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Volume 55 No. 7 July 2009

Editor's Notes

With summer events on the horizon, make a promise to yourself — to take good notes and submit a trip report to the Chatter. Summer seminar? ANA in Los Angeles? Make us wish we had been there!

Paul Hybert

Minutes of the 1086th Meeting

Session I of the 1086th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held June 10, 2009 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 7 PM with 24 members and 1 guest, Robert Greenstein, in attendance.

The May Minutes printed in the Chatter were approved as published. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported May receipts $1,065.00, expenses $226.00 and total income $839.00, leaving total assets of $15,481.35 which is in Life Memberships $2,390.00 and Members’ Equity $13,091.35.

The Secretary reported he neglected to include the first reading of Patrick Mullen’s application for membership in the May Minutes. Following a second reading, a motion unanimously passed to accept Mr. Mullen into the membership. Robert Greenstein’s application for membership received first reading.

First V.P. Lyle Daly moderated and introduced a panel of coin dealers who answered member’s questions and spoke of everyday experiences in their profession. The panel included Robert Feiler, Mark Wieclaw, Robert Greenstein and William Burd.

Second V.P. Elliot Krieter introduced the evening’s 16 exhibitors. EUGENE FREEMAN: 5 coins dated 1797 from the Papal States. DONALD H. DOOL: 5 San Martin medals & an unknown 1621 flitter coin. ERIC SCHMIDT: 178(?) penny Colonial Dutch East Indies, 1499 coin from Holland, 1570 Hungarian coin, 1626 Austrian 3-kruzer & an ancient coin. ROBERT FEILER: authenticated strip of steel from 1943 U.S. cent production. LYLE DALY: 6 ancient coins from Rome and Roman occupied Greece. MARK WIECLAW: 3 ancient Roman coins with galley reverses & a laser pointer with a $ sign image. ROBERT LEONARD: 5 16th century coins related to French succession. ROBERT GREENSTEIN: 2009 U.S. proof set & a counterfeit 1896-micro “o” U.S. silver dollar. RICHARD LIPMAN: an unknown coin, medal dedicated to 5 time Chicago mayor Carter Harrison, U.S. $2.00 banknotes with handwritten messages & bag of 1 euro chocolate coins. CARL WOLF: 2 examples of bead money separately framed. STEVE HUBER: 4 world crowns. WINSTON ZACK: 9 European coins struck in 1666. BILL BURD: Q. David Bowers’ American Coin Treasures & Hoards with autographs from dealers who uncovered the hoards. NICK WEISS: junk mail offer selling the U.S. State Quarter series. MARC STACKLER: 4 Mexican Banknotes & fantasy token. MARC RICARD: George Evans’ 1893 edition of History of the U.S. Mint & Coinage.

Under New Business, a motion was passed to cast the Club’s ANA election ballot for those candidates who are club members: Clifford Mishler, President; Wendell Wolka and Joseph Boling, Governors. It was announced the Club will meet in conjunction with the MidAmerican Coin Expo at 1 PM, Saturday, June 27th. Ron Sirna, Flint, Michigan will speak on Toning on Coinage.

At 9:50 PM a recess was called with re-adjournment at 1 PM Saturday, June 27th at the MidAmerica Coin Expo, Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL.

. . . . . . .

Session II of the 1086th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held June 27, 2009 at the MidAmerica Coin Expo, Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL. The meeting was called to order at 1 PM, by First V.P. Lyle Daly with 23 members and 11 guests present.

Following a motion to hold an abbreviated order of business, V.P. Daly introduced the featured speaker, A. Ron Davis from Flint, Michigan who delivered a well-received program on Toned Coinage. Following numerous questions, it was announced that photographs used by Sirna would be projected on a makeshift screen at the Club’s information table on the bourse floor. Attendees were invited to stop by for further discussions.

Membership applications of Robert Wheelhouse and Tom Wettstaedt, of suburban Chicago, received first reading.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:24 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Board of Governors Meeting
June 24, 2009

The Chicago Coin Club Board of Governors held a meeting June 24, 2009 at Connie’s Pizza, 2373 S. Archer, Chicago. President Rosinia called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM with the following in attendance: William Burd, Elliot Krieter, Marc Stackler and Carl Wolf.

