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Volume 53 No. 5 May 2007

Minutes of the 1060th Meeting

April 11, 2007

Session I of the 1060th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held at 131 S. Dearborn, 6th Floor Conference Room and was called to order at 7 PM by President Robert Feiler with 19 members and 3 guests present.

Following the second reading of David Gumm’s membership application a motion was made and passed to accept him into the Club. The three guests, Marc Stackler, Jared Irish and Eric Schmidt each presented applications for membership which received first readings. The March minutes were approved as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky’s report of $304.00 in March revenue, $506.34 in expenses and $11,666.04 in the treasury was accepted.

First V.P. Jeffrey Rosinia introduced the featured speaker, Eugene Freeman, who spoke on U.S. Standing Liberty Quarters, 1916-1930. Following a question and answer period, Jeff presented Eugene with an educational certificate from the American Numismatic Association.

Second V.P. Lyle Daly announced the following exhibitors: JASON FREEMAN – Uganda 1981 500-shilling; DONALD DOOL – certificates and medals recently presented to him after speaking before 3 South American coin clubs, basketball/San Martin medal from the first world championship, an 1899 Masonic medal with San Martin for the Lautaro Lodge, Mauressa Eklund issued under Louis XIV in 1642, and a molded plastic medal; STEVE ZITOWSKY – a restrike Papal medal of Pope Gregory XIII from 1572 commemorating St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, and an 1869 bronze proof Papal medal with a view of a huge crowd at St. Peter’s square with the Vatican interior on the reverse; MARK WIECLAW – copies of seven different Biblical coins in a Lucite holder, a silver denarius of Cassius (43-42 BC), a denarius of Brutus (43-42 BC), a dupondius of Nero (54-68 AD) and Drusis, and tetradrachm of Gordian I (238 AD) from the Alexandria Mint; ROBERT LEONARD – ancient, medieval and modern coins depicting chainmail: an antoninianus of Roman Emperor Aurelian (270-75 AD), a denier of Bohemond III (or IV) from Antioch, a follus of Baldwin II from Edessa, a 1772 British half-penny showing George III, and a 1788 half-penny from Vermont; EUGENE FREEMAN – a Portuguese Guinea 5 centavos from 1933, 3-medals from the Philippines commemorating their 1943 independence, a Chinese silver amulet, and an 1878-S MS62 Morgan Dollar with multicolored tones; ROBERT WEINSTEIN – elongated cents from 1901 Industrial Expo in Milwaukee, 1907 Jamestown Expo, 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration with The Clairmont, 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration with the Half-moon, 1911 Albany capitol destroyed by fire, 1912 City Hall of Waterbury, Conn. destroyed by fire, 1912 Columbus Memorial of Washington DC, plus a Canadian large cent elongate of Quebec Tercentenary, and a Chilean 10-centavo showing the skyride at the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress; WINSTON ZACK – announcement that he will be attending the University of Arizona in the fall to major in anthropology and minor in archeology; LYLE DALY – 4 Byzantine coins that included a gold hyperpyron of John III (1222-54 AD), an electrum aspron of Isaac II (1185-95 AD), a billon aspron of Manuel I (1143-80 AD), a tetarteron of Manuel I (1143-80 AD), and 3 numismatic books purchased at the Kane County Flea Market.

Under old business it was announced that 100 4X magnifier-flashlights were on order and expected in time for the Chicago International Coin Fair. Robert Leonard reported on his progress with the CICF souvenir card covering Cigarette Money.

Under new business it was announced that the Milwaukee American Numismatic Association convention begins August 8th the usual meeting night of the Club. A motion was made and passed to reschedule the August meeting to the 15th which will give members the opportunity to exhibit recent purchases. The Central States Numismatic Society is holding their annual convention May 9-12 in St. Louis. Don Dool and William Burd were appointed to represent the Chicago Coin Club at their 8 AM breakfast meeting of member clubs on Friday May 11th.

The meeting was called into recess at 8:40 PM and will be reconvened at 1 PM on Saturday, April 28 at the Chicago International Coin Fair.

