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Volume 56 No. 11 November 2010

9 Months until ANA in Chicago

Sharon Blocker has resigned as the chair of the Activities Committee. Bob Leonard has taken on that responsiblity, providing suggestions to ANA, as well as giving ANA some local feedback on their future proposals.

The current plan is to have the local organizing committee meet on the third Wednesday of every month (except for December) until the convention. The meetings will start at 6PM, and will be held in the offices of Harlan J. Berk in downtown Chicago. Larry Shepherd, ANA executive director, plans to attend our January 19 meeting; he will have five ANA staff members with him. Of course there could be changes, so Bob Leonard will send out a reminder before each meeting.

Our main effort now is obtaining the names of as many prospective local volunteers as we can. Information on our local committees can be found by starting at

Minutes of the 1102nd Meeting

The 1102nd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held October 13, 2010 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. Second Vice President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 6:45 PM with an attendance of 22 members and 1 guest, Wendy Bierly.

A motion was passed to approve the September Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported September income of $215.00, expenses $206.37 and total assets of $14,598.11 held in Life Membership $2,150.00 and member equity $12,448.11. A motion was passed to approve the report.

The Secretary reported 2010-11 dues arrived from Robert Wheelhouse, who was dropped from the rolls at the August meeting. A motion was made to reinstate his membership.

Elliott reminded members to make reservations for the Club’s Annual Banquet on Saturday evening, December 18 at Marcello’s Restaurant, 645 W. North Ave., Chicago. Cocktails begin at 6 PM and dinner at 7 PM. The evening speaker, John Riley, will deliver the program Manila Bay’s Sunken Treasure, a story about thousands of silver pesos dumped in Manila Bay just prior to the invasion by Japanese troops. Many pesos are still unrecovered.

Robert Leonard, General Chairman of the 2011 ANA Convention, announced the resignation of Sharon Blocker, Activities Chairman, due to a work schedule requiring heavy travel. Bob also announced the next planning committee meeting on Wednesday, October 20, 5:30PM at Harlan J. Berk’s office, 77 W. Washington Street, Suite 1320 Downtown Chicago. Harlan will provide free parking vouchers for the Wabash-Randolph Self Park, 20 E. Randolph.

First V.P. Lyle Daly arrived with the evening’s featured speaker Dr. Patricia Ogedengbe from Melville Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University. Dr. Ogedengbe delivered a program Cowry Shells as Money. Following a question-and-answer period, Lyle presented her with an engraved CCC medal and an ANA Educational Certificate.

Lyle also announced the upcoming programs: November — auction featuring the Club material from Don Valenziano’s estate; December — Annual Banquet as discussed previously; January — Paul Johnson on Roman Coinage of Egypt; February — Zoujun Dai on Coin Collecting in China; March — Robert Weinstein on 19th Century Chicago Exonumia.

Second V.P. Elliott Krieter introduced the nine exhibitors for the evening. MARK WIECLAW: Russian beard tokens, miniature Carson City dollars, copper token of U.S. Large Cent by Patrick Mint, & an ancient Roman bronze coin of Elagabalus (219-220 AD); ROBERT LEONARD: Cuban tourist coinage and 5-kopecks from Transnistria; DAVID GUMM: U.S. Large Cents from 1844 and 1805; ROBERT WEINSTEIN: ancient bronze coins from India including the Pallaua Kingdom and the cities of Suktimati and Ujjain; CARL WOLF: framed Dolphin Money from ancient Greece; RICHARD LIPMAN: 1922 $10 & $20 U.S. Gold Certificates; DAVID SIMPSON: Colonial Currency play-money, & $1 banknote from Manhattan Ohio from 1830s; MARC STACKLER: slide presentation on Mexican Numismatic Society’s 2010 Annual Convention; ROBERT FEILER: 3 ancient Greek coins, including tetradrachm from Athens, a diobol of Miletus, and a diobol from Calabria Taras.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Cowry Shell Money

presented by Dr Patricia Ogedengbe
to our October 13, 2010 meeting

Dr Patricia Ogedengbe is the librarian of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University; she has been with the university for over 20 years. The presentation started with information on the Herskovits Library — some club members added their experiences in using the library — screening of visitors has been instituted, so you must call ahead to arrange a pass. A current court case concerns stolen books.

Dr Ogedengbe is Nigerian, and traces her ethnic heritage to two groups in the Niger delta region, a region rich in natural resources. No, she did not use cowry shells in transactions before she came to the US for college, they were last used as specie in the mid 1800s. Cowry shells are native to the Indian Ocean, pricipally in the Maldive Islands; they are known in some ancient Egyptian tombs, and they later appeared in Sudan. They were introduced to West Africa by English and Dutch ships, and then moved inland. As with most trade goods, the less common an object the greater its value. Trans-Saharan trade routes ending at coastal towns were one path of distribution.

