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ACCent: The Monthly Newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club

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Volume 28, Number 9


September 2015


September Membership Meeting

Tuesday September 1, 2015

Central Lutheran Church, 15th & Cordova

7:00 PM


Membership Meeting Highlights:

  • For our September 1st meeting the Club will be providing pizza and sandwitches -members can bring dessert and salads to augment the refreshments.

  • Larry Nakata will be giving a presentation on the subject of "U.S. Odd Denomination Coinage"

  • The Raffle Coin will be an 1824 U.S. Bust Half Dollar graded ICG G6.

  • Coin Auction

Allen Nichols / President - (907) 357-2414

Recap of the August 3rd Anchorage Coin Club Membership Meeting


Membership meeting called to order at 7:15 pm by Club President Allen Nichols.

Door Prizes:


Under New Business:

Monthly Raffle Prize: 1878-S Morgan Dollar graded MS-63 won by member Dusan Kovac.

Larry Nakata then gave his presentation on the subject of "A History of the U.S. Half Dollar".

Following the coin auction, meeting subsequently concluded at 8:45PM

-Larry Nakata/Secretary

Recap of the August 19th
Anchorage Coin Club Board Meeting

Board meeting called to order at 7 PM by Club President Allen Nichols. The Meeting was held at the Turnagain BBQ Restaurant located next to the University Center.

No correspondence for review by the Board.

Discussion on next coin show. Permanent Dividend Direct Deposits will be made on October 1st. The Coin show should be in the month of October. Stewart Smith will look into getting the Sears Mall for October 16th thru October 18th (Friday thru Sunday).

Discussion on Loren Lucason's idea on use of Frisbees (with our club information on Frisbee) as promotional items. The Board is also considering other promotional items as well (such as pens, tokens, etc.). Loren will look into costs on the Frisbees. Several Board members will also look into other items. Consensus by Board that this is a good idea that will help promote the club at our coin shows throughout the year.

The Board then went into details for the next club meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept 1st at 7 PM.

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

Larry Nakata/Secretary


List of Coins Submitted for September 1st Membership Meeting

From Bill Fivaz:

1. Two coin set (Matte and Proof) of Felix Schlag's original design for the Jefferson 5c. Dies created by Ron Landis and struck in .999 Silver. Minimum Bid (MB) $60

2. 1945-P Walking Liberty 50c MS-65 (Original) MB $50

3. 1878-P Morgan $1 ("C" Rev.) MS-64 MB $195

4. 1953 Mint Set (not in original cardboard) MB $195

5. 2015 CONECA bronze ingot- 60th Anniversary of 1955 Double Die Lincoln MB $7.50

6. Donation from Bill Fivaz: 1965 U.S. Mint Set

Article: A History of the U.S. Half Dollar
by Larry Nakata (Life Member #3)

When the Coinage Act of 1792 established the U.S. Mint, it authorized the mintage of the U.S. Half Dollar. The availability of silver resulted in U.S. Silver coinage to not occur until 1794. At that time, the U.S. Half Dollar was minted in the latter part of that year.

Since 1794, there have been eight (8) different types of U.S. Half Dollars minted.

The history of the U.S. Half Dollar is one that involves the design changes from one series to another..... and the impact of the price of silver on this denomination coin.

Flowing Hair Series (1794-1795). The Flowing Hair Half Dollar saw mintage of only 2 years with its size and weight based upon the Spanish Dollar (also called the Spanish Silver 8 Reale- or Piece of Eight). The 1794 Flowing Hair Half Dollar is considered to be the rarest and most valuable of our U.S. Coinage. In 2013 auction, a PCGS 1794 Half graded MS-66 sold for a little over $10 million. The Flowing Hair series featured a portrait of youthful likeness of Lady Liberty (on the obverse side) with a small spread-winged eagle on the reverse.

Draped Bust Series (1796-1807). In 1796, the U.S. Mint changed the obverse design with a more mature, matronly portrait of Lady Liberty - which came to be known as the Draped Bust Half Dollar. In 1801, the reverse design would also see the Eagle changed to a more ornate Eagle referred to as the Heraldic Eagle.

