|Archive available at http://www.ChicagoCoinClub.org/|
|Volume 56 No. 3||March 2010|
The dates are finalized! From Tuesday through Saturday, August 16-20, 2011. The venue will be the Rosemont Convention Center, same as in 1999. According to an ANA press release, a revised schedule will be tried at Chicago in 2011 — the World’s Fair of Money® will run from Tuesday through Saturday, after the Official Pre-Show runs from Friday through Monday at the same venue.
A report from the organizing committee appears later in this issue.
The 1094th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held February 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 26 members.
The January Minutes printed in the Chatter were approved as published. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported January receipts of $390.00, disbursements of $81.37, income of $308.63, total assets of $14,844.89 which is in Life Membership $2,150.00 and Member’s Equity $12,694.89. A motion was made and passed to approve.
The application of Mac Weist received second reading and a motion was passed to accept him into membership.
President Rosinia introduced the featured speaker Eugene Freeman who delivered a program on U.S. Colonial Coinage by Location. Following several questions, Eugene was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved speaker’s medal.
Second V.P. Elliot Krieter introduced the 15 exhibitors. BOB WALLACE: 7 ancient Greek bronze coins from Peloponnese, 500-400 B.C. MARC STACKLER: 4 8-real coins from the Mexican War of Independence. STEVE ZITOWSKY: English token and book Survey of American Trade Tokens. DON DOOL: 7 bronze coins; CARL WOLF: framed bauxite trade beads from Ghana. DAVID GUMM: 2 U.S. colonial coins & a recent National Geographic article on elongated cents. EUGENE FREEMAN: 6 bronze coins including several U.S. colonial pieces. ROBERT LEONARD: copy of Curious Currency, a book he wrote and soon to be released. STEPHEN HUBER: 20 re-strikes by the Belgian Mint. STEVE AMBOS: 1784 Louis XVI ecu from Pau Mint. MARK WIECLAW: 3 ancient Roman coins & a Mexican coin converted into a religious medal. ZEUJUN DAI: 2 copper coins showing the Katanga cross. ROBERT FEILER: 1938 D/D Buffalo nickel, ancient Greek coin with a 1970 receipt and an encased 1950 Jefferson nickel promoting the Democratic National Conference. MARC RICARD: 1954 auction catalog of the King Farouk Palace Collection. RICHARD LIPMAN: $1 U.S. currency from 1862 and $5 U.S. currency from 1863.
President Rosinia called for a round of applause for Steve Zitowsky who received the Club’s Medal of Merit. Carl Wolf announced that at the annual convention of Promotional Products Association International the IMC Mint received the Gold Award in die striking for their work on the Club’s 90th Anniversary Standing Abraham Lincoln medal. It was announced that a committee is reviewing the Club’s internet profile and will probably make recommendations for change. Committee members include: Bill Burd, Paul Hybert, Marc Stackler, Steve Ambos and Carl Wolf.
Robert Leonard, General Chairman of the 2011 Chicago ANA Convention, announced the appointment of Marc Ricard as Assistant Exhibit Chair and Sharon Blocker as Activities Chair. Leonard also announced that co-chairs Philip Carrigan and Mike Gasvoda were hard at work securing speakers.
Adjournment was at 9:30 PM with the next meeting to be held at 6:45 PM on Wednesday March 10 at the same location.
Carl Wolf, Secretary
Gordon Donnell (1083) passed away January 8, 2010 at the Veterans Hospital, Martinez, California. He was 74 years of age. Gordon joined the Chicago Coin Club in 1999 at Club meeting held in conjunction with the ANA Convention.
Born in St. Louis, Gordon moved to California where he was very active in the coin collecting community. He was a past-president of numerous organizations including the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society, the Alameda Coin Club, the Liberty Numismatic Society, the San Francisco Coin Club, the Northern California Numismatic Association and the International Wooden Money Collectors. Gordon was also a district delegate of the ANA.
In December 2003, Krause Publications appointed Gordon a Numismatic Ambassador for all his numismatic activities and work to promote the hobby.
The Feb 16th issue of Numismatic News wrote “Donnell was a committed numismatist who lived the motto ‘Buy the book before the coin.’ In fact, he probably had more books than coins.”
Carl Wolf, Secretary
by Eugene Freeman
presented to our Febuary 10, 2010 meeting
My intent is to give you a general overview of the coins used in the United States prior to 1840, and to discuss some of the methodologies collectors use in forming collections of these coins. Each of these major types of coins could easily be the topic of an entire presentation.
