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Volume 53 No. 3 March 2007

Minutes of the 1058th Meeting

The 1058th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President Robert Feiler at 7:00 PM in the 6th floor conference room, Dearborn Center, 131 S. Dearborn. In attendance were 17 members and 3 guests, Kurt Hyde, Robert Wallace and David Gumm.

The January Minutes were approved as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky’s report was approved as read showing January revenue of $245.00, expenses of $244.71, and income $0.29.

Following the second reading of the application for membership of John R. Whitfield, Anderson, SC, a motion was made and passed to accept him into the club. First reading applications were held for Robert W. Wallace and Kurt Hyde.

A motion was made and unanimously passed to nominate Clifford Mishler, club life member, for ANA governor in the 2007 election. The secretary read the following: Whereas, Chester Krause is a numismatic pioneer and giant who through his publications disseminated knowledge immeasurably benefiting Numismatics, it is the unanimous recommendation of the Chicago Coin Club’s Board of Governors to set aside, in this instance, the long tradition of nominating only CCC members and submit the nomination of Chester Krause for Governor in the 2007 ANA election. A motion was made and unanimously passed.

First Vice President Jeffrey Rosinia introduced the featured speaker, Paul Robertz on the subject of Distinguishing Fine Differences of Lower Grade Coins. At the conclusion, Rosinia presented Robertz with an engraved Club medal and an ANA Educational Certificate.

Exhibitors for the evening were ROBERT LEONARD: 4 coins advertising politically incorrect entertainment (1875-1975) from Woods Minstrels, Parisian Varieties, Club Dutch Mill and 10 Beach Drive Cocktail Lounge; DONALD DOOL: 2 paces. octavo 1/8 real from Colima, a 1793 sol from the siege of Mainz, an unlisted variety on a 16th century coin from Siena a city in Tuscany, and a 1644 ¼ stiver from DEI-Batavian Republic; EUGENE FREEMAN: 1856-S U.S. half dollar with countermark, 1730 British Evasion half-penny token, 1832 U.S. dime with 2 countermarks, and 1892-micro O U.S. half dollar; MARK WIECLAW: Vietnamese gold tael, sterling silver coin holder for nickels, 2007 U.S. silver eagle seals from West Point, Chicago Numismatic Society 1910 aviation medal in silver, 3 coins (tremissis, hexagram and solidus) from Byzantine Emperor Justinian II showing the first coin portraits of Jesus Christ; ROBERT KULYS: 9 different recently purchased thalers; ELLIOT KRIETER: presentation to everyone in attendance a 2007-D Washington presidential dollar which is to be officially released the next day; KURT HYDE: a silver denarius of C. Cassius Longinus (63 B.C.) showing a Roman casting a ballot; WINSTON ZACK: low-grade type coins 1847 seated liberty dollar and a 1795 flowing hair half dollar; ROBERT WEINSTEIN: 5 coins from the Roman Empire a silver siliqua of Constantine II as Caesar from the Siscia Mint, bronze coin commemorative of the city of Constantinople, bronze coin showing Helena wife of Constantine the Great as Nobilissa femina from the Thessalonica Mint, silvered bronze coin of Constantine II as Caesar from the Constantinople Mint, and a bronze coin commemorative of the City of Rome; ROBERT FEILER: newly acquired box thalers made from 1859 Prussia and 1895 Germany coins; LYLE DALY: U.S. 3-cent pieces 1853-type I, 1858-type II, 1861-type III, 1865 and 1868 nickel.

Under business the membership authorized spending $300-$400 for an imprinted table throw for use at local conventions. Design and color choices are to be submitted to the Board of Governors for final approval. Paul Robertz reported a source with equipment that can convert beta tapes onto DVDs. A motion was made and passed authorizing $100 expenditure for the source’s time.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Distinguishing Fine Differences of Lower Grade Coins

by Paul Robertz
Presented to our February 14, 2007 meeting.

Are you ready for a slabbed coin with an AG3.3 grade? That grade was just one aspect that Paul mentioned while reviewing his work on developing grades for well worn coins.

