Chicago Coin Club
Volume 46 No. 2 February 2000

Editor's Notes

With this, my second issue as editor, I am getting the hang of it! The type is larger to make for easy reading, and we are trying some new things:

Paul Hybert, editor

Featured Article
Coins of European Concessionary Trading Enclaves in India

by Saul B. Needleman, Ph.D.

The Orient! If Helen's was the face that launched a thousand ships in Troy, the Orient was the place those ships eventually headed for. The fabled riches of the East, the availability of exotic spices, and a seemingly endless supply of labor were powerful factors in attracting one European nation after another to seek the easiest, or shortest, path to India, to China and to Japan, to garner the mystical treasures that lay there for the taking. The Portuguese, the Spanish, the French, the Dutch and the English developed vast mercantile fleets to explore sea routes to the Orient. The Spanish and the Italians sailed westward, across the Atlantic and around the Horn of South America into the Pacific. The Portuguese and the Dutch sailed primarily southward around Africa and reached India and what is today, Indonesia, and finally, Japan. In their time, the English ships sailed to the east and to the west, and wherever the ships went, great colonies came into being which altered the course of history well beyond what Helen and her beauty wrought.

Marco Polo had already returned from China and, as the story goes, brought back the epitomy of Italianism to Europe - pasta! Henry Hudson and John Cabot had failed in their quests for the Northwest Passage across Canada. Magellan had, in fact, almost circumscribed the earth, reaching the Orient, but at the cost of his life as his expedition made their way back to Europe from the Philippine Islands. Sir Francis Drake had crossed the Pacific several times, but one clear path from Europe to the Orient waited for the efforts of the Portuguese Prince Henry the navigator, through whose efforts, Portuguese ships eventually sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and went on to India and Japan where they established trading concessions through the Portuguese East India Trading Company. Henry, son of John I, opened a school of navigation in 1416 and for the next 20 years sailed ever southward, finally reaching the mouth of the Congo River in 1482. The Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula between 711 and 1492. When the Moorish domination of Portugal was broken in 1249, they continued to attack Portuguese ships sailing along the northern coast of Africa.

The first Portuguese enclave in India actually came into being as a result of Vasco da Gama who reached that country in 1498. For the next hundred years Portugal enjoyed a virtual monopoly in trade from a number of islands and small enclaves on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent (and from Nagasaki in Japan). Until the mid-1800s, coins from the various Portuguese mints were of rather similar and crude design based on the monetary unit of the bazarucos of which 375 equaled one reis or pardao. The obverse depicted a stylized, or almost fantasy, crowned coat-of-arms and the dated reverse bore a cross, generally of the Maltese form. The lowest denomination coins were of tin or lead, the reis of copper or silver, and multiple reis pieces of silver, and, the xerafin was of gold. In Goa, capitol of Portuguese India, the reverse design was the denomination, a G (for Goa) and the date in Latin numerals, all within a wreath. By the late 17th century, the design was altered to show a portrait of the ruling monarch. A milled coinage appeared in the last quarter of the 18th century surplanting the already very extensive previous coinage. The milled coinage introduced the denominations of the tanga of 960 reis, the oitavo or 1/8th tanga, and the uma (rupia), all of copper or bronze. The final (decimal) coinage had 100 centavos equal the escudo. Though some Portuguese mints continued to function, Goa declined in power as the superior British and Dutch forces arrived in the first half of the 17th century. The Goan enclave was taken over by the British in 1869. The entire Portuguese territory was annexed by India in 1962.

The English entered the picture at an early date, but the Dutch were the real successors to the Portuguese. They controlled a number of enclaves under the United East India Company of the Netherlands until taken over by the British East India Company in 1795. The Dutch coins of the area were based on the monetary system of 80 cash to one fanam and 24 fanam to one pagoda. The obverse design was of a N/VOC monogram (Netherlands East India {Orient} Company) with various reverses including inscriptions in several local languages and in arabic, granulations and a degenerate figure of Vishnu. The lower denominations were of copper (a few of lead) and the higher denominations of gold. Coin types were limited as a result of the brief tenure of the enclave.

