Volume 65 No. 11 November 2019

Minutes of the 1209th Meeting

The 1209th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by First VP Lyle Daly at 6:45 PM, Wednesday, October 10, 2019, Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago with 33 members and 3 guests: Elizabeth Shaykin, Maureen Costello, and Dennis Hoelzle.

Lyle Daly announced the passing of Dr. Saul B. Needleman, a Club Past President. Several members spoke about Saul’s contributions, and a moment of silence was held in his memory.

The September minutes were approved as printed in the Chatter. A detailed Treasurer’s Report showed $2,310.00 in revenue, $107.32 in expenses and $32,422.79 in assets. A motion was passed accepting the report.

The membership application of Laurence Edwards received a second reading and a motion was passed accepting him into the Club. The application of Elizabeth Shaykin received a first reading.

A motion was passed to drop the following members for unpaid 2019 dues: Sebastian Gawel, Dennis Lutz, Kevin O’Brien, and Robert Romeo.

Old Business:

New Business:

Second VP John Riley introduced James McMenamin who delivered a program Tokenism – A Fifty Year Adventure in Numismatics. Following a question and answer period Jim was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and a personally engraved Club speaker’s medal suspended on a neck ribbon.

Second VP John Riley announced the evening’s 10 exhibitors.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Journeys into Abstraction – The Evolution of Indo-Sassanian Coinage in Early Medieval India

a presentation by Deven Kane,
to our September 11, 2019 meeting.

From the 8th to the 11th centuries, well after the fall of the Sassanid Empire, coins inspired by Sassanid coins circulated in Western India. These Indo-Sassanid coins were degenerates of Sassanid drachms, with acquired Indian characteristics in flan and type. Starting with the Kingdom of Gujarat, they circulated through the Kingdoms of Malwa and Rajasthan, and for centuries were one of the few drachm size silver coins circulating in India. But before Deven showed us coins, he showed us books and maps.

Living Without Silver: The Monetary History of Medieval Northern India by Deyell (1999) and Imitations in Continuity:Tracking the Silver Coinage of Early Medieval India by Maheshwari (2010) are two important works covering this material. Deyell numbers are often used by cataloguers, but the book is hard to get. Maheshwari is still available and covers much of the material in this presentation. Next, four maps of Asia, from 500 to 1200 were shown, starting with a map showing the Hephthalites in a wide swath north of the Himalayas and Tibet in the east and, in the west, modern Afghanistan and Iran; the shrinking Gupta Empire was south of the Himalayas, but it would be gone by 570; the Persian Empire (Sassanid Dynasty) was to the west of India, and was still seen on a map of India in the 630s. The map from 630 also showed many small states inside and outside of modern India. The struggle (from about 750 to 900) for the main part of modern India saw 3 groups fighting each other, in various pairings and combinations; the three dynasties were the Gurjara Pratiharas, Palas, and Rashtrakutas. The final map, from around 1200, showed a multitude of states. Having given us a sense of the fluidity and impermanence of the groups and empires, Deven turned his attention to the coins.

A Sassanid silver drachm of Peroz (459-484AD) was shown to give us an idea of a typical Sassanid coin – thin, but about 30mm in diameter, with the bust of the ruler on the obverse and a Zoroastrian fire altar with two flanking attendants on the reverse. Peroz and his descendants paid much to the Hephthalites, starting with helping Peroz usurp the throne from his brother, and helping his son take the throne after Peroz was killed in battle. And ransoms were paid following some defeats. Then we saw Hephthalite coins which followed the general Sassanian fabric – the heads can be in a different style, but the fire altar and attendants are on the reverse. A shown coin of the Alchon Huns bears Brahmi legends, with one coin of the Nezak Huns bearing a Pahlavi legend while another coin is trilingual (Brahmi, Baktrian Greek, and Pahlavi). These coins are not imitations of Sassanid coins, because the figures and legends pertain to the Hephthalites (also known as Hunas). The Hephthalites circulated much of their coinage, and the similar looking acquired Sassanian coinage, into Western India, and these pieces were imitated following the collapse of the Gupta Empire.

