Volume 61 No. 3 March 2015

5 Months until ANA in Chicago

The floor plan for this year’s ANA convention is on their web site; of course there might be changes, but for now the Collector Exhibits Area will be near the entrance to the bourse hall. The area looks smaller than we had last year, so expect fewer cases to be available this year. We encourage everyone to submit their exhibit application forms as early as possible. The application and rules for exhibiting are on the ANA’s web site, at If you are new to exhibiting, the ANA web site has pages on building an exhibit.

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

Minutes of the 1154th Meeting

The 1154th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held February 11, 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 24 members and 1 guest: Nicole Yin, spouse of William Rumph.

The Club stood for a moment of silence in memory of Margo Russell, a long time member of the Chicago Coin Club.

A motion was passed to accept the January Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky gave a report for the month of January revenue of $380.00, expenses of $198.24, net income of $181.76, total assets of $24,568.21 held in Life Membership $1,830.00 and member equity $22,738.21. Steve also delivered a copy of the corrected 2014 Annual Report showing several corrected typographical errors. A motion was passed to accept both reports.

The membership application of Kevin O’Brien received first reading. Following the second reading of Lars Skarie’s application, a motion was passed to accept him into the Club.


First V.P. Rich Lipman introduced featured speaker Marc Stackler who delivered a program Counterfeiting During the Mexican Revolution. Following a question and answer period, Rich presented Marc with an engraved speaker medal and ANA Educational Certificate.

The seven exhibitors for the evening were: EUGENE FREEMAN – 3 U.S. half cents & German porcelain medal commemorating the fall of Paris in 1940; DEVEN KANE - Arab coins modeled after previous Byzantium and Sassanian empires, a hemi-drachm from Tabaristan, and a Roman intaglio from the 2nd-3rd century; STEVE ZITOWSKY – five Hungarian denar coins (1490-1516); RICH LIPMAN – six pieces of various scrip; ROBERT LEONARD – ancient Greek tetartemorion & hemiobol coins (circ. 450-410 B.C.) from Kolophon, Ionia; JEFF AMELSE – photos from the British Museum’s exhibit on German Propaganda Medals of World War I; MARK WIECLAW – a tetradrachm from Roman Alexandria, a tetradrachm from Elymais, and a U.S. Trade Dollar made into a box.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:28 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Counterfeiting During the Mexican Revolution

by Marc Stackler,
presented to our February 11, 2015 meeting

The Mexican Revolution took place from 1910 to 1917. It started as a political revolution, then in 1913 there was a military coup, resulting in a revolt to reestablish the rule of law. In late 1914, after the defeat of the dictatorship, what little cooperation that existed between the victors broke down into a civil war.

Meanwhile, starting in 1913, rebel leaders and local governments began issuing their own currency to make up the shortfall of circulating bank notes and coins, which due to the conflict became scarce. Among them was Pancho Villa, who from his stronghold in Chihuahua, printed two of the most famous and voluminous issues of the Mexican Revolution: Tesorería General del Estado (nicknamed “sábanas de Villa” or “Villa’s bed sheets”), and the Estado de Chihuahua series (also known as the “dos caritas,” or “two little faces”).

Almost immediately after the first issue of the “bed sheets” in December 1913, counterfeits began appearing along the border between Texas and Chihuahua. The simple design (and forced acceptance) of the sábanas made for robust counterfeiting, especially by Americans looking to make a quick profit. Counterfeits were crude … but so were the legitimate notes. Confusion, panic, and distrust led to their rejection, even as authorities tried to enforce their acceptance. Authorities tried revalidating (rubber stamping) the notes. Some of the counterfeiters followed suit, imitating the revalidations.

In early 1914, a representative from Villa and the Constitutionalists arranged the Estado de Chihuahua issue, which was thought at the time to replace the sábanas (i.e., the latter would be recalled and destroyed). Printing started in Texas, and then a new contract to continue printing was signed with Norris Peters in Washington, DC. At first the new issue was considered secure — “an absolute impossibility” … to counterfeit. Nonetheless it too was counterfeited, again especially by Americans … and often the victims were other Americans being swindled.