. . . . . . .

Session II of the 1060th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President Robert Feiler at 1 PM on April 28, 2007 with 33 members and 22 guests present. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Chicago International Coin Fair at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont.

The application for membership of Kevin Foley received first reading. Past-presidents and current officers in attendance were introduced. After announcing the Club’s future schedule of speakers, the afternoon’s featured speaker Chuck Jacobs was introduced; he spoke on “Japanese One Yen Silver Pieces and Trade Dollars, 1870-1914.” After a question and answer period, Jacobs was presented with an engraved club medal and an educational certificate from the American Numismatic Association.

Robert Leonard spoke briefly on writing the Modern Cigarette Money, the 19th odd and curious souvenir handout created by the Club for the CICF meeting. Everyone in attendance was presented with a copy.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Standing Liberty Quarters

by Eugene Freeman
Presented to our April 11, 2007 meeting.

The design of the Standing Liberty Quarter was an outgrowth of the movement under Teddy Roosevelt’s administration, for the United States to have coins with greater artistic appeal. The gold coins were redesigned around 1907; the silver coins had to wait until 1917, under the 25-year law passed in 1890.

In December 1915, the Treasury announced a general contest to design the new quarter, and the winner was Hermon A. MacNeil. In May 1916, MacNeil’s galvano models were approved, minus the dolphins he had placed flanking Liberty’s feet, and with changes in the placement of the motto.

When considered against the background of World War I, which had been raging in Europe since 1914, the symbolism of the design is clear. Liberty stands at the portal (or gateway) to the country, and holds an olive branch in her right hand, saying “I prefer Peace,” but she is removing the cover from her shield, saying “I will defend myself.”

Although the designs were not supposed to be used until 1917, the Mint struck 52,000 pieces dated 1916, during the last half of December 1916, and these were released with the first 1917-dated coins on January 17.

Shortly after the release of the coins, the Treasury began receiving complaints about the design, because the quarters had the same problem as Janet Jackson’s costume — the right breast is uncovered! The design was modified to cover Miss Liberty’s chest with chain mail. Other elements of the design were changed, including moving three stars from the legend to below the eagle on the reverse, and raising the position of the eagle.

The most serious design flaw, the placement of the date on a raised platform at Liberty’s feet, was not to be corrected until the third type was released in 1925. Dates of the Type I and Type II quarters wear off very quickly, and it is not unusual to see a coin with detail that should equal Fine, but the date is worn off the coin.

Of course, it is easy to identify Type I quarters, even without a date, by looking for the coins without any stars below the eagle on the reverse. But it is also possible to identify 1916 quarters if they are in a group of Type I dateless quarters. The leaves are broader and closer together on the obverse; drapery above 19 is different; the star below W is closer to the line; and all the stars are in higher relief.

The modifications made in 1917 were at least partially due to a (false) charge that the coins did not stack properly, but the modifications severely affected the original design. In contrast to the 1917 Type I coins, the Type II coins are usually not fully struck for the details of Liberty’s face and hair, her knee, and the shield bosses and inner shield.

The Mint struck the Type II quarters from 1917 through 1924, although there are no 1922 dated quarters, and the coins were not struck at all three mints in 1921 and 1923.

Because of the immense wartime coinage quotas that had to be filled in the fall of 1917, the Engraving Department was simultaneously preparing dies for both 1917 Type II and for 1918 quarters. One of the working dies destined for San Francisco received one blow from the hub for 1917, but the subsequent blows after annealing were made by a 1918 hub. The result was the 1918S 8/7 quarter, which is a great rarity within the series.

Of the Type II quarters, the rarest regular dates are 1921 and 1923S. There are a few repunched mintmark varieties, including the 1924 S/S/S listed by Cline (in his 4th edition, he indicates that this may be a fake). Knauss also lists 1924 D/D and 1924 S/S.

In 1925, the Mint finally addressed the date problem, by putting the date within a recessed rectangle below Liberty’s feet. This Type III was struck from 1925 until the series ended in 1930, although it was not struck at all three Mints in 1925 and 1930. No quarters were struck in 1931, and the Washington Quarter design was released in 1932.

