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Volume 60 No. 8 August 2014

ANA in Chicago

The planning work is done — all that remains is the final setup. Trying to determine the best day to attend? Look at the online Schedule for the latest details; it can be found at

I welcome, for the September Chatter, reports from any of the events, meetings, or presentations that you attended — report on the details, atmosphere, or whatever struck you. The ANA will return here in the summer 2015, and then it is off to Anaheim, California in 2016, and Denver, Colorado in 2017 — sites farther in the future have not been announced.

Remember, August 5-9!

Minutes of the 1147th Meeting

The 1147th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held July 9, 2014 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 29 members and 3 guests: Ed Kedzie, Andy He, and Paul Keyser.

A motion was passed to accept the June Minutes as published in the Chatter, with the following correction:
• What read “Die charges are $2,200 and will be partially offset by donations.”
• Should read: “A motion was passed authorizing the Treasurer to pay $2,200 for die charges which will be also offset by donations.”

Treasurer Steve Zitowsky gave a detailed report for the month of June: revenue of $40,591.00, expenses of $29,976.52, net income of $10,614.48, total assets of $35,230.62 held in Life Membership $2,110.00 and member equity $33,120.62. After several questions, a motion was passed to accept his report.

The application for membership of Chuck Prock received a second reading and a motion was passed to accept him into the Club. The application of Paul Keyser received first reading.

Under Old Business:

No New Business was conducted.

The Secretary announced the featured program for the Club’s meeting, Saturday, August 9, 1 PM at the ANA Convention, will be Robert Hurst on Recovered Coins from the Sunken 1715 Treasure Fleet. The September 10 program will be given by Dr. Lawrence J. Lee, of Lincoln, NE on 110 coins archaeologically recovered from Fort Atkinson (1819-1827), the first U.S. settlement west of the Mississippi.

David Greenstein was introduced as the evening’s featured speaker and delivered a program Coin Conservation and Doctoring. Following a question-and-answer period, David was presented with an engraved medal and ANA Educational Certificate.

Second V.P. Marc Stackler introduced the evening’s ten exhibitors. JOHN CONNOLLY: medals from 75th Anniversary of Granite City, IL; EUGENE FREEMAN: coins from micro nations of Sealand, Redonda and Westarctica; JAMES M. McMENAMIN: 3 Panamanian coins; PHIL CARRIGAN: Henri Ripstra tokens; DALE LUKANICH: 2 counterfeit bank notes; MARK WIECLAW: 3 ancient Roman coins and a two page ad from the Chicago Sun-Times selling “unsearched” rolls of coins; STEPHEN HUBER: auction catalog Richard L. Lissner Collecton; ROBERT LEONARD: series of nine Japanese Sen coin types; ROBERT FEILER: ancient stater from Aigina, and replica set of coins of the twelve Caesars; and MARC STACKLER: Bonos Electorales pro-Almazan.

Mark Wieclaw, inspired by the evening’s program, spoke briefly on the conservation and repair of ancient oil lamps.

The meeting was adjorned at 8:44 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Coin Conservation and Doctoring: Black, White, and 51 Shades of Grey

a presentation by David Greenstein,
to our July 9, 2014 meeting

This is a controversial issue among collectors of modern coins — loosely defined as coins minted after 1500. At the start, David warned us that there is very little agreement as to the definition of the terms. As for motivation — that is simple — it boils down to money.

The collectors of expensive modern coins prefer original, unaltered pieces. Such modern coins actually exist — think of the original bags of Morgan dollars — but the odds diminish as the coin’s age increases. Since a coin cannot tell us what has been done to it, we have to use our eyes and knowledge to make the decision. Just as the definition of “original” can be debated, it can be hard to tell if a coin is original.

The grading services require a coin to have a certain amount of originality in order for the coin to be graded. In the marketplace, where original equals desirable, strictly original coins can trade at big premiums, while coins with “problems” trade at significant discounts (maybe as deep as 90% to 95% for damaged and severely altered coins). The above point is valid across all grades, but the recent popularity of registry sets has increased the desirability of coins in the highest grades possible. As more money enters the marketplace, coin doctoring, or suspicions of it, increases.

Some things are generally acceptable to do to a coin, and some things are not. Most believe a soak in pure acetone, followed by a rinse in distilled water, is acceptable; this removes material that is not chemically bonded to the coin’s metal. But be sure to use pure acetone — the laboratory grade stuff, without any trace metals — and in a well ventilated space.

