|Volume 64 No. 9||September 2018|
Save the correct dates. As mentioned in some previous issues of the Chatter, our club is planning some centennial events during the ANA convention in Rosemont in August of 2019. During the 2018 convention in Phiadephia, we found out that we had been told the wrong dates for 2019! So our earlier flyers and announcements used the wrong dates. The correct dates for the 2019 ANA convention in Rosemont are August 13-17. Athough we will correct the dates in the Chatter’s online archive, previousy printed items show the wrong date.
I just noticed that the “L” key on my keyboard does not aways work. Be prepared for the resuting gibberish.
Paul Hybert, editor
The 1195th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held Wednesday, August 8, 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 26 members.
The Minutes of July meeting were approved as published in the Chatter. Steve Zitowsky delivered the Treasurer’s Report showing July revenue of $1,105.00 and expenses of $1,868.00. A motion was passed approving the report.
The Secretary announced the following:
Rich Lipman, Host Chairman of the 2019 Chicago ANA Convention, will attend the upcoming Philadelphia ANA Convention and speak with Jennifer Ackerman, ANA Convention Director. Rich also announced that the offices of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. is unable to host 2019 Convention Committee meetings. Robert Leonard announced there will be a meeting of the Goodfellows (past Convention Hosts) at the Convention.
Marc Stacker introduced the evening’s featured speaker, Paul Hybert, who gave a program Assayed at the Mint in 1818. Following a question and answer period, Marc presented Paul with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club speaker’s medal suspended on a neck ribbon.
Second VP John Riley announced the following exhibitors. MARK WIECLAW: ancient Roman coins and how to identify the denominations. DEVEN KANE: coins from the Midde East and Black Sea. ROBERT LEONARD: coins from early Jerusalem. RICH LIPMAN: examples of world paper money. LYLE DALY: early Byzantine coins. DALE LUKANICH: obsolete currency of Pennsylvania. WILLIAM BURD: material from the Club Archives. JEFF AMELSE: souvenir notes, and an Iberian As of Augustus. DAVID GUMM: contemporary forgery 1890-O Morgan dollar. STEVE ZITOWSKY: a 19th century book on ancient Greek and Roman coins. ROBERT WEINSTEIN: coins from the ancient Parthian Empire. JIM DAVIS: tokens. STEVE HUBER: a Bavarian Golden Wedding Commemorative.
Member Jeff Amelse returned from teaching in Portugal and donated six souvenir Zero Euro notes from the Castle at Guimares, Portugal, site of the decisive battle that marked the founding of Portugal.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:17 PM.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
by Paul Hybert,
presented to our August 8, 2018 meeting.
In 1818, the US Mint assayed 16 types of large foreign silver coins which had been received at the mint. It has been more than four years since I added the report, which ends with Joseph Richardson’s assay report, to the collection of mint-related documents at http://www.chicagocoinclub.org/lib/us/usmnt/mr.html. I thought a collection of the listed coins would form an interesting exhibit, so I started another wantlist to carry to coin shows. Completing this collection became my top priority two years ago when I saw that ANA would meet in Philadelphia, “200 years ago in a building not far, far away” as the subtitle for my exhibit next week expresses it.
The weight and fineness of each coin is stated in the report and are assumed accurate, but some of the stated names and descriptions do not identify a unique or obvious type. There are some challenges in identifying individual coins. The descriptions for some of the coins are vague, and some of the spellings are not what we use today – maybe some transcription errors entered the orginal table, but most likely these were the words used in 1818. The weight of each coin was expressed in (Troy) ounces, pennyweights (20 in a Troy ounce), and grains (24 in a pennyweight) but modern references and scales typically use either ounces or grams, with two or three decimal digits to the right of the decimal point.
Today we express fineness as a ratio, or as a number from 0.000 for no silver to 1.000 for pure silver. In this report, however, the fineness was stated as the weight of the silver present in a piece of alloy with a gross weight of 12 troy ounces (which is 1 troy pound). When reading old documents, be prepared to encounter different – not wrong, just different.
To match the values used in modern coin catalogs, I expanded the original table by adding columns to show the weight in grams and the fineness between 0.000 and 1.000. But enough with background details. I tried to acquire two examples of each coin, to show both sides at the same time. Here are coins as listed in the assay report, followed by my coins.
