The following information is from a news release issued by Alaska Rare
Coins about the release of a new book:
Tinnahs & Seal Skins, Gold Dust & Bingles: Projecting
Alaska’s History Through Its Money. Edited by Dick Hanscom
From the back cover:
"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 tinnahs.
"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 goods.
"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
"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 photos."
The book is divided into 12 roughly chronological chapters:
Dentalium & Trade
Russian American Company
Fish, Fur & Traders
Promotion & Development
Personalities – the issuers
Currency, Scrip &
Depression – ARRC
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 postpaid by media mail, or $33 via
priority mail (U.S. orders only. Please contact us for non-U.S. orders).
Hard-bound copies are available on a prepaid, special order basis
for $70. These orders will be accepted until June 15. Delivery will
be made in July.
To order, telephone (907) 452-6461, or send orders to:
551-B Second Ave.
Fairbanks., AK 99701
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