Chatter


Volume 62 No. 1 January 2016


Editor’s Notes

Are you looking for good numismatic reading on the Web? Within the past six months, a number of numismatic clubs have placed all of their journals on the Web, with varying degrees of public access.

The ANA presents all issues of The Numismatist on the Web, with access limited to current ANA members. Also, the Newman Numismatic Portal (as in Eric P. Newman) has started scanning books and journals for presentation on the Web to everyone at no charge; the journals of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club and Numismatists of Wisconsin now are available, and more are being planned. Visit https://archive.org/details/newmannumismatic to see the available titles! Interested clubs are encouraged to contact NNP to make arrangements for making their journals available to all.

These websites typically present each page of a journal as an image, with all original typos and inking issues still present. Most websites have tried to convert the text part of each page into text that can be copied into a program on your computer — but with varying degrees of proofreading by a human, expect some errors in the text, especially with primitively printed stuff such as the 1889 The Numismatist or a local bulletin printed on a mimeograph machine. The main use of the converted text is to allow users to perform a search of the provided information — the available search functions vary in sophistication, but they all compare your entered word(s) against their converted text — if the converted text has some error, the search function will not find the converted text! There is hope — the quality of the converted text will improve, over time, on those websites that implement procedures for reviewing and updating the converted text.

Our club’s website has all Chatter issues from January, 2000 available as web pages (not as images of printed pages), and our policy is to correct typos as they are identified. Conversion of earlier club publications to web pages has been considered, but is not seen in the near future; although our website has no search capability, our web content is fully covered by Google searches.

Paul Hybert, editor


Minutes of the 1164th Meeting

The 1164th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was the Annual Banquet held at Marcello’s Restaurant, 645 W. North Avenue, Chicago.

Following a cocktail hour with appetizers, President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 7 PM with 27 members and 5 guests, Marcia Zitowsky, Janet Leonard, MaryClaire Carrigan, Debbie Lipman, and Christine Lukanich.

A motion was passed to adopt an abbreviated agenda. The application of Ray Lockwood received a second reading and a motion was passed to accept him into the Club. Richard Hamilton delivered the invocation.

Following dinner First V.P Richard Lipman introduced Jeff Amelse and Mark Wieclaw who delivered the featured program History of German Porcelain Medals & Coins. Afterwards Rich presented each with an engraved Club medal and ANA Educational Certificate.

Second V.P. Marc Stackler presented Cabeen Award medals for the best of monthly exhibits: First Place Mark Wieclaw, Second Place Richard Lipman, Honorable Mention Deven Kane, Robert Feiler, Jeff Amelse, Robert Leonard, and Eugene Freeman.

Separate rounds of applause were given to Steve Zitowsky for banquet arrangements and Sharon and Kevin Blocker for complimentary appetizers served during the cocktail hour.

When the meeting was adjourned at 8:47 PM, Jeff Rosinia entertained the group playing on his trumpet several holiday songs.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary


Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Porcelain Coins and Medals of Germany

a presentation by Jeff Amelse and Mark Wieclaw,
to our December 9, 2015 meeting

Jeff Amelse started the program with a history of European porcelain, which led to an overview of medals made of porcelain. That was followed by Mark’s summary of the efforts at coins made of porcelain.

Porcelain is the result of more than a thousand years of refinements in Asia to glazed ceramic wares. Its production started in about the year 200, and it even reached Europe as a prized trade good. Augustus II, king of Poland and elector of Saxony, saw porcelain items at a neighboring castle — and so his infatuated with porcelain was born. Upon returning home, he commanded his alchemists to stop trying to produce gold and start trying to make porcelain! The first examples of white porcelain were produced in 1708 and were announced by Johann Friedrich Böttger, an alchemist imprisoned in 1701 to produce gold. The process had been developed by a colleague of Böttger’s who died soon before the announcement was made, so it is Böttger’s name that commonly appears in history. Böttger’s dreams of freedom as a reward for success were dashed, and Augustus went on to demand blue and red pocelain, and porcelain sculptures too.

The German city of Meissen became a center of porcelain production, with the first medals produced about 1820. A regular production of medals started in 1910, on Meissen’s bicentennial. Jeff showed us the marks that are found on all porcelain items made by the State Porcelain Factory in Meissen — after a short use of an AR monogram, crossed swords have been used ever since, with the word Meissen recently added.

