coinfodder's Blog

08 Jul 2020

The Fifty States of Coinage- Part 2- Alaska

Coins-United States | coinfodder

Hello everyone. Hope everyone had a safe 4th. This is Coin Fodder, formerly user_77959. Today, I will discuss coinage in the state that makes Texas look small.

Alaska was the 49th state added to the union. Before that, the Ruskies settled in Sitka, close to Juneau. In 1867, the territory was bought by the US, instantly garnering bad reviews, gaining the nickname "Seward's Folly." Then gold was discovered. Then, people from all over rushed over to garner a piece of gold. The state is today is still quite open and wilderness, the final frontier. Famous natives include Ted Stevens, Bob Bartlett, and Curt Schilling.

First to any coin collectors mind is the two quarters. In 2008, the Alaska 50 state quarters featured a Grizzly, presumably at Katmai, catching a salmon is his mouth, with the words "The Great Land" next to it. Also, in 2012 the America the Beautiful quarter coin featured Mt. McKinley (not Denali) and a elk at Denali NP.

Now we will travel back 90 years, to the Great Depression.
In the 1930's, mid westerners fled the dust bowl in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas to California. However, some came all the way to Alaska's Mansutka Valley to try to create a new living. Those people starting with nothing in their pockets but a dream. They were in need of some money. So, in 1935, as part of the New Deal, FDR started the Alaska Rural Rehab Corporation. In that was the creation of monetary bangles in aluminium and brass. A family would receive a set amount based on family size. They were only supposed to be used in government stores. However, the managers couldn't resist letting businesses pop up places that took the bangles. Soon, the government let the bangles be cashed in for real dough, and the most of the bangles would be destroyed. However, some would be preserved in sets.
For more info about Alaskan coins, refer to Ken Bressett's "Alaska's Coinage Throughout the Years."Thanks! See you in a while.



Level 6

Great research! Thanks for the bangles link ; )


Level 6

I never knew about those bangles. I.R. Bama, thanks you saved the day with that link.


Level 3

Don't even know what that is.


Level 5

I am looking for pics. Forgot to put them in today,

I. R. Bama

Level 5

https://www.alaskatokens.com/pages/tokens.html Here is a link with some pictures of bangles from Alaska from that period.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Wow! I didn't know about the government issuing money to them. Would love to see the Bangles


Level 5

Never heard of Bangles. Very interesting information on Alaska. Wonder how much Gold is still up there in those streams?


Level 7

Good information ! Any pictures? They add to it. The research was good thanks for that!

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