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Volume 57 No. 8 August 2011

1 Week until ANA in Chicago

And one year until ANA in Philadelphia — So do not miss this one! We expect more than 80 exhibits in the Collector Exhibits Area, with more marquee exhibits in the ANA Museum Area. There will be four days of speakers in the Numismatic Theatre, and one more day for the Sundman Lecture Series.

The Chicago Coin Club meeting at the ANA convention will be at 10 AM on Saturday, August 20. There is no admission charge for our meeting, but the ANA charges $6 per day for non-ANA members to access the bourse and exhibit area.

The page has a link to the most recent Schedule-at-a-Glance detailing bourse hours, speakers and programs, club meetings, and more. The schedule was updated twice in the last week of July, and there could be more changes before the convention starts, especially if clubs revisee their meetings and plans. So bookmark that page, and recheck before the convention starts.

If you miss this one and cannot wait until next summer in Philadelphia, there is Pittsburgh in October and Denver in May. So do not miss this one!

Minutes of the 1111th Meeting

The 1111th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held July 13, 2011 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 24 members and 1 guest.

A motion was passed to approve the June Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky submitted a report showing June income of $130, expenses of $3986.80, and total assets of $16,025.57 held in Life Membership $1910 and member equity $14,115.57. Most of the unusually high expense for June was attributed to ANA Convention-related expenditures. A motion was passed to approve the report.

Mike Metras, a club member who has been absent for some time, briefly described his past two and a half years spent walking throughout the world.

Robert Leonard, General Chairman of the ANA Convention, gave a brief status update. He showed club members the Lincoln medal (with ribbon) for Numismatic Theatre speakers, as well as copper versions of the same medal; he passed out Convention Patron forms for those who wish to contribute funds (which largely go towards education); and he passed out Volunteer forms. Robert Leonard also reminded committee members of the final Convention meeting to be held on Wednesday, July 20th at 6 PM in the offices of Harlan J. Berk, 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320.

John Baumgart delivered the featured program, Respectable Coin Photography. Following a question and answer period, Elliott Krieter presented John with an engraved CCC speaker’s medal (and mentioned that the ANA educational certificate will follow shortly).

Elliott Krieter introduced the 7 exhibitors for the evening: Eugene Freeman - encased postage; Robert Leonard - 3 medieval stellate coins; Robert Weinstein 3 medieval Indian coins; Dale Lukanich a lead half tetarteron; Mike Metras 6 Indian coins; Richard Lipman Chinese panda coins; Mark Wieclaw 4 coins, a medallion, and a high school yearbook.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Marc Stackler

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Respectable Coin Photography

presented by John Baumgart
to our July 13, 2011 meeting

John is a semi-professional coin photographer in suburban Chicago. His main numismatic interest is Morgan Dollar varieties, an interest that he combines with photography at his company, Variety Slabbing Service which is at He started the program by joking that the working subtitle for the program is Taking Decent Coin Photos without Blowing the Coin Budget on Photo Gear. His intent was to show techniques for taking pictures that we would be proud to post, all while spending under $200.

Upon viewing his first slide, we had to take his word for what it showed — with everything wrong, it was that perfect an example of a bad image: focus, exposure,composition, white balance, lighting, and perspective. After he explained each error and how to fix it, he showed an improved image. Soon we saw it was a 1902 Morgan dollar. A tripod, not a copy stand, provides good stability for the camera as well as ease of positioning. Use a tall tripod where you can extend one leg longer than the other — put the tripod on the floor, with the two short legs almost vertical, and next to a table that holds the coin to be photographed. The long tripod leg will counterbalance the small, light weight digital camera, and a small bag can be suspended under the tripod’s center pole for added stability. WalMart has a good tripod for $30, and sometimes it is on sale for under $20. To further reduce camera shake, use the self timer within the camera so that no one even touches the camera when the picture is taken. Remember to keep the camera and coin parallel; a small bubble level costs $2.

Use your camera’s macro setting. Use optical zoom (not digital zoom) to make the coin appear as large as you can, and check for some indication in the viewfinder (such as a green box) to confirm focus. John spent much time discussing lighting; first a few core points, then techniques that work well in each of a number of situations. Multiple light sources can be used, but make sure all are of the same type! That is important when setting the camera’s white balance (or WB) control, because it should match your light source: sun light, incandescent, and fluorescent are typical settings found on a camera. If you use an LED or some other non-standard source type, you will have to use a Grey Card and follow the camera’s instructions. Do not use the Auto WB setting, as that will wash out the real color of numismatic objects.

