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Chicago Coin Club
Volume 49 No. 6 June 2003

Editor's Notes

Sorry about placing the wrong month on the cover of the previous Chatter; and for a few other typos scattered inside. This is the real June issue.

Here are three timely reminders: First, please consider submitting a trip/show report to the Chatter, for any numismatic show, lecture, or event you attend. Second, Carl Wolf maintains some email lists for club members; you could sign up for just the major or urgent announcements, or you could get everything, including requests for assistance that the club receives. E-mail Carl at to find out more.

Lastly, please remember that three recent years of the Chatter are available at our web site at and that synopses of future programs also are available on the club's main web page. The details about Mark Borckardt's talk at our 11am Saturday meeting at the MidAmerica Coin Expo will be added to our web page as they become known.

Paul Hybert, editor

Minutes of the 1012th Meeting

President Mark Wieclaw called the 1012th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club to order on April 9, 2003 at 7:03PM. The meeting was held at 1 Bank One Plaza.

The minutes for February and March were approved. The Treasurer reported that we have a total of 7014.95 in various accounts. There was one guest present: Curtis Clay.

First Vice-President Bob Feiler introduced the speaker for the evening John Wright. The topic was 300 Years of Portraits of the Caesars as Shown on Sestertii Coinage. First Vice-President Bob Feiler thanked John for his lecture and presented him with the CCC speakers medal and an ANA educational award.

There were nine participants in the evening's show and tell. They presented as follows:

Reading of Applications for Membership:
There was 1 reading for membership, the 2nd reading for Louis Jordan

Old Business:
Bob Leonard showed the prototype for the CICF give-a-way. Number 46 of the CPMX give-a-way was presented to the archives.

Bob Feiler said that research is underway for the banquet location.

New Business:
Bob Fieler announced that Bruno Rzepka has donated materials for the archive. Phil Carrigan suggested that what is not needed be sold at the club auction.

Motion approved for $25 donation to the ANA fund for the Davenport Collection.

Motion approved for educational program featuring a US topic in conjunction with the Mid-America Show. Meeting recessed at 9:08 PM

President Mark Wieclaw reconvened the 1012th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club on April 26, 2003 at 1:00PM. The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn O'Hare in conjunction with the CICF. There were 57 attendees 25 of whom were guests. First Vice-President Bob Feiler called for membership applications and discussed future programs.

First Vice-President Bob Feiler introduced the speaker for the afternoon, J. Graham Esler. The topic was The Canadian Silver Nuisance, 1865-1870. First Vice-President Bob Feiler thanked Mr. Esler for his lecture and presented him with the CCC speakers medal and an ANA educational award.

Reading of Applications for Membership:
There was 1 reading for membership: the 1st reading for Herbert Schmidt.

Carl Wolf presented give-a-way #1 to the archives, #2 to the featured speaker, and #3 to the author, Bob Leonard. Give-a-way distributed to attendees.

Member Recognition:
Recognition was given to two members who have recently had books published. Robert Leonard has authored a reference on California Fractional Gold. Saul Needleman has authored a book on the use of the name Jehovah on Coins and Medals.

Meeting adjourned at 1:50 PM

Respectfully submitted by Bob Weinstein

Minutes of the 1013th Meeting

President Mark Wieclaw called the 1013th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club to order on May 14, 2003 at 7:00PM. The meeting was held at 1 Bank One Plaza.

The minutes for April were not received in time for publication. There were three guests present: Chuck Jacobs, Ewa Tokarski, Matyga Ianina.

First Vice-President Bob Feiler introduced the speaker for the evening Cliff Mishler. The topic was Fifty Years of Perspectives on Numismatics. First Vice-President Bob Feiler thanked Cliff for his lecture and presented him with the CCC speakers medal and an ANA educational award.

There were eight participants in the evening's show and tell. They presented as follows:

Reading of Applications for Membership:
There were 4 readings for membership: the2nd reading for Herbert Schmidt, and 1st readings for Chuck Jacobs, Ewa Tokarski, Matyga Ianina.

Old Business:
Bob Feiler discussed options for the banquet.

Carl Wolf discussed ways to improve article writing.

New Business:
Lyle Daly asked about possibly getting together in a less formal atmosphere to discuss numismatic topics. Steve Zitowsky suggested the possibility of having a less structured meeting to achieve this.

Meeting adjourned 9:10 PM

Respectfully submitted by Bob Weinstein

Speaker's Wor[l]d
Fifty Years of Perspectives on Numismatics

Presented by Clifford Mishler to our May 14, 2003 meeting.

