|Volume 64 No. 2||February 2018|
Numbers and numbering. The first meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held in February of 1919. An earlier version, under the Chicago Numismatic Society name, had been active for some years before going dormant. A full history of the club is available online at http://www.chicagocoinclub.org/lib/club/ccc/PiN/ccc.html
The 99th year of our existence ended with our meeting in January, so our upcoming February meeting marks the start of our 100th year. Not only does our February meeting fall on Valentine’s Day, it also falls on the day after Mardi Gras. So many distractions, but no need to cancel the meeting. Actually, precedence calls for you to attend, for our very first meeting was held on February 14, 1919! Hope to see you there.
As is usual in such things, our 100th anniversary will occur after the conclusion of our 100th year, so there is plenty of time to plan those festivities. But if you want to celebrate early, look for me at the ANA convention in Irving this March, or in Philadelphia in August.
Paul Hybert, editor
The 1188th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Richard Lipman convened the meeting at 6:45 PM with attendance of 24 members and 1 guest, Anne Anaszewicz.
President Lipman thanked everyone in the Club who donated their time and efforts during 2017 to make the Chicago Coin Club a success.
The Minutes of the November and December meetings as published in the Chatter were approved. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky delivered the December treasurer’s report showing $8,371 in revenue and $3,096,42 in expenses. He also gave the 2017 year-end treasurer’s report showing revenue of $12,930.00, expenses $7,960.00. Total assets were $31,824: in Life Membership Fund $3,490, and $28,334 in equity. Following several questions, a motion was passed approving the report.
Steve announced that the Club treasury was moving from TCF Bank to Chase Bank as their electronic banking is more advanced.
First VP Marc Stackler introduced the featured speaker, Deven Kane, who gave a program Uncoined Money – A Survey of the Ethnographic Money of South East Asia. Following a question and answer period, Marc presented Deven with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club speaker’s medal. Marc also presented Deven with the 2017 Silver Cabeen Award Medal for outstanding exhibits during 2017.
Second VP John Riley announced the 12 exhibitors. MELISSA GUMM: banknotes of Da Afghanistan Bank. LYLE DALY: a Celtic bronze coin, and Buchenwald camp note. ROBERT D. LEONARD JR.: five ancient coins. MARK WIECLAW: a fun item, silver bullion pieces, and a silver drachm. DEVEN KANE: three coins from the Seleucid Empire. RICHARD LIPMAN: a souvenir brass medal, and two gold commemoratives. MARC RICARD: Chicago Coin Club publications and items. ANDY PLIOPLYS: artwork inspired by an article n the NUMISMATIST magazine. BILL BURD: a gold medal and a gold coin. DALE LUKENICH: three examples of “cut” coins. GERRY ANASZEWICZ: pictorial coins of the Seljuks of Rum. ANDREW MICHYETA: a catalog of Yunnan Historical Silver Ingots.
Paul Hybert announced that the meeting was the last of the 99th year of the Chicago Coin Club.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:14 PM.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
a presentation by Deven Kane,
to our January 10, 2018 meeting.
A short history of money usually starts with barter transactions, progressing to easily transported trade goods, which over time start to follow some standard measures of value, and finally reach precious metal coins as stores of value. But history does not always follow that path – sometimes precious metal coins can be replaced by other items, as Deven Kane showed in his presentation.
Deven started the program with a map of mainland South East Asia around the year 750, showing the various kingdoms. This was before the arrival of the Burmese and Thai, when cowrie shells served in commerce; the early coins were issued by the Arakanese states of Burma and Myanmar, and the Pyu and Mon states of Burma. This coinage circulated in what is now Thailand, and appears to follow Indian weight standards based on the seed of the gunja creeper or ratti; the later coins bear Sanskrit inscriptions. Deven showed us a sampling of the coinage which died out after about 1000; most of the round pieces had a stylized rendering of the sun.