Proposed new speaker/award medals based on the 90th Anniversary Lincoln Medal were reviewed. Directors favored the 2” X 1-3/8” bronze rectangle with the Club name placed vertically behind Lincoln. Cost would be $580 for tooling and 110 bronze medals @ $6.50 each. Five each bronze medals would be plated with gold and silver (+$3.50 each) for the top Cabeen Exhibit Award recipients. The mint would be IMC, the same place that produced the Lincoln medal. Cost to reproduce 100 medals from the current supplier would be $7.00 each.

An increase in the number of exhibitors over past months has caused the meeting to run long. Directors discussed ways to add structure to this part of the meeting and decided to begin keeping and recording individual exhibit times that will be reviewed at the next Board Meeting. Starting the meeting at 6:30 PM was also discussed.

Since the Club will host the 2011 American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Board agreed that the Club should try to come up with an exhibit from the archives. A general discussion also took place on the upcoming event. After reporting that the 90th Anniversary Medals were nearly sold out, a request was made for an inventory of all educational souvenir cards and medals.

A discussion took place concerning the possibility of the Club using the Chicago Bar Association’s cable connections to hold video-conferences with out-of-town speakers. The directors also discussed the history of the November auction.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 PM with the next meeting tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 19th at the same location.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Numismatics as a Profession

a panel discussion
at our June 10, 2009 meeting

The program began with the moderator, Lyle Daly, asking the four panel members to summarize their numismatic business background. Bob Greenstein has been at a downtown coin shop for 19 years, Bill Burd has owned a coin shop for 14 years, Mark Wieclaw has worked at two coin shops for some time, a Bob Feiler has been a vest-pocket dealer for a number of years. The request for the most interesting or unique acquisition got the program rolling.

One story had the seller of a typical large junk silver lot following that transaction by showing a gold Egyptian octodrachm and asking, “How much?” It had been bought years before so both sides knew what it was, although it was the first handled by this dealer — a quick phone call to an ancient coin dealer resulted in an accepted offer. Another comment was that the first 1909-S VDB cent is exciting, but after 10 of them you look for other things, such as a 10 ounce medal from the Netherlands. Sometimes, the pleasure comes from a pedigree traced to a coin collecting mentor.

A few recurring themes were: it is hard for a customer to trust a new dealer, it is hard for a dealer to trust a new customer, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The owner of a few coins who initially claims not to know what he has might reply to a dealer’s offer with the graysheet price from the next higher grade — sure to elicit a “Then sell it to the graysheet!” from the dealer. A more modern version of that line is to sell it to the Internet.

There were some comments on how to negotiate prices; the line between ridiculous and reasonable can be easily crossed. Sometimes it depends upon the material in question — with items that have a narrow spread between buy and sell prices (such as bullion), a counteroffer below the dealer’s buying price is not appreciated.

The biggest mistake that collectors make is ignoring their mortality. At a minimum, leave some notes as to which pieces are the most valuable, and list one or two trusted dealers for the different types of material. A complete listing of your buying price, dealer name, and transaction date for every piece would be ideal, and is wishful thinking. Markets change over time, so there is no need to tell them how much that battered old penny cost.

Any discussion of the coin business now is sure to get around to eBay. This program was no exception, and members added their experiences to those from the panel. The 20% taken by an eBay store and paypal adds up, but then it could be less than the overhead required with a brick and mortar location. Bullion, or other items with a small markup are no longer suited to eBay, except, perhaps, as part of a program to acquire new customers. The geographic scope is greatly increased with the Internet, and the searching capabilities are a change for the better.

