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Volume 57 No. 2 February 2011

6 Months until ANA in Chicago

The ANA web site has applications for Pages, Meeting Rooms, and speakers for the Numismatic Theatre. Nothing about the Collector Exhibit area yet, but expect the application and rules to apppear by early/mid February. We have not heard about any classes scheduled for before the bourse opens to the public, but maybe we just forgot to ask.

Minutes of the 1105th Meeting

The 1105th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held January 12, 2011 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 18 members.

A motion was passed to approve the December Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported November-December income of $4,742.00, expenses $3,407.13 and total assets of $16,276.81 held in Life Membership $2,150.00 and member equity $14,126.81. Steve also reported 2010 income of $7,941.59, expenses of $6,267.04 and net income of $1,674.55. A motion was passed to approve both reports.

Following a discussion on dates favored for the 2011 annual banquet, Steve Zitowsky was given authority to reserve Saturday, December 10th at Marcello’s Restaurant, 645 W. North Ave., Chicago.

President Rosinia read the names of 2010 Cabeen Award recipients: First Place: Robert Weinstein; Second Place: Mark Wieclaw; and Honorable Mention: Carl Wolf, Marc Stackler, Rich Lipman, Robert Leonard, Eugene Freeman and Robert Feiler.

Second V.P. Elliott Krieter introduced the featured speaker Paul Johnson who delivered a program on The Coinage of Roman Egypt. Following a question and answer period, Elliott presented Paul with an engraved CCC speaker’s medal and an ANA educational certificate.

Elliott Krieter introduced the nine exhibitors for the evening. EUGENE FREEMAN: coins from Maui, Philippines, German New Guinea, Canada & Brazil; DAVID GUMM: 1912 Russian 500-ruble note: RICH LIPMAN: a BEP premium set; DALE LUKANICH: National Banknote from Braidwood, IL and Illinois & Michigan Canal note; ROBERT WEINSTEIN: 4 coins from Indo-Greek & Indo-Scythian kings; BILL BURD: 13.13 ounce .900 fine gold U.S. Mint Bicentennial Medal; MARK WIECLAW: Alexandrian tetradrachm of Antonius Pius and a “new style” Athenian tetradrachm of 168 BC; STEVE ZITOWSKY: bond from the Imperial Railway Co. of Ethiopia, related medal and tokens, plus the book The Coinage of Ethiopia, Eritrea & Italian Somalia; ROBERT FEILER: book World Dollars, 1477-1877 by Lee M. Bachtell, Cascarets token “best for the bowels,” & Lincoln Memorial University token.

General Chairman Robert Leonard was absent due to a virus, but an announcement was made that the next committee meeting of the 2011 ANA Convention would be held with visiting ANA officials on Wednesday, January 19th in Rosemont. Details would follow soon via e-mail.

It was announced that Joseph Boling, Indianapolis, would be the featured speaker at the club’s March 12 meeting held in conjunction with the Chicago Paper Money Expo, Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont. His program Official Counterfeiting of Paper Currency will cover part of the history of state-sponsored counterfeiting of paper currency, usually issued during war-time.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
The Coinage of Roman Egypt

presented by Paul Johnson
to our January 12, 2011 meeting

Paul started the program by circulating, among the audience, a tray of coins — the coins from his collection that we would be seeing on the screen. The Pharaohs did not issue coins during their rule — the first domestic coinage was issued by Ptolemy, a general under Alexander the Great, who ruled Egypt after Alexander’s death. Paul is interested in both how the Roman coinage for Egypt reused some of the ancient Egyptian and old Ptolemaic symbols as well as how Ptolemaic coinage changed into a more Roman coinage.

The Ptolemaic dynasty used several mints besides Alexandria, and most of their silver coins showed Ptolemy on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. Faced with financial difficulties, Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemy, introduced a parallel bronze coinage, also denominated in drachms, with her portrait featured on the 40 (M) and 80 (Π) drachm coins minted in Alexandria; the numeric markings are Greek. A worn 80 drachm coin hinted at what Cleopatra must have looked like, since, as Paul observed, coin engravers do not try to make their ruler appear uglier than in person. Cleopatra picked the wrong side in the Roman civil war between Octavian and Mark Anthony, thus, in 30 BC, Octavian, now called Augustus, took over Egypt and its coinage. For the first three years, Augustus’ only coins were the 40 and 80 drachm coins — almost identical to Cleopatra’s coins. Later, the new 20 (K) and 10 (star) drachm denominations used different reverses, including such Roman elements as the Temple of Mars Ultor (the Avenger) in Rome. The designs changed a little: the Π and M were dropped from the 80 and 40 drachm coins, and the K appeared on an altar.

