|Archive available at http://www.ChicagoCoinClub.org/|
|Volume 59 No. 6||June 2013|
The ANA has announced the theme for the 2013 summer convention in Rosemont — Meet Me at the Fair. With the deadline for entering an exhibit fast approaching &mdash: at ANA headquarters by June 21 — we needed to know the convention theme because Class 19 is for exhibits that exemplify the convention theme. That theme does not sound limited one type of fair, or even to one particular fair.
The 1133rd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held May 8, 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 an attendance of 34 members and 2 guests, Mike Radojcic and Branislav Bajic. Member James McMenamin (892) who joined in Dec 1975 was also welcomed back after an absence of many years.
A motion was passed to accept the April Minutes as published in the Chatter with the following correction: the date of the 1132nd meeting, Session II was April 20, not March 20. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported with detail April revenue of $3,796.00, expenses of $1,616.73, and total assets of $22,862.95 held in Life Membership $1,430.00 and member equity $21,432.95. After several questions concerning the how Life Membership dues are applied to the books, a motion was passed to approve the report.
Second readings were given to the membership applications of Loreen (Laurie) Sherman (1212), Todd Ballen (1213), Mark Borckhardt (1214), Michael Morrissy (1215) and Steven J. D’Ippolito (1216) and a motion was passed to accept them into membership. The applications of Mike Radojcic and Branislav Bajic received first reading. It was announced Life Membership application was received from Robert Wheelhouse (1171) and was accepted by a majority of Life Members.
Mark Wieclaw, Host Chairman of the 2013 ANA Chicago Convention, thanked Bill Burd, Assistant Chairman, for chairing & buying dinner for the April 17th committee meeting. Mark announced the next Committee Meeting Wednesday May 15, 2013, 6 pm, Offices of Harlan J. Berk, 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago. Mark urged everyone to sign up soon for the convention’s August 13th Kick-Off Event — a rooftop party at Beyond the Ivy, overlooking Wrigley Field. The event is limited to 200 and over 125 tickets are already sold.
A number of members purchased a finished nickel-silver 2013 ANA Convention Commemorative Medal for $20 each. The Secretary displayed the finished nickel-silver “Money Talks Presenter” medal with a royal blue neck ribbon. As soon as the ANA finalizes the Money Talks schedule, the medals will go off for personalized engraving.
The New York Numismatic Club proposed a joint dinner meeting at the ANA Convention, and a medal struck with each Club’s logo. Elliott Krieter reported on a dinner site with an approximate cost of $60 per person. The Secretary reported the cost of a die and the striking individual medals would be an additional $12-$15 per person. The high medal cost is due to the one-time cost of creating a die with the CCC logo. A motion was passed endorsing this plan and 19 members expressed a desire to attend the event.
First VP Rich Lipman introduced the evening’s featured speaker, Elliott Krieter, who spoke on Virtual Money. After a question and answer period, Rich presented Elliott with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal.
Second VP Marc Stackler introduced the evening’s 15 exhibitors. EUGENE FREEMAN: Hawaiian silver dollar, Honduran 25 centavos 1902/1801 overdate, & book Foreign Coins Struck by U.S. Mint, by Altz & Barton; DAVID GUMM: 1921 MS62 Morgan dollar won in CSNS Convention, and catalog showing the 1848 Large Cent with G.G. Ray counterstamp; MELISSA GUMM: fractional currency, BRM 2011 “Coin of the Year”. STEVE HUBER: 7 world crowns. MARK WIECLAW: Roman brockage, electrum states, Indo-Scythian drachm, & autographed Heritage Auction catalog from recent 1913 Liberty Nickel sale; JIM DAVIS: 6 CSNS convention medals; ROBERT LEONARD: catalogs from J.Toheroh fractional California gold collection, 2 genuine & 2 false Venetian ducats; DALE LUKANICH: 3 Roman bronze coins & a foot-shaped weight; DREW MICHYETA: “Libertas Americana” pocket piece; ROBERT WEINSTEIN: 6 Chicago-area merchant tokens; CHUCK KNOX: aviation medal & Toronto subway token; STEVE AMBOS: dollar received in change with serial# 55555255, 2 pieces of currency with Chinese junk boat vignette, and 1850s token Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race; JEFF ROSINIA: 20 Swiss franc gold coin awarded for the highest first-time CSNS exhibitor score and ¼ ounce U.S. gold coin won in drawing of early exhibit applications; RICH LIPMAN: 2001 series $20 with serial# 00000001, $2 note from circulation with serial# of his wife’s birth date, & early 1900s fruit box labels with one showing coin; ROBERT FEILER: 6 coins/medals purchased at FUN Show.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:33 pm.
