|Volume 64 No. 6||June 2018|
The 1192nd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held Wednesday, May 9, 2018 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 22 members.
The Minutes of April were approved as published in the Chatter. Steve Zitowsky delivered the Treasurer’s Report showing April revenue of $2547.30 and expenses of $269.97. A motion was passed approving the report.
A moment of silence was held in memory of long-time member Tillie Boosel.
The membership application of Jay Michalowski received first reading. After the second reading of the following five applications, W. Thomas Corey, Bill Brandimore, Russell Augustin, Julie Bell, and John Kent, a motion was passed to accept them into the Club.
President Lipman announced the upcoming Board Meeting 6 PM, Wednesday, May 16th at Connie’s Pizza, 2373 S. Archer Ave. Chicago. Board members were asked to email the Secretary with any new points they wished to discuss.
Mark Wieclaw, Chairman, of the 100th Anniversary Committee, announced:
President Lipman, also the Host Chairman of the 2019 ANA Convention, asked members to correspond with him on which convention committees they wished to serve.
A report was delivered on the recent Central States Numismatic Society convention, the exhibit awards received by members, and the education programs they gave.
Lyle Daly, Richard Hamilton, and Sharon Blocker volunteered to serve on the Annual Banquet Committee.
First VP Marc Stackler introduced featured speaker Mark Wieclaw who gave a program “Collecting Ancient Coins, an Introduction.” Following a question and answer period, Marc presented Mark with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club speaker’s medal.
Second VP John Riley announced the eleven exhibitors. BILL BURD: 1 oz. Krugerand counterstamped in 1977 by the Numismatists of Wisconsin;MARK WIECLAW: 2 CSNS elongated coins, and a bronze follis of Justinian; DEVEN KANE: tetradrachm from Kingdom of Pergamum; tetradrachm from Baktria, and 2 denarii of Julia Soaemias; Robert Feiler: elongated coins and several items made from coins; RICH LIPMAN: three banknotes; DALE LUKANICH: a counterfeit detector page used by bank tellers and 3 banknotes; LYLE DALY: 3 Celtric coins; MELISSA GUMM: 3 collector items from Columbian Exposition; PAUL HYBERT: 4 obsolete banknotes from Pennsylvania; RICHARD HAMILTON: souvenir copies of U.S. banknotes; and JEFF ROSINIA: the 3 exhibit awards received at the CSNS Convention.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:22 PM.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
a presentation by Mark Wieclaw,
to our May 9, 2018 meeting.
The program started with a list of important things to know, some of which are applicable to all numismatics areas. The first thing was never buy coins as an investment, which was followed by always purchase coins from a reputable dealer. As an explanation, Mark noted it is better to pay too much for a genuine coin, than to get a deal on a fake. Extending that theme was when in Rome…, never buy coins from a street vendor. It has been many years since I saw someone selling coins on a downtown Chicago street, but this caution applies to any touristy and historical sites.
You can never know too much, so do research, pick up catalogues, visit dealer sites, and go to shows. Continuing that theme, Mark encouraged us to look at and hold as many coins as you possibly can (just don’t drop them). If you are starting out, or just visiting a dealer for the first time, do not be intimidated – dealers of ancient coins are typically friendly and love history. All of that, and you have not bought a coin! As to the actual coins you buy, stay away from coins described as “smoothed” or “tooled,” – terms which most often are associated with Roman bronzes.
As we collect coins we accumulate information, which we can then shorten to rules of thumb. Mark reminded us of some good rules for collecting ancient coins, starting with if it’s common today, it will be common tomorrow. But the opposite is not true because a new hoard can be discovered at any time, so if it’s rare today… it could be common tomorrow. A number of the standard references are many years old, and new hoards are being found and brought to the market, so if it’s not listed in RIC, BMC, Cohen, etc. it doesn’t mean that it is rare. Although the proper weight might might be a range instead of an exact number for some types, if it’s not of a proper weight, do not buy it – weight is the most important factor. And finally, if it’s small, it doesn’t mean that it is cheap.
