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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club
Membership Meeting 1st Wed. each month, 7 PM, Central Lutheran Church, 15th and Cordova
Vol. 21 No. 2
NEXT MEETING: FEBRUARY 6th, 2008
One or the most desirable ancient Roman coins is the Port of Ostia Sestertius.
Port of Ostia Sestertius
A copper alloy coin about the size of a silver dollar, it was issued during Nero's reign and his portrait is on the obverse. On the reverse is an aerial view of the port city of Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber river.
The city buildings and the breakwater arc around the edge and Neptune, god of the oceans, sits at the entrance to the port. It is very hard to find one in high grade - copper based coins do not stand up well to being buried for two thousand years. This is as near as the ancients got to a city view coin though there are realistic views of temple buildings and dramatic presentation scenes involving several people. The one above was struck about 55 A.D. and can be purchased for five thousand dollars.
After the Roman empire was lost the need for coins with scenes of perspective was lost. Throughout the dark ages and medieval times stacks of rectangles and triangles represented churches and castles on coins of the west. And in the cast coins were adorned mostly with words describing where the coins were from and what they were worth.
Then during the renaissance a large deposit of silver was found in St. Joachim's valley in Bohemia (Joachim was Jesus' father but that is another story). Soon after that large silver coins started being struck in Europe. Silver coins large enough for a full city view and the rediscovery of perspective in art made these city views realistic. Cologne, Frankfurt, Nurnburg, and Saxony were among the German states that issued city view coins. The Swiss cantons of Zurich and Basel also issued city view coins.
These are coins from the days of castles and kings as well as the church. Frankfurt not only had city view thalers in the 1700's they had city view kreutzers which were smaller than a dime. And judging by how common they are today they must have been in circulation back then. Thalers did not circulate much - it was just too much money to carry around.
Basel's city view coins have what looks to be a dragon on the reverse. Zurich's thalers have a lion leaning on a shield with a sword on the reverse.
Nurnburg City View Thaler
--Incidentally "THALER" is pronounced like we pronounce "taller". The German language does not have a soft "th" sound. The H is used to keep the A from sounding hard like it does in "tailor".-
Most city views today are on commemorative coins.
Jerusalem on 20th anniversary of Israel's Independence commemorative
At our last membership meeting we gave an 1899 Indian Cent in Fine condition to Jack Vinton for the door prize. His wife was there to accept the prize for him. We also gave Jim Hill a $5 Red Seal Note series 1963 for the membership prize.
Under old business we mentioned that a proper place for coin shows in Anchorage has still not been found. At the beginning of this administration the club's board of officers decided that display cases would be provided for people who bring coins that exceed our bullet auction limit of 15 coins. Roy Brown of Roy's Coins has given the club a set of display cases that we could use for this. The cases are of plastic construction but have latching lids and trays that hold 2X2's. The cases are in storage at the church where the club meets.
If we can not have coin shows elsewhere in thc city we will have coin shows at the membership meetings. So any member with coins to sell are not only welcome lo bring them to the meet they are encouraged to do so.
We had some wonderful coins from good member Bill Fivaz in our last bullet auction. We also had more than 15 lots submitted for the auction. Any excess lots could have been put into a case and sold at Bill's minimum bid.
Most of the last meeting was spent discussing the design for the twentieth anniversary commemorative coin. We got some excellent input from the membership. Everything from northern lights over an Alaskan landscape to Captain Cook on the beach with his ship anchored in the background.
In the end we got down to twelve ideas for the design. Slips were passed around and everyone was asked to vote for three favorite designs. The votes were to be counted up and a decision made at the board meeting.
If you arc happy to pay $1000 for a paper thin coin smaller than a dime because it was minted in England for Cnut You are probably a numismatist.
This coming March the club will be having elections for new officers. This an opportunity to become a controlling part of the biggest, most powerful ward winning coin club this state has ever seen. In 2008 we will see the greatest numismatic event in Alaskan history - the release of the Alaska state Commemorative Quarter,
Being an officer in a club like this is a great character building experience. You get to see from the inside how an organization like this works. Board seats open are the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Board Member Scats. A third Board Member Seat will be held by the past president.
You will join a group of very capable coin club supporters and become a significant part the great American numismatic community.
The meeting was called to order at 7:10PM. After reviewing the club commemorative coin design votes it was clear that the polar bear was the winner, other popular designs included Alaska landscape, a city view of Anchorage, and the northern lights.
It was agreed the the verbiage Anchorage Coin Club and 1988-2002 should be on the coin. It was assumed that the club could have the state seal on the back of the coin. President Loren Lucason will be working with the Alaska Mint to bring these elements together in a single coin.
Elections of officers was discussed as well as the subject for the next membership meeting. It was decided to give a presentation on dimes at the next membership meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:20PM.
The US Mint is shipping silver proof sets of 2007 coins. It has also a program of coins celebrating American president's first spouses (can't just call them first wives anymore). These commemorative coins in will be released as 1/2 oz. gold coins.
The Alaska Mint can only use the state seal on official state coins but they have a coin die that they can use for the reverse of our club's commemorative. A coin die that features a skyline of Anchorage as well as northern lights and the big dipper.
Alaska Mint Medal with Anchorage Skyline
The following polar bear design was given to the mint lo satisfy the other wishes of the club:
Anchorage Coin Club 20th Anniversary Medal
LAST MONTH'S ANSWER: CHAPTLEN — PLANCHET The blank disk of metal that is struck to make into a coin.