The local imitations are now known as the Indo-Sassanian Series, which is generally classified into two categories: the Eastern Series (also known as the Gurjara Pratihara Series) and the Western Series (or Gadhaiyas). Although the perception is that a barter economy arose after the fall of the Guptas, plenty of silver coins were circulating. Coins of the Eastern Series were shown first.

The Gurjaras suddenly emerged as a power, in what is now Rajasthan, in the 6th century in the aftermath of the Huna invasions; it makes a foreign origin likely, though that is still debated. One theory ties them to the Khazars of the Steppes, who might have been related to the Hunas and allied with them. Many locations in India, including the state of Gujarat, derive their names from them. One clan of the Gurjaras named themselves Pratiharas (doorkeeper). They claimed descent from Lakshmana, brother of Rama, who served his brother and, in a few tales, served as a doorkeeper. As the frontline state facing the Arab Caliphate, they were literally a door keeper. Between 720 and 740, a series of Arab invasions were repelled by the Pratiharas and neighboring states, and this might have jump started their imperial rise.

The imitations from about 550-650 have a bust derived from the bust of Peroz wearing a winged skull cap and a large earring. The obverses have a conical head, and the reverses have a very crude fire altar with two attendants. These coins are thicker than before, but have the same weight because of a smaller diameter – these drachms have a diameter of about 24mm while the weight is still around 4 grams. A shown later style, mostly found in Rajasthan, has a much degraded potrait and fire altar; the actual ruler is unknown, and the obverse has a minmal Brahmi legend. But the weight of these silver coins remains around 4 grams. The next shown coin, a later silver or billon drachm, among the earliest of coins of the Pratihara Empire, weighs about 4 grams but has a diameter of 17 or 18mm. The design is a break from the previous – the fabric is very crude, but the obverse shows the emperor standing with his titles given, while the reverse has a two-line legend with symbols below. Sometimes coins used titles, and used names at other times; but from the coin alone, we cannot tell if a word is a name or title. A coin from the collapse of the Pratihara Empire was not round, the head is all that is shown of the boar, and the reverse legend is very short.

The coins of the Western Series, from the 10th through 13th centuries, are often identified as Gadhaiya Paisa, but the origin of the name is a matter of dispute. The word dramma is used repeatedly in written sources, but the term Gadhaiya is rarely used. One written source refers to coins carried in bulk on asses (gadhas), which might have helped create the name. The bust gradually degenerates, the flan becomes smaller and thicker, and the silver is debased. Nobody’s name appears on these coins, so no one was offended by their use. No legends of any sort appears on these coins, the designs became more abstract (one of Deven’s slides was titled “You mean that is a head?”), and the fire altar and attendants were a few lines with nearby groups of dots.

A coin with a queen’s name on the reverse, with a crude bust on the obverse, is a rare type from about 1110-1125. A shown 12th century billon coin has a crude obverse bust and a battle scene on the reverse – a horseman brandishing a sword tramples one victim with another victim to the right; there are a number of varieties, with the horse in different positions and trampling different numbers of victims. It has been attributed to different issuers over the years, with Maheshwari suggests it celebrates the recovery of Malwa from Gujarat by the Paramaras circa 1190.

The next shown coins, of Malwa, have a stylized obverse bust with degraded inscriptions, and the reverses have a few lines and dots (for fire altar and attendants) with a single letter as a mintmark; we do not know who issued this. A coin of Jayavarman II (ruled 1255-1274), from when the Paramara kingdom was in deep decline, is not round, has a stylized obverse bust with just the first letter of the king’ name, and just a few reverse markings. In time, the Sultan of Delhi took over and used its own coins.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Tokenism – A Fifty-Year Adventure in Numismatics

by James M. McMenamin,
presented to our October 9, 2019 meeting.

My entry point to coin collecting was the Whitman coin folder. Many were inherited from my siblings as they fell away from the hobby. In 1969, however, an event in France triggered a fifty-year search by me into an obscure corner of numismatics. A half century ago your speaker set out on a journey from the US along with 52 other students for a year of study and travel in Europe. It occurred so long ago the crossing was by ocean liner, not by commercial airline. Personally, I think the four-day passage aboard the SS United States was a great deal more fun than one by air.