The Egyptian mint only produced coins when needed, so only 80 and 20 drachm coins were produced during Augustus’ third series of coins starting in 10 BC. The emperor’s portrait appears here, as does that of his designated heir, Gaius, as well as Egyptian items such as a hawk, an ibis, and a lotus. Two new denominations were added in 3 BC: the diobol weighing 8 grams was a little bigger than the 40 drachm coin weighing 7 grams, and the obol weighing almost 5 grams did not approximate a previous denomination. In 1 BC, the dichalcon weighing about 1½ grams was introduced; also, dates first appeared on the coins. These denominations remained unchanged through the end of Augustus coinage in 13 AD. Although Roman coins during Augustus’ lifetime never showed his wife Livia, Egyptian coins did; Paul showed a coin with a portrait reminiscent of Cleopatra’s. All of the above coins were made of bronze; the silver Ptolemaic coins satisfied the need for silver coins until 20 AD during the reign of Tiberius — some 50 years. Some additional denominations were introduced over time: the tetradrachm by Tiberius in 20 AD, the hemidrachm and drachm in 62 and 64 AD by Nero, and the chalkon by Hadrian. Of the pieces Paul showed, at one forty-seventh the weight of a drachm, the chalkon was one small coin. The only denomination that contained any silver was the tetradrachm. It was originally to have the same amount of silver as in a denarius, and they were supposed to be similarly valued. This backbone of commerce was made of billon, an alloy of some silver. Tiberius’ original tetradrachm had 25% silver, and eventually they were reduced to potin, an alloy with sometimes as little as 1% silver.

The bronze coins were cast, with many coins created on a piece; many coins show some excess metal from the sprue. With one side larger than the other, the planchets looked like Reese’s peanut butter cups. Additionally, most pieces were slightly cup shaped; the slightly concave reverse would protect the reverse design, but then the convex obverse would expose the design, usually the emperor’s portrait, to more wear. Because the bronze coins were overvalued, they remained in circulation in Egypt. With no change to a denomination’s size for hundreds of years, the coins became more worn as they remained in circulation. Because coins were only minted as needed, sometimes years, even decades, would go by without a denomination being produced.

After Augustus’ initial undated coins, Roman Egyptian coins bore a date based on the year of the current Emperor’s rule, but according to the Egyptian Calendar. The Egyptian year started on August 29th so an emperor’s year one ended on August 28 and his year two started on August 29. Year one was indicated by LA, where L stood for “of the year” and a letter indicated the number (A for 1, B for 2, and so on). Sometimes these dates were written out, instead of using letters; L ENATOV was used for year 9 becasue the other way was an unlucky abbreviation. Starting with Severus Alexander, a palm leaf indicated 10 years.

Egypt was not the usual Roman province: it was personally owned by the emperor, it was closed economically; the only legal tender was the Roman Egyptian coinage. Diocletian ended the unique status of Egypt after 326 years, and with it, the Egyptian coinage. Afterwards, Alexandria was retained as an imperial mint, but minting standard Roman coinage distinguished only by its mintmark. The Roman Egyptian coinage contains many popular series for collectors: the twelve labors of Hercules and the twelve signs of the zodiac are on coins issued by Antoninus Pius, Greek and Roman gods appear, as do sacred Egyptian animals, and Nomes. Since the time of the pharaohs, Egypt was divided into 42 administrative districts, called nomes. From Domitian (91 AD) to Antoninus Pius (145 AD), the Alexandria mint produced coins with the names and symbols of these nomes. Paul called these the “state quarters” of Roman Egypt, and showed one coin that looks like it was holed so the reverse nome side was upright; was this a souvenir of home, or a trip? Although the Romans liked to show architecture and items from ancient Egypt, they never showed the pyramids. But they did show another wonder of the ancient world — the Pharos of Alexandria, a large lighthouse, appears on about a dozen coins. Another coin type that Paul likes is the “good flood” coin. Egypt was “the gift of the Nile“ and relied on the river flooding for farming; a perfect flood was 16 cubits high. These were marked by a coin picturing Nilus, god of the Nile, with the number 16. Hadrian minted Nilus coins in 13 different years, but only three years were marked 16.