Carl Wolf, Secretary
a presentation by David Michaels,
to our April 20, 2013 meeting
Adlocutio in ancient Rome was an address by the Emperor to his massed troops, generally after a victory. As a re-enactor, David Michaels evengelizes history by living history. Appearing in his kit as a Roman centurion, David started the program by reviewing his armor and equipment, and passed along some little facts — by the late Republic, there were 80 men in a century, commanded by a centurion; and the Roman soldier’s original tunic/kilt was replaced by the trousers, adopted from the Celts and Persians, after campaining in colder climates. The Romans were adept at adopting, from their foes, things and skills that worked. Hundreds of years of Roman history were quickly summarized — going from a small settlement around seven hills along the Tiber River, to conquering all of the Italian peninsula, and to expanding beyond the peninsula — from an early monarchy, to a Republic, and to the transition from Republic to Empire, where this program really started.
A Legion was a self-contained army, containing anywhere from 4,800 to 5,500 soldiers, officers, and support. The smallest unit was a contuburnium (tent group) of eight men, ten of which formed a century, up through a maniple and cohort, before constituting a Legion. In addition to armor and weapons, tools and equipment were carried; each soldier marched under a pack that could weigh 90 pounds or more. The professional Roman Army was a career by then. We saw Republican and early imperial coins showing army themes: military items, eagles, captives, and figures in combat. We saw that the daggers on the reverse of Brutus’ EID MAR denarius were quite similar to the dagger worn by David; also, a denarius of Marc Antony has LEG XXI denoting the issuing legion.
Coins were the only form of mass communication in the ancient world, and a good part of the message was military. Augustus invented the job of Emperor as head of state with some militayry aspects, setting the style for those that followed, and providing a reference against which his successors could be judged. Ruling from 27BC to 14AD, he relied on such reliable men as Agrippa, Tiberius, and Drusus to lead armies in the field. The reverse of one of Augustus’ coins shows Drusus and Tiberius receiving laurel branches in front of Augustus, who wears a civilian toga. A gold coin of Augustus shows Tiberius in a chariot drawn by four horses; this indicated a large military parade, called a triumph, honoring Tiberius.
Tiberius was Emperor from 14-37, and the coin design barely changed during his reign. We saw a large bronze coin of Tiberius showing Germanicus in his own triumph. An early coin of Gaius “Caligula” shows him, in civilian clothes, addressing the Cohort of Praetorian Guards; the reverse’s legends are ADLOCVT and COH. The Praetorian Camp had been built in Rome by Tiberius, and he was credited as the founder of the Praetorian Guard. Caligula was incompetent — he brought no real military or governing experience with him, and his aborted invasions of Britain and Germany eroded his support among the army — the Praetorian Guard killed Caligula, and replaced him as emperor with Claudius (who ruled 41-54), who honored the Praetorians on one of his first coins. Claudius took part in the invasion of Britain to improve support by the army, and he also stressed the military prowess of his father and brother, Drusus and Germanicus.
Nero, 54-68, was well served by advisors and officers early, but his minimal contact with the legions led to discontent; the Praetorians abondoned him after revolts in the provinces. We saw him riding as a cavalryman on a DECVRSIO con, and addressing German bodyguards as a civilian on an ADLOCVT COH coin. Supported by Spanish and Gallic Legions, Galba ruled for only seven months; we saw a number of his ADLOCVTIO coins where is is seen wearing armor while addressing gathered troops, but he never paid the Praetorians a promised bonus — that is not the type of mistake one can make a second time.
