Volume 61 No. 7 July 2015

1 Month until ANA in Chicago

The deadlines are past for applying to the ANA for speaking, meeting, and exhibiting at the ANA summer convention in Rosemont — look for time and program details later in July on the ANA’s web site,

Carl Wolf is looking for volunteers to work during the show. He anticipates a free daily parking voucher for each volunteer who works at least four hours on that day. Contact Carl at for more details — we do not need to know your schedule now, so email Carl before you forget.

Remember, August 11-15! Email any questions and comments to and someone from the local committee will respond.

Minutes of the 1158th Meeting

The 1158th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held June 10, 2015 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 32 members and 1 guest, Wally Losiniecki.

A motion was passed to accept the May Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported May revenue $100.00, expenses $1,439.27, net income -$1,339.27, total assets $23,915.92 held in Life Membership $1,830.00 and member equity $22,085.92. A motion was passed to accept the report.

The membership application of Mark Schechter received a second reading and a motion was passed to accept him into the Club. A letter of resignation from Joe Paonessa was read. President Krieter announced that member Jim Davis was the recipient of ANA President Ostromecki’s “Points of Numismatic Light Program,” for his work in local numismatics. The membership gave Jim a warm round of applause.

Mark Wieclaw proposed that, during the ANA Convention, the Club hold a joint social dinner with the New York Numismatic Club on Wednesday, August 12 at Fogo De Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, 5460 Park Place, Rosemont, IL. After a discussion, a motion was passed to approve the dinner at a cost of $90 each, which would include a special issue medal honoring both clubs.

Melissa Gumm reported the deadline for ANA Convention exhibit application is Friday, June 19th. Steve Zitowsky reported that the Club’s ANA Election Ballot arrived and, according to tradition, the ballot was cast for Club members only, which included: Steve D’Ippolito, Governor, and Walter Ostromecki, Governor.

Harold Eckardt announced the Elgin Coin Club Fall Show, October 25th, at the Moose Lodge, 925 S. McLean Blvd., Elgin, IL.

It was announced that the Club’s 2015 ANA Convention medal arrived and was on sale at $20. The custom acrylic frame holding the four recent (2011, ’13, ’14, and ’15) medals also arrived, and was on sale for $100. Members were told to clean the acrylic with standard eyeglass cleaner and microfiber cloths.Standard window cleaner and paper towels will scratch the acrylic.

First V.P. Richard Lipman introduced featured speaker Jeffrey Paunicka who spoke on “Currency Doctoring Detection.” Following many questions, Rich presented Jeff with an ANA Educational Certificate and engraved Club medal on a neck ribbon.

Second V.P. Marc Stackler introduced the eleven exhibitors for the evening. Phil Carrigan: 1949 Harry S. Truman inaugural medal. Richard Hamilton: Packard Car Company stock certificate and photo of 1939 Packard. Mark Wieclaw: tetradrachm of Eumenes I, 263-241 BC, from Pergamum and a stater from Lycia, Telmessos issued of Dynast Kherei, 410-390 BC. Deven Kane: two coins from the Kingdom of Georgia and two from Cilician Armenia. Bob Feiler: repairs to a bill shown last month, souvenir and obsolete notes, and archival encapsulation of paper items with samples and hand-outs. Jeff Amelse: “Cuds on Coins” on “Nickel 3-cent Pieces.” Adam Olszewski: two books on ancient roman coins, written by Daniele Leoni, about the coins of Trajan and Nero. Dale Lukanich: 1, 2, and 3-oz Byzantine merchant weights. Jim Davis: 3 tokens representing an attempt to substitute metallic barter for US currency. Drew Micheyta: 2 Coblenz coins from 1918, 1943 British silver florin, and Mexican 1 Peso. Richard Lipman: coin and currency-related items.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:48 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Currency Doctoring Detection

a presentation by Jeffrey Paunicka,
to our June 10, 2015 meeting

Following a short pop quiz on faces and buildings that appeared on small-size US paper money since 1928, Jeffrey quizzed us on people, events, and signatures that appeared on 19th century and colonial notes. Why? To highlight the differences between collections and accumulations: collections are disciplined, organized, well managed, and collectors research and study their material — they know things, and they want to know more about their material.

When there is a large price jump as the quality of a given item increases, there is the motivation to increase the item’s perceived condition. Collectors should be aware of the various improvement techniques, not only to avoid overpaying for an item, but also to avoid a time bomb — an improperly treated item might contain residues that can slowly degrade the item!