Paul discovered the importance of grading only after completing a set of GEM Franklin half dollars. Another collector burned by investment hype. He enjoyed the hobby, so his new specialization would involve coins that were not suited for investment promotions, coins that were: small, considered ugly and boring, and affordable enough to complete a series in a year or two. That brought him to the dime, quarter, and half dollar of the Barber series (1892-1916).

Before showing us his new grades, Paul briefly summarized the history of grading U.S. coins. The first coin collectors used adjectives to grade a coin: good, fine, and extremely fine sufficed for circulated coins, and there was only one uncirculated grade. William Sheldon, in Penny Whimsy in the 1950s, introduced a numeric grading scale for Large Cents; the grades were from 1 (basal state) to 70 (perfect). The original idea was that the value of a particular coin would be the grade times the price for a coin in the basal state. That pricing relationship quickly broke down as high grade coins appreciated faster in price than did low grade coins, but the 1 through 70 scale was adopted by other groups and exists to this day.

Paul reviewed the introduction of more “intermediate” grades by the different services over the past 30 years. All numbers from 60 to 70 now are used as the uncirculated grades, with “investment grade” coins starting at 65. Paul is fascinated by the lower grade coins, and the working title for his grading ideas is “Barber Whimsy.”

To those who say, “Barbers are easy to grade,” Paul agrees for the grades from Good to the lower uncirculated grades. But while others lump together all heavily worn pieces as “average circulated,” Paul has developed some “not yet established” grading standards.

While the grading services use only a 3 grade for About Good, Paul uses 3.0, 3.3, 3.5, and 3.7. One of the criteria used by his standards for About Good is the percentage of peripheral devices (such as letter tops, stars, or wreath) that have merged into the rim. The requirements also use the presence of Liberty&38217;s eye and ear. Those areas are also used in his definitions for his two Fair grades (2.0 and 2.5) and his two Poor grades (1.0 and 1.5).

The above grades are just further refinements of the existing grades, something that has been happening in the higher grades for some time. Paul also developed grades below Poor 1.0, and he showed us examples of each:

Type 0 Date and mintmarks are obliterated. Identifiable only by type.
Denomination -1 Worn to a smooth planchet. Only its metal and denomination suggest the denomination.
Metal -2 Identifiable only by its metallic composition. It may no longer be circular, but it must not be damaged.

The shown piece that graded -1 was a 2 Cent piece; parts of the 2, R, and wreath might still be identifiable, or maybe they were just strategically placed bag marks. Paul does not believe in net grading for Barber coins. (Net grading is a two-step method of grading damaged coins: first determine the grade based upon only the wear, then deduct some number of points for the damage. The number of points to deduct for a certain amount or type of damage is the sticking point.)

We will never agree on all grades because we will never agree on all possible variations of the requirements. For example, while some collectors want three letters of LIBERTY to be complete for a given grade, other collectors accept two complete letters and two partial letters.

Many Barber collectors now use a new designation: circulated cameo, for when there is contrast between the fields and devices. But even common G-4 coins are not safe from coin doctors, as some coins with stained fields have appeared. Although collectors usually try to form a registry set of slabbed coins with the highest possible grades, some collect Poor-1 coins on eBay. Paul showed a picture of a 1976 Eisenhower, slabbed as PO01, that had sold on eBay for a surprisingly large amount.

Paul admits that most people do not consider it worth their time and effort to distinguish between common date AG 3.3 and AG 3.5 coins. Few would pay to have such a coin slabbed. But the study of a large number of well worn coins is possible only with the common coins. The resulting finer grading scale could be useful to collectors of the few coins (1793 Chain Cents or Draped Bust Half Dimes for example) that are not often available in grades above Good. The prices of these rarities are significant enough to justify differentiating between the various degrees of AG or Fair.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our February 14, 2006 meeting.

