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Volume 56 No. 10 October 2010

10 Months until ANA in Chicago

ANA has announced a replacement for Brenda Biship as convention manager — Rhonda Scurek. She will be kept busy working on the Sacramento (spring) and Chicago (summer) conventions.

The next meeting for our ANA 2011 Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, October 20, starting at 5:30 PM in downtown Chicago. Harlan J. Berk again will be hosting us at his offices. Contact Bob Leonard if he has not sent you the notice.

We have two ANA trip reports in this issue. We also received a note from long time CCC member Mike Metras who had moved away from us some years ago, but he has kept his membership. Although he has travelled a bit, he somehow missed Boston; his friends can catch up on his travels at his web site,

Minutes of the 1101st Meeting

The 1101st meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held September 8, 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 17 members in attendance.

A motion was passed to approve the August Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported August income of $38.38, expenses $223.55 and total assets of $14,589.48 held in Life Membership $2,150.00 and member equity $12,439.48. A motion was passed to approve the report.

Robert Leonard reported the sale of 16 CICF Club souvenir cards at the Boston ANA Convention and turned over $80.00 to the Treasurer. As General Chairman of the 2011 ANA Convention Bob passed out folders to various committee chairmen with reports of past general and committee chairs. Eugene Freeman spoke briefly on the progress and planning for Boy Scout Merit Badge Clinic at the 2011 event.

Robert Feiler reported a well received August 19th WGN radio interview. He and Robert Leonard appeared as a guest on the Dr. Milt Rosenberg show with the main topic, Leonard’s new book Curious Currency. To those members who missed the event, Feiler announced it is available minus adverting on the Internet at,0,5644306.mp3file

President Rosinia appointed Robert Feiler Chairman of the Nominating Committee with the responsibility to up a roster of officers for the December election. The Secretary announced The Field Museum has a special exhibit on gold titled Discover the Power: The Story of the Metal that Shaped the World. The exhibit opens Oct 22 and runs through Mar 2, 2011.

The Secretary reported the resignation of Dat Nguyen who relocated to another state. Following the Secretary’s report of unpaid 2010 dues and no response to letters and e-mails from Joe Falater, Simon Harries and Robert Wheelhouse, a motion was passed to drop them from the membership rolls.

Featured speaker Mark Wieclaw delivered a program titled Gold, a Precious Metal with a Size and Shape for Everyone. Following a brief question-and-answer session, President Rosinia presented Mark with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved CCC medal. Rosinia also presented Robert Leonard with an ANA Educational Certificate and engraved medal for his July 14 presentation French Billon Coinage in the Americas.

Second V.P. Elliot Krieter introduced the ten exhibitors for the evening. EUGENE FREEMAN: 1893 Morgan Dollar, coins from Kuwait and South Africa. CARL WOLF: framed BEP souvenir card and framed 1899 check from The Bank of Indian Territory. PAUL HYBERT: souvenirs from ANA Boston Convention, 2 books and several auction catalogs. ROBERT WEINSTEIN: 19th century Chicago merchant tokens & 2 Chicago Numismatic Society medals. DAVID GUMM: 1 & 5 Disney dollars. KURT HYDE: pair of 1919 Columbian 5 peso gold pieces. ROBERT LEONARD: Byzantine coins showing members of the House of Constantine & an early book by David Sear on Rome’s emperors. ROBERT FEILER: books on U.S. coin varieties and type coinage. MARK WIECLAW: business card appearing to be folded $100 U.S. bill, savings bank folder filled with dimes and a Cilcian stater from 450 B.C. JEFFREY ROSINIA: other gold collectibles.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Call for Club Auction Lots
November 10, 2010

The club auction is scheduled for 7PM, near the start of the regular November club meeting. We already have a consignment of numismatic club medals from the Don Valenziano estate. In the past few years, club related material (and Chicago area numismatic items) have had the best results. Some printed material also has shown good 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.

The November Chatter will contain a list of all auction lots that are known to us by Tuesday, October 26. You can either e-mail your list to Paul Hybert by Tuesday, October 26 if you plan to bring your lots with you to the November meeting; or you can ship your items to Bill Burd by Tuesday, October 26.

Bill Burd
CCC-A Dept.
Chicago Coin Company
6455 W. Archer Ave.
Chicago, IL 60638
Paul Hybert
312-791-9001, evenings

If you have questions, Bill can be reached at 773-586-7666.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Gold, a Precious Metal with a Size and Shape for Everyone

presented by Mark Wieclaw
to our September 8, 2010 meeting

For 4,000 years, gold has been used as a store of wealth. Mark started his presentation with a sampling of the early pieces: from Lydia about 650 BC, a Greek stater of Alexander the Great from about 320 BC, a Roman aurei of Emperor Gallienus, and a Byzantine piece. Jumping to the circulating gold pieces from more modern days, Mark showed U.S. $1, $2.50, $3, $5, $10, and $20 from the last half of the 19th century and early 20th century. Most of those denominations have at least a few dates that are sold now, in the circulated grades, mainly based upon their gold content.

