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Volume 58 No. 5 May 2012

Minutes of the 1120th Meeting

Session I of the 1120th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held April 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 21 members and 1 guest, Tony LaPelusa.

A motion was passed to accept the March Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky gave a detailed report showing March income of $925.20, expenses of $136.82 and total assets of $19,434.39 held in Life Membership $1,670.00 and member equity $17,764.39. A motion was passed to approve the report.

President Rosinia gave an overview of the recent Meeting of the Board of Governors. Topics included speaker schedule, membership report, constitution review, and annual banquet (for more detail see the April 4, 2012 Minutes of the Board).

First V.P. Elliott Krieter introduced the evening’s featured speaker Bill Bierly who spoke on “In God We Trust” on U.S. Coinage. Following a question and answer period, Elliott presented Bill with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal.

Second V.P. Rich Lipman announced the evening’s ten exhibitors: PHIL CARRIGAN – 1902 Canadian token of S.M. Thomson “Coins/Birds/Tokens;” NOEL RODRIGUEZ – Rosa Americana VF-30, $50 U.S. banknote, and East Chicago mechanical banks; EUGENE FREEMAN – 5 and 10 cent coins from 1909 Kiao Chau, 1896 British Crown, and 1913 Prussian coin; RICH LIPMAN – 1861 U.S. Demand Note and $1 U.S. banknote; ROBERT LEONARD – 19th century Japanese bar money; ELLIOTT KRIETER – result from eBay purchase of Chinese pandas; STEVE AMBOS – Chinese and Manchurian coins; ROBERT WEINSTEIN – coins from Indo-Greece and Jenny Lind medal celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Chicago Numismatic Roundtable; DALE LUKANICH – Celtic bronze, Byzantine half follis, and National Banknotes from SW suburban Chicago; and MARK WIECLAW – Aes Grave cast coinage of Ancient Rome, cut Athenian tetradrachm, and another with test cuts;

Anthony (Tony) LePelusa’s application for membership received a first reading.

Mark Wieclaw, Host Chairman of 2013 Chicago ANA Convention, gave a review of the first committee meeting. He asked members to serve as committee assistants so they can assume chairmanships for the 2014 and/or 2015 ANA Conventions.

Members were encouraged to view the exhibits at the upcoming Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Convention and begin planning to build an exhibit from material in their collections.

The meeting was recessed at 8:54 PM and will reconvene April 21, 2012 at the CSNS Convention at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, Schaumburg, IL.

. . . . . .

Session II of the 1120th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held April 21, 2012 in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society Convention, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL. President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM with an attendance of 39 members and guests.

First Vice President Elliott Krieter introduced ANA Vice President and featured speaker Walter Ostromecki who delivered a presentation Paranormal Images on Coins & Currency. Afterwards, Elliott presented Walt with an ANA Educational Certificate and a Club engraved medal.

The applications for membership of Dale Carlson and Brett Irick received first reading.

It was announced that the Chicago Coin Club will be host club to the 2013 ANA Convention with Mark Wieclaw as Host Chairman. Attendees were asked to submit their name and email address if they are interested in speaking, working on a committee, or general volunteer work.

A warm round of applause was given member Bill Bierly, the convention’s Best of Show exhibiter! He showed the award plaque and purple rosette ribbon received for Origins of “In God We Trust”. Although the list was incomplete, other present Club members who were award recipients were introduced, including Bruce Bartelt, Dan Freeland, and former member Don Dool.

The meeting was recessed at 1:55 PM and will reconvene 1PM, Saturday April 28 at the Chicago International Coin Fair, Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL.

. . . . . .

Session III of the 1120th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held April 25, 2012 in conjunction with the Chicago International Coin Fair, Crowne Plaza O’Hare Hotel, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL. First Vice President Elliot Krieter called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM with an attendance of 36 members and guests.

Following a motion to accept an abbreviated agenda, visitors were announced. 2013 Host Chairman of the ANA Chicago Convention Mark Wieclaw was introduced. Mark spoke of the August 13-17, 2013 event and asked everyone to plan to attend. Everyone was also asked to submit their name and email address to serve as volunteers at information tables, greet convention goers, deliver presentations, etc.

Elliott introduced speaker George Cuhaj who delivered a presentation 40 Years of The Standard Catalog of World Coins. Following a question and answer period, Elliott presented George with an ANA Educational Certificate and a Club engraved medal. George donated the book Coins and Currency of the Middle East as a door prize which was won by Marc Ricard.

