Dick Hanscom has produced a great new book on the numismatics of Alaska! Here's the press release, with ordering information. -Editor
Tinnahs & Seal Skins, Gold Dust & Bingles, Projecting Alaska’s history
through its money. Edited by Dick Hanscom
The history of a country is often reflected in its money. For Alaska, this is especially true.
Alaska natives may not have had what we consider money, but they did have items that represented wealth. The tinnah (large shield-shaped
pieces of copper) represented vast quantities of blankets. A tribe’s “face” rose and fell upon the acquisition and destruction (!) of
The Russian exploitation is expressed in their use of parchment notes, with no real value. With the sale of Alaska to the United States,
it was the U.S.’s turn to neglect Alaska. It was the wild, wild “west” in fisheries and sealing.
With the gold rush, things started to look up for Alaska. Wealth, it seemed, was on every creek. Gold dust and tokens were the medium of
exchange because any U.S. currency that happened to make it to the territory did a U-turn back to the lower forty-eight to purchase more
All while this was going on, others were developing other sectors of the economy. Gold drove the economy, but other factors were leading
to a more stable population.
For this anthology, articles have been gathered from many different sources. Some are not numismatic in nature, but they give
information about a location or biography that I think enhances collecting enjoyment.
Many articles have appeared in Alaskan Token Collector & Polar Numismatist over its 37 years. A number have been written by the
editor. There are several articles that have been written specifically for this book. Most articles are illustrated with black and white
The book is divided into twelve roughly chronological chapters:
- Dentalium & Trade Beads
- Russian American Company
- Fish, Fur & Traders
- Gold Rush
- Promotion & Development
- Personalities – the issuers
- Currency, Scrip & Checks
- Depression – ARRC
- Modern Numismatics
- Personalities – the Collectors
The book is 396 pages, 9” by 6”. The cover is full color with text printed in yellow on black. The paper bound edition is available for
immediate shipment for $29.95 post paid by media mail, or $33 via priority mail (U.S. orders only. Please contact us for non-U.S.
Hard bound copies are available on a pre-paid, special order basis for $70. These orders will be accepted until June 15. Delivery will
be made in July. Orders can be sent to:
Alaska Rare Coins
551-B Second Ave.
Fairbanks., AK 99701
Wayne Homren, Editor
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