In the United States, it is a crime to counterfeit our currency, or that of another government that we recognize. But, in the case of Mexico at that time, the US Government had placed an embargo on trade with any of the belligerents, and did not recognize “a government.” When arrests were made and the parties brought to court, often their lawyer could get the charges dropped, because there was no basis for the counterfeiting charge if there was no recognized government. Texas, occasionally in concert with Mexican agents, stepped in to make arrests, because it was their own citizens being swindled.

Today, walk into any coin or paper money show, and almost certainly if there is Mexican paper money, you will find at least some sábanas as well as many Estado de Chihuahua issues. The likelihood of running across a counterfeit is pretty good too.

Margo Russell (1919-2015)

With regret we report the death of Margo Russell. She was 95 years old and served for 23 years as editor of Coin World.

Margo joined the Chicago Coin Club in 1960. She was a great supporter of the Club, frequently took telephone calls to discuss Club activities, and share advise from years of experience. Her annual dues always arrived early, and frequently included an extra donation to the Club.

Margo traveled to Chicago and served as the featured banquet speaker at the Club’s 800th Meeting, September 14, 1985 at the Midland Hotel in downtown Chicago. Her talk centered on comparing and contrasting great events and achievements of the past and relating them to the current events in numismatics. She was quoted saying, “…I hope and pray we will honor our hobby’s centuries-old traditions as we move toward change. We need to learn how new techniques can be applied to the maintenance and growth of collecting activities. We need to set priorities, achieve some new goals. We need new collectors, new audiences, and an enhanced public image.”

Below is a short list of the numerous citations and awards Margo received.

To read the full obituary, either go to Coin World, February 16, 2015, page 5, or as it appeared in the Sidney Daily News at

Carl Wolf, Secretary

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our February 11, 2015 meeting,
reported by Marc Stackler

