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Volume 56 No. 9 September 2010

11 Months until ANA in Chicago

We will wait until the October issue to print the trip reports for ANA in Boston. So be sure to send your thoughts — I saw a number of members there — I should have my report done by then, too!

Jeff Rosinia was at the ANA Future Conventions booth more than anyone else. He picked up some comments, ideas, and suggestions, as, I am sure, did other local organizing committee members who made it there. I even acquired a “cranberry” local volunteer shirt!

Brenda Bishop, the ANA’s convention manager resigned effective with the end of the Boston convention. Her first “solo” summer convention was 1999 in Chicago, and we looked forward to working again with her in 2011. No word on a replacement yet. In addition to the changes that we already knew, this means all of us will have to be on our toes next year.

Prepare for Club Auction

The club auction is scheduled for the regular November club meeting; the auction will start at about 7PM, after the business session concludes. In the past few years, club related material (and Chicago area numismatic items) have had the best results.

Please consider using the club auction to dispose of the numismatic items you no longer need. Details will appear in the October Chatter, but it should follow the pattern from recent years.

Minutes of the 1100th Meeting

The 1100th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held August 11, 2010 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. First Vice President Lyle Daley called the meeting to order at 6:55 PM. With President Rosinia and a number of members attending the Boston ANA Convention, the attendance was 13 members and 2 guests, Franne Donovan, spouse of Jeff Amelse, and Devora Gleiber, guest of Winston Zack.

A motion was passed to approve the July Minutes as published in Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported July income of $332.00, expenses $400.95 and total assets of $14,774.65 which is in Life Membership $2,150.00 and member equity $12,624.65. A motion was passed to approve the report.

Zitowsky reminded everyone that all rooms are booked at our usual December banquet location. After exploring other options, reservations were made for Saturday, December 18, Marcello’s Restaurant, 645 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL.

The Secretary reported an election ballot arrived from the Illinois Numismatic Association. A motion was passed for to cast the club’s ballot for only those who are club members, i.e. William Burd, Treasurer, and Brian Heil, Governor.

First V.P. Daly introduced featured speaker Jeff Amelse, who delivered a program titled Byzantine Bronzes: Basics and Beyond. Following a brief question-and-answer session, Daly presented Jeff with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved CCC medal.

Second V.P. Elliot Krieter introduced the six exhibitors for the evening. CARL WOLF framed ancient Chinese spade money, probably a replica; ROBERT WEINSTEIN ancient coins from the Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian and Parthian empires; DALE LUKANICH Chicago store token C.N. Holden & Co., 1848-52; WINSTON ZACK U.S. 3-cent pieces and a copy of his recently published book on the subject and co-authored with Kevin Flynn; MARK WIECLAW U.S. counterfeit coinage brought into the coin shop, silver round modeled after the Amazonian pattern coinage, P-D-S Oregon Trail commemorative coinage in MS66; ROBERT FEILER - $2 note Bullion Bank, Washington DC, July 4, 1862.

Robert Feiler announced he and Robert Leonard will appear on WGN Radio, Thursday, August 19. They will be Dr. Milt Rosenberg’s guests from 10 PM midnight central time. The program will focus on Leonard’s recently published book on primitive money. A motion was passed to present several of the club’s CICF souvenir cards dealing with primitive money to Mr. Rosenberg in appreciation.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Byzantine Bronzes: Basics and a Bit Beyond, Including Barbaric, Brockages, and Bashed (Errors)

presented by Jeffrey Amelse
to our August 11, 2010 meeting

Because the thousand-plus years of Byzantine coinage is too long for one presentation, the main topics of this presentation were the denominations and Anonymous Folles, with mention made of related barbaric imitations, brockages, and errors. After Constantine defeated Maxentius, his co-emperor of the west, at Milvian Bridge in 312, his efforts against the emperor in the east culminated in his establishing a new city, Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) in 330 as his capital. Although that empire existed until 1453, its largest extent was reached under Justinian; it shrank under the pressures from a range of sources.