Our destination in France was Angers, ancient capital city of the County of Anjou. Located in the Loire Valley, Angers was the medieval seat of the Plantagenet dynasty. It has an old quarter with half-timbered houses, such as the ornate Maison d’Adam, and boasts an imposing chateau with impressively thick walls and seventeen massive towers.

Each member of our student group lived with a French family. On learning of my interest in numismatics, my “French mother” presented me with a small match box containing jetons, as she called them. Several questions immediately came to mind: what were they; why were they made; and where did they come from? Some with legends in Lombardic lettering appeared medieval. One dated to Renaissance times. The remainder were obviously from later periods. What I learned over the course of the next fifty years will be summarized this evening.

The word used to describe the coin-like pieces, “jeton”, was not unknown to me. Anyone familiar with the use of French public telephones from that period understood that a “jeton de PTT” was required to operate a pay telephone. Jetons de casino are casino chips, while jetons de jeu are gaming tokens. So, clearly, the jetons in my hand were some sort of token. Two of them were even labeled as such: one with the head of Louis XVI, the other of Louis XVIII.

A visual inspection of each piece provided an initial set of answers to my questions. It was possible without much difficulty to identify the historical period associated with each piece. On their face they represent a remarkably wide range of dates, from the 1400s up through the early 1800s. They carry the portraits or names of four different kings of France (Louis XIII, XIV, XVI, and XVIII) and one queen, Anne of Austria. But beyond those basic descriptive elements, a fuller understanding as to the nature, purpose, and provenance of the jetons would have to be teased out over the course of the next five decades as time and interest allowed.

In the meantime, university studies had to be completed and a job secured, both of which happened in 1973. Around that time, I acquired a book to record coin purchases, a practice which continues to this day. Two years later, I subscribed to the Numismatic Circular, published by Spinks of London, an old-line firm that sent quaint form letters when closed for “stock taking” at year end. Another significant milestone occurred in the Bicentennial year 1976 when my application was accepted to become member #892 of the Chicago Coin Club. Dr. Needleman, whose name will reappear later, had joined earlier as member #882.

By 1979, ten years had elapsed since the match box of jetons was given to me, and still there was no greater understanding as to their purpose. That was about to change. In March that year, the bank I worked for sent me to London. A visit to the offices of Spinks in St. James’s became a personal priority. I remember the exterior of the building being a good deal grimier than under the current occupant, Christie’s, the auctioneers. As to the interior, it was in those days somewhat shambolical. And yet, in 1979, Spinks had already been in business 313 years. It was, to the young collector I then was, a mecca for coin collectors, the ne plus ultra of numismatic establishments, the sine qua non for serious collecting hobbyists.

The offices at Nos. 5-7 King St. were a rabbit warren of twisting corridors, narrow passageways, staircases, and landings, each leading to something wonderful or unusual, each nook and cranny filled with rivetingly fascinating treasures: medals, military decorations, medieval coins, ancients, moderns, and everything in between. It seemed to me there wasn’t anything numismatical you couldn’t find at Spinks or, if they didn’t have it, they would get it for you. Also, Spinks had hard-to-find-books, two of which were quickly added to my collection.

The cover illustration for the first, Pullan’s The History of the Abacus, is a woodcut from 1503 of two men seated at tables. The image explains, with no need for words, the purpose of jetons. They are a means to calculate, one of two pictured, the other being Arabic numerals. Lest there be any doubt on the matter, the scroll running above the two men makes clear that what we are being shown are two types of “Arithmeticae.”

The illustration shows the workings of jetons on a small counter board in a small room. Much rarer are those of the operation of larger such tables in the French Courts of Accounting and Money or the Exchequer offices of England. The latter affairs were crowded ones to be sure as the presiding judges, attending barons, sheriff, clerks, and treasurer variously audited, inspected, and recorded the settlement of the royal accounts.

