archive also available

Chicago Coin Club
Volume 46 No. 4 April 2000

Editor's Notes -
Coins! Cameras! e-Bay!

As has been pointed out in many numismatic publications, there are a number of auction sites on the Internet, with e-Bay being one of the largest, if not already the largest. Many coins are offered there, and it seems that anyone with a camera can post some pictures and auction off a coin. I have been a buyer and an under-bidder so far, but have not yet placed a lot for auction. (Club member Bill Burd has run some auctions on-line, and he probably has some insights and stories to tell?)

I collect varieties of U.S. Bust Dollars and Bust Half Dollars, and have bought each off the 'net. As cameras and peoples' camera skills improve, the 'net is improving as a source of coins. With good images out there I have been able to identify varieties and bid on those I need. A few times it has been necessary to send e-mail to the seller, asking for further information; after seeing an 1827 Half Dollar obverse paired with a reverse from 1826, for example. (It was the seller's error, mixing up images. And no, I cannot identify varieties quickly, I just had a lot of time.)

I found the images at Heritage to be very useful; the enlargement made the Bust Dollar larger than full-screen size, and even the clashed denticles were clearly seen. I study the clashed denticles on Bust Dollars of 1799, and I placed a strong bid on that coin only because of the great picture. Their site is at, and the only problem now is the (relatively) poor quality of the images of slabbed coins; the plastic seems to blur the coin's details.

Auction sites are not the only source of on-line coin images. Members of newsgroups and mailing lists often place an image on the 'net and ask, "What is this?" Two recent postings of "What is this ancient coin?" were answered by members of our club. Don Dool wondered if enough detail was present to justify a previous poster's suggestion of an Austrian kreuzer of 1812, and Bob Leonard could only say "Islamic inscription, image rotated 90 °" due to the coin's poor condition.

And while mentioning activities of club members, I would like to point out Ed Stevens' article in The Numismatist, where he recounts his involvement in the recovery of some stolen California banknotes, for which action he was awarded the PNG's Sol Kaplan Award at the 1999 ANA convention in Rosemont.

Paul Hybert, editor

Minutes of the 974th Meeting

The 974th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by president Carl Wolf on March 8, 2000, 7PM, at Bank One Plaza, 18th floor. Members observed a moment of silence for member Arthur C. Allen who passed away January 2, 2000. The February minutes and current treasurer's report were accepted by the membership.

The featured speakers for the evening were Bob Vandevender and Jim Hodgson who spoke on small size US currency. At the end of their presentation, First VP Steve Zitowsky presented them with Featured Speaker Medals and the ANA Educational Certificate.

Exhibitors for the evening were as follows:

  1. Bob Weinstein - Barbarous Roman Coinage
  2. Bill Bierly - $1000 Confederate 6% Coupon Bond
  3. Jeff Rosinia - Variety of toned coins
  4. Don Dool - Liberty Head coins from various countries
  5. Richard Hamilton - American Tobacco Co. stock certificate
  6. Mike Metras - Reproduction 1804 Dollar
  7. Bob Leonard - French/English Manillas used in Africa
  8. Mark Wieclaw - Wooden nickels, $3 CICF piece, Dollar notes
  9. Chet Poderski - Soldier Home tokens Quincy ILL, SS Eastland tickets 1915
  10. Carl Wolf - Souvenir sheet 1980 Memphis Paper Money Show
  11. Bob Feiler - $100 & $200 City of New Orleans notes, $1000 Mississippi Union Bank note

There was a second reading of membership for Flemming Lyngbeck Hansen of Denmark who then became a member at this meeting.

Under old business, Carl Wolf gave archivist Phil Carrigan the #1 CPMX sheet as he left the meeting. Also, Mike Metras is offering color copies of the current CPMX sheet for 50 cents to anyone interested. Bob Feiler suggested that Herb and Martha Schingoethe receive a CPMX sheet and that will be done.

For CICF, Bob Leonard is working on the souvenir sheet which includes actual 1862 postage stamps and a letter outlining the demand for stamps in 1862.

For new business, Mark Wieclaw will donate the Life Membership badges, and the club approved use of its logo in the design.

Members listed here are Past Due in paying dues. If you know these people, please have them forward their dues or else they will be dropped from our mailing list.

Meeting adjourned 8:57 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Hamilton

In Memory -- Arthur C. Allen

Arthur C. Allen passed away January 2, 2000. He joined the club at the January 1966 meeting and had already collected paper money for over thirty years. Mr. Allen was a resident of Elmhurst and an executive with the Visual Aids Company on Randolph Street in Downtown Chicago. Some time ago he moved to Kimberling City, Missouri and then moved to Marietta, Georgia where he passed away.

Speaker's Wor[l]d

Speakers for the evening were Bob Vandevender and Jim Hodgson, and they covered many aspects of collecting small size US currency. The talk started with an overview of the current market, explaining common terms and identifying collector concerns. They followed by describing the various types of small currency that have been issued, ending with a review of the collectible notes still available from circulation -- if you look long and hard.

