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Volume 54 No. 5 May 2008

Minutes of the 1072nd Meeting

Session I of the 1072nd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order at 7 PM with 22 members and 1 guest, Bruce Smith, present.

The May Minutes were approved as printed in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky presented a printed report showing March income of $405.00, expenses of $482.39 and total assets $12,475.28. The report was approved as presented. Following the second reading of Danny Spungen’s membership application, a motion was made and passed that he be accepted into the Club.

Second V.P. Lyle Daly introduced the evening’s featured speaker, David Gumm, who delivered the program History of U.S. Large Cents, 1793-1857. A question and answer period followed. Member Bill Burd spoke about the library at his shop, Chicago Coin Company. Members were encouraged to come by to research coins in their collection. President Feiler announced that an anonymous donation of $90.00 was made to cover the cost of the meeting room. He requested other members to follow suit whenever the featured topic is of personal interest.

Bruce Smith, Sheboygan, WI, spoke briefly of visiting The Field Museum and seeing the Frank Chalfant collection of ancient Chinese coins at The Field Museum. Bruce told the story of Frank Chalfont and how the collection went into the museum in 1914. Even though Bruce spent only 3 hours with the collection, it appears the collection holds several unique pieces and he intends to come back for further research.

Lyle Daly introduced the evening’s exhibitors: DONALD DOOL — 5 bronze coins from South America; PHIL CARRIGAN — 1873 Native Peoples Medal of Canada from the John J. Ford collection; STEVE HUBER — 11 high grade world crowns; ROBERT FEILER — a cancelled banknote, a bronze medal commemorating the visit to the U.S. in 1902 of Prince Henry of Prussia and an Argentinean 10 peso cut out showing a horse and rider; MARK WIECLAW — 5 ancient coins from John Twente “animal” collection, a drachm of Faustina I (138-141 AD) and a tetradrachm of Syracuse (510-485 BC); ROBERT LEONARD — 5 coins showing clasped hands; RICHARD LIPMAN — Japanese mint sets with special packaging; STEVE ZITOWKSY — 3 pesos from Maximillian Mexico and 3 tokens; KURT HYDE — 1949 Canadian silver dollar; MARC STACKLER — 1915 5/3 centavo mule from Oaxaca; LYLE DALY — 6 ancient Macedonian coins.

Under business it was announced that Tom DeLorey is recovering from his fall on the ice and expected to be back by June at Harlan Berk Ltd. Robert Leonard announced he had finished the History of Fur Money for a souvenir card at the upcoming CICF meeting. Lyle Daly suggested the Club consider purchasing a LCD projector and Elliot Kreiter volunteered to investigate the costs. President Feiler presented issue no. 1 of the 2008 CPMX souvenir card to William Burd to be placed in the Club archives.

The meeting was recessed at 9:32 PM and will be reconvened Saturday April 26, 1 PM at the Chicago International Coin Fair.

. . . . . . .

Session II of the 1072nd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held April 26, 2008 in conjunction with the Chicago International Coin Fair, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Rosemont. The meeting was called to order at 1 PM by President Robert Feiler with 40 members and 11 guests in attendance.

A motion was passed to dispense with the usual order of business and adopt an abbreviated agenda. V.P. Lyle Daly introduced featured speaker Bruce Smith who delivered a program titled Marco Polo’s Account on 13th Century Asian Money. Following a question-and-answer session, Lyle presented Bruce with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal.

The application of Bruce D. Bartelt, Wisconsin received first reading.

The Secretary briefly spoke about the Club, the meeting times and upcoming programs. Robert Leonard spoke on the souvenir card titled Fur Money and answered several questions including the fact that the fur was mink. Cards were distributed to everyone in attendance.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 PM.

Sincerely Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Silent Witness: Civilian Camp Money of World War II

presented by Steve Feller to our March 29, 2008 meeting

Steve Feller started his presentation by showing a medal from Israel, honoring camp survivors. He then thanked Charlton and Gloria Meyer of the Holocaust Museum of Houston for many of the images in his recent book Silent Witnesses: Civilian Camp Money of World War II. The presentation could cover only a few of the camps from around the world, so Steve mentioned only a small sampling of the camps and their numismatic connections. Although many nations operated camps for civilians, the German camps are the most well-known now; there were many camps, with the first from well before World War II.

The first German concentration camp was established in 1933 near Oranienburg to hold political opponents of the Nazis. The camp operation evolved, becoming more restrictive over time; at first, inmates could go into town with their own money to acquire items. That soon ended, and the inmates used graphic notes, Lagergeld — camp money, in four denominations that were designed and printed by an inmate. The camp commandant wrote a book about the camp in 1934, and a set of the four denominations was bound into every copy. Steve recounted how he had found a copy of that book available through inter-library loan, requested it, and found that the notes had been sliced out of that book. Inmates could earn the camp money by extra work, or they could have friends outside the camps send them money. However, there was a 30% fee to convert the real money into camp money — the fee supposedly was to pay for camp operation!