Some of the gold pieces issued by a range European nations during those years also are readily available on the market, also selling at a price mainly based upon their gold content. From Great Britain, we find sovereigns and half sovereigns of Queen Victoria as well as a number of later kings; from France, varied designs on mostly the 20 francs; Swiss and Belgium 20 francs are available; Germany had the 20 marks; Austria’s 4 ducat was a large diameter (but thin) coin holding less than half an ounce of gold, while the 100 corona contained 0.9802 ounce of gold. These coins originally were used in commerce at their face value; their gold content did not have to be a nice round number, but their face value did.

By the 1950s, the few gold coins being struck were not released into circulation at face value; they were sold at a price based, at a minimum, on their gold content. Although the British sovereigns were issued with Queen Elizabeth II, other countries, such as Mexico and Austria, issued restrikes of some of their earlier gold, even using an old date and design.

In 1967, South Africa introduced the Krugerrand containing one ounce of gold; these were issued in limited quantities for the first few years. When the U.S. allowed private ownership of gold bullion at the start of 1975, the initial demand was satisfied by the available pieces. To get the most gold for their dollar, buyers looked for the pieces with the smallest numismatic premiums.

Canada introduced the one-ounce Maple Leaf in 1979; this was issued in .999 fine gold until 1982 when the fineness went to .9999. Buyers prefer the .9999 pieces over the .999 pieces, and at one time there was a $10 premium. Recently, the fineness was changed to .99999. Although most competing bullion pieces are 22 karat, the maple leafs are 24 karat; that lack of alloy to harden the coin makes these very susceptible to scratching, and buyers do not want scratched coins.

Austria introduced the Philharmonic series of bullion pieces, first in a 2,000 schilling denomination, then changing over to 100 euros. The U.S introduced one ounce and half ounce American Arts medallions in 1980. Orders had to be placed at a Post Office in 1980 and 1981, while all pieces from 1982 and 1983 were sold to J. Aron & Co. for further distribution. The pieces do not indicate their fineness, these are medals and not even bullion coins, and they are not listed in the Red Book (except for one year a few years ago). The American Eagle series, in 22 karat, was started in 1986; the tenth ounce of 1988 has a premium, as do a few others. The 24 karat Buffalo was introduced in 2006 in only one ounce; they were issued in plastic, in sheets of 20 pieces. The only fractionals were issued in 2008, and they have large premiums.

Many series have fractional ounce pieces, down to a twentieth of an ounce. Always buy the largest coin you can obtain for the money; ten of the tenth ounce pieces cost a few hundred dollars more than a one ounce piece. Some buyers want only 24 karat, and some do not want a piece with a woman on it. All kinds of buyers out there.

A number of other countries have issued bullion pieces recently, with Swiss, Australian, and Chinese pieces being the better known. Starting in 1986, Australia’s pieces were known as the Nuggets, with each year featuring a different famous gold nugget on each denomination. Mark showed a recent 2-ounce Kangaroo piece. Since 1982, each year of the 24 karat Chinese Panda series used a different design; pieces are discounted if they have red spots or are not in the original plastic holder. Mexico has issued restrikes of the 50 peso piece, using a design first issued in 1921; fractional denominations include 20, 10, 2, 2½, and 5 pesos.

One of Mark’s favorite designs is the 1997 Canadian $50 featuring a Mountie on horseback; the legend includes a guarantee of value: $310 US by January 1, 2000! Although Mark has seen some counterfeit Maple Leafs and one Panda, he has not yet seen a counterfeit Eagle.

Coins, real or bullion, are not the only option available to buyers of gold; there are bars (and some other shapes) available from various refiners, banks, and institutions. Mark showed Engelhard bars of one gram and of ten ounces; there was a 10 tolas (3.75 ounces) piece; some 10 and 20 gram bars; and a 1 tael (1.20567 ounce) pure gold Credit Suisse bar. Of course jewelry pieces are an option for gold buyers, but that is even wider of an area than what Mark showed us.

ANA Trip Reports

David Simpson reports:
My last ANA convention was 1999, so it’s been a while. I combined the trip with a family visit to Providence, RI. Logistically it worked well, with a one hour commuter train ride each way, and a walk to the convention center. I was there just a half day Friday and most of the day Saturday. On the bourse floor I concentrated on dealers with obsolete currency and Scottish coins, both not available in large quantities (or low prices, unfortunately). There was naturally quite of bit of other interesting stuff on the floor. I went to US Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing exhibits, the latter with its spider press demonstration.

I was impressed with the exhibits area. There were some amazing displays, such as one commemorating anniversaries of the Reformation, and another that showed US rarities and told what made them collectable. On the other hand there was an exhibit of coins found embedded in the streets of New York. I hope to exhibit in 2011; we’ll see where I fall in the continuum of exhibit quality and interest. I’d have to say the competition in 2010 looked top notch in many categories.

I enjoyed the Ship of Gold display. There was an ANA/Smithsonian exhibit area centrally located with some rarities on display. I made it to one Numismatic Theater presentation. The room was nearby.

