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Volume 54 No. 11 November 2008

Minutes of the 1078th Meeting

The 1078th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held October 8, 2008 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Robert Feiler called the meeting to order at 7 PM with 18 members and 1 guest, Simon Harries, present.

The September Minutes as printed in the Chatter were approved as published. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported September income of $760.00 and expenses of $1161.39. Total assets of $13,184.81 is broken into Life Memberships $2,630.00 and Members’ Equity $10.554.81. The report was approved as read. A warm round of applause followed President Feiler’s announcement that September income included $700.00 in donations from three members to pay for the Club’s LCD projector.

The application for membership of Simon Harries received a first reading.

The featured speakers were Sharon and Kevin Blocker on Cuban Coinage, 1980-Present. After a question and answer period, First Vice President Jeff Rosinia presented them with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal. V.P. Rosinia also presented Robert Feiler with a belated certificate and medal from his June presentation on Changed Coinage.

Second Vice President Lyle Daly introduced the eleven exhibitors. EUGENE FREEMAN: Peruvian 1966/69 10 soles, Cyprus 1974 double die 1-pound, and Polish 2007 2-zlote commemorating 75th anniversary of breaking the Nazi enigma code. DAVID GUMM: copy of 1804 U.S. silver dollar and suspected forgery of 1909-S VDB U.S. cent. DONALD DOOL: 8 numismatic souvenirs, including coins, medals and paper, from a recent trip to Peru. ANDY PLIOPLYS: counterstamped Lithuanian coin from the 1300s. STEVE ZITOWKSY: $10 U.S. note with blank reverse and 4-coin set of Cuban coins from 1953 commemorating centennial of Jose Marti. MARK WIECLAW: denarius of Augustus (27 BC 14 AD) with rare portrait, Syrian tetradrachma of Otho (69 AD) struck at Antioch mint, plus funny money created for a friend’s birthday and pop-out Kennedy half dollar. ROBERT KULYS: Hawaiian 2008 $2 trade dollar and 3 Kuwaiti coins. ROBERT LEONARD: 4 books dealing with John Swift’s lost silver mines, his crowns or dollars from the 1760s. SHARON BLOCKER: Republic of Palau $5 coin with an embedded pearl, gold plated 1000 shilling from Somalia, triangular coin from Bermuda and Mongolian 500 tugrik. MARC STACKLER: Mexican War of Independence counter stamped coin from 1813-15. LYLE DALY: Cuban 1958 20-peso bank note, $6 continental currency issued in 1776 in “United Colonies,” $7 continental currency issued in 1776 in “United States,“ and U.S. $1 note authorized in 1933 but carried 1928 series date and issued to add fluidity to the depression economy.

Under old business, Robert Kulys was presented with his metal life membership card. Members were asked to submit material to Bill Burd for the November auction through fax (773-586-7666) or e-mail ( A report on the December banquet at Marcello’s Restaurant was delivered and a motion was made and passed to charge $35.00 per person. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky will accept reservations and donations for appetizers.

Under new business, a long discussion took place on the subject of recommending a General Chairman to the ANA for their 2011 Chicago Convention. Robert Leonard spoke briefly on his view of the position and asked for consideration. Harlan Berk also asked for the endorsement and in his absence submitted a letter listing his long time involvement in the numismatic community. Following a question-and-answer period a secret ballot was taken and Robert Leonard received the Club’s recommendation.

The Nomination Committee of Mark Wieclaw, Bill Burd, Steve Zitowsky and Carl Wolf reported the slate for the 2009-10 term which will be voted on at the December meeting: President Jeffrey Rosinia, First V.P. Lyle Daly, Second V.P. Elliot Krieter, Archivist William Burd, Directors: Eugene Freeman, Marc Stackler, Carl Wolf and Robert Feiler (Immediate Past-President).