Although the PNG defined what “Doctoring” means with regards to coins in 2012, the paper money market has de facto understandings. Jeffrey’s definition is, “Intentional alteration with any chemicals, substances, or processes which makes the note appear to be in a better shape of preservation or more valuable than it otherwise would be.”

This program would not cover the new polymer notes, now issued by more than 29 countries — just paper money. Well, not really paper money, because there is no paper in US money, just 25% linen and 75% cotton, along with small silk threads. Have you ever seen a store clerk use a yellow marker on an offered note, and seen a bright yellow mark appear? The mark would have been dark in the presence of the starch in cellulose — there is no cellulose in linen or cotton, but all paper contains cellulose. Jeffrey quickly reviewed the other current anti-counterfeiting measures now used in US paper money, including the security stripe that glows under ultraviolet light — a different color for each denomination: blue for $5, orange for $10, green for $20, yellow for $50, and red for $100.

Watermarks are not a new anti-counterfeiting measure — they were used in some of our colonial issues from the 1700s, and Jeffrey used the term candling to refer to the act of holding a note up to a bright light to see the watermark. Why should we care about all these characteristics of genuine notes? Because some enhancement treatments can have an adverse effect on one or more of the characteristics of a genuine note!

Condition is a key factor in determining the value of a note, and collectors want originality, too. Circulated notes exhibit wear in a number of ways, including bends, folds, wrinkles, corner bumps, and filth. Some people have tried to remove these wear indications, in an effort to improve the apparent condition of a note. For example, washing a note in water causes the fibers to swell, and can result in a fuzzy appearance on the edges. Solvents are used to remove tape and its residue — some work fast with minimal ink bleeding, some are slow acting with little residue, and some are to reactive on inks. Jeffrey finds his chemistry studies very useful here.

The PVC damage from using the wrong holders can leave a note with a greasy or translucent appearance. Jeffrey showed before and after images of an acetone bath: ink colors lost and faded.

Common detergents have been used to improve notes. They might contain optical brightening agents (OBAs), fluorescent brightening agents (FBAs), or fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs), but the end result is the same: they enhance the appearance of paper colors, by making materials look less yellow by reflecting more blue light. Bleach also is used to brighten a note, as well as removing mold spots originating from high humidity environments. The result could have a “too clean” appearance, with ink worn off of folds but without any soil on the folds; and there is danger from any bleach that was not neutralized.

The fast acting Whink brand of Rust Remover might sound, at first, as a great fix for that note with rust stains from a paper clip. Rust is bad for paper, and if left untreated, it will eat through notes — just look at the 19th century notes signed in ink that contained iron — holes are in the note where the ink used to be. Unfortunately, Whink contains hydrofluoric acid — so some followup steps are definitely needed, maybe even twice because, after all, it is your money. On the large notes from before 1928, acid can cause the reverse green ink to turn blue. Avoid these notes, because the acid might still be present, silently working away on the note.

Notes that have bends and folds can be pressed, to give the appearance of being uncirculated. By holding the note up to a strong light source, the candling mentioned above, any folds are very noticeable. Pressing also removes some originality from a note — the embossing of seals and serial numbers is lost during pressing. Some people will try to restore the embossing by pressing on parts of the note. So look for even and complete embossing, but only where it should be! Not all pressing is intentional — for hundreds of years, notes have been stored in bibles, encyclopedias, and other large books, and in the process the notes have been pressed.

A limp note can gain rigidity with starch — simple laundry spray starch, followed up with a hot iron. Look for shiny spots where the starch crystalized. The anticounterfeit pen test would leave a dark mark, a permanent scar, on the note. A tear can be fixed with glue, but candling can detect the added thickness, and the hard or uneven surface can be felt.

One person’s Conservation can be another person’s Presentation Enhancement. Professionals have the tools and experience to make it look good — museums and libraries have used these services for years, and casual detection can be difficult. The work of amateurs can be detected by using smart methods. Know and trust your dealer!

Joint Banquet During ANA Convention

The social gathering of the Chicago Coin Club and New York Numismatic Club will be Wednesday, August 12, 2015. It is limited to members and guests of the two clubs. It will be held at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse located in the entertainment district of Rosemont, a short walk from the convention center and hotels.