  1. Eugene Freeman brought 4 items:
    1. US Half Cent dated 1802. All 1802 half cents are over-dates, 2 over 0.
    2. US Half Cent dated 1804, “crosslet 4.” This is the most common date of the series. There are over 12 die pairs, so many varieties.
    3. US Half Cent dated 1811.
    4. German brown porcelain (with Meissen mark), 1940, commemorating the fall of Paris to the Wehrmacht.
  2. Deven Kane’s theme was Pre-Islamic coinage, of which he brought 3 examples. For about 60 years after the Caliphate conquered much of the Middle East, Iran, and North Africa, it did not create its own distinct coinage. Rather, the coinage imitated Byzantine prototypes in Syria, Egypt, and North Africa, and Sassanid overtypes in Persia. Even the metals used appear to have imitated the types used before the conquest, i.e. bronze and gold in Arab-Byzantine coinage, and silver for Arab Sassanian.
    1. Arab-Byzantine, Umayyad Caliphate. Imperial bust type. 680sca. 693. Æ Fals (22.0 mm, 4.83 g, 5 h). Hims (Emesa) mint. Crowned facing bust, holding globus cruciger / Large m; Album 3524; Bone 2.3b; SICA.
    2. Another common Arab Byzantine type was a so called standing Caliph with the cross on the reverse changed into a pole.
    3. Umayyad Caliphate. ’Umar ibn ’Ubayd Allah. Governor, AH 67-72/ AD 686-691. AR Drachm (28mm, 3.09 g, 9h). BYS (Bishapur) mint. Dated AH 67 (AD 686/7). Crowned Sassanian style bust right. Fire altar flanked by attendants; star and crescent flanking flames. SICA 1, 1568; Album 21.
    4. Tabaristan, Abbasid Governors. al-Mahdi. 158-169/ 775-785. AR hemidrachm. (23.6 mm, 1.95 g, 3 h). Crowned Sassanian style bust right / Fire altar flanked by attendants. Malek 150; Album 73. gVF. The coinage of Tabaristan continued for more than a century after the adoption of Islamic coinage. The Bavandids of Tabaristan were of Sassanid descent and remained Zoroastrian until the 840s. Their coins are hemidrachms and later, after the conversion to Islam, turn iconoclastic with the portrait being removed.
    Around 696-7 the Caliph Abd Al Malik, goaded by the introduction of Jesus on the gold coinage of Justinian II paid as tribute, issued the first Islamic Dinar and Dirham.
    1. A very attractive Roman Intaglio, 2nd - 3rd Century, carved from dark carnelian, and depicting the bust of a female with intricate coif.
  3. Steve Zitowsky showed five Hungarian denar coins, sequentially dated 1505 to 1509. These small silver coins were minted at Kremnitz, with a KH mintmark. The reigning monarch on the coins was Wladislaw II, 1490-1516.
  4. Rich Lipman talked about several scrip items.
    1. “ANA Reserve Note” — money produced at ANA conventions for Young Numismatists (YNs), with a photo portrait of the YN of the Year.
    2. Gringotts Bank (from Harry Potter), which could be bought and used at Universal Studios. The “denominations” were galleons, sickles, and knuts … but sold for US dollars, of course.
    3. “Obsolete” note from Wanadoo City (Florida) denominated in Wangas. Wangas could be purchased and spent by kids, hence the title on the notes was THE UNITED KIDIZENS OF WANNADOO CITY.
    4. Irish Sweepstakes ticket from 1963, bought for £1 sterling.
    5. “Zero Rupees” based on the design of a 50 Rupees note of India. The notes were printed by an organization named Fifth Pillar — their objective was to fight official corruption. Citizens were encouraged to hand the Zero Rupees note to a government official who might be seeking a bribe.
    6. 50 Yuan counterfeit alongside a legitimate 50 Yuan note. Attendees were encouraged to search for characteristics of the counterfeit, among which were the smooth feel of the note (as opposed to intaglio printing), smeared ink, and other carelessly smudged details.
  5. Bob Leonard brought 2 ancient Greek coins. Very few ancient Greek silver coins have a denomination marked on them. Among the exceptions are some 5th century B.C. issues of Kolophon (Colophon), a city in Ionia near the island of Samos. Shown were:
    1. Tetartemorion: obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse TE monogram for tetartemorion. Circa 450-410 B.C., 0.36 g.
    2. Hemiobol: obverse facing head of Apollo, laurel leaf to left; reverse HM monogram for hemiobolion. Circa 450-410 B.C., 0.42 g.
    The Greek monetary system at this time consisted of 2 tetartemorions = 1 hemiobol; 2 hemiobols = 1 obol; 6 obols = 1 drachm; and 4 drachms = 1 tetradrachm. Thus a Tetradrachm was equal to 96 tetartemorions. Both profile and facing heads of Apollo appear on these coins, and it is uncertain which is earlier. (This tetartemorion is very much overweight at 0.36 g.) There is also an intermediate denomination of 1½ tetartemorions, which is rare. Bob has not found one for sale since he became interested in the series.
  6. Jeff Amelse showed German propaganda medals from the WWI era, on display at the British Museum.
    1. Karl Goetz medal of the sinking of the Lusitania, 1915, and a British copy. The former is rather scarce, with a mintage of less than 500. The latter is commonly available. One key difference between the two is the spelling of the date; the copy uses the British spelling of the date, 5 MAY 1915, while the German original uses MAI. Goetz’s initials (K.G.) are strong on the original, but usually much smaller and partially off the planchet on the British copy. The medal shows the sinking on one side and the other side depicts a skeleton selling tickets to passengers as a warning that bad things will happen to those who board ships the Germans consider to be legitimate targets. The British Selfridge replica was produced by Wellington House.
    2. Jeff went on to display several other photographs of medals, about the Lusitania and other WWI themes, that were part of the museum display. Many of these are based on the medieval “Dance of Death.” The medals included:
      1. Death holds the strings to zeppelins as if they were kites.
      2. Death leads the German troops into battle.
      3. Death attacks a German woman or German troops.
      4. Death pumps blood out of the Earth.
      5. The devil plays a flute in the foreground of a battle scene.
      6. Workers are paraded into grotesque German war factories.
      7. Soldiers emerge from the mouth of Lord Kitchener as he slept.
  7. Mark Wieclaw showed 3 items.
    1. A box dollar made from an 1877-S US Trade Dollar. It opened to reveal the portrait of an unknown gentleman.
    2. Elymais silver tetradrachm of Kamnaskires V, 54-32 B.C. The coin is rare in silver.
    3. An Alexandrian tetradrachm with facing busts of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. On the reverse is Pax, seated. The design is rare for Alexandria.

Minutes of the 2015 Chicago ANA Convention Committee

February 18, 2015

The third meeting of the 2015 ANA Convention Committee was held February 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, Harlan Berk, Rich Lipman, Dale Lukanich, Eugene Freeman, Melissa Gumm, and Carl Wolf.

