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Volume 54 No. 8 August 2008

Call for Trip Reports

Every year, some club members submit trip reports about the ANA summer convention. Reports are accepted from all club members on any numismatic event, so do not be shy. Submit something while it is all fresh in your memory.

No need to list everything that happened there; a few paragraphs on your highlights of the convention is fine. Make us stay-at-homes wish we had attended the 2008 Baltimore convention!

Reports submitted by Tuesday, August 26, will appear in the September Chatter.

Minutes of the 1073rd Meeting

The 1073rd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order May 14, 2008 at 7:00 PM by First V.P. Jeff Rosinia, in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. Attending were 16 members and no guests.

April Minutes were approved as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported April income of $509.50, expenses of $500.31 and total assets $12,484.47.

A motion was passed to accept Danny Spungen into membership following a second reading of his application.

First V.P. Jeff Rosinia introduced the featured speaker Don Dool who delivered a program on The Bronze Coinage of the French Feudal States. Following a question and answer period, Don was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club speaker's medal.

Lyle Daly introduced the evening’s exhibitors: DAVID GUMM: three Canadian Large Cents; DON DOOL: early European copper coins; ERIC SCHMIDT: coins found in circulation and rolls; EUGENE FREEMAN: a one-ounce silver Gibraltar coin; ROBERT LEONARD: some ancient coins, a modern counterfeit of one, and an erroneous slab; MARK WIECLAW: a Canadian medal and two Roman coins; STEVE ZITOWSKY: a silver coin and a silver medal; BOB WEINSTEIN: a number of Indo-Scythian pieces; STEVE AMBOS: two coins for European colonies; JEFF ROSINIA: two varieties of silver eagles; LYLE DALY: a book, a Roman coin, and a World’s Fair medal.

Under old business, club Director Elliott Krieter reported on various models of display projectors that the club would be interested in. A motion was passed to have him obtain and present to the club a quote for a specific model to be purchased.

Under new business it was announced that we need to renew our registered agent to comply with IRS rules. A motion was passed to have our Treasurer, Steve Zitowsky, become the club registered agent.

Director Mark Wieclaw reminded everyone that we need to start thinking about our 90th Anniversary meeting that will occur in 2009.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Sincerely Submitted,
Elliot Krieter

Minutes of the 1075th Meeting

Session I of the 1075th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held July 9, 2008 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. First Vice-President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 7 PM with 20 members and 1 guest, Mimi Lipman.

The June Minutes were approved as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky presented a printed report showing June income of $734.01, expenses of $240.06 and total assets $13,177.33. Following a comment requesting future reports showing Life Membership funds separately, the report was approved as presented. The club accepted with regret the resignations of Donn Pearlman, Terry Capps and Dr. Saul Needleman.

The evening’s featured speaker, Robert J. Leuver, former Director of the B.E.P., delivered a presentation on U.S. Government’s Tryst with a Plastic Substrate for Currency, which called for an extended question and answer period. Leuver was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal. It was announced that Dennis Ciechna would be the featured speaker at the August 13th meeting on the subject of error and unique U.S. currency.

Lyle Daly introduced the evening’s exhibitors: DONALD DOOL: 14 lapel pins, 1963 10 peso commemorative coin from Argentina, 1921 centenario Del Peru San Marin medal, and a “Good For” medal from Chuck Inn & Phil-Up at 6934 N. Clark, Chicago; RICHARD & MIMI LIPMAN: the new 7-piece proof set from the British Royal Mint and a coin from Sarawak; PHIL CARRIGAN: a 1909 Nashville Medal and a 1908 Membership Medal issued by the Chicago Numismatic Society, plus the book Medals Awarded to North American Indian Chiefs, 1714-1922, by Melvill Allan Jamieson and reprinted by Spink; ROBERT LEONARD: Tyvek paper currency from Haiti (1982 1 & 2 Gourdes) and Isle of Man (1983 1 Pound); ANDY PLIOPLYS: Lithuanian Legation Checks from the 1920s; MARK WIECLAW: gold ¼ eagle and silver eagles from the World Trade Center recovery, a .99999 fine gold Canadian Maple Leaf, an 1876 1-oz. $100 gold Union pattern coin, and a silver certificate that circulated in Pacific Theatre during World War II with dates and locations; and LYLE DALY: 12 ancient Roman coins from 286 324 AD he recently cleaned, and an elongated 1891 cent from the Panama Pacific International Expo of 1915.

