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|Chicago Coin Club|
|Volume 47 No. 7||July 2001|
This issue is early (and small) because I am leaving soon on a vacation, and the next issue will be a little late because my vacation will be long. With luck, that issue should arrive just before the August meeting. Will any local member attend the ANA summer seminar sessions in Colorado Springs? How about ANA in Atlanta? Would you like to submit a trip report? It need not be long and about everything, just your highlights and your impressions.
Paul Hybert, editor
The 989th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order on June 13, 2001 at 7:00PM by President Carl Wolf.
A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the minutes of May 9, 2001.
Secretary/Treasurer Lyle Daly did not have a detailed treasury report but stated that there was approximately $300 net increase in the TCF checking account.
President Carl Wolf welcomed guest Jean DeLorey.
1st Vice President Robert Feiler introduced member Tom DeLorey and his presentation The 1943 Bronze Cents and 1944 Steel Cents.
Tom discussed the history of events leading up to the use of zinc coated steel for the 1 cent coin. The war effort required extensive use of copper. Many types of substitute materials were considered, such as plastic or Bakelite, hard rubber, & glass. These were tested for bending and wear. Zinc coated steel was the winner.
Vendors made numerous cent patterns with "fantasy" dies. Tom had obtained and studied a pattern cent produced by the mint and discovered the cent was not from production dies, as the obverse rim was quite wide.
How did the 1943 bronze and 1944 steel cents come to exist? Tom proposed that bronze planchets were not left in feeder tubes as some speculate. That would presume the presses would remain configured for cents. Tom believed the planchets must have been left in the tote bins. This has occurred on several occasions with the mint. Similar errors occurred in the transition from silver to clad coinage, creating the 1964 clad & 1965 silver errors, and in the transition from Susan B Anthony dollars to Sacagewea dollars that created clad "Sackies" and Golden Susan B's.
The cents were probably legitimate errors, issued for circulation. Don Lutes discovered one specimen in 1947, in change from the high school cafeteria. The Lutes coin resurfaced in 1959. Another was found in change from a paper route. Some may have been intentionally produced. A female friend of John Sinnock brought one specimen of each date and mint to the market.
The popularity of this error gave rise to the unscrupulous practice of copper plating steel cents. Fortunately a magnet easily detects these frauds.
The 1943 bronze cents command a higher price with collectors. The combined grading service populations for 1943 bronze cents are 13 - P, 1 - D and 3 - S. The 1944 steel cents are priced in the $2 - $10 K range while the 1943 bronze cent has reached the $100,000 mark, making it the "King of American Error Coins".
Here is an interesting sidenote: although recycling for the war effort was extremely popular, the scrap from steel cent planchet production couldn't be recycled due to the zinc plating. One use for the waste "mesh" produced at the Denver mint was for reinforcement of sub standard plywood roof sheathing.
1st Vice President Robert Feiler presented Tom DeLorey an ANA educational certificate. A featured speaker award will be forwarded to Tom.
1st Vice President Robert Feiler advised members of the upcoming speakers:
Bob Leonard on Fruit Picker Tokens from Coast to Coast at the July meeting, we are looking for a speaker for the August meeting, Bruno Rzepka on Art of Steel Engraving at the September meeting, and Mark Weiclaw at the October meeting.
Second Vice President Don Dool introduced the following individuals, who presented material during the meeting's Show and Tell:
There were no readings for membership.
Mark Weiclaw, chairman of the planning committee for the 1000th club meeting, reminded committee members and the club of the upcoming planning meeting at Connie's Pizza on 6/19 at 7:00. Ideas for tokens, coins, medals, etc to commemorate this event are to be submitted to the committee by the August club meeting.
Carl Wolf advised the ANA will propose Chicago as the site for the 2008 ANA Convention. Carl appointed Phil Carrigan and Bob Leonard to represent the club.
Brochures were received from the Gold & Silver Bureau, London, England and made available to the club.
Jeff Rosinia commended Paul Hybert for his spectacular work on the publication of the Chatter and the club website. Paul received a round of applause.
Mark Weiclaw made a general comment to the club that it is very important to document your collection and advise your heirs as to the value of your collection. Mark cited an example of a widow who spent countless hours cataloging essentially worthless foreign coins. A discussion ensued and members advised of similar stories of gold & silver in mason jars buried in the backyard, currency hidden in walls, in old washing machines, silver sold as scrap metal. The point of the discussion was to advise collectors to be considerate of their heirs and ensure our treasures go to heirs and not "discovered" years later by strangers.
