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Volume 52 No. 10 October 2006

Minutes of the 1053rd Meeting

The 1053rd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held September 13, 2006 at Dearborn Center, 131 S. Dearborn, 6th Floor Conference Room, Downtown Chicago. The meeting was called to order at 7 PM by President Robert Feiler with 17 members and 3 guests present. Introduced guests were: Laura Wakeland, William Thoburn, and Samuel Dixon.

The August Minutes as published in the Chatter were approved as printed. Treasurer Steven Zitowsky’s report of $10,309.98 in the treasury was approved as read.

Second Vice President Lyle Daly introduced the evening’s speaker Mark Wieclaw who delivered a program How to Determine Different Precious Metals that was followed by many questions. Following a warm round of applause, Mark was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal.

Lyle Daly introduced the nine exhibitors for the evening: JASON FREEMAN 100 patacas dragon coin from Maco, unidentified silver ingot with elephants, 2 oz. silver Australian lunar dragon, 1 oz silver Australian silver round; RICH HALL image of a mislabeled NGC holder of an 1854 $20 SS Republic small/double date with holder saying large/double date which doesn’t exist; PAUL HYBERT ANA Denver Convention material including 2 token from Donald Kagin, a medal issued by EAC member Doug Bird, 1807 Large Cent with dark patina, 1827 Bust Half Dollar, book Official Census for US Large Cents, 1793-1839, written by Noyes, Bland and Demeo, US Large Cents, 1793-1794, by Noyes, Early US Gold Coin Varieties, by Dannreuther and Bass, various pamphlets and sheets of stamps bought at the US Postal Service booth and used on the current issue of the Chatter; DREW MICHYETA - $1 silver proof from Cook Islands commemorating the Mini South Pacific Games and showing the fertility god on the reverse; MARK WIECLAW 2006 Denver ANA badge created by The Elongated Collectors, in regular issue and enameled, 1935 Walking Liberty Half Dollar with reverse side shaved and hand engraved in tribute to Col. Jim from the 20th Air Force, a 1940 doubled-die Mercury dime, a tetradrachm of Leontini with head of Apollo, 450 400 BC, a dodecadrachm of Derronci weighing 35 grams, 475-450 BC; EUGENE FREEMAN 1609 silver grochen from Hameln (city of Hamlin was the city of the Piped Piper), and a medal of British Admiral Vernon; ROBERT LEONARD 6 copper coins of early US including 1772 half-penny and 1774 farthing of George III, 1788 half-cent and cent from Massachusetts, 1787 half-cent (a cent cut in half) and cent from Connecticut; DON DOOL Denver ANA 2006 Exhibitor’s Medal, First Place award medals for exhibits in the medals and foreign coins after 1500 categories, a 1857 8-reales from Honduras, 1600 coin from Spanish city Banolas with countermark, and 1621 coin from Veden Domicapital with a counterstamp; LYLE DALY a set of small sized Federal Reserve Notes from 1929 - 1929A, 3 medals from the 1901 Pan American Expo Buffalo, NY, and irradiated dimes from American Museum of Atomic Energy and the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

William Thoburn and Samuel Dixon delivered a presentation on their Web based free personal collection organizer,, that is capable of managing photographs and collection details while keeping it private. Collectors can also allow select friends to view items in their collection. Several members had questions on security.

Robert Leonard attended the Denver ANA convention and reported the sale of $140.00 in Club educational souvenir cards from the Chicago International Coin Fair. He briefly outlined the subject of cigarette money as a topic for the 2007 CICF. Bob also announced that he was just elected President of the Token and Medal Society and made available application forms.

Carl Wolf announced probable speakers for the December banquet, the 2007 Chicago Paper Money Expo, and the 2007 Chicago International Coin Fair.

It was announced that 2006 dues are outstanding for the following five members: Jim Flannery, Ronald Martino, Chuck Menard, Dale Noble, and Chris E. Patton. Since past dues notices were sent a motion was made and passed to drop them from the rolls.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 PM.

Sincerely Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
How to Distinguish Different Precious Metals

Mark Wieclaw
Presented to our September 13, 2006 meeting.

There are several ways of determining the fineness of silver and gold. At work, Mark uses a stone and acid. First, rub an object against the stone, leaving a visible mark of metal on the stone. Next, apply a drop of the correct acid on part of the metal mark. If the metal mark is unchanged, the object is good. This testing is for objects bought for their bullion value. At the shop, objects of the same fineness are kept together, being sent to a local refiner when enough has been collected.