Chicago coin club member Mike Gasvoda will speak on his recent purchase of a U.S. 1793 large cent that orbited the earth on Gemini VII in 1965.

Cocktails at 6:00 pm and dinner at 7:00. The cost of dinner is $90, which includes a medal featuring designs from both clubs. A full menu of steaks (3-4 types), lamb chops, chicken, pork, and sausage is offered. There is always at least one type of fish on the salad bar, and special plates can be arranged in advance. Reservations are required, preferably by Friday, August 7. For more information contact Mark Wieclaw or Carl Wolf

Mark Wieclaw

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our June 10, 2015 meeting,
reported by Marc Stackler

  1. Phil Carrigan brought a Harry S. Truman inaugural medal from 1949. It has a copper core with a veneer of an unknown yellow/bronze metal.
  2. Richard Hamilton discussed the Packard Car Company, and showed two items. Packards were first manufactured in 1899 as the Ohio Automobile Company. In 1903 the company moved to Detroit. In the 1950s Packard merged with Studebaker, and in 1958 the company ceased operations.
    1. An orange 70 shares certificate from 1948, signed by the president of the company, George F. Christopher.
    2. A photograph of a 1939 Packard rumble-seat coupe with a V-12 engine.
  3. Mark Wieclaw showed two ancient coins:
    1. A silver tetradrachm of Eumenes I, 263-241 BC, from Pergamum. The obverse has the left-facing head of Philetaerus, and the reverse has Athena seated facing left. The coin has remarkable detail and extremely high relief. Even the Medusa head on Athena’s shield shows all its details.
    2. A silver stater from Lycia, Telmessos issued of Dynast Kherei, 410-390 BC. The obverse has the helmeted head of Athena in normal relief, and the reverse has a bearded head of Herakles wearing a lion-skin headdress, all within an incuse square allowing for a high relief portrait.
    3. Mark also brought his first 2015 coins from each denomination, found in circulation.
  4. Deven Kane presented two coins from the golden age of the Kingdom of Georgia, and two from Cilician Armenia.
    1. A coin from about 1200 AD, of Queen Tamar (1184-1213). A countermark is on the reverse of this 9.61 gram piece cataloged as Bennett 175c. Sadly, this coin may have bronze disease, and may need work. Georgia under Tamar reached the apex of its golden age. She ruled in her own right taking the title King. Her vassals started reclaiming Armenia, the Seljuks of Rum were decisively beaten at the Battle of Basian, and in 1204 Tamar helped her nephews found the Empire of Trebizond.
    2. A 4.54 gram coin of Giorgi IV (1208-1223), either undated or the date is off flan, and cataloged as Bennett 179. Giorgi was proclaimed co-regent on the death of his father, David Soslan,and started his reign with military success. Unfortunately calamity struck in 1221-22 when the first Mongol invasion of the Caucasus took place after their defeat of the Khwarezmian Empire. Giorgi was wounded in battle and died of his wounds at the age of 31, marking the end of the golden age. ,His son David born of a commoner, was passed over in favor of his weak sister Rusudan. In 1226 the Khwarezmians, fleeing the Mongols, sacked Tiblisi. When the Mongols came back a decade later, Georgia submitted without much resistance. On her death in 1245, the country was divided between her nephew and son — both named David.
    3. From Cilician Armenia, a Tram of Hethoum I (1226-1271), cataloged as Bedoukian 942. The obverse shows Hethoum and Zabel, while the reverse shows a lion and cross. Zabel was the daughter and heir of Levon I, the first King of Cilican Armenia. She became queen in 1219 at the age of 3, and was first married to Philip, a son of the Prince of Antioch. Philip proved unpopular and was poisoned, at which point Zabel fled to the Hospitallers and wanted to become a nun. The regent of Armenia, Constantine of Barbacon, wanted her back. The knights did not want to hand her over or alienate him, so they compromised by selling him the castle with Zabel in it! She was forced to marry Constantine’s son Hethoum, who founded the second dynasty of Cilicia. Hethoum spent much of his reign trying to ally with the Mongols, but the Mameluke victory over the Mongols at Ain Jalut dashed these hopes. For the rest of his reign, Armenia was under attack from Egypt which conquered the allied principality of Antioch and by 1292 had eliminated the other crusader kingdoms, apart from Cyprus. Cilician Armenia would finally fall in 1375. The coin is denominated a Tram, which appears to be derived from the Islamic silver Dirham, which in turn was derived from the old Greek drachm.