When Cliff was ten years old, a friend showed his collections of used U.S. and world-wide stamps, trying to interest Cliff in the hobby. Cliff would have none of it, however; the more the friend and the friend's mother tried, the more resistant Cliff became. Not even Linn's Stamp News could get his interest - until he saw a small ad from the Tatum Coin Co., offering approvals and ten pieces of WWII currency for only ten cents! He bought three of the first five or six coins sent on approval: a silver 3-cent piece for $2, a now-forgotten piece, and a 1 pice of Zanzibar dated 1299 ("Gee, that is old," was his first thought). Those early pieces caught his attention, and started his scrounging for information. His growing interest in coins was not broken when he found that year 1299 in the Moslem calendar corresponds to 1882AD; nor has that coin's virtually unchanged value 50 years later in Krause diminished his interest.

A recurring theme of Cliff's talk was, "Something very simple can have a big impact." A review of his examples shows it is no use trying to predict what might be the next big thing. Act upon your idea to fill a niche, and be very satisfied and surprised if it turns into "the next big thing."

As a new collector in 1950, his first sources of information were ANA's The Numismatist and Lee Hewitt's Numismatic Scrapbook. A selection of regional (club) publications was the other source available then, so he joined many clubs to obtain more information. At that time, coin collecting had been growing in popularity for some decades, thanks to two major developments: coin boards, and B. Max Mehl's advertisements.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Mehl's advertisements in the Sunday supplements of newspapers around the country raised awareness of coin collecting, even though no one ever took him up on his offer to buy a 1913 Liberty nickel. One of the ways he put information into people's hands was with his Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia which he sold for 10 or 15 cents each. Even today, estate sales with a small coin hoard sometimes are found with a copy of the enclopedia. The first coin board was produced by J.K. Post of Neenah, Wisconsin, and Whitman Publishing produced many of them starting in the 1930s. Lee Hewitt acknowledged that as the primary stimulus for collecting U.S. coins.

Even after some decades of growth the hobby still was limited, with few dealers and with few clubs outside of urban areas. Grading was a personal endeavor, and no S-mint coins were on the East Coast. The 1950s and 1960s were the heydey of clubs; not just coin clubs, but all sorts of clubs; people joined and participated, even if just for the social aspects. The creation of clubs was one solution to the problems of not much reliable information, and not much communication. Clubs sponsored most shows - commercial shows were a no-no.

In 1952, coin collector Chet Krause started Numismatic News in Iola, Wisconsin. With no contact with local collectors, Chet went looking for a communication medium; not finding one, he started one. At that time, the Wayte Raymond catalogs were venerable and the Red and Blue Books were the new kids on the block. At Whitman, Dick Yeoman said one pricipal, "Don't worry over something you have no control." To give us an idea of how the times have changed, Cliff mentioned that, at one point in the 1950s, everything that he could find on coin collecting would occupy less than three feet of shelf space; now, Krause Publications has 5 magazines, 50 book titles, and 3 shows just for numismatics.

Coin World started in the 1960s, and Cliff told how he and Margo Russell were the only members of the numismatic press among the 40-50 media people invited by the Treasury to view the gold through peep holes on the one day when the Treasury Department opened Ft. Knox, the nation's gold repository. Other events in the 1960s and 1970s were the removal of silver coinage, the start of the "clad" coinage that continues today, and the legalization of private gold ownership. Cliff recounted how Krause's promotion of a then-new Kennedy half dollar and a six-month subscription resulted in 30,000 new orders; but since banks gave only two Kennedy Halves to each customer, it took 3 to 4 weeks of scrambling to satisfy most subscribers.

Cliff then spent some time explaining how the mint marks came to be removed from U.S. coins, and how Representative Annunzio of Illinois and Senator Sparkman of Alabama helped restore those mint marks.

1972 saw the first edition of Krause's Standard Catalog of World Coins, with a first printing of 10,000 copies. As this "Redbook for foreign coins" was intended as a leadin for their new magazine on foreign coins, a post card was included in each copy and the books' buyers were encouraged to send in their names and addresses. After two more printings resulted in 30,000 copies sold in 18 months, Krause had a list of about 25,000 collectors; just in time for the introduction of World Coin News in 1974 with 20,000 subscribers. In order not to introduce a new numbering scheme, the catalog used Yeoman numbering with permission of Whitman.

The push in 1973 and 1974 for U.S. bicentennial coins started with just a dollar and half dollar planned, but fortunately a quarter dollar was added as that was the only coin to circulate widely; they turn up in change even today. The 1980s started with the boom & bust in gold and silver; 1982 saw the resumption of commemmorative U.S. coins, and the program continues today in spite of some abuses and criticisms. The 1987 coinage redesign push yielded no immediate changes, but the current state quarter program and the nickel program might be among its residual effects.

Looking ahead, Cliff sees a bright but specialized future for the hobby. Much more information tomorrow will lead to more satisfaction with the hobby, and the specialization trend will continue; collecting by date was popular in the 1800s, by date and mintmark in the 1900s, and by varieties within a type today. New collectors might start not with Lincoln cents, but possibly go directly to Standing liberty Quarters; that is partly due to the increased cost to get involved in the hobby today, and due to the fewer number of young people who collect coins. He feels that young people should be encouraged to collect something, anything, because someone introduced to collecting as a youngster is likely to collect something as an adult; the larger the collecting universe, the better we all are.

