February, 2001
Year 8, Issue 2

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

February Meeting

Grading exercise.

Everyone bring in one or two coins to be graded by the club as a group. Put each coin in a 2-by-2 or flip (no slabs, this is a raw grading). Make sure your name is on the holder in some way, because we will be passing them around and we do not want them to get lost. The coins can be in any grade.

Maybe you don't know the grade, maybe you want a consensus of the group, and maybe you want to confirm what you think the grade is. These coins do not have to be top grades. Bring various grades. This is your chance to see how we as a group and as individuals can come to a consensus (or not come to a consensus) on grading. We will enter the subjective world of grading for the evening. No slabs please.

February Prizes

January Minutes

ECC Meeting 517 - January 3, 2000
Opened:  7:40     Beginning ballance:  $371.00
Closed:  8:30     Income:  $    0.00
Members:  20     Expenses:  $  22.00
YNs:  1     Ending ballance:  $  349.90
Guests:  0        

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

Secretary's Report

As printed in January's newsletter and was accepted.

Treasurer's Report

Balance: $349.90

The Treasurer report was accepted.

Old Business

Club dues should be paid by March's meeting.

New Business

Jim took a poll for everyone's favorite quarter design for the year 200. The winner was the Virginia design. Jim also announced the youth challenge for the year 2001. The challenge is to obtain a set of twenty coins from him and to record all of the following information for each coin:

Jerry the bartender was nominated for membership and the motion carried.


At 7:45 we took a break to sell raffle tickets. The raffle winners were Marty (2), Mike, Al, Larry (2), Frank, Don, Shane & Rich.

Member: Shane

YN: Mike C.

The meeting closed around 8:30 P.M.

Submitted by Steve H. Secretary.

Board Meeting

Doug, Jim, Don, and Mike got together at Don's Wednesday night Jan. 17th at 7 PM for the monthly board meeting of the Elgin Coin Club. Among other things, we discussed and decided on the following items.

We paid the club's ILNA and CSNS dues.

We noted that we have received a set of depression script of Lodi. NJ in the denominations of 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 dollar form from John Wilson. He estimated their value at $15 to $20 and suggested that we raffle or otherwise sell them to a club member and use the proceeds for the YN program. We will auction them in the White Elephant sale in June.

Jim D. showed us an invitation to a December 1981 talk to be given by T. Rovelstad at the Schaumburg Coin Club. He came across it while going through the club's archives. He'll have it at the Feb. meeting.

(Submitted by Mike M.)

Show and Tell

Don D. had three coins, two from Barcelona and were dated from 1649 and the other was from the siege of Limerick which was a strike over 1/2 cent.

Frank presented a set of fifty coin trading cards from 1991 and also had some 2001 Maui Trade dollars for sale.

Mike showed off two nickel error coins, stretch off-center strikes. He also had a proof silver Illinois sesquicentennial (150 years) that he had purchased at the December NOISE show.

Newsletter Trivia Quiz

  1. Which side of modern U.S. paper money is printed first?
  2. What was the salary of the Mint Director as established by the Act of April 2, 1792?
  3. On a modern Federal Reserve "star" note, where does the star appear?
  4. The Bicentennial half-dollar was released July 7, 1975, where?
  5. A numismatic bibliophile might collect what?

1964 the year in coins

By Jim Davis

During my numismatic research of the 20th Century I have found some years to be more interesting than others. One of the most interesting years I have researched is 1964. During that year several important stories developed all in one way or another had silver as one of the main elements.

The first major story of 1964 actually began in late November of 1963. Just days after the Kennedy assassination Rep. Henry Gonzales, D-Tex, reacting to public sentiment proposed a coin be issued to honor the slain president. The original concept was for a commemorative half dollar but Congress took it a step further opting to make the new coin a permanent replacement for the Franklin half dollar. The vote on Dec 18, 1963 in the House to replace the Franklin half was 352-6 and no there was no recount. A few days later in the Senate the same bill was passed with no formal objection and President Johnson signed the bill into law on Dec 31, 1963.

As the legislation was proceeding through channels the mint had the challenge of quickly designing and putting into production the new half-dollar. GilrON7 Roberts was given the job of designing the obverse and Frank Gasparro was assigned the reverse. It took about two months to prepare the molds arid sink the dies before the first strike ceremonies on Feb 12, 1964. At the ceremony the first few coins were given to President Johnson who then passed them along to Jackie Kennedy and her immediate family. In anticipation to the huge public demand for the new coin, the White House announced the first day of issue would be after the mint had stockpiled 26 million coins. The first day of issue was march 24 and to accommodate the large demand the banks cut the maximum coins sold per person from 40 to 4 and in Washington D.C. alone over 70,000 pieces were sold in two hours.

Many collectors and dealers once they learned of the new half dollar started flooding the mint with proof set orders as early as mid December 1963 and by Jan 12 the mint had received orders for over 2 million sets. On Jan 16 the mint stopped taking orders when the total rose to 3.9 million. In an unprecedented move the mint went to the bulk orders which were mostly from dealers who ordered in 100 set lots and cut their orders by 25% so the general public had a better chance of obtaining a set. On March 4 the mint announced those who had their orders refused could resubmit their orders with a limit of 2 sets per household and in two days the mint received orders for over 200,000 sets. A similar situation also happened with that year's mint set. In the week of May 1 to 7 the mint received orders for over I million sets at which point orders were cut off.

The next big story of the year is actually two stories. During most of the year the price of silver ranged from 1.15 per oz. to 1.40 making the bullion value of silver coins occasionally worth more than face value. Dealers, collectors and members of the general public started redeeming silver certificates for silver dollars at banks and treasury buildings. Some dealers would actually pay people to stand in line for them. Some dealers and collectors were only look4ng for better date coins while some were hoping to make money on the silver value of the coins. This went on from Jan to the end of March when the treasury supplies were reduced to about 3 million silver dollars. At this point the government started to issue silver dust instead of silver dollars. The remaining silver dollars would become the GSA sale dollars and be sold for much more than their face value. To replace the depleted stockpile of dollars congress debated striking more silver dollars. To prevent these coins from being melted congress considered reducing the silver alloy to 80% in not only the dollars, but also all silver coins. This idea was quickly rejected. Eventually some silver dollars were struck in Denver but were melted before they were released. Some contend a few did escape the melting pot but none have shown up so far and if they did, they could be seized by the Government. Oddly it was JFK who originally sent a message to congress requesting silver dollars be struck on Nov 21, 1963 just one day before he left for Dallas.

The last story I followed through the year was the coin shortage. Members of Congress blamed coin collectors for the shortage but most agreed that the real reason was the increase in population of the baby boomers and an increased use of vending machines. Even so to punish collectors congress passed laws to remove mintmarks from coins and to strike all coins with a 1964 date until July 1965 if the shortage eases. Congress and the mint also permanently halted the sale of both proof and mint sets. The next year bowing to public pressure the mint issued so called special mint sets of proof-like uncalculated coins. At the height of the coin shortage one bank offered a Kennedy half for 49 1-cent coins, the bank sold out in 3 hours. The coin shortage did end by early 1965 and the mint in accordance with the Coinage Act of 1965 started striking 1965 dated coins. The new coins were struck in base metal alloys with the exception of the half-dollar, which retained 40% silver content.

Newsletter Trivia Quiz Answers

  1. The reverse or back side.
  2. $2,000.
  3. At the end of the serial number.
  4. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota.
  5. Numismatic Literature.

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