The YN Corner
"An Old Type Coin...On Sale"
"Hey! You Forgot a Quarter in Your Quarter Type Set"
Alaskan Token of the Month: "Bering River"
FROM YOUR EDITORS
Summer is over, the kids are back in school, the tourists are gone, and we are back to our regular monthly gatherings of friends discussing coins. We started our September meeting by giving Jim Hill a 1969 proof set as a door prize. Then, as a membership prize, we gave Mark Nagy a set of 2 patterns of Alaska Railroad Medallions struck in silver provided by the Alaska Mint. There were 15 lots submitted to the bullet auction so we proceeded to auction all of them off. Among the collector coins sold were some good reference books.
Mark Nagy is getting good at giving informative presentations. He talk a little about the Carson City Mint then showed us an ANA video about the mint’s history.
We have a series of coin shows planned for this winter. Don Thurber is spearheading another show at the Northway Mall October 14th and 15th. Tables are $40 each. Contact Don at 338-7488. Robert Hall has set up a show for the Cottonwood Creek Mall in Wasilla October 28th and 29th. Contact Robert at 561-8343 in the evenings for more information and reservations. In addition Bill Hamilton has cleared the way for shows at the Ship Creek Mall in October and December but will need help setting them up. Contact him at his shop: Loose Change Coins/ 277-6110..
We are already looking forward to the Christmas potluck dinner and auction on December 7th (this time the Japanese are invited). Part of the next two newsletters will be devoted to listing auction lots so submit descriptions of your lots as soon as possible. There will be a YN Bucks program so the young numismatist will have money to spend at the auction. The highlight of the Christmas party will be the drawing for the raffle prize; a complete set of Buffalo Nickels including a VF graded 3-legged Buffalo. This is the most ambitious set of coins we have ever raffled. Thanks go to John Larsen for the work he has done putting this fine set together. Tickets are still $5 each.
As a final note we would like to congratulate the photogenic Sarah Bilak
whose contemplative image appears not once but twice on page 1072 of ANA’s
September 2000 Numismatic News - it’s not the cover of the Rolling Stone
- we think it’s better…..Your Editors.
Schedule of Events for the Month of October
Minutes of the September 20th Board Meeting
The Board meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM by President Bill Hamilton.
As there was no old business to discuss, the meeting focused on our coin club agenda schedule going into the end of this year.
First discussed were the meetings:
The Christmas Coin Auction will be set up in the same manner as last year’s event. Our club publishes the list of coin lots that will be featured in the auction in our next two newsletters. It is also featured in our club’s Web page. Members who would like to submit lots can contact Larry Nakata (daytime 269-5603/ eves 563-1729) or Loren Lucason (272-3700), who will be updating the auction lot list for the newsletter and Web page. It is not necessary to submit your coins at this time. Just give us the description.
Larry Nakata then went over the agenda for the upcoming YN meetings (see “YN Corner” article). The Board approved an expenditure of up to $200 for the YN Bucks Contest.
Coin shows for the duration of the year were then discussed. As of the Board meeting, two coin shows have been arranged for the month of October:
Bill Hamilton is attempting to arrange shows at the Ship Creek Mall/ Anchorage for November 18th/19th and December 16th/17th. Bill has asked for assistance in setting up the shows and needs volunteers. Bill can be contacted at his shop (277-6110) for tables and volunteering your efforts.
As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.
“THE YN CORNER”
We trust that all of our YNs (i.e., Young Numismatists) had a great summer. Now that school has started, all of us should be getting back into our normal routines for the Fall and remainder of this year.
September 8th saw our YN meetings resume following a break for the Summer. That evening’s session featured a VHS tape presentation “Money In Your Hands” narrated by James Earl Jones. Following that tape presentation, a session followed on “How to Take Care of Your Coins and Paper Currency”.
The YNs were shown the various types of coin holders, paper currency holders, and coin books that are used to store coins and currency. Shown were 2x2 mylar coin holders, plastic coin holders, Capital plastic holders, Kointains, and a variety of coin books (Whitman folders, Dansco albums, etc.) used for housing coin sets.
Pros and cons were discussed about each of the types of holders. For example, did you know that certain coin books can cause coins to tone starting from the edge of the coin and work it’s way to the coin’s center. Coins can tone from yellow to black depending upon the type of book used to house the coin set. What causes this effect is the amount of chemicals (such as sulfur) that is imbedded into the paper cardboard of the coin book.
Following the presentation, the YNs were given some nice coins to add to their collections….silver dollars and 19th century U.S. coins. There was also the pizza, chips, and soda enjoyed by all.
