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Volume 56 No. 4 April 2010

16 Months until ANA in Chicago

The minutes of the first meeting of the local organizing committee appear later in this issue. The National Money Show will be over by the time you read this, allowing ANA staff to concentrate on Boston in August. We believe it important to have Chicago 2011 information ready for release as soon as possible after Boston — the more that people know about it, the more they will want to be a part of it. The sooner they know about it, the sooner they can start their planning.

Minutes of the 1095th Meeting

Session I of the 1095th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held March 10, 2010 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 6:45 PM with an attendance of 17 members.

The February Minutes printed in the Chatter were approved as published. The Secretary read the Treasurer’s Report put together before Steve Zitowsky left town: receipts of $96.47, disbursements of $265.58, income of -$169.11, total assets of $14,675.78 which is in Life Membership $2,150.00 and Member’s Equity $12,525.78. A motion was made and passed to approve.

Following the announcement that member Gordon Donnell (1083) passed away, the membership stood for a moment of silence. A discussion followed and a motion was passed to donate $125.00 to the ANA Library honoring five Club members who passed away since 2007: Charles Ryant (369), Chester Poderski (664), Martin Vink (564), Donald Valenziano, Jr. (947) and Gordon Donnell (1083). Members requested the Secretary to issue 2010 membership cards and President Rosinia volunteered to look into the Club’s tri-fold information brochure. Members were reminded of the upcoming Central States Numismatic Society convention April 28 – May 1, 2010, Midwest Airlines Center, Milwaukee, WI with an education day on May 2 with speaker Robert Evans The S.S. Central America — Its History, Sinking, Rediscovery, Salvaging & Numismatic Significance.

Second V.P. Elliot Krieter introduced the featured speaker, Robert Wallace who spoke on The Origin of Coinage in Ancient Greece. Following a series of questions, Elliot presented Bob with an ANA Educational Certificate and a Club engraved medal.

Elliot introduced the 11 exhibitors. EUGENE FREEMAN: 5 international coins including two half-pennies from G. Britain; DAVID GUMM: dollar coin from U.S. Commemorative Gallery; ROBERT WEINSTEIN: 5 ancient coins from Indo-Greek and Scythian Kingdoms; MARK WIECLAW: 7 items that came in the coin shop, including a double-headed Kennedy half dollar & a bracelet made from Mexican 20-centavos; ZOUJUN DAI: Hawaii’s quarter dollar & a 5 mil New Mexico sales tax token from 1935; ANDY PLIOPLYS: 2 Ionian electrum coins; ROBERT LEONARD: 3 coins from County of Sicily; CARL WOLF: framed Confederate Bond from 1863; RICHARD LIPMAN: 3 U.S. Legal Tender Notes; MAC WEIST: 2010 Lincoln Cents from Springfield celebration; and STEVE HUBER: 4 crowns.

Robert Leonard, General Chairman of the 2011 Chicago ANA Convention, announced that the kickoff meeting for the convention will be held 5-8 PM, Wednesday, March 17th in the offices of Harlan J. Berk, Suite 1320, 77 W. Washington. A professional photographer will be present to take pictures for press releases. Bob went on to call for members to clear their schedule during the days of the convention, volunteer to serve as Assistant Committee Chairman and offer to work with Robert Weinstein’s ANA Ambassadors Committee directing convention goers to the appropriate registration desk.

A meeting recess was called at 9:30 PM, and will be reconvened at the Chicago Paper Money Expo, 1 PM, Saturday, March 20th, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL.

. . . . . . .

Session II of the 1095th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held March 20, 2010 in conjunction with the Chicago Paper Money Expo, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL. President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM with an attendance of 28 members and 7 guests.

Applications for membership of Melissa Gumm and David Frank received first reading.

A motion was passed to hold an abbreviated meeting agenda. Member and past-president Charles Ricard was given a warm round of applause in recognition of his 80th birthday. ANA Governor Joseph Boling was introduced and spoke briefly on the business of the organization and upcoming mid-year convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

Second V.P. Elliot Krieter introduced the featured speaker, Lawrence Falater from Allen Michigan, who delivered a program on Stock Certificates from Frauds, Scandals & Famous Bankruptcies. Following a question and answer period, Larry was presented an ANA Educational Certificate and a Club engraved medal.

Everyone in attendance was presented with a souvenir card created by Jeff Rosinia and Elliot Krieter. The card tells the story and shows the image of the 1934 series $10,000 Federal Reserve Note from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Door prizes from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank of 200 pieces of shredded U.S. currency compacted into a briquette were won by Paul Hybert and Clifford Priest.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:05 PM. As attendees exited, they were presented with a bag of shredded U.S. currency (approximately $364) compliments of Chicago Federal Reserve Bank.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
The Origin of Coinage in Ancient Greece

presented by Robert Wallace
to our March 10, 2010 meeting

Robert started the presentation by offering the subtitle, The Speedy Rise and Fall of Electrum Coinage. Electrum is a naturally occurring mix of silver and gold, found in some of the streams of western Asia Minor. The ancients had relatively pure gold and silver from other sources, but they could not separate electrum into gold and silver until about 560 BC. Although gold and silver were traded by weight in commerce, they were not used to produce the first coins; the first coins were made of electrum, and Robert offered us his explanation for that in addition to covering the history.

