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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. 21  No. 10

OCTOBER 1st, 2008




Alaska Quarter Reverse


    Near the end of the state fair in Palmer there was a ceremony for the official release of the Alaska slate commemorative quarter. Governor Sarah Palin could not be there because she was busy on the campaign trail but the lieutenant governor was there as were officials from the U.S. mint and noted people from around the state. They all expressed pride in our state quarter design and could not help but mention the fact that our governor just might be the first woman vice president of the United States.

    It was a great photo opportunity with some of the most important and historic people in the state. Behind the crowd listening to their speeches a line was forming. We were promised the opportunity to get ten roles of the new Alaska stale quarters. By time the 45 minutes of talk was over the line stretched the entire length of the fair.

    Those who sat through the whole ceremony were given a set of two quarters in a special folder from the Governor. However by time they got in line the limit on rolls was reduced to five. No matter; by Wednesday the next week we could get rolls of Alaska state quarters from the bank and as soon as word got out Alaska quarters were showing up in change. Now you can find them anywhere.

    Before all that a grizzly mauled a girl on the east side of town (she lived), then two grizzly cubs were orphaned by people who shot the cub's grizzly mom mistaking her for the one that mauled the girl. Then an SUV hit a grizzly on Gamble street. Fish and Game says there are over thirty grizzlies in town every summer. Not to mention hundreds of grizzlies harassing sportsmen fishing for salmon in rivers all across south Alaska. Grizzlies actually range the entire state of Alaska as well as most of the Yukon.

    The mint estimates they will mint about 500 million Alaska State Commemorative quarters. So get use to grizzlies they will not only be around the state and around town they will be on quarters in your pocket.




High Relief $20 Gold Obverse


    The day before the Alaska state commemorative quarter was released a collectors forum was held at the Wells Fargo bank on Northern Lights. The United States Mint Deputy Director Andrew Brunhart was there to talk about our quarter, the commemorative quarter program, and the mint's future activities.

    Mr. Brunhart considers our grizzly bear quarter design to awesome. He commended our governor Sarah Palin on her choice. He also said there will be about five hundred million of these Alaska quarters minted. That's a five followed by five zeros.

    Mr. Brunhart also asked for input as to what collectors thought of the quarter program. He also wanted to know what the mint could do for collectors in the future.

    Andrew Brunhart told us that there will six more coins in the commemorative quarter program. One for each of the five territories and one for the district of Columbia.

    The big (and expensive) news is that the mint will be issuing 9 bullion gold coin with Augustus St Gaudens' design on it in High Relief. Andy said they will be available in 2009. Start saving for one now.

If you join the army to get sent overseas just to update your MPC collection...

You are probably a numismatist.



    In the beginning small lumps of electrum found on riverbanks in Lydia were struck with identifying marks to reassure tradesmen that it had the proper weight. It was the 7th century B.C., electrum (EL) is a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver, and Lydia is now part of northwestern Turkey.

Lydian Coin made of Electrum

    That was how coinage started in the west. In the east China's cast bronze tokens had been in use for four hundred years. The Chinese coins at first were odd shapes representing trade goods such as hoes and knives. Then, in the first century B.C., they settled on cast round bronze coins with a square hole in the middle. These coins were called cash. The Chinese stayed with this design for two thousand years.

    In the 5th century B.C. in the west the Persians figured out how to separate silver from the gold in electrum and began a money system of two metals. The Persian empire was fading and the Greek empire was gaining power.

    By time the Greek empire was united in the 4th century B.C. there were copper, silver, and gold coins in circulation bearing amazing works of fine Greek art.

    The Romans continued the coinage system of three pure metals until the first century A.D. Then they made some minor changes to copper alloy coins and began a gradual debasement of silver coins. In the 3rd century A.D. the antoninianus was issued as a replacement for the silver denarius. The antoninianus was worth 2 silver denarii but had very little silver in it. At the end of the 3rd century the follis was introduced. It was a bronze coin with a thin silver coating. After the fall of the Roman empire silver coins in the west all but disappeared. Meanwhile the Chinese were still using cast bronze cash coins.

Chinese Cash Coin


    During the dark ages the middle east was getting rich with the business of trade. They issued thin, somewhat debased silver and gold coins. Meanwhile Europe used copper as well as small, heavily debased, paper thin silver coins. Gold never really went out of circulation, though it was only traded among the very rich and between banks in medieval times. China still used cash.

    Then just before the dawn of the renaissance silver was found in Poland and the northern Europeans issued large silver Thalers. Then Columbus found a new world full of silver and gold and Spain issued silver Reales. High quality, big coins were back in circulation.

But that's all ancient history. Next time: German silver, nickel, aluminum, and U.S. coins in zinc.





A common way to sell coins immediately. Large auction houses issue catalogs with the coins photographed and fully attributed. Discriminating collectors know the best auction houses and are willing to pay full price for the best coins.



1. 1872 Indian 1c VF-25  $225

2. 1909-S VDB 1c PCGS AU-58  $1,650

3. 1914-D 1c PCGS VF-25  $430

4. 1916-D 10c PCGS AG-3  $525

5. 1949-S 10c PCGS MS-65  $50

6. 1916-D (Obv) 50c PCGS MS-62  $350

7. 1908-D Barber 50c MS-64  $925

8. 1799 $1.00 PCGS XF-40  $4,650

9. 1900 Lafayette $1,00 PCGS MS-62  $1,495

10. 1892 Columbian 50c PCGS MS-64  $150

To be sold in the October 1st bullet auction


by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)


    For those of you who did not attend the September meeting, I wanted lo follow-up with this article on the subject of "Love Tokens".