Mark Wieclaw announced the next meeting of the 90th Anniversary Committee as October 22nd at the Emperor’s Choice Restaurant, 2238 S. Wentworth in Chinatown.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Sincerely Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Cuban Coinage, 1980-Present

by Sharon & Kevin Blocker,
presented to our October 8, 2008 meeting

In 1982, when we married, we decided to have a hobby that we could do together. Kevin already was collecting US coins, so, since, we went to the Caribbean, we decided to collect Caribbean coins and currency. That is our main focus still. We understood that Cuba is an island we wouldn’t be able to visit, but thought that we should still collect the numistatic material. We belong to the Cuban Numismatic Society which has a world-wide membership.

When we first gave a Cuban talk, many people told us, “Don’t broadcast.” They felt that you can’t own Cuban coins, which is in question. We were told that you can own the coins as long as they were not bought in Cuba. The coins enter the United States primarly through Canada, however, they are also purchased overseas. For proof, check out the eBay sales. It is illegal to import/export them to the US, but not to sell them in the US.

We have at least four books that deal with Cuban history and money, but two are in Spanish.

Although Cuba began minting its own coins in 1977, but coins with some design features are minted overseas. The mint has minted thousands of varieties of peso, 5 peso, 10 peso, 15 gold peso, 20, 30, 50 peso coins in silver and gold, 100 peso gold, 150 peso silver, 200 peso gold, 300 peso silver, and 500 peso gold and platinum. Cuba is in the coin market as a business — they make a profit on each piece. This is evident in the same design minted on different denominations. Among the many topics paid homage on the coins are the Cuban heroes from three wars, Columbus, Abe Lincoln, the various Olympics, and the Cuban countryside. The workmanship and detail are excellent; the only issue is with the mintage figures. They also appear to be re-minting coins from previous years.

You can find the coins at most shows with the minor coins under $10 and the peso $10 and up. We currently own over 250 Cuban coins and currency. All of the coins have the coat of arms on the reverse; those minted in Cuba should have a key, the symbol of the mint.

we will start with examples showing Cuban history, paying homage to men who fought in the 10 year war from 1868 to 1878, in an attempt at independence from Spain. On a 1 and 20 peso there is Ignacia Agramonte, who was a Cuban revolutionary and also an attorny by trade. On a 1 and 20 peso we have Maximo Gomez who was born in the Dominican Republic. Also on a 1 and 20 peso, we have Antonio Maceo who fought in both the 10 year war and the Spanish American war.

Jose Marti led Cuba to independence from the Spanish crown; he is featured on the 20 centavos, 25 centavos, 50 centavos and 1 peso, plus other coins which we don’t have. Che Guevara was a doctor who joined a later Cuban cause, becoming Fidel Castro’s minister of economy and minister of industry. He was killed in 1967 while a revoluntionary in South America. He is featured on the peso, 3 peso and tourist coinage. Cuba minted a couple of copper coins depicting Fidel Castro. Coins with the theme Fathers of Americanism show Jose Marti and Simon Bolivar.

The island is rich in plants, birds, and animals, many of which are featured on only the 1 and 5 peso pieces. Cuba issued 6 coins for the first joint space flight with Russia; a Cuban citizen was the first crew member of Latin American origin.

There are many coins with transportation themes; the featured items are from all around the world, not just Cuba, and they appear on almost all denominations. There is the zeppelin on a copper piece, a horse drawn open carriage known as a volanta, and our favorites, the railroad.

They minted four coins for the game of chess to honor the birth of world chess champion, Cuban Jose Raul Capablanca. A series of coins devoted to Spain features the images of Don Quijote and Cervantes. One of the stranger sets was eight coins of prehistoric animals (dinosaurs); we only have two: a 1 and 5 peso. Other topics include: 100 years of cars, Abraham Lincoln who emancipated slaves in 1863, Jules Verne, Ernest Hemingway, international year of music featuring Sebastian Bach, year of peace dove done by Picasso, and the 40th anniversary of ballet.

Cubans are also into sports. There are many coins for the Olympics (from Barcelona ’92, Sarajevo ’84, and Calgary ’88),as well as for World Cup games, Central American and Caribbean games, European Football cup, and Pan American games.