Most of us were first introduced to “Colonial Coins” by reading the Red Book (A Guide Book of United States Coins by R. S. Yeoman) and learning the basic stories of some of the issues (some were coins, some were tokens or medals) used in the 13 English colonies. There was a passing reference to the issues for the French colonies of North America, and even a shorter mention of the issues of the Spanish colonies of North America. Later editions even added some of the issues of a state west of the Mississippi — Texas — and some later tokens used in the Oregon area.
Defining U.S. Colonial Coins
The first decision to planning a collection is to decide on your definition of “U.S. Colonial Coins.” In the broadest sense, this could be any coin used at any time in any area that is now a part of the United States. If you take that approach, you would be collecting examples of nearly any major coinage of the world prior to 1858 — including Russian coins for Alaska; Spanish coins for the entire area; French coins for Canada, the Mississippi and Ohio valleys and the Great Lakes region; Swedish and Dutch coins for areas of New England; and English coins for Canada, the Oregon Valley, the Eastern Seaboard, and Appalachia. Only a small part of these issues have any indication on them of being intended for use in the Western Hemisphere, but they were definitely used here.
Add to this the very active international/worldwide trade from New England and from New Orleans, and you get an even broader universe of coins that would have changed hands in the areas of this country.
It is hard to imagine the chaotic situation of commerce for people living in the English colonies. England made no attempt to provide an adequate supply of coinage for its colonies — the colonies were supposed to be a SOURCE of precious metal for England, why should we be supplying coins for them? The English merchants demanded payment for their goods in precious metals, so there was a constant drain and shortage of gold and silver coins in the colonies.
Spanish Colonial issues
With no precious metal coinage from England, the colonists turned to other sources. The most important source would be the Spanish colonies, which constantly produced tons of gold and silver coins. The Spanish 8 reales coin would become the basis for the U.S. dollar, with decimal fractions, rather than the pence/shillings/crown system of England. With the exception of some pattern issues for Florida, and the ½ real coins of San Antonio (San Fernando de Bexar), I am unaware of any issues that can be attributed to any area that is now part of the United States. (The coins of Puerto Rico were issued much later than 1857.)
French Colonial issues
Although France did not issue any coins specifically identified for its Canadian colonies, there were several issues that were for French Colonies in general, which included the colonies in the West Indies. The Red Book usually uses less than three pages to summarize French issues, and Q. David Bower’s new book also uses three pages for them. Walter Breen uses 16 pages to cover these issues.
France began colonizing Quebec in 1608, and expanded her territory until losing the Hudson Bay Area, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to the British in Queen Anne’s War 1713; at the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1763, France lost all claims to Canada except for the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. There was extensive trade and fur trapping in Canada, in the Great Lakes region and along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and French influence in some of these areas would continue until the Louisiana Purchase.
The first coins officially authorized for French America were the billon douzains (primarily of 1618) which were counterstamped with a fleur de lys in a beaded oval (this was authorized by an edict of June 1640). A later 1658 issue had a similar design, but the fleur de lys and beaded circle were added to the design in the die. The French West Indies Company caused the 1670 issue of 5 and 15 sols coins, which had disappeared from circulation by 1680 and are very rare today. Other issues were the “John Law” coppers of c. 1720, the billon coinage of 1709-60, and the nine deniers of 1721-22.
After the loss of its Canadian territories, the billon sous were recalled in 1763, counterstamped with a crowned C, and issued for use in the Caribbean and Louisiana. A second issue of counterstamped blanks followed, and copper sous were also issued in 1767. The copper sous were not accepted well in circulation, and in 1793 about 98% of the original mintage was counterstamped with RF in an oval. Some of these later circulated in the United States as cents, and have been found in non-collector accumulations from the period after the War of 1812.
So what did the English colonists use for money? Anything they could get! Spanish silver was relatively available. French billon and silver coins were somewhat available, as well as silver and gold issues from Great Britain, Portugal and her colonies, and, to a lesser extent, from other European nations. In addition, paper money was used at times. In earlier periods, colonists bartered for what they needed, and they used beads (wampum), furs and hides, tobacco, and lead musket balls as money.
