Archive available at
Volume 58 No. 1 January 2012

Minutes of the 1116th Meeting

The 1116th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held December 10, 2011 at Marcello’s Restaurant, 645 W. North Avenue. Following a cocktail hour that began at 6 PM, President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM with 37 members and guests present. Richard Hamilton delivered the invocation.

As this was the Annual Banquet, a motion was passed to adopt an abbreviated agenda. After a second reading of the applications for Bruce Purdue and Eric Helms, a motion was passed to accept them into membership. Robert Leonard distributed unique elongated coins to Committee Chairs from the past ANA Convention created by John Wilson.

Second V.P. Elliott Krieter introduced the evening’s speaker Mike Gasvoda who delivered a program on The Hunt Brothers Incredible Ancient Coin Collection. Following a question and answer period, Elliott presented Gasvoda with an engraved club medal and an ANA Educational Certificate. As it was Mike’s birthday, he was presented with a piece of cake with a candle while members sang Happy Birthday.

Elliott Krieter spoke of the numismatic education shared through exhibiting at monthly meetings and the creation of the Cabeen Award to acknowledge top exhibitors. Before the award presentation, Elliott announced there was only a 0.02 difference between the two top places. Engraved medals were then presented to First Place: Mark Wieclaw (not present); Second Place: Robert Weinstein; and Honorable Mention: William Burd (not present), Robert Feiler, Robert Leonard, Richard Lipman, Dale Lukanich (not present) and Steve Zitowsky (not present).

After the meeting was adjourned at 8:24 PM, President Rosinia delivered a trumpet serenade of several holiday songs.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
The Hunt Brothers’ Incredible Ancient Coin Collection

by Mike Gasvoda
presented to our December 10, 2011 meeting

The Hunt brothers’ coin collection was built over an incredibly short period of just three years. During that time they amassed one of the finestancient coin collections ever to appear at auction. The sale included many great rarities and many of these coins were of the highest quality.

The collection was born out of a chance meeting between Bruce McNall, owner of Numismatic Fine Arts (NFA), a rare coin and antiquities firm located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, CA, and Bunker Hunt. The meeting took place in the summer of 1979 at Santa Anita Racetrack after a thoroughbred of Bruce’s had won a stakes race. Bunker, a serious horse man and breeder, came down to meet the owner of this horse. A long talk ensued and eventually turned to investments and how to protect assets against the high inflation happening at the time. Bruce suggested that ancient coins were seriously undervalued and Bunker could take a position in them fairly easily.

During that conversation Bruce suggested Bunker attend the upcoming auction in Zurich held by Bank Leu. Surprisingly, just as the auction started, in walked Bunker Hunt and he spent $500,000 via Bruce McNall at that sale. A great collection had just been born. Bruce next took Herbert Hunt to Zurich and introduced him to Byzantine numismatics via the offices of Leo Mildenberg at Leu. Herbert bought the entire offering and set out to buy every Byzantine coin he could find. He wasn’t just taking a position, he wanted to own all the Byzantine coins in existence.

NFA was buying heavily for both brothers and with a large checkbook coins of great quality and rarity seemed to come out of the woodwork. Two transactions are noteworthy however. The first involved the purchase of the Sy Weintraub collection, also assembled by Bruce McNall. Bunker paid $16,000,000 for the collection and in the process gained ownership of some of the best coins in his collection including an Athenian decadrachm and a decadrachm from Akragas.

The second major transaction was a trade for silver between Bruce and Bunker. Thought to be about $20,000,000 in total this caused the last great buying spree on behalf of the Hunt brothers. This transaction took place after the fall of silver from its 1980 high of $50.00 per ounce. Sadly the Hunt brothers were forced into bankruptcy and purchases for their collection ended in the early 1980s.

The court ordered the collection sold via auction and Sotheby’s handled the sale through eight beautifully designed catalogs in 1990 and 1991. The high profile coins came in the early sales while the more common coins went into the later sales. Sadly, for the Hunts, or maybe more correctly for their creditors, the sales occurred during a low time for numismatics and there simply weren’t enough investor/collectors for the coins to realize high prices. But in today’s market, when Hunt high profile coins come up for sale they do get strong bids.Bunker’s EID MAR denarius recently sold for $546,000 in a Heritage sale even though the coin was only graded VF.

The collection included almost every great rarity in ancient numismatics and it was assembled in just under three years. A large checkbook can make those coins available. It happened then and it still happens today.

Current Advertisers

CSNS Convention Chicago Coin Company
CPMX & CICF Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.

Our 1117th Meeting

Date:January 11, 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 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

Important Dates

Jan 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
Feb 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
March 9-11 17th 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 10 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 - to be announced
March 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 19-21 73rd Anniversary Convention of the Central States Numismatic Society at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, 1551 North Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL. For details, refer to their website,
April 21 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the CSNS Convention, which is held at the Schaumburg Convention Center. No admission charge for our meeting, in Room 42.
Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 27-29 36th 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 28 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
May 9 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.