Cuba has joined many other countries in enameling coins; they feature dolphins, groupers, rays, swordfishes and others that are found in the Caribbean, along with pelicans, ducks, butterflies, and flamingoes that are found in Cuba. They also started a series of enameled famous aircraft; so far we have only the Albatross — a German aircraft from WW I. They have a series of coins minted in England and dealing with famous pirates of the Caribbean. A photo is printed on paper, then affixed to the reverse. These appear on the 1, 10, and 50 peso pieces.

The last group of coins is one of my favorites, a Cuban puzzle from 1998. Each of the four is a square ingot of pure silver; when joined, the pieces depict a view of the city with two ships coming into Havana harbor, which is flanked by 2 forts, El Morro and La Punta.

If you look in a World Coin book, each year from the 1970s on usually has between one and ten (or more) Cuban coins in each denomination from 1 peso and higher. The coins detailed in this presentation are not intended for general circulation in Cuba; the used coins are of a basic copper nickel design. When vistors arrive in Cuba, they receive coins and paper money designed for use in certain stores.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our October 8, 2008 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman showed some recent acquisitions:
  2. David Gumm showed counterfeit US coins:
  3. Don Dool showed some goodies from a trip to Peru:
  4. Andy Plioplys is interested in Eastern European history, especially Lithuania, of the 1200s and 1300s. He showed some rough pieces:
  5. Steve Zitowsky brought an item to complement the featured presentation:
  6. Mark Wieclaw started with a few fun items before his serious exhibits:
  7. Robert Kulys started with pieces from a trip to Hawaii:
  8. Bob Leonard brought four books telling about John Swift’s silver mine and coins. A book on Virginia Folk Legends published by the University of Virginia contains articles written by authors hired by the WPA (a depression-era public works project), and with each article are the names and races of both the person collecting the story and the person telling the story. The stories, sparse on details, tell of claims of making and burying coins at his mine in Kentucky during the 1760s; imitations of George II crowns or Spanish milled dolllars?
  9. Sharon Blocker started by showing her first eBay disappointment since 1999; a Haitian silver foil piece inspired by paper money for $26, but she missed the 42 mm size mentioned. Other recent acquisitions included:
  10. Marc Stackler brought a 2 reales from the Mexican War of Independence, 1813-1815. The design is almost completely worn away, with a counterstamp that appears to be an eagle. Marc detailed how the attribution has changed over the years, from doubtful in the 1930s, to unclassified in the 1960s, to Vera Cruz by Krause, to Zacatecas by the modern expert Claudio Verrey, and is thought to have been made by forces loyal to Vincente Guerrero.
  11. Lyle Daly showed a range of paper money:

Annual Member Auction

Here are the lots known to us by October 28, 2008. The auction will be held near the start of the meeting, after a short time for lot examination; consignments are accepted until the auction starts.

Consignment from Carl Wolf:

  1. “Numismatics International” Monthly Bulletins — Oct 1987 thru Dec 1990. 39 pcs total.
  2. American Numismatic Association Official Programs for Conventions in 1984, 85, 86, 88, 89 plus 5 misc pamphlets.
  3. 11 different tokens, elongates & pins, plus some duplicates for a total of 17 pcs. All related to ANA & CSNS.
  4. Encased Postage — ½ Cent Stamp w/A.N.A. 1058 on stamp. Rev: A.N.A. 3493 R.H. Rosholm Coins-Medals Round Lake Ill.
  5. Encased Postage — 3 Cent Stamp. Rev: Chicago Numismatic Round Table C.N.R. 1952.
  6. Encased Postage — 4 Cent Stamp. Rev: C. Sam Carlson Chicago, ILL. Jenny Lind & Swedish Coins A.N.A. 4162.
  7. Same as #6 — damaged
  8. Encased Postage — 5 Cent Stamp. Rev: R.H. Rosholm Round Lake, Ill. Collector of Coins & Mdls. A.N.A. 3493.
  9. Encased Postage — 10 Cent Stamp. Rev: Same as #8.
  10. Encased Postage — 1 Cent. Rev: Same as #4
  11. Same as #10
  12. Encased Postage — 1 Cent. Rev: Ernest Jonas Chicago Ill. Coins A.N.A. 1743 Medals
  13. Encased Postage — 8 Cent Stamp. Rev: Eighth Annual Centralia, WN. May 26-27, 1951 Pacific Northwest Coin Convention — Seattle Coin Club — Oregon Numismatic Society — A.N.A.
  14. Token 1991 A.N.A. at Chicago
  15. Book: A Building is Only As Good As Its Foundation, by Bob Lemke, 1997. 45 year history of Krause Publications. Autographed by Cliff Mishler.
  16. Book: Pioneer Publisher The Story of Krause Publications’ First 50 Years by Arlyn G. Sieber 2001