Following the invasion of Poland in 1939, the western third of Poland was annexed to Germany. The city of Lodz was renamed Litzmannstadt, and the first Ghetto was established there in early 1940. More types of money are known from Lodz than from any other ghetto; in addition to the typical scrip and ration cards, there were coins made in magnesium alloy and aluminum. The archives detail the give and take between the Jewish and German authorities while developing the designs of the 10, 20, and 50 mark coins. Modern counterfeits of all of those coins are known, especially the 20 mark coin. Some of the ghetto scrip has a warning against counterfeiting.

The Theresienstadt Ghetto, located outside of Prague, was intended for high profile people who would be missed — at least for awhile. People such as the few Danish Jews who were caught, holders of high German medals, artists, and rich people. The issued items had better designs than at Litzmannstadt, and the issues were printed at the Czech state printers. This is the one camp that the Germans let the Red Cross visit; a souvenir card of four parcel post stamps was given to the Red Cross during the visit. A package received at the ghetto required this stamp in addition to the postage required to get the the package to the ghetto. The ghetto money (technically, just receipts for the real money that had to be surrendered upon enterring the camp) had no value outside the issuing ghetto, and there was no transferring of it between ghettos or camps. Little was available for purchase with it. The money let the optimistic inmates believe that everything was normal.

Most camps and ghettos did not produce anywhere near the amount of material known from the above two; for instance, ration coupons are the only numismatic item from the Warsaw Ghetto. Some of the large camps had many subcamps nearby: Buchenwald items overprinted with the name a subcamp are known from of at least 20 subcamps.

More than 10,000 Jews were interned on the Isle of Man, a small island between England and Ireland best known as a summer holiday destination. The internees were originally pre-war refugees from Germany and Austria, but they were re-classified as enemy aliens and sent to a camp after the war started. Camps came in all shapes and sizes: it could have been a large hotel, some bed and breakfasts, or even just a group of houses. The Metropole Hotel and three other hotels became the Metropole Camp during the war, and then went back to hotels after the war; the Metropole Hotel still exists today. Scrip is known from even the smallest of these camps; after some time, the Home Office issued common notes for these camps, but even some of these are known stamped with a camp name.

Not all ex-refugees were interned locally — some were sent to Australia, where Camp Hay might be the best known today. The scrip, designed by an internee and printed outside the camp, looks like money; it is noted for the border of barb wire and the many sheep. A border of barb ware is actually an endless repeating of the legend “we are here because we are here because...” in a cursive script, and the names of internees can be found in the sheep’s wool!

In addition to the camps for west-coast Americans of Japanese ancestry, camps were established for enemy aliens from Japan, Germany, and Italy. The scrip from the camps was similar to contemporary movie theater tickets. Over time, the use of some camps changed from holding internees to holding captured enemy soldiers. It is hard to determine the purpose of some camps.

There is much more to this area than covered here. The sparse contemporary documentation of these functional items issued in small numbers makes collecting them very challenging; more information and new discoveries are just waiting to be found.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
History of U.S. Large Cents, 1793-1857

presented by David Gumm to our April 9, 2008 meeting

The U.S. Large Cent is a great coin to collect, and there are a number of ways to collect it. After making that declaration David passed around a tray with some of his raw coins, including two favorites:

The U.S. mint in Philadelphia is generally accepted as the first building owned by the U.S. government. That is one way of seeing that coinage was a serious matter. Another way is the requirement that the assayer and coiner each had to post an employment bond of $10,000. That seemed a reasonable requirement for the people handling gold and silver. Unfortunately no suitable person could post such a bond, so the first regularly issued U.S. coins were in copper: the Large Cent and the Half Cent of 1793. The early copper coinage was not without problems. Some of the copper was shipped as planchets from Great Britain — packed in kegs and used as ballast. The mint, along with much of Philadelphia, closed for August and September to avoid the yellow fever epidemics.

Among the methods of collecting Large Cents are: by Redbook, by die varieties, by date, and by varieties of just 1794. It is traditional to split the Large Cents into three groupings: Early Dates are from 1793 to 1815, Middle Dates are from 1816 to 1839, and Late Dates are from 1840 to 1857. The varieties from the Early Dates are referred to by Sheldon numbers (S-1, for example) while varieties from the Middle and Late Dates are known by Newcomb numbers (N-1). The Sheldon numbers start with S-1 in 1793 and increase through S-290 in 1814. The Newcomb numbers are arranged differently: every year starts with an N-1 variety and uses as many numbers as necessary; a newly discovered variety for a year uses the next number available for that year, so there are Newcomb varieties that Newcomb never saw. So what number is given to a new variety in the Early Dates? A non-collectible number starting with NC-1 for each year. If you wonder if non-collectibles can be collected, David knows of a club for you — the Early American Coppers, commonly referred to as EAC.