Of the Type III quarters, the rarest regular date is the 1927S. There are a few overmintmark varieties, including 1928 D/S and 1928 S/D, as listed by Cline. Cline also lists two repunched mintmarks, 1928 D/D and 1928 S large/small, but Knauss has a longer list, including 1927 D/D and 1929 S/S.

The small S and large S varieties are generally recognized for 1928 S, but there may be more that have not been documented. Knauss suspects that 1920 S and 1930 S may be varieties, and Cline indicates that there are three different size mintmarks for 1917 D Type I.

There are also a few cuds that appear on the coins, the most popular of which is the 1926 S “tear drop” quarter. Knauss also lists tear drop cuds for 1920 S and 1928 S.

Knauss lists “shooting star” cuds for 1923, 1928 and 1928 S. These are diecracks that are attached to stars to the right of Liberty.

Knauss lists a 1927 DDO, 1927D DDR, 1928D DDR, 1929D DDR, and three different 1930 DDR.

A few months ago, someone asked me a question regarding Standing Liberty Quarters: “Which is more valuable, an MS 65, or a MS 64 FH?” I answered that it depended upon the date, since 1917 Type I is often found FH, but in general I would expect the MS 64 FH to be more valuable than the MS 65. I have compared the values in the April 2007 issue of Coin Values, and the results follow my answer: For the 1917 Type I, the MS 65 is slightly higher ($900 vs. $800). For all the other coins, the MS 64 FH is the more expensive coin.

For the 1917 Type II, the difference is only $50: $700 vs. $650, or 1.08x. The largest percentage difference is for the 1926D: $18,000 vs. $550, or 32.72x. The largest dollar difference is for the 1927S: $100,000 vs. $15,000, or 6.67x.


Speaker’s Wor[l]d
The History of Japanese One Yen Silver Pieces

A presentation by Chuck Jacobs
to our April 28, 2007 meeting.

Chuck’s study of Japanese coins continues a family tradition, as his father had co-authored the first book covering modern Japanese coins in the West. This topic, the silver one yen pieces, is just one area of a book Chuck has been developing.

The Tokugawa era, from about 1600 to the mid 1800s, was the last feudal period in Japanaese history That era started with a currency standardization where one ryo equals four bu, one bu equals four shu, and one shu equals 250 mon. The first shown picture was of a ryo from about 1601, a large but very thin oval of gold with a few characters and symbols. These were cut up to make smaller pieces, some of which were also shown. Silver traded by weight as chogin and mameita gin. The currency was continually debased between 1601 and 1868.

An outflow of silver resulted from an internal exchange rate between gold and silver that was not the same as in its neighbor, China. The government responded by monetizing Mexican 8 reales pieces, but that did not help the problem much. A picture of a counterstamped piece, giving it the value of 3 bu, was shown. From 1859, it is known as the Ansei Trade Dollar.

With the shogunate weak and the economy crumbling, Matsuhito, the Meiji Emperor, assumed full power in 1868. Seeing the growing colonization of Asia by the European powers, he knew Japan had only two choices: modernize or be colonized. The process of modernization is known as the “Meiji Ishin.” The first new institution was the Osaka Mint, commissioned before the train or telegraph; it used mint equipment bought from the British in Hong Kong.

Before showing the modern coins, Chuck identified some characters and symbols that we would be seeing. “Dai Nippon” is the Empire of Japan; the symbols read right-to-left and top-to-bottom. The coins use regnal years: the Meiji era is from 1868 to 1912, while the Taisho era is from 1912 to 1926. (Chuck noted that the eras overlap: the last year of one era is year one of the next era.) The denomination appears in two ways: either using the symbol for yen, or using the symbols for “trading silver” on the Trade Dollar.

The character for yen means round. Variations on that character are used for the Chinese yuan and Korean won (whan). The central part of the character is derived from the picture of a cowrie shell; cowries had been used as currency in ancient China.