All present enjoyed the conversation and it was agreed to include an open discussion period in the next meeting.
A motion was made, seconded and passed to adjourn the meeting at 9:00.
Respectfully submitted by Lyle Daly
Presented by Tom DeLorey to our June 13 meeting.
What makes the 1943 bronze Lincoln Cent such a famous rarity? Tom DeLorey believes it is advertising. He related how as a youth, before he became interested in numismatics, he became aware of this coin through ads in comic books, right next to the ads for x-ray glasses.
Tom set the stage by reviewing how copper was deemed critical to the war effort, and how potential replacements materials were sought; bakelite, rubber, and cotton were some of the materials tried before a zinc-plated low-grade steel planchet was decided upon. The mint provivded dies for use by vendors of materials, to produce testing pieces. Most of the dies had a Liberty Head design, but Tom showed photos of a 1942 Lincoln Cent in white metal. This piece was not just a Trial Strike; Tom was the first to identify it as a Pattern as it was from a new die, having very wide obverse rims, almost touching the letters of IN GOD WE TRUST. Later in the meeting, we decided that the wide rims might have been intended to improve the coin's wearability, by compensating for the softer coinage material.
Steel cents were produced at the Philadelphia mint starting in February, 1943, and at the Denver and San Francisco mints starting in March. Now it is generally believed that the 1943 bronze cents were not the result of a stray planchet stuck in the feed mechanism of a coin press; there was a three month hiatus in the striking of cents (after 1942 bronze cents and before 1943 steel cents). The mints were producing large amounts of other coins during that period, and the presses could be used to strike other denominations simply by changing the feed mechanism and dies. The bronze planchets most likely were stuck in a planchet tote bin, and worked loose after the steel planchets were used.
That is similar to how the mint is believed to have produced current dollar coins in the wrong metal. 1943 cents also are known on silver (dime) planchets. 1944 steel cents are known, but they are not as well-publicized as the bronze cents.
Although these wrong metal errors had been rumored to exist, it was not until 1947 that the first one was discovered in Pittsburgh. A few others were discovered by 1956, and a 1943 bronze cent allegedly sold for $40,000 in 1959, but that seems unlikely.
The best current population estimates are:
Tom concluded his presentation with some observations on availability. There are more auction appearances now, possibly as the original purchasers die. No one has formed a complete set of these bronze and steel error cents by mint; the owner of the sole 1943-D bronze cent is trying, as is the owner of the sole 1944-S steel cent.
Each image has a scale in the lower-left corner, with the tics spaced 1 mm apart. Because the brightness and contrast were manipulated on a computer, the coloring of a coin's image differs from the coin's actual coloring.
|Date:||July 11, 2001|
|Featured speaker:||Bob Leonard - Fruit Picker Tokens from Coast to Coast|
|This covers the history of fruit picker tokens and tickets from the 1850s until very recently, including the economic reasons why they were issued and the political reasons why they had to be discontinued. Bob has been collecting fruit picker tokens in a small way, off and on, since the early 1970s. There are far too many tokens and tickets to show so the program gives the historical and economic basis for use in each state, illustrated by the most unusual and interesting tokens from it. Naturally, there is a great deal about the role of American railroads in the development of fruit growing, which led to the need for fruit picker tokens. If you have the least interest in railroading, labor legislation, immigration to America, or even agriculture, you will find this interesting.|
|July||11||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Bob Leonard on Fruit Picker Tokens from Coast to Coast|
|August||8||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|September||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Bruno Rzepka on Art of Steel Engraving|
|October||10||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Mark Wieclaw on to be announced|
|August||1||Reid J. Geisler||1995|
|August||15||Steven R. Rodin||1991|
|August||19||Carl F. Wolf||1979|
|August||26||Donald H. Doswell||1960|
|August||29||James M. Rondinelli||1997|
|August||31||Clarence R. Wills||1999|
ECE Dept, IIT
3301 S. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60616
|Carl Wolf||- President|
|Robert Feiler||- First Vice President|
|Donald Dool||- Second Vice President|
|Other positions held are:|
|Lyle Daley||- Secretary Treasurer|
|Paul Hybert||- Chatter Editor|
|Phil Carrigan||- Archivist|