A slide of maritime trade routes in the 12th and 13th centuries showed coastal routes from China to the north, around Malaysia in the center, and and along modern-day Indonesia. The coins issues by Java and Sumatra were bean-sized lumps of gold, silver, and copper, often stamped with symbols or Brahmi letters. There appear to be some standardizations of the weights, but it is impossible to be sure from the present looking to the past.
A series of maps from 900 to 1400 showed changing borders, reflective of the fall of the Khmers and the arrival of the Thais. Two maps from the 16th century showed the rise of the Burmese empire and the decline of empires to its east, through modern Cambodia and Vietnam. A range of ingot moneys were used between the 17th and 20th centuries, at different times and locations, following different standards. One weight standard, used in Thailand, was based upon dried rice grains, with the smallest piece, the att, weighing about 0.22 to 0.27 grams and corresponding to 12 rice grains. Two att were worth a pai weighing about 0.40 to 0.55 grams, four pai to a fuang weighing about 1.8 to 2.1 grams, two fuang to a salung weighing about 3.5 to 4.2 grams, four samlung to a baht, four baht to a tamlung or Thai tael weighing about 63 grams, and 20 tamlung to a chang weighing about 1.27kilograms.
The first example of proto money that Deven discussed was Tok Money, which were flat round ingots of silver alloyed with copper and lead, weighing about 45-50 grams. The issues of northern Thai cities Nan and Chiang Mai are the most common, with Chiang Mai pieces having a yellow and brown coloring (from tree resin?) on one side, and Nan pieces often colored with egg yolk and chicken blood (or possibly gold leaf). (Original documents about these pieces were not mentioned, so it appears conjecture and hearsay might be encountered.) Alloy was melted into a circular shape, and a hollow area was formed by blowing air onto the still-hot piece. Based upon the final shape, different varieties have acquired names such as horse hoof and pig mouth money. Pieces are generally found with a single hole, possibly for use as jewelry.
The Flower Money pieces are similar to Tok Money, except one side acquires a flower pattern, like the coriander blossom, during cooling. The pattern develops naturally, as the metal shrinks while cooling. The size and thickness cary, and the silver content can vary from 75% to 95%. The age is probably similar to Tok Money, but it might not have been used into the 20th century.
The most common type of proto money to be encountered is the Tiger Tongue type of Bar Money. The long narrow ingot typically has one side smooth and the other side with small bumps giving it its name. The metal content is silver (52-68%) and copper with lead (30-46%). Marks like turtles, stars, or lotus flowers are typical on the smaller pieces, with large pieces having three marks. The Leech type of Bar Money is similar in shape to Tiger Tongue but it usually is smooth with three marks (a combination of elephant, turtle, and chakra) on one side. These consist of about one-third silver and two-thirds copper with traces of gold, lead, and iron. The Canoe type of Bar Money is in the shape of a dugout canoe, and is commonly faked. Some consider these to be charms, but they might have had some monetary value. These consist mostly of copper (61-73%), with tin (18-27%), zinc (6.5-9.5%), and lead (1%) also in the mix.
A piece of Broken Bracelet Money is hard to describe – start with a ring of metal with a square cross section, cut it at one spot, notch it on the opposite spot, and then bend the two semicircular halves until they are perpendicular to each other. This is the only ingot with a controlled weight standard and a consistent alloy. Usual weights are in the 58-64 grams range, but fractions at 32, 16, 8, and 4 grams are known. The most common issuing authorities are Chiang Mai, Chiang Sen, and Nan.
A piece of Bullet Money is a little easier to describe: Start with a cast oval shape, and bend the two ends to obtain a rough globular shape. Its inspiration is unknown, but theories include imitating cowrie shells to evolving from bracelet money. During its almost 500 years in use, the weights became more standardized as did the silver content, from a range of 61.5-99.7 in the early years to 95.8-99.3 later; but the pieces have a wide range of dynastic and personal devices of the monarch. That concluded the mainly silver pieces from mainly Thailand, and Deven turned his attention to some neighboring areas.