The special stone has such fine grains that virtually no visible marks are left on a gold object of at least 22k fineness. A different acid is needed for testing each of the standard finenesses of each metal. The bottles are purchased at a jewelry supply store in downtown Chicago. Costing a few dollars for an ounce, the acids start going bad after about one year.

When he started in the business, Mark spent much time, testing every item. After gaining years of experience, both with people and objects, Mark now typically tests less than ten pieces per day. A 24k Canadian Maple Leaf is yellower than the 22k American Eagle. Although both the krugerrand and U.S. Eagles use 22k gold, they have different colors due to their different alloying metals: one uses silver while the other uses copper.

Mark brought in two Mexican 50 peso gold pieces and showed how he tests them. Turned out one was genuine but the other was not. But that wasn't too surprising, considering that the genuine piece had a lettered edge but the other piece did not.

There are acids for the most common finenesses of silver: 80%, 90%, and sterling. An acid for platinum was on the mrket recently, but it did not work well for Mark. So he sticks with the sure test of using a propane torch to heat the object red hot — remove the flame, and platinum returns to its original color.

There are many scams out there, and Mark reviewed a few of them. Although a gold plated stainless steel bicycle chain passed the stone and acid test, steel held in your hand warms up slower than does gold. Because jewelry clasps are sold with their own karat indication, another scam involves adding a high-content clasp to a bad, unmarked chain; look for the mark on the chain!

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our September 13, 2006 meeting.

  1. Jason Freeman showed pieces from his elephants and dragons collections:
  2. Rich Hall showed a picture of a recent purchase: an 1854 Type 1 double eagle in an NGC slab. The insert identifies this AU-55 piece as the large doubled date variety; population reports show the only other large doubled date piece from 1854 grades XF-45. After acquiring the piece, Rich compared it to other 1854s, only to discover that it is the doubled small date which is a more common variety. Time for return and refund! Which leaves the question: Is the XF-45 piece really a large doubled date?
  3. Paul Hybert rambled on and on about the ANA show in Denver, showing some items acquired there.
  4. Drew Michyeta likes the large silver coins. He showed a 1985 $1 piece from the Cook Islands, issued to commemmorate the South Pacific Games. Only 2,500 pieces were minted. The bust of Queen Elizabeth II’ is on the obverse, while the reverse shows a local fertility god. The well-endowed figure on the reverse caused some raised eye brows when this coin was issued.
  5. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of items:
  6. Eugene Freeman brought some pieces that he tied to interesting stories.
  7. Bob Leonard showed three pairs of copper coins from early in U.S. history, coins accepted as a cent and half cent:
  8. Don Dool is another member who was at the Denver ANA, where he had three exhibits. His South American scripophily exhibit was fourth in a four-horse race. He showed us:
  9. Lyle Daly brought items from three areas:

Call for Club Auction Lots
November 8, 2006

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. We already have 44 items, most of which are area related.

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 24. You can either e-mail your list to Paul Hybert by Tuesday, October 24 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 24.

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

If you have questions, Bill can be reached at 773-586-7666.

Our 1054th Meeting

Date:October 11, 2006
Time:7:00 PM
Location:Downtown Chicago
At Dearborn Center, 131 S. Dearborn, 6th Floor, Conference Room 6A (right off the elevator lobby). 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 and register at the guard’s desk.
Featured speaker:Andrew J. Donnelly - Tetrarchic Mint Control, 284-324

This will be an updated version of his paper at the 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 4, 2006, benefitting from comments expressed during the question and answer session and further discussion with his advisor. At first glance, the coins of the Tetrarchy are hard to distinguish by emperor — they all seem to portray the same individual — but Donnelly’s studies of Roman Imperial Coins, (RIC, the standard catalog of the series) showed subtle differences in favored deities, depending on which ruler controlled the mint. This program should add greatly to our knowledge and appreciation of these common pieces, found in every collection of Roman coins.

Important Dates

October 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Andrew J. Donnelly on Tetrarchic Mint Control, 284-324
November 8 CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker
December 13 CCC Meeting - Annual Banquet - Featured Speaker - to be announced

Birthday and Year Joined

November 2 Alexander Basok 1998
November 5 Phyllis Johnson 1987
November 8 Brian A. Heil 1981
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

Club Officers

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

Contacting Your Editor / Chatter Delivery Option

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