In some emirates of northern Nigeria, each adult had to bring 100 cowry shells when paying homage to the emir. In 1863, the first local newspaper was published — it sold for 30 cowry shells. There was no uniform value for a shell — the value was determined by the local community, and most likely changed with time. As the use of coins became more common in the mid-19th century, the cowry’s spiritual aspects came to the fore. Among other uses, they could be tossed on the ground and then read, as if tarot cards. The positive connotations of the cowry shell arise from its shape and structure: female anatomy and fertility — productivity — wealth. It is appreciated as a token of good luck. Although the spiritual aspects are still extant, it has also moved to another level — aesthetics. In addition to using their shape in many designs on fabrics and other materials, cowry shells are used to decorate many items.

Among the pictures of items in the museum’s collection were a handbag, a money basket with cover, a mask, and an elephant mask. A milk jar (a gourd decorated with cowry shells) was passed around as was a hat for a pygmy (from Congo). A board game using many cowry shells also was shown. Cowry shells also appeared recently in the fashion world, on slippers and shoes among other items. The cowry shell’s shape is a very adaptable, appearing in many design contexts.

The Herskovits Library has an interdisciplinary focus — many areas, such as archaeology and sociology, tangentially cover cowry shells. The collection also covers other moneys in Africa. Their card catalog is online, and uses the Dewey Decimal system; once you find one book, on the shelf it is next to other books related to that geographic area, providing a pre-internet type of links that can be followed. The Library of Congress system groups books by subject area, and some might find those other libraries not as much fun.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our October 13, 2010 meeting.

  1. Mark Wieclaw showed his usual wide range of items:
  2. Robert Leonard showed some modern issues from Communist countries, starting with three dime-sized examples of Cuban tourist money:
  3. David Gumm showed some recent acquisitions:
  4. Robert Weinstein showed pieces from small Indian kingdoms, from 300 BC to 100 AD:
  5. Carl Wolf showed another in his series of framed examples of unusual money: dolphin money from Olbia, Thrace, from about 400-350 BC. It was a Black Sea port about 60 miles east of modern Odessa, and the pieces resembled dolphins. Many such pieces were cast on a sprue, with pieces broken off tas needed. Although previously thought to have been pre-coinage, evidence shows that they circulated at the same time as typical coins. Although their exact purpose is not known, ideas have been presented.
  6. Rich Lipman continued his recent theme of early US notes with the Gold Certificates of 1863-1922. These are the large size notes, not the small notes we use today. They were introduced to ease the tranfser of large amounts of gold coinage, so the first denominations were in large denominations. Later, smaller denominations were used.
  7. After showing some replicas of colonial (US) currency acquired at the ANA convention in Boston, David Simpson showed a proof $1 note from The Manhattan Bank (Ohio) from the 1830s. Printed by Danforth Underwood & Co of New York, the note has vignettes of a steam boat, a canal boat, and a railroad; the signature areas of the note were cut away so that no one would try to pass it. The bank had a Michigan Charter (Michigan was very lax with its bank regulations) because the border between Michigan and Ohio was not yet finalized. The river town of Manhattan did not become a major port, and the bank’s notes became worthless over time; the area now is part of Toledo, Ohio.
  8. Marc Stackler gave a short slide show on The Numismatic Society of Mexico (Sociedad Numismática de México) September 2010 convention in Mexico City, which coincided with Mexico’s bicentennial (independence) celebrations. He showed items from the show as well as photos of an exhibit by the society that had items from the centennial independence celebrations in 1910. The society meets twice per year, and slabs are not yet seen on their bourse. More information on the Society can be found on their web page,
  9. Bob Feiler showed items acquired at the recent ILNA show:

Annual Member Auction

Here are the lots known to us by October 26, 2010. 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 estate of Don Valenziano (former CCC Member):

  1. American Numismatic Society (ANS) — 1983, 125th Anniversary Medal by Marcel Jovine, rectangular bronze, in original box. #420.
  2. ANS — 1986, “landscape” oval Statue of Liberty 1886-1986 medal. Bronze, #185 of 500.
  3. ANS — Member’s Medal by Medallic Art Co. #269.
  4. Chicago Numismatic Society (CNS) — Bronze original-members medal by Ripstra; legend includes “Organized MCMIII” with ten stars.
  5. CNS — One hundredth meeting medal, May 3, 1912.
  6. CCC — One-hundredth meeting medal, June 1, 1927.
  7. CCC — 1944, 25th anniversary medal in sterling silver.
  8. CCC — 1959, Fall Festival Medal.
  9. CCC — 1959 Fall Festival Medal.
  10. CCC — 1960, 500th meeting medal, bronze, in shape of a barrel.
  11. CCC — 1961 Fall Festival Medal.
  12. CCC — 1962 Fall Festival Medal.
  13. CCC — 1962 Fall Festival Medal.
  14. CCC — 1969 600th meeting medal, January 8, 1969.
  15. CCC — 50th anniversary medal, .999 silver by Medallic Art Co. #831.
  16. CCC — 800th meeting medal in bronze, September 14, 1985.
  17. CCC — 800th meeting medal marked .999+ SILVER, September 14, 1985.
  18. CCC — Elongated 1919-S Lincoln cent, for the 819th meeting, April 4,1987 at CICF.
  19. 1983 Past President medal for Morton Grove Coin Club, awarded to Don Valenziano.
  20. 1991 medal — Carl Wolf & Co congratulates the ANA centennial convention. #077.
  21. What is it? Oval image of Three Graces(?) embossed onto rectangle of brass sheeting.