English issues can be summarized into a few general groups:
Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, believed he had the mint right for his lands in Maryland, and had shillings, sixpences and groats struck for his colony in 1659. By 1706, these had vanished from circulation and Maryland had reverted to a barter economy — hemp was declared legal tender for up to 25% of debts and taxes.
Richard Holt issued the Plantation Tokens (1688) that were authorized by Royal Patent from King James II. These were made of tin, and have the king on horseback on the obverse and the four English royal shields on the reverse.
William Wood obtained a patent from George I to make tokens for Ireland and the American colonies. Rosa Americana pieces were issued for the American colonies, dated 1722, 1723, 1724 and 1733. His Hibernia tokens, intended for Ireland, were not successful there, so these also came to America. They were dated 1722-1724.
Lord Baltimore thought that he had the mint right, because the royal charter for Virginia specifically granted the mint right to Virginia. No one acted on this right until May 1773, when half pennies were ordered to be struck by the Tower Mint. When the coins were received, the Colonial Treasurer refused to release them without a signed Royal Decree. A year later, when the Decree was received, the Revolution was beginning, and a coin with King George III’s portrait just was not popular, so few were circulated.Group 2.
Mark Newby came to America from Dublin in 1681 and brought the St. Patrick coppers, which are believed to have been struck in Dublin ca. 1663-1672. Each has a crown and the figure of King David playing a harp on the obverse, and a standing St. Patrick on the reverse. An unusual feature of these is the brass insert used to make the crown appear to be gold.
Elephant Tokens were issued in England around 1694, most with the reverse “God Preserve London.” Two very rare reverses refer to Carolina and New England.
Hibernia-Voce Populi coins were struck in Dublin by Roche (of King Street). There is some question as to the extent of their circulation in America.Group 3.
John Chalmers, a silversmith of Annapolis, MD, issued 3 pence, 6 pence and shilling coins in 1783.
The British Parliament passed the Stamp Acts as a method of raising revenues to pay for the French and Indian Wars (which had ended in 1763), but when the colonists learned of the taxes in 1765, they began demonstrations that included the burning of some homes. Members of Parliament denounced the protestors, but Sir William Pitt defended the actions of the protestors in an address to Parliament in January 1766. In honor of his actions, copper medallets now identified as “farthings” and “half pennies” were minted in Philadelphia or New York City, with William Pitt on the obverse and a ship on the reverse.
Massachusetts was responsible for the largest production of silver coins (from an English source) during this period. The New England (NE) coinage (c. 1652), Willow Tree coinage (1653-1660), Oak Tree coinage (1660-1667) and the Pine Tree coinage (1667-1682) spanned thirty years of production. The NE coinage was undated; and the Oak Tree twopence is dated 1662; but all the rest are dated 1652. In that year, the colonial government of Massachusetts decided that it had the mint right. With England ignoring them (the king was losing the English Civil War), the colony decided that it was on its own. Of these issues, the small planchet variety of the Pine Tree shilling is the one that you are most likely to encounter.Group 4.
For our topic, the key element of the Articles of Confederation was that each state was a sovereign nation, and had the right to coin its own money, until June 1788. Several states had large mintages, of which almost all are copper coins:
Massachusetts issued half cents and cents in 1787 and 1788.
Connecticut issued coppers dated 1785 – 1788.
New Jersey issued coppers dated 1786 – 1788, as “Nova Caesarea,” with a horse head and a plow on the obverse and the American shield on the reverse.
Vermont issued coppers dated 1785 and 1786 with a landscape design. Other designs dated 1787 and 1788 were produced by Machin’s Mills.
New York did not officially authorize a coinage, but did pass laws to regulate the copper coins in use. Ephraim Brasher tested the weight of circulating gold coins and stamped them with his initials, and at one time prepared some gold coins of his own design. Brasher and John Bailey are considered to have been the source of the Excelsior and Nova Eborac issues, which were prepared as part of a petition to mint coinage for New York in 1787.
Nova Constellatio (Breen says Constellatio Nova) coppers, dated 1783, 1785 and 1786 were minted in England and placed in circulation in New York. These appear to have been a speculative issue.
The Bar Coppers, of uncertain origin, were believed to have first circulated in New York in November 1785. These coins have USA intertwined on the obverse, and 13 horizontal stripes (bars) on the reverse. The design was supposedly copied from a Continental button.
New York was also the home to Machin’s Mills, which was a mint to produce “Hardware.” The partnership was responsible for a number of imitation British half pennies, as well as some imitations of New Jersey and Connecticut coins.Group 5.