For the rest of the program, Mark showed a coin image to illustrate each point he was making. The previously-mentioned terms smoothed and tooled are treatments which can be applied sparingly and gently, needing knowledge and a close examination to detect them – or they can be applied heavily without any artistic skill or regard to the original design. The tooled coin shown to us was hideous – the hair on the obverse bust and the folds in the standing figure on the reverse no longer had undulating surfaces of varying depth. Now engraved into the devices are many lines of uniform width and depth, vaguely reminiscent of a woodcutting. For a similar effect, compare the rendering of Washington’ hair on a lightly worn quarter from before the 1960s against his hair on a recent quarter. If you know what a real ancient coin type looks like, you can easily spot a poorly-tooled example.
The next point was raw versus slabbed. Mark’s preference is for a raw coin, so it can be weighed and a collector can actually feel the coin. Two coins of Rhodes were shown next, with the face of Helios on one side and a rose on the other, while Mark mentioned that a hoard of about 100,000 pieces was found in 1968 – the market needed time to absorb that many coins, but students of the coins of Rhodes and pseudo Rhodian coins had an opportunity to see and study many similar types.
There are four periods that make up the ancient coin world centered about the Mediterranean Sea: Greek (circa 650-30 BC), Roman Republic (circa 290-27 BC), Roman/Greek Imperial (27 BC - 498 AD), and Byzantine ( 491-1453 AD). Mark had quickly shown us two coins form each period, but there is no way two coins can fully express an entire period. There are so many types from different locations, that collectors who stay with ancient coins usually specialize on one or more topics. So which interesting and collectible topics did Mark mention?
He started with Insects, showing a coin with a cicada from Cyzicus, circa 5th-4th century BC; before moving on to animals, showing us a hare, sea turtle, and dolphins. Deities from A to Z, Athena to Zeus, is another topic, and we saw a coin showing Diana. Buildings and structures have interested collectors – one collector specializes in camp gates, looking for turret types and different numbers of rows of bricks. The historical women pictured on coins usually were related to a ruler; collect them by dynasty, hair style, or what ever you wish. The ruler/emperor is pictured on coins from some periods; collect the famous, infamous, depraved, or forgotten ones. Mythological creatures is another topic, and Mark likes coins showing Pegasus (the winged horse). You can concentrate on a city or country, or maybe the various counterstamps applied over an earlier design, or maybe you will look for a certain style, such as incuse designs.
Instead of collecting by the design on the coin, consider collecting coins tied to historical and interesting events, such as wars and rebellions. Or coins mentioned in the Bible, or coins showing Christ.
As for references, Mark likes these works compiled and edited by David R. Sear:
Note the older dates for these books. These works can be inexpensive when bought as a used book.
Mark concluded by asking us, if nothing else, to remember this: “Enjoy collecting. Collect what YOU like, and you will never be bored.”
a presentation by Beth Deisher,
to our April 28, 2018 meeting.
Beth started the presentation with a brief history of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF): A meeting, in the summer of 2016, of members of ANA, PNG, and ICTA discussed what could be done about the counterfeit items in the numismatic market. In January 2017, the ACTF was formed as part of ICTA, which is the Industry Council for Tangible Assets. A major goal is to mobilize law enforcement in the fight against counterfeits – collectors and dealers should guide and assist, but they cannot lead.
The ACTF Steering Committee has 16 members, and there are 12 ACTF Work Groups providing deeper expertise in support of the ACTF. The listed members come from a range of affiliations, including collectors, mints, and dealers. Most of the projects have concentrated on identifying areas of cooperation with, and the needs of, law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Educating and training law enforcement professionals has been one area, and identifying needed changes in laws and regulations at all levels is another. A list of volunteer dealers around the country was started – they are on call to assist agencies as needed, typically by answering questions or evaluating items – and knowledgeable collectors are being added to the list.