We concluded the YN meeting by asking what sessions the YNs would like to see going into the end of this year. As a result of that discussion, our YN meetings on October 13th and November 10th will feature “Coin Grading for YNs- Part 1 and 2”. It should be a pretty good session.
Of key interest to all of our YNs will be our club’s YN Bucks Contest. Every year our club has a contest that allows our YNs the ability to earn valuable YN Bucks. These YN Bucks allow our YNs the ability to buy coins at our club’s annual Christmas Coin Auction.
Categories in which YNs can earn these YN Bucks are:
Up to $200 YN Bucks will be awarded in these 4 categories.
Good luck in the YN Bucks Contest and we’ll see you at the October
4th Membership meeting and the October 13th YN Meeting………Larry Nakata.
“AN OLD TYPE COIN….ON SALE!” by Mike Nourse (Member # 94)
As many of you who have been collectors for a long time know, the value of many coins has been declining for quite a few years now. This, of course, creates bargains. As with anything that is looked at from an investment standpoint, an item that is purchased may rise or fall in value, or maybe just go sideways for a long time.
Those readers who subscribe to the Greysheet (The Coin Dealer Newsletter) are familiar with a small graph that appears in each weekly edition on page 10 below the Walking Liberty Half Dollar Chart. In a recent edition of the Greysheet, Barber dimes in MS-63 and MS-64 were in the spotlight in this week’s graph. I was quite intrigued with how the value of the Barber dimes in these conditions have been more or less steadily declining over the years displayed in this graph.
To put some numbers to my observations, the MS-64 coins were hovering mostly around the $800 level throughout the mid 1980’s (when that specific grade was first put in use) and late 1980’s before falling off the cliff in the beginning of the 1990’s. A slower decline in value continued into the mid 1990’s and then just went sideways to rest at the current value of $190. In the MS-63 grade, Barber dimes stayed around the $300 level all through the 1980’s before declining through the first half of the 1990’s decade and flattening out near the current value of only $105.
It is difficult to try to extrapolate a value for the grade MS-64 back in time before the year 1986 when it was first used extensively in the coin business. However, the current MS-63 roughly coincides with the grade of MS-65 in the years before PCGS started the slabbing revolution. Based upon the old MS-65 being roughly equal to the current MS-63, we find that we must go all the way back to the mid 1970’s to find choice uncirculated MS-63 Barber dimes with a wholesale value of around $100. That’s 25 plus years ago folks! The last time you had any hope of buying a decent, properly graded MS-63 Barber dime at this price level you were probably getting bombarded with ads trying to tell you how to celebrate the bi-centennial.
Even this price comparison is not really fair, since that $100 that would have spent on that choice uncirculated Barber dime in the early 1970’s had an awful lot more spending power that the $100 that you have today. Remember that I am looking at wholesale values here. According to Coin World’s Trends, these coins should retail in the $140 range at the present time.
So, are these old dimes a bargain right now? I think they are a bargain at the best prices in decades. Should you run out and buy as many MS-63 and MS-64 Barber dimes as you can find so that you will be rich when they quadruple in price next year? No way!
Actually the odds of these dimes quadrupling in the next year, or even in ten years, is minimal at best. However, I do not see the prices dropping a great deal from today’s levels. So my advice is that if you need a nice Barber dime for a type set, or if you just want one, now may be a good time to go for it. But there is no great hurry since the prices are likely to continue holding steady in the near term.
As for building a set in MS-63 and MS-64, forget it unless you have
particularly deep pockets. Remember that the graph that I was looking at
in the Greysheet was illustrating the price history of the common dates
in the Barber dime series. While it is possible to build a set in high
grade, you will find that 17 coins have a trends value of $1000 or greater.
In MS-64 the number jumps to 29 pieces, or over 1/3 of the 74 coin set.
Ignoring the essentially non collectible 1894-S, the key to the set will
be the 1895-O, checking in with a trends value of $4750 in MS-63 and a
whopping $8750 in MS-64. It would be a great achievement, a probably a
decent investment, to build a set if you can afford it. Good luck in your
pursuit of those undervalued Barber dimes……Mike Nourse.
“HEY! YOU FORGOT A QUARTER IN YOUR QUARTER TYPE SET!” by Mike Nourse (Member# 94)
Well, not really. The missing quarter is the interesting and rather scarce 1893 Isabella commemorative quarter. Naturally, this is not an essential element for the completion of your quarter type set as it was a commemorative issue that was never intended for circulation purposes. But since it is somewhat affordable, it should be considered for inclusion in your set.