    4. A copper Tank of Hethoum I, catalogued as Nercessian 357. The obverse shows Hethoum enthroned and holding a cross, while the reverse shows a cross. Deven was not sure if the name is related to the Tankas that were circulating at the same time in India and other parts of the Islamic world.
  5. Bob Feiler’s talk tied into tonight’s featured speaker, repairs to currency.
    1. A brief discussion of legitimate repairs to currency. Bob brought back his 1839 cellophane tape repaired bill from last month, but now the cellophane tape was removed and replaced with archival tape.
    2. A Central States Numismatic Society souvenir $3 bill from the Omaha Coin Club and a real 1857 bill from the Western Exchange Fire and Marine Insurance Company, on which Omaha’s souvenir design was based.
    3. An 1863 $2 confederate bill, quite circulated and repaired with thread.
    4. A blue $5 Holly Springs, Mississippi, unissued remainder printed on a sheet of State of Louisiana unissued bills.
    5. A $20 Georgia Bank of Commerce with a vignette of a family on a river boat.
    6. A brief discussion of archival encapsulation of papers, documents, and certificates. Bob brought samples and hand-outs for those interested.
  6. Jeff Amelse continued his series on “Cuds on Coins” from last month, this time on “Nickel 3-cent Pieces with Cuds and Clashes.” He showed several photos of clashed coins and cuds in various locations (rim, field, etc.), and circulated three coins to the group, including one with bold clashing on both sides, one with a large cud on the reverse, and one with a cud on the obverse.
  7. Adam Olszewski brought two books on ancient Roman coins, written by Daniele Leoni and sold at museums in Rome. The two books were on coins of Trajan and Nero. In all there will be 16 publications, each dedicated to the coins of a different emperor.
  8. Dale Lukanich showed 3 Byzantine merchant weights: 1, 2, and 3-oz. The weights were used to weigh metal/coins for use in commerce. They were marked with the Greek letters alpha, beta, and gamma, which each represent the numbers 1, 2, and 3. An ounce at that time would have been 27.3 grams. The detail on the 3-oz had been silver-filled at one time, but the silver no longer remains.
  9. Jim Davis brought 3 tokens representing an attempt, serious or otherwise, to substitute metallic barter for US currency.
    1. 2007 Norfed liberty silver $20 from the Milwaukee ANA. It was 1-oz, .999 silver.
    2. 2008 1-oz copper $1 Peace/Liberty.
    3. 2009 1-oz copper $1 Tea Party featuring a tea pot and the word TAXES inside a circle with a slash through it.
  10. Drew Micheyta brought 4 items.
    1. The 2 Coblenz coins from 1918, related in a story during last month’s Show and Tell. The coins were 10 and 25 pfennig.
    2. A British silver florin, 1943. (50% silver)
    3. A Mexican 1 Peso, 1943. (.720 silver)
  11. Rich Lipman presented several coin and currency-related items.
    1. Canadian Mint $20 2015, Warner Brother’s theme, this coin featuring Bugs Bunny.
    2. Argentina, modern polymer 100 pesos note, with a vignette of Eva Peron. The note is also on the cover of the most recent SCWPM catalog.
    3. Three Australian notes showing how tastes change in terms of the vignette of the note.
      1. 1930s featuring George V (front) and sheep herding (back).
      2. 1950s featuring Queen Elizabeth II (front) and early Australian explorers (back).
      3. Modern polymer $50 note featuring a prominent Australian/aboriginal cleric and the first woman member of Parliament.

