|Volume 61 No. 4
Are you ready to attend? If you have questions, any questions at all about the ANA in Rosemont, ask club members at our club table at CICF and CSNS. The ANA web site has the application and rules for Collector Exhibits, giving a presentation, club meetings, and other events. How is your exhibit coming along?
Remember, August 11-15! Email any questions and comments to email@example.com and someone from the local committee will respond.
Session I of the 1155th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held March 7, 2015 in conjunction with the Chicago Paper Money Expo, held at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O‘Hare Hotel, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL. President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM with an attendance of 41 members and 13 guests.
A motion was passed to adopt an abbreviated meeting agenda.
First Vice President Richard Lipman introduced the featured speaker, Steve Feller of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who spoke on Money of American Internment Camps. After a question and answer period, Rich presented Steve with an ANA Educational Certificate and engraved Club medal with neck ribbon.
Upcoming featured programs before the Club were announced.
A souvenir sheet of the Douglass National Bank, Chicago’s second African-American bank, was distributed to everyone present.
The meeting was recessed at 2:10 PM, to be re-adjourned at 6:45 PM, Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, 3rd Floor, Downtown Chicago.
Session II of the 1155th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held March 11, 2015 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Elliott Krieter reconvened the meeting at 6:45 PM with an attendance of 35 members and 1 guest: Mabel Wright, spouse of John Wright.
A motion was passed to accept the February Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported for the month of February revenue of $411.46, expenses of $360.15, net income of $51.31, total assets of $24,619.52 held in Life Membership $1,830.00 and member equity $22,789.52. A motion was passed to accept the report.
First V.P. Rich Lipman introduced featured speaker David Greenstein who delivered a program Learning to Grade in the Age of Plastic. Following many questions and comments, Rich presented David with an engraved speaker medal and ANA Educational Certificate. David announced that Darren Hooper recently joined the staff of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. which was met with a warm round of applause.
Archivist Bill Burd introduced 13 exhibitors. EUGENE FREEMAN – 1750 24-Skilling Norway under Denmark rule, and a 1919 Algerian 10-centimes; PHIL CARRIGAN – 1803 and 1853 U.S. Half Cents; JEFF AMELSE – box of flat wooden nickels, WWII propaganda leaflets, and a Lusitania medal; Bill Burd – medal honoring Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen; DEVEN KANE – one ancient Greek coin and three coins from the India area; MARK WIECLAW – an encapsulated 1963 Washington Quarter, 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars, and a tetradrachm from Roman Egypt; KEVIN O’BRIEN – 1840 $2½ and 1857 $5 U.S. gold coins; SHARON BLOCKER – three fantasy notes from China; ROBERT LEONARD – Thracian tribal imitation of hemi drachm of Parion, Mysia; RICHARD LIPMAN – 1779 South Carolinian $70 note, Douglass National Bank Note, and two $2 star notes; ADAM OLSZEWSKI – coin from Roman Emperor Caligula (37-41 AD); DARREN HOOPER – 2004-D high and low leaf Wisconsin Commemorative Quarters; ANDREW MICHYETA – 1914 2-Kroner from Norway.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:08 PM.
Carl Wolf, Secretary
a presentation by Steve Feller,
to our March 7, 2015 meeting
Although the main part of the program would be civilian camps from World War II, Steve mentioned there would be a quick mention of military camps, and he would slip in new details from another topic. There were a number of different types of camps for civilians, and each was run by a different department of the national government. The enemy alien camp system was operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and this was intended to hold foreign civilians until they could be swapped for US citizens detained by foreign governments.
