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Volume 59 No. 2 February 2013

6 Months until ANA in Chicago

The ANA web site has applications for Pages, Meeting Rooms, and speakers for Money Talks (the renamed Numismatic Theatre). It also has the application and rules for the Collector Exhibit area; but since the Convention Theme has not been announced, the details for Exhibiting Class #19 (Convention Theme) are incomplete. Nothing about any classes scheduled for before the bourse opens to the public, but usually there is one on grading or counterfeit detection.

Minutes of the 1129th Meeting

The 1129th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held January 9, 2013 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 6:45 PM with 25 members present.

A motion was passed to accept the December Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky gave a detailed report showing Nov-Dec revenue of $5,187.75, expenses of $5,515.76, and total assets of $20,520.36 held in Life Membership $1,670.00 and member equity $18,850.36. He also gave a 2012 year-end report showing total 2012 revenue of $10,635.58 and expenses of $8,226.40. A motion was passed to approve the report. A warm round of applause followed the reading of those who donated during the year: Ancient Coin Club of Chicago, Sharon & Kevin Blocker, Bill Burd, Elliott Krieter, Richard Lipman, Erik Maurer, Donn Pearlman, Wm Pettit Estate, Margo Russell, Mark Wieclaw, and Steve Zitowsky.

For those unable to attend the December meeting, President Krieter introduced the remaining Board members elected to serve 2013-15. In addition to himself, they included Rich Lipman, 1st V.P.; Marc Stackler, 2nd V.P.; Carl Wolf, Secretary; Steve Zitowsky, Treasurer; William Burd, Archivist; Jeffrey Rosinia, Immediate Past President; and Directors: Mark Wieclaw, Dale Lukanich, Steve Ambos, and Robert Feiler (not present).

Following the second reading of Dennis Hoelzle’s application of membership, a motion was passed to accept him into the Club. A letter was read from Marc Ricard written on behalf of himself and his father, Charles, for the cards of sympathy following the death of his Mother.

Elliott announced an upcoming Board meeting, January 16, 2013, 6 pm at Connie’s Pizza, 2372 S. Archer, Chicago, IL. Mark Wieclaw, Host Chairman of the 2013 ANA Chicago Convention, announced the next Committee Meeting January 23, 2013, 6 pm, Offices of Harlan J. Berk, 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago.

First VP Rich Lipman introduced the evening’s featured speaker, Eugene Freeman, who spoke on Mint Marks of the Spanish-Colonial Mints. Following a question and answer period, Rich presented Euene with an ANA Educational Certificate and engraved Club medal.

Second VP Marc Stackler introduced the evening’s 13 exhibitors: DAVID GUMM US Large Cents, 1816-1857 by Noyes; BOB WALLACE ancient Greek staters; EUGENE FREEMAN coins of Mexico and the Central American Republic; MARK WIECLAW burlap notgeld, ancient Roman coins, & shredded currency pressed into disk shaped U.S. Capitol Building; ROBERT LEONARD fractional gold dinars; RICARDO SEQUEIRA Spanish-Colonial shipwreck coins and books; JEFFREY ROSINIA coin holograms; DARREN HOOPER 1992-D “close AM” Lincoln cent; DALE LUKANICH cut & Byzantine coinage; HAROLD ECKARDT altered Kennedy half-dollars; ROBERT WEINSTEIN Chicago tokens; JEFF AMELSE Byzantine mint errors; and RICHARD LIPMAN US & French currency.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 pm

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Spanish Colonial Mintmarks

by Eugene Freeman,
presented to our January 9, 2013 meeting

I have met a number of people who collect coins on a one-per-location basis (as I do), and I have been surprised to find that many of them have trouble attributing coins of the Spanish colonial mints to the correct mint. My goal is to give you a working knowledge of how to identify the coins from the major mints. Our focus will be biased toward the silver coins, as opposed to the gold, but most comments will apply to both metals.

A Spanish colonial coin would usually identify its mint via a mintmark of one or two letters or monograms. An additional one or two letters would identify the assayer who was responsible for the accuracy of the purity and weight of the coin. It is often possible to determine the mint for a coin, using the date (or type) and the assayer, if the mintmark is not visible.