The Professional Numimatists Guild considered the matter. PNG’s try in 2011 at a definition of doctoring, a detailed three page product from a large committee, was rejected by the membership; as David described it to us, the multitudes of detailed scenarios could be fodder for lawyers, but did not quickly yield clear and concise answers. A second attempt, written by David and two others, was approved by a clear majority — it was simple, consisting of only three points. The first two points were easy: no movement, addition, or altering of metal is allowed; no adding of any substance to improve appearance or value is allowed. Last to the list was: no intentional exposure that imparts toning is allowed.

There are some generally accepted practices that might seem to get close to the above three points. Such as dipping and point two; and coin holder toning and point three. Dipping refers to the use of a dilute acid to remove toning from a coin; this results in the removal of a very thin layer of material, both coin metal and some toning, from a coin. Most collectors want their silver coins bright white. When done once and by an experienced hand, the resulting coin is acceptable by the grading services; repeatedly dipping a coin will result in obvious signs on the coin, a coin which the grading services will only place in a slab marked “environmental damage.”

Since the characteristic toning produced from a long stay in a paper envelope or a cardboard album is acceptable in the market, efforts have been made in toning coins. To avoid running afoul of the third point above, placing the dipped coin in an album or envelope for awhile is okay, but efforts that involve smearing some concoction on a coin, and then baking it, are bad. In other words, subjecting a coin to more of the usual storage and handling is acceptable; everything beyond that is wrong. What about putty? David showed us a picture of an 1879 Stella (a U.S. $4 gold coin) with discoloration on Liberty’s face, from forehead down to the neck. He identified it as due to putty, and he sold it with full disclosure to another dealer. Full disclosure, of all you know, is needed whenever selling something.

David has not seen everything yet — for example, the rumored lasering process; some say it is used to remove hairlines from proof gold coins. But he has seen many things, and showed us some examples. He has seen the results of excessive dipping (by a product such as Jewel Luster); a washed-out appearance on circulated coins can result. Using ammonia can leave the coin with a terrible odor, as well as a dull and washed out white that is similar in appearance to that from using Jewel Luster. Baking Soda is a product that can be a good tool as well as a bad tool. After dipping a coin and rinsing it with water, any residual traces of acid can result in problems; here, using baking soda to neutralize any remaining acid is a good tool. But rubbing and scouring a coin with an abrasive such as baking soda is a bad tool.

The grading services are careful when evaluating a coin with heavy toning, as there is no certain way of telling if there are any marks (from either honest wear or scratches from mishandling) on the coin. Will dipping improve the look of a coin? You do not know ahead of time. It happens often enough to keep the practice alive. Dave showed us a picture of an 1870-CC half dollar, with dark mottled toning and in an AU58 NGC slab, that had been sold for $54,000. Then he showed a picture of the same coin after dipping, now white and in an MS61 slab, and he told us it sold for $88,000. Or consider the tale of a 1923-S Standing Liberty quarter that had been in stock for years, slabbed as MS65FH — they sent it in four times for regrading, but it came back the same — they sold the coin to someone who dipped and resubmitted it — it graded MS66FH on the first try — after an auction appearance, the new owner submitted it — now it is in MS66+FH plastic.

David also covered a number of practices related to copper coins, both from the commercial side and from the Carly American Coppers (EAC) club side — but unfortunately my deadline for writing this is near. New to me was how the commercially available coin detergent named MS70 is fairly safe on gold and silver coins, but leaves a copper coin with a purple or blue toning. Even though it is artificial, it is accepted: some collectors love it, the grading services slab it, and CAC will sticker BROWN slabs with this appearance. All because some proof Indian Head cents came by the toning naturally, from original shipping paper?

David concluded by stating there are no conclusions — it all comes down to personal preferences. But numismatics might never reach the stage of restoration and repair as found in the art world.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our July 9, 2014 meeting,
reported by Marc Stackler