Continental Currency dollars dated 1776 were struck in pewter, brass and silver. These are very rare.
Nova Constellatio patterns were struck in copper and silver. These patterns are the first to suggest a decimal system for U.S. coinage.
Various combinations of an Immune Columbia (or Immunis Columbia) design, with a Constellatio Nova, eagle, or other reverse, were produced in various numbers. These led to the minting of the Fugio Cents, which were the first coins issued by the authority of the United States, dated 1787. A sundial is on the obverse, and a chain of 13 links is on the reverse.Group 6.
Talbot, Allum & Lee of New York, who were engaged in the India trade, issued cent tokens in 1794 and 1795. These were well struck and were popular, since they were heavier than most of the tokens in circulation at that time. Many of them were later delivered to the U.S. Mint and were used to strike half cents and cents — details of the design can be identified on some of the overstruck coins.
Standish Barry, a Baltimore silversmith, issued a silver threepence in 1790.
Mott Company issued copper tokens in three varieties. They are dated 1790, but this is believed to be the date of the formation of the company, and that the tokens were issued about 20 years later.
The First Presbyterian Church of Albany, New York issued 1,000 uniface tokens in 1790, reportedly so that the church would not have to continue receiving lightweight coppers in its collection plates.
One of the more unusual issues is the Rhode Island Ship Medal. The obverse shows British Admiral Howe’s flagship; the reverse is a map with soldiers on the island. As explained by Breen, the message is that the Colonial Army had to flee in 1778, but Howe had to flee when they returned in 1779.
At the same time as the Conder half penny tokens were circulating in England, a number of issues had designs that reflected North American topics. Among these were the Kentucky Tokens (Breen called it the Starry Pyramid Half Penny), known for the K on the top star on the reverse, Auctori Plebis Tokens, and the Franklin Press Tokens.
The North American Token was struck in Dublin. Although dated 1781, it was probably issued about 1810-1820.
There was also a demand for “all things Washington” and the token issuers tried to meet the demand — Georgius Triumpho Tokens, Washington Portrait pieces and Double Head Cents, Unity States, 1791 Eagle Cents, Grate Tokens, Liberty and Security Tokens, Liverpool Tokens, and the Success Medals. The North Wales Halfpennies probably hold the distinction of being the weakest struck of all of these — but that was intentional, since they were supposed to look like they had been in circulation for a long time.
Castorland Medals were issued for a French settlement near Carthage, New York, in 1796. The settlers, who were fleeing the French Revolution, first came to America in 1793; by 1796 epidemics and bad winters had wrecked the enterprise. Breen indicates that the silver versions of this issue probably circulated as half ecus. Restrikes of these were still obtainable in recent years (or may still be obtainable) from the Paris Mint in copper, silver, or gold.Group 7.
The North West Company issued tokens that were probably valued at one beaver skin in 1820. Most of them were found in the lower Columbia River Valley in Oregon.
End of Legal Tender
In 1857, the production by the U.S. Mints was deemed adequate to meet the commercial needs of the country, and the legal tender status of foreign coins was ended. Flying Eagle Cents were used to redeem many of the foreign silver coins still in circulation. We will use 1857 as the end of our timeline for this topic.
Copies, Counterfeits and Fakes
Colonial coins have long been popular with collectors, and this also means that counterfeiters discovered this series long ago.
In this area, just because it is a “counterfeit” does not mean that it is worthless. If it is a contemporary counterfeit — such as the issues of Machin’s Mills — the counterfeit may be worth MORE than the original! In addition, certain copies, notably from Bolen, Idler, Betts and a few other diesinkers, are collectible in their own right, particularly where the originals are unique or extremely rare.
Museums, including the British Museum and the Mint Cabinet, have sold electrotypes or allowed others to prepare electrotypes of the rare specimens in their collections, in order for collectors to have a “space filler” for a rare type.
There are also medals and tokens that reproduce one side of a Colonial coin, but the other side commemorates an event or advertises a company.
How to Form a Collection
Assuming that you are now starting from zero, how will you form your collection? Buy the references (or borrow them from a library) and study the issues. Decide what you like and do not like. Establish a budget, unless you have unlimited funds. And, above all, be patient. This area is not like Morgan Dollars — it is quite likely that some of these issues will NOT be available in the market during your lifetime! (Or a hoard of them could be discovered tomorrow....)