Pullan’s book also has a photograph of a Roman hand-held calculator, one of three to survive to the present. The Roman abacus has deficiencies, however, in relation to medieval calculation requirements. Its markings for fractions of halves, thirds, quarters, and twelfths correspond to Roman money values whereas, in Medieval France and England, the currency of account was based on a Pound of twenty shillings and a shilling of twelve pennies.

Moreover, for larger numbers, the readout on an abacus is busy with beads and, arguably, harder to read the larger the number. This can be seen in a comparison of readouts for jetons and abacus as illustrated in the book. The first two rows are jeton readouts, the next two rows are equivalent readouts from an abacus. The number 63,271 requires in each case only eleven jetons or beads, but the abacus board appears cluttered. The jeton achieves its simplicity by intercalating, in between the lines demarking units, tens, hundreds, and thousands, spaces for five and its multiples of 50, 500, 5,000, and so on. Unused jetons are removed from the board whereas on an abacus unused beads remain to clutter the readout.

In Italy, Arabic numerals were quickly adopted after about 1300, so the history of the jeton in that country is very short. But jetons for calculating persisted long into the history of France and the Low Countries. They were not made wholly obsolete in France until the French Revolution. But more on that later. It is fascinating to look at a record from England’s Exchequer Augmentation Office dated 1600 that reflects three different numbering systems. The individual amounts to be added are written in Roman numerals while the sum of £227/11/4 is written both in Arabic numerals and as the counters would have lain had they been used to calculate the total, which in this case it seems to me they were.

Also important for me, Pullan includes on page 73 a photo of a jeton – albeit he spells the word with two ‘t’s, as most English authors seem to do. He classifies the piece, which is very similar to one given to me in Angers, as being from the 15th century. Note also on the page his statement that an early French term for a jeton was méreau à compter. Observe further the three small circlets on each side of the royal French heater shield. We will return later to the possibly hidden meaning of the three circles arranged in a triangle.

My second purchase at Spinks was a 1981 reprint of F.P. Barnard’s scholarly The Casting-Counter and Counting Board. It includes twenty-four images of counting boards from medieval times and over 700 illustrations of jetons, one of which bears a resemblance to my copper Angers jeton. Though the legend and some of the design elements differ, both versions share three circlets arranged in a triangle. Helpfully, Barnard sizes the jetons illustrated in his book using a version of the so-called Mionnet scale. Although it has been disparaged for its inexactness, when one considers the irregularity of items Mionnet was measuring, Greek and Roman ancients, one can easily forgive the scale’s lack of precision.

In 1985 my employer repatriated me from London to the US where I resumed attendance at the Chicago Coin Club. The following year the Club published Perspectives in Numismatics, edited by Dr. Needleman. It contains a terrific article by Bob Leonard on American Tokens. Importantly for me, the book also has an article by Bert van Beek, entitled Jetons: Use and History. It is mostly about jetons of the so-called Low Countries – what we now call Belgium and The Netherlands – but it is helpful because it provides an excellent concise history of the casting-counter, that is to say, the jeton.

To summarize, jetons were used as calculation instruments in Europe during the Middle Ages. Shortly after the introduction of jetons at the Royal Court c.1200, the French high nobility also adopted them for calculating. Later, cities and public institutions did so too.

Jetons are always decorated. These decorations have a purpose, sometimes religious but usually related to the user or to the sponsoring authorities, such as to praise the deeds of a ruler or for propaganda purposes. Real jetons are thin metallic flat discs, struck like coins. The differences from coins are: the metal is primarily copper or brass, and seldom silver; gold jetons are very rare; the diameter of jetons is always between c.20-c.28 mm as smaller or larger pieces are difficult to use for reckoning; the relief is always low for easy pushing and making of piles. Jetons are not coins, so they never have an indication of value.

In the 15th century, the manufacturing of jetons was concentrated in Paris and the Low Countries, specifically in Tournai, which had been part of the Kingdom of France since the 9th century but was later ceded to the Hapsburgs in 1521. Jetons are of two main types: official ones ordered by a special administration of a prince, town, etc., and common cheap ones for general use, what the French call jetons banaux. The latter were often imitations of the official ones.