We now know that the natural electrum found in Lydia was about 76 to 83% gold, but the Lydians could not make that determination. It must have been a strange metal — it certainly was valuable, but there was no way to determine its value. In Sardis, the king of Lydia had a large amount of electrum; at around 610 BC, Robert believes that coinage was invented to fix or stabilize the value of electrum. The people were told that it was 50-50 gold and silver; the Lydian mint added silver, and then a little copper to add color. In the ancient world, each locale had its own weight standard. In Lydia, the standard unit of weight was about 14.7 of our grams. The most common Lydian coin was the one-third stater of 4.7 grams; smaller pieces such as the one-sixth and one-twelfth stater were issued, but a full stater was not issued. Although the ratio between the gold and silver was not, could not, be controlled, the pieces were of accurate weight — within hundredths of a gram.

Electrum coinage started in many areas almost simultaneously. Scholars theorize that these coins were needed to pay soldiers — a situation where many pieces were needed at a time. The Greek towns closer to the Aegean, such as Miletus and Ephesus, issued coins in electrum, as did the Greek island of Samos. Many hoards are known, and hoards typically show pieces from many sites. Attribution can be hard because of the limited design types and the lack of lettering on most pieces.

A roaring lion’s head is common on the obverse of Lydian coins, with two or three punch marks on the reverse. There appears to be a sunburst above the lion’s face, and sometimes it is attached to the face; most now consider the sunburst is emblematic of Lydia or its rulers, and not some hairy wart-like marking of unknown importance — as with most ancient coins, we have no record of what was intended, so we look for patterns and try to draw the most plausible connection. We do not know the purpose of the punch marks on the reverse; their block-like shape cuts into the metal, so maybe they were meant to be taken as test cuts to show the internal metal; three punch marks implying that three people had tested each piece. But then there is an actual reverse die that has three punches. A fish head (possibly a tuna?) appears on a number of electrum coins, and a later issue, with lower gold content, has a soldier’s head.

The gold and silver content varied greatly over time and location, and Robert referred us to his handout that showed some of the results that are available in the literature. It started with Kraay’s 1957 X-ray fluorescence results of surface analysis performed on 56 Lydian coins; the gold percentage was usually in the low fifties, the silver in the upper forties, and copper two or three. In 1970, Gordus used neutron activation to test the surface of some of the pieces tested earlier by Kraay, and he tested each coin twice; his gold and silver readings for each coin differed by a few percentage points, but they differed from Kraay’s by even more. For his first first tests, Paszthory cut the coins in half and performed wet-chemical analysis; this was the first test to show iron present. He followed that test with X-ray fluorescence tests that showed gold and silver percentages close to the values he had obtained earlier. In 1984, an Italian team obtained values that were close but differed from previous results.

Except for three minor exceptions, the era of electrum coinage lasted only 50 years, ending with the development of the cementation process of separating gold and silver. That started the era of the silver Athenian owl which was at least 98% fine silver. Gold saw little use in everyday commerce, being used mostly for paying mercenaries and in long-distance trading.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Stock Certificates from Frauds, Scandals & Famous Bankruptcies

presented by Lawrence Falater
to our March 20, 2010 meeting

This entertaining program followed a simple format — show a bond or stock certificate on the projector, and tell some details. These were not Businees School case studies of successful companies; although some cases involved just bad luck, most involved prison time — or would have, were it not for death.

The first item shown was a specimen stock certificate for Adelphia. This was only a few years ago; the Rigases, company founder and son, transferred corporate assets to themselves when the company experienced some trouble. Both now are in prison. Another specimen was from The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. Specimens usually go to the company to review before the main printing run; maybe some went to their archives, and maybe from there onto the market when the company collapsed.

Next up was an example of bad timing — very bad timing. Canada 3000 was organized to be the second largest airline in Canada. The stock certificate is for one share, and bears the date September 18, 2001. That is only one week after the 9/11 attacks, a terrible time to start an airline. This airline lasted only four months. Next up was a certificate from Countrywide Financial Corporation, an early victim of its own actions in the mortgage market. Larry pointed out that many of the certificates are for one share, and are in his name. No, he did not have an incompetant financial advisor — he is just a collector! Once a company was in deep trouble, probably after entering a death spiral, he bought 100 shares, and asked for 100 certificates of one share each.

