March, 2000
Year 7, Issue 3

1st Place Outstanding Local Publication
American Numismatic Association 1995, 1996, and 1997
Second Place in the same contest in 1999

Meeting 7:30pm, Wednesday, March 1
Talk and trading 7:00-7:30pm
VFW, 1601 Weld Road, Elgin, IL
Not a member? Come and join us anyway!

March Meeting
March Prizes
February Minutes
Board Meeting
Old Meeting Places
Coin of the Month
Wartime Nickels

Auction Guidelines
Auction Lot List
Auction Rules
Index to other ECC Newsletter articles

March Meeting

We will have our first auction of member coins for 2000 during our March meeting. As a member, you can sell your coins during the auction. There are no surcharges to either the seller or buyer. This is your auction. We act only as auctioneer. As buyer and seller, all sales questions are between you. See Page 5 for a complete list of official rules

In order to let members know what to plan for and to let the sellers announce their items, I have published some of the coins on Page 4 in this Newsletter. Remember that even though you do not have your coins published here, just bring them to the March meeting and enter them in the auction.

Bring along something for show and tell.

This is your last chance to pay your 2000 dues and avoid missing a Newsletter mailing.

March Prizes

February Minutes

ECC Meeting 506 - February 2, 1999

President Doug Nelson called the meeting to order at 7:40.

Secretary's Report

There were some changes in the minutes. Jim C. not Jim D. had the Ben Franklin 1/2 dollar. And the total attendance was 27, not 48 for the January Meeting. [Ed. note: see the chart above for the corrected numbers.]

The Minutes were accepted with changes.

Treasurer's Report

The treasurer's report of the numbers in the box was accepted.

Old Business

There was none.

Show Committee

Fifteen tables are accounted for. The flyer is being taken care of. The 1st mailing will be in March.

New Business

The member auction will be in March. See the Auction Lot List later in this Newsletter for a partial listing of what will be available.

There is already a winner for the new YN challenge. Josh has completed a full set of clad quarters to date and brought home a 1885 Morgan (MS63) for his efforts. Congratulations, Josh!

Roger brought in a January 31 Coin World article which recognized Clayton Hagemann in it.

The Elgin Community College held a reception in February for the Rovelstad sculpture. Anyone can view the sculpture, it will be in the Visual Performing Arts Center of the college.

There was some discussion about the Sacagawea dollar. There are two coins which feature a baby on the coin, the new dollar and the Roanoke Commemorative half dollar [Ed. note: and the Elgin half]. Marty also had a question about why there were only 17 stars on the dollar. The members concluded that it was probably because at that time that was all of the states that were in the Union. Does anyone have any insight on this question?

We passed out slabs to grade. It was interesting to see the differences in opinion as to what the grades actually were. Here are the results: MS64, MS64, MS61, EF45 (There was quite a bit of discussion on this coin), MS66, MS63, MS65, MS64, MS62, MS62 PL.


The following people walked away with prizes.

February Prize Winners
Membership: Al M
YN: Alex, Alyssa, and Josh
Raffle winners: Mike M., Frank S., Al, Jerry, Jim C.

The meeting closed at 9:00 pm.

Submitted by Jennifer Schulze

Board Meeting

Don Cerny, Jim Davis, Doug Nelson, and Mike Metras got together February 16 at 7pm for our board meeting.

We decided on the prizes for the month.

We discussed allowing the members selling coins to bid on their own coins when they were not comfortable with the price they were selling for. We agreed to allow members to bid on their own coins. I added that provision to the list of auction rules that I reprinted later in this newsletter.

I reported that I received a request from the Coin Collectors Club of Jamshedpur in India for a copy of our Newsletter. We agreed to send them one.

We also agreed to send in last year's Elgin Coin Club Newsletters to the ANA local publications contest this year.

Don reported that he is about to send out the letters to potential dealers for our coin show this year.

The meeting then deteriorated into a big show and tell and coin discussion between us. In fact it was more or less that all night with a few breathers to do business.

Old Meeting Places

I just ran across a note Marty K. gave me during the 500th meeting, a bit of club history. There are the places the Elgin Coin Club has met since Marty joined in 1969:

Looks like we have moved around a bit.

