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Volume 58 No. 8 August 2012

Call for Trip Reports

Will you travel to Philadelphia for the ANA summer convention? Please take some good notes, and submit a trip report for the Chatter. Cover some of your highlights and favorite events; make us wish we had been there!

Minutes of the 1123rd Meeting

The 1123rd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held July 11, 2012 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 28 members and 2 guests: Carl Ford and Andrew Reiber, Vice President of the Illinois Numismatic Association.

A motion was passed to accept the June Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky announced all Chatter advertising is paid and gave a detailed report showing June income of $355.00, expenses of $391.77, and total assets of $20,200.32 held in Life Membership $1,670.00 and member equity $18,530.32. A motion was passed to approve the report.

The membership applications of Darren Hooper and Dian Georgiev received a second reading and a motion was passed to accept them into membership. First readings were held for the applications of Andrew Reiber and Carl Ford.

Mark Wieclaw, Host Chairman of the 2013 Chicago ANA Convention, announced a scheduled meeting with Rhonda Scurek, ANA Convention Director, at the upcoming Philadelphia Convention where they will discuss plans for 2013. Club Members with convention concerns or questions were asked to email Mark at Mark also announced his intent to conduct 2013 Chicago ANA Convention Planning Committee meetings the third Wednesday of every month starting September 19, 2012 at 6 PM, and held in the offices of Harlan J. Berk Ltd, 77 West Washington, 13th Floor, Downtown Chicago.

It was announced that the Club Board unanimously endorsed an invitation from the Illinois Numismatic Association (ILNA), asking the Club to conduct a series of beginner collecting talks at the ILNA Show, September 13-15, 2012 in Tinley Park. The appointed committee of William Burd (ILNA Treasurer),Marc Stackler, and Carl Wolf are working on the program’s outline and decided to call the program “The ABCs of Collecting” to be given by different collectors and dealers from the Club.

Club member and ILNA PresidentSteve Harrison was introduced and spoke on ILNA’s dedication to Young Numismatists by providing scholarships to ANA Summer Seminar, Boy/Girl Scout coin collecting badges, donating numismatic books to Illinois public libraries, and creating a National Numismatic Leadership web site.

Future programs were announced and several new concepts were suggested after being inspired by the “ABCs of Collecting” project.

First V.P. Elliott Krieter introduced featured speaker David Greenstein who spoke on the subject of The Role of the Coin Dealer in the Digital Age.Following a question and answer period, Elliott presented David with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal.

Second V.P. Rich Lipman announced the evening’s ten exhibitors: EUGENE FREEMAN – 3 Mexican coins from 1914-15; MIKE GASVODA – 3 Roman gold aurei and 2 ancient Greek “hinged die” coins; ANDREW REIBER – St. Louis box dollar; DALE CARLSON – proof Seated Liberty Quarter and Mercury Dime; DALE LUKANICH – banknote from Minooka, IL and Roman sestertius of Philip I; RICHARD LIPMAN - $2 silver certificates from 4 different series, plus 6 banknotes within the budget of most collectors; MARK WIECLAW – ancient Greek coins of Ionia, Isabella quarter, LaFayette dollar, buffalo nickel restrike, etc.; ROBERT FEILER – 1869 box medal of Niagara Falls, 2 pills boxes made from coins, & box thaler literature; ROBERT WEINSTEIN – 5 ancient coins from Indo-Greece,Indo-Scythia, and pre-Islamic cities in Arabia; DARREN HOOPER – proof variety 1998-S Lincoln Cent.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 PM with the next meeting scheduled at 6:45 PM, August 8, 2012 at the same location.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
The Role of the Coin Dealer in the Digital Age

a presentation by David Greenstein
to our July 11, 2012 meeting

For the general coin collector, the 20th century coin dealer was the source of most numismatic information. The dealers had auction catalogs with prices realized, they had libraries, and they knew market values from experience. The specialized collectors within an area knew more than dealers, but they were few. Although there were mail bid sales, the main sources were shows and brick and mortar shops. Some big dealers had a teletype terminal connected to a private network — this was the pre-cell phone era, where change was slow and incremental.

The Internet and advent of on-line resources changed all that, aided by advances in digital imaging, faster and cheaper shipping, and cheaper travel. More shows, large national auctions, and third- and fourth-party grading services also appeared. David is not calling for a return to the good old days — he remembers cutting photographs and pasting them to sheet masters, all to create an auction catalog. What are the characteristics of this new reality that faces us? David spent the rest of the presentation covering five areas: information, pricing, being a dealer, online auctions, and fraud.

Although the large amount of available information seems like a good thing, just because everyone has the same information does not mean that everyone makes sense of it. Real-time auction results, third party grading population reports, and the inventories from hundreds of dealers are some sources of a wealth on information — missing part of it, or weighting something incorrectly, can lead to a painful lesson. Remember that third-party graders can make mistakes — both up and down; and that the many pricing guides probably gave an accurate estimate — when they were new.