In the Spanish colonial coinage system, the silver coinage primarily consisted of the real and its multiples of 2, 4 and 8 reales, and its fraction of 1/2 real. The local governor would be responsible for the 1/4, 1/8, and/or the 1/16 real coins (of silver or copper), if they were needed for local commerce, and he might also be responsible for a copper 1/2 real. For this reason, the fractional denominations often do not have the same standard designs as the other issues.

The gold system was similar to the silver, with the escudo and its multiples of 2, 4, and 8 escudos.

We will start with Caracas, because it runs against the general histories of the Spanish colonial mints. Although the area was conquered by the Spanish in 1531-33, the first mint was not established in Venezuela until November 1802. The mint operated from 1802 to 1805, and did not reopen before the city rebelled in April 1810. Spanish forces recaptured the city in July 1812, and operated the mint until 1821, when troops under Simon Bolivar defeated the Spanish troops.

Caracas minted copper coins in the 1/8 and 1/4 real denominations, and silver 1, 2, and 4 reales. The coins have distinctive designs, and the mint name is spelled in full on each of the denominations.

The mint in Panama began operations in 1580, and apparently ceased operations in 1583, after an audit of the Royal Treasury of the city of Panama found a significant amount of funds missing. Panama was authorized to mint the silver 1/2 real through the 4 reales only. At least one of each denomination is known, but there are only about 43 coins known from this mint. Coins analyzed have been determined to have been struck from Peruvian silver; the mint did not have its own mines. Panama was authorized to use a Pa mintmark, but the A appears as a capital letter, directly above the P, and is so large that most people read it as an AP mintmark.

Santo Domingo
The mint in Santo Domingo was authorized in 1535, at the same time as the Mexico City mint. The mint closed in 1578, and all of the cobs from this mint are rare. Santo Domingo used the monogram of SDo (one source also indicates an SP mintmark).

The capital of Santiago de los Caballeros was established in 1524. The mint opened in 1733, and coins were minted there until 1773 using a G mintmark. This old capital, Antigua, and its mint were destroyed by volcanic eruption and earthquake in 1773.

A new mint and city, named New Guatemala City, were built, and the mint began minting coins in late 1776 using the G mintmark. In 1777, the mint changed its mintmark to NG.

Santiago was founded in 1541, but a mint was not established there until 1743. Santiago used an So mintmark.

a. Royal approval was obtained for mints in Cartagena and in Santa Fe de Bogota in 1620. The colony was known as Nuevo Reino de Granada. Cartagena mintmarks vary on the cobs, and can be S, RN, NR, or C, all of which are rare. The Cartagena Mint was only a subsidiary mint to Bogota; it operated sporadically, and ceased operations around 1655.

b. The Bogota mint used a variety of mintmarks, S, NR, NR with a small o above each, NR with one small o above, N, SF, FS, or F, all of which are rare.

In 1758, a new mint at Popayan began operations, minting the round, milled coins (rather than the earlier “cob” coins), and using a P mintmark. The mint remained in Spanish control until 1822.

In earlier versions of the Krause catalog, there was some controversy as to whether the P on the 1822 2 reales coin represented Popayan, or whether it represented Pasto, Ecuador. Colombian collectors have told me that they believe this was struck by Popayan mint personnel, although they may have been on the move to avoid rebel forces. The coin type is unique among the Spanish colonial types, in that it has a reference to the constitution.

a. When Spanish control was originally established over the areas of the Western Hemisphere, control was divided between two viceroys. The Viceroy of Peru had control of everything from Panama south; everything north of Panama was controlled by the Viceroy of New Spain. Royal permission for a mint in Lima was obtained in 1568. Permission for a mint in Northern Peru was obtained in 1573-4, which was originally established at La Plata, but shortly thereafter moved to Potosi.

The mintmarks for Lima vary and include P, P with a star above it, or L on the earlier cobs. The mintmarks can be L, an LI monogram with a MAE monogram, or a monogram of LIMA on later coins.

b. The mint at Cuzco is only known to have issued gold 1 and 2 escudo coins in 1698, and silver 1824 bust type coins. Cuzco used the C or CUZ mintmark (with an o on the Z).

The city of Potosi was founded by the Spanish in 1545, near the base of Cerro de Potosi (also called “Cerro Rico”, or Rich Mountain), which was virtually a mountain of silver. A mint was originally established in La Plata (1573-74), but it was soon moved to Potosi to be closer to the source of the silver. Both La Plata and Potosi originally used a P mintmark, since they were in North Peru. The later coins of Potosi use a mintmark that is a monogram of PTS.