The Kiku Mon, or Chrysanthemum Seal, is the primary symbol of the imperial family. The Kiri Mon, or Paulownia Seal, is the second symbol of the imperial family, usually associated with the empress. It had been the mon of the Tokugawa family, and now is used as the symbol for the Japanese prime minister and cabinet. The Japanese use kiri wood for artwork, musical instruments, furniture, and containers.

Chuck used a pattern of the first silver one yen piece, from year Meiji 3, to point out the characters and symbols he had just described. After pointing out the rising sun and the dragon, he explained their significance. During the Sui Dynasty, the Chinese began using the compound of sun and origin to identify Japan — hence “The Land of the Sun.” The vertical lines on the sun’s circle are a carry-over from European heraldry to indicate that the sun is red. On Japanese coins, the dragon represents the power of the emperor; the side of the coin with the dragon is the obverse.

The dragon image on yen pieces is reputed to come from the Nine Dragon wall in Beijing — a tile sculture built during the Ming Dynasty. Asian dragons have the head of a camel, antlers of a deer, scales of a carp, eyes an paws of a tiger, and talons of an eagle. Different countries use a different number of talons: five in China, four in Korea, and three in Japan. Chuck told us that each country has its own explanation for their number: Japan holds that dragons originated there with three talons, gained a fourth talon after migrating to Korea, and gained a fifth talon after migrating to China; China holds that dragons originated there with five talons, lost one talon after migrating to Korea, and lost another talon after migrating to Japan.

One yen pieces were struck for issue one month after Japan went on the silver standard in October 1870. The major design change was using a wreath of paulownia and chrysanthemum instead of the individual crests of the pattern. The coinage act of Meiji 4 (1871) established the gold yen as the unit of currency, further divided into 100 sen or 1000 rin. Gold and silver coins minted that year are dated either Meiji 3 or 4. In Meiji 6, copper followed; when Japan officially adopted the gold standard, silver yen were valid only in trading ports (not domestically), so they all effectively became Trade Dollars.

The tamashi (orb) is another symbol of power; it always has a spiral on a Japanese coin. The spirals on the orbs on the Nine Dragon Wall are clearly the overlapping wisps of clouds. The clouds do not appear on the coins, but the spirals do. Halfway through Meiji 7, the direction of the spiral on the coin reversed. Why it reversed is a mystery. On the wall, the spirals twist in both directions.

Meiji 7 (1874) saw the first patterns for a Trade Dollar — yen was replaced by trading silver. The dragon stands out better on the trial strikes from that same year, and the switch from yen to Trade Dollar ocurred between March and April of Meiji 8. Trade Dollars were minted into March of Meiji 11, but were still dated Meiji 10. When yen coins returned in Meiji 11, all Trade Dollars became legal currency. That year saw the United States stop minting Trade Dollars for circulation.

In Meiji 20, the diameter of the one yen was reduced by a half millimeter to 38.1mm, while the weight was maintained at 26.96g of a 90% silver 10% copper alloy. Chuck is not aware of the reason for the change. Some Meiji 19 yen were made in the smaller size.

The coinage act of Meiji 30 (1897) reduced the value of the yen in half, bringing gold and silver values back in line with the world market. All silver yen were recalled, to be redeemed in new gold coins; the original five-year window was reduced to one year. Returned coins were either melted to mint smaller denominations, or counterstamped gin (silver) and sent to Formosa. The counterstamp marking them as no longer legal tender prevented them from being redeemed a second time. The coins were stamped at mints in Osaka (18.35 million) and Tokyo (2.1 million), with the stamp location indicating the mint: left for Osaka and right for Tokyo. Chuck showed coins from a number of years with a counterstamp.

Perhaps the reduced size pattern (34mm, 18.3g) from Meiji 34 was produced in anticipation of downsizing the yen coin. The last year for the silver yen was Taisho 3 (1914); the dragon and orb imagery has not appeared on coins since.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our March 14, 2007 meeting.