Paul concluded with some references, starting with the Celator magazine, whose editor, Kerry Wetterstrom, is an expert on coinage of Alexandria. The standard catalogue of Roman Egyptian coins is Alexandrian Coins by Keith Emmett, and a good book for the history of this era is Egypt after the Pharaohs by Alan Bowman.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our January 12, 2010 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman showed a range of items, starting with a recent domestic item and then to some older items from around the world.
  2. David Gumm showed a large 500 ruble Russian note from 1912 — it measures over 10 by 5 inches. The reverse has an intricately printed multi-color design, and a great watermark is visible.
  3. Rich Lipman showed a 1995 premiun set from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing — the book, with a slipcase, contains 12 $10 notes, one from each of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Rich gave us a quiz on the locations of the 12 FRBs, as well as the letter that identifies each; I think everyone knew that Chicago has a FRB.
  4. Dale Lukanich showed items from Will County in Illinois:
  5. Bob Weinstein showed old coins from south-central Asia:
  6. Bill Burd showed a bullion item too good to melt — a 13.13 ounce Bicentennial medal in .900 fine gold. This proof product of the US Mint is numbered 396 of 424.
  7. Mark Wieclaw showed two ancient coins:
  8. Steve Zitowsky showed items from Ethiopia:
  9. Bob Feiler showed some items that had caught his eye:

Does Melting Cents Make Sense?

Bill Burd

I thought this might be of interest since there have been several discussions in the E-Sylum about the cent and its copper value.

When copper reached $3.00 a pound I started hearing comments from some of my customers about making money melting cents. So I started doing the math. As a starting point I am assuming it is legal to melt cents and copper is $4.00 a pound and the smelter is paying 80% of the spot price of copper. And, in order to make it worth while we want to receive a check from the smelter for $500.00.

A copper cent weights 3.11 grams and is 95% pure copper. 154 cents equals one pound of pure copper. Cents from 1909 thru 1958 trade in the numismatic community for approximately 3.5 cents each which is more than their melt value. Cents from 1959 thru mid 1982 are copper and would be the only candidates for melting.

With copper valued at $4.00 a pound one cent contains 2.6 cents worth of copper. At 80% the value is 2.08 cents. In order to receive the $500.00 from the smelter you need to deliver 24,000 cents which is 160 lbs. Where do you get these coins? You pick them up at your bank. Since 1959 approximately 152 trillion copper cents were produced and 300 trillion zinc cents were produced. If they were evenly represented in the coins you pick up at the bank 34% would be copper.

In order to find your 24,000 pieces you need to sort through 70,600 cents which would be approximately 480 lbs. (Zinc cents weigh 2.5 grams). If you look at 100 coins per minute it would take you 12 hours to sort them. You now have 160 lbs to take to the smelter and 320 lbs to return to the bank.

Now the $500.00 you receive from the smelter is not profit. The 24,000 cents cost you one cent each so your initial investment is $240.00. That leaves you with $260.00 to cover your labor, transportation and profit.

[Editor's note: The E-Sylum is the weekly newsletter of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. You need not be a member of NBS to receive the E-Sylum via email; past issues are archived at]

Fifth Meeting of the ANA 2011 Convention Host Committee

January 19, 2011

Meeting called to order at 7:02 by General Chairman Robert Leonard. Meeting was held in the Midway Room at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, with refreshments kindly provided by the ANA. Present from the ANA were President Clifford Mishler, Executive Director Larry Shepherd, Senior Administrative Manager Kim Kiick, and Convention Director Rhonda Scurek. Attending from the committee were Carl Wolf, Mark Wieclaw, Jeff Rosinia, Robert Weinstein, Elliott Kreiter, Paul Hybert, David Simpson, Phil Carrigan, Bill Burd, Mike Gasvoda, and Eugene Freeman. Participants introduced themselves and stated their responsibilities.

