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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

March 2012

Vol. 25  No. 3


NICKEL the dark horse

    After millennia of gold, silver, and copper satisfying the needs of coiners a new coin metal, nickel, became available. Nickel is not particularly rare but it is hard to refine. It took advanced processes in the industrial revolution to make large quantities of nickel pure enough for coinage.

    Nickel is a gray/white metal that resists corrosion. It is strong yet malleable. When struck nickel flows into every bit of the design and resists the wear of circulation.


    World sources of ore are well mapped out and it is easy to obtain. The U.S. currently gets most of its nickel from Canada. This nickel is believed to be from a large meteorite that fell long before recorded history.

    Nickel strikes well, is durable, and is difficult to smelt. Nickel seems like it would be the perfect coin metal and for a while it dominated coinage around the world. But nickel has a dark side.

    Nickel gets its name from a mythical German gremlin because it got in the way of their smelting of copper ore. Ores are often found as mixtures of copper, nickel, and arsenic. A lot of hazardous research went into finding ways to purify nickel.

    Our copper-nickel small cents of the 1800's are only 12% nickel and our nickels of today are only 25% nickel. For a short time Canada issued pure nickel 5 cent coins. During the second world war nickel was not used in our 5 cent "nickels". Not only were the production facilities needed for the war effort the metal was used to make weapons to kill people.


    One of the reasons nickel was so popular and became a workhorse for mints around the world was that it is corrosion resistant. But nickel does corrode. It is a slow process but the nickel chemicals produced are poisonous (yet another reason not to put coins in your mouth). One final down side of nickel coins is that with the recent rise in nickel metal value it costs more to get the nickel than a nickel is worth so now we have laws making it illegal to export U.S. nickels to sell in the metals market.




If you know why the date on a buffalo nickel is not incused ...

You are probably a numismatist...

And you should belong to the Anchorage Coin Club.



February 1st Membership Meeting

    After giving out the door prize and the membership prize there was an update on the Fur Rondy Coin Show. Carl announced that the ad was placed in the Rondy book that will be a newspaper insert. Tim told us that a couple tables were still open at the show.

    Loren announced that there will be a special deal at the show. Everyone who attends will be given the opportunity to buy 2 proof dimes for $1. These dimes were from Roy's estate. There is however a limit of 10 dimes. This is a great deal considering these dimes usually sell for $2 apiece.

    The show will be at the University Center Mall on Old Seward at 36th. Preparations are set for delivery of tables and display cases. There is a sign in this newsletter for posting around town, please post it somewhere.

    We went on to discuss the upcoming club elections. It was pointed out that the presidency is still open. A couple members are considering the prestige of directing the largest coin club this state has ever had and the likelihood of being on TV.

    The most important subject for the night was what to do with Roy's endowment to the club. Roy would have wanted it to be used for the encouragement of young numismatists to join the club.

    Some great ideas came from the discussion. The chief suggestion was to make presentations at grade schools and to boy scouts. We could help scouts earn their badge in coin collecting. Some members had connections with schools and some worked with the scouts. It was decided to put more polish on the idea at the board meeting.

    It was mentioned that we could put some of our monthly coin presentations on video for distribution. But it was pointed out that ANA already has recorded presentations; besides nobody seemed interested in becoming a video star.

    It was also suggested that we put together a permanent coin display that could travel around the state to promote coin collecting. To assemble a display that represented all aspects of coin collecting we will need help. We planned to put more thought into this.

    A final announcement was that we had some Redbooks donated to the club that members could buy for a dollar. The coin values may be out of date but the books are full of information and are good to give out to friends that may be interested in learning about coin collecting.

    We broke for a few minutes to eat more food and view the auction lots. After the bullet auction the meeting wrapped up.

Next meeting March 7th.





Last: LOUDBOON - Doubloon, gold pirate treasure coin.


February 15th Board Meeting

Meeting called to order at 6:10 PM by club President Tim Burk at the New Cauldron Restaurant/ University Center.

    Following a review of correspondence there was a discussion on the Fur Rondy Coin Show. The last two tables were spoken for and Friday the 24th at 6pm will be setup time. Glen volunteered to post coin show signs around town. The Raffle prizes will be at the show as well as Redbooks and display trays for sale. There will be plenty of free coin literature. Loren will man the club table and make available coin viewing instruments.

    On the young numismatist membership program Glen said that he has been in contact with a couple of school principles and they are all for us giving presentations to students. He also showed us some free educational materials he got from the U.S. mint. In support of the presentations Loren will be able to provide copies of coin videos.

    To build a coin display that could be put up in the school before the presentation and left for a while afterward we still need help. We will use airtight capsules from Roy to hold the coins and we have literature (Redbooks and such) for the display but we need coins. We plan to display denominations and coin types as well as examples of grades, commemoratives, and foreign coins.

    Loren has an ancient coin or two for the display as well as a few proofs. Carl has some foreign coins. We can get coin set folders and a few type coins. If you have any coins to donate for the traveling coin show display we could certainly use them and we thank you.

    For the next membership meeting it was decided to have a potluck. If you plan to eat we urge you to please bring something. For our club's first raffle of 2012, Board decided to move forward with the following items with the drawing to be held at our club's Summer picnic event:

1. First Prize: 1906 $2 1/2 U.S. Gold Liberty ANACS AU 58 certified.

2. Second Prize: 1880 $20 Legal Tender U.S. Note PMG F15 condition certified.

3. Third Prize: 1883 Hawaii (King Kalakaua).

    Half Dollar in VF+ condition. The final item discussed at the meeting was the elections. It was decided that Robert would be vice president if Carl moved up to being president. With this agreement the meeting adjourned at 7:10 pm.

....... Loren/Acting Secretary.

Next board meeting March 21st.



If you know how many tail feathers are on each of your Morgan Dollars . . .

You are probably a numismatist...

And you should belong to the Anchorage Coin Club.



March 7th Auction Lots Submitted by Bill Fivaz:

The next bullet auction lots have been kept a mystery. You will have to come to the meeting to view them and bid.










February 25th & 26th, March 3rd & 4th


2 PROOF DIMES $1 - regularly $2 each - LIMIT 10 DIMES.





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CITY:________________________ STATE:_______ ZIP:___________

TELEPHONE (HOME):________________________________


DUES: Regular; Full membership for those living in Anchorage $25

          Sponsored membership - first year $15

          Senior, Handicap, & Associates outside Anchorage area $10

          Junior; those under the age of 17 $5

          Life membership $250

Send application and dues to :

Anchorage Coin Club
P.O. Box 230169
Anchorage, Alaska 99523

E-mail Address:





TICKETS: $5 each or 5 for $20.00



President: Tim Burke

Vice President: Carl

Secretary: Larry Nakata

Treasurer: Stan Mead

Board Member: John Larson

Board Member: Robert

ACCent Editor: Loren Lucason