The French East Indian Company arrived on the scene in about 1664 and remained in existence until about 1721, when war with the British reduced the French presence to a few minor coastal settlements. Lying largely in zones of Moslem influence, the designs on the French coins were in arabic, listing the name of the ruling shah, the dates of reign and the denomination of the coin. The denominations varied with the enclave with the rupee in silver being the dominant coin type. Only in Pontichery-controlled enclaves did cache (cash), biche (pice), fanon, pagoda and doudou circulate. The coins of Pontichery included a flowered or pearled crown, fleurs, birds and granulations. A few gold types supplemented the more common copper, bronze and silver pieces.

The Danish Asiatic Company began its presence in India in 1620. The Company founded Tranquebar on the southeast coast of India to serve as a factory site and sea port. The obverse of the coins produced by the Danish enclave invariably showed the crowned monogram of the current Danish kings. The reverse featured the denomination and date of issue. The Kas (cash) coins were of copper with 80 kas being equivalent to the silver Royalin (fano or fanam). The earliest coins of Tranquebar were concurrent with the reign of Christian IV and mimicked the contemporary coinage circulating in Denmark by featuring the personal motto of the king, Justus Jehovah Judex on the reverse. Tranquebar and other Danish settlements in India were sold to the British East India Company in 1845.

The British presence in India began in 1612 with the establishment of the first enclave of the East India Company, after the power of the Portuguese and Spanish fleets had diminished in significance. Whereas the other foreign trading companies had concentrated their efforts primarily on the west coast of India, the British arrived at a time when the northern mogul and the southern Vijayanagar empires were beginning to crumble and were in disarray. In addition to taking over coastal enclaves of Portugal and the Netherlands, the British set up military and governmental agencies in various inland locations, laying the foundations for the eventual occupation of the entire country. By 1757 the British were firmly established in India adding to their position as a growing world empire. Over the next 60 years, the effective government in India, however, was in the hands of the East India Company who held dominion through bribery and force. British dependence upon cheaper Indian tea and, later, opium, necessary in the British attempts to conquer China economically, abetted the actions of the East India officials.

Because India represented a multi-cultural land, the coinage issued under British rule came to accommodate Hindu and Moslem character as well as the English style. The Hindu character was reflected primarily in the coinage of the Bombay Presidency, while that of the Moslem character appeared in the coinage of the Bengal Presidency. The first holdings of the East India Company were part of the dowry of the princess of Portugal when she was betrothed to Charles II of England. The marriage itself probably was part of the attempts to restore friendly relations between England and Portugal, marred as the result of a naval victory by the English over the Portuguese in the last days of 1612. The seat of government first was established at Surat and then trading operations were moved to Bombay, in 1665. The obverse design of the Bombay Presidency coinage included those with the letters V, E, I, and C within the sections of a quartered circle or quartered heart, a large crown sometimes with the abbreviation BOMB under, a coat-of-arms, and after about 1800, Arabic inscriptions indicating the name of the reigning shah and the regnal dates, thereby joining the coin style which already had been in existence in the Bombay Presidency from 1717. In 1815, all minting operations of the Bengal Presidency were transferred to Bombay.

A third Presidency, Madras, came into being in 1611, on the east coast of India. Trade was centered in Fort St. George (Madras) which was founded in 1639. Coinage was of the Vijayanagar style. By the end of the 17th century, Madras issued coins in the cash, dudu and dub denominations, all in copper, pagodas in silver and fanam in gold.. The smaller denomination coins had crowns, dates, and legends as part of their design. Larger coins showed the East India Company coat-of-arms and Arabic legends. On very large coins, there was an Arabic as well as a Persian legend, while the pagoda actually pictured a pagoda design. Towards the end of the 18th century, the legends were exclusively in Arabic and included the name of the mint, the name of the ruling shah and the date. Minting operations came to an end in Madras in 1835. Coinage under control of the East India Company continued until 1858, and under British royal control until 1947 when India became an independent nation.