Capped Bust Series (1807-1839). This 3rd series saw quite a few changes for the U.S. Half Dollar:

Liberty Seated Series (1839-1891). This series would see a new look on the Obverse which featured a seated figure of Lady Liberty holding a staff with the Liberty Cap at the top of the staff. The Eagle design on the reverse essentially remained the same. This series would endure for 52 years with some of the following changes:

Barber Half Series (1892-1915). Due to the longevity of the Liberty Seated design, a redesign was authorized by Congress. The Mint Director, Edward Leech, subsequently approved a competition and invited artists to submit designs with a cash prize of $500 to the Winning design. The results were deemed unsuitable resulting in the Mint Director instructing the Chief Engraver, Charles Barber, to do the design. This resulted in a design that was more classical with a Roman style as the depiction of Lady Liberty. This design was subsequently approved resulting the Barber Series of coinage... to include the Half Dollar.

Walking Liberty Series (1916-1947). When Congress authorized the redesign of U.S. Silver coinage from the Liberty Seated Series to the Barber Series, provided was a clause in the Coinage Act that allowed the U.S. Mint Director the ability to change the design every 25 years. One of the criticisms of the Barber Series was that it was a mediocre design. Before the 25 year period ended, President Theodore Roosevelt had other U.S. denominations changed in design. Among the coin designs changed were the Lincoln Cent, the Buffalo Nickel, and the U.S. Indian Gold coins. The stage was then set for a new design of Silver coinage when the 25 year timeline ended in 1916.

At this time we see the Walking Liberty Half Dollar, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful designs in U.S. coinage. During this period of time, there was the matter of World War I. Major changes were taking place within the U.S. Changes such as the rise of Industrialization, the rise of the city, and foreign issues that were pushing the U.S. from Peace to War. These influences not only saw changes to the U.S. Half Dollar, but also changes in all Silver coinage resulting in the Mercury Dime (1916), the Standing Liberty Quarter (1916), and the Peace Dollar (1921).

Franklin Series (1948-1963). The Franklin Half design represented a change from use of Lady Liberty on the obverse design. This design was influence by the U.S. Mint Directors during that time period, who favored use of Benjamin Franklin's portrait on the coin. These Directors knew that they could do a re-design after 25 years. Since the reverse required the American Eagle on the reverse design, while the Liberty Bell is prominent on the reverse of the Franklin Half, the Eagle is shown as a small Eagle to the right of the Liberty Bell.

Kennedy Series (1964 to Present). When the 25 year period ended for the Franklin Half, the death of President John Kennedy resulted in a ground swell that caused Congress to authorize the mintage of the Kennedy Half. The U.S. Mint subsequently quickly designed and had the new coins struck in January 1964.

The story of the Kennedy Half Dollar is really one involving the role of Silver in U.S. coinage. 1964 was the last year when Silver coinage was allowed to be minted. President Lyndon Johnson announced plans to eliminate Silver coinage in 1965. This was approved by Congress. Simply put, the cost of minting silver coinage was too high as the price of Silver increased.

In the case of the Kennedy Half, Congress allowed the Kennedy Half to be changed from 90% Silver to 40% Silver content. So from 1965 to 1970, the 40% Silver coins were minted.... and subsequently hoarded by the U.S. Public. This resulted in very little Kennedy Half dollars being circulated because of their silver content. Subsequently, in 1971, the Kennedy Half Dollar would revert to Clad Coinage (no silver) with Silver Kennedy Half Dollars only minted for collectors.

There was one major change in the Kennedy coin design for the Bicentennial. The design would see the date 1776-1976 on the obverse side. The reverse would see Independence Hall (in Philadelphia) featured. These Bicentennial Half Dollars were minted for circulation during 1975 and 1976. In 1977 to Present, the Eagle reverse design resumed.

Since 2002, the Kennedy Half Dollar has been minted only for collectors and not for circulation. This is because there is still a large inventory of Kennedy Half Dollars (minted pre-2001) that still exists. Public Demand for the Kennedy Half Dollars (pre-2001) has diminished over the years.... to the point where it is not heavily used as a circulated coin.

Such has been the history of the U.S. Half Dollar from 1794 to Present.

Sort of makes one wonder what the future of the Half Dollar will see. For the collector, you can still put together a pretty good set of U.S. Half Dollars at reasonable cost. The 20th Century Half Dollars are affordable. When you get back into the 19th Century Half dollars, it gets a bit more expensive.... but not really that bad when you get down to the Capped Bust Series. The Flowing Hair and Draped Bust Half Dollars may be another story and can get a bit pricey.....

Larry Nakata


September 1st RAFFLE

Tickets $5 each, 5 tickets for $20, or 11 tickets for $40.

Purchase and Drawing at the September 1st meeting.

1824 U.S. Bust Half Dollar Graded ICG G6





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          $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



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Anchorage Coin Club
PO Box 230169
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