Most of the silver that crossed the Spanish Main came from the mountain at Potosi. According to mint records, during the period of 1556 1783, the mines produced over 41,000 metric tons of silver, of which over 8,200 tons were the property of the Spanish monarchs.

With such a wealth of silver, a city of over 200,000 people soon sprang up around the mines, even though the city is one of the highest in the world. It is over 13,400 feet above sea level.

The volume of the silver also caused massive problems and greed. Especially due to the use of mercury to refine the ore, the death toll among the native slaves was staggering, and the mining officials had to gain approval from the crown to import African slaves to supplement the native workers in the mines. Over 30,000 African slaves were imported into Bolivia. Around 1630, rumors began circulating that the fineness of the Potosi Mint coins was far below par, and foreign merchants began refusing to accept them. (Potosi had not changed coin types at the same time as the other mints, so its coins were easily identifiable.) Officials claimed that the African slaves were secretly mixing copper in the ore, to debase the coinage; African slaves claimed they were forced to debase the metal.

The king sent one noble to investigate the scandal, but he was unsuccessful. A second investigation (1649-52) ultimately uncovered the scheme. Some reports indicate that as many as 500 people were arrested during the investigation, and at least two people — an assayer and a former mayor — were executed. Other assayers were fired or discharged.

A new assayer was hired, but the metal purity was still not up to standard. To regain international trust in the Potosi silver coins, the 8 reales of the new assayer were devalued to 7.5 reales (and the 4 reales devalued to 3.75 reales); and the 8 reales of the previous assayers were devalued to 6 reales (and the 4 reales devalued to 3 reales)! The values of the lower denominations were not devalued. Coins devalued to the higher value could be counterstamped and remain in circulation; the coins devalued to the lower value were to be remelted within two months.

Beginning in 1652, the design of the Potosi coins was changed to a pillars and waves design, so the coins were different from prior years, and different from other mints. These coins were to be of full weight, and not devalued.

About 1650, the Yankee merchant marine from New England had begun a brisk trade with the Spanish colonies, and they were receiving large quantities of the Potosi silver coins. At least one source indicates that concern over the Potosi silver scandal was one of the reasons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to decide to mint its own coinage in 1652.

a. Mexico City was one of the first two mints authorized by the King of Spain, in 1535. The mint grew to become one of the most prolific mints of all time, producing nearly half the world’s supply of silver coins. In the early years, many of the other mints produced silver bars, rather than coins, and many of the bars would be sent to the Mexico City mint for striking into coins. Mexico City used the Mo mintmark.

As the War of Independence began to affect more of the countryside, and it became more dangerous to ship bullion to Mexico City, to be minted and returned as coins, it was decided to set up some temporary mints nearer the bullion sources. Five mints were opened by Spanish authorities during these times:

b. Chihuahua was established as a mint in October 1810. Lacking the proper tools and dies for regular operations, coins were cast and counterstamped for 1810-13. The coins struck later in 1813 and during 1814-22 were minted. Chihuahua used the Ca mintmark, and it only minted 8 reales coins.

c. Durango was established on the same day as Chihuahua. From 1811-22, the mint produced 5 denominations of silver coins, and a 1/8 real in copper. Durango used the D mintmark.

d. Guadalajara first minted coins in 1812, and continued until closed in April 1815 for an unknown reason. It was reopened 1818-1822. This mint struck gold 4 and 8 escudos, plus the five silver denominations. Guadalajara used the Ga mintmark.

e. Guanajuato struck coins from December 24, 1812 to May 15, 1813, when it was closed. It was reopened 1821 22 under the control of the rebels. This mint struck only 2 and 8 reales coins, and used the Go or G mintmarks.

f. Zacatecas began operations November 14, 1810, striking coins in four silver denominations. A local design was used in 1810-11, including some struck by the rebels after the town fell on April 15, 1811. Royalists recaptured the mint on May 21, 1811, and operated it until 1822. Zacatecas used the Zs or Z mintmarks.

There were other Spanish colonial mints, but they operated at other times and/or did not mint gold or silver coins in the real/escudo denominations.


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Show and Tell

Items shown at our January 9, 2013 meeting.