Coin of the Month Wartime Nickels

By Jim Davis

In 1942 shortly after the U.S. entered World War II (WWII), congress passed the War Powers act. The main intention of the act was to mobilize manpower and resources for the military. Among the items needed were the raw materials nickel and copper already being used for the nation's coinage. Since the mint had a large stockpile of silver, the Treasury decided to use that metal in place of nickel to save an estimated 435 tons of nickel a year.

There were two major problems to solve: first, what alloy of silver and other metal(s) to use; and second, how to make the alloy acceptable to pay phones and vending machines. The Treasury first suggested an alloy of 50% silver and 50% copper. The New York Times reported that this alloy was acceptable for use, but by August the price of silver had risen to a point where the bullion value was greater than the five cents of the coin. The 50-50 ration of silver to copper would have resulted in an actual silver weight of .08 ounces, slightly more than the silver in the dime. The mint snapped into action experimenting with several different alloys before settling on 35% silver, 56% copper, and 9% manganese [Editor's note: They were promptly dubbed "wartime nickel" according to Breen though there is more correctly a billon composition. Breen also gives a different time line sayig that Congress mandated the 35-56-9 alloy in a March 27 law authorizing the nickel.]

This alloy proved satisfactory to the vending industry. Unfortunately, the mint had problems making the alloy homogenous. The issue always had problems with laminations and streaky toning due to the different rates of oxidation of the metals.

Accordig to the New York Times quoting the mint director, the mint began making new coins on September 18, 1942 and they were released to the public October 18. Coinage continued until December, 1945, when Congress approved legislation to discontinue the silver alloy and return to the previous 25% nickel and 75% copper alloy.

In order to distinguish the silver coins from the others, the mint moved the mint mark from the side of Montecillo to above the building dome and made it much bigger. This was the first time the mint used the P mint mark for coins struck in Philadelphia.

Collecting silver nickels is easy because most issues are readily available in MS65 for under $20 each and some for even under $10. You can still find a few silver nickels in circulation- -it never hurts to check your change.

The error collector has several major varieties to look for. As with the steel cents of the same era, there are several wrong- planchet errors. For example, a 1942P is struck on a copper-nickel planchet. I can understand some left-over blanks being mixed in with the new ones. But the same error also occurred in 1943 and 1944. The San Francisco mint struck a silver nickel with the reverse die of 1941--instead of the large S mintmark, it had the small one next to the building.

A 1943/2 error was not discovered until the late 1970s.

In an era of double dies, there are three major varieties: some 1943P coins have a double eye; some 1954P coins have a doubled reverse; and some 1945S coins have a triple S mintmark.

Finally, Walter Breen lists at least four known 1946 philadelphia nickels struck on silver planchets.


Auction Guidelines

Many of you are long time members so this is old hat for you. But we have a lot of new people; so here are the things you should take into consideration as you buy and sell coins at your club auction.


All buyers, after the auction, come up and promptly pay for the coins you have bought. Please do this quickly so we can get the money to the sellers. Thanks.


Please follow these steps to set up your lots and receive your payment after the auction. The particulars may be slightly different at the actual auction, but this is the basic ground rules.

  1. If you made a list for me to publish, come to the auction table and pick up the now-numbered list and labels for the lot numbers.

  2. If you have coins to sell that have not been published, fill out the form on the back of last month's Newsletter (or a similar sheet) and bring it to the auction table where we will give you lot numbers and labels. All coins must be listed and have lot numbers so the auctioneer and his helpers can identify your coins.

  3. Write the lot numbers on the labels that we gave you and paste the labels on each lot.

  4. Bring the coins back to the auction table where we can lay them out for viewing. If you are not comfortable leaving them at the auction table, you can keep them with you until the actual sale.

  5. Give the lot list to someone at the auction table. We will use that lot list to record the prices you get for your coins.

