 PM.

Next board meeting : 7 PM, New Caldron, Nov.21st.




1878-CC Morgan Dollar MS-63+ Minimum $305

From Bill Fivaz; a classic old west coin in high grade minted in Carson City near the fabulously rich Comstock lode.




Last month' answer:

MERCURY: the name given to the winged-head liberty dime minted between 1916 and 1945. The similarity to the Roman god mercury led to to the pseudonym even though it is an image of liberty.