Minutes of the 972nd Meeting

The 972nd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order at 7PM by president Carl Wolf at a temporary location 13th floor at Bank One Plaza. Minutes from the November and December meetings were approved. The Treasurer's Report was read and approved. There were no guests at this meeting.

First VP Steve Zitowsky related that member Allen Meyer will speak on the Sheldon large cent theft from the ANS at the regular February meeting. Obsolete bank notes from Ohio will be the topic of Wendel Wolka at the CPMX meeting February 19.

Our featured speaker for the evening was member Mike Metras who spoke on the coins of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Mike began by geographically pinpointing Ethiopia and Eritrea. He traced the coinage of this area from ancient times to the modern era. The Maria Theresa taler circulated widely in the absence of official Ethiopian coins. The first modern official coin did not appear in Ethiopia until the late 1800's. Haile Selassie introduced new coins when he came to power in the 1930's. During the Italian occupation from 1936-1941 no new coins were issued. After the occupation, Haile Selassie approached the U.S. for a new series of coins with the obverse designed by John Sinnock and reverse by Gilroy Roberts in Philadelphia. This series was used until 1977.

Ethiopia was socialist from 1973-1991 and during this time non-circulating coins were made by the Franklin Mint in the U.S. with circulating coins produced by the British Royal Mint. Eritrea became independent in 1991 and featured coins in three alphabets and three languages. New coins started in 1997. At the conclusion of his talk Mike was presented with the CCC Featured Speaker Medal and the ANA Educational Certificate.

Exhibitors for the evening were as follows:

  1. Sidney Bick - 25, 40, and 50 year anniversary pins from ANA.
  2. Drew Michyeta - Argentine and Mexican pesos.
  3. Don Dool - One Cent from Cheerios box and foreign coins struck by US mint.
  4. Mark Wieclaw - Colored silver Eagle and Corinth Stater.
  5. Carl Wolf - Mounted uncut paper money sheet Omaha Neb.
  6. Robert Weinstein - Barbaric Roman coin imitations.
  7. Chet Poderski - Receipt from 1916D dime purchased in 1950's; old picture of Washington, D.C.
  8. Bill Bierly - Pattern Indian Head Cents 1858 and 1859.
  9. Reid Geisler - Error coins: cent, nickel, and dime.
  10. Bob Leonard - Coins struck with multiple dies.
  11. Jeff Rosinia - Mass. quarter from 50 state quarter program.
  12. Mike Metras - $10 Bison note 99 CPMX sheet.
  13. Bob Feiler - 1880 US double eagle made for photo keychain.
Steve Feller became a member at this meeting. Steve is a Professor of Physics at Coe College in Cedar Rapids Iowa and spoke to the club last year on Holocaust Money.

Under old business Steve Zitowsky and Carl Wolf will do research on the upcoming CPMX souvenir sheet with production limited to 150 sheets and cost $5 each. For CICF, Bob Leonard spoke about a letter written during the Civil War from a Chicago Postmaster to an assistant US Postmaster relating that postage stamps were widely used as currency in Chicago and that more stamps were desperately needed. The idea was for a CICF souvenir sheet incorporating stamps from the Civil War era.

Jeff Rosinia presented an invoice from the Mid-Day Club for the balance due from the December banquet.

Under new business Phil Carrigan is writing a letter to the ANA suggesting that they return to Chicago in view of the recent successful convention in August 1999.

There was approval of a $260 payment for more Featured Speaker Medals and Cabeen Exhibit Awards.

The December 1999 issue of the Numismatist incorrectly listed the Chicago Coin Club as a $1000 donor to the ANA when the actual donor was the Chicago Coin Company.

