Volume 63 No. 10 October 2017

Call for Club Auction Lots
November 8, 2017

The club auction is scheduled for 7PM, near the start of the regular November club meeting. In the past few years, club related material (and Chicago area numismatic items) have had the best results. Some printed material also has shown good results. Please consider using the club auction to dispose of the numismatic items you no longer need.

You can place a reserve on each lot, and there is no commission charged to either the buyer or seller. Auction lot viewing will be held before the meeting starts, and again briefly before the auction starts.

The November Chatter will contain a list of all auction lots that are known to us by Tuesday, October 24. You can either e-mail your list to Paul Hybert by Tuesday, October 24 if you plan to bring your lots with you to the November meeting; or you can ship your items to Bill Burd by Tuesday, October 24.

Bill Burd
CCC-A Dept.
Chicago Coin Company
6455 W. Archer Ave.
Chicago, IL 60638
Paul Hybert
312-791-9001, evenings

If you have questions, Bill can be reached at 773-586-7666.

Minutes of the 1185th Meeting

The 1185th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Richard Lipman called the meeting to order at 6:45 PM with attendance of 18 members.

The membership stood for a moment of silence honoring the memory of past president Charles J. Ricard. Robert Leonard briefly spoke of Charles’ numismatic awards and accomplishments.

The Minutes of the August 9, 2017 meeting as published in the Chatter were approved. The Secretary delivered the treasurer’s report of August: revenue of $150.72, expenses $92.46, and total assets $25,986.73. A motion was passed approving the report. The Minutes of August 16, 2017 Board Meeting were approved with the following change regarding the Club Hall of Fame, point two corrected to read “The Board favored the creation the exploration of a Hall of Fame award…”

Following the second reading of the membership applications for Robert Romeo and Curtis Personett, separate motions were passed accepting them into the Club.


Board Member Dale Lukanich introduced the featured speaker, Melissa Gumm, who delivered a presentation Love Tokens – Works of Art or Mutilation of Circulating Coinage. Following a question and answer period, Dale presented Melissa with an engraved Club speaker medal and an ANA Educational Certificate. Melissa thanked the Club’s tech team for setting up her laptop to work with the Club’s digital projector.

Steve Ambos announced the evening’s nine exhibitors. LYLE DALY: a drachma issued 2nd-1st Century BC by the Scordisci Celts, a Gallic Iron Age tribe. DREW MICHYETA: 1964-65 New York World’s Fair official commemorative medal. Robert Feiler: ten love tokens from his collection. ROBERT LEONARD: bronze coin denomination set of Byzantine Emperor Justin II, 565-578 AD, in 5, 10, 20 and 40 nummia. DALE CARLSON: 1926 U.S. Sesquicentennial commemorative $2.50 gold coin and two Panda coins issued to honor the recent Denver ANA Convention. DEVEN KANE: two irregular shaped coins from the country of Georgia, a six dirhams of Abu Said from Il-Khans of Persia, and a hobo nickel. MARK WIECLAW: 2017 silver Krugerrand, 1967 gold Krugerrand, and a 1990 U.S. proof set with a no “S” cent. RICHARD LIPMAN: double printed U.S. $10 bill, Continental Currency signed by B. Levy, a $5 note from the Orphan’s Institute, and a Greek 50 drachma note produced in France. RICHARD HAMILTON: site tokens from Cahokia Mounds, Yellowstone National Park, Pinson Mounds, and Audubon Aquarium.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Love Tokens – Works of Art or Mutilation of Circulating Currency?

a presentation by Melissa Gumm,
to our September 13, 2017 meeting.

On the title slide, Melissa showed two examples of Love Tokens: the 1847 Liberty Seated quarter with a cross was beautiful, while the 3¢ piece with letters RM was crude. To the numismatic purist, a Love Token is just another mutilated coin, destined for the junk box. To the Love Token collector, it is a circulated coin with one or both sides planed or smoothed, polished flat, and engraved or marked. The most common marks are initials, but names, image, or message, are found. These are not like Hard Times or Civil War tokens which were machine made from dies, and were intended to circulate – these repurposed coins were engraved by hand, and were intended to be kept.

The Love Token definition used by the Love Token Society has two requirements: there must be engraving on a legitimate coin, and the engraving must be done by hand. Silver coins were most commonly used, as they were soft and easy to engrave – copper coins were not as valuable, so they did not carry as much significance; copper-nickel coins were hard and did not carry much more significance. Small gold coins were used sometimes, and they must have made a good impression on the recipient.

The earliest engraved tokens can be traced to Great Britain in the 16th century, when copper coins were used. Known as benders, they were physical items that could be seen and felt, and were used to mark a vow, be a token of affection, or be a good luck piece. Engraved pieces became more popular in the 17th century, when a mix of skill levels and a variety of tools were used. Pinpunching was one style of working the metal, but as with any manual work, the results improve with practice and concentration. For a time in the Victorian Era, a popular craze among young girls was to collect as many tokens as possible from young beaus, without compromising propriety or honor, and make a bracelet or necklace from the pieces. A Google search on Love Tokens is likely to turn up a number of such pieces, showing that the definition changed over time and place. Prison Tokens (known as Transportation Tokens by British collectors) were made or bought by prisoners who were about to be shipped to a penal colony – commonly in Australia – and would include name, years to serve, and the classic phrase, “When this you see remember me.”

Each piece would tell its own story but most modern collectors, unable to trace the piece, are unable to find the story. No two pieces are the same, and they can be full of symbolism in addition to a few stated facts: hearts or roses for love; a bluebird for happiness; clover or a horseshoe for luck; a forget-me-not flower for enduring affection; and clasped hands for a union or potential marriage.

Their popularity began in the United States in the mid-19th century with the Civil War, about the same time as Valentines. The fanciest coins are believed to have been done by jewelers – features included enamel, gold overlay, lesser gems, and colored glass. The greatest popularity was experienced late in the 19th century. There were booths at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition where fair goers could have personally engraved coins.

Because every Love Token reduced the circulating money supply, 1909 federal legislation banned the mutilation of coins. Maybe this was the reason making and giving Love Tokens fell out of favor, or maybe it was the cost of having a jeweler making something unique by hand. Love Tokens were considered old fashioned in the 1920s, and too expensive for a mass market during the Great Depression. The 1960s saw a relaxed attitude to the existing Love Tokens, with the Love Token Society started in 1972 by Helen Moore of Florida. With a worldwide membership, its objectives include encouraging and promoting interest in “engraved coins.” Its annual meeting is at the Winter FUN show.

The information available today has not changed much since the 1980s. Two references provide much detail, and Melissa learns something new each time she refers to them.

Melissa also mentioned a number of articles in Coin World, but realize that these heavily illustrated articles are light on details about the pieces. These articles usually appear in late January or early February, just before Valentine’s Day.

Melissa concluded the program with the changes she has seen over the years. In the 1980s, when her father took her along to local coins shows and encouraged her to collect something by showing her Love Tokens, a few exonumia dealers had a few dozen examples. Some dealers then did not know what you were talking about when you asked for Love Tokens, but at recent ANA conventions some dealers had boxes and ringbinders of them. It should be no surprise that with increased popularity came increased prices. The area is too wide to collect everything, so it is best to focus your collection – to pieces with your initials, for example. As you search for Love Tokens, remember to understand where you are – while everyone at a coin show knows what is meant by a Love Token, at an antique show many people calls them Valentines.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our September 13, 2017 meeting,
reported by Steve Ambos and John Riley.

  1. Lyle Daly showed ancient coins.
    1. Silver drachma of the “Kugelwange” type, attributed to the Scordisci Celts from the 2nd to 1st Century BC. These imitations of Philip II of Macedon’s coins have a stylized laureate head of Zeus on one side and a stylized horse prancing on the other side. It was found in the region of Syrmia between the rivers Danube and Sava, which is divided today between Serbia in the East and Croatia in the west. Following Roman conquest in the 1st century AD, the lands of the Scordisci Celts were made part of Roman provinces of Pannonia, Moesia and Dacia.
    2. A bronze coin from the second year of Gordian’ rule, 241 AD. This is a repeat from last year, but relates to the region of Moesia and the city of Viminacium. The reverse consists of a female figure, interpreted as the personification of Moesia Superior, with a bull by her right leg and a lion next to her left leg. These animals represent the Legion VII Claudia and Legion IIII Flavia that were stationed in Moesia Superior. Viminacium is an ongoing archeological site about 90 miles southeast of Belgrade, just outside the city of Kostolac.
  2. Drew Michyeta showed the Official Commemorative Medallion of the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65. The obverse shows the artist’s rendering of the “Unisphere” while the reverse shows the City Crest of New York, marking the City’s 300th Anniversary of Anglo settlement.
  3. To complement the featured speaker, Bob Feiler showed ten love tokens from his collection.
    1. 1895 Indian Cent with ornate edge and letters “LR”
    2. 1866 Shield nickel with initials “TGB”
    3. 1872 Shield nickel with initials “RF” and pie crust border.
    4. Love token on early dime with initial “B” leaf vine border.
    5. 1856 Seated dime with initials “BF”
    6. 1872 Seated quarter with initials “RR”
    7. 1878 U.S. $2.50 gold piece.
    8. U.S. $3 gold piece (1854-89) with initials “BC” and pie crust border.
    9. Belgium 20 Franc gold piece with initials “LS”
    10. 1915 U.S. $5 gold piece multi colored enameled coin in a gold bezel.
  4. Bob Leonard showed a Byzantine bronze coin type set from the reign of Justin II, 565-578. The denominations and mints of these circulated coins are: 5 nummia of Constantinople, 10 nummia of Antioch, 20 nummia of Antioch, and 40 nummia of Constantinople. Each denomination is indicated by a single Greek letter, the usual Byzantine way of showing a number at that time.
  5. Dale Carlson showed items acquired while at the ANA convention in Denver.
    1. A 1926 US Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) $2.50 gold commemorative coin, graded MS 64 by NGC. This was the last US gold commemorative coin until 1984. The reverse showed a view of Independence Hall.
    2. For reference, Dale showed a 1976 Bicentennial commemorative 50-cent piece which also featured the same view of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
    3. A China mint Panda in tri-metal (nickel, copper, and brass) commemorating the ANA’s 2017 World’s Fair of Money.
    4. A China mint one silver ounce Panda commemorating the ANA’s 2017 World’s Fair of Money.
  6. Deven Kane started old and finished recent.
    1. An odd-shaped irregular copper piece of Giorgi III (1156-1184) of the Bagratid dynasty (of Armenia and Georgia). Weighing 17.5 grams, one side has a stylized Arabic inscription while the other side has intersecting arc lines with an Arabic quote.
    2. Another coin from the Georgian golden age, this one consisting of a round part and an oval part joined by a bridge – the general shape is that of a shoe sole. This copper piece of Giorgi IV Lasha (1208-1223), a grandson of Giorgi III, has his name in Mtavruli on both halves, framed by an ornament with knots, and the date in Georgian. On the other side, a four-line Arabic inscription is on both halves, with the date in Arabic. This piece weighs 45.22 grams. In 1220, after Giorgi put down revolts in neighboring vassal states and was preparing for a major crusade against Jerusalem, the Mongols were pursuing the ruler of Khwarezm to the Caspian. A reconnaissance mission into the Caucasus by 20,000 Mongols defeated a large Georgian force at the battle of Khunan in central Armenia; Giorgi IV was severely wounded in the battle. The sudden attack left the Georgians confused as to the identity of the attackers. Since they had attacked the Khwarezmians, the Georgians presumed they were Christians, but they turned out to be pagans. The king did not recover from his wound and died in 1223 at the age of 31.
    3. A 6 dirham coin from 1318 of Abu Said, Ilkhanate ruler from 1316 to 1335. The central part of one side of the coin has the Khalima surrounded by a blessing, while the other side has the name and titles of the ruler. Abu Said became Khan when only ten years old. He was the ninth and last of the Ilkhanate Mongol Kings, a line that started with a grandson of Genghis Khan in 1256 when the Mongol Empire was split into four Khanates. Centered around modern Iran, the Ilkhanate included much of the neighboring states, including Armenia and Georgia. In the 1330s the Black Death ravaged the Il Khanate, killing Abu Said and his sons, resulting in the fragmentation of the Ilkhanate as regional governors propped up their own pretenders to the throne.
    4. A classic style hobo nickel carved by Pedro Villarrubia at the FUN coin show in 2014. Pedro is a master carver from Madrid, who has a site at This piece is signed PV on reverse.
  7. Mark Wieclaw showed mostly recent acquisitions.
    1. Since 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the gold krugerrand, a one ounce silver krugerrand was issued this year. Mark showed one he acquired at the ANA show in Denver. Mark separately sent
    2. Free handouts picturing a 1967 gold krugerrand: a coaster, and a refrigerator magnet.
    3. A 1967 gold krugerrand he has had for a while.
    4. A US 1990-S proof set without an S mintmark on the cent. Bought with a group of other proof sets in a group, it was only later that he noticed this important detail. Fortunately Mark remembered the seller’s identity, making everyone pleasantly surprised.
  8. Rich Lipman showed a range of paper items.
    1. A 1950 $10 note with double printing on the front – the vertical placement of the two printings differ by about two millimeters. The sheet went through the press twice, because we see two different plate numbers printed on the note.
    2. A $6 Continental Currency of November 2, 1776, signed by B. Levy. He is the only known Jewish signer of Continental Currency.
    3. A $5 note from the Orphan’s Institute of Stark County, Ohio. It is unsigned, but it has a June 12, 1838 date. Rich touched on some of the shenanigans and efforts in promoting the institute that was chartered by Ohio as an institute and not as a bank. Local farmers were encoiuraged to become shareholders by buying notes, and the area suffered for years after it soon failed.
    4. A 1935 50 drachma Greek note, which has the look of a French note. That is because it was designed and printed in France using Greek motifs related to agriculture.
  9. Richard Hamilton showed souvenir tokens from sites visited during a long summer vacation. Each piece was sold already mounted in its own colorful cardboard holder.
    1. A World Heritate site commemorative token from Cahokia Mounds, located in Illinois near St. Louis. A thousand years ago, 10,000 to 20,000 people lived there, making it the largest city of the Mississippian culture.
    2. Another World Heritate site commemorative token, this one for Yellowstone National Park.
    3. A Pinson Mounds token, bearing the site’s latitude and longitude. Located in western Tennessee, this smaller group of mounds date to about 500 years before the Cahokia Mounds.
    4. A token from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, which is located in New Orleans. This is a great site.

Minutes of the 100th Anniversary Committee Meeting

September 20, 2017

The Chicago Coin Club’s 100th Anniversary Committee held an open meeting September 20, 2017 at Connie’s Pizza, 2373 S. Archer Ave., Chicago. Committee Chairman Mark Wieclaw called the meeting to order at 6 PM with the following members present: Sharon Blocker, Bill Burd, Steve Zitowsky, Melissa Gumm, Dale Lukanich, Robert Feiler, Dale Carlson, Richard Hamilton, Scott McGowan, and Carl Wolf.

Everyone gave their committee preference and expressed ideas.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:19PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Our 1186th Meeting

Date:October 11, 2017
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.
Featured Program:Brett IrickBuilding a Type Set of Mexican Coins
Coins have been minted in Mexico since 1535. The first mint opened that year in Mexico City and coins were produced there until 1983. Attend this meeting to learn about the thirty or so most important design types of Mexican coinage that now span almost 500 years and the interesting history behind them. Importantly, most of these issues are relatively available in higher grades with most at reasonable prices. This topic was last presented by Richard A. Long, a Mexican numismatic specialist and ANA Past President, during the 2005 American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar to less than a dozen students who were taking hand written notes. This program was developed from my notes taken during that presentation and modernized to PowerPoint. Examples of many of the type coins and reference sources will be shared with attendees.

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.

October 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Brett Irick on Building a Mexican Type Set Collection
November 8 CCC Meeting - Club Auction  - no featured speaker
December 13 CCC Meeting - Annual Banquet  - Featured Speaker - Stanley Campbell on Cuban Numismatics
January 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
February 14 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):
Richard Lipman- President
Marc Stackler- First Vice President
John Riley- Second Vice President
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Steve Ambos
Melissa Gumm
Dale Lukanich
Mark Wieclaw
Appointed positions:
Elliott Krieter- Immediate Past President
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Steve Zitowsky- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor, webmaster
Jeffrey Rosinia- ANA Club Representative

Contacting Your Editor / Chatter Delivery Option

The print version of the Chatter is simply a printout of the Chatter webpage, with a little cutting and pasting to fill out each print page. The webpage is available before the Chatter is mailed.
If you would like to receive an email link to the latest issue instead of a mailed print copy, send an email to You can resume receiving a mailed print copy at any time, just by sending another email.

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