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Volume 56 No. 7 July 2010

13 Months until ANA in Chicago

Are you a club member? Who lives in the Chicago area? And who will visit Boston for the ANA in August? Then please send your name and days/times you will be in Boston to

Robert Leonard, the 2011 General Chairman, is trying to schedule a meeting at Boston between ANA headquarters staff and Chicago Coin Club members. You do not have to be a member of any of our local organizing committees to attend this meeting. Bob also is looking for members to spend time at the club’s table, gathering questions and spreading information. is the main page for our organizing committee is Follow links from there to find the latest information from the show chair as well as from the various committee heads.

Minutes of the 1098th Meeting

The 1098th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held June 9, 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 19 members.

A motion was passed to approve the May Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported May income of $714.00, expenses $293.51 and total assets of $15,116.42 which is in Life Membership $2,150.00 and member equity $12,966.42. A motion was passed to approve the report. Treasurer Zitowsky reported the orders still arrive for the Club’s CPMX souvenir sheet showing a $10,000 Federal Reserve Note. However, when money is returned with a form listing all available souvenir cards, several orders were received for multiple cards.

Following the second reading of Greg Green’s application for membership a motion was passed to accept him into the Club.

Jeff Rosinia read a letter from Larry Shepherd, Executive Director, American Numismatic Association, officially naming the Chicago Coin Club as the Host Club of the 2011 Convention. Jeff also announced that Charles Ricard, Club Past-President, was named Honorary Chairman of the convention. A quick poll showed a number of members planning to attend the upcoming Boston ANA Convention. Everyone was asked to notify Robert Leonard so they can help promote the Chicago event next year.

In the absence of First V.P. Lyle Daly, Second V.P. Elliot Krieter introduced the featured speaker, Michael Gasvoda who delivered a program titled Medallic Works of Giovanni da Cavino and Other Paduans. Following the program, Mike delivered a short talk on creating a book from start to finish showcasing a coin collection. Following a question and answer session, Elliot presented Michael with an ANA Educational Certificate and a Club engraved speaker medal.

Elliot Krieter introduced the eight exhibitors for the evening. EUGENE FREEMAN: Canadian and German tokens; CARL WOLF: Chinese Brick Tea Money; STEVE AMBOS: 2 Chinese coins; MARK STACKLER: 3 Mexican Revolutionary coins; MARK WIECLAW: obv. & rev. casts of an Athenian Decadrahm, Roman coin, wartime nickel set, numismatic novelties; STEVE ZITOWSKY: 8 Axumite coins; RICHARD LIPMAN: 4 pieces U.S. currency; and ROBERT WEINSTEIN: 7 elongated coins.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Medallic Works of Giovanni da Cavino & Other Paduans

presented by Michael S. Gasvoda
to our June 9, 2010 meeting

While at the New York International earlier this year, Michael was offered the opportunity to buy Frank Kovac’s collection of 57 original strike Cavinos. Michael started the program by posing a number of questions, and then used images of the collection to provide some answers.

Giovanni da Cavino, 1500-1570, lived in the city of Padua which is located about 40 miles west of Venice. All things ancient were important at the peak of the Renaissance, so this skilled goldsmith and medallist used busts, coins, and whatever else was available as models for his creations.

Most of what we know about him is contained in two books: a book by Lawrence about 100 years ago contained no photographs, and the somewhat recent book by Klawans contains photographs. The 122 surviving dies in the Bibliothèque nationale de France help, but they come from several generations removed heirs and are most likely not all that he produced; because his descendants sold the dies in 1670, some of the surviving dies might have been produced by his successors. After Cavino’s death, his sons probably continued striking pieces from his dies; his successors, generally referred to as Paduans, kept the industry going for a time, but it is simpler to call them Paduans than determine who made what, and when.

His copies of ancient coins were made for coin collectors, and it is believed that he was commissioned for most of his medals. We call these pieces medals because Cavino never intended these pieces to circulate; some are not even very faithful reproductions. These are very beautiful pieces — and that is part of their problem. They are often much nicer than the original pieces, making full use of over one thousand years of accumulated improvements in design and coin production since the originals. Their relief is usually much higher than on real coins. Michael took us through a number of slides where he showed a Cavino piece and a similar original Roman coin. Cavino’s sestertii often possess an attractive two-tone antiqued bronze finish (which is easily discernable from an ancient sestertii); sometimes a Tiber patina (not so easily discernable); and sometimes are overstruck on original Roman sestertii (which can be very deceptive). The originals in the presentation possessed a range of colors and shapes usually not found on Cavinos.

A Tiberius was first, followed by Caligula three-sisters struck over an original, and then another Caligula but with Pieta seated and a standing figure making a sacrifice. A Nero with a ship prow and a cornucopia was next, then a Nero showing the port of Ostia, and a Vitellius with a standing Pax. The last was a coliseum sestertius — he must have had access to a very fine piece as this is very nice; it also shows a view from the opposite side of the coliseum than what appears on the Hunt pedigreed coliseum sestertius — the only coliseum sestertius known in this condition. Michael wants to know what happened to the original coin Cavino used as his design guide!

The next group of slides showed fantasy pieces. How about a Julius Caesar with “VENI VIDI VICI” within a laurel wreath reverse? Julius Caesar never issued a bronze coin with his portrait on it. How about a sestertius sized piece copied from a real silver denarius? How about a bimetallic medal, in copper and bronze? And how about legends in Greek on a Roman coin? The last few fantasy pieces resulted from mating two obverse dies featuring different Roman emperors. A sestertius provides a large surface on which an artist can work; very few large silver Cavinos remain today because most had been melted for the silver.