Bob Leonard spoke to the club about the critical financial state of the ANS and after some discussion motion was made and passed that a $500 payment be sent to the ANS Islamic Area.

Carl Wolf brought up the non-resident member status. Currently the constitution allows non-resident members to apply without attending. Members wish to change this provision so that attendance is required by the constitution as is our current practice.

The current wording and clause number is listed below.

II2 drop: The membership of this club shall be comprised of five (5) classes: Regular, Associate, Non-Resident, Life and Junior. The control of the Club shall be vested in its Regular and Associate members and from them all officers shall be elected.
add: The membership of this club shall be comprised of four (4) classes: Regular, Associate, Life and Junior. The control of the Club shall be vested in its Regular, Life, and Associate members and from them all officers shall be elected.
II2(A) drop: Regular members shall be those persons 18 years of age and over who reside in Cook County and bordering counties within the State of Illinois and Indiana (Will, DuPage and Lake Counties); and those who elect to become Regular Members, Juniors excepted.
add: Regular members shall be those persons 18 years of age and over.
II2 drop: (C) Non-Resident Members shall be those who live outside the area specified for Regular Members. Non-Resident Members may become Regular Members if they so elect and pay Regular Membership dues. Regular Members who move outside the Regular Membership area may become Non-Resident Members if they so elect, but no refund of dues already paid will be allowed.
renumber: (D) to (C), and (E) to (D).
II3 drop: (Non-Resident applicants excepted)

Meeting adjourned 9:35 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Hamilton

Letter to ANA

January 24, 2000
Brenda Bishop
Convention Services Manager
American Numismatic Association
818 N. Cascade Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3279

Dear Brenda:

The following letter was read and unanimously endorsed at the January 12th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club.

At the November meeting of the Executive Committee of the Chicago Coin Club, an overview of the 1999 American Numismatic Association Convention took place. Consistent with the assessment of the attendees, dealers and others, we judged the convention to be a success. Your efforts in organizing this effort were critical to this outcome. Additionally, we believe our members share in this success with those individuals filling the roles of committee chairs and volunteering in many support areas. Several members recalled the 100th Anniversary ANA Convention of 1991 and recounted a like effort of our members playing key roles in the memorable event.

We offer you the above thoughts for consideration in planning future ANA conventions. The Chicago Coin Club has hosted more ANA conventions than any other group. Our membership is highly regarded in numismatic circles for writing, research and overall commitment to the hobby.

We ask your consideration of these factors and our record of accomplishment when planning forthcoming conventions.

Carl F. Wolf

Our 973rd Meeting

(will consist of two sessions!)

Date:February 9, 2000 (session #1)
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:Allen H. Meyer - Theft of Valuable Coins: Impact on Innocent Collectors
This presentation is in response to Mr. Eric Newman's summary of the ANS's position on the theft of their coins, as he spoke to the ANA Convention in August. During and after that meeting, the concern of many of us collectors had to be the impact of the innocent purchase of coins or other objects of art which may have been stolen. Stolen not by the person from whom you purchased, but by some unknown person earlier in the chain of title. While not debating Mr. Newman's presentation, which he considers fair and reasonable, Mr. Meyer's purpose is to explore the role of an innocent buyer in this unfortunate mess and how it impacts upon us as collectors in Illinois.
Date:February 19, 2000 (session #2)
Time:1:00 PM
Location:Chicago Paper Money Exposition, held at the Ramada O'Hare Hotel, 6600 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont, IL.
Featured speaker:Wendell Wolka, of Dublin, Ohio - Obsolete Bank Notes from the State Bank of Ohio
The State Bank of Ohio was chartered in 1845 and grew to forty-one Branches. The Bank prospered throughout its existence and unusual (for the time) safeguards assured that note holders never lost a single dollar. Three branches were closed and two withdrew from the bank in an orderly fashion. By 1864, all but two of the remaining thirty-six had converted to National Banks. The bank left behind a rich history that can be seen via its bank notes.
Wendell Wolka has researched the bank's history at the Ohio State Archives for over five years. He has discovered long forgotten letters and documents that aided the maddening process of solving such diverse mysteries as the identity of the portraits on later issues and the number of bank notes that were printed, issued, and destroyed for each branch. This information also revealed interesting problems the Bank had with one of its printers as well as all of the original printing contracts.
Mr. Wolka has been a student of Ohio's banking history and its diverse note issues for many years and will share a look at many excessively rare genuine, counterfeit, and altered bank notes.
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.