There are two dimensions to grading paper money: paper quality and centering. In addition to looking for faults, one also must look for attempts to fix-up a note. In addition to such obvious faults as pin holes and folds, the collector must beware of washed (cleaned) notes and pressed notes. Detect pin holes by holding the note between you and a light source, and detect folds not by looking at the note full-on either face (as when reading this page), but look at it from an edge.

Just as coin doctors have developed a set of tricks to "better" a coin, people have found ways of "improving" currency. After pressing a note, the embossed seals and serial numbers are flat; the paper lost the three-dimensional texture. So someone might try to use small metal punches to recreate the look and feel of original embossing. Examine a high grade note carefully; look for poorly applied embossing that is not aligned with the seal or serial numbers.

Knowledge of what a note should look like is important. Some of the older notes were printed on darker appearing paper, so a washing with bleach might produce a note with the lighter look common to the notes produced now. Another problem is with the size of a note and the quality of its edges. The original size of the notes is not exact; notes from different packs can have slightly different dimensions. Someone might use that variance to cover the trimming of large notes to remove edge problems.

Collectors prefer a perfectly centered note to a poorly centered note, and pricing reflects that. But something happens with terrible centering; if the shift is large enough to see part of a second imprint, the note is attractive as an error! Good references are as important to paper money as to coins. Bob Vandevender concluded his part of the talk by reviewing some works on US small currency:

A census for paper money is easier to produce than a coin census because paper money has a serial number, making for easy tracking. The serial number also helps to identify copies.

Jim Hodgson used his time to give a history of US small currency. Produced since the US Civl War, there are different series to collect:

Although some web notes are still to be found in circulation they do wear out, making for fewer available every day. The quickest way of identifying a web note is by examining the reverse of a dollar bill. Look for a small "plate" number; a web fed note has the number after "IN GOD WE TRUST" while a sheet fed note has the number below and to the right of the large "ONE".

Show and Tell

  1. Bob Weinstein started us off in the area of his previous two presentations - barbarous imitations of Roman coins. These coins are probably from the frontier areas of the mid-3rd century, and show the emperor with a radiate crown (the emperor as the sun god). The current feeling is that these were made as interim money for use during a typical coinage shortage; similar pieces have been found in coin hoards with good coins. These are smaller than the real coin, have crude figures, and the legends could have terrible spelling.

    The first coin was from eastern Europe, and the legends consisted of repeated gibberish characters. Next was a barbarous radiate minna struck only in England, after the the empire was reunified. The last coin had a nice portrait of Claudius Gothicas, and a full obverse legend, but at less than 7mm in diameter was about one-third the size of a legitimate coin. (For comparison, a US dime is about 17mm in diameter.) The reverse was not as well executed, with bad legends.

  2. Bill Bierly showed a purchase from the recent CPMX; a $1000 Confederate 6% bond, missing one coupon for January 1865. Each coupon was good for $30 each 6 months, the bond was printed in Columbia, South Carolina, and it was printed on a thin paper of poor quality.

  3. Jeff Rosinia likes beautifully toned coins, and he brought along many to show us. After many Morgan dollars toned in gold, blue, brown, green, and red, he showed some silver bullion eagles with electric blue toning; these recent bullion pieces tone very quickly.

    Next were Kennedy and Franklin half dollars toned from sulfur in the paper coin rolls. He ended with some examples of toning on copper coins; some Indian Head Cents with rainbow toning, and some proof Lincoln Cents.

  4. Coins with Liberty heads was the theme for Don Dool.
  5. Richard Hamilton was another member showing an acquisition from the recent CPMX. He showed a 100 share stock certificate of the American Tobacco Company, hand signed by all officers. It was dated April 16, 1960.

  6. Mike Metras showed Gallery Mint reproductions of the 1804 US silver dollar, in both proof and uncirculated versions. The word COPY is present on the horizontal bars of the shield, and the coins came with a booklet on the 1804 dollars.

  7. The manillas (a type of primitive money of Africa) was the topic for Bob Leonard. After openning the reference book Nigerian Currencies by Sven-Olaf Johansson (second edition, Sweden 1967) to a plate illustrating many of the available types in real scale, Bob placed three manillas from his colection on the appropriate image. Perfect matches. The handout of a few years ago at CICF was identified as being of French origin, while a smaller one made from a high-lead content brass was identified as coming from Birmingham. A price guide, also by Johansson (Beirut, 1968), also was shown.

  8. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of items:

  9. Chet Poderski showed two items he had acquired years ago.

  10. Carl Wolf showed a souvnir sheet for the 1980 International Paper Money Show in Memphis, Tennessee, showing an 1860 $100 note from the Bank of Lebanon, Hew Hampshire. Produced by the Western Bank Note Company (Chicago) which was bought by the American Bank Note Company, Carl used the 1959 Story of the American Bank Note Company to describe the secretive nature of the company regarding all aspects of note production and handling. One result of that secrecy is the small amount of information about the vignettes on their notes, But Gene Hessler and others are tracking down some information.