The common light sources have advantages and disadvantages. Halogen is a bright and consistent point source, but it is very hot. Incandescent is bright and consistent, but it is hot. Compact fluorescent is bright and can be safely diffused with paper, but its color shifts until warmed up and there could be 60 Hz flicker. LED is bright, cool, and fits in small places, but it has a funny color spectrum (which complicates the white balance setting, as mentioned above). The most common symptom of using the wrong white balance setting is a light tint to the entire image; a blue tint is characetristic of one mismatch of setting to light source, and a pink tint is characteristic of a different mismatch.

Placement of the lights must be considered. That is plural, as in two lights, to reduce the uneven lighting of a coin that makes exposure determination difficult. Shining the lights at a low angle helps hide luster, darkens the field, and lightens the details. It also allows the camera to be very close to the coin. At a medium angle, luster bands start to appear, and the fields are lighter. At a high angle, luster shows, most of the coin is bright, but slabs are prone to glare, and keep the camera high enough so that its shadow does not fall on the coin.

Different conditions and results call for different lighting styles. Hard lighting is when a small source is used; with a compact fluorescent bulb in a gooseneck lamp, place black paper inside the “hood” to achieve this. This boosts the contrast and brings out the luster, but is prone to glare and “hot spots.” Slight diffusion, achieved by using no paper inside the lamp’s hood, results in strong luster while reducing the contrast and hot spots. Moderate diffusion, by placing tissue paper ovr the bulb, yields a fairly even appearance that favors surfaces over luster. Heavy diffusion, from lighting through a sheet of paper, removes contrast and flashiness as well as hot spots.

There are tradeoffs between detail and color; lustrous brown copper should not be treated the same as brown worn copper. Brilliant proof coins have their own issues — diffuse light reduces contrast, and slightly tilt the coin (with a business card); beware of the camera’s body appearing in the deep mirror fields! A black camera body is preferred, but black tape can be used to cover selected parts of the camera.

Use a lower ISO setting for a sharper picture. A lower ISO setting means a longer exposure, but that is no problem as you have a tripod. Save the picture using the finest available JPEG setting to avoid compression artifacts; that will result in a larger file, but the price of more storage is always falling. Among the other skills that John covered were some for slabs. Slabs can accumulate scratches, so polish the slab or rub the slab with a light oil or WD-40. Did you know that PCGS slabs are easier to polish than NGC slabs? But remember that polishing will produce fine hairlines in the plastic, so polish in the direction of the lighting.

John concluded with a matrix of the specs for assorted digital cameras priced in the $80 to $150 range. The Canon PowerShot A800, at the lower end of that range, is the best buy for numismatic photography. It does not have the advanced image stabilization feature found in others, but that feature is not needed with a tripod. Other good cameras are: Nikon Coolpix S3000, Sony CyberShot DSC-W310, and Canon PowerShot A495. A good reference book is Numismatic Photography by Mark Goodman.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our July 13, 2011 meeting.

  1. While looking for something else, Eugene Freeman found the example of US encased postage that he had wanted to include as part of his May presentation to the club: an early example of a 3 cent Drake’s Plantation Bitters — a hint of the original silvering remains, but silvering was dropped when the issuers realized that these pieces were popular even without silvering. This is the second most commonly encountered issuer, with Ayers, as was mentioned in the May presentation, being the most commonly encountered.
  2. Robert Leonard showed three coins issued (or inspired) by the Fatimid Caliphate of Northern Africa and Sicily:
  3. Robert Weinstein showed medieval Indian coins:
  4. Dale Lukanich showed a lead ½ tetarteron of Alexis I, 1081-1118 of the Byzantine Empire. This denomination usually was struck in bronze, but Grierson does list some in lead. This piece is from the Thesalonika mint.
  5. It has been a few years since Mike Metras last attended a meeting. He showed us six coins he had acquired in a market place while walking in India with his family. They include Moghul, colonial, and others that still need some identification work.
  6. Richard Lipman showed Panda coins from China. These bullion pieces were issued in different metals and in a wide range of denominations — the one constant has been a varied panda design on the reverse. The Chinese market has been increasing in recent years, with some of these bullion pieces now possessing a numismatic premium. Before showing any coins, he showed us a reference: the Gold and Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide by Anthony. Among the coins were:
  7. Mark Wieclaw started with a high school yearbook — the 2011 Lincoln Way Central HS yearbook has a 2011 Lincoln Cent encased in the front cover.