There are a number of areas where minimal improvement should be easy. Laws against possession of counterfeits are not rigorously enforced; the Secret Service has not paid attention to coins focusing, instead on paper money. U.S. prosecutors would go after counterfeit $100 bills, but some have said, “that is only a $50 coin” to explain why they were not looking at American Eagles. That attitude changed when they were informed that the U.S. Mint sells each for about $1,300. According to an old saying, knowledge is power. Initial efforts have been on making agencies aware of the problem, and then showing them various things they can look for. A one-hour webinar is being prepared for Customs and Border Protection, but they inspect only 0.1% of all packages. Leads can help them to focus on specific senders or recipients for a time; their seizure rate recently increased from 5 per month to 100 per week.
We saw a slide of seized material which included lightly circulated Morgan dollars, Ike dollars, PAMP gold bars, and slabbed double eagles. Yes, even the slab was counterfeit. They even intercepted shipments of unassembled slabs and printed inserts for slabs. CBP inspectors refer to the NGC and PCGS web sites to help identify counterfeit coins – these pages are available to everyone, and you should periodically look at them for a quick education. You can check the code number on a slab online, to see if the slab was really issued by them, as well as the coin’s type, date, and grade. Although the counterfeit slabs might be very good, the information for a particular code number might not match the coin in the slab.
Branded goods are counterfeited – this is not something new. Even Charmin toilet paper is counterfeited. So everything in numismatics can be counterfeited, including high quality ancients, classic collectible coins, bullion coins, and precious metal bars. They turn up everywhere. Policing eBay is a game of whack-a-mole – shut down one dealer, and he can start up under a different name. Even Amazon now has counterfeits. Alibaba is the Chinese equivalent of eBay and Amazon.
How open are the manufacturers of counterfeits? If you put some time and effort into it, you should be able to find some on the Internet. One of Beth’s slides showed the webpage for a company – I will not mention the name of the company, but the webpage had “e-light.en.alibaba.com” as the watermark across a group of scenes with people and machines, some of which were captioned as “Mold Dept, Die Casting Dept, Die Strucking Dept, and Trading Dept.” The facilities are clean, there is plenty of room for the uniformed workers, and it looks like an established facility ready to do business. Following that was a table with product specifications, some of which were: “Product name – Tungsten gold American Eagle coin. Product Series – Tungsten series. Dimension – Diameter 32.70mm, Thickness 2.87mm. Weightness – 33.93g.” On second thought, I better not do business with them.
That table was followed by a series of questions and answers, some of which were: “What if you don’t deliver after I send u money – We have been alibaba gold supplier for more than 4 years, I think this can convince u. As the saying goes everything has a hard beginning, I believe business will be smooth after the first deal. Why don’t u accept the third party payment terms? – We don’t accept b/c what we are selling is not normal commodity, we need lay low, hope u can understand. Is there any problem in custom clearance? – U don’t have to worry about the custom clearance, we have professional DHL agent. How do I sell them? – Any question about the product and selling, can send me email, I will answer ur question there.” [Editor’s note: We have no way of verifying that they have a DHL agent in their pocket, so my lawyer feels this is just sales puffery.]
The “replica coins” they make are legal to produce and sell in China because the Chinese government licenses businesses to make replicas. However, it is against U.S. law to make replicas of U.S. or any other nation’s coins without permanently marking replicas with the word COPY. Unmarked replicas are counterfeits and subject to U.S. counterfeiting laws. Making duplicates of trademarked and copyrighted slabs, inserts, and other packaging violates U.S. and international laws.