  1. David Gumm showed a present to himself, the two volumes of William C. Noyes’s book, United States Large Cents. Covering all varieties issued in the years 1816 to 1857, annotations on the large color illustrations aid in determining the variety of a coin in hand. Not to be confused with Noyes’ earlier two-volume work on U.S. Large Cents from 1793 to 1839. The labelling of dies and varieties is based on Newcomb’s earlier work, hence the use of “N” numbers.
  2. Of the 1,500 Greek city states over the 500 years after the first coin was issued, Robert Wallace showed us 100 years of the staters issued by Aspendos which was located in southwest Asia Minor. Of good silver and weight, each of the shown pieces weighs about 10.8 grams. He used the CNG web site for images of similar pieces and to determine how often such pieces were offered. Aspendos started striking its own coins after defeating the Persians. The early coins are poorly struck, there is a gap, poorly struck coins are found countermarked (to revalidate), and then much better; do not mistake obliterated details opposite a countermark with poor original strike or circulation damage. A few half staters are known from 420-360 BC, in bad condition and with countermarks.
  3. To complement his featured program, Eugene Freeman showed some Spanish area coins notable for more than just their mintmarks:
  4. Mark Wieclaw showed a range of items, starting with two silver coins from Tarentum that have the same diameter but different weights:
  5. Robert Leonard showed items related to El Cid, a Spanish hero: Both coins have the same official’s title, Ibn Aghlab.
  6. Ricardo Sequeira showed coins from shipwrecks, an area he started collecting after attending a Florida coin show with an area for that specialty:
  7. After announcing the club has 100 likes on Facebook, Jeff Rosinia showed some holograms of coins, followed by a $10,000 in a hologram. Twenty years ago he saw a hologram of a 10-piece U.S. gold set but decided not to purchase it; he has not seen it since then, but he hopes to find and purchase it some day.
  8. Darren Hooper showed photos of a 1992-D Lincoln Cent, graded AU-58 by PCGS. This is one of only 6 known examples of the early use of the cent reverse introduced in 1993. It’s name, the “close AM” reverse, comes from the most noticeable change in the reverse die — the first two letters of America are much closer starting in 1993 than in prior years. The slabbed coin was seen at a local dealer’s shop, but it has since moved on.
  9. Dale Lukanich showed a range of coins:
  10. Harold Eckardt showed examples from one of his fun-collections, pieces found in half dollar rolls. Among them were: He also generally mentioned how he acquires the rolls as well as how he passes along the coins he does not keep.
  11. Robert Weinstein showed medals and tokens from Chicago:
  12. Jeff Amelse titled his presentation Bad Days at the Byzantine Mints:
  13. Rich Lipman started with a review of Franklin on the $100 Federal Reserve Notes:

Minutes of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Directors

January 16, 2013

The January 16, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Coin Club Board was held at Connie’s Pizza, 2372 S. Archer, Chicago, IL. President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 5:45 PM with the following in attendance: Steve Ambos, Steve Zitowsky, Marc Stackler, Mark Wieclaw, William Burd, Carl Wolf, Dale Lukanich, Jeffrey Rosinia, Paul Hybert, and Richard Lipman.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 PM.

Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Minutes of the 2013 Chicago ANA Convention Committee

January 23, 2013

The sixth meeting of the 2013 Chicago ANA Convention Committee was called to order by Host Chairman Mark Wieclaw on Wednesday January 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM in the offices of Harlan J. Berk, 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago.

The following members were present: Paul Hybert, Steve Zitowsky, William Burd, Richard Lipman, Harlan Berk, Elliott Krieter, Eugene Freeman, Jeffrey Rosinia, and Carl Wolf. Harlan was thanked for providing dinner from Reza’s Restaurant and parking vouchers.

  1. Committee Reports:
  2. Budget:
  3. Promotion:
  4. Restaurant Guide:
  5. Miscellaneous:
  6. Next Meetings: 6 pm, offices of Harlan J. Berk, 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago

Harlan was thanked again for his generosity and the meeting was adjourned at 7:14 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary
Chicago Coin Club

Trip Report

Bob Feiler reports on F.U.N.
My trip got off to a rocky start when I realized, an hour into my drive, that I had forgotten my brief case with coins, check book, paperwork, all the things needed for the show. Finally arriving in Orlando around 2 PM found the hotel and decided to walk the 10 minutes (alleged short walk) to the show which was considerably farther than described. Found out later there was a free shuttle bus available in front of the hotel, Duh. This made follow up visits to FUN much quicker.