Final Meeting of the ANA 2011 Convention Host Committee

July 20, 2011

Meeting was held in the offices of Harlan J. Berk in Chicago. Attending were General Chairman Bob Leonard, Assistant General Chairman Mark Wieclaw, and Chairmen Carl Wolf, Richard Lipman, Mike Gasvoda, Paul Hybert, Jeff Rosinia, Eugene Freeman, Elliott Kreiter, and Harlan Berk, and Assistant Chairmen Bob Feiler and Marc Ricard. LuAnne Freeman also attended.

The meeting began at 6:30 p.m.. Mr. Leonard distributed copies of the ANA Volunteer newsletter, just issued that day. A volunteer orientation meeting will be held Monday, August 15, from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m., and brief volunteer meetings will be held every morning except Tuesday at 7:45 a.m., at which time the previous day’s results will be reviewed, any problems discussed, and announcements made.

Since this was the final meeting of the ANA 2011 Convention Host Committee, Mr. Leonard and committee members warmly expressed their thanks to Mr. Berk for supplying the meeting room, supper, and parking vouchers for all these meetings.

Budget: Mr. Leonard requested that all items to be charged to the convention budget be turned in to him promptly, because a report must be issued shortly after the convention. It was proposed that any unspent budget be refunded to the ANA. Mr. Freeman said that he expected to print some additional Boy Scout and Girl Scout flyers. Mr. Wolf stated that the 200 parking vouchers received from the ANA appeared sufficient, and it should not be necessary to purchase more.

Friendship Luncheon Favors: Mr. Wolf reported that preregistrations for the Freindship Luncheon were only 18. Based on this, Mr. Leonard proposed providing for 25 attendees. Mr. Wolf said that he and Mrs. Freeman had been very successful in obtaining a variety of attractive items suitable for favors at the Ad Specialty Industry show at McCormick Place that day, and that he would also obtain packages of Frango Mints from Macy’s. We anticipate that attendees will be delighted with the quality and variety of favors at the luncheon.

Mr. Wolf, Chicago Volunteers Manager, reported that he has 95 confirmed volunteers, including the 15 Committee Chairmen. However, this total includes 16 persons who have not responded to requests for availability and shirt size (64 solid + 15 chairmen + 16 nonrespondents). He stated that if everyone works two shifts we can field 16 volunteers per shift (this will meet the ANA’s desired minimum), and estimated that over 500 volunteer hours will be available because many volunteers are willing to take more than one shift. He will send the schedule to all volunteers by email soon, he said, and will add the volunteer orientation meeting and the volunteer meetings to it. To assist him in implementing the volunteer schedule, in addition to Robert Weinstein, ANA Ambassadors Chairman, Mr. Wolf appointed Mr. Wieclaw, Dale Lukanich, Mr. Kreiter, and Tom Pupp as floor lieutenants.

It was reaffirmed that anyone volunteering for at least two hours would receive a parking voucher. Some of the 200 parking vouchers received from the ANA were distributed to those present who will need them, and the balance turned over to Mr. Wolf.

Proclamations and Greetings: Mr. Leonard reported no progress, but said that he still intended to solicit proclamations or letters of welcome from the mayor of Rosemont, Governor Quinn, and President Obama.

An example of the Numismatic Theater speaker’s medal was shown by Mr. Wolf.

Mr. Leonard announced that the third issue of the Convention Newsletter was cancelled because the ANA’s Visitor’s Guide to Chicago is so much better than any newsletter we could produce. He handed out remaining copies of the second issue to Mr. Kreiter and Mr. Ricard for distribution at their upcoming coin club visits.

There was a brief discussion of educational activities, with Mr. Leonard noting that one of the ANA School of Numismatics seminars, Overview of Post-Civil War Tokens, was to be held during the convention, on Friday and Saturday (it has since been cancelled).

Branding Committee: Mr. Wolf reported that a quotation for the shirts had been made to the ANA and that he was awaiting a purchase order. About 100 shirts will be ordered, in sizes to fit the volunteers. Shirts may be distributed after the 3:30 p.m. Volunteer Orientation meeting Monday, if convenient; otherwise, Mr. Wolf will distribute them from his desk outside the bourse.

ANA Ambassadors: No report.

Exhibits: Mr. Hybert reported that the deadline for applications is today, July 20. He has not received any information on applications yet, but expects to by August 12. He has prepared signs to make it easier for visitors to the exhibit area to locate exhibits of interest, one of which he displayed to the Committee. Paul also reaffirmed that the ANA Education Department will prepare a guide to the Numismatic Theatre and Collector Exhibits.

