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Chicago Coin Club
Volume 50 No. 10 October 2004

Editor's Notes

Saul Needleman will bring to the October meeting copies of his book which were ordered at the July meeting when he was the featured speaker. The cost is $36; if you ordered a book, please try to attend this meeting.

The club auction is in November, and with only four weeks between the October and November meetings, only those lot descriptions received within 13 days of the October meeting will be listed in the Chatter. Some items have been consigned already.

Paul Hybert, editor

Minutes of the 1027th Meeting

President Mark Wieclaw called the 1027th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club to order on July 14, 2004 at 7:03PM. The meeting was held at the Chicago Temple Building.

The June meeting minutes were not submitted in time to appear in the Chatter.

Treasurer Steve Zitowsky gave a treasury report as follows:

TCF Checking $3,462.56
Bank One CD 1,464.29
Bank One CD 1,465.67
TOTAL $6,392.62

There was one guest present: John Riley. John applied for membership.

First Vice President Robert Feiler was absent; past President Carl Wolf introduced member Dr. Saul Needleman who spoke on The Use of the Name Jehovah in Coinage.

Dr. Needleman noted the slogan Justus Jehovah Judex (with Jehovah appearing in Hebrew) was the slogan of Christian IV and appeared on coinage of Denmark and Sweden. Christian IV is attributed with the following: "As a Dane I must speak the language of the Danes. As a Christian I must speak the language of the church. But when I speak of God I must use the language of God." The reference is to the languages of Danish, Latin and Hebrew. Similar themes appeared on medals, tokens and jetons depicting City views, battle scenes, treaties and royal events. They generally were minted from the early 1600s to the mid 1700s.

President Mark Wieclaw thanked Dr. Needleman for his presentation and presented him with the featured speaker's medal and an ANA educational certificate.

Second Vice President Jeff Rosinia announced there were 6 attendees who were participating in show & tell.

Reading of Applications for Membership:
There were no readings for membership.

Old Business:
The club again thanked Harlan Berk for securing a meeting place for the club.

It was noted that Jim Raye, numismatist and employee at Harlan Berk had passed away. Many commented on how he would be missed and his pleasant and kind personality.

Club records indicated that 50 people attended the club meeting at the 2004 Mid American Coin Expo. Featured speaker David Bowers commented on the event in his column in Coin World. Kevin Foley wrote a very favorable commentary on the club in the program for, and distributed at, the Expo.

There was no report on the December Banquet.

New Business:
There had been discussion on how to increase awareness of the Chicago Coin Club. Carl Wolf shared with the club that publicists preferred action shots for hobby publications. Members noted that we were coin collectors and opportunities for action shots were limited. After an appropriate period of ridicule, members admitted to understanding Carl's point and agreed that candid shots were more favorable for submission to publications.

Carl also noted that he was promised copies of the upcoming Shingothe Banknote auction catalogue and would make them available to members. Thank you Carl.

Lyle Daly noted that member Steve Feller was awarded the ANA President's Service Award and was written up in the Numismatist.

Mark Wieclaw noted that Greg Gajda applied for life membership. After deliberation, the life membership for Greg Gajda was approved pending receipt of membership dues.

A motion was made, seconded, and carried to purchase a cart to house the projection equipment generously provided by Harlan Berk.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Lyle Daly

Minutes of the 1029th Meeting

President Mark Wieclaw called the 1029th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club to order on September 8, 2004 at 7:01PM. The meeting was held at the Chicago Temple Building.

The July and August meeting minutes were not submitted in time to appear in The Chatter.

Treasurer Steve Zitowsky was not in attendance but forwarded a treasury report as follows:

TCF Checking $4,016.06
Bank One CD 1,470.34
Bank One CD 1,465.67
TOTAL $6,952.07

A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the Treasurer’s report.

Three guests were in attendance: Richard Hertzog, Bob Graves, and Eugene Freeman.

Past President Carl Wolf introduced the featured speaker Richard Hartzog. Richard’’s business is World Exonumia in Rockford Illinois. He is also a publisher.

Richard’’s talk was on counter stamped or counter marked coinage. Counter stamping can be classified as Assay marks, Bankers marks, Hallmarks, Hacienda stamps, Advertising, Personal stamps and Checks (conversion to tags). Counter marks generally assure value or add value to prevent melting for bullion value. Richard noted that the English were prolific counter stampers but outlawed the practice on their own coinage in 1859, as did many nations. As a consequence counter-stamping coinage was limited to coins foreign to the realm. Counter stamping is generally done by hand and according to Richard is legal to do and still practiced today. Collecting counter stamped coinage is relatively inexpensive and offers many opportunities for research.

Richard Hartzog was thanked for his presentation and presented with the featured speaker's medal and an ANA educational certificate.