The main reference for porcelain medals and coins is the multi-volume effort by Karl Scheuch, which now is out of print. Each item is given a main S number. The book from 1965 covers just coins, and these are numbered 1-586. Although most are from Meissen, some are from other factories and countries. Five books from 1966 through 1969 cover medals, and these pieces are numbered from 650 to 2340. A number of pieces were missed, and of course the recent pieces are not listed. The S number is followed by a letter that denotes the material used and any decorations. Letters a through m denote brown (Böttger) porcelain, while letters n through y denote white (biscuit) porcelain; letters a and n indicate that no extra decoration is present.

How many types of decorations are known? More than 12! Various types of gilding (gold plating) are probably the most common: gilt edge, outter legends gilt, and special gilding are recognized. The simple decorations conclude with green, red, and blue used around the edge; The complicated decorations follow no simple pattern, and are described for each piece; this typically involves colorizing parts of the design with one or more colors.

Collectors are interested in the rarity of the pieces they collect, so Scheuch produced a rarity scale that he used in his books. This rarity scale has nine groups: the commonest is R1 at “over 70,000” pieces, while the rarest is R9 at “200 or less” pieces. This scale is based upon the number made.

Jeff showed us pictures from his collection, starting with some of the many varieties of S652, S662, and S1969 as examples of the many decoration types; these were decorated with gold, green, red, and blue. After a plain brown piece was made at a very high temperature, the decoration was put on and the piece was reheated, but this time to not as high of a temperature. An attractive S1287v had yellow devices and border, and an S2036q had multiple colors on the many cells of a grid in the design. Then Jeff grouped pieces by categories as he gave us a quick tour — there are so many pieces!

Many pieces honored people I had never heard of, along with a few familiar names. Then on to lottery pieces — each piece had a unique number, and a winning piece had the number scratched out when the piece was turned in (we saw one of those). Churches and religious themed pieces were shown, as well as towns and anniversaries. We saw a Dresden set, which is not surprising as Dresden is in Saxony. Jeff showed us some non-Meissen pieces, post-WWI pieces lamenting settlement terms and memorializing various German Army divisions, and WWII Nazi propaganda pieces.

Mark Wieclaw is a collector of the emergency money of Germany — this is a wide area, covering coins of all materials including porcelain. These pieces are more symbollic; brittle porcelain does not make for a practical coinage. But porcelain pieces were authorized by the state of Saxony for use during 1921, and some other areas also authorized their use and procured them. At the Meissen porcelain works, the coins were made in a dedicated building, separate from where other porcelain objects were made. The commonly encountered denominations are 10, 20, and 50 pfennig, and 1, 5, 10, and 20 marks.

Porcelain coins started as an emergency coinage, with city employees and possibly suppliers receiving them. They entered circulation from there, and they also were actively kept by some as souvenirs. After the authorities saw that, the coinage evolved into a source of local government income, sold directly to collectors. That was true especially for the pieces with the decorations described above. The commonly encountered dates are 1921 and 1922; the early pieces from 1920 are rare, as are the items from 1923 when rampant inflation started and drove out porcelain pieces. A 300 mark piece from Berlin is the highest denomination that Mark has seen.

As a souvenir of the evening’s program, everyone in attendance selected a porcelain coin or medal from an assortment compliments of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.


Current Advertisers

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Our 1165th Meeting

Date:January 13, 2016
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 Program:David and Robert GreensteinScrutiny of World Cash Transactions
Since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, September 11, 2001, world cash transactions have come under intense scrutiny by the banking system and federal regulators. Combine this with the blurring lines between collectors and dealers, and what you end up with is a lot of confusion. Dave and Bob Greenstein work with Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. and will give some straight talk about anti-money laundering issues, the IRS Form 8300 (Report of cash payments over $10,000), what is cash, other definitions of the question, “Who is a dealer?” and much more.

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.

January 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speakers - David and Robert Greenstein on Scrutiny of World Cash Transactions
February 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker to be announced
March 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
March 18-20 22nd 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, http://www.cpmxshow.com.
March 19 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 - to be announced
April 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 15-17 41st 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.
April 16 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 - to be announced
April 28-30 77th 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.
April 30 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the CSNS Convention, which is held at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
Featured Speaker - to be announced

Chatter Matter

http://www.ChicagoCoinClub.org/

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

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
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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