Holland piece of 3 guilders. Holland was one of the seven provinces of the Republic of the United Netherlands, and the 1997 Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800 (SCWC18) shows that most of the provinces issued a coin of the 3 Gulden denomination. It is common practice to use the name Holland when referring to the Netherlands – I was offered coins from the other provinces, but I had decided early on to find coins stating Holland. These were issued during a few of the years between 1763 and 1794.
Surprisingly, this was the hardest coin to obtain. When I asked dealers about this coin, I was assured that, although they did not have one currently in stock, it is popular and appears regularly. In early 2018, I was offered a slabbed coin graded MS65; when I declined, and said I was looking for a coin in a lower grade, the dealer mentioned he had a slabbed MS64 back at the shop! I passed.
I show two examples of the 1 Gulden coin from the late 18th century as space holders, because they use the same design as the 3 Gulden coins. A European dealer has promised to bring two nice 3 Gulden coins to the Philadelphia show next week.
Rixthaler of Denmark. SCWC18 shows a number of 18th century designs under the Daler Specie denomination, which had been shown under the Rigsdaler Species denomination in the one-volume 1985 SCWC. My two coins (KM-651 and KM-654) are both dated 1799, which is the last year shown for this denomination. The legend on both reverses is 1.RIGSDALER.SPECIES., where Rigsdaler is phonetically close to Rixthaler.
Austrian thayler (Maria Theresa). My two coins are both from the Gunzburg Mint. The KM-15 piece is dated 1765 while the KM-21 piece is dated 1771. Listed in SCWC18 as a Thaler and on the dealer’s tag as a Taler. Although restrikes of Maria Theresa Taler designs as bullion pieces with good silver have been made around the world into the 20th century, the two pieces here are originals.
Bavarian piece of 1816. The country, year, and weight of the coin are given, so finding the appropriate coin should be simple. And it is. The 2012 (7th edition) of Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900 (SCWC19) names this as a Thaler (Krone). The listing of a coin dated 1816 gave me the confidence to consider coins dated through 1817 as candidates for this exhibit.
This is KM-358.1, which was issued from 1809 through 1825. The largest annual mintage, of almost 2.5 million pieces, was in 1816.
Brabant krone, (Francis II). My search for Brabant led to the Austrian Netherlands. (Brabant is south of the Netherlands – think modern Belgium.) I had acquired two KM-62.1 coins of the Austrian Netherlands which the dealers and SCWC18 list as Kronenthalers; these were issued from 1792 to 1798. My 1796 coin has the A mint mark of Vienna, and my 1795 coin has the M mint mark of … oh no! The catalog has “NOTE: For similar coins with M mint mark refer to Italian States – Milan.” Serves me right for buying a world coin at a Paper Money show!
A comparison of my two worn coins shows only one major difference; in the obverse legend, the Milan coin renders the name of Franz II with three more letters. This raises the question: If the dealer who sold me the Milan coin made the wrong identification, might the mint have done the same?
Ducatoon of Holland. SCWC18 shows that most of the provinces of the Republic of the United Netherlands issued a coin of the Ducaton denomination (also known as a Silver Rider). The province of Holland issued this coin during some of the years from 1734 until 1793.
A 20 kreutzer piece. While spending some time in the catalog’s Austrian pages for some of the above coins, I noticed a range of kreuzer denominations, with the copper coin spelling the units as kreutzer. There might be other sources for 20 Kreutzer coins, but Austria had large mintages over many years. The familiar but small bust of Franz II (who ruled from 1792 to 1835) is on this denomination. Both of my coins, dated 1813 and 1815, bear the A mint mark for Vienna and are of the KM-2142 type.
A Russian ruble. More than 11 million of these coins were minted in Saint Petersburg in 1817, and I show two of them. Although silver roubles of this weight and fineness were first minted in 1798 (using two slightly different designs), production became even larger in 1810 when KM-130 was introduced.
Crown piece of Portugal. The KM-331 type was issued between 1799 and 1816. The denomination is 400 Reis, with a 400 appearing on the obverse. This is the largest regular issue silver coin of Portugal at that time.
Switzerland piece, 40 batz, (canton of Zurich). SCWC19 lists the 40 batzen coin as being minted in only 1813, but shows three types on which the units are abbreviated to batz. Although my two coins are of the same type, KM-191, on one coin the dies were in medal alignment while on the other coin the dies were in coin alignment.
Switzerland piece, 40 batz, (canton of Luzerne). The SCWC catalogs list two possible coins. SCWC18 has a KM-93 which was minted in only 1796; the obverse legend of REPUBLICA LUCERNENSI is near the denomination shown as 40 BAZ. SCWC19 has a KM-113 which was minted in 1816 and 1817; the obverse legend is CANTON LUZERN, and the reverse shows the denomination as the large, central device, as 40 BATZEN. The KM-113 type seems the better match for the coin in the report, due to similarity of the legends. Both of these types have low mintages and are expensive, so I show one coin of each type.
Barcelona piece, (5 pesitas). From 1808 until 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte’s older brother Joseph ruled as King of Spain. SCWC19 shows KM-69, a 5 Pesetas coin, issued every year from 1808 through 1814. My coins are dated 1809 and 1811.
African (Sierra Leone) dollar. Issued in only 1791, the two types listed in SCWC18, KM-6 and KM-7, differ in the numerical representation of the denomination. SCWC18 shows a mintage of 6,560 for KM-6 and 800 for KM-7, so it comes as no surprise that I have two examples of KM-6. SCWC18 shows a 0.902 fineness for both types, but the report shows a 0.821 fineness – a major difference, of about 10%. No weight is listed in SCWC18.
Portuguese dollar. This entry confused me for some time. The report’s weight is about twice the weight of the heaviest silver coin of Portugal at that time (the 400 Reis listed above as a Crown). My mistake was in limiting myself to European Portugal. The values in the report are close to the weight and fineness of the Spanish Colonial 8 Reales, which had been overstruck by Brazil to make Brazilian coins. After Napoleon had invaded Spain and went at Portugal, the Portuguese government and royal family relocated to Brazil; with the result that Brazil became, in effect, Portugal (to over simplify the matter).
Chili dollar. Although many Spanish Colonial 8 Reales coins (commonly called dollars or Spanish dollars) had been minted in Santiago, Chile finally had, in early 1818, won its war of independence from Spain. Since the Spanish Colonial “dollars” had legal tender status in the US, there would have been no need to assay a Spanish Colonial 8 reales piece minted in Santiago. The coin assayed in Philadelphia must have been one of the new “Volcano” Pesos which Chile started minting in 1817. These are the KM-82.1 and KM-82.2 types, listed in SCWC19.
My single 1817-dated coin is of type KM-82.2, as were the other pieces I had chances to acquire at auctions this year – due to bad luck and circumstances. This coin is very popular in Chile now, so most quickly go from dealer stock in the U.S. back to Chile.
Province Rio de la Plata dollar. This coin is from a newly-independent part of Spanish Colonial America – it included the city of Buenos Aires, which today is the capital of Argentina. SCWC19 lists two possible types, KM-5 minted in 1813 and KM-14 minted in 1815, of this 8 Reales coin. I have one of each type. Both types have the monogram of the Potosi mint in Bolivia because that is where these coins were struck, during two different periods of occupation by rebel forces.
Although I am trusting of the values in the original report, there is an odd thing about the values for the Bavarian piece and Brabant krone which are listed on consecutive lines: the weight and fineness values are the same. On no other lines in the report do the exact same weight values appear, and only on one other pair of lines does the same fineness value (of 0.900) appear. Transcription errors have appeared in other old documents which I have examined, so an error here is a possibility.
The original report moved around the mint in Philadelphia before being sent to the Treasury Department in Washington, from which it was sent to Congress, to be reprinted in American State Papers years later. There were no photocopiers 200 years ago – a copier was a clerk who wrote out a new copy of the document, with the original usually kept and the new copy sent out. This step could be repeated each time a document was forwarded. A check of a retained copy from early in the sequence might show different values for the Brabant krone; and it might show a different fineness value for the Sierra Leone dollar.
|CSNS Convention||Chicago Coin Company|
|PCDA Convention||Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.|
Items shown at our August 8, 2018 meeting,
reported by John Riley.
|Date:||September 12, 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:||Bill Burd
— Chinese Chopmarks on World Coins
Bill will explain China’s great appetite for silver and how European traders filled that need. He will explain the types of chops and the changes over the two centuries of use. He will show what countries sent their coins to China and the peculiarities of each. He will touch on the opium trade, first Chinese dollar size coins, shroffs, single whip tax system, and more.
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||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Bill Burd on Chinese Chopmarks on World Coins|
|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|
|October||10||CCC Meeting - Melissa Gumm - Currency Backed by Gold Standard|
|November||14||CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker|
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