Under Old Business Elliot Krieter reported on the progress toward purchasing a LED projector. Chairman of the 90th Anniversary Committee, Mark Wieclaw, reported a September meeting was planned.

Under New Business it was reported that Sharon and Kevin Blocker volunteered the funds for the Annual Banquet Room Deposit and dinner costs of the speaker. A motion was passed directing Steve Zitowsky to reserve a room for December 10th at Marcello’s Restaurant, 645 West North Avenue, Chicago.

The meeting was recessed at 9:00 PM and will resume on Saturday, July 12 at 1 PM at the MidAmerica Coin Expo.

. . . . . . .

Session II of the 1075th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held in conjunction with the MidAmerica Coin Expo at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, Schaumburg. In the absence of the President and Vice-Presidents, the Secretary called the meeting to order at 1 PM in the Utopia-D room with 12 members and 5 guests: William Davenport, A. Ronald Sirna, Richard Snow, Tom Schwartz and Jimmy Pyne.

The membership applications of A. Ronald Sirna, Jr., Flint, MI, and William Davenport, Arlington Heights, received first reading.

Following his introduction, A. Ronald Sirna addressed the group from his position as ANA Legal Counsel and spoke briefly on the recent lawsuit settlements. Sirna’s numismatic presentation Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cent Pattern Coinage, 1858-1863 received many questions. From the audience, Tom DeLorey and Richard Snow, author of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents Attribution Guide, made additional comments and provided further clarification on this series. Sirna was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal.

Member Danny Spungen spoke of a July 20th brunch and exhibition hosted by his family in Waukegan. The exhibit features letters and money used by the persecuted people of Europe during World War II. RSVP is required.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Changed Coins

presented by Robert Feiler to our June 11, 2008 meeting

Bob was introduced to the world of changed coins by long-time club member Harry Flower. This fascinating area covers a wide range of items resulting from human ingenuity. The items can be anything from simple and functional, to well-executed gems.

Although not changed as often as coins, paper money has not escaped unscathed. Requests of bank tellers for “anything unusual” have produced currency with counterstamps and markings. Not just the “Where’s George?” items so common now, but items that tried to make a point, bearing stamped legends for: boycotting the Chicago Tribune newspaper, showing the economic reach of the gay community, and even “I grew hemp” spoken by George Washington on a dollar bill. Less common are the handwritten notes that could cover much of the open space on a dollar bill such as a diatribe against gambling, and then there was the long one starting, “This note is not legal tender...”

Bob showed a few examples from each of the many classifications of changed coins. First were demonstrations of manufacturing techniques, where a coin was attached to a business card: a coin riveted to a business card from a fastener company, and a plated coin from a plating company. The next groups of items tended to be functional, such as the buttons formed by slightly pushing out Indian Cents (with a looped metal stem then soldered onto the concave side). Small spoons (mostly out of silver coins), with material added for the handle, are similar in idea. Toy utensils, such as a frying pan and a candle holder, were for children playing with dolls. Magician coins come in a range of styles, from the simple two-headed coin to multiple nesting pieces that can be used to change denominations. Bob explained how these can be made from multiple coins by grinding one and milling (hollowing out) the other.

An 1855 French 5 franc coin (think U.S. silver dollar size) made into a foldout knife was shown next. The short and wide blade pivots out from between two ground down coins that form the handle. So many of these were made that the company received French government approval to modify coins for their manufacture. Lighters also were made with coins — typically two coins would cap a cylindrical sleeve to form a canister. Bob showed examples made with an 1896 U.S. silver dollar and a 1921 British half penny.