It was announced the Club had discontinued their primitive money souvenir card distributed at every CICF for 25 years. Robert Leonard, who authored every card but one, was acknowledged and received a warm round of applause. Attendees were encouraged to stop by the Club table on the bourse floor and purchase the limited number of cards in stock. Collectors would find a complete list available on and compare it to their inventory.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:37 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
“In God We Trust” on U.S. Coinage

by Bill Bierly
presented to our April 11, 2012 meeting

The civil war was fought not only on the battlefields but also in intellectual and theological realms. When the newly formed Confederacy wrote its constitution it included a phrase in its preamble seeking the “favor and guidance of Almighty God”. This created a favorable reaction among Southern clergy and a negative one in the North. Many Northern clergymen began urging amendment of the federal constitution or other action to express some similar sentiment.

Among the suggestions was one from an obscure Baptist minister, Rev. Mark Watkinson. He wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase in November, 1861 recommending addition of a motto on U.S. coinage expressing the trust of the nation in God. Chase reacted favorably and forwarded the letter with instructions to James Pollock, Director of the Mint, to “cause a device to be prepared . . . with a motto expressing this national recognition”. Pollock produced and sent to Chase pattern half dollars struck in both silver and copper and $10 eagles in copper with the motto “God Our Trust” in late 1861.

Further research by Pollock showed the need for congressional action to place such a motto on regular coinage. No further action was taken toward obtaining this approval during 1862 or 1863 but Pollock again produced the same “God Our Trust” patterns in both 1862 and 1863. He also urged further action to adopt such a motto in his annual Mint Director reports in 1862 and 1863. He pressed Chase for action in late 1863 on the motto and on the issue of changing the content of the cent from copper nickel to bronze. He also proposed a Two Cent piece and produced two pattern coins for it with mottos “God Our Trust” and “God and Our Country” upon them.

Chase concurred but stated “God Our Trust” should be replaced by “In God We Trust.” It is unclear where Chase got the idea for this motto but there are various theories. The most commonly heard is that it came from “In Deo Speramus,” the motto of Brown University, supposedly Chase’s alma mater. This however is not the source as Chase never attended Brown University. Whatever the source, the Mint Act of April 22, 1864 approved the Two Cent piece with an unspecified motto. When produced, the coins had “In God We Trust.”

Later, Pollock urged placement of the motto on other denominations of silver and gold as well. This was approved in early 1865 and pattern coins for the quarter, half, dollar, $5, $10, and $20 gold pieces were produced dated 1865 with the motto. Then in 1866 the motto was placed upon the regular issued coinage. Pattern coins dated 1863 and 1864 with the motto also exist but almost certainly were produced in later years, likely for sale to collectors. The various pattern coins associated with this history are interesting and worthy of deeper study. Some are quite rare while others are common (as pattern coins go) and highly collectible.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Paranormal Images on Coins & Currency

presented by Walter Ostromecki
to our April 21, 2012 meeting

Walter started the presentation by asking us, “What does paranormal mean?” The general concensus was anything not in our physical reality, which can be simply stated as out-of-body. The program focused on examples from the more modern world; the mythological figures of the Greek, Roman, and other ancient civilizations is for another speaker, place, and time. The first topic was dragons.

Although dragons appear in both eastern and western cultures, they are viewed quite differently: good and benevolent in the east, and mostly as fire-breathing evil in the west. The Chinese dragon is the highest ranking creature in the Chinese animal heirarchy, and it is the only mythological creature of the twelve represented in the Chinese calendar. At one time, the dragon was strongly associated with the emperor, and hence power and majesty; tradition holds that children born in a year of the dragon will have luck, success, and power. A number of pieces were shown, starting with an undated 10 tiao note from a warlord in China’s Jilin Province; it has serpentine dragons within the outer frame. A copy of a $1 sight banknote has a smiling dragon flying over ships at sea, protecting them and providing good weather; it has no wings, as is typical for eastern dragons, but it still flies — magic! The same general design also appeared on a 1938 1 yuannote from the Japanese occupation of Manchuria. Examples of dragons on Japanese coins and notes from the 1890s concluded the examples of eastern dragons.

A 1922 10 pfennig notgeld from Braunschweig includes a winged dragon, with smoke wisps from its mouth, among a group of creatures around a walking ex-soldier. The alligator type of mouth adds to its sinister appearance. The dragon on a 50 pfennig notgeld is multiheaded but smaller; a soldier clad in only a loin cloth and carrying only a sword is fighting it, quite successfully too, as some of the heads have been cut off! Not all German dragons were references to its defeat in World War I; a 1904 5 mark imperial treasury banknote (Reichskassenschein) has a winged dragon with the obligatory wisp of smoke from its mouth. Probably the best known of the western dragon stories is that of Saint George slaying the dragon. Walter recounted one of the folklore tellings of the brave horseman, armed with a lance, defeating the dragon, saving a princess, and converting the kingdom to Christianity. In the middle ages, the action took place in places with various names, situated in modern Libya, Syria, and Georgia among others. Examples on coins include the 1857 half penny token from the Bank of Upper Canada, to the 1892 crown from Great Britain; both based upon Pistrucci’s famous rendition. So much for dragons — on to vampires and devils!