  6. After the buyers have paid for your coins, we'll call you to come up and receive your money for your coins. Please give us the time to collect the money first so we can make this go smoothly. We'll do this as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Auction Lot List

The following coins will be auctioned during the March, 2000, meeting of the Elgin Coin Club:

Lot and Description ($Minimum Bid)

  1. 1958 dime PCGS PR66 ($8)
  2. 1947D Walker half NGCA MS64 light gold toning around edge ($36)
  3. 1954S Franklin half PNG MS64 ($25)
  4. 9 misc. Walker halves ($13.50)
  5. 1936 Buffalo nickel ($6.50)
  6. 1957D nickels 1 roll unc($2.25)
  7. 1958D nickels 1 roll unc ($2.50)
  8. 1960 nickels 1 roll unc ($2.25)
  9. 1969S cents 1 roll unc ($1)
  10. 1961 Canadian mint set--silver coins ($6)
  11. 1912 Canadian large cent ($2.75)
  12. 1919 Canadian large cent ($2.25)
  13. 1942D Walker half unc ($36)
  14. 1961 Canadian nickels 1 roll unc ($2.25)
  15. 1852 large cent vf ($12)
  16. 1835 bust half g ($20)
  17. 1918 Lincoln Comm. half xf ($35)
  18. 1927 dollar vf-xf ($7)
  19. 1997 silver eagle ($8)
  20. 1923S dollar vf ($7)
  21. 1923 dollar ($10)
  1. 1962 Franklin half bu ($4.50)
  2. Cent blank 95% copper ($2)
  3. Cent blank 95% copper ($2)
  4. 1950D nickel ($3.50)
  5. 1999D SBA dollar ($2.50)
  6. 1999P SBA dollar ($2.50)
  7. Masonic penny, St. Paul chapter 1818 ($3)
  8. 1994P dime clipped planchet ($3)
  9. Civil War token ($3.50)
  10. 1938 Great Britain penny au ($2.50)
  11. Pokeman cards ($4.50)
  12. Pokeman cards ($4.50)
  13. 1911D 2-1/2 gold - certified ($490.00)
  14. 1999 proof set ($23)
  15. 1938 Germany 2 mark silver ($3)
  16. 1937 Germany 2 mark silver ($3)
  17. Germany 2 mark silver lot of 8 pieces ($22.50)
  18. 1877S Trade dollar ($120.00)
  19. 7th edition Red Book ($20)
  20. 15th edition Red Book ($4)
  21. 1999 silver eagle proof ($27)
  22. 1914S cent g ($8)
  23. 1938 Germany five mark silver 90% ($4.75)
  24. 1934J Germany five mark silver 90% ($4)
  25. Confederate five dollar note ($24)
  26. 1960 Netherlands 2-1/2 gulden au silver ($3.50)
  1. 1976 Bahamas unc set (9 coins) (only 1453 sets issued) ($12)
  2. Rocky Mts. National Park medal ($2)
  3. Redwoods National Park medal ($2)
  4. Virgin Islands National Park medal ($2)
  5. Idaho Territorial Centennial medal (1836-1963) 2 1/2 inch (Medalic Arts) ($5)
  6. skipped
  7. 1913 nickel type I au ($15)
  8. no date cent 50% off center (zinc) ($1)
  9. no date cent 75% off center (zinc) ($1)
  10. no date cent 90% off center (zinc) ($1)
  11. no date cent off center mashed by press and enlarged (zinc)
  12. no date cent off center mashed by press (zinc) ($2)
  13. 1987 Canada dollar Davis Strait proof silver ($8)
  14. 1999 Franklin Mint ANA medal ($2)
  15. 1943P nickel MS65 ($4.50)

Auction Rules

Rules, rules, rules--someone always has to make rules. Well, here are ours--the general rules for the Elgin Coin Club auctions as worked out by the officers and accepted by the members at the March, 1996 meeting. They are reprinted here from the November, 1997 Newsletter with minor corrections.

Visit the Elgin Coin Club Home Page or our Connections page for more information about the club.

Click here for an index to articles in other on-line Elgin Coin Club Newsletters

This Newsletter is the informal mouthpiece of the Elgin Coin Club. This Newsletter and its contents are copyrighted but you may use anything herein (accept as noted below) for non-commercial use as long as you give credit to the Elgin Coin Club Newsletter. This blanket permission does not extend to articles specifically marked as copyrighted (c) by the author of the article. In the latter case, you must get explicit written permission from the author either directly or through the Newsletter to use that material.