The Orlando Convention Center is said to be the 2nd largest in the World (definitely biggest I’ve ever seen) and can’t imagine how large #1 must be. The multiple exhibition halls are huge and a long city block apart. Think of McCormick Place multiplied many fold.

The International surfing convention going on in one of the other buildings with 12 to 15 thousand bronzed sun worshipping visitors. Definitely more surfer dudes and and attractive gals with surf boards than I have ever encountered. Ditto for the “rubber stamping” convention which filled up another exhibition hall. A much more sedate and sedentary type crowd and not as visually interesting as the surfer folks.

The FUN show was as large as the 2011 Chicago ANA show. A few statistics: nearly 2000 registered dealers, 614 dealer booths, and 60 exhibits in 225 cases. Approximately 11,000 people visited the show. Many seminars and special activities were offered covering a wide range of topics.

The show theme was “Buffalo & Hobos A Centennial Celebration.” Buffalo nickel carvers were front and center at the registration desks giving demonstrations of their craft. The encased buffalo nickel show give-away was one of the nicest I’ve ever seen as was the bright orange cloth FUN SHOW tote bag. Abe Lincoln (Dennis Boggs) and Robert E. Lee (David Chaltas) impersonators were on hand personally greeting all the visitors to the show Friday and Saturday. Lots of YN programs attracted hundreds of kids. One exhibit had 5 Uncirculated 1793 Chain Cents worth $5 million, very impressive to say the least. My favorite exhibit was a multi-case presentation of “pop out or repousse” coins. I finally learned how these pop outs were made and will share the story at a future CCC meeting. Mike Bean was on site with his spider press along with Ray Dillard who was producing show-themed roll outs. Many snow-bird dealers were present and hundreds of new ones to me at least.

The Heritage Auctions and results were outstanding as usual with four catalogs each 1” thick. The auction prices realized $57,849,241. The 1913 Liberty nickel in Proof 64 sold for $3,737,500 and the 1792 half disme in SP-67 sold for $1,410,000.

Five Florida coin clubs arranged for buses to bring over 200 club members to the show.

The first CCC club member encountered was our own world traveler Winston Zack (aka Indiana Jones). He was in Florida visiting grand-parents tied into several days at the FUN show and then returning to college in Texas for his final semester completing his Masters Degree. We had dinner together with a group of his Forum coin buddies, and I had the opportunity to learn about collectors of very high grade recent mintage coins and registry sets.

CCC member Joel Resnick had a dealer table and says hello to all of his friends back in Chicago particularly Bill Burd. Joel was a widower for several years and shared the news that he re-married last year.

The FUN dealers all reported good business and the floor traffic seemed steady during my 3 days of attendance. If any CCC members are in Florida and can attend FUN shows in the future, they should certainly do so. My searching of the hundreds of dealers yielded a few new treasures for my collection which will be shared at future meetings.

Regards to all from sunny 80° Florida.

Our 1130th Meeting

Date:February 13, 2013
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:Marc Stackler - Coinage of the State of Oaxaca: 1915-1916

In 1915 during the Mexican revolution, the State of Oaxaca declared itself “free and sovereign” in defiance of the revolutionary government. During the ensuing 9 months of “independence,” the state issued well over 100 varieties of coins, not to mention paper money, both state- and private-issued. This talk will focus just on the state coinage of this short but rich numismatic legacy.

Important Dates

Unless stated otherwise, our regular monthly CCC Meeting is in downtown Chicago on the second Wednesday of the month; the starting time is 6:45PM.

February 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Marc Stackler on Coinage of the State of Oaxaca: 1915-1916
March 8-10 19th 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. For details, refer to their website,
March 9 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 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 19-21 38th 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. For details, refer to their website,
April 20 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 25-27 74th Anniversary Convention of the Central States Numismatic Society at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, 1551 North Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL. Free public admission. For details, refer to their website,
April 27 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the CSNS Convention, which is held at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
Featured Speaker - to be announced
May 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
June 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
July 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

Elliott Krieter- President
Richard Lipman- First Vice President
Marc Stackler- Second Vice President
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Steve Ambos
Robert Feiler
Dale Lukanich
Mark Wieclaw
Other positions held are:
Jeffrey Rosinia- Immediate Past President
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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