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Chicago Coin Club
Volume 48 No. 4 April 2002

Minutes of the 997th Meeting

The 997th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order on February 13, 2002 at 7:03PM by President Carl Wolf. The meeting was held at 1 Bank One Plaza.

A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the January meeting minutes as they appeared in the Chatter.

Secretary/Treasurer Lyle Daly gave a treasury report as follows:

Dreyfus Money Market $1837.22
Bank One CD 1408.09
Bank One CD 1405.88
TCF Checking Account 9104.70
Un-deposited Funds 3223.00
TOTAL $16,978.99

Vice President Bob Feiler introduced our featured speaker Paul Hybert and his topic Learning from Early US Mint Reports. Paul presented several volumes and excerpts of mint reports for the group's inspection. He is in the process of placing the reports on the web for public access. Paul figuratively walked the club through his efforts to correlate the documentation of the mint with contemporary historical events. One example he used was the relatively small receipts for gold in 1848 compared to the monumental increases recorded in 1849 and 1850 that reflect the influx of gold from the California Gold Rush.

Vice President Bob Feiler thanked Paul for his presentation and awarded the featured speakers medal & and the educational certificate to Paul.

Two guests were present: Andrius Plioplys and John Scriner.

Don Dool announced there were 10 show & tell presenters:

Old Business:

Carl Wolf reminded the club that next meeting will be held at the CPMX show on March 2 at the Holiday Inn, 5440 N River Road, Rosemont. The featured speaker will be Fred Schwan who will present New Discoveries in Military Payment Certificates. Three copies of Fred Schwan's new book will be given away as door prizes. Jeff Rosinia advised the club that the souvenir sheet will be available for $5 after the meting but free to all attendees. The notes had to be reduced in size to fit on the sheet and conform to Treasury requirements.

The 1000th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club will be held on April 6th at 1PM during the Chicago International Coin Fair held at the Holiday Inn 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont. We will have a Primitive Money Give away: Gold Dust Currency - prepared by Bob Leonard. The Speaker will be Steve Album and he will present Development of Islamic Coinage 650-1250 AD.

The Banquet for the 1000th meeting will be held at the same location and date at 7:00pm. Reservation and prepayment of $45 per person are required. The speaker will be ANS Executive Director Dr. Ute Wartenberg who will speak on the Owls of Athens.

1000th Meeting Committee Chairman Mark Weiclaw reported that medals for the 1000th meeting will be available in 5oz silver for $45, silver with gold trim for $55. Delivery by registered mail will be an additional $11 for each. Gold 8 oz medals were available at $2600 each but due to increases in gold are now priced at $2700 for future orders. Delivery by registered mail is an additional $15.

Sharon Blocker reported that invitations for the 1000th meeting banquet have been sent. RSVP's are due March 14 and we must submit a first count to the banquet hall that day.

Bill Burd discussed the souvenir program. Congratulatory advertising is available at $100 for full page, $50 for half page and $25 for a quarter page. Patronage levels of donations are Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze at $500, $100, $25 and $10 respectively.

A motion was made, seconded and passed to drop the membership of all unpaid members from the club's 2001 roster.

A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the 2001 year end financial statement for the club as published in the Chatter.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:23 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Lyle Daly

Minutes of the 998th Meeting

The 998th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held in conjunction with the Chicago Paper Money Exposition, Holiday Inn O'Hare, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL. The meeting was called to order by President Carl Wolf at 1PM with fifty members and guests present.

President Wolf welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained the procedure if any guest wanted to become a member. He spoke of the plans for the upcoming 1000th Meeting Celebration to be held April 6th, including the commemorative medal, afternoon session with Steve Album as speaker, the primitive money educational hand-out and the evening banquet with Dr. Ute Wartenberg as the featured speaker. He also gave specific instructions for anyone interested in participating.