  1. Bob Leonard showed four coins advertising types of entertainment that are now politically incorrect.
  2. Don Dool attended the Money Show of the Southwest in Houston the previous month; he exhibited there and showed us his award. Then he showed some items that he acquired there.
  3. Eugene Freeman was at a St. Loius show the previous week, and showed some items acquired there.
  4. Mark Wieclaw showed items from various sources.
  5. As a followup to his prior month’s exhibit of Maria Theresa talers, Robert Kulys brought a group of talers, along mith multiple- and fractional-talers, from various German States. He also brought the Krause 1998 catalog of German Coins; a fine work that helped him in identifying most of the pieces. The earliest was from Bavaria, dated 1767, with others through the 1800s.
  6. Elliot Krieter brought in many of the new George Washington dollar coins (on the night before their official release date!) with date and mint mark on the edge. Then he gave one to each person in attendance.
  7. Kurt Hyde collects voting-related items. He showed his earliest representation of voting, a denarius from 63 BC that depicts a Roman citizen voting. Then he showed a book with plates depicting other coins featuring other means of casting a ballot.
  8. Complementing the featured speaker’s presentation, Winston Zack showed a short type set of very well worn dollars:
  9. Robert Weinstein showed some ancient cois:
  10. Bob Feiler showed two recently acquired box thalers:
  11. Lyle Daly showed a type set of three cent pieces.

Introducing a New Section

Club members are invited to submit entries for this new section of the Chatter. This is for the benefit of club members who attend our regular meetings.

A member can BRIEFLY list (a two-printed-line limit) what he or she will bring to our meeting; this could be for sale, exhibiting, etc. Why publicize your exhibit? To have other members bring in similar or complementary material. The deadline for submitting a note is two weeks before the month’s regular meeting. Send it to:

Will Bring - March 14

Phil Carrigan -- Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of US and Colonial Coins; dust jacket and binding in perfect condition; asking $50.

Our 1059th Meeting

Date:March 10, 2007, First session
Time:1:00 PM
Location:At the Chicago Paper Money Expo (CPMX), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured speakers:Clifford Mishler & Chester Krause - Wisconsin Paper Money

Chester Krause collected Wisconsin paper money for over 50 years and assembled an impressive collection in excess of 1,500 pieces. His collection will make up a 170-case exhibit at this summer’s American Numismatic Association convention in Milwaukee. Never before has such a large currency collection from a single state gone on exhibit anywhere. Everyone attending this meeting will hear Chet Krause show and discuss some of Wisconsin’s rarest issues and relate stories on building a single state collection second to none.

Date:March 14, 2007, Second session
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:David Baeckelandt - Chicago Financial Firsts

Despite its brand as the “Second City,” Chicago is, in fact, the birthplace of a vast array of financial innovations including modern accounting, modern investment banking practices, modern underwriting due diligence, and modern stock evaluation techniques. Chicago has spawned innovations in insurance, investment management theory and IPOs; personal finance and pensions; capital markets, charting, and commodities; and much more. At one point, in the early 1930s, Chicago’s dominance in practical and innovative finance was such that press reports cited serious discussions to relocate the NYSE to Chicago. Illustrating his arguments with certificates and financial documents from his collection, David Baeckelandt will chronicle the evolution of Chicago’s Financial Firsts.

Important Dates

March 9-11 12th Annual Chicago Paper Money Expo (CPMX) at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday.
March 10 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the Chicago Paper Money Expo, which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Clifford Mishler & Chester Krause on Wisconsin Paper Money
March 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - David Baeckelandt on Chicago Financial Firsts
April 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 27-29 30th Annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday.
April 28 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Chuck Jacobs on One Yen Silver Pieces & Trade Dollars, 1870-1914

Birthday and Year Joined

April 1 Charles J. Ryant, Jr.
April 6 Wendell Wolka 2006
April 12 Mark Wieclaw 1991
April 15 Robert D. Leonard, Jr. 1983
April 15 Charles Menard 1995
April 24 Richard Hall 2006
April 27 Don Valenziano 1982
April 29 Robert Kulys 2006

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
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Eugene Freeman
Elliot Krieter
Carl Wolf
Mark Wieclaw
Other positions held are:
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Steve Zitowsky- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor

Contacting Your Editor / Chatter Delivery Option

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