Steve and his daughter Ray are active researchers of camp money, and the presentation started with recent photos of them at the site of the camp at Crystal City, Texas, the largest of the many camps for enemy aliens, and the only one that specialized in families. It was located 40 miles north of Mexico in southwest Texas, in the middle of nowhere; before the war, a small government camp for migrant farm workers was there. There are few visible signs remaining from the camp, but some historical signs have been erected around the old site — one of the signs shows round red and green tokens used at the camp, bearing the legend ALIEN DETENTION • STATION • CRYSTAL CITY • TEXAS on the shown side. These tokens were struck not from metal but from some fiber material. The following slides of both sides of a green token shows it to be worth $5.00, while the color red was used on $1.00 and 1¢ tokens. More slides showed both sides of a simple blueish-gray 5¢ token with the denomination on one side and DEPT. OF JUSTICE • INTERNEE CANTEEN • I. & N. SERVICE on the other side, and then an octagonal 1¢ token with the legend CRYSTAL CITY • CLOTHING TOKEN • INTERNMENT CAMP.
The local area offered some resources for researchers, along with items from the camp, but information also was found in books written by former internees. One cited book was written by an internee born in Brooklyn to German parents — the book covers many slices of life, including such mionetary ones as allowances, the pay rate of 10¢ per hour, and items available in camp stores — the boy and his parents were sent to Germany after the war.
Steve’s research travels also took him to Hunt, Idaho, the site of one of the Japanese American internment camps for American citizens. Camp Minidoka was one of the camps operated by the War Relocation Authority (WRA), and this site now is a national monument. Two years ago Steve listed the numismatic items he would like to find from this camp: ration books, pay checks, co-op loyalty coupons, and War Bonds. The archivist at the site has helped Steve locate these items and many more. We saw unemployment compensation claim forms, the by-laws of the consumer co-op, photos of the business operating in the camp, monthly mess-hall meal tickets, and even receipts for dry cleaning. This just scratches the surface of what is available, whether in government archives or in private hands.
Not all of their travels for new material has taken them far from home. A cross state trip to Algona, Iowa took Steve to the site of a base camp for POWs — where he talked to locals who remembered the camp. About 15,000 were assigned to the base camp, with sub-camps located around Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Government records show three different series of money for this camp. Of the approximate 500 main POW camps located in the US, 150 are known to have used some sort of money. The money used in POW camps was simple paper scrip; the prisoners could work for some small wages, and could spend the money at camp stores; When they were returned to Europe after the war, each POW was issued a US check for unused camp money.
A recent purchase on eBay was a meal ticket from the Sto Tomas camp in Manila, the Japanese operated camp for civilians that was featured in the recent Ken Burns documentary on WWII. It also came with an innoculation certificate, dated one year earlier, from Shanghai. These items, others, and details found on the web tell the story of a European couple who fled to China, then to the Philippines in late 1941, and then to Australia after the war.
There are many stories out there, and much numismatic information waiting to be discovered. We wish Steve and Ray success in finding more of them, and we look forward to the day when we can read the second edition of their book on camp monies of WWII.
a presentation by David Greenstein,
to our March 11, 2015 meeting
The grade of a coin is an opinion — nothing more, nothing less. Maybe one person’s opinion, or that of a group. As with any opinions, the best are a product of experience. David started his presentation with a history of grading, and then he told some stories from his experience.
Condition aways has been important to valuing coins. For many years, collectors used just a few adjectives to describe a coin’s amount of wear. A 70-point grading scale was developed by Dr. Sheldon in 1949; the numerical grade reflected a coin’s value, with a coin grading 60 worth six times a coin grading 10, three times a coin grading 20, and twice a coin grading 30. That reflected the 1949 pricing for US Large Cents. In that scale, a perfect piece was worth 70 times a piece that was just barely identifiable. A lot has happened since then, and the idea of a 70-point scale has been carried over to grading all denominations, both metal and paper. Needless to say, the price ratio of two coins is no longer the grade ratio.
In 1972, ANACS began the era of third party grading. This was a welcomed development, as it was an answer to overgraded and problem coins. A photo certificate indicating the grade was issued, and the possible grades for an uncirculated coin, originally limited to 60, 65, or 70, were expanded to include 63 and 67.
