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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 27, Number 5


May 2014


May Membership Meeting

Tuesday May 6, 2014

Central Lutheran Church, 15th & Cordova

7:00 PM


Membership Meeting Tuesday May 6:

  • Raffle Coin - 1935-P U.S. Peace Dollar in AU55 condition

  • Inside:

    • A Word From the President

    • Progression of Coin Grading

    • Treasurer's Report



April 1st Membership Meeting


Club meeting called to order at 7:15 pm by President Glenn Dean.

Briefing by Glen on programs he would like to achieve during his term as club president. Programs to be addressed with details worked out at next club Board meeting (on April 16th).

Treasurer's Report by Stan Mead. Note: Club's finances are in very good shape.

New Business: At the March Board meeting, discussed were changes in our clubs membership categories and rates. Proposed are:

Changes voted and approved by membership.

Presentation by Stan Mead on the subject of "The Progression of Coin Grading- Then and Now."

Following presentation, monthly raffle coin, an 1883 U.S. "V" Nickel "No Cents" variety PCGS MS-63, won by Stewart Smith. Note: Raffle tickets were also available for the club's August 2nd Summer picnic raffle coin (a 1925-D $2 & 1/2 U.S. Indian Gold NGC AU58..... at $5/ticket.... and will continue to be sold right up to the August 2nd drawing date.

Monthly coin auction followed. Live auction conducted by Stewart Smith (for coin values $10 or more). There were also Silent Auction lots for members to bid on (for coins $9 or less).

Club meeting concluded at 8:35 pm following auction.

April 16th Anchorage Coin Club
Board Meeting

ACC Board meeting called to order at 7:15 PM by President Glen Dean. Meeting held at the Yamato Ya Japanese Restaurant (located near the University Center).

Correspondence reviewed by Board.

John Larson: The May meeting raffle coin will be a 1935-P U.S. Peace Dollar in AU55 condition.

Main agenda item addressed by Board were programs presented by Glen Dean

  1. Every 4th month, starting with the club membership meeting on June 3rd, go with a "swap meet" in which club members can buy, sell, and trade coins with each other. In lieu of a Live Auction, go with a Silent Auction (with minimum bids).... to afford more time for members to buy, sell, and trade with each other. Board discussed and approved this change.

  2. With the addition of new members in the club, provide name tags for all members to wear at the meetings. Stewart Smith will bring name tags for our May 6th membership meeting. Members can then wear and turn in their name tags at the end of the meeting.

  3. In an effort to get more membership involvement in our club activities, establish four (4) committees. Each committee to be headed up by a Board member:

    • Refreshment Committee- Function is to determine refreshments each month (club provided refreshments and potluck items to bring), set up for meetings, and clean up following meetings. To be headed by Secretary Larry Nakata.

    • Membership Committee- Function: Name Tags, greeting of members at meetings, calls to membership when needed, and recruitment of new members for club. To be headed up by Vice President Stewart Smith.

    • Community Outreach Committee- Function: To promote numismatics (coin collecting) to groups and the public via education programs, club coin shows, and advertising. To be headed up the Treasurer Stan Mead.

    • "Fun" Raising Committee- Function: Raffle Program, Summer picnic & Christmas Party events, club flyers, and assistance to other committees on their programs (as needed). To be headed up by Board member John Larson.

    • At May 6th Membership meeting, see about having two (2) volunteers for each committee to work with each Committee head.

Discussed and approved by Board. Other ideas to carryover into next Board meeting in May.

Board member Tim Burke may be leaving the state shortly. At this time the club tables, club cases, and chairs are being stored at his house. These items are needed for our coin shows. Stewart Smith will check into rental of a storage room and monthly cost. Plan is to move these items to a storage room at this time. As Tim was not able to attend the Board meeting, Stewart will get in touch with him.

For May 6th membership meeting:

Board meeting concluded at 8:00 pm

Larry Nakata/ Secretary


Coins from Bill Fivaz - May 6 Coin Auction

1. 1938-D/S 5c MS-65 Min Bid (MB) $40

2. 1935-S 10c MS-64+ FSB MB $75

3. 1942-S 10c MS-64 FSB MB $15

4. 1940-S 25c MS-64+ MB $35

5. 2000-P S.C. 25c Off Center Broadstrike/Partial Collar BU MB $5

6. 1945-P 50c MS-65 Nice Orig. Color! MB $60

7. 1878-P $1 VAM-84 MS-60 MB $65

8. 1863 Civil War Token VF MB $25

9. 1863 Civil War Token XF MB $30

10. 5 60-75% O/C Lincoln 1c BU MB $20

11. 1923 $1.00 Silver Certificate F MB $8

12. Olde English Spoon (Hallmarked) MB $8

13. Donation Coin: 1939 Canadian $1.00 XF No Minimum


A Word From the President

SPRING. Yes, it is spring in Anchorage. Time for spring cleaning, changing tires over, washing off all the winter crud and getting used to the longer days. Lots of us are making plans for the summer already, myself included. Can't go without those days on the river bank trying to get my winter supply of salmon. Travel plans include trips to Fairbanks, Kenai and all points in-between where the illusive salmon travel. I am sure many of you have similar schedules or even out-of-state travel plans. Painting the house, repairs, modifications, improvements - the list is endless. When do I find time for Coin Club? The first Tuesday of each month at 7 PM - that's when. Yes, club activities continue and I, for one, will find time in my busy schedule to make meetings and enjoy the fine programs we will put together. We have a summer picnic planned and lots of good coin deals at the meetings. Bring your friends, family, kids, uncles, aunts and any other friendly face looking for an educational evening full of merriment and opportunities to pick up some fine pieces for your collection. Have a great summer but don't forget your friends at the coin club.

Glen Dean/President


"Progression of Coin Grading"
by Stan Mead

When it comes to coin grades and costs, one must remember that the objective of most every seller is to get as much of your money as possible. This happens more often than not by over grading (gradeflation) of their coins. It is your responsibility as a collector to learn to grade for yourself and be armed with the latest knowledge of "technical grade" versus "market grade" and what this means to you and your bottom dollar. This, I failed in my own endeavors by my own stubbornness, but now I can only hope that I have learned from my mistakes. I am not saying that I made mistakes on my buying powers (I have), my real mistake was not keeping up with current trends and changes. As a collector of U.S. coins for many years, I have noticed a trend towards market grading and values and less on the actual technical grade of the coin. Over 20 years ago when I got my first "ANA Official Grading Standards" book on grading U.S. Coins, I memorized certain coins that I was interested in (Buffalo nickels, Indian cent and Morgan dollars) and the details pertaining to the differences in their grades. I made myself a pocket notebook of each of these series of coins with notes to the different grades, weak strikes, years not minted, diagnostic details, errors, double dies, etc. (this was a time before computers). I took these pocket notebooks with me whenever I went to a major coin show. Everything was fine for years, as I told myself I would not change my grading standards for anyone. Went to a few grading seminars put on by the major grading companies, only to learn that they wanted to teach you how to grade to their particular standard. You guessed it, different companies, different grading standards. Still, I keep to my own standards and bought only what I considered to be an honest representative of the coin. About 12 years ago I started to notice grades as Fine 13, Very Fine 22, XF 43, AU 51, at the major shows. I asked a few of the sellers, why a Fine 13 or a AU51?, never did get a straight answer although I did take note of this trend for future purposes. Took me a few more years to fully understand what "market grade" truly meant. If grading coins is only an opinion, then I have become a true professional at grading coins because I can give you my opinion pertaining to the grade on any coin, just ask me.

A couple of 5 hundred years ago grading was easy, there was only two grades, "new" or "used", could not have been any easier. Still we have come a long way in the last hundred years when a coin was graded by adjectives such as "a nice coin", or ones that said "excellent appearance", "uncommonly fine", "quite uncirculated", and "Bright White" etc.

ANA Grading Standards

In 1892 Joseph Hooper was the first to suggest numismatic grades such as Proofs, Uncirculated, Extremely Fine, Very Fine, Very Good and Good. Hooper's suggestion was soon forgotten, as his articles were published in newspapers. Mr. Hooper was the vice president of the ANA from 1891 to 1898 and president from 1898 to 1901. Still nothing was done to combat the counterfeit and harsh cleaning of coins, let alone establish a comprehensive grading standard.

In 1949, Dr. William Sheldon created the Sheldon Scale (70 point system) of coin grading that is still used today. The Sheldon Scale was sought to give a more precise meaning by adding a numbering system to the terms such as Fine, Very Fine, Extremely Fine, etc. Sheldon just expanded on Mr. Hooper's proposal from 50 years prior. The Sheldon Scale was not intended or created to be used in our modern terminology of grading, it has only added confusion and misuse by sellers. One needs to read further on this to fully understand Mr. Sheldon's objective in creating the Sheldon Scale.