The last group of slides showed a number of medals by Cavino. A Homer obverse die was paired with an allegorical reverse fantasy design. This reverse die was then paired with an Augustus obverse (possibly done by Cavino’s son). Other historical features appearing on the medals are Hercules, Marcus Contorensus, and Herr Cornelius.

Although Cavino loved copying complex designs, and was very skilled at it, he seemed to lack that artistic flair needed to compose an original. Cavinos have found their way into a few big collections, but not often, and very few. Most often, Cavinos are found cast instead of as original strikes.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our June 9, 2010 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman showed Canadian tokens and German States coins:
  2. Carl Wolf showed a framed example of Chinese Brick Tea Money, the latest in his line of framed primitive money exhibits. He also showed an article from the May, 2010 National Geographic magazine that told about the trade of Tibetan ponies for Chinese tea — 130 bricks bought a horse. Although that trade operated from 645-1909, tea bricks are still made and sold. The bricks are pre-scored so that they can be cut into smaller pieces.
  3. Steve Ambos showed two Chinese Republic coins:
  4. Marc Stackler showed Mexican Revolution coins from Chihuahua:
  5. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of items:
  6. Steve Zitowsky showed eigth Axumite coins, most of them acquired while in Ethiopia many years ago, purchased from young locals. The coins span the years 100-940 AD. His original attributions were based upon Vaccaro’s work, but now he is in the process of attributing according to Munro-Hay’s 1984 The Coinage of Aksum. After 340 AD, the reverse has a central cross, usually with some gold foil. A bust of the ruler is on the obverse.
  7. Rich Lipman showed four pieces of U.S. currency:
  8. Bob Weinstein showed recently acquired elongated pieces, mostly on U.S. cents:

Using to Create a Photobook

by Michael S. Gasvoda

The first step in creating a photo book of your collection is to go to the above website and download their free software. Once this step is completed you can open the software and begin your photo book.

You will have to decide on the type of book you want to create. The paper pocket book is the cheapest with prices rising from there. You don’t have to decide on the book type until you end your project, but know that the cover and inside pages of the cover are affected based on the type of book you select.

Once you are in the program you will need to download photos for insertion into the book. It takes 300 dpi (dots per inch) to have sufficient resolution for the program to accept the photos. And the higher the resolution the longer it takes to“upload” a completed photo book to their web site. I use 300 dpi and find the resolution is very acceptable.

You can then play around with how many photos you want to put on each page — see Page Layout at the bottom center of the program page. You can choose from a multitude of photo layouts which include mdash; or exclude — text to define the photo you have selected.

I like to make my photos consistent, which requires a bit of front end work before they are uploaded. I use Adobe Photoshop Elements to manipulate my photos. I use a consistent background color (when portraying coins) as I feel it makes for a better presentation in the completed book; While probably too long to describe here, it is easy with Photoshop to make the backgrounds identical by applying a “paint bucket” background color. I have found a medium grey color works best, but you may find another color is better for what you want to portray. There is no difference in cost for based on the background color you use. Just know this color is selected outside the book making software.

You can, however, select page background color from the book making software itself. Again, I like a light grey to contrast to my photo background which is a darker grey. For those of you who are familiar with photo manipulation, this will seem simplistic.

Text can be added for all photos and the available text space is limited based on the photo style you select. But, like most word processing programs, you can change the font size to fit the added text to the page. If you are unsure of the way the selected fontsize will look on the finished product, you can “preview” the book and get a good feel for how it will look.

The last thing I will say about this software is this: My Publisher offers frequent coupons to reduce your cost. Wait for one of these to hit your computer and then purchase. You can expect to get a 40% off coupon about once a month. Unless you are in an extreme hurry to publish a book — wait for those coupons!

I have found this is an easy way to share my collection with family and friends without having to pull my collection out of a safety deposit box or safe or back room closet. And if they have little interest, you aren’t put out by making special plans to get your collection available for them.

And it’s an easy way to share your collection with fellow CCC members! Once you have purchased a book, you can email friends to allow them to look at it on the My Publisher web site for free. I have only produced two books thus far, but if you want to see them, let me know; I will send you the link to my published books.

If you have questions contact me at

Have fun!

Our 1099th Meeting

Date:July 14, 2010
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 speaker:Robert D. Leonard Jr. — French Billon Coinage in the Americas

Beginning in the Middle Ages, France had an extensive coinage in base silver (billon), and from 1640 through the 18th century certain issues were made specifically for use in New France and the West Indies. Two series in particular are listed in both the Canadian coin catalogs and the Red Book, 25th through 64th editions, and Walter Breen devoted 15 pages of his Encyclopedia to these issues. Some have been recovered from Indian sites in Illinois. Later issues were countermarked in many Caribbean islands for use during the waning years of piracy. Bob will discuss these issues and the references on them, and display a number of examples.

Important Dates

July 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert D. Leonard Jr. French Billon Coinage in the Americas
Aug 10-14 ANA Annual Convention - Boston. Are you going? Remember to submit a trip report!
August 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
September 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
September 9-11 ILNA convention at the Tinley Park Convention Center, 18501 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park, IL 60477. Details at

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.
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.