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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 26, Number 2


February 2013


February Membership Meeting

Wed., February 6, 2013

Central Lutheran Church, 15th & Cordova

7:00 PM



January 2nd Anchorage Coin Club
Membership Meeting


Meeting was chaired by club Vice President Robert Hughes since Carl (our club president) was on vacation.

    Since we had a number of extra door prizes left from the club's December Christmas party, those door prizes were distributed amongst our members in attendance.

    Announcement made of our club's upcoming coin shows for the Fur Rondy event. Shows will be at the University Center on weekends of Feb 23-24 and March 2-3. Table fees will be $40 per table that will cover both weekends. Moneys will be used for advertising in the Fur Rondy Guide. Cases will be provided with tables.

    Announcement of the winning design for our club's 25th Anniversary coin set. When Carl gets back from vacation, he will get with club member Mike Robuck on the cost of preparation of our 25l Anniversary die and cost of coins and coin sets. Hopefully, Carl will have those costs by our February meeting so that orders can be placed for our coins sets. Plan is to try and get our coin sets ready by our club membership meeting in March.

    Announcement of Election of Officers will be at our March 6th membership meeting. Elections will be held for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Board members. Per our club by-laws, the third Board member is the past club president (Tim Burke at this time). Members wishing to serve for any of these positions can submit their names for election right up the day of the election. You can notify any of the Board members or submit you name at our meetings.

    Stan Mead announced that effective the next February membership meeting (first Wednesday of February), he will conduct YN (Young Numismatist) meetings starting at 6:45 PM (about 30 minutes prior to our club membership meeting). He has asked all members with children (up to high school age) bring them to the YN and club meetings.

Two raffle coins were won by member Glen Dean at our club meeting:

    1857 Flying Eagle Cent in VG 10 condition.

    1867 Shield Nickel in F 15/VG 10 condition.

Following the raffle, club then went on to its monthly coin auction.

Meeting concluded shortly after the coin auction.


January 16th Anchorage Coin Club
Board Meeting


Board meeting was held at the Chang Mai Thai Restaurant located next to the University Center. Called to order at 6:30 PM by club president Carl.

No correspondence to review. Board briefed Carl on the January 2nd membership meeting.

    Following briefing, first order of business was Fur Rondy coin shows on the last weekend of February (23rd-24th) and first weekend of March (2nd - 3rd) at the University Center. Carl will be contacting the Fur Rondy people on arranging the ad for the Fur Rondy Guide.

    Discussion was held on the 25th Year Anniversary Coin Set for the club. Carl will arrange for the die with Mike Robuck / Alaska Mint. In our club's 20th year coin set, it consisted of a set of silver, bronze, and copper nickel coins. Carl will look at costs for a similar coin set and will see about getting us costs by our February 6th membership meeting date.

    Stan Mead will be providing an article for posting at our YN meetings for 2013 to Carl. Main thing is that YN meeting to start at about 15 to 30 minutes earlier than the membership meeting.

February 6th Raffle coin will be an 1855-O Liberty Seated Half Dollar in VF condition.

Stan Mead provided a financial report on our club finances. Everything is OK.

    Stan Mead: There will be a "Girl Scout Jamboree" (June 6th - 9th) at the Palmer State Fairgrounds. Stan is looking at a program in which our club members do sessions at the jamboree on collecting coins... to help the Girl Scouts earn their merit badges in this field. Volunteers will be needed for this event. More to follow.

    For our February 6th club meeting, Loren Lucason will be doing a presentation on "The Isabella Quarter". Larry Nakata will provide the refreshments for that evening.

As there was no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.... Larry Nakata/Secretary.


Odd Denomination U. S. Coinage
By Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)


    I guess the first question one would ask is what constitutes odd denomination type U.S. coins? To me.... it's the half cent, the two cent piece, the three cent piece, the twenty cent piece, and the $3 gold piece. These are denomination coins that no longer are minted for some reason. I also include the U.S. Trade Dollar and the $4 Gold Pattern coins... since they have a unique history worthy of mention.

    The U.S. Half Cent (1793-1857): Back in the late 1700s and the early 1800s, a half cent was really worth something. You could actually buy a number of things with the half cent. Made of 100% copper, this was the first coin minted by the U.S. Mint in 1793. As the years went by, the price of copper climbed up, making it tougher and more expensive for the U.S. Mint to cost effectively make the half cent. This, coupled with inflation, would take it's toll on the half cent. Eventually the U.S. public would favor the one cent piece over the half cent. By 1857, we see the half cent give way to the small one cent piece.