In France and the Low Countries, beginning in the 17th century, the jeton became a small commemorative piece suitable mostly: as gifts, sometimes presented in beautifully engraved tubes; as a reward for service; as recognition of rank; or for propaganda. The development in Germany, where Nuremburg functioned as the epi-center of jeton manufacture, was somewhat different. In the course of the 17th century the counters became smaller and smaller. Little by little they became used only as chips for card-playing.

This leads me to conclude that two of my jetons are probably not French at all, but from Nuremburg. The Louis XVI item was likely made by Johann Lauer. Moreover, when Louis XVIII reigned, jeton production had ceased in France, so that one is probably a Nuremburg gaming token too. All that said, I was still at a loss as to the provenance or date of one of my jetons, the one with three circles arranged in a triangle, each circle enclosing a four-petalled flower.

When preparing to write this paper, it was almost inevitable that I should ask for help from Bob Leonard in unlocking the mystery of my “token.” He recommended I seek out a book by Jacques Labrot. And there the answer was to be found, on page 202. The obverse and reverse of my jeton have strong similarities to Types 1 and 2 produced in the then 15th French city of Tournai. Mine seems likely a Type 2 design, the work of Jean Gorgart. His pieces are less refined than the Type 1 jetons of Jean Blanpain. Significantly, the author suggests that before Tournai adopted the symbol of a tower for its coat of arms, the three circles forming a triangle were intended as a secret marker for the common jetons, jetons banaux, of that city.

However, I was still dissatisfied. I wanted to know more about each of my jetons, their makers, their history, their provenance. In my research, the names of five authors kept popping up. One published a book in English in 1767, the other four wrote books in French that appeared starting in 1858. The 1767 book was easy to locate online, but not the others. Hardcopy reprints of Feuardent’s four-volume set were available, but priced at over $200, which I was unwilling to pay. And then an idea struck me: change the language of my search engine from English to French. It worked. I now have unfettered free online access to all five sets of books.

Feuardent’s work has proved especially helpful. It includes descriptions of over 15,000 jetons, a Table of Contents, a list of engravers, the size of each jeton per the Mionnet Scale and, hugely important, an index of the legends that appear on the jetons. It has therefore been possible for me to begin collating a catalogue raisonné to annotate the details of my Angers jetons, including my Renaissance jeton from the reign of Henri the II, and the Anne of Austria piece.

I close this brief account of my fifty-year adventure in Tokenism, with five observations:

  1. in England, jeton is spelled with two ‘t’s; elsewhere just one ‘t’ is used;
  2. when researching books in foreign languages, change the search engine language;
  3. if considering presenting a paper at the CCC, do it; as the club motto says: Docendo Discimus;
  4. CCC members are a superb resource; this paper is indebted to their knowledge and help; and
  5. for me, the search continues.

Saul B. Needleman, 1927-2019

Dr. Saul Ben Needleman, age 91, passed away July 18, 2019. He became member 882 of the Chicago Coin Club April 10, 1974, but allowed his membership to lapse in recent years because ill health prevented him from attending meetings. He served as President twice (1979, 1983-86), received the Literary Award four times, and the Medal of Merit in 1994. A frequent exhibitor at meetings, he was recognized with five Honorable Mention Cabeen Exhibit Awards. As President, he strove to have worthwhile educational programs at every meeting, twice speaking himself. However, his most lasting contribution to the Club was to invite both eminent numismatists and club members to contribute papers which he edited and had published as Perspectives in Numismatics, a 364-page festschrift issued in 1986 in honor of the Club’s 800th meeting.

Dr. Needleman also held memberships in the American Numismatic Association (for a time he was a District Representative), American Numismatic Society, Royal Numismatic Society, British Numismatic Society, American Israel Numismatic Association, Central States Numismatic Society, Israel Numismatic Society of Illinois, Morton Grove Coin Club, and Lake County Coin Club; he held office in some of these local clubs.