Another bad company was Cyrk, Inc., and a stock certificate was shown. Ever hear of it? It was the company that organized promotions for McDonald’s — such as the Monopoly game promotion. The company did not send the key game pieces to McDonald’s, but gave them out to their friends and accomplices. Somehow, McDonald’s ended up paying $10 million to settle a lawsuit! A $5,000 bond from Equity Funding, a company that collapsed in the 1980s, has the same vignette as the earlier certificate from Bear Stearns.

Starting a run from the Great Depression was a stock certificate from the First National Bank of Ontonagon; that bank from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula failed in 1933. Another Michigan company, the Guardian Detroit Union Group, Inc., was an earlier promoter of “chain banking” and most of its acquired banks included Guardian in their name; The state governor declared a bank holiday in early 1933 when the affiliated Guardian Transfer Company had difficulty. Soon, Ohio was impacted and declared its own bank holiday, and its ripples spread to other states; it took ten years to wrap up the case. The Gray Goose Airways company, a product of J.E. Caldwell, produced a series of outlandish aircraft designs that always needed just a little more time to work out the details. A photograph of one of their aircraft looked like no aircraft I ever saw. Caldwell’s murder was never solved.

American certificates and European bonds from Kreuger & Toll Company, the match company, were shown. That industry was centered in Sweden, and Igor Kreuger had organized 300 shaky, interlocking companies around the world. He committed suicide in 1932 when it all collapsed. Then we had some that ended in prison: the president of the Little Motor Kar Company went to prison for five years; Governor Leach, pictured on a piece from the Louisiana State Board of Education, went to prison; the Pan Motor Company manufactured 735 cars before the founder, who had earlier established St. Cloud, Minnesota, went to prison; Martha Stewart went to jail for one year for misdeeds involving her investment in a company other than her own — Larry showed a certificate from Martha Stewart Living which suffered somewhat.

You should have been there for the talk. More pieces were shown, and stories told, before winding down with a Confederate bond with coupons still attached. Europe depended upon the South for cotton, so many Europeans bought the bonds. When a European court ruled, in 1879, that the US was the successor to the CSA and responsible for the bonds, the value was boosted for awhile. This bond is a counterfeit; made in Holland, the diagnostic is the white dot in the vignette on this lithographed item. Lacking engravers, the South produced crude originals that are no worse than poorly made counterfeits. The closing piece was a trade confirmation from Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC from 2005, showing 56 shares of Merck were sold at 26.74 for a total of $1497.44.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our March 10, 2010 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman showed a range of items:
  2. David Gumm had received a promotional mailing, promising to send him a dollar if he mailed them a dollar. Curious as to what they would send, he mailed them a dollar. He received a new Millard Fillmore dollar in a cointainer-type holder, along with advertising and promotional material that he will ignore.
  3. Robert Weinstein showed coins from the transition from Greek to Scythian kings in India:
  4. Mark Wieclaw showed recent odd items from the shop:
  5. Zoujun Dai show two recently acquired pieces:
  6. To complement the evening’s speaker, Andy Plioplys showed two electrum pieces from Ionia, acquired from the Trton VI auction which Andy had attended in January, 2003. One piece has punch marks on both sides, while the other piece has a bull’s head on one side and punch marks on the other side. He concluded with a story about a different lot that experienced a big price jump during the auction; that led to some comments about certain behavior during auctions.
  7. Robert Leonard started with the book Normans in European History by Haskins, then showed some pieces from Norman Sicily:
  8. Carl Wolf showed a $1,000 Confederate bond obtained framed, from a garage sale. Now removed from the olf frame, Carl held up the old glass to show us a faint image of the bond; the glass had touched the bond, hence the glass leached out the ink. After warning us of the dangers of improperly mounting items, he gave us a history of this bond: still traded in Europe into the 1880s, a Bondholder Committee gathered 75,000 of them in 1887, and that hoard sold as one lot at Sotheby’s for $630,000 about 20 years ago. Most were rolled — imagine processing 9 crates, each weighing 450 pounds! A few members remembered when they first appeared on the market.
  9. Richard Lipman continued showing Legal Tender notes from where he left off last month: showed examples of early US Legal Tender paper money: an 1862 $1 note, and an 1863 $5 note signed by Chitendden and Spinner. In 1861, before the Civil War started, the US sold interest-bearing notes to raise money, but most were returned at maturity so are not available for collectors. A second type of note was the Demand Note, which was backed by gold or silver but paid no interest. As gold and silver became less available, Legal Tender notes,not backed by gold or silver, were issued; they were poorly accepted and the government tried to get back the Demand notes.
  10. Mac Weist reported on the recent Lincoln One-Cent Event, showed the program, and told some stories. He thinks about 90% of the coins were scratched. He finished with images of the errors he found on 2010 cents, including:
  11. Stephen Huber showed some pieces from a group of about 60 world crowns that had been put away about 30 years ago:

First Meeting of the ANA 2011 Convention Host Committee

March 17, 2010

Meeting called to order at 5:20 by General Chairman Bob Leonard. Meeting was held in the offices of Harlan Berk, 77 W. Washington, Chicago. Attendees introduced themselves.