Donated to the club by Clarence Wills (former CCC member):

  1. 2 pc set Mexico one peso coins dated 1944 and counterstamped with the Chicago Coin Club logo on one side and “Chicago Coin Club 400th Meeting May 14, 1953” on the other side of each coin. In a hard Lucite holder.
  2. Barrel Medal — Chicago Coin Club — 41 Years — 500th Meeting — in Bronze.
  1. Same as #18 but in SILVER — 63.7 dwt

Consignment from estate of Charles Minard (former CCC Member):

  1. Same as #18
  2. Same as #18 but in SILVER — 63.1 dwt
  1. 2 pcs Janus Medal issued by the Chicago Coin Club to commemorate the 800th Meeting on September 14, 1985. One is nickel silver and one is bronze.
  2. Same as #22
  3. Chicago Coin Club 50th Anniversary “I Will” Medal in .999 silver — serial number 215 — 61.7 dwt
  4. Chicago Coin Club 1000th Meeting Medal dated April 6, 2002 — .999 silver — 5 troy ozs — serial #007 of 100 pieces.
  5. Same as #25 but with gold highlights — serial #078.
  6. Large bronze medal commissioned by the American Numismatic Society to commemorate their 100th Anniversary in 1958
  7. “The Discoverers” Plaquette issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Chicago Coin Club dated 1994 — in bronze — serial #070 of 165.
  8. Same as #28 but in SILVER — 151 dwt — serial #09 of 36.
  9. “The Pioneers” Plaquette issued to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Chicago Coin Club dated 1999 — in bronze — serial #070 of 105.
  10. Same as#30 but in SILVER — 147 dwt — serial #09 of 32.
  11. Process Set of “The Pioneers” Plaquette. 9 pieces total in bronze which includes one of the 105 finished medals. Serial #041.
  12. American Numismatic Society “Statue of Liberty” medal issued in 1986 — .999 silver — serial #039 of 100 — weighs 312 dwt.
  13. Barrel Medal — Chicago Coin Club 1960 — 41 Years 500th Meeting — in 14 kt Gold — weighs 69.6 dwt.
  14. 7 miscellaneous Chicago Coin Club Bulletins of various dates from 1936 to 1969.
  15. 2 Chicago Coin Club booklets — the 500th Meeting souvenir bulletin and the 1969 Golden Anniversary Bulletin.
  16. Book: “1873-1873” by Harry X Boosel — 1960 — No. 205 — autographed by the author.
  17. Same as #37 but neither numbered nor autographed.
  18. Auction Catalog — October 1961 Fall Festival Sale, Chicago Coin Club auction conducted by Ben’s Coin Co.

Preview of Our 1080th Meeting

Date:December 10, 2008
Time:6PM to 7PM Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres
7PM to 9 PM+ Dinner and Meeting
Location:Marcello’s Restaurant, 645 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 312-654-2560. Ample free parking is available in their parking lot. If public transportation is taken, it’s just east of the North Avenue subway stop on the CTA Red Line.

The evening’s hors d’oeuvres and dinner menu will be detailed in the December Chatter.

The cost is $35.00 per person and reservations are required. Make your check payable to Chicago Coin Club, P.O. Box 2301, Chicago, IL 60690. If time is short, e-mail your reservation to, or call 773-878-8979 during workdays and make arrangements to pay at the door.