The Isabella quarter was produced in Summer, 1893 for distribution at the World’s Columbian Exposition which opened in May 1st of that year. As with all commemorative issues, the quarters were to be sold with a hefty surcharge, in this case a price of $1.00 each for a 75 cent profit which was to be used to construct a memorial to the contribution of women throughout US history. The big problem with this pricing structure is that the Columbian half dollar commemorative coins were also being sold at the Exposition for a price of $1.00. So sales of the smaller quarters did not go over very well.
The US Mint had produced 40,000 of the coins for sale at the Exposition
and through mail order. Since they were rather overshadowed by the half
dollars, sales amounted to only 14,000 pieces through these two avenues
at the retail price of $1.00 each. After the Exposition ended, the lady
who came up with the commemorative quarter idea purchased 10,000 of the
coins at face value which she parceled out over the next 20 or so years.
Hence, the only pieces that have survived to this day are either part of
the 14,000 that were sold at the fair or the 10,000 that were distributed
over the next two decades. The remaining part of the original 40,000 coins
was melted leaving a total distribution of exactly 24,214 pieces. Really
quite a tiny number considering that the vastly more expensive 1916 Standing
Liberty quarter had a mintage of 52,000 pieces.
The design of the Isabella quarter is not likely to leave you awestruck, but it is not overly ugly either. Queen Isabella of Spain is on the obverse of the coin because she (along with King Ferdinand) financed Christopher Columbus for his voyages to the New World. The Redbook, along with other sources, state that the reverse shows a kneeling female holding a distaff in an image that is emblematic of women’s industry. That is all very well and fine, but what on earth is a distaff??? Even after looking it up I am still not quite sure what it is other than it is a tool used when one is spinning wool. Suffice to say that is image is rather out of date here in the 21st century but it is still an attractive design.
Most of the Isabella quarters remain in a high state of preservation, typically Extra Fine or better. Over the years, many have seen some cleaning or worse yet been used in jewelry. Due to the small number in existence, you will probably have to part with about $300 or more for a nice, original, uncleaned Extra Fine, or about $400 for a similar original About Uncirculated specimen, and $500 up for an uncirculated piece. Not cheap at all but this will not be the most expensive quarter in your type set. And certainly not outrageous for a fairly scarce, low mintage, century old commemorative coin…..Mike Nourse.
ALASKAN TOKEN OF THE MONTH: “BERING RIVER” by Kaye Dethridge (Member # 98)
Bering River Cannery, located in the Prince William Sound area, near Cordova and Katalla was built an operated in 1916 by the Hoonah Packing Company. According to the Alaska Department of Fisheries 1951 Annual Report, the cannery was last operated in 1928 when it was leased to Pacific American Fisheries Company. It was dropped from the list of operating canneries in 1936 with the notation that it probably would not operate again. An article from the Petersburg Weekly Report for December 3, 1920 states that the Hoonah, Gambier Bay, and Katalla (Bering River) canneries of the Hoonah Packing Company are subsidiaries to Alaska Pacific Fisheries.
The first of the Hoonah Packing Company tokens that showed up were issued by the cannery in Hoonah, located on the north end of Chichagof Island, west of Juneau. These appeared first in an ad in Numismatic News in 1961 in denominations of 5c, 10c, and 25c. Approximately ninety five short sets were being offered, lacking the three 50c varieties and the dollar. The three varieties of the 50c and $1 denominations turned up and were sold at a later date. Of the tokens from the three locations of this cannery, the one from Hoonah is the easiest to find, with the 5c piece running in the $10 range. A set of 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, and $1, if desired, can probably be obtained in the $100 to $125 price range.
The tokens from Gambier Bay and Hoonah apparently have the same denominations of 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, and $1. Gambier Bay is on the east side of Admiralty Island on Stephens Passage, southeast of Juneau. All denominations from Gambier Bay are almost impossible to find and command a price accordingly. The Bering River cannery, unlike the Hoonah and Gambier Bay canneries had $5 and $10 denominations. All Bering River tokens are scarce with perhaps the 50c and $1 denominations being the rarest…..Kaye Dethridge/ Box 467/ Ocean Park, WA 98640/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Club Archivist/ Photographer
The Anchorage Coin Club is a non-profit organization formed to provide information, education, and a meeting place for individuals having an interest in numismatics.
Correspondence Address: Anchorage Coin Club, P.O. Box 230169, Anchorage,
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