In 1985, PCGS was founded as an alternative to ANACS, and started encapsulating coins in plastic. The goal was to prevent manipulation of a coin after it was graded, and the plastic holders went through revisions. The goal was to create a sight unseen market for coins, and it was generally achieved. NGC was founded in 1987 to offer another opinion — it also created competition in the market. Soon, all numbers from 60 through 70 were being used, and a plus mark was added to most of the numbers after 2010. Which begs the question, “Can you really tell the difference between 18 grades of mint state?”
What does it take to be a good grader? Good vision and good lighting are quick and simple to obtain, but the challenge is gaining the other two areas mentioned by David: 20 years of experience, and a good mentor. Since childhood, David has been going to a downtown coin shop, Harlan J. Berk’s on Clark, where would sort coins — at age 12, he sorted 15,000 Buffalo nickels from Uncirculated to no-date. And the mentoring role was filled by Tom DeLorey, formerly of ANACS. David started working there fulltime in 2005, and assumed grading responsibility of all raw coins in 2010.
Useful tools and techniques include grading sets, direct comparison, understanding the minting process (some coins are just ugly or poorly struck — the 1945 Merc duime was cited as weakly struck), and hueristics such as knowing what luster, lusterbreaks, and wear look like.
The two most common styles of grading are technical and market. Technical grading is based on absolutes: for a given grade, so many marks allowed, a certain amount of this allowed, a certain amout of that allowed, … period; ignore toning and certain other attributes. Market grading takes into account eye appeal — here, price produces the grade; toning, luster, and surfaces influence the grade.
What style do you follow when grading? What style do you expect an experienced grader to follow? What are the “market acceptable” problems with a particular coin? Can you, in good conscience, sell a coin while not listing a problem that exists but now is viewed as market acceptable? And finally, will the grading service grade it technically or for the market? After he posed those questions to us, David presented some of the current grading challenges he sees within US coins.
First were some observations about the line between AU58 and MS62 coins. Now it might be possible to find a 58 coin that is priced higher than a 62 coin. There is a slight difference between a weakly struck with no wear and a sharply struck coin with a little wear; if the grader is not totally focused, oops. Light circulation might also appear as cleaning, so that is another aspect for the grader to consider. If an old 58 now goes into a 62 holder, could an old 62 now go into a 63 or 64 holder? David also discussed other challenges such as $2½ and $5 Indians, and the MS/PR70 grade; we do not have enough space here for all the details, so if your interest include those areas, chat with David the next time you see him at the shop or a show.
One of the hardest aspects of grading is consistency — grading many coins of the same type is better than jumping between different types of coins. Other challenges to proper grading are fatigue, time constraints, familiarity with the series, and any recently seen coins. Some people believe that the grading standards are a moving target. While in the 1980s an MS64 coin had a slight chance of being given a grade of either MS63 or MS65, now the chance of obtaining an MS63 or MS65 grade might be higher.
To assure collectors that the coin deserves the grade on the slab, stickers have been introduced under various brand names: QC✓, Wings, and CAC (by John Albanese). David likes this opportunity to match his opinion against John’s, who he considers to be a top grader. The grading of world coins by NGC and PCGS is an evolving area, facing challenges such as hundreds of countries and a long history of coin issuance. World coin registry sets and authenticity concerns are driving the acceptance of slabbing in the world coin market.
David concluded the program with things you would not have heard at a show 8 years ago:
With regret we report the passing of Phyllis Johnson on March 1, 2015. She was 91 years old.
Phyllis was a 1941 graduate of Waller High School (now Lincoln Park High School), attended Northwestern University, and worked for many years at Draper and Kramer. She joined in 1988 and became member 1004. She was the beloved friend and long-time companion of member William Holm. Phyllis did not collect, but always enjoyed the historical aspects of the meeting, exhibits, and programs.
Carl Wolf, Secretary
|Chicago Coin Company
|Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.