  1. Harlan Berk was thanked for providing the meeting place, dinner, and parking vouchers.
  2. There was a quick review the January visit by ANA Director of Conventions Rhonda Scurek. The biggest change convention goers will notice is the change to Hall F (2011 location) and the meeting rooms will be located immediately above the hall.
  3. The committee was asked to set aside the third Wednesday of every month for a meeting.
  4. The budget will be the same as 2014. A list of rooms for committee chairman will be put together by Jeff and submitted to Rhonda allowing the Club to receive the ANA group rate.
  5. Committee Reports
    1. Jeffrey Rosinia, Host Chairman: brought in more promotional flyers for use during the upcoming coin shows. He will also check with Rhonda on the kick-off event.
    2. Rich Lipman, Assistant Chairman: no report
    3. Elliott Krieter, Page Chairman: not present, but conveyed to Jeff that an Assistant Page Chairman is needed.
    4. Eugene Freeman, Scout Chairman: No change over last month. He continues to monitor the reorganization of the Boy Scouts, including the combination of four area councils. Fliers for the Scouting programs will be ready for distribution at the Tinley Park show.
    5. Carl Wolf, Volunteer Chairman: 28 volunteers have signed up, but more will sign on at the upcoming multi-day coin shows. Shirts are sponsored by Kedzie Koins.
    6. Mark Wieclaw, Money Talks Chairman: He believes program proposals are to be submitted online. He will still need two volunteers to assist.
    7. Mellissa Gumm, Collector Exhibit Chairman: According to the online exhibit application, the application must be received by June 22, 2015, and the theme for Class 19 is “Abraham Lincoln: A Legacy in Numismatics.”
    8. Open Discussion:
      1. It was announced that Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. donated to the ANA YN program 100+ bicentennial medals issued by the U.S. Mint. Mark Wieclaw will handle the transfer.
      2. Steve Zitowsky reported the Club received confirmation of a reserved table during the convention.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:11 PM.

Sincerely Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Our 1155th Meeting

Date:March 7, 2015, First session
Time:1:00 PM
Location:At the Chicago Paper Money Expo (CPMX), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured speaker:Steve FellerWWII Civilian Camp Money of North America
The U.S. and Canada established many WWII civilian camps to hold enemy aliens and citizens thought to be a threat. Many camps had their own issue of money. This talk will focus on the paper and token currencies of these camps. Some of the more famous locations covered include Ellis Island (New York), Crystal City (Texas), Alva (Oklahoma), Minidoka (Idaho), and Bismarck (North Dakota). Ray and Steve Feller are the foremost researchers of this numismatic field and delivered many presentations regarding “Concentration Camp Currencies.” This talk will focus on “Civilian Camp Currencies of North America.” This field has not been well documented and those who attend can expect to hear stories of new site discoveries, additional issues, symbolism behind the designs, etc. Everyone will leave with the knowledge that no matter how disparate the circumstances, mankind always has the need for money. Steve received the financial support of Central States Numismatic Society to research the work on this subject.
Souvenir Card: Everyone attending our meeting at the upcoming CPMX will receive a souvenir card about The Douglass National Bank of Chicago, Chicago’s first African American National Bank. After distribution at the meeting, the remaining cards will be sold for $5.00 each ($1.00 for postage if ordering by mail).

Date:March 11, 2015, 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. Members start arriving at 5pm.
Featured speaker:David GreensteinCoin Grading in the Age of Plastic
Coin value is typically based on rarity and the grade. Generations of dealers and collectors learned the skill of coin grading by studying bare coins. Over the past few decades third party grading, encasement with stickers, has led many to believe they no longer need to know how to grade — it is already done for them. While this is primarily in the American coin market, it is becoming more common in world coins, paper money, and even ancient coinage. Join David as he tells the story of his journey of learning from masters how to grade coins and how collectors must still grade coins encased in plastic.

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.

March 6-8 21st Annual Chicago Paper Money Expo (CPMX) at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday. For details, refer to their website,
March 7 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the Chicago Paper Money Expo, which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Steve Feller on WWII Civilian Camp Money of North America
March 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - David Greenstein on Coin Grading in the Age of Plastic
April 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 10-12 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,
April 11 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
April 23-25 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,
April 25 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the CSNS Convention, which is held at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
Featured Speaker - to be announced
May 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced

Chatter Matter

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

Club Officers

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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