archive also available

Chicago Coin Club
Volume 47 No. 1 January 2001

Minutes of the 983rd Meeting

The 983rd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order on December 13, 2000 at 8:15PM by president Carl Wolf. This meeting was our holiday banquet held at the Mid-Day Club on the 56th floor of Bank One Plaza. A heavy snowstorm hit the Chicago area on this day and caused many members to miss this meeting. Dinner started at around 7PM with cash bar and snacks preceding. John Connolly said grace before dinner.

After dinner Steve Zitowsky presented a program on Love Tokens. Steve showed slides and also several examples of Love Tokens. At the end of his talk Steve received the CCC Featured Speaker medal.

Bob Feiler, 2nd VP, presented the annual exhibit or Cabeen awards. Mark Wieclaw received honorable mention, Don Dool received 2nd place, and Carl Wolf was awarded 1st place.

The next item of business was the installation of officers for 2001-2002 term. Past president Bob Leonard installed the following new officers:

Appreciation was extended to Harlan Berk for the hors d'oeuvres, Jeff Rosinia as banquet chairman, Richard Hamilton as outgoing Secy-Treasurer since January 1997, and to the new Secy-Treasurer Lyle Daley.

Meeting adjourned at 9:25 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Richard Hamilton

Speaker's Wor[l]d
Loke Tokens

by Steven Zitowsky
(Presented at the December 13 meeting.)

Coin collectors who are romantically inclined and get a satisfaction from owning an item with an interesting story behind it can add an interesting sideline to their collection with love tokens. Just about everyone has seen a love token at one time or another. Many love tokens were made from useful objects such as lace-makers' bobbins, combs and household items. In Wales, it was customary to hand carve wooden spoons, hence the expression "spooning" for courtship. Cards in celebration of St. Valentine's Day were originally hand-made "Tokens of Love." However, on this dark and stormy night, we are concerned here with love tokens derived from coins.

The majority of English love tokens, which is where the practice is considered to have begun, were hand made in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They were created by young men to give to their sweethearts, and in some cases were given by soldiers and sailors who were to go abroad in service and wanted their loved ones to remember them. Customarily used by the poorer classes, the love tokens were made from lower value copper coins of the period, though occasionally a more wealthy man might make one upon a silver coin. Here in the United States, however, most love tokens are on 10-cent coins, usually the 1850 to 1891 Liberty Seated series.

Their manufacture was simple. A coin was rubbed down, usually on both sides, until the "head" and "tail," or obverse and reverse, were obliterated and the metal was smooth. Upon this blank, the man then engraved or stamped his own pattern and wording. Considering that most of the men who made these were unskilled in this type of engraving, the results are remarkable. The designs range from finely executed and planned, down to the very simple and crudely worked. There are familiar symbols of romance, such as hearts pierced by arrows, Cupid's bow and arrow, flowers, love birds and lovers' knots, with either the initials of the donor or one, or both, of their names. Cruder examples merely have the man's name and date, and are otherwise plain. The year is also frequently added, which allows the collector to date them accurately.

If the person engraving it was really skilled, around the edges was sometimes cut a border of leaves, crosses as kisses, or a continuing pattern. This program includes 27 slides of love tokens; some simple and fairly crudely executed, some highly decorated, perhaps on both sides, perhaps with branches and sprays of leaves, and ornate lettering and designs and scenes. It may seem so finely worked that it is doubtful that it is the work of the donor. It is more likely that he paid a professional engraver to do the work which he passed off as his own. There is some evidence that engraving love tokens was a medium in which apprentice engravers could "hone" their skills.

But numismatic "Tokens of Love" are known on virtually every type of coin, U.S. and foreign, and the engraver's creativity seems limitless. Some might have one or more holes or mountings, indicating that they were used on some type of jewelry. No two love tokens are exactly the same, although many are quite similar, such as those used in earrings and such.

In Memory
Albert F. Ivan

Albert F. Ivan, 72, passed away on November 21, 2000 from cancer, in Chicago, IL. He is survived by his wife Violet, a son John and daughter Susan.

Al worked at the Southeast National Bank for over 25 years surviving several mergers and buy-outs until he retired in the early 1980s. He then went to work for Rare Coin Company of America (Rarcoa) and remained with them until they moved from downtown to Willowbrook.

Al was a member of the Chicago Coin Club since 1955 (No. 638) and was also a member of the American Numismatic Association since 1955 (R23646).

He was a very active collector of high quality foreign and U. S. coins as well as foreign gold. He traveled to many ANA Conventions and attended most regional shows.

A service was held at the St. Walter Church in Chicago on November 27th.

William A. Burd

Our 984th Meeting

Date:January 10, 2001
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:Dennis Fuller - Civil War Tokens and Related Items
Mr. Fuller has been actively collecting the tokens on and off dating back to 1971 when the items were affordable.

An active member of the Oak Park Coin Club since 1977, Hillside Coin Club since 1996, and joined the Chicago Coin Club in 1997, he tries to attend as many Civil War shows as he can in the Chicagoland Area as well as the Annual Show in Mansfield, Ohio and Gettysburg, Pa during Fourth of July weekend. He has visited many Civil War Battlefields, including Gettysburg, Pa., Federicksburg, Va., Chancelorsville, Va., Manassas, Va., Antietam, Md. and Spotsylvania, Va.

He received his B.S. Degree in Accounting from Loyola University.

Important Dates

Jan10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Dennis Fuller on Civil War Tokens and Related Items.
Feb14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
Mar1-4 7th Annual Chicago Paper Money Exposition (CPMX) at the Ramada O'Hare Hotel, 6600 N. Manheim Road, Rosmont, IL. Admission is $5.
Apr6-8 Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) convention, Indianapolis, IN.
Apr26-29 26th Annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Ramada O'Hare Hotel, 6600 N. Manheim Road, Rosmont, IL. Admission is $5.

Birthday and Year Joined

February 1 Damon Todd Skinner 1999
February 2 Tillie Boosel
February 9 Steven G. Zitowsky 1991
February 16 Donald H. Dool 1998
February 25 Walter Pershke 1968
February 27 Ronald Martino 1991

Membership Dues for 2001

Membership dues of $10 for the year 2001 are now due. You may either bring the amount to a meeting or send a check, payable to the Chicago Coin Club, to our mailbox:

P.O. Box 2301

Those members for whom we have no record of dues payment for 2000 will find a note enclosed with their February issue of the Chatter.

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
Robert Feiler- First Vice President
Donald Dool- Second Vice President
Directors:William Bierly
William Burd
Jeff Rosinia
Mark Wieclaw
Other positions held are:
Lyle Daley- Secretary Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor
Phil Carrigan- Archivist