A 1922 10,000 mark German note is known as the “Vampire Note” because, if you turned the note and looked at it just so, you could see, in the background shading, a cloaked figure biting the neck of the note’s main portrait figure. We could not see it on the projected image, but the note was available for examination after the presentation. The figure is a farmer, from a famous portrait by Albrecht Durer. A crude coin of Mircea the Elder of Wallachia (Romania), the grandfather of Vlad the Impaler, was shown (1386-1418); the grandson was the inspiration for the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Not a coin of Dracula himself, but it is from Transylvania! Although a dated 1623 groschen bears a better formed figure, nothing particularly evil jumps out — but it too is from Transylvania!

The devil makes an appearance on the 1954 Canadian $1 “Devil Note,” but as with the earlier Vampire Note, the viewer who squints might see the face of the devil among the hair curls on Queen Elizabeth. As shown with the 1954 $2 note, a few little changes to some curls is all that was needed to remove the devil. Angels make an appearance on two 1921 75 pfennig Notgeld pieces, but then, most anything can be found on the many German notgeld issues. Examples of witches and devils can be found there, with Walter showing a number of pieces from around the Harz mountains. The highest peak, the Brocken, is the setting in Goethe’s Faust for revelry amongst witches and other evil creatures on Walpurgis Night (the night between April 30 and May 1). Some shown notgeld pictured the burning at the stake of witches and heretics, while others showed death in a range of forms.

This program’s only U.S. item appeared here — a cent-sized 1863 Civil War store card with the issuer, Fr. Friese, Undertaker, listed around the central coffin on the obverse, with Fr. Friese, Leichenbesorger (German for undertaker) listed around the reverse. That was followed by Chinese hell banknotes, which were followed by more mythical creatures, such as elves, ogres, and even Old Man Winter. Many of the shown items, especially the notgeld, are not extremely rare or expensive.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
The Story of Krause Publications’ Standard Catalog of World Coins

presented by George Cuhaj
to our April 28, 2012 meeting

Much in numismatics has changed since the Standard Catalog first appeared 40 years ago in 1972 — including the catalog itself. From the original single volume generally going back to 1850, the current multi-volume effort generally goes back to 1600 with some areas going to 1500 or even 1450. George did not attend his first coin show until 1973, and it took some more years before he landed at Krause Publications.

There were three main resources available to collectors before Krause published the first edition, and each was good in its own way. Craig’s Coins of the World was the closest in format to look of the Standard Catalog, but it listed coins by type not date; Davenport’s multi-volume work focused on silver coins of the German states; and Whitman published a work by Yeoman.

The original method of tracking coins was computerized, but not the production of the catalog. We saw one wide page of a computer printout, with horizontal green bars and sprocket holes along the left and right edges. All of the information for one item was in a single line: containing a long code number and a description. The item’s final location in the catalog was defined by the code number, so any error in the code number could throw an item very far from its intended location. The shown printout bore hand written changes to the description, made by a proof reader or outside contributor, that should appear in the printed catalog. The single-volume catalog maxed out at 2,100 pagesyears ago; for the printing method used until fairly recently, a negative had to be produced for each of those pages. And prior to making the negatives, it took many hundreds of hours to manually add the photographs or line drawings to the text of the 2,100 pages.

New material is, mostly, submitted electronically; of the 5,000 images received in the last one and a half years, only about 150 were of actual photographs that had to be scanned at Krause. That still leaves the old images to be updated, and they are, but over time. As an example, about half of the line drawings in the Venice section will be replaced with photographs taken of a great collection. The photographs in the printed catalogs still be in black and white (or, more accurately, graytone); for color images, see the on-line offerings.

The editor’s version of NumisMaster provides for the entry of many fields worth of information, including marking which catalogs will contain each coin. Computerized tools can simplify the work, but experienced workers are needed: George is responsible for the editorial content as well as managing the photo collection, Tom Michael performs market research (pricing), and a staff of three handles page design. There is a total of 6,000 pages in the current editions of the various catalogs, with about 175,000 images. To be included in the catalog, a coin must satisfy two conditions: it must show a denomination, and it must be issued by a country. That does allow for a small country to have many items. Among the cases that George mentioned were a small Pacific island nation with an annual output averaging about four new types per week, and a mint that expanded their lunar year coin set to ten coins for the Year of the Dragon (by using ten different colors to colorize the dragon!).

As a commercial venture, some specialized books can work while others will not. The 17th century catalog, with an editorial cycle of four years, is barely possible, while a catalog of 16th century coins will not be offered — not even as a DVD. But it would work as a download-only offering. On the CICF bourse floor, George saw two dealers who had ported info from DVDs onto e-readers. He was not sure of the brands or how they did it.