What we call Angkor Flower Money probably originated around the fall of Angkor in the 1400s, and these are the only Cambodian pieces until the 1800s. Deven showed a five-lobed lead piece with a central hole, with the same design on both sides: five lotus blossoms. These are known in a range of sizes, and there is debate whether these were coins or gambling tokens. Pieces of the Bracelet Money used by the hill tribes of Laos have a wider gap and smaller cross section than the Broken Bracelet Money mentioned earlier. These can be finely worked the cross section can be round, rectagular, or in some other shape; and the ends can be in a range of shapes, from round to pointed. Many are made from fine silver, and some are too small to be worn – as to the the question of whether they are jewelry or money, Deven follows the rule, “If too small to fit on a wrist, money.” This type has been researched, with reference works attributing the different styles to different tribes from different eras and areas.
Sycees are ingots originating in China, and they are known in saddle shapes and belt shapes, and even a hemisperical shape. These inspired similar pieces along the Menam, Irawaddy, and Mekong River valleys. That many of these pieces are made of silver should be no surprise – stories of the local rich silver mines reached the West during the Roman Empire.
The major deposits of tin on the Malay Peninsula are why ingots of tin were produced. Deven showed pieces of Tin Animal Money in tortoise, bird, horse, and dragon shapes from the Islamic Sultanates of Perak, made in the 1700s. Dimensions of the pieces ranged from about 50mm to 140mm, with weights from 35 to 110 grams. The smaller Tin Fish pieces from Kedah in the 1700s come in different styles; differences in scales and tails were pointed out, including a “fleur-de-lis” tail. The later Tin Hat Money of Pahang are hollow with Arabic, Jawi, or Chinese inscriptions, and weigh from 13 to 218 grams. Also with a square base are the Pyramid or Pagoda Money of Perak, but these pieces are solid, have a flower design, and weigh from 900 grams to 1.1kg.
Although some European travellers described what they saw being made, and there are accepted modern references on some of these items, some of what is written might result from conjecture and speculation. This can be a fun area to collect, but deal with a dealer you trust.
Philip J. Carrigan (73) passed away January 29, 2018. He joined the Chicago Coin Club May 10, 1989 as member 1013. Phil was a life member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), served as the Education Chairman at the Chicago 1999 ANA Convention, worked as a volunteer at Chicago’s 2011, 2013-15 ANA Conventions, and received the ANA Presidential Award in 2014.
Phil had a deep interest in Barber coinage. In 1989 he became a charter member of the Barber Coin Collectors’ Society, served as President (1994-2015), made many contributions to their journal, and received their 2015 Award of Appreciation. He was a charter member of the John Reich Collectors Society and a member of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society where he also served on their Board.
Phil collected Canadian and Maritime decimal coins and tokens, was a life member of the Canadian Numismatic Association, and attended most of their annual conventions.
Phil was an avid collector of Canadian and United States numismatic literature, including books, auction catalogues, fixed price lists, and related material. He enjoyed reading the history of early collectors as told through the auction of their collections. His library was so large, he frequently wondered if it was too heavy for the second floor of his home. Phil was a recognized figure at most major numismatic literature auctions and recognized as an expert in the field.
A native of Massachusetts, Phil earned an undergraduate pharmacy degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, a master’s degree from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in pharmacokinetics from the University of Connecticut. He finished graduate studies at University of Buffalo. He joined Abbott Laboratories in 1974 and served for thirty years working in the area of pharmaceutical research and development. In 1985 he was inducted into Abbott’s prestigious Volwiler Society which recognizes their most distinguished scientists and engineers.
Phil is survived by his wife Mary Clare Jakes, daughter Erin Carrigan, son-in-law Jeremy Bell, and twin granddaughters Audrey and Elizabeth.