Attending were Bob Leonard, Mark Wieclaw, Carl Wolf, Bob Weinstein, Paul Hybert, Marc Ricard, Harlan Berk, Dave Simpson, Bill Burd, Elliott Krieter, Bob Feiler, and Andy Plioplys.

Mr. Leonard plans to attend the National Money Show in Fort Worth to hammer out some and believes Brenda Bishop from ANA will visit Chicago one or two times after the 2010 Boston convention ends.

Mr. Leonard noted that the committee is obligated to do a post-convention report, and asked committee chairmen to keep this in mind.

Mr. Leonard suggested the printing of a small label to promote the Chicago convention. After discussion, the committee agreed to have the branding committee work out details and order 500 labels for under $60. Labels are to be ready by the start of the 2010 Boston convention. Mr. Berk and Mr. Kreiter will look into picking up Chicago tourist literature to hand out.

Committee Reports:
Numismatic Theater (Mike Gasvoda and Phil Carrigan not present): Mr. Leonard suggested the club work early on getting speakers, and present the names and topics to the ANA, which arranges the program. There was discussion of having rooms for independent programs, such as for Lithuanian numismatics. Finding meeting rooms could be an issue. Mr. Leonard will talk to ANA about having the convention literature list the speakers at club meetings.
Chicago Volunteers (Mr. Wolf): He reports having a list of hundreds of contacts and will be ready to draw upon the list when needed.
Registration Chairman (Mr. Weinstein): He plans to attend coin club meetings, as will Mr. Feiler, looking for volunteers. Mr. Leonard will forward a list of coin clubs. He suggested 40 volunteers would be a good goal.
Pages (no report).
Collector Gallery (Paul Hybert and Marc Ricard): The committee plans to contact groups and individuals, including young numismatists, to find exhibitors. The committee members expect to spend considerable time at the Boston convention, and to have help from national volunteers. Andy Plioplys joined this committee.
Scout Workshops (no report).
Activities (no report).
Patron (Mr. Berk): He says he is ready to begin selling when we determine what is to be sold.
Noncompetitive Exhibits (Mr. Berk): He has several ideas, including the first 1892 Columbian half dollar, Gobrecht dollars, multiple thalers, Roman republican coins, and Russian coins. Another idea is early ANA printed material, some of which is owned by CCC members. Mr. Berk needs to know the number of cases available.
Medal (Mr. Simpson): Deadline from ANA is now “by summer.” The committee has adequate ideas and expects to make a decision in good time. One idea would be to highlight ANA conventions coinciding with Chicago World’s Fairs (1893 and 1933).
Branding (Mr. Burd): Will work on labels, and hold a meeting with his committee.

Mr. Leonard expressed concern about the cost of parking and convention admission. He suggested Mr. Krieter and others visit local clubs and give them heads up on the pricing, and suggest ideas like car pooling, joining ANA (free convention admission) or parking at CTA lot. Mr. Leonard will look into an ANA shuttle bus service.

At the suggestion of Mr. Wolf, the committee will request the Chicago Coin Club allocate $500 to the committee.

Mr. Wolf suggested the club look into getting a hotel room for members to visit during the day. Sandwiches and drinks could be kept here. The room would need to be staffed.

Mr. Hybert talked about letting committee members be contacted through the CCC website. This would allow anonymity for email to club members, but not for responses. Mr. Leonard noted there is a World’s Fair of Numismatics website, but that in the past the information was slow to be updated.

The committee expressed thanks to Mr. Berk for use of the room and providing a catered meal and parking vouchers.

The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, May 19 at 5:30 at the same location.

Respectfully submitted,
Dave Simpson

Our 1096th Meeting

Date:April 14, 2010, First session
Time:6:45 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 speakers:Phil Carrigan, Marc Stackler & Don Dool — Standard Numimismatic Literature from Specialized Fields

Three speakers, 10 minutes each, all speaking on the standard numimismatic literature dealing with their collecting specialty: Barber Coinage & John Reich early silver Capped Bust half dimes, Mexican War of Independence (1810-21) & Mexican Revolution (1910-17), and International copper coinage (1481-1850).

Date:April 24, 2010, Second session
Time:1:00 PM
Location:At the Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured speaker: - to be announced

Important Dates

April 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Phil Carrigan, Marc Stackler & Don Dool on Standard Numimismatic Literature from Specialized Fields
April 22-25 35th annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday.
April 24 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - to be announced
Apr 28 - May 1 Central States Numismatic Society Convention, Downtown Milwaukee
May 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
June 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced

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

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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