One of his passions was education. He expressed his love of history, numismatics, and research by giving numerous talks before groups at the local and national level. He exhibited at major coin conventions, taking Second Place in his class at the 1973 Greater New York and 1984 Central States conventions, First Place in class at the 1984 ANA convention, and Best in Show at the 1978 Greater New York Convention with “a complex exhibit employing custom-made coin mounts with mirrors to highlight both sides of the coin displayed.”

Though his numismatic interests were wide, he concentrated on ancient coinage, English hammered coinage, coins of Israel, and Judaica in Numismatics. This last numismatic passion led him to write Use of God’s Name: Jehovah on Coins, Medals, Tokens, and Jetons, a 428-page book published in 2002. In addition to his numismatic books, he has 18 unique entries in the library catalog of the American Numismatic Society: articles published in The Numismatist, Seaby Coin and Medal Bulletin, The Shekel, Journal of Numismatic Fine Arts, TAMS Journal, The Centinel, and Perspectives in Numismatics itself.

His father, Jack Needleman, boasted of deceiving the eunuch who collected tolls on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul about 1920 by pressing the bridge token into his palm very hard, then removing it quickly; he later taught languages in Cuba using the immersion method, claiming to be the inventor of the system popularized by Berlitz, before moving to Chicago where Saul was born September 25, 1927.

Dr. Needleman graduated in 1945 from Murray F. Tuley High School (now Roberto Clemente High School); received a BS, Organic Chemistry, Illinois Institute of Technology (1950); MS, Biochemistry, Illinois Institute of Technology (1955); and PhD, Biochemistry and Medicine, Northwestern University (1957). His career in biochemistry included: Chief of Nuclear Medicine, VA Research Hospital, Chicago; Coordinator Science Affairs, Abbott Labs, North Chicago; Director Clinical Affairs Schering-Plough, Memphis; Medical Expert US Navy Drug Program, Great Lakes Naval Station; Associate Professorship Biochemistry and Neurology, Northwestern University, Evanston; and Chairman, Department of Biochemistry, Roosevelt University, Chicago. Dr. Needleman received numerous professional awards, and held patents in biochemistry and medicine. He is well-known in the bioinformatics field for the Needleman-Wunsch algorithm, used to align protein or nucleotide sequences. He published 14 scientific works in addition to his two books on numismatics. More about his professional accomplishments can be found at Ramah/Saul_Needleman/

Besides his research and writing, Dr. Needleman was a talented artist and sculptor. During his residence in Japan, he also became interested in Japanese art. He is survived by Sondra, his wife of 65 years, and children Marty, Arthur, Beth, and Heidi and six grandchildren. A graveside service was held at Shalom Memorial Park, Arlington Heights.

Robert D. Leonard Jr. and Carl F. Wolf

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our October 9, 2019 meeting,
reported by John Riley.