Phil was a dedicated volunteer and advocate in Waukegan and Lake County, Illinois. He was elected as a Trustee at the College of Lake County and also served as Chairman of the Board. He worked tirelessly with numerous organizations dedicated to helping the homeless, the hungry, and visiting prisoners. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Eddie Washington Center, which provides transitional housing for homeless single men in Lake County, Illinois.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
|CSNS Convention||Chicago Coin Company|
|PCDA Convention||Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.|
Members now can pay their dues, purchase CCC merchandise, or make a donation to the Club by using their Android or Apple smart phone, and Zelle®. If you are currently a JP Morgan Chase customer, you can also send payments to the Club via the Quick Pay app for your smart phone.
Go to https://www.zellepay.com to see if your Bank or Credit Union is part of the no-charge Zelle Payments Network, and please read all rules and requirements carefully.
Doing this will save you, and the Club, time and money.
The Chicago Coin Club's email address for the Treasurer is:
Contact the Club’s Treasurer, Steve Z, at that address, if you have relevant questions.
Steve Zitowsky, Treasurer
Items shown at our January 10, 2018 meeting,
reported by John Riley.
|Date:||February 14, 2018|
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:||Robert D. Leonard
— Lesher Referendum Dollars – The Chicago Connection
Joseph Lesher successfully defied the government by issuing his own silver coins in 1900 and 1901, which are listed in the back of the 2018 Red Book on page 419. Bob will present a summary history of Lesher Dollars – including a Lesher Dollar treasure story – plus information on one of the issuers, an ex-Chicagoan who lived in Lake View and whose wife lived on the near South Side and – after he died – briefly in Austin. This man had offices on State Street downtown before moving to Colorado Springs. Bob dug into the Chicago street renumberings of 1909 and 1911 and will explain a little about that.
All but forgotten today, except by a handful of eager collectors, Lesher Dollars are well worth hunting for. To disguise the fact that they were actually private coins, they are labeled as “medals” and “souvenirs” with a “price” for the value, so their true status may be overlooked by antique dealers and flea market sellers. About 1800 were issued, but only 602 are known today – where are the rest?
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.
|February||14||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert D. Leonard on Lesher Referendum Dollars – The Chicago Connection|
|March||1-3||PCDA National Currency and Coin Convention at the Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O’Hare, 5550 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 good from 1pm on Thursday through Saturday. Details at http://www.pcdaonline.com|
|March||3||CCC Meeting - 1pm at the PCDA National Currency and Coin Convention,
which is held at the Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O’Hare, 5550 North River Road, Rosemont, IL.
No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - to be announced
|March||8-10||ANA’s National Money Show at the Irving Convention Center, Irving, Texas. Details at http://www.money.org/NationalMoneyShow|
|March||14||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|April||11||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Warren Schultz on Using Coins to Date The Thousand and One Nights|
|April||19-21||Chicago Coin Expo which is held at the Palmer House Hotel in downtown Chicago. There is a $10 admission charge. For details, refer to their website, http://www.coinexpo.org.|
|April||26-28||79th Anniversary Convention of the Central States Numismatic Society at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, 1551 North Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL. There is a $5 per day admission charge, but admission is free for CSNS Life Members. For details, refer to their website, http://www.centralstates.info/conv.html.|
|April||28||CCC Meeting - 1pm at the CSNS Convention,
which is held at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Beth Deisher on Current State of Counterfeit Collectible Coins and Bullion
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
|Elected positions (two-year terms):|
|Richard Lipman||- President|
|Marc Stackler||- First Vice President|
|John Riley||- Second Vice President|
|William Burd||- Archivist|
|Elliott Krieter||- Immediate Past President|
|Carl Wolf||- Secretary|
|Steve Zitowsky||- Treasurer|
|Paul Hybert||- Chatter Editor, webmaster|
|Jeffrey Rosinia||- ANA Club Representative|
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.
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