Some other points were covered in this long program, too much for this report. As to getting started in the business, it all starts with your knowledge, especially your specialized knowledge. You have to enjoy some part of it, or you will give up at the first seller of junque from those cable television shopping channels.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our June 10, 2009 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman showed coins from some of the Papal States (in Italy). Napoleon was capturing them during 1796-1797.
  2. The San Martin medal collection of Don Dool has been growing by leaps and bounds, and he started with some recent acquisitions:
  3. Eric Schmidt showed coins issued before 1800:
  4. Bob Feiler showed a sheet of steel from which planchets for US 1943 steel cents had been punched. It also came with a browned sheet of paper, a letter of explanation, written by an ANA member.
  5. Lyle Daly showed some ancient coins, mostly from Greece and struck while under Roman rule, and most were purchased at a flea market.
  6. Mark Wieclaw showed ancient coins with a galley on the reverse. Usually, a galley indicated a naval victory.
  7. Robert Leonard used a series of French coins to show that there had been two different French kings known as Charles X.
  8. Bob Greenstein showed two items:
  9. Richard Lipman showed a range of items:
  10. Carl Wolf showed two examples of primitive money, framed and with histoy:
  11. Steve Huber showed four world crowns:
  12. Coins from 1666 is the latest interest of Winston Zack, and he showed us some recent acquisitions:
  13. Bill Burd showed Dave Bowers’ American Coin Treasures and Hoards where he is collecting autographs of dealers and collectors involved in the stories. Ed Milas, David Hall, Ira Goldberg, and Eric Newman are some of the acquired.
  14. Nick Weiss showed a fancy mailing offering state quarters at $15.95 plus $2 shipping per group — was that one or two coins per group? The pictures were of proof coins, but the ad had no mention of that for the available pieces. Nick did have something nice to say about the big, glossy, full color sheet — the reverses of all pieces appear clearly and it provides a handy reference.
  15. Marc Stackler showed some older Mexican items:
  16. Marc Ricard told how the Government Building at the 1893 Columbian Exposition contained a wonderful exhibit of coins and paper notes. Then he showed a special edition, for the Columbian Exposition, of George Evans’ History of the US Mint and Coinage. The front cover has a gold embossed portrait medal honoring ChristopherColumbus. Photos of mints and assayer offices are included. Among the included ads is one for Evans’ guide to the mint.

Our 1087th Meeting

Date:July 8, 2009
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:Steve Feller — The Most Curious Dr. John Leonard Riddell of New Orleans

Dr. John Leonard Riddell was a science lecturer, botanist, geologist, medical doctor, chemist, physicist, professor at Tulane, microscopist (the inventor of the binocular microscope), numismatist and melter at the New Orleans mint, an original owner of the Confederate half dollar when it was minted in 1861, Postmaster of New Orleans under Union and Confederate control, and once again, Union control, issuer of his own post office scrip and his own postage stamps, politician, a founder of the New Orleans Academy of Sciences, and science fiction author! Above all he was involved in various plots and nefarious schemes until the day he died in 1865. In this talk Steve will review the numismatic life of this Yankee transplant to antebellum New Orleans.

Important Dates

July 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Steve Feller on The Most Curious Dr. John Leonard Riddell of New Orleans
August 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
September 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
September 17-19 ILNA convention at the Tinley Park Convention Center, 18501 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park, IL 60477. See

Birthday and Year Joined

August 1 Danny Spungen 2008
August 9 Daniel Pelc 2009
August 11 Clifford Mishler 1995
August 19 Carl F. Wolf 1979
August 20 Melvyn Frear 1989
August 20 Kevin Dailey 2009
August 21 Kurt Hyde 2007
August 22 Marc Stackler 2007
August 26 Tom DeLorey 1984
August 26 Donald H. Doswell 1960
August 27 Kevin Foley 2007
August 28 Eugene Freeman 2006
August 29 James M. Rondinelli 1997

Chatter Matter

All correspondence pertaining to Club matters should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:

P.O. Box 2301

Club Officers

Jeffrey Rosinia- President
Lyle Daly- First Vice President
Elliot Krieter- Second Vice President
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Robert Feiler
Eugene Freeman
Marc Stackler
Carl Wolf
Other positions held are:
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Steve Zitowsky- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor

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