Please make reservations as early as you can so we can plan for an appropriate room size.


Ronald Guinazzo on Treasure Hunting in England
Ron Guinazzo is a semi-professional treasure hunter and estimates finding over 100,000 coins over the past 25 years! He has traveled to Mexico, Greece and Italy looking for artifacts and this October he will make his 8th trip to England to explore and investigate the lands around Colchester, 2 hours northeast of London. Colchester is the oldest recorded city in Britain and was the capitol of England until the Romans invaded around 43 AD. During these visits Ron has found Celtic gold coins, Roman Bronzes, hammered silver coins (sceats) from King John, a partial bronze axe (850 BC), plus various buttons from the Tudor Era. Join us for a wonderful and entertaining program filled with stories of finding lost treasures! Ron promises to bring enough of his English finds to fill two exhibit cases!

Agenda: Award Presentations
Election of club officers

Chicago Coin Club 90th Anniversary Committee
Minutes of October 22, 2008

The second meeting of the Chicago Coin Club’s 90th Anniversary Committee was held October 22, 2088 at the Emperor’s Choice Restaurant, 2238 S. Wentworth, in Chicago’s Chinatown. Chairman Mark Wieclaw called the meeting to order at 5:25 PM with five others present: Kevin and Sharon Blocker, William Burd, Steve Zitowsky and Carl Wolf. Over the next half hour Elliot Krieter, Marc Stackler, Lyle Daly, Jeff Rosinia and Robert Feiler joined the meeting.

Sharon Blocker distributed a hand-out on banquet costs at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, the location of the 2009 Chicago International Coin Fair (April 23-26) and the Chicago Paper Money Expo (March 5-8). The cost including tax and gratuity for a buffet dinner would be $85 and a sit-down event would be $50-$60. After a discussion, Sharon was asked to investigate the Giannotti Italian Restaurant, 4926 N. River Road, Schiller Park.

The subject of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth was discussed. Members were informed of the recent announcement that the Chicago History Museum, Clark Street and North Avenue, Chicago, will hold a year-long series of exhibitions, programs, tours, events, etc. honoring Lincoln. Carl Wolf was asked to investigate the possibility of the Club joining in this celebration with a series of lectures on Lincoln in Numismatics. The cost of a luncheon or dinner at the Museum would also be explored.

In Lincoln Park directly behind the History Museum stands a large bronze statue of Lincoln created by master sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens. Striking an anniversary medal with the image of this sculpture honoring the 90th anniversary of the Club and the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth was met with positive feedback. Carl volunteered to get production costs before the next meeting.

Mark Wieclaw reported that David Hendin would be happy to speak before the Club at the anniversary meeting. Bill Burd reported communicating with Bob Hoge at the American Numismatic Society, New York. Bob was certain that either he or another ANS curator could be made available to speak at our event.

The next committee meeting will be November 19th at the same location.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Our 1079th Meeting

Date:November 12, 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.
Member Auction:

Although the deadline for listing lots in the Chatter is past, you can still bring your lots with you to the November meeting. In the past few years, club related material (and Chicago area numismatic items) have realized the best results. Please consider using the club auction to dispose of the numismatic items you no longer need.

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.

Please find elsewhere in this issue of the Chatter a listing of all auction lots that were known to us by Tuesday, October 28.

Important Dates

November 12 CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker
December 10 CCC Meeting - Annual Banquet - Featured Speaker - Ronald Guinazzo on Treasure Hunting in England

Birthday and Year Joined

December 6 Allen H. Meyer 1990
December 7 Brian C. Stubbs 1980
December 10 Mike Gasvoda 1995
December 16 Michael Schmidt 2000
December 19 William Noble 1980
December 26 Kevin J. Blocker 2000
December 29 Nick Weiss 1996
December 30 Robert Graves 2006
December 31 Phillip J. Carrigan 1989

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.
If you would like to receive an email link to the latest issue instead of a mailed print copy send an email to You can resume receiving a mailed print copy at any time, just by sending another email.