  1. Jason Freeman showed the latest addition to his collection of Elephants on coins — a 1981 500 shilling piece from Uganda (the holder calls it a proof).
  2. Don Dool showed some items acquired during his recent trip to Argentina:
  3. Steve Zitowsky showed two papal medals:
  4. Mark Wieclaw started by showing 7 differet biblical coins embedded in a lucite holder; all were counterfeit. Then he showed some genuine ancient coins:
  5. Bob Leonard showed coins featuring chain mail, a feature present on the coins described by the evening’s featured speaker.
  6. Eugene Freeman showed coins acquired at a Madison show:
  7. Robert Weinstein showed a number of elongated coins from the early 1900s that show much better detail than later elongateds. Among the pieces were:
  8. Winston Zack announced that he will major in Archeology at the University of Arizona starting in the fall.
  9. A few years ago, Lyle Daly bought a group of unidentified coins. He showed some that he has identified:


Charles J. Ryant, Jr., of Maple City, Michigan died March 14th. He passed away 24 hours after suffering a stroke, just a few weeks short of his 87th birthday. A member of the Chicago Coin Club for 66-years, Charles joined in December 1940 becoming member number 369. Over the last few years he held the most longevity in the Club.

Charles was born April 1, 1920 in Chicago. He received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology while teaching night school. Charles went to work for Standard Oil Company of Indiana and had 5 patents to his credit. He retired at 37 years of age and dedicated himself to working on legislative councils, social action committees and Republican politics.

Charles met his wife Rosalind while taking ballroom dance lessons at the Fred Astaire Studios. Four shelves in their home hold many trophies they won competing in dance contests in the Chicago area, Ohio, New York and Florida. Charles took four trips to the Czech Republic to work on family genealogy which he traced back to 1500 AD. After living for many years in Calumet City, Illinois, Charles moved to Maple City, Michigan in 1981.

Charles began collecting coins at 8 years of age and eagerly shared his early collecting experiences on the Club video in 1984. His interest was always U.S. coinage. He served as President (1975-76), editor of the Chatter and received the Club’s 1977 Medal of Merit. Charles will always be remembered for his outgoing nature, service on numerous committees and financial sponsorship to anniversary events.

Charles was an integral part of negotiating with the I.R.S. in 1966 when the Club’s not-for-profit status was in jeopardy. Charles played a major role in re-writing the Club’s constitution to include necessary wordage required by the government. Charles joined the American Numismatic Association in 1948 and became life member 273. He held membership in other numismatic groups including Central States Numismatic Society (number 2112).

The funeral for Charles was held in Suttons Bay and burial was at the Cleveland Township Cemetery in Maple City. He is survived by Rosalind, his wife of 29 years and is preceded by his parents and one sister, Charlotte Ryant.

Carl Wolf
Secretary, Chicago Coin Club

Our 1061st Meeting

Date:May 9, 2007
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:Robert Wallace - Archaic Silver Coinages of the Thracian Tribes, ca. 550-480 B.C.

For nearly a century down to the mid-fifth century BC — and then abruptly stopping — several Thracian tribes (the Bisalti, the Edoni, the Orrescii, and the Derrones, in modern day Macedonia and Bulgaria) issued a large number of spectacular and extemely large silver coins: octodrachms and dodekadrachms, among the largest silver coins issued in the ancient world. A significant number of these coins have been found in hoards of Egypt and the Near East. The question for the evening is, why did these tribes strike these massive coins, but very few smaller ones, and why did the coins travel so far?

Important Dates

May 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert Wallace on Archaic Silver Coinages of the Thracian Tribes, ca. 550-480 B.C.
June 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Mike Gasvoda on The Propaganda Coinage of Augustus, 27 BC – 14 AD
June 22-24 MidAmerica Coin Expo at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5.
June 23 CCC Meeting - 1pm near the MidAmerica Coin Expo (in a hotel or the convention center, details in the next issue). No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - to be announced
July 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - John Riley on Pre-World War II Token Issues from Shanghai

Birthday and Year Joined

June 7 Harlan J. Berk 1995
June 11 Joseph A. Piekarczyk 1991
June 12 Rosalind Ryant 1977
June 27 James Simek 1973

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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