Pricing always was an issue, and it will remain one. David gave us his opinion on good sources (auction archives and Coinfacts), bad sources (PCGS Priceguide — optimistic retail, and Greysheet / Bluesheet — old stalwarts with inconsistent accuracy), and ugly sources (eBay and certain unnamed dealer websites). As an example of how differently people valued different coins, David mentioned a July, 2009 auction that offered two 1892-S Morgan dollars graded MS64 and MS65, neither with a CAC sticker — both sold at the same price of $110,000 (before commission).

Maybe, back in the day, there was a clear line between collectors and dealers, but now, with more part timers, the line is blurring. There are many venues available to the average person to buy and sell coins. Remember, a Greysheet does not make someone a dealer. Here are some characteristics of the wholesale (dealer to dealer) market: cash/check only, no returns, and terms defined at time of sale. Although a dealer, when buying a coin, should call it premium quality (PQ) if that dealer had sold it as PQ, other dealers might disagree with the level of quality.

Auction houses will take anything of value on consignment, with fees usually charged to buyers and sellers. There also is a time lag from consignment to payment, so an auction is not suitable for someone who wants the current price now. Results can be unpredictable, especially for common rare material such as S-VDB cents or 1936 proof sets. When first mentioning eBay, David called it our enemy and our friend — it provides a 24/7 marketplace for everyone, with transaction fees starting at 10%; David finds faults with the seller protections, and people can discount their bids in the face of perceived risks. The on-line marketplace lacks the face to face contact on which trust was built in the past. Couple that with many possible pitfalls (the proliferation of fake coins from China, credit card scams, and check scams, to name a few) and the need for caution is obvious.

Now, collectors can experience a new world of coin shopping, characterized by 24/7 availability, world wide resources, and easy comparison between multiple similar pieces. David considers the Collector’s Universe / PCGS Forum to be the largest coin club in the world, with members talking about purchases and asking questions, just as they do at a local coin club. David concluded the presentation with ways for a dealer to create value in the digital age: understand and explain information, auction representation, first look at new purchases to specialized collectors, thinner margins on quick flips, and high quality images of coins to their owners. Hmmmhhh. Those sounded like good services even before the Internet!

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our July 11, 2012 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman showed coins from the Revoltionary era of Mexico:
  2. Mike Gasvoda showed some ancient coins:
  3. Continuing his featured presentation from our June meeting, Andrew Reiber showed a box dollar from the St. Louis Exposition. Cheaply made with a loose tolerance hinge design he has not seen before, the two pieces were made specifically for this purpose, but using designs from real expo medals.
  4. Dale Carlson showed some recently acquired US coins:
  5. Dale Lukanich showed his wide range of interests:
  6. Richard Lipman showed nineteenth century $2 silver certificates:
  7. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of items:
  8. To complement the June featured speaker, Bob Feiler showed:
  9. Robert Weinstein showed old coins from two regions:
  10. After introducing himself to us, new member Darren Hooper showed an 1998-S proof cent with the AM very close together on the reverse. A discussion of reverse die varieties followed; that led to a summary of some web sites and references regarding die varieties and states of recent coins.

Trip Report, ANA Summer Seminar

by Mike Gasvoda

My wife, Lynn, and I traveled to Colorado Springs on June 24, 2012 to be a small part of the ANA Summer Seminar. It turned out to be a very surreal experience. Here is our story.

I was to be a guest speaker in the classroom of David Vagi and Kerry Wetterstrom. Their class was titled “Collecting Ancient Coins.” I was scheduled for a two hour time slot on Wednesday morning June 27 to speak on “The Evolution of Portraiture on Roman Imperial Coinage.” We arrived early enough on Sunday to make a stop by the ANA headquarters. While there I visited with Doug Mudd, Museum Curator, and David Vagi who was also just arriving in town. We then checked into our hotel room some six miles north of the ANA. In the distance was a rather tall spire of smoke from a new forest fire in Waldo Canyon just northwest of Colorado Springs (due west of our hotel). We learned that everything going toward Pike’s Peak was closed because of the fire. This included: the Pike’s Peak Railway; Victor; Cripple Creek; Garden of the God’s; and Manitou Springs. So much for our tourist plans!

On Monday we diverted to Royal Gorge and other than a long drive and very high temperatures, it was a nice day in Colorado. Returning to the hotel was a bit unnerving as the forest fire smoke seemed to have grown.

Tuesday dawned to a beautiful day and we set off for breakfast with Tucson friends who summer in Colorado. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The fire was present but didn’t seem threatening. After breakfast, with our tourist options limited, we visited the classroom where David and Kerry were teaching. They offered to move up my presentation to that afternoon since our free time wasn’t working out like the summer vacation we thought it would be. I agreed with this plan and we drove back to the hotel to retrieve my speaking material. After a quick lunch I was “on” as the featured speaker for the afternoon. My talk ended up taking almost exactly two hours and by 3:15 PM we were on our way to the ANA headquarters — just across the street from the classroom.