Noncompetitive Exhibits: Mr. Berk reported that Mike Gasvoda’s exhibit is ready, and he is planning to write captions for Carl Subak’s multiple thalers as soon as he receives details on the coins from Mr. Subak. Photographs of both Mr. Gasvoda’s and Mr. Subak’s coins have been sent to Douglas Mudd so that Mr. Mudd can design the cases. Mr. Berk reported that the ANA has decided not to display any World’s Columbian Exposition medals or dies,just the 1892 Columbian half dollar, due to lack of space.

Outreach/Local Transportation Committee: Mr. Kreiter promised to visit the Dixon (IL) Coin Club, and Mr. Ricard offered to visit the Indian Hill Coin Club in Round Lake Park. Shirts will not be promised to any new volunteers, just parking passes.

Pages: There are 10 Pages signed up so far, Mr. Rosinia reported, but only 1 for the Preshow. There was uncertainty as to the purpose of the Page Orientation Meeting scheduled for 2:30 3:00 p.m. on Monday. Mr. Leonard accepted responsibility for clarifying this.

Patrons: Mr. Berk reported that Patron donations were over $43,000 — an all-time record! He thanked his fellow Platinum Patrons: Mike Gasvoda, David Sundman, Jonathan Rosen, Dave Hendin, and the late Bob Lecce.

Scout Merit Badge/Patch Clinics: Mr. Freeman reported that he has blanketed the area Girl Scout councils, 12 or 13 of them. The ANA will provide free Fun With Money patches to Girl Scouts who earn them. He has contacted 26 Boy Scout Councils and sent flyers to Elgin and La Grange. He reiterated that Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in uniform, and their parents, would be admitted free.

Assistant General Chairman: Mr. Wieclaw reported that he was unable to reach Bill Spencer. He is still hoping to determine whether reduced rate parking will be available at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Mr. Leonard passed out coupons good for $2 off on admission to the convention to most present, for distribution at coin club meetings and coin stores.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Lipman expressed his appreciation for the work Mr. Leonard has done in chairing the ANA 2011 Convention Host Committee, and Mr. Leonard was given a round of applause.

Meeting adjourned at 7:53 p.m.

Minutes of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Directors

July 27, 2011

The July 27, 2011 meeting of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Directors was held at Connie’s Pizza, 2372 S. Archer, Chicago, IL. President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM with the following in attendance: Elliott Krieter, Marc Stackler, Robert Feiler, William Burd, Steve Zitowsky and Carl Wolf.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 PM.

Sincerely Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Our 1112th Meeting

Date:August 10, 2011, First session
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. Nearby parking: South Loop Self Parking Ramp at Van Buren & Federal Streets; that is two short blocks west of our meeting site. Note: Their typical rate of $29 is reduced to $6 if you eat at the Plymouth Restaurant, 327 S. Plymouth Court (next to our meeting site at the CBA), show them your parking ticket, and ask the restaurant for a parking voucher. The restaurant offers standard sandwiches, burgers, and salads for members who want to meet for dinner.
Featured speaker: - to be announced

. . . . . .

Date:August 20, 2011, Second session
Time:10:00 AM
Location:At the convention of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), which is held at the Donald E. Stephens (Rosemont) Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured speaker:David T. Alexander - The Mysterious Demise of Art Medals in America

The high point of American art medals was between 1909 and 1995. During the early 20th century the Beaux-Arts movement brought medallic art design to high prominence among American sculptors. Organizations formed, sculptors joined, diverse art styles were submitted from classical to modernism and a panorama of beautiful American medals were issued. The list of artists who made up the organization rosters included every major American medalist of the era and several from other countries. However, the organizations ceased to exist in 1995 and took with them an 86 year tradition of creating unique American art medals. Join the members of the Chicago Coin Club as David Alexander tells the story of these organizations, showcases some of their fabulous medallic works and tells the story of their mysterious demise. David authored American Art Medals, 1909-1995, a 294 page book published in 2010 by the American Numismatic Society.

Important Dates

Aug 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
Aug 13 PNG-Day at ANA; details on the PNG Events Calendar at
Aug 16-20 ANA in Rosemont, at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Admission is free for ANA members — for details, see
Aug 20 CCC Meeting - 10am at the ANA convention, which is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - David T. Alexander on The Mysterious Demise of Art Medals in America
Sep 14 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
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.