1794 Half Cent

    The Two Cent Piece (1864-1873): Because of public hoarding of U.S. coinage during the Civil War, the U.S. Mint responded in 1864 with the introduction of the two cent piece. Its composition was 95% copper/ 5% tin and zinc.... in other words, "BRONZE". Some 20 million two cent pieces were minted in 1864, followed by another 14 million in 1865. This was the first coin to use the motto "In God We Trust". After the Civil War, mintage numbers of the two cent piece would significantly drop. The two cent piece would become a denomination that was not popular with the U.S. public. Mintage dwindled down to the point where it was finally phased out in 1873.

1864 Two Cent

    The Silver Three Cent Piece (1851-1873): This denomination was a result of a need for a 3 cent coin that could buy a U.S. postage stamp. In 1851, the U.S. Mint introduced the silver 3 cent piece, which came to be known as the "trime". This coin had a composition of 75% silver / 10% copper. Some 35 million of these coins were minted from 1851- 1853. In 1854, the U.S. Congress changed the composition to 90% silver / 10% copper... with an according change in the weight of the coin. The problem with this coin was that the U.S. public complained that was an ugly looking coin and prone to wear on the coin. The U.S. public came to affectionately refer to this coin as the "fish scale" coin. Mintage would subsequently drop until its demise in 1873.

1858 Three Cents

    The Three Cent Nickel Piece (1865-1889): The Civil War saw hoarding of all silver coins by the U.S. public. As a result, 3 cent silver coins were not to be found in circulation during the Civil War. In response to this situation, the North (the federal government) issued 3 cent fractional paper currency. Some 17 million 3 cent notes were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). By Act of Congress, in 1865 the three cent nickel coin is introduced. The metallic content of this coin had no silver. It's composition was 75% copper / 25% nickel. It's intent was to provide a means by which the 3 cent fractional currency could be redeemed for U.S. coinage.

    Another intent was to "wean" the American public away from the 3 cent silver coin.... as an alternative coin. Mintage numbers for the silver three cent piece was subsequently reduced by the U.S. Mint until it's phase out in 1873. The three cent nickel would continue until 1889, at which time it's need went away with an increase in the price of the U.S. postage stamp... and a lack of public interest in continuation of this denomination coin.

1865 Three Cents

    The Twenty Cent Piece (1875-1878): The Mint Act of 1873 resulted in the discontinuation of the silver half dime, silver three cent piece, and the U.S. Silver dollar. This created problems for the silver mining interests in the United States. Lobbying efforts resulted in Congress authorizing mintage of the silver 20 cent coin. It's composition was 90% silver/10% copper. The problem with the twenty cent coin was that it looked too much like the U.S. quarter. The U.S. public complained of this problem... with this coin immediately becoming an unpopular coin in the eyes of the public. As a result, mintage of this coin was discontinued in 1878. However, by 1878 the silver mining interests would be appeased with the reintroduction of the U.S. Silver dollar (The Morgan Dollar).

1875 Twenty Cents

    The $3 Gold Piece (1854-1889): When the U.S. postage stamp cost was set at 3 cents.... in 1854, Congress allowed for mintage of the $3 gold coin. The idea was that the $3 gold coin could be used to buy sheets of 100 stamps. This coin could then be phased out when the price of the U.S. stamp went up in cost. In actuality, the $3 gold coin was never heavily used for this purpose. It simply became another gold coin used by the general public. Over time, of all the denomination of U.S. gold coins minted, the $3 gold coin would be least popular with the U.S. public. As time evolved, this gold coin would see lower mintage numbers until it's phase out in 1889.

8454 Three Dollar Gold

    The $4 Gold Pattern Coin (1879-1880): During the 1870s, there were two controversial issues in U.S. coinage:

The need for an International Trade coin, and;

The issue of a gold standard vs. a silver standard in U.S. coinage. On this issue, the gold and silver mining interests were aggressively lobbying Congress in selection of one of these metals as the U.S. standard.

    These two issues resulted in an attempt by Congress to approve a coin that used both gold and silver as its metallic content. A number of $4 patterns were subsequently made. These patterns were comprised of 86% gold, 4% silver, and 10% copper. Such patterns were distributed to congressmen and came to be known as the $4 "Stella" coins... which was, at that time, a reference to the star (on the reverse of the $4 coin design) and the U.S. eagle as national symbols. Despite lobbying efforts... in the end Congress would decide to not move forward with the $4 coin. Reason was that it looked too much like a true gold coin... with concerns that such a bimetallic coin would hurt the integrity of U.S. gold coinage.

Flowing Hair Stella

    The Trade Dollar (1873-1885): The need for an International Trade coin resulted in Congress authorizing mintage of the U.S. Trade Dollar. At 420 grains in weight with a metallic content of 90% silver/10% copper.... this coin was intended to compete with other foreign silver coins used for International trade. The problem created was that the silver dollar used domestically in the United States (The Liberty Seated Dollar) was 412.5 grains in weight (same metallic content 90% silver/10% copper). In other words: LESS SILVER content. To make matters worse, Congress did away with the 412.5 grain domestic silver dollar between 1873 and 1877.... and allowed the U.S. Trade dollar to be used as Legal Tender for domestic transactions up to $5.