  1. John Connolly showed a set of Granite City medals:
    1. They were struck for the Granite City, IL diamond jubilee — anniversary year 1971.
    2. Three medals were made: bronze, silver, and gold-on-silver. They depict park service activities on the reverse.
    3. The gold-on-silver is considered scarce.
  2. Eugene Freeman talked about 3 items “issued” by unrecognized states. Unrecognized states, also called “micro nations,” are where someone formed their own nation by simply buying or occupying previously unoccupied land. Their coinage can aptly be called fantasy pieces (if not vanity pieces!).
    1. Principality of Sealand: 1994 dollar. “Sealand” is a former gunnery platform in the English Channel, where during WWII it was used for defending the UK. The UK sued the “prince,” but he won based on the fact that the platform was so far off the coast that it was in international waters.
    2. Redonda, $10 2009, depicting Christopher Columbus. It is an uninhabited island in the Caribbean, which indeed Columbus did discover in 1493. It is basically a large, round rock and at one time a source of guano (for fertilizer).
    3. West Arctica, 25 cents 2008 (set of 4). The coins are shaped as equal-sized triangles, so when fit together they form a square. At the center of the resulting square is the figure “$1”.
  3. Jim McMenamin presented 3 items:
    1. 1904 “Panama Pill” 2½ centesimos (0.900 fine silver, 1.25g), given to Jim by his great aunt.
    2. 1904 Panama 50 centesimos (0.900 fine silver, 25g).
    3. 1962 Panama cuarto de balboa (0.900 fine silver, 6.25g), the size and fineness of a US quarter.
  4. Phil Carrigan displayed 2 Abraham Lincoln tokens made by J. Henry Ripstra. They are aluminum, dime-size tokens struck for the Lincoln Group of Chicago, 1939 Central States convention.
  5. Dale Lukanich revisited 2 bank notes:
    1. $3 Bull’s Head Bank, New York, dated 1863, obsolete/broken bank. It is a contemporary counterfeit.
    2. $5 First National Bank of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, 1865. It is also a contemporary counterfeit, this time of a national bank note. Dale pointed out that the note had incorrect bank numbers, which the counterfeiters tried to wash out.
  6. Mark Wieclaw brought these items:
    1. A 2-page ad from the Sun Times for awarding some lucky person(s) “unsearched” bags of US coins. The ad had a glaring error: a photo of a supposed 1908-S Indian cent is missing the mintmark!
    2. Silver quinarius (half of a denarius) from the Roman Republic era, 211-210 BC. The quinarius is marked with a V (5), whereas a contemporary denarius would have an X (10).
    3. Silver sestertius (half of a quinarius) from the Roman Republic era, 214-213 BC, 1.6g.
    4. Bronze sestertius from the Roman Imperial era, Maximinus I, 235-238 AD, 22g.
  7. Steve Huber showed The Richard L. Lissner catalog, a collection being auctioned by 3 houses in early August 2014 at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare. The collection contains many outstanding coins, ranging in value from the low hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.
  8. Bob Leonard brought examples of Japanese 1 Sen coins, 1882-1945 (end of series). When introduced, the 1 Yen coin was similar to the US silver dollar (1903 issue shown). Its 100th part, the Sen (for cent), was a substantial copper coin similar to a Canadian large cent. It was later made of bronze and the size reduced, but was still larger than a Lincoln cent. With the advent of World War II, however, the 1 Sen was reduced in size and switched to aluminum. In 1941 it was made even smaller, and later the thickness was reduced too. Composition was changed to tin in 1944; later that year, with the US closing in, undated 1 Sen coins of chocolate-color and red porcelain were baked. Never officially released due to the Japanese surrender August 15, 1945, some circulated for one day in Osaka. These intrinsically-worthless coins close out the 1 Sen series.
  9. Bob Feiler showed 2 recent acquisitions:
    1. Early stater of Aegina, 510-490 BC, with a sea turtle on the obverse. There is a banker’s mark (essentially a chop mark) on the turtle’s shell.
    2. Framed set of replicas of ancient coins: The Twelve Caesars.
  10. Marc Stackler showed 2 electoral campaign donation receipts from 1940.
    1. $1 and $5 pesos, for the presidential campaign of Juan Andreu Almazan.
    2. Almazan was active in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), becoming a general, and afterwards becoming a wealthy businessman. During the revolution, he changed allegiances many times. Almazan lost the 1940 presidential election. He tried to instigate a military coup, but was rebuffed when asking for US support. His coup went nowhere, so he went into retirement. Among the revolutionary leaders who Almazan supported, opposed, or alternately supported and opposed, he was one of the few who managed to avoid a violent death. There’s something to be said for remaining flexible.

Minutes of the 2014 Chicago ANA Convention Committee

July 16, 2014

The ninth meeting of the 2014 Chicago ANA Convention Committee was called to order at 6:00 PM by Assistant Host Chairman Jeffrey Rosinia on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in the offices of Harlan J. Berk Ltd., 77 W. Washington, Downtown Chicago. The following members were present: Paul Hybert, Sharon Blocker, Marc Stackler, Dale Lukanich, Steve Zitowsky, Eugene Freeman, Elliott Krieter, Mark Wieclaw, Scott McGowan, and Carl Wolf