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

  1. Saul Needleman, editor, Perspectives in Numismatics, 1986, Ares Publishers, hardbound.
  2. Front cover plate (printing? embossing?) for 1873-1873 by Harry X Boosel. (Lot #103 in an earlier CCC auction.)
  3. ANA — 1920 convention badge (no ribbon, as issued) in original box. Box bottom is marked “Chicago August 1920 Convention Registration 80 person,” priced at $5.00 on 6-16-67.
  4. ANA — convention badges with ribbon: 1956 Chicago, 1962 Detroit, 1963 Denver; 1964 Cleveland, 1965 Houston, 1966 Chicago, and 1967 Miami (2).
  5. CCC — 1959 Fall Festival medal.
  6. Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) — 1965 three-piece convention medal set (copper, aluminum, and silver) in original box.
  7. ANA — 1966 convention badge with ribbon; large heart-shaped crystal/jewel. (Lot #32 in an earlier CCC auction.)
  8. ANA — 1966 convention badge with ribbon. (Lot #33 in an earlier CCC auction.)
  9. ANA — 1966 convention badge with ribbon in original box; for CHAS. MENARD — EVERGREEN PARK, ILL.
  10. ANA — 1966 convention badge with ribbon in original box; for CHARLES MENARD JR. — EVERGREEN PARK, ILL.
  11. ANA — 1966 “For Merit of Exhibit” medal engraved SPECIMEN on reverse.
  12. CCC — 600th meeting medal, January 8, 1969. In original celophane.
  13. CCC — 600th meeting medal, January 8, 1969. In original celophane.
  14. CCC — 600th meeting medal, January 8, 1969. In original celophane.
  15. CCC — 600th meeting medal, January 8, 1969. In original celophane.
  16. CCC — 600th meeting medal, January 8, 1969. In original celophane.
  17. CCC — 600th meeting medal, January 8, 1969. In original celophane.
  18. CCC — 1969 50th anniversary medal in bronze, by Medallic Art Co.
  19. CCC — Reverse of 50th anniversary medal by Medallic Art Co., but other side is smooth except for engraving: 1969 CSNS — CONV. COMM. — ANDREW OBERBILLIG. In a white metal, with no marking on edge.
  20. CCC — 800th meeting medal, September 14, 1985. In pewter?
  21. ANA — 1991 centennial convention medal set, small bronze and silver. In original box with a 199/350 label affixed over a 176/250 label.
  22. ANA — 1991 centennial convention medal, large bronze. In original box.
  23. ANA — 1991 centennial convention badge in original box; for CHARLES MENARD. With a Vatican City postage stamp: 800 (lira?), Padre Pio da Pietrelcina 1887-1968.
  24. ANA — 1991 “For Merit of Exhibit” medal, large bronze with no markings on reverse. In original box.

Consignment from estate of Bill Pettit (former CCC Member):

  1. Milwaukee Numismatic Society 50th Anniversary Token 1934-1984.
  2. Postcard of Discoverers Plaque with Elongated Dime “ANA 1999 Chicago”
  3. United Nations 1976 Peace Medal — Sterling Silver
  4. State of Indiana Sesquicentennial Medal. 1966 bronze, 64mm.
  5. Diamond Jubilee American Numismatic Association Medal. 1966 bronze, 75mm.
  6. American Revolution Bicentennial Indiana Medal. Bronze, 64mm.
  7. John F. Kennedy Inaugural Medal. 1961 bronze, 70mm.
  8. Ronald Reagan Inaugural Medal. 1981 bronze, 70mm.
  9. Polish American Numismatic Association Medal. 1979 bronze, 64mm.
  10. American Numismatic Association 93rd Anniversary Convention, Detroit, Medal. 1984 bronze, 30mm.
  11. Paper Replica of Obsolete Bank Note Advertising CSNS Convention at Chicago. 1965 (2 copies).
  12. 28 Pieces Various Checks Drawn on Banks in Illinois area from mid 1800s to mid 1900s.
  13. Approximately 10 pieces of official letters dating early to mid 1800s regarding debts due & Sheriffs Auctions in Boone County, Indiana.
  14. Letter signed by Governor of Michigan, Stevens T. Mason, dated March 28, 1836 announcing the appointment of John Oaks as Auctioneer in the County of Saint Clair. (Torn in half and stained.)
  15. 2 Checks from Oak Park Coin Club “Show Account.” One is dated March 6, 1981 closing out the account and the second check is blank. Given to Bill Pettit as a souvenir.

Preview of Our December Banquet (1104th Meeting)

Date:December 18, 2010 (This is on a Saturday!)
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 $40.00 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.


John Riley on Manila Bay’s Sunken Treasure

Agenda: Award Presentations
Election of Club Officers

Our 1103rd Meeting

Date:November 10, 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.
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 26.

Important Dates

November 10 CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker
December 18 CCC Meeting on Saturday - Annual Banquet - Featured Speaker - John Riley on Manila Bay’s Sunken Treasure
January 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Paul Johson on The Coinage of Roman Egypt

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
Elliott 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.