The emperors of the Flavian Dynasty, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, had solid military credentials and kept army support through military successes and increased salary. A number of styles of Judea Capta coins were shown, all depicting a soldier, captive, and palm tree on the reverse. Trajan, 98-117, led successful campaigns in the east, and Trajan’s Column is the best surviving document of Imperial Legions on campaign. We saw a PROFECTIO coin for his setting out on a campaign, as well as an IMPERATOR VIIII coin hailing him for his ninth time as a “Victorius General.” Throughout his presentation, David noted when the image of a coin or other item had details matching either what he was wearing or was worn by reenactors in camp scenes that he also showed.
Hadrian, 117-138, withdrew from Trajan’s eastern conquests, toured the provinces to inspect and train the army, and kept them busy by building works such as Hadrian’s Wall in Britain. We saw coins showing Hadrian addressing troops in different provinces — on some he was shown standing, and on others he was shown on horseback. Of the Antonine Dynasty, the most militarily engaged emperor was Marcus Aurelius, 161-180, who spent 17 of 20 years in battle. In addition to a PROFECTIO coin and an ADLOCUTIO coin of Marcus Aurelias, we also saw a more artistic medallion of his.
Army pay increased during the Severan dynasty (193-235), whose rulers were engaged with the military and helped increase the influence of the military. The shown coins with military themes seemed not as sharp as some of the earlier ones; the turmoil during the Third Century Anarchy (235-285) is reflected in the fewer images of emperors interacting with troops as motifs became simpler and stylized. The last ADLOCUTIO coin was issued by Maxentius (306-312), and stylized is a polite way of saying that armor and equipment details cannot be determined from the shown coin. The emperor is no longer with the military after Constantine (307-337). David concluded the program with a plug for the programs and exhibits sponsored by the Museum of the Ancient Roman Soldier (MARS), a Los Angeles, California non-profit accepting donations of cash, coins, and artifacts.
a presentation by Mark Borckardt,
to our April 27, 2013 meeting
This article does not cover Mark’s presentation on April 24, before the Walton 1913 Liberty Nickel was auctioned — that presentation was covered in the numismatic press, David Lisot made a video of that presentation and should have copies for sale, and the auction result of almost $3.2 million was mentioned in the mainstream press. Mark started his Saturday presentation with a brief history of the five 1913 Liberty Nickels.
At the December, 1919 meeting of the Chicago Coin Club, a Samuel Brown displayed one 1913 Liberty Nickel. He returned to Chicago for the 1920 ANA convention, where he displayed five 1913 Liberty Nickels. Who was he? How did he obtained these pieces? He was not from Chicago &mdash he was from out East, Philadelphia to be exact — and would you believe he worked at the US Mint in Philadelphia? He had placed advertisements offerring to buy examples of the 1913 Liberty Nickel, and someone must have sold him some because there they were! After a few murmurs and chuckles from the audience, Mark continued their history.
All five coins were sold to Colonel Green who held them to his death in 1936. Eric Newman and B.G. Johnson of St. Louis, Missouri bought all five coins from the Green estate in 1942. Mark noted that Eric could not join us because, at an age of almost 102, Eric is too busy with his current research projects! In 1945 or ’46, George Walton acquired one of the five; he placed the coin in a holder and enjoyed showing it to people. He died in a 1962 car accident, on his way to a coin show. Although all of his coins remained in a suitcase, a myth holds that all the coins were scattered across the highway. People would use metal detectors to search the area, looking for any missed coins. His coins were sold in a 1963 auction by Stack’s, but the 1913 Liberty Nickel was returned as an altered date. How was that mistake made?
In 1963, coin authentication was in its infancy. The five 1913 Liberty Nickels have a unique appearance, unlike any other Liberty Nickel — best described as a satiny blueish tint. For most people seeing a 1913 Liberty Nickel, the first reaction was to declare it a counterfiet because it did not look like the nickels from 1883 to 1912. Add to that this coin’s planchet defects near the 3 in the date (that look like the scratches typical of an altered date), and the labeling of the Walton nickel as counterfeit in 1963 was understandable. The people who authenticated it in 2003 would have called it counterfeit in 1963.