Overstruck and countermarked coins form a large collecting area on thei own — among the items Bob showed were: a 1981 Kenedy half dollar overstruck for the 750th meeting of the Chicago coin Club, a Peruvian half sol counterstamped “Anguilla July 11 — 1967 — Liberty Dollar” for its independence day, and many 19th century U.S. coins with short counterstamps. Examples of pop-out coins included a 1908 barber to a 1997 Kennedy half, along with a 1918 mercury dime pop-out made into ring and found by a metal detectorist. A 1956 Lincoln Cent in a Dad’s Root Beer bottle cap, gien to Bob by Harry Flower, is just one example of how coins have been placed into souvenir holders of one sort or another.

Stickers have been placed onto coins for many reasons. A sticker on a 1921 silver dollar asks the question, “Will I be here if they merge?” This sign of worry over layoffs resulting from corporate mergers dates from 1930 — this G.N. Employee Dollar was created in Missoula, Montana by employees of the Great Northern Railroad.

Purely decorative items included cutouts and enameled coins, even some where the enamel painting has nothing to do with the coin’s design elements. Bob concluded with box dollars (thalers) — although most commonly found hinged, one example had a screw cap. And there was an example made from a $20 gold liberty piece.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
U.S. Government’s Tryst with a Plastic Substrate for Currency

presented by Robert Leuver to our July 9, 2008 meeting

Did you know that, at one time, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had 10,000 sheets of U.S. currency printed on Tyvek? They were one dollar bills, of the same design as the paper dollars then in circulation, but lacking the seals and numbering. Robert Leuver knew — he saw them on some of his monthly tours through BEP facilities. He had been appointed assistant director of the BEP in 1979, and then director in 1983. And he told us some stories from when plastic started replacing paper in the world’s folding money.

The name Ed Weitzman came up a few times. He was one of those WW II veterans who took a can-do attitude into the business world. His efforts in the 1960s and ’70s to have the American Banknote Company, instead of the BEP, print the nation’s currency came to naught, but he then, in 1978, convinced the BEP director to print notes on Tyvek. (That is a registered trademark of DuPont.) In 1979, Ed was back, trying to have the next BEP director print more sheets and release the existing ones. With no further success in the U.S., Ed turned his efforts overseas; notes on Tyvek were provided at no charge to Haiti and Isle of Man where they circulated. U.S. agents even went to both in order to pull samples from circulation for examination back home. The currency came back with dirt and grease, demonstrating that Tyvek would not work.

During a meeting in Australia to discuss anti-counterfeiting efforts and research, a local offered a polymer substrate as a suitable material. An offer of a half interest in polymer for $10 million was not accepted by the U.S. representative. Although in theory the BEP was the only non-appropriated agency in the federal government, Congress could still second guess decisions during hearings and briefings. Bob explained how he had been the unintended recipient of Congressional wrath while part of a group that followed a group from the Mint: Senator Lawton Chiles of Florida had spent the time allocated for the Mint’s presentation vigorously complaining about the Suan B. Anthony dollar — after a break, with the BEP people now in front of him, Chiles resumed complaining about the Anthony dollar! Chiles and Representative Frank Annunzio of Illinois were only two of the agents against change in congress.

Senator Silvio Conti of Connecticut did his part in preserving the status quo — his 1986 legislation requires that the substrate for U.S. currency be made domestically. Bob ventured that if the use of a polymer had been pressed in 1980, this legislation would have passed sooner. It just so happened that the company providing the rag paper for U.S. currency is located just over the border in Massachusetts. In 1982, De La Rue had opened a plant in the state of Georgia to make cotton paper for U.S. currency. A powerful senator from Georgia supported them, and they wanted half of the U.S. purchase of paper. They did not realize that, as a non-appropriated agency, an appropriation bill could not specify the vendor — the low bidder would get the contract. They did not get the contract.