First Vice President Robert Feiler introduced the featured speaker Fred Schwan of Port Clinton, Ohio. Mr. Schwan is one of the foremost experts in the area of Military Payment Certificates (MPC) and has authored hundreds of articles on the subject. He is the recipient of numerous literary awards from the American Numismatic Association, the Numismatic Literary Guild, and International Banknote Society, to name a few. Schwan had just released at the show the fourth edition of the definitive book on the subject The Comprehensive Catalog of Military Payment Certificates.

Schwan's talk centered around the new discoveries found over the past few years. This is primarily the result of previously unknown multiple printings and the resultant understanding of how they occurred. He also shared his experience with MPCs in Vietnam and how the money was spent off the base. During an extended question-and-answer session he spoke about counterfeiting, research at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, coupons issued in Vietnam for the Korean and Thai troops, and an explanation on how the U.S. soldiers in Bosnia used debit cards instead of military currency.

Schwan donated three of his new books for door prizes that were won by Robert Feiler, Bruno Rzepka and Nancy Wilson. Everyone in attendance received a souvenir sheet with an educational article written by member Jeff Rosinia on the national banknotes issued by the First National Bank of Chicago.

The meeting was adjourned at 2PM.

Sincerely Submitted,
Carl Wolf
President & Acting Minutes Secretary

Minutes of the 999th Meeting

President Carl Wolf called the 999th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club to order March 13, 2002 at 7 PM with fifteen members present.

First VP Robert Feiler introduced the evening's featured speaker Sharon Blocker who spoke on the subject I've Been Working on the Railroad. Sharon was assisted by her husband Kevin and explained that they got started collecting numismatic railroad material because Kevin's grandfather was a chef on the Santa Fe Railroad. She entertained everyone by showing rail tickets that look like banknotes and a wide selection of banknotes and coins from all over the world. Among the more fascinating pieces was the Albanian 50 Leke 10-ounce silver coin showing a train coming out of a tunnel on the obverse and a rear view of the same train coming out of the tunnel. What made it impressive was the half-moon cutout for the tunnel. After a question-and-answer period, Feiler presented Sharon with an engraved speaker's medal and an ANA Educational Certificate.

The exhibitors for the evening were: Mike Metras: two banknotes showing trains - a $2.00 note from 1856 from the Exchange Bank, Hartford, Connecticut and a $50.00 note from 1840(?) from the Merchant Bank, Augusta, Georgia; and a 1743 cob real, Lima, Peru; and an Athenian tetradrachm copy of the Gallery Mint. Robert Feiler: an Athenian tetradrachm (449-413nbsp;BC) purchased at the recent CPMX; an 1862 $5.00 note from Manufacturer's Bank of Georgia; a $100.00 stock certificate from the Chicago & South Western Railroad; a punch canceled and uncut sheet of $10.00 & $20.00 notes from the New England Bank, Fairmount, Maine; CCC 1000th Meeting 8 ounce gold piece. Mark Wieclaw: an 1876-H large Canadian Cent, slabbed and graded MS65; an antoniniani of Emperor Aurelian (AD 270-275) struck at the Milan mint with brockage; a denari of Emperor Caracalla (AD 198) with brockage; a 1932 bond coupon sheet redeemable in $15.00 in gold coin and issued by the Stanley Apartments, Chicago. Robert Leonard: a gold "H-shaped" ingot from Africa, sold in the Howard Gibbs collection January, 1971, and believed to have monetary use 500-700 years ago. Steve Huber: two German presentation sets struck in 1913 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the defeat of Napoleon  - one made up of 3 medals and 2 coins and the other a 2 coin set; and examples of his success with coin photography with new lighting and different settings. Sharon Blocker: 1000-franc note from Madagascar, 10-gulden note from Netherlands with a hologram, bar code and Braille raised imprint, 50-dong note from Vietnam with Mylar, a 1973 10-bolivares Republic of Venezuela commemorating the 100th anniversary of Simon Bolivar portrait on their coinage and a uniface 100-year service medal for railroadmen. Carl Wolf: Venetian green-heart trade beads from the 15th-17th century and used as money especially in the New World; and a $100.00 "Good For" token from the Medalcraft Mint, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Robert Weinstein: bullet style coinage from Thailand and Sumatra with a discussion of the various styles. Donald Dool: a brass round "TUIT" issued by PMI, Cleveland, Ohio; a 1549 kreuzer of Nuenburg; Cottbus, an undated pfenning issued 1622;mining company stock certificates from Companhia das Minas De Carvao de Pedra Arroio dos Ratos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1884) and Compania Can Vicente de Bolivia, issued in Huachaca, Bolivia (1887); and seven celluloid buttons issued by the Central Bank of Argentina to promote numismatic events.