20 years ago we had choices such as the "Brilliant Uncirculated" (BU), "Choice Uncirculated" and "Gem Brilliant Uncirculated". Ok, Ok, I did order and buy 10 rolls of Gem Brilliant Uncirculated silver rolls of dimes and Half Dollars thinking that they would grade at least MS63 as they were advertised as "Gem". You guessed it, they were all in the grade of AU if I was lucky. Learned that lesson real quick. I will never order any coin from any seller that uses objectives to describe their merchandise without viewing it firsthand. 20 years later my profit is from silver melt value and not coin value.

Coin Grading and Counterfeit Detection

No discussion of coin grading can be complete without the mention of third-party grading (TPG) companies. This is an area that I personally see more abuse and greed than in gradeflation. Do we really need Third Party Grading Companies, re-graded by Fourth Party Companies, let alone involve a Fifth Company"? The CAC Green Sticker, the "Plus" designation or the "Star" designation, First release Series, Early Release Series, First Early Release, the Black labels, Blue labels, Brown labels, and Eagle slabs, etc., it just goes on and on. The slabbers and their greed have become an embarrassment to the hobby. The sad part of all this, Third-party Grading is here to stay because collectors are unwilling to learn how to grade a coin for themselves.

What next to get your last dollar - Oh I know, how about the "100 Point Grading System" where we get to send in all our third-party graded slabbed coins once again to be re-graded again and again for the profit of the sellers and Grading Companies. Can you tell the difference between a coin graded MS86 between one grade MS87? Coming your way soon.

In the May 26, 2003, edition of Coin World, the hobby newspaper had announced they had contracted investigators to conduct a year-long, comparative study of PCGS, ANACS, NGC, and ICG, along with several other grading services. In their investigation, Coin World sent up to 10 of the same coins to each grading service over the course of a year, each coin being graded by all Third Party Grading services. The findings were; "In no case did the grading services agree on the grade of any given coin, and in some cases the difference in grading was as much as seven points off. This should have been a wakeup call to the hobby and the ANA.

On January 5, 2007, the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) published a more recent report about grading services and standards. The survey indicated the professional opinions of numismatists who buy and sell coins. No grading service was listed as "outstanding".

When sellers and slabbers take into account of "who the buyer is", "who the seller is", the auction house, how quick can the coin sell for, and how rare the coin is (all market grades) to determine the grade of a coin, the collector is at a disadvantage. Yes we have coins in AU condition in slabs of MS 63 and up because of market grade. This has truly been my downfall, as I failed to follow the current trends. Guarantee, this will continue to evolve over time. Market Grade determines the value of a coin not the technical grade.

Maybe we can return to the 1990's when Compugrade Services came into existence. Compugrade's computers were to evaluated mint luster, physical damage to the coin and other conditions that detracted from the quality of 'Mint State.' No human Eye appeal there. The possibility is that grades such as MS63.7 or a MS 63.8 might come about. I can't tell you the difference between a coin graded in AU50 versus one in AU51, let alone one graded by a point systems of .7 or .8, Oh wait, I am the professional, as my opinion is the only one that matters when it comes to grading and buying my own coins.


Treasurer's Report

2013 was an exciting and busy year for the Anchorage Coin Club. A review of our more exciting milestones: Celebrating our Club's 25th Anniversary with the Alaska Mint producing Silver, Bronze, and Nickel Medals along with a 3 Medal set, showcasing Alaska's State fossil, the Wooly Mammoth. A record breaking donation auction at our summer picnic that raised over $1,800. The Girl Scout "2013 Biennial Encampment" program, that helped 163 girl scouts achieve the "Fun with Money" ANA patch this past summer, that was achieved by the clubs first silent auction and member donations. The continuance of our major coin shows at the University Mall.

2014 has started strong with the annual Fur Rendezvous coin show being a great success, a spike in new memberships, the elections of a new president and vice present with their new ideas and agendas.

Some not so good news: the 2013 YN program was a failure, Monies were raised for the $50 YN bucks, and as hard as we tried to bring in old and new YN's for over 8 months, not 1 YN showed up for the meetings. Anyone willing to step up to help or lead the program into a new or different direction, please let a Board member know.

The Anchorage Coin Club continues to be in good shape due to the contributions and donation lots submitted by the members. With the City Park rental, food, stamps 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 with their generosity that is instrumental in keeping the cost of dues low and the Coin Club operating in a healthy manner.

Stan Mead/Treasurer




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 next meeting.

1935-P U.S. Peace Dollar in AU-55 condition

Stay tuned for Summer 2014 Raffle



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Anchorage Coin Club
PO Box 230169
Anchorage, Alaska 99523