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From the May 2006 issue of ACCent, the newsletter of the Anchorage Coin Club:


A Visit to Alaska Rare Coins in Fairbanks

By Mike Nourse


Alaska Rare Coins Outside

Alaska Rare Coins in Fairbanks

    Mid February found me in the center of the state, in Fairbanks, AK for a week. I have been to Fairbanks many times before but it has always been on a ‘passing through’ basis on my way to the northern part of the state. This time I had a whole week to spend in town, and a visit to Alaska Rare Coins was on my list of things to do while I was there.

As luck would have it, on Wednesday I had to work in the downtown area one block west of Cushman St. on 3rd Avenue. Alaska Rare Coins is right nearby on the corner of 2nd and Cushman. I had the pleasure of chatting with the owners Jerry Cleworth and Dick Hanscom as well as exploring the shop that afternoon.

The shop is quite large and contains a good selection of coins, both raw and certified. There is also an entire wall of older books, mostly focused on the subjects of Alaska, the Yukon, and Arctic studies. There are also a number of ivory carvings near the front of the store. Currency is also well represented.


Alaska Rare Coins Inside

Inside view of Alaska Rare Coins in Fairbanks.


For those of you that may be planning to drop into the store, you should know that much of their coin inventory is not kept at the store, but is instead kept at an off site location. If you are looking for something specific it is a good idea to give a call a day or two ahead of time so that Jerry and Dick can retrieve the desired items for you to see at the store.

Now, in addition to running the store downstairs, Jerry and Dick conduct auctions in Fairbanks twice per year, generally around April and November. The auction lots are presented without reserve, though as with any auction unrealistic bids will not be registered. Auction lots consist of coins, tokens, medals, currency, numismatic books, and anything else that may be of interest to numismatists in Alaska and elsewhere. The auction lots are not posted on the internet at this time, so you will have to get in contact with somebody there to be put on their mailing list. I looked over the lots from their most recent auction, including the prices realized list, and lots sold in a wide range from a low of $5 on up to about $3000, though about half sold for under $100 and a good number sold in the popular $100 to $500 range, so their auctions are not all about high priced slabbed rarities.

To get in touch with Alaska Rare Coins to inquire about some items you may need for your collection or if you are interested in bidding the auction and wish to be placed on their mailing list, the contact information is presented below. Jerry and Dick are easy to work with and get along with  and their prices and grading are right on target. While there, I was able to find David Akers’ book about the $3 gold series which I needed to complete the six book set on the subject of United States gold coins.

To contact Alaska Rare Coins, write to them at 551 Second Ave Suite B, Fairbanks, AK 99701. You can call Jerry or Dick at 452-6461 or e-mail at


Jerry and Dick

Alaska Rare Coins owners Jerry Cleworth and Dick Hanscom.


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