Here are some ways that collections can be formed. The collection can be formed strictly from original coins, or you may choose to acquire some electrotypes (or collectible copies) for the rarest issues:
Good Luck and Good Hunting!
|Bowers and Merena Auctions||Chicago Coin Company|
|Krause Publications||Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.|
Items shown at our Febuary 10, 2010 meeting.
by Bob Leonard
Thanks to everyone who volunteered to work on the 2011 ANA convention. Following is a list of committee chairs as of the deadline for the March Chatter:
|Honorary General Chairman –||Charles J. Ricard
|General Chairman —||Bob Leonard|
|Assistant General Chairman —||Mark Wieclaw|
|Chicago Volunteers Manager —|
|ANA Ambassadors Chairman —
|Numismatic Theatre Co-Chairmen —||Mike Gasvoda
|Pages Co-Chairmen —||Rich Lipman
|Collector Gallery Chairman —||Paul Hybert|
|Assistant Chairman —||Marc Ricard|
|Scout Workshops Chairman —||Eugene Freeman|
|Assistant Chairman —||Jason Freeman|
|Activities Chairman —||Sharon Blocker|
|Patron Chairman —||Harlan Berk|
|Medal Chairman —||David Simpson|
|Branding Chairman* —||Bill Burd
members: Carl Wolf
and Sharon Blocker
|Noncompetitive Exhibits Chairman* —||Open|
|Outreach/Local Transportation Chairman* —||Elliott Kreiter|
|*Not an ANA-listed convention committee.|
I will propose Chicago Coin Club Past President and Zerbe Award winner Charles J. Ricard to the ANA shortly, and expect that he will be confirmed at the Board meeting at the National Money Show in late March. I have a person in mind for the last remaining open position and will be contacting him early in March.
Though nearly all committee Chairmanships have been filled, there are still opportunities for Assistant Chairman positions on one or two committees. Contact the Chairman of any committee that you are interested in. Also, we need “Indians” as well as “Chiefs” to make the 2011 ANA summer convention the finest ever, so if you are able to help, but could not devote the time needed to accept a committee Chairmanship, please contact the Chairman of any committee you would like to work on.
I will have ANA Committee manuals available at the March meeting for anyone who needs one.
Now that the key positions have been filled,
I will have a kickoff meeting of the entire committee
on Wednesday, March 17 (third Wednesday), at
Connie’s Pizza, 2373 S. Archer Ave.,
Harlan Berk’s offices, Suite 1320 at 77 West Washington,
Chicago, from about 5:00 to 8:00 PM.
[The location changed after the printed Chatter was mailed. Editor.]
Please let me know if you will be able to attend
so that I can make an appropriate reservation.
Thanks, and I hope to see you all then!
|Date:||March 10, 2010, First session|
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 Wallace — The Origin of Coinage in Ancient Greece|
An illustrated presentation discussing why electrum coinage was invented in east Greece and Lydia in the late seventh century BC, then (ca. 580?) silver coinages spread in Greece, and then (ca. 560?) electrum coins vanished in favor of silver (or silver and gold bimetallic) coinages.
|Date:||March 20, 2010, Second session|
|Location:||At the Chicago Paper Money Expo (CPMX), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.|
|Featured speaker:||Lawrence Falater - Stock Certificates from Frauds, Scandals & Famous Bankruptcies|
|March||10||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert Wallace on The Origin of Coinage in Ancient Greece|
|March||18-21||16th annual Chicago Paper Money Expo (CPMX) at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday.|
|March||20||CCC Meeting - 1pm at the Chicago Paper Money Expo,
which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL.
No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Lawrence Falater on Stock Certificates from Frauds, Scandals & Famous Bankruptcies
|April||14||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|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|
All correspondence pertaining to Club matters
should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
CHICAGO COIN CLUB
P.O. Box 2301
CHICAGO, IL 60690
|Jeffrey Rosinia||- President|
|Lyle Daly||- First Vice President|
|Elliot Krieter||- Second Vice President|
|William Burd||- Archivist|
|Other positions held are:|
|Carl Wolf||- Secretary|
|Steve Zitowsky||- Treasurer|
|Paul Hybert||- Chatter Editor|
The print version of the Chatter is simply a printout of the Chatter web page,
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The web page is available before the Chatter is mailed.
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