Introduction of a polymer substrate would have required internal changes at the BEP. With employees belonging to 16 different unions, 14 of which are in the AFL-CIO, work rule changes would have taken time. These were powerful unions — when the AFL and CIO merged in the 1960s during financial difficulties, only the plate printer’s union, with their large bankroll, would lend money to assist the merger.

Polymer substrate currency debuted in 1988, and the technology is owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Each piece consists of multiple layers of the transparent material, so that the printing is internal, and protected. Tyvek is opaque, so printing was external and subject to wear. Most polymer pieces have a window, an area where no printing is applied; hard to duplicate with a simple copier. Hundreds of denominations from many countries now use the polymer substrate, so maybe we will have some here. Does anyone have any of the U.S. Tyvek notes?

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our July 9, 2008 meeting.

  1. Don Dool showed a range of items:
  2. Richard and Mimi Lipman showed two British-related items:
  3. Phil Carrigan started with two items acquired at the Central States show:
  4. To complement the evening’s featured speaker, Bob Leonard brought examples of money printed on Tyvek. After looking at the current prices on, he can sell these for enough gas money to reach ANA in Baltimore.
  5. Previously, Andy Pliopolys had asked club members about some cancelled checks from the Lithuanian legation in Washington DC. Some, in all amounts, were for for general purchases, but what caught his eye were the checks drawn on the Speial P account, with all amounts in integral multiples of $2.50. His research led him to the 1920 bond issue that raised $2 million; the 15-years bonds payed 5% interest, and were issue in amounts of $50 and $100. Although they were trading at only 25% of their face value by 1923, they were paid off in full at redemption. The signatures on the general purpose checks cover all four ambassadors up to WW II.
  6. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of items:
  7. Lyle Daly showed some recent acquisitions:

Our 1076th Meeting

Date:August 13, 2008
Time:7:00 PM
Location:Downtown Chicago
At the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Court, 3rd floor meeting room. Please remember the security measures at our meeting building: everyone must show their photo-ID and register at the guard’s desk. A few blocks west of the CBA building is the Ceres Restaurant (enter the Board of Trade building from Jackson at LaSalle, then enter the restaurant from the lobby) with standard sandwiches, burgers and salads for members who want to meet for dinner.
Featured speaker:Dennis Ciechna - U.S. Paper Money Errors & Unique Notes

Error bank notes can be broken down into 24 categories. Member Dennis Ciechna does not have examples from every category, but over 30 years he has built a large collection of these unique notes. Many were found at the Lawndale National Bank and Dennis purchased some from his grandfather’s great friend, I.T. Kopicki, an early member of the Chicago Coin Club (member 124 and President 1947-48). Those who make the time to attend this meeting will see notes from $1 - $100 with errors such as print omissions, upside down printing, misprints, etc. and are sure to come away fascinated by this collecting specialty.

Important Dates

Jul 30 - Aug 3 American Numismatic Association 117th Anniversary Convention at the Baltimore, Maryland Convention Center. Which of our members will attend? More importantly, who will submit a trip report for the Chatter?
August 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Dennis Ciechna on U.S. Paper Money Errors & Unique Notes
September 4-6 Illinois Numismatic Association Convention at the Tinley Park Convention Center, 18501 South Harlem Ave., Tinley Park, IL. Take I-80 to Harlem Avenue (Exit 148 North), turn right at the first street, and then turn right again at the first street.
September 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
October 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced

Birthday and Year Joined

September 2 John Wilson 1984
September 7 James M. McMenamin 1975
September 18 Michael M. Dolnick 1952
September 18 Gregory Gajda 1999
September 19 Russell F. Wajda 2000
September 20 Winston Zack 2005
September 21 Kerry K. Wetterstrom 1999
September 24 Michael A. Pesha 1979
September 26 Dennis P. Ciechna 1999
September 29 Gordon R. Donnell 1999

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

The print version of the Chatter is simply a printout of the Chatter web page, with a little cutting and pasting to fill out each print page. The web page is available before the Chatter is mailed.
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