Robert Leonard advised that member Don Dool received the Numismatic Literary Guild Award. Robert received the award at the ANA and presented the award to Don in front of the club.

Second Vice President Jeff Rosinia announced there were 6 attendees who were participating in show & tell. For a more detailed accounting see the Chatter. They presented as follows:

Reading of Applications for Membership:
There were no readings for membership.

Old Business:
The December banquet was discussed. Given the late calendar date and known available locations a motion was made seconded and passed to reserve the Alpine Haus for the December banquet. Bob Feiler will follow up with the arrangements to secure the date.

Several options for speakers were discussed for the December Banquet.

It was noted that material was needed for the November auction. Members with material to auction should get the descriptions to Bill Burd for inclusion in the catalogue.

Carl Wolf noted that he had several speakers lined up for the ILNA Coin Show on September 17, 18 & 19. He encouraged members to attend.

New Business:
President Mark Wieclaw noted that nominations for new officers are needed for 2005. A nominating committee was formed with Bill Burd, Phil Carrigan and Carl Wolf.

A board meeting will be held Wednesday September 15 at Connie’s Pizza.

Bob Leonard once again volunteered to write the 2005 Chicago International Coin Fair giveaway. Bob proposed a write up on stone money of Togo with an accompanying replica in miniature. A motion was made seconded and passed to purchase 150 replicas at $2 each plus shipping and handling.

Bob Feiler noted that there is a Civil War collectibles show September 18 & 19.

Carl Wolf noted that there were efforts underway to exempt ancient coins from the Antiquities Act. A discussion ensued regarding club support for this lobbying effort and it was decided that this should be an individual effort and not formally involve the club.

Lyle Daly asked if the club would consider the possibility of supporting a movement to create a museum at the US mint, featuring the material previously displayed at the Smithsonian. Mint Director Henerrietta Holsman Fore in her Guest Commentary in Coin World alluded to this concept. The Club was interested in seeing the Director's commentary.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Lyle Daly

Speaker's Wor[l]d
Countermarked Coins

Presented by Richard Hartzog to our September 8, 2004 meeting.

Richard has been a token collector for many years, as well as a World Exonumia dealer; he also published Brunk's books on privately issued pieces. As to the question of "Who is Brunk?" Rich pointed at one of our members and said "Oh, something like him."

The term counterstamped refers to a monetary operation performed by some official body, while the term countermarked refers to a private operation, usually performed by a commercial entity. During shortages of circulating silver coins, British merchants countermarked Spanish silver at a higher (10% - 15%) value to keep them in a local area. But counterfeit marks were made, causing problems when the pieces were converted back into real money. The pieces are highly collectible in Britain to this day.

An example from the Americas is the Hacienda piece which had a value only on the issuing ranch. Collecting those pieces is difficult because it is almost impossible to attribute one to its source because marks usually were crude and minimal.

An example of a semi-governmental issue is from the Ottoman Empire where some pieces were made for local use in a town.

Countermarked coins were not always used as monetary instruments; some found use in the workplace as tool checks or served other purposes. Those pieces would have the company name, and sometimes a piece would end up back in circulation. Richard mentioned that as the probable source of the urban legend that the finder of a coin marked FORD would win a Ford automobile!

Another use of countermarks was advertising. Some establishments kept count of how many pieces it had marked; totals from 100,000 to 250,000 were not uncommon. Some saloons and druggists would commonly mark all coins passing through.

Many countries banned countermarking of its own coins, but they were powerless to stop foreign coins from being marked. For example, when local coinage did not satisfy the local demand in Britain, a foreign coin about the size of a farthing would be accepted as a farthing.

Brunk usually does not list just stray initials; something identifiable is preferred. Brunk has spent time researching old directories attepting to identify some marks; hallmarks from silver smiths are very collectible. Pieces with a full name, occupation, and location are highly collectible. A multi-line mark may be produced from separate stamps for each line, giving rise to a wide range of spacings. Some of the problems seen on marked coins include the legend running off the coin, and the first or last letters are missing when the punch was not held vertically.

There are 2,500 pieces listed in the latest Brunk book. The first part lists those pieces with two or more specimens known; these are usually advertising, and therefore were intentionally placed back into circulation. The requirment for two pieces is to rule out mavericks, those pieces originally made in unique or near-so quantities.

Countermarked coins are collected in many different ways: by the underlying denomination or design, or by some characteristic of the mark, be it ciy, state, region, or occupation. Many pieces were shown during the presentation, showing the above aspects and more, giving a flavor of what is available and what is collected. (And some club members brought marked pieces for Richard to identify and evaluate during the Show & Tell period.)