Under old business Jeff Rosinia received a round of applause for writing the history of the recently issued souvenir card the Club gave to everyone attending the 998th meeting at the Chicago Paper Money Exposition. Everyone was reminded of the upcoming events scheduled for the 1000th Meeting. The Secretary-Treasurer stated that as of that evening paid reservations for 37 people have been received for the banquet, and paid orders have been received for 34 silver medals, 23 gold select (silver with gold highlights) and 6 gold medals. Chairman Mark Wieclaw explained to everyone that the $2700.00 price on the gold is still an estimate and if the market price goes down a refund will be made. President Wolf announced that a supply of new business cards showing the Club's new Web address was available and members were encouraged to take a supply. After discussion, separate motions were made and passed to 1) put a silver and gold select medal into the Club's archives; 2) present William Spencer, the medals distributor, with a silver medal in appreciation for all his work and effort; and 3) to present the banquet speaker, Ute Wartenberg, with a silver medal in addition to the Club's standard engraved speaker's medal and ANA educational certificate.

President Wolf reminded everyone that it wasn't too late to become a patron or to recruit patrons. The Secretary-Treasurer announced as of that evening $850.00 had been collected and two full-pages, one half-page and 2 quarter-pages of advertising had been sold.

Nothing was brought up under new business. During the open discussion, Mark Wieclaw brought up the recent news concerning the U.S. Mail being subjected to high levels of irradiation to kill biological agents. He cited cases where encased, high-grade coins were ruined when the plastic slab melted. The Post Offices in and around Washington D.C. were the biggest users of this radiation. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf
President and Acting Secretary

Speaker's Wor[l]d
I've Been Working on the Railroad

Presented by Sharon Blocker to our March 13, 2002 meeting.

Sharon and her husband Kevin started collecting railroad related items many years ago. The fact that Kevin's grandfather, Henry Fauser, had worked 43 years on the Santa Fe railroad probably helped in that decision.

The collection started with postcards, and grew to 4000 cards relating to lines all over the world before the decision to concentrate on the Santa Fe railroad. The collection took a new turn once they discovered railroad themed numismatic items. Blame it all on that piece of Caribbean currency found while attending a coin show!

Many countries have issued coins and currency picturing trains, but the US has issued only one such note; the 1914 series $20. However, many private US banks of the 1800s did picture trains on their notes; club members like viewing those notes - there is something about those primitive wood- and coal-burning engines that fascinates us.

An 1873 Mississippi Central $3 piece at first appeared to be a bank note, but closer examination showed it to be a train ticket with a face value of three dollars. These "train bank" notes were a dodge around the tax needed on private bank notes.

Worldwide paper money is a great hunting ground for railroad related pieces. In addition to the obvious pieces featuring a train as the main element, many notes include a train or equipment in the background; the hunt for those notes requires the examination of all pieces in a dealer's stock, no matter how topically arranged they may be. And do not forget to check the back side!

A beautiful note from China showed a train along a freighter in a dock side scene. A piece from Uganda showed a train being pushed onto a ferry, a piece from Mozambique showed a coal mine train, and a Fijian piece showed a sugar field train. And for a subtle combination, an Eritrean piece showed a truck pulling train cars atop a large bridge. Or the piece from Pakistan with just a train tunnel; no train.