Mr. Weinstein (ANA Ambassadors) reported on visits to local clubs, where the interest in the ANA is muted. Ms. Kiick will provide him with membership information including details on different club options.

Mr. Burd (Branding) said his company, Chicago Coin Company, is willing to cover the costs of shirts for convention volunteers. The ANA is looking into getting a sponsor for multiple conventions, and should know by Friday. Ms. Kiick will let Mr. Burd know the status next week.

Mr. Leonard asked the ANA about getting a logo for a newsletter. The committee is contemplating doing three newsletters leading up to the show. After discussion, it was agreed that the ANA would handle production of the newsletter once it is written. Mr. Simpson, who will handle the content, should contact Jay Beeton at the ANA. For the first newsletter, Mr. Simpson requested committee chairs to send him (through Bob Leonard’s e-mail) a 100-word progress report by February 10.

Carl Wolf (Volunteers) said he had 47 volunteers, and expects to be able to get to 100, probably within 60 days, nearly all of whom are present ANA members. Volunteers who are not ANA members can take advantage of a special $18 membership rate. There was discussion of a texting program that could be used to engage people at the convention, alerting them to Numismatic Theatre programs or other events.

In answer to a question, Larry Shepherd talked about the risk of reserving blocks of rooms for conventions. The ANA guarantees that a certain minimum number of rooms will be rented, but with easy internet booking it is common for convention attendees to cancel reserved rooms from the block and substitute cheaper rooms (at the same hotel) using

Paul Hybert (Exhibits) said he had submitted exhibit information to various specialized numismatic groups to relay to members. The ANA said that they expect to have the exhibit application completed and on the website in about two weeks. He got answers from the ANA on some logistical aspects.

David Simpson (Medals) read a January 12 email from the ANA’s Andrew Dickes that indicated that Thom Cicchelli (the Illinois quarter designer) and Jamie Franki expect to have proposal submissions by March 1. Both have seen the committee’s design suggestions, and Mr. Franki has sent comments about his thinking on the medals. Mr. Wolf added that he had talked to Alex Shagin about doing a club medal in conjunction with the show.

Mr. Berk (Non-Competitive Exhibits) listed three outstanding noncompetitive exhibits that he solicited: Gobrecht dollars (from ANS), 10 thaler coins (from Carl Subak), and the first World’s Columbian Exposition half dollar struck, plus exposition medals and dies used to strike them (from Field Museum, letter accompanying the first half dollar to be supplied by Larry Shepherd). Mr. Shepherd observed that the Smithsonian Institution would do a Museum Showcase exhibit as well. Another idea that received a positive reception was to display a Roman “Ides of March” denarius, loaned by a committee member. The thinking was that this could attract show publicity. Mr. Shepherd asked that Mr. Berk and the committee member interact with Douglas Mudd at the ANA to work out the specifics of how the exhibits would be displayed.

Phil Carrigan and Mike Gasvoda spoke about the Numismatic Theatre. Both have received commitments from promising speakers. Between 24 and 28 speakers will be needed. The ANA will be getting speaker applications as well, so the committee will contact the ANA’s Susan McMillan to coordinate with her. There is a possibility there will be too many applicants, so they will be asked to apply early. Speakers will be told to limit their talks to 40 minutes to keep the theatre on schedule. Mr. Hybert suggested that the topic of the Sundman Lecture be checked so it didn’t duplicate anything in the Numismatic Theatre.

Mr. Kreiter (Outreach/Local Transportation) had little new. There was the suggestion that area clubs be given a heads up on parking options and told that car pooling is a good idea. Rhonda Scurek expected to find out Thursday about convention parking rates, and will provide this information to Bob Leonard.

There was a discussion on the role of Pages, with comments mainly from Mr. Rosinia and the ANA. The main role is to bring food and drinks, and distribute ANA approved literature. The ANA suggested accepting pages up to age 18-21, since some schools will have started during the convention. Younger pages should be signed up first.