  11. The last presenter was Bob Feiler showing recent acquisitions from CPMX.

As mentioned in last month's Chatter, we dropped one exhibitor's listing from the February meeting. Here is that entry.

That makes us current with this log. Good luck in finding some interesting pieces at CICF for future meetings.

Our 975th Meeting

(will consist of two sessions!)

Date:April 8, 2000 (session #1)
Time:1:00 PM
Location:Chicago International Coin Fair, held at the Ramada O'Hare Hotel, 6600 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont, IL.
Featured speaker:David L. Vagi, - Some New Perspectives on Ancient Roman Coins
The coinage of the ancient Romans is under constant reappraisal, as history, archaeology and numismatics are living sciences. New perspectives are fueled not only by archaeological discoveries, but also by the critical re-examination of existing knowledge. Having recently finished the two-volume book Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, David Vagi will share some of the most interesting perspectives of recent years. A variety of topics will be explored, including the Julio-Claudians, coin denominations and the purchasing power of coins in ancient times.
Although the $5 show admission charge covers the bourse for all three days, admission to the club meeting is FREE. Parking is another matter; a free parking check-out voucher is available at the show.
Date:April 12, 2000 (session #2)
Time:7:00 PM
Location:Bank One Plaza Building (formerly the First National Bank Building) 18th Floor, on Dearborn between Madison and Monroe. Enter the building at the South entrance of the Dearborn side, sign in at the security desk and take the elevator to the 18th floor.
Featured speaker:Don Dool - X-Ray Analysis as Applied to the Composition of Coins
How he became involved in the subject, how it works, test results of a selection of coins and what conclusions, if any, can be drawn.

Important Dates

Apr6-9 25th Annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Ramada O'Hare Hotel, 6600 N. Manheim Road. Admission is $5.
The April meeting will consist of two sessions; the first session (at CICF) will end with a recess (instead of an adjournment), and we will reconvene for the second session at our regular time and location.
Apr8 CCC Meeting (session #1) - 1pm at the annual Chicago International Coin Fair held at the Ramada O'Hare Hotel.
Featured Speaker - David L. Vagi on Some New Perspectives on Ancient Roman Coins.
Apr12 CCC Meeting (session #2) - Featured Speaker - Don Dool on X-Ray Analysis as Applied to the Composition of Coins.
May4-7 61st Anniversary Convention of Central States Numismatic Society at the Minneapolis Convention Center
May10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Bob Weinstein on Coinage of the Saka.
Jun14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - To be announced.
Jun23-25 19th Annual Mid America Coin Exposition at the Rosemont O'Hare Expo Center. Admission is $3.
Jul12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Kevin Dailey on The Numismatic `Jeopardy' Game.
Aug9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Cliff Priest on Chicagoland Stock Certificates.

Birthday and Year Joined

May2Donn Pearlmann1979
May3Roy R. Grundy1981
May5Dennis Fuller1997
May10Marty Vink1952
May11William A. Burd1993
May11Jeffrey Rosinia1995
May15Jay M. Galst1991
May17Shirley Valenziano1984
May17Paul R. Hybert1994
May23Robert J. Weinstein1991
May25John G. Ross

A Special Offer from Krause

If you subscribe to any of the Krause Publications magazines, then you have the opportunity to receive a "magic" coffee mug and make an indirect donation to the Club. Krause Publications has shipped me a small supply of these mugs which are to be given to any member who takes a two-year subscription to any of their magazines. This would be NUMISMATIC NEWS $60.00; BANK NOTE REPORTER $61.00; COINS MAGAZINE $48.98; COIN PRICES $34.98; WORLD COIN NEWS $34.98; AND WORLD COINS NEWS $48.98.

When you do this, the club receives a donation of approximately $10.00 per two-year subscription and you receive a "magic" mug. This mug is not the usual 11 oz., but the larger 15 oz. size and it has an overall forest green appearance. But when hot coffee or tea is poured, the green color vanishes to reveal a four-color printed answer to the statement "Everything You Wanted to Know About Coins and Paper Money."

This offer also applies to you if you are a current subscriber to any of the above. If you want to extend your subcription by two years, then please bring in the mailing label from the magazine.

Carl Wolf

Chatter Matter

All correspondence pertaining to Club matters should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:

P.O. Box 2301

Visit Our Web Site

Contacting Your Editor

Paul Hybert
3301 S. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60616

Club Officers

Carl Wolf- President
Steven Zitowsky- First Vice President
Robert Feiler- Second Vice President
Directors:Paul Hybert
Mike Metras
Jeff Rosinia
Mark Wieclaw
Other positions held are:
Richard Hamilton- Secretary Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor
Phil Carrigan- Archivist