David started collecting coins in the 1970s, but he did not start collecting the Large Cents until later. EAC was a good source of information as were dealers; two of the dealers in Large Cents that he mentioned favorably were Tom Reynolds and Rod Widok.

Onto the coins. Dave showed slides of the major types of Large Cents, mixing in some varietiy tables and attribution methods. A Variety table is a photograph showing all obverses and reverses for a given year, with a line connected the obverse and reverse that form a known variety. With the many obverses and reverses with only subtle differences, collectors have standardized upon a few attribution points to quickly identify an obverse or reverse; David reviewed the notations referring to the position of a leaf tip relative to a nearby letter. Over the years, a terse shorthand has developed around some of the methods.

Among the EAC projects is the Late Date Census, where members submit a list of the late Date varieties in their collection, along with a grade for each coin. The results are tallied and made available to just the contributors, providing a good overview of what is available. Over the years, David has contributed at least once to each of the three censuses.

There are a number of sources of information on Large Cents; David described and passed around some examples. Penny-Wise is the EAC journal and has a long history. Two well-illustrated volumes by Noyes provide details on varieties from the Early and Middle Dates. Penny Prices provides current pricing on all varieties in many grades. There have been some great auction catalogs of great Large Cent collections, but David somehow did not get the catalog of the recent Husak collection auction by Heritage. [Anyone have an extra copy? — editor]

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our April 9, 2008 meeting.

  1. Don Dool showed a number of South American items:
  2. Phil Carrigan showed what he considers his best acquisition of the last year — a copper copy (issued for collectors) of an 1873 Canadian Native Peoples medal bearing a young Queen Victoria on one side. Similar to the Indian peace medals issued in the US, this piece had been in part 16 of the Ford Sale but was acquired by Phil from Tony Teranova on the last day of the ANA in Milwaukee.
  3. Bob Feiler showed a range of items:
  4. After mentioning his photographic equipment upgrades, Steve Huber showed a number of high grade world crowns acquired from a recent auction. some of which were:
  5. Mark Wieclaw showed a number of ancient coins with animals:
  6. Robert Leonard used handshakes in numismatics as his theme:
  7. Using Japanese mint sets from 2005 and 2007, Richard Lipman contrasted the few coinage changes since the 1960s against the different theme of each year’s container. The 1 yen is unchanged since 1955, the 5 and 10 yen are unchanged since 1959, since 1959 the 50 yen has had a composition change and the addition of a hole while keeping a chrysanthemum design, the 100 yen has had cherry blossoms since 1967, and the 500 yen was intoduced in 1982 (for vending machine use). The 35th anniversary of the very popular Doraemon, a robot character, is honored on the 2005 set. The Rose of Versailles, a popular character in manga (graphic novels), is honored on the 2007 set. Richard told us the background of these characters that express concerns and issues in Japanese society that are normally not discussed.
  8. Steve Zitowsky showed a range of items:
  9. Kurt Hyde showed a 1949 Newfoundland commemorative proof silver dollar from Canada. Issued in the year that Newfoundland joined Canada, Kurt ia attracted to the design of a ship on the reverse. There followed a brief discussion on proof and proof-like coins, leading to how these pieces were offered and packaged.
  10. Marc Stackler showed a 1915 coin from Mexico — a mule of a 5 centavo and a 3 centavo from the state of Oaxaca. There are many varieties of the 3 and 5 centavo, enough to fill a book.
  11. Lyle Daly showed how to have fun with inexpensive lots. Some more pieces from an earlier Macedonia lot have been sufficiently cleaned for identification:

Our 1073rd Meeting

Date:May 14, 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:Donald H. Dool - The Bronze Coinage of the French Feudal States

Louis XIV ruled France from 1643-1715 and transformed the government into an absolute monarchy, a foremost power in Europe and elevated French culture to a golden age. In the years just before this period twelve French States existed, each with its own coinage. Donald Dool collected their coinage for 15 years and wrote a number of articles on it and published in World Coin News. Join this meeting and see bronze coinage from these minor kingdoms with portraits of their kings and symbolism just prior to their envelopment into France. Principalities covered will include Dombes, Cugnon, Rethel, Orange, Montgelliard, Lorraine, Nevers & Rethel, Chateau-Renaud, Bouillon & Sedan, Phalzburg & Lixheim and Boislbelle & Henrichemont.

Important Dates

May 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Donald H. Dool on The Bronze Coinage of the French Feudal States
June 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
July 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
July 11-13 27th Annual MidAmerica Coin Expo at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday.
July 12 CCC Meeting - 1pm at 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

Birthday and Year Joined

June 7 Harlan J. Berk 1995
June 11 Joseph A. Piekarczyk 1991
June 12 Rosalind Ryant 1977
June 13 John Whitfield 2007
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

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