    A Love Token is a coin that has been defaced by planing down one or both sides of the coin. An ornate design is then engraved on the side of the coin that was planed down.

Love Token


    The concept of "Love Tokens" goes back to the 17th Century in Europe. Such tokens were referred lo as "Engraved Coins".

    "Love Tokens' did not become popular in the United States until the advent of the Civil War. Such tokens were intended to be given to someone's sweetheart (to be carried al all times) as the other would go to war.

    Typical tokens usually featured the initials of a person. Sometimes it featured the name of the person if the engraving could fit on the coin.

    Some tokens would have an ornate depiction of an object or symbol.... such as a heart or dove.

    The Liberty sealed dime was the most popular coin for use as a "Love Token". In fact the US Mint blamed shortages on dimes because of their use as "Love Tokens" during the Civil War.

    Such "Love Tokens" were made into pins, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, stick pins, cufflinks, and pocket pieces.

Love Token


    The most collectible U.S. "Love Tokens" are ones that are engraved by hand.... not by an engraving machine. For that reason, 19th Century US Love Tokens are the most desirable.

    Such "Love Tokens" have not only been made from dimes, but just about every other denomination...... such as half dimes, quarters, silver dollars, gold dollars, $2 & 1/2 gold quarter eagles, and even $20 gold pieces.

    A nice love token made from a Liberty Seated dime, can cost anywhere from $10 and up depending upon the detail of the artwork on the coin.

By the turn of the 20th Century, the appeal of the "Love Token" declined........Larry Nakata.


ACC Membership Meeting on September 3rd:


Door prize- 1998 Gold Plated Birthday Coin Set won by Mike Gentry.

Membership prize - 1999 Gold Plated Edition US Commemorative Quarter set won by Jack Vinson.

Briefing by Loren on the Alaska State Quarter events.

Our club's Christmas Party will be on Thursday evening, December 11th at Central Lutheran Church. Decision by the members in attendance is that the event will be catered. Members will be asked lo bring a dessert, salad, or appetizer to augment the food.

Presentation by Larry Nakata on the subject of "Love Tokens". On display was Ann Brown's Love Token collection (some 80 or more pieces).

Bullet coin auction followed to conclude the evening.



    Roosevelt instituted the "updating" of American coinage. Artist and engravers were given the task of coming up with new designs. While new Indian and liberty designs were being worked on Victor Brenner created the first presidential portrait coin: the Lincoln cent.

    Lincoln's birth year was 1809 so it was fitting for this cent to be released in 1909. The new coin was avidly anticipated. Dealers were soon selling them at a premium. Then someone noticed that the initials VDB (for Victor D. Brenner) were a bit too large for the back of a coin celebrating one of our most beloved presidents.

    Late in the year 1909 new dies were cut. Dies without the big Ietters. The little San Francisco mint didn't have a very big mintage anyway but by time they got the new dies they had only minted a small fraction of what they were slated for. This created the rarest regular issue Lincoln cent in the series.

    Nearly every coin collector in the United States who started collecting coins as a kid started with pennies. And no matter how hard you looked you could not find a 1909-S VDB cent in circulation. So that slot remained a hole in your collection.

    There are an estimated ten times as many '09SVDB pennies on the market than there were minted in 1909. So there are a lot of takes out there. This is your chance to get the rarest coin in the Lincoln cent series. Your chance to plug that hole in your set with one of the highest grade pennies on the market. Certified by Bill Fivaz and slabbed by PCGS as an AU-58 this is the ultimate coin for your collection.


1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent PCGS AU-58


This coin will be up for auction at our next membership meeting. The minimum bid is $1,650.


ACC Board Meeting September 17th

    Meeting called to order by President Jack Vinson at 7:10 PM. Meeting held at the New Cauldron Restaurant at the University Center.

    No correspondence. Discussion followed on December 11th Christmas party. As this will be a catered event, Stan Mead will check with the Sourdough Restaurant on menu options and costs. Like last year, estimate will be made on the basis of 75 people in attendance at the Christmas party.

    October presentation will be on the subject of "Military Payment Certificates (MPCs)" by Larry Nakata. Larry will bring his $1 collection of MPCs. Other board members will also bring in examples of MPCs for the presentation.

    Main theme for the October meeting will be a request to all members to bring in 10 coins of their choosing to sell to other club members.

    Larry will also bring some of our club's 20th Year coins to the meeting for those who wish to purchase additional 20th year coins/sets.

    As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15PM.

    The next board meeting will be October 15th at 7 pm at the New Caldron. Members are invited to join us.

    We have been looking for a proper place to have a coin show. Some of our members are coin dealers without shops. They have nice inventories of coins we have not seen in years. So, to give our members a chance to reacquaint themselves with the experience of a local coin show, we will have one at our next membership meeting.

The club has coin display cases in storage at the church. We need you to bring coins to sell.











tickets: $5/each, 5 tickets/$20


President: Jack Vinson

Vice President: Ed Vey

Secretary: Larry Nakata

Treasurer: Stan Mead

Board Member: John Larson

Board Member: Bill Hamilton

ACCent Editor: Loren Lucason

#91 Mike Orr:

#110 Bill Fivaz: e-mail

#210 Tom Cederlind: