Volume 62 No. 9 September 2016

Minutes of the 1172nd Meeting

The 1172nd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held August 10, 2016 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 23 members and 1 guest, Craig Teichen.

A motion was passed to accept the July Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky gave a detailed financial report for July showing $0.00 in revenue and $252.00 in expenses, total assets of $28,357.45. A motion was passed accepting the report.

President Krieter announced a new digital projector was purchased and would be in use later in the meeting. He also announced a Board Meeting, August 17, 6 PM, Winberie’s Restaurant, 151 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL.

With the absence of Steve Ambos, Mark Wieclaw reported details on the January 11, 2017 Annual Banquet to be held at The Berghoff Restaurant, 17 W. Adams, Downtown Chicago. Cost $55.00 each, 6PM cocktails, 7PM dinner. Parking nearby $13 with Berghoff validation.

Featured speaker Dale Lukanich spoke on Coin Grading Services and provided twelve slab examples with the grade covered. Following a question and answer period, member Bill Bierly spoke of a slabbed coin he purchased through an online auction. However, when it arrived Bill discovered the coin was overstruck on another coin, but was totally missed by the slabbing service, the auction house, and any bidder who viewed the lot at auction.

Second V.P. Marc Stackler announced the exhibitors. JEFF AMELSE 17 Newcomb varieties of 1817 U.S. large cents. ROBERT FEILER a wide range of paper and metallic items. MARK WIECLAW a variety of items, mostly from the Spanish-American War era. BILL BIERLY Star Wars coin. DEVEN KANE 5 coins issued from 182 thru 1867, with a common theme of women rulers. LYLE DALY a Dec 3, 1905 handwritten letter, a note from a local bank, and 3 circulation finds. DALE LUKANICH 1906 Barber dime from Rev. McClure collection. RICHARD HAMILTON coins and photos of U.S. National Parks. PHIL CARRIGAN 1800 US large cent.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:42 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Civic Mint: Athens’ First Tetradrachms, 520-500 BC

a presentation by Harlan J. Berk,
to our July 13, 2016 meeting,
and in Anaheim at ANA on August 12, 2016

After providing us with a short background to the Persian Wars, Harlan turned his attention to the coinage of Athens.

In 547BC, Persia conquered the Greek cities of Ionia (what is now western Turkey). During the Ionian revolt that started around 513BC, Athens and some other Greek cities provided minor assistance to the Ionians. The revolt was crushed after some years, and Persia made plans to invade Europe (Thrace and Greece).

The German term wappenmunzen (for crest money) is the designation for the Athenian silver coinage minted from 545-520BC — they were the smaller denominations, and they remained in circulation even after they were no longer minted. Their designs were simple, with a single item (possibly heraldic) on one side and a geometric punch on the other. This was just before the introduction of the tetradrachm, the major trade coin for almost a hundred years, that today is commonly called the Athenian Owl. The large number of Owls minted resulted from a combination of events: the need to pay soldiers for the war with Persia, and the rich silver mines under Athenian control, first in Thrace and then near Athens.

The design elements of the Owl are well known: a bust of Athena on one side, and an owl, olive sprig, small crescent moon, and letters AOE on the other side. Not only were many coins minted with this artistic design, the design did not change and the quality remained high. Some precursors to the Owl were known, and 40 were plated by Charles Seltman in 1924 in his Athens: Its History and Coinage Before the Persian Invasion, where he attributed them to a “civic” mint, as opposed to a “temple” mint, that operated about 520-500BC. Harlan owned one example for a number of years, but for a proper study, it is better to examine the actual coins than to look at fine plates in an old book.

A collection of such pieces, formed from the 1950s to the 1970s, recently became available in a Munich auction and through private treaty. Harlan acquired and studied some of these coins. He distributed to the attendees his arrangement of twelve Athenian tetradrachms that end with the classic design recognized by numismatists. The other pieces show the evolution of the design, not just showing more skill in the engraving, but also improvement in the artistry and design. Although the bust of Athena shows only artistic improvement, the owl side shows a wide range of arrangements of the design elements in addition to changes to the elements. The early owlette and strange crescent moon yielded to a string of changes. The olive sprig started in the lower right corner, and we saw three-, four-, and five-leafed examples there and in its final home in the top left corner. A subtle change to the owl’s posture would be present on a few coins, only to undergo another change soon after.

These coins are not the few remaining pieces of a large issuance. Harlan believes that these coins were some of the patterns or experimental pieces that were made to see what worked and what could be improved. Harlan also showed us plates of coins from Rhodes and Larissa that end with their classic motifs, but go through a number of tweaks and changes to get there. The pattern coins of the ancient world appear to have been made quickly, with ideas tried and discarded along the way, with the quality improving as the design changes became smaller.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our August 10, 2016 meeting,

  1. Jeff Amelse presented a Powerpoint talk about the 17 Newcomb varieties of 1817 U.S. large cents. Nice examples, including many high grade examples of all varieties are currently for sale on eBay, and there are even some die state sub-varieties and some very nice error coins available. Jeff emphasized that eBay can be a good way to generate a nice set of reference photos for your collections. His talk centered around what to look for in attributing your coins. After getting everyone excited by these high end examples, he passed around lower grade examples from his “meager” collection.
  2. Robert Feiler displayed examples of collecting on a budget.
    1. Seven assorted sample slabbed coins from various grading services, obtained gratis at various coin shows.
    2. In honor of the Summer Olympics, an 1823-31 Brazilian 40 Reis counter-marked on an 80 Reis. From a junk box.
    3. A beautiful 55 mm bronze medal &rldquo;Poetic Beauty in Numismatics” celebrating 400 meetings, from the 1968 Milwaukee Numismatic Society. The obverse has Liberty astride a flying Pegasus, while the reverse has a star from a 4 dollar Stella.
    4. 2003 Federal Reserve $2 bill obtained from circulation, with a rubber stamped message. ”If you like golden dollar coins and two dollar bills, ask for them at your bank. If they’re out tell the manager to order them!”
    5. Two Costa Rica copper-on-cardboard coins/tokens, yet to be attributed.
  3. Mark Wieclaw brought a variety of items from an estate that he recently obtained: medals, tokens, coins, and other interesting things, mostly from the era after the Spanish-American War.
    1. Four Spanish-American War convention badges issued between 1909 and 1913.
    2. A so-called dollar in copper from the Utah exhibit at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon Pacific Expo.
    3. Pocket knife made from coin silver (circa 1910).
    4. Rambler cycles pin issued between 1887 and 1900.
    5. A pin in the form of a beetle, that when the tail was pushed down the wings swung out and had a photo of a man on each wing. It was later determined to be a political campaign pin for McKinley-Hobart from 1896.
  4. From long ago and far away, Bill Bierly showed us a “Northern Darkness Garrison” Star Wars coin (enameled metal). The obverse inscription was in Arabesh, the language of the Star Wars universe. For mere mortals, there was English language text on the reverse.
  5. Deven Kane showed 5 coins.
    1. A denarius from Rome for Lucilla as Augusta (164-182), 18 mm in diameter. The reverse of this coin appears to have been struck by a die with rust and is a die match to another coin sold at a Gorny New York Auction — his first coin that he has die matched to an auctioned example. Lucilla was a daughter of Marcus Aurelius and the wife of his adoptive brother and co-emperor, Lucius Verus. After Lucius died before they had any children, Marcus married her off to one of his favorite generals, Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus After the death of her mother Faustina II, Lucilla was the first lady of the Empire until her brother Commodus married. Jealousy of her sister in-law-appears to have triggered her involvement in a botched assassination plot that resulted in Lucilla’s execution. Pompeianus later twice declined the throne, after the assassinations of Commodus and Pertinax.
    2. A denarius from Rome for Crispina as Augusta (178-182), 18 mm in diameter, and with Concordia and clasped hands on the reverse. Married to Commodus at the age of 16, she never had any influence over him — yet jealousy of Crispina’s role as the wife of the reigning Emperor triggered Lucilla’s failed plot against Commodus. Her failure to produce an heir (possibly due to Commodus’ inability) led to a dynastic succession crisis. After 10 years of marriage, she was falsely charged with adultery — banished to Capri in 188, she was executed in 191. Still having no heir, Commodus did not marry. His primary mistress, Marcia, is believed to have conspired in his murder on December 31, 192.
    3. An 1879 doppelgulden of Austria, minted in Vienna, on the 25th anniversary of the wedding of the Austrian Imperial Couple. The obverse has jugate heads of Franz Joseph I and Elisabeth, the reverse has a seated figure of Austria holding a rudder and cornucopia, and the diameter is 36 mm. Elisabeth of Bavaria was considered one of the beauties of the 19th century. Romantic and liberal minded, she was badly matched to her conservative and military minded husband and first cousin who adored her. Their gradual drift apart was made worse by the suicide of their only son Rudolph. Elisabeth was assassinated in 1898 by an Italian anarchist in Geneva.
    4. An 1861 vereinstaler of Prussia, minted in Berlin, to commemorate the coronation of Wilhelm I as king of Prussia on the death of Wilhelm’s older brother, Frederick Wilhelm IV. The obverse of this 33 mm in diameter coin has jugate crowned busts of Wilhelm and Augusta. Educated and liberal, Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach had nothing in common with the militarized and sober Prussia court. Her son Frederick III died of cancer in 1888, only 99 days after becoming Emperor. She lived long enough to see her beloved grandson become Emperor, and died in 1890.
    5. An 1867 vereinstaler of Prussia; the obverse has a bust of King Wilhelm I, while the reverse has an imperial eagle holding a sceptre and orb. The diameter is 33 mm.
  6. Lyle Daly brought a range of interesting items:
    1. A letter dated 3 December 1905, from Jim Miller to Mary Mather, his sister, living on Florence Avenue in Joliet Illinois. It is on stationery of the Robinson Deep Gold Mining Company, Limited in the District of Johannesburg — the mine is in the Transvaal region (North of the river Vaal). The letter covers a range of topics: Mom is in poor health / dying; he is in a high risk job and does not expect to live long, but loves the work; heavy rains flooded the boilers, shutting down the power plant and air compressor; every minute the mill is stopped they lose $7 in gold. Transvaal came under British rule after the Boer war ended in 1902, and everyone is anxious to put the mines back in operation to generate revenue needed to pay for the war.
    2. A $5 National Currency Note of the First National Bank of Oak Park, Charter M 11507. 15,415 sheets of $5 notes were printed of this Series 1902 note, but it is not a date-back type; the date on the note is 10/31/19. Lyle also showed a newspaper article on the new building open house on Saturday 9/25/20 on Lake and Austin Boulevard. The building is still there, and now is occupied by a computer company; a bank annex now is a laundromat. The President’s name on the note is Henry Pillinger, matching the article, but the Cashier is A A Huxhold. Benjamin Harrison is on the front of the note, while the back shows the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock — engraved by G.F.C. Smillie and based on a painting by Edwin White, it is nearly identical to an engraving by Charles Burt.
    3. Some recent circulation finds:
      1. A 1997-P Jefferson 5¢ in uncirculated condition and nicely toned — as an auction catalogue would say, “Light champagne toning with hints of rose and lilac.”
      2. A 1929 cent in change from Dunkin Donuts — common at 189 million minted. August of 1929 saw the peak of the stock market before the crash of October 29, 1929, and Lyle suspects this was about the end of the First National Bank of Oak Park.
      3. A 1974-S cent unearthed in the garden. It was found with the obverse facing down, so the reverse took a beating. Lyle cleaned half of the coin, so how should it be described? Cleaned? Conserved? Altered?
  7. Dale Lukanich showed one item, a 1906 Barber dime from the Rev. Dr. James G.K. McClure collection. McClure amassed over 3000 coins, mostly from circulation, and kept them in a bank vault where they sat undisturbed since the early 1930s. The collection was recently dispersed, and Dale obtain this one, slabbed and attributed to the McClure collection.
  8. Richard Hamilton brought in several items related to national parks.
    1. Coins and photos of Yellowstone.
    2. Coins and photos of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, including the Maltese Cross Cabin, in North Dakota. The Maltese cross is carved (incuse) in one of the logs of Roosevelt’s cabin.
    3. Several first day covers with national park themes. and one honoring James B. Longacre, 19th century engraver for the US Mint.
  9. Phil Carrigan showed a US large cent, dated 1800, PCGS AU-58, that he obtained from JJ Teaparty. The reverse especially has sharp detail.

Minutes of the Chicago Coin Club Board of Directors

August 17, 2016

The Chicago Coin Club Board met August 17, 2016 at Winberie’s Restaurant, 151 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL. President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 6:51 PM with the following members present: Rich Lipman, Steve Zitowsky, Melissa Gumm, William Burd, Dale Lukanich, and Carl Wolf.

Old business discussions included:

  1. Announced the next Board meeting will be on November 16.
  2. Announced the purchase of a new Club projector: Optoma WU416, total cost $1099 with $1000 covered by donations from Chicago Coin Company and Niles Coin Shop.
  3. 100th Anniversary Committee — no report.
  4. Speakers’ Medal:
    1. Discontinued Standing Lincoln Medal.
      1. Outdated inventory includes three un-engraved medals: one each of bronze, silver plate, and gold plate.
      2. Decision to place them in the Club Archives.
      3. The silver and gold plated medals were passed on to the Archivist at the meeting.
    2. New Hexagonal Medal with Club Logo in color.
      1. Approval given on the epoxy proof.
      2. Decision to create a 5-piece process set: blank, 1-strike, 2-strike, trimmed piece, and a final colorized medal.
      3. Sold by pre-order only $100.
  5. Re-arrangement of upcoming meeting activities:
    1. November 9, 2016: regular meeting with speaker and exhibits.
    2. December 14, 2016: Annual Auction and Election of Officers for 2017-19.
    3. January 11, 2017: Presentation of Cabeen Awards and Annual Banquet at The Berghoff Restaurant, 17 W. Adams, Chicago.
    4. February 8, 2017: Regular meeting to include 2016 year-end financial report.
  6. Discussion on how the Club might handle recruitment tables and education meetings, when the Chicago International Coin Fair (Rosemont) and the Chicago Coin Expo (Downtown) hold competing shows on the same dates April 6-9, 2017.
  7. Discussion on Directors and Officers liability insurance with motion to table.

New Business Discussions:

  1. Discussion on the nominating process for the upcoming December election of officers.
  2. Rich Lipman reported on the recent ANA Anaheim Convention.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:47 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Our 1173rd Meeting

Date:September 14, 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:Jeffrey RosiniaCommemorative Coins from 1892-93 Columbian Exposition
The first US commemorative coins were the Columbian half dollar and Isabella quarter. Jeff Rosinia just returned from the Anaheim ANA Convention where his exhibit on this subject received two high awards. Be sure to attend this meeting, hear the story of how the coins came to be and their promotion as fair souvenirs. During this time Bertha Palmer, the wife of Chicago real estate magnate Potter Palmer, served as the chairwoman of the Board of Lady Managers. Under her leadership they were charged with creating a pavilion to celebrate the accomplishments of women around the world. Jeff will tell the story of how Bertha Palmer, as Chicago’s cultural leader, tastemaker, and de facto hostess for the exposition, successfully petitioned for the Isabella quarter, and how the reverse design is emblematic of women’s industry.

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.

September 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Jeffrey Rosinia on Commemorative Coins from 1892-93 Columbian Exposition
September 22-24 ILNA 57th Annual Coin & Currency Show at the Holiday Inn-Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Road, Tinley Park, IL 60477. Details, including hours and events, are available at
October 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
November 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
November 17-19 PCDA National Currency and Coin Convention at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 good from 1pm on Thursday through Saturday. Details at
November 19 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the PCDA National Currency and Coin Convention, 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
December 14 CCC Meeting - Club Auction now in December- no featured speaker
January 11 CCC Meeting - Annual Banquet now in January - 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
Melissa Gumm
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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