Speaker's World
Ethiopia and Eritrea's Money

The following summarizes the talk given by Mike Metras January 12 on the coins of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Ethiopia's Money

Ethiopia is an ancient country in Northern Africa. Throughout its long history Ethiopia used many forms of primitive monies that included salt bars and cowrie shells.

Maria Theresa Thaler (click for enlargment) In ancient times a kingdom centered in the northern city of Axum ruled all the southern Red Sea and issued many coins. We saw those coins a year ago with Mike's video, Axum, coins and Places.

From the early 1800s until very recently the coin of choice was the Maria Theresa Thaler shown here.

One other pre-modern series of coins comes from the city state of Harar in eastern Ethiopia. It issued several crude coins made of shell casings until Ethiopia absorbed it into its growing empire in 1887.

Click to enlarge Ethiopia's first modern national coins were those of the Emperor Menelik II in 1894. Menelik II, wanting to establish the independence of Ethiopia, issued a series of silver coins designed and struck by the Paris Mint. They were 1 dollar (bir), 1/2 dollar (alad bir), 1/4 dollar (rub bir), 1/8 dollar (temum bir), and 1 girsh (1/20 bir). He also issued a copper 1/100 dollar (bir matonya). The silver coins all shared the same basic design.

The obverse reads in Amharic, "Menelik II, King of kings of Ethiopia." The reverse reads, "Conquering lion of the tribe of Judah." The date is below the bust. The denomination is written in exergue along with the mint mark A of Paris and the cornucopia and torch privy marks.

Click to enlarge The first reverse design with a staff and flag in the lion's left paw was soon changed to a more robust lion with staff in its right paw, a more fitting posture. Some of the minor coins were minted in a new Addis Ababa mint. These have no mint mark.

Ethiopia's modern coins are dated by the Ethiopian calendar (7 to 8 years before ours - 1887EE = 1894). The last date on Menelik's coins is 1895EE (1903) even though coins were made as late as 1928 with that same date.

Only the lower denominations were ever used much. The well-known Maria Theresa Thaler remained the coin of choice of the great majority for commerce.

A die originally intended for a silver 1/8 bir was used to make a copper 1/32 bir. Its denomination was ground out of the dies and coins were made from the effaced dies until new dies could be made to reflect the new value.

With his coronation in 1930 (EE1923) Haile Selassie issued a series of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 Matonya (matonya=1/100th) coins all of the same design. The obverse reads in Amharic, "Haile Selassie I, King of kings of Ethiopia." The date (unchanging 1923EE) along with the denomination is below the bust in Amharic. The reverse reads, "Conquering lion of the tribe of Judah." The denomination is written as a number in exergue. There never was a dollar-sized coin. The early 1 matonya was made in Birmingham, England, at the King's Norton mint. All others were made at the Addis Ababa mint. The Maria Theresa Thaler remained the coin of choice of the great majority for commerce.

While Italy occupied Ethiopia between 1936 and 1941 the coins of Italy were current in their new Italian East Africa. Italy added "E IMP," "and Emperor (of Italian East Africa)" to the inscription around Victor Emmanuel. The Maria Theresa Thaler was the only coin with much currency.