The earliest coin shown was a 1937 200 Reis from Brazil, showing a small engine. Obviously circulated as intended, many of the later train coins were issued mainly for collectors; characterized by proof strikes of high denominations. The Canadian pieces showed this quite well - starting with two recent proof holographic $20 coins, then the dollars from 1981 and 1986. However, a 1999 train quarter was struck for circulation.

Some commemoratives have honored local railroad history, such as the 1998 150th anniversary of the first train in Slovakia, and the silver 1997 piece for 125 years of Lichtenstein railroads. But some pieces produced a few negative observations from the audience, such as two Isle of Mann pieces; the Australian Bicentennial piece featured a large dingo in the foreground with a small train in the background, while a "discovery of America" piece featured the classic scene at Promontory Point on the first US transcontinental railroad.

In 1988, Albania issued three coins with the same basic design. The 5 leke for circulation, a proof 50 leke, and a proof piedfort 50 leke. Only the proof 50 leke has the halfmoon shaped hole that grabs your attention; each side shows a train extending from a tunnel, and the hole is the tunnel above the train. The audience liked this piece.

When collecting in such a large, ever expanding area, put what you want into your collection; whatever moves you. The Blockers included ten US $10 gold coins dated 1913-1915 as railroad related items. Now these are family heirlooms, but at one time they were in the Santa Fe pay envelope for Kevin's grandfather. Sharon closed by recounting a trip to the train museum in Union, Illinois. While looking through some books for sale, they found The Super Chief ... Train of the Stars by Stan Repp, which included a dining car description which mentioned Chef Henry Fauser, Kevin's grandfather!

Show and Tell

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.

  1. Mike Metras started us off with some obsolete notes picturing trains, acquired at the recent CPMX.
  2. Also showing acquisitions from the CPMX was Bob Feiler with:
  3. Mark Wieclaw brought a variety of items.
  4. While researching African gold for the CICF handout, Bob Leonard has learned more about a small H-shaped ingot from Great Zimbabwe, 1100-1700. Acquired from the 1974 Schulman auction of the Howard Gibbs Collection where it was not pictured, it was illustrated in a Schulman 1974 fixed price list. Bob showed us some other Schulman catalogues which apparently use the same illustration, or can two such hand made pieces be so alike? Or maybe these pieces are not what they were claimed to be.
  5. Steve Huber showed two presentation sets from 1913, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Napoleon's defeat. A number of medals and coins had been sold individually then, but complete original sets are not common now. One set contained 2 medals and 3 coins, while the other contained 2 coins.
    Then Steve updated us on his attempts at coin photography with a digital camera. White paper from a photo supply shop diffuses the light from a halogen light to remove most hot spots (glare), and the output quality of personal color printers is very good. At first, the printed image color differed from the image color displayed on his monitor, but Steve fixed that by adjusting the monitor's settings until the displayed image matched the printed image. Now his printer output will match what he sees on the monitor.
  6. Sharon Blocker showed a number of recent acquisitions:
  7. Carl Wolf continued some previous themes:
  8. Bob Weinstein showed a sampling of the bullet money from Southeast Asia. These Thai silver pieces from the 13th through 19th centuries have a distinctive shape; start with a silver ingot in the shape of a bread loaf, then fold it in the middle so that both ends face up, side by side. The first piece included the "nah" character used on Shreva Jaya (modern day Indonesia and Malaysia) coins, so Bob mentioned this might have been occupation money issued by Thai forces.
    Next was a crude imitation, having only a weak chisel mark as an attempt at the charactersitic crease; and plated too. Fourre bullet money?
    Last was a cast, base metal piece; not exactly bullet money. Typical of pieces available in many sizes, Bob hopes to have its metal content analyzed. Were they monetary, or votive pieces?
  9. The program concluded with Don Dool showing pieces acquired on a recent trip to Argentina:

Our 1000th Meeting
Session One

Date:April 6, 2002
Time:1:00 PM
Location:27th Annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Holiday Inn O'Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont. Admission to the meeting is free, but admission to the show is $5.
Steve Album of Santa Rosa, California - The Development of Islamic Coinage, 650-1250 AD
Today, newspapers and television showcase many Islamic history programs. But what most coin collectors don't know is that Islam did not strike distinctive religious coins during its early years. For the first seventy years Islamic coins imitated the Byzantine and Sasanian coinage. Everyone is invited to attend the meeting and hear Album tell the story of this unique time in history. He published A Checklist of Islamic Coins, now in its second edition, and is currently a senior fellow at Worchester College, Oxford, England and in this position he began publishing the first of ten volumes of a Sylloge of Islamic Coins in the Ashmolean (Museum) in 1999. Volume 2 of this impressive work has just been printed and is now available.
For the fourteenth successive year the Chicago Coin Club will also present every attendee with an educational card dealing with some area of primitive money. Researched and written by Robert D. Leonard, Jr., the 2002 issue will cover Gold Dust Currency and each souvenir card will include genuine gold dust. History is sprinkled with stories of gold dust being used as money including California in the 1850s, Georgia in the 1830s and as recently as the 1980s in the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil. Perhaps the most enduring example is the gold dust system used for over 1,000 years by the Ashanti tribe in Ghana, Africa. Only 150 copies printed and extra copies will be sold for $5.00 + $1.00 for postage.

Our 1000th Meeting
Session Two

Date:April 6, 2002
Time:6PM to 7PM reception and cash bar
7PM to 9 PM Dinner and Meeting
Location:27th Annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Holiday Inn O'Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont.
Menu:The featured menu is a choice of Grilled Herb Marinated Salmon, or Citrus Marinated Grilled Breast of Chicken. Banquet tickets are sold on a reservation basis and are available at $45. Those who want to attend should send a check payable to Chicago Coin Club, P.O. Box 2301, Chicago, IL 60690.
Dr. Ute Wartenberg, Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society - Owls to Athens - The Dollar of the Ancient World
Formerly the Assistant Keeper and Curator of Greek Coins at the British Museum, Wartenberg wrote the book After Marathon - War, Society and Money in Fifth-Century Greece. In it she describes the political and economic world of ancient Greece, under the leadership of Athens, as reflected in their coinage. Athenians referred to their coins as "owls" because of the common reverse design showing an owl, the symbol for Athena the patron goddess of Athens. Those who attend this presentation will enjoy the slides of these magnificent and miniature masterpieces from the British Museum and the ANS cabinet.

Important Dates

April 5-7 27th Annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Holiday Inn O'Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont. Admission is $5.
Our April meeting will consist of two sessions on the same day: an afternoon session and an evening (banquet) session.
April 6 1000th CCC Meeting (session #1) - 1pm at the Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF), which is held at the Holiday Inn O'Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Steve Album on The Development of Islamic Coinage, 650 - 1250 AD.
April 6 1000th CCC Meeting (session #2) - Banquet meeting at the Holiday Inn O'Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Reservations ($45 per person) required.
Featured Speaker - Dr. Ute Wartenberg, Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society, on Owls to Athens - The Dollar of the Ancient World.
May 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker Bruno Rzepka on to be announced
June 28-30 21st Annual MidAmerica Coin Expo at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont. Admission is $5.

Birthday and Year Joined

May 2 Donn Pearlmann 1979
May 3 Roy R. Grundy 1981
May 5 Dennis Fuller 1997
May 8 Sharon Blocker 2000
May 10 Marty Vink 1952
May 11 William A. Burd 1993
May 11 Jeffrey Rosinia 1995
May 15 Jay M. Galst 1991
May 17 Shirley Valenziano 1984
May 17 Paul R. Hybert 1994
May 23 Robert J. Weinstein 1991
May 25 John G. Ross

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:Lyle Daly
William Burd
Jeff Rosinia
Mark Wieclaw
Other positions held are:
Lyle Daly- Secretary Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor
Phil Carrigan- Archivist