    With a difference in silver content, this created problems for domestic U.S. merchants and banks that had to deal with existing U.S. domestic silver dollars and the U.S. Trade dollar. The dollar was not quite the value of the dollar when dealing with these two different coins. Besides this confusion, the problem was further aggravated when the price of silver dropped in value.

Trade Dollar

    Eventually, this would be remedied when the U.S. Trade dollar is phased out in favor of the U.S. Morgan dollar by 1885.

    So... there you have it.... my rendition of the odd denomination U.S. coins and why they failed. In most cases, it was a matter of the U.S. public not accepting these coins..... Larry Nakata.


Treasurer Report by Stan Meade

    The Anchorage Coin Club is in excellent shape due to the contributions and donation lots submitted by the members. With City Park, Church, food and Post Office Box increasing in prices and the Coin Club taking a more pro-active role in paying for the printing and stamp charges, it has been a challenging year.

    I personally would like to thank all members who contribute the donation lots that are instrumental in keeping the cost of the dues low and the Coin Club operating in a healthy manner.

    Now to a more serious matter, the YN program will need donations to expand its program that includes working with the Boy and Girl Scouts, Earning YN Bucks, Field trips to the Alaska Mint that would include lunch downtown, and other activities the YN would like to achieve.


Girl Scouts of Alaska
"Encampment 2013"

    Girl Scouts of Alaska is having their "Biennial Encampment 2013" at the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer on June 6-9 2013. Over 1000 girls age 8-17 from all across Alaska along with troupes from the lower 48 will be attending. The Anchorage Coin Club is asking for donations of State Quarters, Stare Park Quarters, wheat cents, foreign coins/currency, 2"X2" holders, old magnifying glasses, etc. to assist them with "hands on" experience achieving the "Collecting" Hobbies patch: The Art and History Collection patch and the "Fun with Money" patch.

    Stan and Ruth Mead will be in charge of this undertaking and are asking for volunteers to assist for the two days open for this workshop. Are the Anchorage Coin Club members up for this challenge? More information will be forthcoming in the next few newsletters.


YN Corner
(Young Numismatists)

    Meeting will be held at the Lutheran Church at 6:45pm, 15 minutes before the scheduled general membership meeting. The YN program will be designed to offer young numismatists the opportunity to learn more about the hobby by being more involved in the discussion and decisions of future YN meetings.

    Bring your friends and parents and learn about magic coins. Have you ever seen a 6 cent or 11 cent coin, 2 headed or 2 tailed coin? Help design a YN Buck that you can earn by helping the Coin Club, dealers, and the community. YN Bucks can be used to buy coins at the Summer Picnic, Christmas Party or redeemed throughout the year. Let's meet new friends and discuss your interests. If you have any numismatic material you wish to show, bring it and share. Let the good times roll!

    Any parent or club member wishing to assist by giving a presentation for a meeting, please contact one of your board members for a date and time. The February YN will be presented by Stan Mead.



    Regretfully, I missed the first club meeting of the year. However, it sounds like we are off to a great and productive year.

    We are looking forward to the restarting of the YN program so please bring your kids and spread the word about the February meeting. Better yet, consider donating items or volunteering time to share your knowledge and inspire others.

    Mark your calendars for the Fur Rondy coin show at the University Center on February 23 & 24 and March 2 & 3. Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming 25th anniversary commemorative coin sets.

    The Club still needs a volunteer to assist with the newsletter, Facebook page updates and articles. Please send your articles and ideas to

Your Friend in Numismatics, Carl





ADDRESS :_________________________________________________

CITY:________________________ STATE:_______ ZIP:___________

TELEPHONE (HOME):________________________________


MY COLLECTING INTERESTS ARE:________________________________




SIGNATURE:________________________________   DATE:_______________


          $25 / Year Regular Membership

          $10 / Year Youngsters & School Aged Kids up to Grade 12

          $10 / Year for Seniors, Handicapped Members,
                    and Associate Members Living Outside Anchorage

Send application and dues to :

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



Tickets $5 each, 5 tickets for $20, or 11 tickets for $40. Purchase and drawing at the February 6th membership meeting

1855-O Liberty Seated Half Dollar in VF condition.


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President: Carl Mujagic

Vice President: Robert Hughes

Secretary: Larry Nakata

Treasurer: Stan Mead

Board Seat #1: Loren Lucason

Board Seat #2: John Larson

Board Seat #3: Tim Burke

ACCent Editor: Carl Mujagic