However, there are some changes that go along with this future. Although a wide knowledge base now is beneficial and desired, the specialized collector might never venture outside that one realm. Although the on-line resources (chat rooms, eBay, etc.) have diminished the classified ads in numismatic magazines, the editorial presentation needs to be strengthened to make up for the shrinking trader aspect. Cliff mentioned the two major traits used to help select the newest editor at Krause: be a collector (of something, to know that mindset), and be from a small-town newspaper because the hobby community, although geographically wide spread, is best viewed as a small social community.

To answer a member's question of why the 2002 catalog does not list all coins from 1999 through 2001, Cliff admitted that obtaining information is a challenge, as sources might not keep up with the latest material; he also mentioned that for 110 mints, it is easy to get information from 90, some effort is needed to find out everything from the next 10, and that working with the last 10 uses up most of the time. Cliff used a question about a second edition (not a reprint of the first edition) of Haxby to illustrate a fact of writing a book: ten years were spent working on the first edition; with only six years spent so far on the second edition, he is not sure if/when the second edition will appear.

Citing his lack of expertise with CDs and the Internet environment, Cliff declined to comment on how they might be used to address some of the publshing challenges mentioned above. He gave no timelines or promises, but he expressed confidence in the new Krause leaders who were picked for their knowledge of the new technologies.

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. Carl Wolf reached a milestone with his fiftieth exhibit of framed primitive money. Pack Frame Sycee from the Yunan province of China is a large silver piece which facilitated trade with Siam and Burma. This one was worth 5 taels, or 5,000 brass cash coins.
  2. Mark Wieclaw concluded his run of uncut sheets of linen notgeld, but continued his ancient coin theme.
  3. Bob Leonard started by showing the new edition of California Pioneer Fractional Gold he co-authored. Then he showed a Venetian ducat of Andrea Laredo (1344-54) and two contemporary imitations:
  4. Don Dool showed some copper coins acquired from CICF:
  5. Sharon Blocker found pieces in four of her collecting areas at CICF:
  6. Lyle Daly started by passing around a color image he printed two days earlier of the new U.S. $20 bill, from a web site. It looked pretty good. Then he showed the nine pieces he has out of the ten needed for a U.S. currency type set:
  7. Bob Feiler also showed some acquisitions from the recent CICF. A group of hand painted scenes on obsolete Mexican coins caught his eye. The wife of a dealer would buy one from a street artist on every trip to Mexico City. Bob bought a few of the pieces, which do not have one side ground smooth before painting as did some pieces he has shown in the past.
  8. Bob Weinstein showed ancient coins from widely separate areas:

Our 1014th Meeting

Date:June 11, 2003 First session
Time:7:00 PM
Location:Downtown Chicago. Please remember the security measures at our meeting building: give a club officer the names of all your guests prior to the meeting day; and everyone must show their photo-ID at the security desk.
Featured speaker: Steve Feller - Newly Discovered Facts about Confederate Coinage

For years numismatists thought they knew everything there was to know about Confederate coinage. But over the last decade new records have revealed that the Confederate government was in possession of dies and were striking U.S. coins. Feller has been a student of this coinage for many years and will tell this interesting story.

Date:June 28, 2003 Second session
Time:11:00 AM
Location:at the MidAmerica Coin Expo, which is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured speaker:Mark Borckardt, V.P. at Bowers & Merena Galleries - First Issues of the U.S. Mint

Mark is a leading authority on the issues of the first U.S. Mint and has served as an instructor at the ANA Summer Seminars. Look to our web site, for a more detailed description of this talk. Catch this talk just days before he teaches a one-week course in this area at ANA headquarters in Colorado Springs.

Important Dates

Our June meeting will consist of two sessions: we will end the first session with a recess (instead of an adjournment), and we will reconvene for the second session at the MidAmerica Show.
June 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Steve Feller on Newly Discovered Facts about Confederate Coinage
June 27-29 22nd Annual MidAmerica Coin Expo at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission for Friday and Saturday is $5; free admission on Sunday.
June 28 CCC Meeting - 11am at the MidAmerica Coin Expo, which is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Mark Borckardt, V.P. at Bowers & Merena Galleries on First Issues of the U.S. Mint
July 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Don Dool on Numismatic Finds of San Martin
August 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Mike Metras on Early Trains on Obsolete Currency
September 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Richard Hamilton on Stock Certicicates from Illinois Railroads
October 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert Weinstein on Indo-Sasanian Coinage

Birthday and Year Joined

July 4 Chester Poderski
July 12 Flemming Lyngbeck Hansen 2000
July 13 Gerard Anaszewicz 1981
July 19 Terry L. Capps 1996
July 19 John R. Connolly 1997
July 19 Richard S. Hamilton 1986
July 20 Kermit W. Wasmer 1997
July 27 David Simpson 1980

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 R. Hybert

Club Officers

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