Eugene Freeman expressed concern about the availability of Early Bird visitor passes. Mr. Shepherd stated that the ANA had eliminated them for this convention, with 88 percent approval by polled dealers.

The committee had earlier asked ANA to raise the Patron donation categories. The ANA has done so, and at Mr. Berk’s suggestion will include a top level of $2,500. ANA noted that there are also Sponsorships, and it wanted to continue to differentiate Patrons and Sponsors. The ANA will finalize the Patron levels, put the list on the website, and forward copies to Mr. Berk.

Mr. Shepherd said there would be a big issue of The Numismatist focusing on the Chicago show. The idea is to get people excited about the show well in advance, and to plan to spend time in Chicago.

Ms. Scurek listed planned Activities. These include visits to the Oriental Institute, the Chicago Board of Trade and Federal Reserve, an architecture boat tour, the Field Museum, a Devil in the White City tour, the Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Cubs (tentative), and Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour. A banquet will be held at the Shedd Aquarium. Members appreciated the range of options. There will be no post-convention activity.

Mr. Freeman related his relative success in contacting Girl Scout councils, and less success with Boy Scouts. He expected a good scout turnout, but noted that two major Chicago conventions (CSNS and ILNA) around the same time will have Scout Workshops. Mr. Mishler suggested some contacts, including the director of a successful program at the recent Portland convention.

The committee expressed interest in doing a dining guide. Ms. Scurek says one will be included in The Numismatist. She recommended that committee members send (through Bob Leonard) their reviews of favorite local dining options. Names can optionally be published with the reviews.

Mr. Berk asked about whether ANA will provide transportation downtown. The ANA is considering arranging buses for shopping or dining. Because of the cost, it will need sponsors. Hotels will provide shuttles to public transportation.

Mr. Berk expressed concern about the food quality in the convention center, and that outside food can’t be brought in. Convention center management has promised a quality upgrade, but so far it has not been seen.

Mr. Wieclaw said there had been no decision yet by the Chicago Coin Club about whether to provide medals for Numismatic Theater speakers. The ANA provides an Educational Certificate.

The committee has a $6,000 budget from the ANA. Mr. Leonard asked for $250 more, to cover Page expenses for the Preshow, to which Mr. Shepherd agreed. The Committee will discuss later how to allocate this budget and who will get pre-paid volunteer rooms. Ms. Scurek will find out the exact room rate with tax and supply it to Bob Leonard.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, February 16 at 6:00 PM in the offices of Harlan J. Berk, 77 W. Washington Street, Chicago.

Mr. Carrigan said he would consider attending the Sacramento convention in March and manning a table with information about the 2011 Chicago convention.

According to Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Mishler, in a competitive market the ANA wants to set its conventions apart, and to bring them to a whole new level. Mr. Mishler thanked Bob Leonard and the entire committee, and expressed the belief that this could be the greatest ANA convention ever.

Meeting concluded at 9:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
David Simpson

Minutes of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Directors

January 26, 2011

The January 26, 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 6:45 PM with the following in attendance: Lyle Daly, Elliott Krieter, Marc Stackler, William Burd, Eugene Freeman, Steve Zitowsky, Mark Wieclaw and Carl Wolf.

Two programs were discussed concerning the Club hosting the upcoming American Numismatic Association (ANA) convention:

General discussions were held on the following topics:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 PM with the next Board Meeting scheduled for Feb 23, 2011.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Our 1106th Meeting

Date:February 9, 2011
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:Zoujun Dai — Coin Collecting in China

A survey of numismatics in China that will cover a wide range of topics, from the popularly collected coins, the shops and shows where collectors buy coins, to the available resources that include internet forums, local coin clubs as well as the China Numismatic Society, reference books, and journals. The coins displayed in Chinese museums will also be mentioned.

Important Dates

February 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Zoujun Dai on Coin Collecting in China
March 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert Weinstein on 19th Century Chicago Merchant Tokens
March 11-13 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 12 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 - Joseph Boling on Official Counterfeiting of Paper Currency
April 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 15-17 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 16 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
April 28-30 72nd Anniversary Convention of the Central States Numismatic Society at the Donald E. Stephens (Rosemont) Convention Center, 5550 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. For details, refer to their website,
May 11 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.
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