Show and Tell

Items shown at our September 8, 2004 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman continued the featured speaker's topic with:
  2. Although a number of famous female rulers have issued coins, Don Dool showed coins issued by some lesser-known figures:
  3. John Riley showed a 21-coin type collection of elephant pieces which he started to get his kids interested in coins (they are trying to avoid the modern NCLT pieces). Then he showed counterstamped pieces from Peru and Chile (each with a Philipine counterstamp), Brazil, and Cuba.
  4. In the last month, Mark Wieclaw acquired some ancient coins with either a minting or engraving error:
  5. At the recent ANA convention, Bob Leonard bought a bronze coin from year 12 (127-128 AD) of Emperor Hadrian. A personification of the god Nilus faces the mark for "16"  - 16 cubits was the optimal flood level for the Nile; 15 would be too low and produce a drought, but much higher would be destructive flooding. This design feature is known for three years, but Bob's nineteenth century reference book did not know whether it was a prayer or a commemmoration.
    Then Bob showed some counterfeits of Claudius' issues made in Britain during his reign: an as (copper), dupondius (bronze), and a sestertius (bronze).
  6. Bob Feiler showed a number of counter marked coins:

2004 ANA Anniversary Convention Report

Philip J. Carrigan reports:
This was my second ANA in this city (previous convention was in 1988 I believe). The noteworthy aspect of this convention was my minimal involvement with coins and rather focus with numismatic literature. What is always a part of an ANA convention for me is meeting old friends, attending specialty meetings and attending Numismatic Theater presentations. What was different looking back is my not roving the bourse floor except on Saturday.

The literature experiences were charted out before arriving and centered on Thursday. First was the NBS (Numismatic Bibliomania Society) 25th Anniversary Meeting on Thursday. Thereafter was "The Great Numismatic Libraries of Pittsburgh Tour." A group of 30 to 40 persons visited the libraries of Tom Fort and Wayne Homren. Tom earned a PhD in medieval history in England and specializes in pre 16th century material. Wayne has great material on American numismatics including auction catalogs, monographs, books and more. I envied each of these libraries particularly regarding their neat and orderly state. (I promise I'll do better on mine!) The evening featured a dinner and benefit auction in support of the American Numismatic Society Library Chair. Fifty lots of specialized items were donated and realized a total of $90,000. Bidding was aggressive and generous due to the cause with some individuals overbidding themselves and others donating their lot to the ANS library.

I also purchased several auction catalogs from dealers Charlie Davis and John Burns. Thus, literature was the highlight of ANA 2004 for me; I'll compensate on the coin side later.

Our 1030th Meeting

Date:October 13, 2004
Time:7:00 PM
Location:Downtown Chicago
In a meeting room provided courtesy of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.; at 77 W. Washington St., room 420A.
Featured speaker:John vander Weit - Coins of Alexander the Great

Call for Club Auction Lots
November 10, 2004

The club auction is scheduled for 7PM, at the start of the regular November club meeting. In the past few years, club related material (and Chicago area numismatic items) have had the best results. Some printed material also has shown good results. Please consider using the club auction to dispose of the numismatic items you no longer need.

You can place a reserve on each lot, and there is no commission charged to either the buyer or seller. Auction lot viewing will be held before the meeting starts, and again briefly before the auction starts.

The November Chatter will contain a list of all auction lots that are known to us by Tuesday, October 26. You can either e-mail your list to Paul Hybert by Tuesday, October 26 if you plan to bring your lots with you to the November meeting; or you can ship your items to Bill Burd by Tuesday, October 26.

Bill Burd
CCC-A Dept.
Chicago Coin Company
6455 W. Archer Ave.
Chicago, IL 60638
Paul Hybert
312-791-9001, evenings

Annual Banquet
-Committee Report-

The annual banquet meeting will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, December 8 at the Alpine Banquet Haus; same place as thwo years ago. It is located at 11141 West Roosevelt Road (at Wolf Rd.) in Westchester, Illinois 60154.

The format is family style and the entrees will be: Weinerschnitzel, Roast Pork, and Chicken Vesuvio; also available are rolls and butter, soup, salad, mixed vegetables, mostaccioli, and dumplings.

The cost is $23.00 per person paid in advance, with a check mailed to the club's mail box, P.O. Box 2301, Chicago, IL 60690.

The cost will be $25.00 per person after December 1st.

Important Dates

October 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - John vander Weit on Coins of Alexander the Great
November 10 CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker
December 8 CCC Meeting - Annual Banquet - Featured Speaker - to be announced

Birthday and Year Joined

November 2 Alexander Basok 1998
November 5 Scott E. Douglas 1996
November 5 Phyllis Johnson 1987
November 8 Brian A. Heil 1981
November 9 Tom Ryan 1960
November 24 Jeffrey F. Bernberg 1975
November 27 Robert Feiler 1994

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