Beth Deisher of Coin World motivated the reunion of the four known pieces at the 2003 ANA convention in Baltimore. The ANA had one, arrangements were made for the two in private hands, with the example in the Smithsonian (a government museum) made available only after much red tape was overcome. While a big publicity campaign to find the fifth specimen was conducted, Mark detailed the feelers that were made to Ryan Walton of the family. The coin called counterfeit in 1963 was still a family possession, photos were sent to the ANA, and it was again called an altered date. The coin was sent to Baltimore, and the first impression on the Tuesday morning before the ANA convention was 98% chance of being real. But a comparison against the other four nickels had to wait until midnight, when the coins would arrive from where they had been on display. Finally, a group of experts spent 45 minutes passing the coins amongst themselves, with large Smithsonian guards following the Smithsonian coin. The Walton coin matched the others.
The five 1913 Liberty Nickels were struck from proof dies, but with regular planchets. The ANA has a few examples of altered dates, and Mark is aware of one dealer who owns eight such examples. In total, several hundred (maybe even a thousand) altered-date examples exist. Some attempts are obvious failures, such as one coin with a date altered to 1813; and there is a 1912 coin from the San Francisco Mint with the date altered to 1913, but with the S mintmark still present! Although many theories about the five 1913 Liberty Nickels’ creation exist, Samuel Brown generally is credited.
Concluding the program, Mark asked for questions from the audience. Asked about his grades for the five coins, Mark gave his personal opinion of each, starting with the finest at PF66 and ending with the example that shows handling marks. Another question was about a possible repair to one of the coins — did one example have a nick in early photos but not in later photos? — but Mark was not aware of that. The possibility of a sixth example was mentioned in a 1948 or 1949 auction catalog, but that might have been based an old holder for 1913 Nickels that had eight holes: five for the five Liberty Nickels, and three for Buffalo Nickels (a Type I, a Type II, and a pattern).
a presentation by Elliott Krieter,
to our May 8, 2013 meeting
Elliott’s first exposure to bitcoin was on an online forum, where someone asked for help in building a bitcoin mining rig. A what? Some people, when faced with something new, will run and hide from it. Elliott had some time, so he looked into it. He has a technical background, and is conversant in some of the underlying technology; with his familiarity with it, he soon was able to use bitcoins in real transactions for physical items. In this presentation, with minimal math and no proofs, he gave us an overview of the bitcoin example of virtual money. He started with some definitions.
Peer-to-peer computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or work loads between peers. Peer participants in an application are equals in privilege and power. The old Napster file sharing program was cited as an example of a peer-to-peer application. Public-key cryptography is a system using two keys, one of which is secret (private) and one of which is public; the two keys are mathematically linked, and Elliott wisely left it at that. Bitcoin is an Internet based peer-to-peer digital money described in a 2008 paper by Satoshi Nakamoto; that is most likely a psuedonym as a patent was applied for by three people, but no one has heard from them in a few years.
Elliott next asked us, “What is money?” He offered us, “Something to serve as the store of value that can be exchanged,” and followed that with three properties: means of accounting, level of security (controlled production), and must be usable in its environment. He mentioned the Stone Money on the island of Yap as an example that does not work for us, but it works for them. Some large pieces are left unprotected, in the open; they are safe because the locals know who owns which ones. Elliott mentioned that title to one large stone is still traded even though it went down when a ship sank — because the locals know where it is.
By design, only 21,000,000 bitcoins will be produced, ever, with about 11 million already produced. The initial rate of production was 50 bitcoins per block (it takes about an hour to “solve” one block — more about that later), but the rate was halved to 25 BTC/block at the start of 2013, and the rate will be halved every four years. The smallest unit is a Satoshi, which is 1/100,000,000 of a bitcoin. A ledger (block chain) keeps everyone honest; there is only one ledger, and all transactions are kept in it. But the transactions are encrypted and no one keeps track of who has a particular bitcoin. All peers have an identical copy of the block chain.
