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Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation tokens

Can sharpness of color of an Uncirculated coin impact the Mint State grade (between 60 and 70) assigned to it?

The sharpness of color is particularly important to prooflike coins, but the sharpness of color or the severity of toning can impact the grade of any coin. This needs to be determined on a case-to-case basis.

Why were Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation tokens issued? Weren’t US coins legal tender in Alaska at the time?

The tokens of which you speak were issued during the 1930s through the US Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The FERA was responsible for resettling more than 200 Midwestern families in Alaska who had been living on farms that had failed during the Great Depression. The tokens were meant to be a temporary measure to be spent in the camp company stores. 

An example of an Alaska Image courtesy of Heritage auctions)

An example of an Alaska Rural Rehabilitation token. (Image courtesy of Heritage auctions)

How does ‘slash cancellation’ differ from ‘hole cancelation’ on a Colonial currency note? The latter term is well understood to me (a hole physically punched through the note to mark it as canceled).

A ‘slash cancellation’ occurs when a bank note is cancelled by cutting one or more (parallel) lines across its surface to identify it as being withdrawn from circulation while not entirely destroying the note. Hole and slash cancellations made it easy to store redeemed notes, yet ensure they would not re-enter circulation.

What is the white coating appearing on my zinc composition coin?

A white coating is a commonly encountered mild corrosive reaction to the environment observed on zinc or iron composition coins. The word ‘rust’ is likely too harsh a term to use when such a mild reaction appears on a coin.

I want my coin to be authenticated, but I don’t want it graded and encapsulated. Will the third party services do this for me?

That is a question to be posed to the service you have in mind. Most people want their coin graded as well, then sonically sealed to assure all this information accompanies the coin in the future. While most US collectors prefer this, I am aware that a significant number of foreign and ancient coin collectors prefer their coins ‘raw.’

It’s challenging to figure out how much enthusiasm is out there for coin collecting. Would you consider attendance figures at the annual American Numismatic Convention to be a way to measure this?

While attendance figures at the ANA convention are of interest the event is scheduled in a different city every year. The most ardent collectors will likely travel anywhere, but the balance of attendance depends on the location of the show, which is not consistent.

When can I expect the Presidential dollar series to update, including our more current presidents?

At the time this answer is being written there are no plans to reopen the Presidential dollar or the First Lady gold coin series.

How are two-headed coins made?

Two-headed coins can be made in a machine shop by hollowing out the center of one coin, leaving the reeded edge and obverse intact, and then shaving down a second coin so that it fits snugly inside the shell of the first.

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