Part of ACTF’s efforts lies in the testing and evaluating of equipment to detect counterfeits. There is hope and improvement, but no piece of equipment is currently 100% accurate on everything. A few slides covered one company’s method of applying microparticles in specific combinations to an object – this product is named Stealth Mark. The last few slides of Beth’s presentation provided information about ICTA, ACTF, and their fund-raising efforts. Membership in ICTA is for groups or individuals, collectors or companies. Contributions can be made to ICTA or ACTF; also, the Anti-Counterfeiting Education Foundation has been established as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization to support ACTF’s work. Details are available on the ACTA website at http://www.ictaonline.org
After her presentation, Beth answered some questions and comments from the audience. During this, we learned that some museum gift shops sell replicas to complement their current exhibits; they did not realize that it is illegal to sell replicas which are not marked as such. We heard of counterfeit sellers who encourage the buyers to put the items away for their grandchildren, while other buyers are told not to show the items to their local coin dealers because “they are all crooks.” So even if no more counterfeits are produced and imported, there are many out there, and they will slowly appear for years. Will you be able to identify them?
|PCDA Convention||Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.|
|Chicago Coin Company||Kedzie Koins Inc.|
by club members
Carl Wolf reported from the Central States Numismatic Society convention:
The CSNS Boy Scout Merit Badge instructor had to cancel, but CCC member John Riley, a Registered Scout Instructor, stepped up and led the Merit Badge Class.
At the Saturday morning Award Breakfast, a number of CCC members were recognized. Everyone stood for a moment of silence honoring Ray Lockwood, a Past President of CSNS who served many years as their EducationDirector. Outgoing CSNS Governor Francis Hawks was given a plaque honoring his years of service. Dennis Coughlin and Scott McGowan were cited with appreciation for bringing exhibits within 24 hours when alerted of a last minute cancellation of three exhibits.
The following CCC members received exhibit awards:
Items shown at our May 9, 2018 meeting,
reported by John Riley.
May 16, 2018
The Chicago Coin Club Board met May 16, 2018 at Connie’s Pizza, 2373 S. Archer Ave., Chicago. President Rich Lipman called the meeting to order at 6 PM with the following members present: Bill Burd, John Riley, Paul Hybert, Dale Lukanich, Mark Wieclaw, Steve Zitowsky, Melissa Gumm, Jeff Rosinia, Lyle Daly, Marc Stackler, and Carl Wolf. Elliott Krieter was absent.
The following points of business were discussed:
The meeting was adjourned at 7:19 PM.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
May 23, 2018
Committee Chairman Mark Weiclaw called the meeting to order at 6:13PM. Committee members in attendance: Mark Wieclaw, Dale Lukanich, Bill Burd, Sharon Blocker, Melissa Gumm, Lyle Daly, Steve Zitowski, Bob Feiler, and Jeff Rosinia.
There was a discussion of potential guest speakers for the banquet. More to come on this selection process. It was also discussed that an MC could be used for the banquet.
It was agreed that there would be several Celebrations throughout the year commemorating the anniversary. Ideas included a Cake for our 1200th meeting in January. There would also be celebrations at the Central States Show and ILNA. There was discussion that hosting a Numismatic Seminar might also be part of our anniversary year.
There was spirited open discussion and other ideas were brought to the table.
The next meeting would be held on September 19th at Connie’ Pizza.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:57 PM
|Date:||June 13, 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:||Gerard Anaszewicz
— Aksumite Coins
Aksum, also known as Axum, was a kingdom that ruled ancient Ethiopia from about 250 AD to about 700 AD. Aksumite coinage is known for gold, silver, bronze and also gilded silver and bronze coinage. This presentation will introduce viewers to the history of the Aksumite people, and introduce their coinage – showing pagan, Christian, and Judaic characteristics.
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.
|June||13||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Gerard Anaszewicz on Aksumite Coins|
|June||15||Collector Exhibit Application Deadline. The application for exhibiting at ANA in Philadelphia must be received at ANA headquarters. Links to the Rules and Application are at https://www.money.org/worldsfairofmoney-exhibits|
|July||11||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|August||8||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|August||14-18||ANA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this year, so we can relax and play tourist for one more year — for details, see http://www.money.org/worldsfairofmoney.|
|September||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|September||20-22||ILNA 58th Annual Coin & Currency Show at the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 East Main Street, St. Charles, IL. Details, including hours and events, are available at http://www.ilnaclub.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
|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|
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