But how does it work? Mining is the process of encrypting each transaction into the blockchain with the receiver’s public key; this uses a hashing algorithm that becomes more complicated over time so that the rate of bitcoin creation remains at the target rate. Once a block is solved, the block is added to the blockchain, it is announced to everyone on the network, and the solver gets paid for its work. Since a payment is made only for the first solution for a block, competition is introduced. (Most users do not mine; mining is a competitive business requiring resources.) Elliott then guided us through the evolution of the equipment that has been used for mining bitcoins.
The electronic equipment is based upon more advanced electronic chips. The progression was:
In February, 2013, an ASIC codenamed Avalon could solve about 60 billion hashes per second; 300 units were produced at $1,300 each — a second order sold in hours, payment with the order. One joke on a forum held that one ASIC-based system was a scam, but since so many people paid in advance, the systems were actually built and delivered! But there are many other aspects to bitcoins than their mining. How can they be stored? Where can they be spent? Elliott mentioned local storage and web based wallets, along with concerns regarding their use. We saw some of the companies that price goods in bitcoins, and we saw Bitmit, which Elliott called an eBay for bitcoins. Elliott also showed a 10 ounce silver Kookaburra that he bought online using bitcoins he had acquired earlier by selling some equipment.
We also saw Mt. Gox, a web site based in Japan that provides quotes for bitcoins in major world currencies. Elliott gave us a brief pricing history of bitcoins: $5 each on October 5, 2011; $50 each in February, 2013; peaked at more than $200 on April 8, 2013; crashed to $65 each; and at $112 on the day of the presentation. Although bitcoin is the most established example of cryptocurrency today, there are a number of competitors of which Elliott considers Litecoin to be the best looking.
|CSNS Convention||Chicago Coin Company|
|CPMX & CICF||Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.|
Items shown at our May 8, 2013 meeting,
reported by Marc Stackler
May 15, 2013
The tenth meeting of the 2013 Chicago ANA Convention Committee was called to order by Host Chairman Mark Wieclaw on Wednesday May 15, 2013 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, Harlan Berk, Eugene Freeman, Dale Lukanich, Sharon Blocker, Robert Feiler, Jeff Rosinia, Elliott Krieter, and Carl Wolf. Harlan was given a warm round of applause for providing dinner from Reza’s Restaurant and parking vouchers.
Harlan was thanked again for his generosity, and the meeting was adjourned at 7:03 pm.
Carl Wolf, Secretary
Chicago Coin Club
|Date:||June 12, 2013|
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:||Alexander Basok - Russia’s Copper Coinage System, 1723-1810|
After signing a Peace Treaty with Sweden and the discovery of huge copper ore deposits in Siberia, Russia’s Peter the Great introduced a copper coin in 1723. The coin would reflect changes in Russia’s economy and trade, withstand the challenges of constant wars, but remain the same for almost 90 years. Be sure to attend this program as Alex tells how 18th century Russian way of life was dramatically changing, which contributed to this change in their monetary system.
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.
|June||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Alexander Basok on Russia’s Copper Coinage System, 1723-1810|
|July||10||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|Aug||10-12||ANA/PNG Pre-Show; details on the PNG Events Calendar at http://www.pngdealers.com/ or http://www.anapreshow.com/|
|Aug||13-17||ANA in Rosemont, at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Admission is free for ANA members — for details, see http://www.worldsfairofmoney.com.|
|Aug||14||A dinner with members of the New York Numismatic Club; in Rosemont. Details to to be announced|
|Aug||17||CCC Meeting - 1pm at the ANA convention,
which is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL.
No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - We are attempting to arrange for someone from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
All correspondence pertaining to Club matters
should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
CHICAGO COIN CLUB
P.O. Box 2301
CHICAGO, IL 60690
|Elliott Krieter||- President|
|Richard Lipman||- First Vice President|
|Marc Stackler||- Second Vice President|
|William Burd||- Archivist|
|Other positions held are:|
|Jeffrey Rosinia||- Immediate Past President|
|Carl Wolf||- Secretary|
|Steve Zitowsky||- Treasurer|
|Paul Hybert||- Chatter Editor|
|Robert Feiler||- ANA Club Representative|
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