Among the recent major mistakes in catalogs, George noted that Lubeck was not in the first edition of the German catalog, and that Belize was not in the 16th edition of the paper money catalog. After compiling the entire catalog, they were surprised they had used fewer pages than calculated — the solution was a supplement. Some tricks of cataloging were mentioned, and a series of questions from the audience led to more interesting details. But a request from the audience for a prediction for the offering 20-30 years in the future? We just want to still be collecting!

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our April 11, 2012 meeting.

  1. Phil Carrigan told us that the production of a personal medal/token was characteristic of Canadian numismatists in the past. A copper piece acquired at John Kraljevich’s table turned out to be such a piece. The obverse markings include S.M. Thomson / Brantford, Ontario / 1902, while the reverse has just three words: COINS / BIRDS / TOKENS. After a bit of research, Phil identified the collector as, among other things, an early member of the ANA. So this must be a personal token listing his collecting interests and not, as some first thought, a merchant token listing items for sale.
  2. Noel Rodriguez showed a range of items:
  3. Eugene Freeman showed a range of coins:
  4. Richard Lipman showed US paper money:
  5. Robert Leonard showed a basic type set of Japanese odd and curious money from the 19th century:
  6. Elliott Krieter gave a follow up on his exhibit last month. Recall that he had responded to an eBay offer that seemed too good to be true, but he did not think he would lose\because he paid with PayPal. He received a package with a customs declaration stating the contents as one 2011 Panda, instead of the five he had ordered. Inside was a single 1947 5 pesos of Mexico that felt light. After Elliott filed a grievance with PayPal, all of his money was refunded. And he has an souvenir!
  7. A few weeks ago, while back in Ohio, Steve Ambos acquired these Chinese coins at a show:
  8. Robert Weinstein showed a range of items:
  9. Dale Lukanich showed ancient and local items:
  10. Mark Wieclaw showed ancient coins:

Minutes of the 2013 Chicago ANA Convention Committee

March 28, 2012

The first meeting of the 2013 Chicago ANA Convention Committee was called to order by Host Chairman Mark Wieclaw on Wednesday March 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM in the offices of Harlan J. Berk, 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago.

The following members were present: Sharon Blocker, Robert Feiler, Harlan J. Berk, Marc Ricard, William Burd, Eugene Freeman, Richard Lipman and Carl Wolf. Harlan was given a warm round of applause for providing dinner from Reza’s Restaurant and parking vouchers for those parked in the Randolph Street Ramp.

It was announced that the ANA created five local committees:

  1. Volunteer Committee Chairman Carl Wolf was told the Ambassador and Outreach Committees were folded into the Volunteer Committee. Everyone agreed the activities performed by these committees will probably need a specially assigned assistant.
  2. Boy Scout Chairman Eugene Freeman reported a lower number of Scouts seeking their collector badge at the Chicago ANA Convention because there are numerous clinics in the area and Scouts already have the badge. He is investigating the possibility of creating a Scout approved patch just for special activities created for the ANA Convention. George Cuhaj is assisting Gene in this work.
  3. Page Chairman Richard Lipman reported his feelings about recruitment of more young numismatists. Elliott Krieter offered to assist Rich in this work.
  4. Numismatic Theatre Chairman Dale Lukanich was not present, but Mark asked every committee member for speaker suggestions to pass on to Dale. Quentin Burrows will serve as Dale’s assistant.
  5. Exhibit Chairman Marc Ricard spoke of his familiarity with the operation of the committee after working with Paul Hybert.

Other discussions included:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:21 PM with the next meeting scheduled for June 20th.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carl Wolf Secretary

Minutes of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Directors

April 4, 2012

The April 4, 2012 meeting of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Governors 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, William Burd, Eugene Freeman, Steve Zitowsky, and Carl Wolf.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 PM.

Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Our 1121st Meeting

Date:May 9, 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:David Simpson - Crowns & Ryals of the Stuart Monarchs

The history of the England’s House of Stuarts can be seen through their coinage. However, before they became English Kings, they first were Scottish Kings. David Simpson’s 30 year collecting specialty is the coinage of the Stuarts as Scottish Monarchs. Be sure to attend and hear stories of political intrigue against a backdrop of England’s rise as a world power as seen through the evolution of their coinage from Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1567), James VI (1567-1625) of Scotland who became James I (1603-1625) of England, through Queen Anne (1702-1714).

Important Dates

May 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - David Simpson on Crowns & Ryals of the Stuart Monarchs
June 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Andrew Reiber on Box Thalers and Dollars
July 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
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 - 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

Contacting Your Editor / Chatter Delivery Option

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