Items shown at our March 11, 2015 meeting,
March 18, 2015
The fourth meeting of the 2015 ANA Convention Committee was held March 18, 2015 in the offices of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago. Host Chairman, Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 6 PM with the following committee members in attendance: Steve Zitowsky, Mark Wieclaw, Bill Burd, Harlan Berk, Melissa Gumm, Marc Stackler, Eugene Freeman, Dale Lukanich, and Carl Wolf.
Harlan was thanked again for providing a meeting place, dinner, and parking vouchers.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:26 PM.
Carl Wolf, Secretary
|April 8, 2015, First session
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. Members start arriving at 5pm.
— The Basics of Numismatic Exhibiting
The Chicago Coin Club motto, Docendo Discimus, is Latin for “We Learn by Teaching.” Our members clearly practice this, and it is the largest contributing factor in our strong verbal exhibits at monthly meetings. Putting together a case exhibit at a convention is another form of numismatic teaching. Jeff has plenty of experience with exhibiting, and is the perfect person to explain the basics. For years Jeff took notes on other winning exhibits and researched the internet for tips and guidance. This motivated him to build exhibits on Susan B. Anthony Dollars, Kennedy Half Dollars, First National Bank of Chicago Memorabilia, Coin Savers, March of Dimes Holders, etc. Everyone can expect to leave with a handout which will serve as a map to discover a new twist to “We Learn by Teaching.” If you have never put together a case exhibit, then time to try it. Remember — it is another form of numismatic teaching to add to your list of qualifications.
|April 11, 2015, Second session
|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.
on Roman Coinage of 238 AD — The Year of Seven Caesars
Seven men served as Caesar in 238 AD, the darkest year in all Roman history. It was the beginning of a long period of instability made worse by a decline in the fortunes of the Empire and the gradual expansion of European enemies into Roman territory. Each appointment to rule was soon followed by assassination due in large part to the rivalry between the Senate and the praetorian guards. Each group felt it was their right to proclaim the new Caesar. The rapid transition took only four months, but they left behind coinage with the image of each ruler. Be sure to attend this unique presentation and hear the stories of revenge and intrigue played out while viewing images of the coinage.
|April 25, 2015, Third session
|At the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Convention, which is held at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL.
|Robert D. Evans, Chief Scientist & Historian of the S.S. Central America Project,
on Radiating Sun — The First U.S. Money Made in California — $50 Gold
The discovery of gold in California was perhaps the most significant event in our nation’s economic history. The massive amount of gold extracted from California’s hills and streams during 1848-50 was overwhelming. Local commerce quickly became a mess, all coins were in short supply, and citizens used measured gold dust to make everyday purchases. In 1850 the Federal Government sent Augustus Humbert to San Francisco to act as the United States assayer. His order — begin to issue standardized gold coins to stabilize the price of gold. Attend this meeting and hear stories of the wondrous and tumultuous Gold Rush Era. Bob Evans has studied many high-grade specimens of these gold pieces. A particular specimen in private hands, where the reverse side is engraved, not struck, might possibly be the “first” $50 gold piece made. This program covers a unique era of American history, discovery of gold and the issuance of large gold coins. Be sure to mark your schedule. You don’t want to miss it!
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.
|CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Jeffrey Rosinia on The Basics of Numismatic Exhibiting
|40th 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, http://www.cicfshow.com.
|International Primitive Money Society Meeting - 11am 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 this meeting.
Featured Speaker - Bruce Smith on Siamese Porcelain Gambling Tokens
|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 - John Wright on Roman Coinage of 238 AD — The Year of Seven Caesars
|76th 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, http://www.centralstates.info/conv.html.
|CCC Meeting - 1pm at the CSNS Convention,
which is held at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
Featured Speaker - Robert D. Evans on Radiating Sun — The First U.S. Money Made in California — $50 Gold
|CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
|CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Jeffrey Paunicka on Currency Doctoring Detection
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CHICAGO COIN CLUB
P.O. Box 2301
CHICAGO, IL 60690
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