I met Bob Leonard and Paul Hybert from the 2011 committee. I had expected there would be a committee meeting, but this didn’t come off.

Overall, I got a lot out of the limited time I spent at the convention, and expended a minimum number of bawbees. I didn’t sample the convention floor food, but for those so inclined, there was plenty of nearby (walkable) dining and shopping, unlike in Rosemont. I also spent a few hours perambulating around the city with my daughter. ANA and Boston: definitely a positive experience.

Paul Hybert reports:
A 23-hour train ride took me to the Back Bay station in Boston — a block south to a sandwich shop on the local committee’s list of many eating establishments, then a block back north and a block west to my hotel on Sunday night. Two blocks west, all indoors, took me to the convention center on Monday morning — met national and local exhibit people — the tables and some cases had already been set up by Teamsters — we did the rest — picked up good pointers for 2011 exhibits in Chicago. Had time to visit some dealers on PNG day, and then to the volunteers’s orientation meeting.

Back at the center at 8 AM for exhibit setups — a little of this, a little of that, and most exhibits are in place by 1 PM show opening. Hit the bourse until near closing — back to exhibit area for the last exhibits — off to a club board meeting at a nice restaurant. Checking my notes, I see I volunteered for some tasks that have not been started — plenty of time until I see them next year, right?

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are spent bouncing between the bourse, meetings, and Numismatic Theater. Also at the “future convention” booth a bit — ANA already has a flyer about the hotels for Chicago 2011, with rates — good to see information about Chicago 2011 getting out there early! [The page is available on the web site, but the link to it disappeared after about a week, and the current World’s Fair of Money® web page shows only the date and has no links. Glad that show is still a ways off.] Also attended the ANA’s Exhibits Committee meeting.

Must have met at least ten CCC members, aside from those with tables. There was no meeting of our Chicago 2011 committee members. Wandered around Boston every evening from the show end until dark, crossing over to Charlestown once, in time to turn around and head back. The only trip during show hours was to the Massachusettes Historical Society for the Numismatic Bibliomania Society — a good time, but I should have left earlier for the meeting — browsing the exhibits with knowledgeable people would have made for a better experience.

They tried a new convention schedule at Boston — the same will be used for Chicago 2011. Some last minute changes at the end — bourse takedown was only on Saturday night — the Sunday morning dealer takedown was scratched (due to work rules and higher costs?). Exhibit takedown started a half hour early on Saturday — mostly finished by the break for banquet — back to the exhibit area until midnight — and checked out the last exhibits early Sunday morning. Back to the hotel to clean up and check out — back to that first night’s sandwich place — and out of Boston on the noon train!

Current Advertisers

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our September 8, 2010 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman showed coins with interesting toning:
  2. Carl Wolf showed framed exhibits of two paper pieces showing a figure of an American Indian:
  3. Paul Hybert showed items acquired at the recent ANA convention in Boston:
  4. Robert Weinstein showed tokens and medals from Chicago:
  5. David Gumm showed examples of Disney Dollars and gave some of their history. A Disney cartoon character is the central vignette on the front, most pieces feature the signature ofScrooge McDuck as treasurer, and they are good for purchases at the two Disney parks in the US. They are printed on cotton, so they feel like money; they are individually serial numbered; and each has the year of issue. The first issue consisted of the $1 and $5 in 1987, with the $10 appearing soon after; they have been issued in most years since 1987. Other denominations, such as the $50, appear now and then, usually for special occasions. The notes were the idea of a Disney employee who noticed that there was a good market for anything related to Disney.
  6. Kurt Hyde continued the evening’s talk on purchasing gold with two 1919 5 peso gold pieces from Colombia. He had bought these Purchased around 1971, when he wanted to spend less than a sovereign would cost, each of these 22 karat pieces should weigh 7.988 grams. Although one piece is close to the correct weight, the worn piece weighs about 7.8 grams. Another lesson in purchasing gold.
  7. Robert Leonard started with some items acquired at ANA in Boston:
  8. Bob Feiler showed some old, small, seldom-seen books, resulting in guesses as to their importance:
  9. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of items:
  10. Jeff Rosinia started with non-numismatic souvenirs from his trip to Boston for ANA, including items from a Sam Adams brewery and Hershey, Pennsylvania; inspired by the SS Central America exhibit at Boston, and to complement the evening’s featured talk, Jeff showed some gold collectibles:

Our 1102nd Meeting

Date:October 13, 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:Dr Patricia Ogedengbe — Cowry Shell Money

Dr Ogedengbe is Nigerian and traces her ethnic heritage to two groups in the Niger delta region, a region rich in natural resources. The region has changed dramatically since the mid 20th century when oil was discovered. Dr Ogedengbe will speak on the historic trade and commerce of the region and the use of cowry shells as money.

Important Dates

October 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Dr Patricia Ogedengbe on Cowry Shell Money
November 10 CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker
December 18 CCC Meeting on Saturday - Annual Banquet - Featured Speaker -
January 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker -

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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