There are many specialized books available on Byzantine coinage; Jeff briefly mentioned some that he would use during the presentation, including:

What we now consider the earliest Byzantine coin series was started in the late 400s by Anastasius when he reformed the coinage based upon a follis consisting of 40 nummi. Over time, bronze coins were struck in a wide range of denominations, from one to forty nummi. Both the Greek and Roman numbering characters were used for the denominations and dates; for example, the Roman X as well as the Greek I were used on the 10 nummi coin. The shown examples included the 40, 33, 30, 20, 16, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 2, and 1 nummi pieces. Among the unusual denominations:

Some of the 6 nummi pieces from Alexandria have a backwards S for the denomination, and some of the 5 nummi have a backwards E; the last depiction of a pagan god is on a 5 nummi coin. The one nummus coin was issued by only a few emperors, mostly by Justinian the Great. The size of a given denomination varied over time, with the general trend being towards a smaller size over time. These coins are not as beautiful as the Greek Roman coins; these are very abstract at the end. Contemporary barbaric imitations can have letters that make no sense; relatively modern fakes are more accurate, and Sear lists a few of the fakes as such.

Jeff’s interest in Byzantine coins started with die varieties — there are about 4600 major varieties known. In large part that is due to the combinations on the coins of different ornaments, such as stars, pellets, crescent, and cross. (The CON is the mintmark of Constantinople.) The different shops were represented by a character in the middle of the design. Anastasius through Justinian used the classic Roman profile stylized portrait of the emperor, while Justinian changed to a facing portrait of the emperor.

The Anonymous folles are so named because no emperor’s bust appears on them; one side has a depiction of Christ, while the other has the inscription “Christ, King of Kings.” A range of depictions of Christ were used: standing, seated, holding a book, and more. Contemporary imitations are known, some with legends that are close to chicken scratches. Some fakes are not crude; one well known fake can be identified by a die crack. There also are modern fantasy coins that are not close, even strange looking.

Much later, around 1000, someone had the idea of making the coins cup-shaped, what we now call scyphate. An emperor had made the mistake of asking Rome for help with the barbarians; Pope Urban sent a bunch of hooligans who trashed the city. The latin rulers of the first crusade ruled from 1204 to 1261, when the empire was reestablished. The folles died out as the scyphates started. At the very end of the empire, they returned to a small flat coin. In the last hundred years, no bronze coins were issued, just silver.

Imitation pieces struck by the Turks tried to portray a bust of the emperor, but used Arabic script on the other side. Over time, they ended with their own inscription-based designs on both sides. A full talk can be given on just the Arab Byzantine series.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our August 11, 2010 meeting.

  1. Continuing with his theme of framed pieces of primitive money, Carl Wolf showed a replica of ancient Chinese spade money. There were four stages of spade coinage development over a thousand years — each successive generation was smaller and lighter than its predecessor, and used more denominations. This piece fits in with the third generation, from 400 to 340 BC; it has ancient Chinese script. The edges point to it being not genuine, but who made it? A later emperor was known to have heavily counterfeited the earlier pieces.
  2. Bob Weinstein showed old pieces from central Asia:
  3. Dale Lukanich showed a Chicago store token of C.N. Holden& Co. (1848-52). In a 1843 city directory, he was a wholesaler and retailer of a wide assortment of goods; later he would run for mayor and lose; he died in 1887.
  4. Winston Zack focused on the U.S. 3¢ coins:
  5. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of items:
  6. Bob Feiler showed a beautiful and ornate $2 bill bought many years ago; from the Bullion Bank of Washington, DC with a July 4, 1862 date. The bright green back has elaborate scrolling while the front is in bright orange. The piece is embedded in a block of some plastic.

Our 1101st Meeting

Date:September 8, 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:Mark Wieclaw — Gold, a Precious Metal with a Size and Shape for Everyone

Since ancient times gold has been used as a store of wealth. Many people wear it, others use it as decor, and most hold it as a hedge against inflation and hard times. While this presentation will feature some ancient gold, the majority of pieces will pertain to current times beginning with the South African Krugerrand. The K-rand was introduced in 1967 as the first truly bullion piece and has spurred several other countries and private mints to produce various shaped and sized coins priced to fit most economic ranges.

Important Dates

September 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Mark Wieclaw on Gold, a Precious Metal with a Size and Shape for Everyone
September 9-11 ILNA convention at the Tinley Park Convention Center, 18501 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park, IL 60477. Details at
October 13 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

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