After England took Ethiopia from Italy and gave it back to Haile Selassie in 1941, England tried, with little success, to establish the shilling-cent system of the East African Currency Board. Ethiopian suspicion and desire for national identity lead to a new series of ccoins designed in Philadelphia by John Sinnoch (obv) and Gilroy Roberts (rev). The bust of Haile Selassie and the date 1936EE (1944) are on the obverse, the Lion of Judah and the denomination of 1, 5, 10, 25, or 50 santim (cent) in Amharic on the reverse. These have been made at Philadelphia, Birmingham, and the Royal mint. These coins were used into the late 1970s.

The original 25 cent coin was round like the 50 cent and close to the same size. Enterprising people quickly discovered they could silver plate the former and pass it for the latter. Few could read the denomination. After a bit more than 400,000 were made they were withdrawn from circulation and hand scalloped. Later ones were minted with a special milling collar to form the scallops.

The new Socialist Ethiopia of the post-Empire released a new series of minor coins depicting the glories of work and the people. Made at the Royal Mint, these coins have a lion with the name Ethiopia and the date 1969EE (1977) on the obverse. The circulating coins were minted at the Royal mint in England. Their proof set was made by the Franklin Mint.

Ethiopia, both Imperial and Socialist, has created several commemorative and special issue coins that have little to do with the everyday economy of the people. Most were meant as presentation pieces or items to take money from the coin collector.


Colonia Eritrea, under Italian rule issued coins with three languages, Italian, Amharic, and Arabic. Denominations were lira, bir, and rial. Large Talleros (5 lire) coins were issued in the late 1890s and 1918 trying to overcome the Maria Theresa Dollar. It never worked.

Going a hundred years later, Eritrea finally achieved independence in 1991 after a thirty years war against Ethiopia. They issued an Independence Day coin on May 24, 1993 and followed this non-circulating coins with several other Pobjoy dinosaur and animal coins designed to make a few dollars for a very poor country pulling itself up by boot straps. These coins were also tri-lingual with English, Tigrinya, and Arabic.

Eritrea's coins (Click to enlarge) After using Ethiopia's coins for several years, Eritrea issued its own coins in late 1997. These were in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 cents. About the same time they issued a set of paper money using the denomination of Nakfa (honoring the city where they operated out of for the years of the war). The bills are 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Nakfa.

Important Dates

The February meeting will consist of two sessions; the first session will end with a recess (instead of an adjournment), and we will reconvene for the second session at the Chicago Paper Money Exposition.
Feb9 CCC Meeting (session #1) - Featured Speaker - Allen H. Meyer on Theft of Valuable Coins: Impact on Innocent Collectors.
Feb19 CCC Meeting (session #2) - 1pm at the Chicago Paper Money Exposition, which is held at the Ramada O'Hare Hotel, 6600 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont, IL.
Featured Speaker - Wendell Wolka, of Dublin, Ohio on Obsolete Bank Notes from the State Bank of Ohio
Feb18-20 6th Annual Chicago Paper Money Exposition (CPMX) at the Ramada O'Hare Hotel, 6600 N. Manheim Road. Admission is $5.
Mar8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - To be announced.
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 - To be announced.
Apr12 CCC Meeting (session #2) - Featured Speaker - To be announced.
Jun23-25 19th Annual Mid America Coin Exposition at the Rosemont O'Hare Expo Center. Admission is $3.

Birthday and Year Joined

Mar7James R. Budd1964
Mar7Bruno Rzepka1968
Mar14Donald R. Srbeny1987
Mar16Michael Brodsky1991
Mar16Joseph T. Tomasko1984
Mar19Charles Ricard1963
Mar20Sidney Bick1953
Mar23Eileen Peterson1982
Mar25David B. Silberman1971
Mar29Arthur C. Allen1966
Mar29Nancy Wilson1984
Mar31Andrew E. Michyeta III1984

Chatter Matter

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

P.O. Box 2301

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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