Minutes of the 2015 Chicago ANA Convention Committee

June 17, 2015

The seventh meeting of the 2015 ANA Convention Committee was held June 17, 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 6:15 PM with the following committee members in attendance:Steve Zitowsky, Mark Wieclaw, Harlan Berk, Melissa Gumm, Marc Stackler, Elliott Krieter, Robert Feiler, Paul Hybert, Eugene Freeman, and Carl Wolf. At the Chairman’s invitation, Dale Carlson, Steve Ambos, and Scott McGowan were in attendance.

  1. Harlan Berk was thanked for providing the meeting place and dinner.
  2. Jeff had a telephone conversation with Rhonda Scurek with the following updates:
    1. Committee members are asked to get their banquet tickets ordered.
    2. Exhibit applications are due Friday, June 19. Page applications are due July 10.
    3. Hotel room budget is under review.
    4. The BEP will have a booth, but without the spider press.
    5. The show is not sold out.
    6. The U.S. Mint Director will be at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
    7. Seven mints will be in attendance.
    8. Expect a report from Rhonda on the local committee budget.
  3. Money Talks Speaker Medals: Carl Wolf reported that the medals arrived.
  4. Budget, Hotel Rooms, Future Committee Scheduling: Jeff Rosinia
  5. Committee Reports — (Jeff asked the chairmen to plan to write a recap after the ANA.)
    1. Honorary Host: Harlan Berk
      1. New items in the Silent Auction included:
        1. Tour of Littleton Coin Company.
        2. Dinner for 6 in Harlan’s home, with a tour of his art collection.
      2. Committee members offered other suggestions.
    2. Scout Chairman: Eugene Freeman
      1. All local Scout Councils are receiving notices.
      2. Mass emails are going to past registrants.
    3. Volunteer Chairman: Carl Wolf
      1. Reported more volunteers would be welcome.
      2. Introduced Scott McGowan (2013-14 Floor Captain) who proposed an “ASK ME” celluloid button for volunteers to wear.
    4. Money Talks Chairman: Mark Wieclaw
      1. Applications were no longer accepted, and speakers will be notified soon.
      2. Also helping Harlan with the Silent Auction, and told of items he has gathered.
    5. Exhibit Chairman: Melissa Gumm
      1. The deadline for exhibit applications is Friday, June 19.
      2. Received email from Mark Lighterman, National Exhibits Coordinator, that there are 30 exhibit applications submitted, but a flurry is expected on the last day.
    6. Discussion on a possible Tuesday evening reception for Committee/Volunteers/Dealers. Jeff would discuss with Rhonda.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 PM and will meet again July 15th.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Minutes of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Directors

June 17, 2015

The June 17, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Coin Club Board was held in the offices of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago. President Elliott Krieter called the meeting order at 7:15 PM with the following Board members in attendance: Steve Zitowsky, Mark Wieclaw, Marc Stackler, Paul Hybert, Eugene Freeman, Jeffrey Rosinia, Steve Ambos, and Carl Wolf. Also in attendance were Melissa Gumm, Dale Carlson, Robert Feiler, and Scott McGowan.

Regarding the joint social gathering with the New York Numismatic Club:

The creation of “ASK ME” celluloid buttons for convention volunteers was discussed. The following decisions were made:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:33 PM.

Carl Wolf, Secretary

Our 1159th Meeting

Date:July 8, 2015
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. Members start arriving at 5pm.
Featured speaker:François R. VeldeThe Beginning of Coinage: An Economist’s View
Dr. François R. Velde delivered this presentation at “The Beginning of Coinage — New Discoveries and Research on Early Electrum Coinage,” a symposium hosted by the American Numismatic Society, November 2013. The significance of this numismatic event was the gathering of eminent historians, economists, and numismatists discussing coinage made of electrum, the alloy of gold and silver. The first electrum coins stand at the beginning of the numismatic history of the western world, but historians and numismatists are still puzzled by the who, what, and why of the economies and people that produced them. Be sure to make this unique numismatic program. Members will learn new insights and interpretations on the beginning of coinage against a backdrop of electronic images of the outstanding electrum coins from the ANS collection.

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.

July 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - François R. Velde on Electrum Coinage
August 8-10 PNG/ANA Numismatic Trade Show. Admission by invitation or $10; details on the PNG Events Calendar at
August 11-15 ANA in Rosemont, at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Admission is free for ANA members — for details, see
August 12 Joint Social Dinner with NYNC, in Rosemont. Reservations required, $90 per person, reception starts at 6pm and dinner starts at 7pm. See separate announcement for details.
August 15 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 - Dennis Tucker on 2016 Guide Book of United States Coins, Deluxe Edition

Chatter Matter

All correspondence pertaining to Club matters should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
P.O. Box 2301

Club Officers

Elected positions (two-year terms):
Elliott Krieter- President
Richard Lipman- First Vice President
Marc Stackler- Second Vice President
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Steve Ambos
Eugene Freeman
Dale Lukanich
Mark Wieclaw
Appointed positions:
Jeffrey Rosinia- Immediate Past President
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Steve Zitowsky- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor, webmaster
Robert Feiler- ANA Club Representative

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