I met with RyAnne Scott and Kim Kiick to finalize a press release for the upcoming ANS exhibit for the ANA World’s Fair of Money. Both are really energized and very nice ladies. By 4:00 PM we were on our way back to the hotel. Upon entering the freeway (I-25) I said to Lynn, “My God, the fire is now on our side of the mountain ridge!” Flames were roaring what appeared to be some 20 feet into the air — but in reality could have been as high as 100 feet. Smoke was billowing like we had not yet seen. After unpacking from the presentation I relaxed on the bed to decompress — something I normally need to do after giving a presentation.

At 5:30 PM Lynn came into the bedroom and said “You need to look outside”. I did, and couldn’t believe my eyes. Visibility was less than 100 feet in an eerie orange/brown haze and hot orange embers were floating past our balcony. You could smell smoke inside the room. I looked at Lynn and said, “Pack, we’re outta here!” We were in the car in ten minutes and stuck in a massive traffic jam right next to an ABC news truck. We managed to go south in search of a new place to stay. There wasn’t a room to be had in Colorado Springs as some 12,000 residents had already been evacuated. We got prepared to sleep in our car. A stop at Chili’s near the airport for dinner, and to watch the live news feed, was very disheartening. The entire area up the hill from where we had been staying was in flames. At 7:00 PM the formal notice to evacuate our area was finally sent out — a bit late in my opinion! We ended up driving to Pueblo and found one of the last rooms in that city — some 50 miles south of Colorado Springs and the fire. Here we were a couple of tourists looking for a nights rest when all around us were people worrying about their homes and future. And by now the smoke was even in the air that far south. We lay in bed and watched the utter devastation while I managed to rebook a flight out to Chicago for the following morning.

Our trip home on Wednesday morning (my original slotted speaking time) was uneventful other than running into Ira Goldberg at the airport. He too, was leaving early. By the time we left Colorado Springs, some 32,000 people were displaced without counting tourists in hotel rooms — probably several thousand. The fire was raging from Garden of the Gods all the way north to the Air Force Academy. Our hotel, and perhaps a dozen others, was right in the middle of this evacuation zone. We made the right decision.

I emailed with Kerry this morning (Thursday) and the smoke had abated and class was continuing. I wish them well. The fire rages out of control. If the winds stay from the south the classes will be fine. If it shifts — who knows?

As for the class and the experience, I can say I was truly impressed. The class I was in was dominated by young numismatists. Not just kids but well informed knowledgeable young adults, boys and girls. I was astounded by the depth of their questions. Some I couldn’t even answer and thank goodness David and Kerry were there to back me up. The ANA staff was fantastic and the camaraderie was all that it was hyped to be. I would recommend this experience to anyone who can consider such a trip. (I would wait until the fire is out however… and they expect this one to burn at least another month. But that’s just me!) It was a surreal week — the good (the ANA) and the bad (the devastating forest fire). Watching the news and knowing we were in the midst of all that destruction sends shivers up my spine. It’s good to be back in Chicago!

Minutes of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Directors

June 27, 2012

The June 27, 2012 meeting of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Governors was held at Connie’s Pizza, 2372 S. Archer, Chicago, IL. Vice President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM with the following in attendance: William Burd, Eugene Freeman, Steve Zitowsky, Rich Lipman, Mark Wieclaw, Robert Feiler, and Carl Wolf.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Our 1124th Meeting

Date:August 8, 2012
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 Park, 318 South Federal Street; 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. Another before-meeting favorite of some members is the Ceres Restaurant, located inside the Board of Trade Building, at LaSalle and Jackson.
Featured speaker:Quentin Burrows - New Laws Affecting Coin Dealers and Collectors

Municipalities across Illinois and other states are beginning to pass laws regulating the operation of coin dealers. Provisions may include requiring sellers to present identification, dealers to photograph the purchased material, up load the images onto the Internet, holding periods before the material can be sold, etc. Quentin is a member of the Club and a lawyer who is closely following this new development. Be sure to attend and hear just how these laws will affect collectors’ ability to buy and sell coins.

Important Dates

August 7-11 121st Anniversary Convention of the American Numismatic Association at the Philadelphia Convention Center. For details, refer to their website, remember, ANA will be at Rosemont in 2013 through 2015.
August 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Quentin Burrows on New Laws Affecting Coin Dealers and Collectors
September 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
September 13-15 ILNA convention at the Tinley Park Convention Center, 18501 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park, IL 60477. Details at
September 19 ANA 2013 Host Committee Meeting — contact for details.
October 10 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
Elliott Krieter- First Vice President
Richard Lipman- 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
Robert Feiler- ANA Club Representative

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