  1. Jeff Rosinia welcomed everyone to the meeting and called for a round of applause for Harlan Berk who was absent, but who provided the meeting site, parking vouchers, and hosting the dinner.
  2. Committee Reports
    1. Pages Elliott Krieter (Rich Lipman absent) ANA reported 22 YNs have registered.
    2. Scouts Mmdash; Eugene Freeman
      1. Registrations are currently ahead of last year’s.
      2. All Scout Councils were contacted in Illinois, eastern Iowa, western Indiana, Michigan, southern Wisconsin, and eastern Missouri.
    3. Ambassadors — Carl Wolf
      1. Volunteers continue to enroll.
      2. A large number of collectors are expected for the U.S. Mint Kennedy half dollar release, and the ANA asked for
        1. 2-3 volunteers to be assigned to bring order to the waiting line.
        2. 7:30AM 1PM.
        3. Tuesday Saturday.
      3. Showed a special designed clipboard and shoulder bag for use by volunteers.
    4. Money Talks — Dale Lukanich
      1. The program line up is complete.
      2. The Biographies for introductions will arrive soon.
      3. Has a good group of volunteers to help with introductions.
    5. Collector Exhibits — Paul Hybert
      1. The total number of exhibit applications are up over 2013.
      2. Gave an update on the hours for set-up, award ceremony, etc.
  3. Speaker Medals — Carl Wolf
    1. Medals for 29 speakers are already engraved.
    2. Expect the remaining list from ANA soon.
    3. Neck ribbons have arrived and are ready for attachment.
  4. Miscellaneous:
    1. Recent arrivals for the Silent Auction during the Cocktail Hour/Banquet included: Autographed baseballs from the Chicago Cubs, and art glass, and more is coming from the ANA.
    2. Steve Zitowsky requested more coins to give to YNs at the Club Table.

Club President Elliott Krieter thanked everyone for all the work and time they put into planning for the event.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:21 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary
Chicago Coin Club

Our 1148th Meeting

Date:August 9, 2014, First session
Time:1:00 PM
Location:On the last day of the ANA Convention, which is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for anyone on the last day of the convention.
Featured speaker:Bob Hurst — Treasures from the 1715 Spanish Fleet

On July 31, 1715 a hurricane sunk 11 treasure-laden Spanish galleons off the coast of Florida, near present day Vero Beach. Over 1,000 people perished and a fortune in gold, silver, and jewels was lost. Spain recovered some of the treasure, but a great deal was left on the ocean floor. Coins are still recovered today almost 300 years later! This program is for those who love stories of finding lost treasures. Be prepared to see images of fantastic coins, and hear unbelievable recovery stories. Bob Hurst is from Florida, and purchased and sold these treasure coins for 20 years. His presentation includes photos of coins housed in the Florida State Museum Collection. Mark your calendar and be prepared to be amazed!

Souvenir Card:

Everyone attending the Saturday Chicago Coin Club meeting at the upcoming ANA convention will receive a souvenir card and history of the tickets from the Columbian Exposition in 1893. The ticket displaying an American Indian Chief is courtesy of Heritage Auction Archives. Only 100 consecutively numbered cards will be issued. After distribution at the meeting, the remaining cards will be sold for $5.00 each ($1.00 for postage if ordering by mail).

Date:August 13, 2014, Second session
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 $33 is reduced to $9 if you eat at the Plymouth Restaurant, 327 S. Plymouth Court (next to our meeting site at the CBA) — show the restaurant your parking ticket, and ask 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 Berghoff Restaurant, located on Adams, just west of State.
Featured speaker:to be announced

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.

August 2-4 PNG/ANA Numismatic Tradeshow. Admission by invitation or $6; details on the PNG Events Calendar at
August 5-9 ANA in Rosemont, at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Admission is free for ANA members — for details, see
August 6 Chicago Coin Club 95th Anniversary dinner, in Rosemont. This is not a full meeting — it is a social event for members and guests: $50 per person, reception starting at 6PM, and dinner starting at 7PM. Cliff Mishler will speak on The Importance of Clubs in Numismatics. More details will be announced.
August 8 IPMS Meeting - 2-4pm at the ANA convention, which is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Scheduled to present:
Dr. Leon Saryan on Money in Armenia Prior to the Introduction of Coinage
Robert D. Leonard, Jr. on Viking Hacksilver
Bruce Smith on Discovery of Zinc (circa. 1400 AD) & the Role it Plays in Identifying Primitive Money Forgeries
Karl Mayle on Counterfeit Detection Using Handheld X-Ray Spectrometer
August 9 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 - Bob Hurst on Treasures from the 1715 Spanish Fleet
August 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
September 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Dr. Lawrence J. Lee on Archaeologically Recovered Coins from Fort Atkinson (1819-1827)
September 11-13 ILNA convention at the Holiday Inn-Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Road, Tinley Park, IL 60477. Details, including a schedule of groups and speakers, will be available at

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

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