  1. In observance of recently deceased former Chicago Coin Club President Saul Needleman, as well as the evening speaker’s theme of jetons, Steve Zitowsky showed:
    1. Needleman’s book Use of God’s Name (2003), detailing Jehovah portrayal and symbolism found on coins, medals, tokens, and jetons.
    2. A 1632 German Taler from Erfurt (DAV-4546) issued under Gustavus Adolphus during the Swedish Occupation; this type is not listed in Needleman’s book. Encapsulated by NGC with a grade of AU-55, the taler commemorates a sermon, given after the Swedish forces overcame their opponents, about Queen Ester overcoming the Persians.
  2. Deven Kane showed five coins on an October (Halloween) theme as well as an old favorite, “rulers who ended badly.”
    1. A penny of Alexander III of Scotland (1249-85). The obverse bust of the king has a scepter tipped with fleur de lys. The reverse has a cross with mullet and six-point star in each quarter. His death, after a successful reign, was a prelude to bad times for Scotland – he was “the King of Scots who had died” as mentioned at the start of the movie Braveheart.
    2. A Groat of Henry VI (1422-61), S-1859, Calais mint. Ex-Baldwins 1958, Ex-Carter.
    3. An Anglo-Gallic silver “Grand Blanc aux ecus” of Henry VI dating to the 1422-53 period.
    4. A silver Groat of Richard III of England, mint-marked with a sun and rose, from the London Mint. The coin heavily “clipped,” but a rare issue. Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his death in 1485, the last English king to die in battle. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.
    5. A Byzantine gold Solidus, Nikephoros I of Constantinople, 803-811. A crowned facing bust of Nikephoros, shown wearing a chlamys, holds a cross potent in right hand and akakia in left. The other side shows his young son. Nikephoros died in a battle; his son was paralyed in the same battle, and ruled for 3 months.
  3. Lyle Daly started by showing a picture of the English “Gothic Crown,” and then showed two examples of its poor cousin, the early florins.
    1. An 1849 “Godless” florin, so called due to the abscence of the traditional “Dei Gratia” (for “By the Grace of God”) motto.
    2. An 1872 Gothic Florin, so named because of the font used for the legends on the obverse and reverse.
    The florin denomination is worth two shillings, or one-tenth of the British pound sterling, making it an early attempt at decimilization. Lyle considers these coins as perhaps the most beautiful of English coins. The obverse engraved by William Wyon and the reverse by William Dyce.
  4. Bob Leonard showed a political protest piece: “No Votad” counterstamped on a Spain 10 Centimos piece of 1870. Recently purchased on a trip to the medina of Marrakech, Bob thought that it was likely marked in 1883 by Catholics to protest secularization legislation debated at the time in the Spanish Congress – but has since realized that it was in fact counterstamped by anarchists in 1933-34, to protest the Spanish elections. (He came across a reference to this before the meeting, but had trouble accepting that this coin was still in circulation over 60 years later!)
  5. Dale Lukanich showed two items.
    1. In remembrance of Saul Needleman, Dale showed the book Perspectives in Numismatics as produced for the Chicago Coin Club’s 800th meeting observation in 1985. Needleman was President of the CCC at the time, edited the book, and championed its publication by compiling the various contributed topics, all written by esteemed numismatists of the day. Dale had both a hard cover and soft cover edition, and donated one to young numismatist Jack Smith at the meeting.
    2. A Byzantine 4 Nummi coin from the Cherson (Crimea) in the 5th Century AD.
  6. Melissa Gumm showed a bronze 1904 medal with red/white/blue suspension ribbon and original case, awarded by the Chicago Daily News for an essay contest on “American Patriotism.” The medal was awarded to a Wanda Brindley of the Marshall Grammar School. Melissa determined Wanda Brindley, who at one time lived on the north side of Chicago, later relocated to the west coast. (This medal, made by S.D. Childs & Co of Chicago had recently sold at a Portland, Oregon estate sale, then it was brought to the August ANA, where Melissa acquired it). The exact location of the Marshall Grammar school in 1904 is still being researched.
  7. James McMenamin showed the thinnest and lightest coin in his collection, a true de minimis piece. A 10 para coin coin from the Ottoman Empire, dated 1255AH (or 1839 AD), of Abdul Mejid. This billon (0.175 silver) coin is very thin – the coin was hard to see, with our camera and projector, when viewed from the edge.
  8. Audrius Plioplys showed a newly published book on Lithuanian counterstamps of 1421-81, On the Golden Horde’s Silvers by Dzmitry Huletski and Slawomir Liszewski. Audrius bought the book based upon a review in the E_Sylum, and he found the book was indispensable in identifying a coin he holds of Dawlat Birdi Khan, 1420-28. The undertype was made by traders from Genoa in the early 1420s, with Arabic on one side.
  9. Rich Lipman showed three banknotes and a modern challenge coin:
    1. A 200 Reis Brazilian Specimen Note (with “modello” stamped three times on the front). This Pick 77s piece from 1911 grades PMG-63.
    2. A $5 U.S. National Banknote of Bertram, TX – a 1902 “Plain Back” series in PMG-63. The hook to Rich’s interest? Bertram was his father’s name!
    3. A $5 U.S. National Banknote (1908 “Date Back” series) in PMG VF-30, from the National Stockyards Bank, National City, IL (across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, MO). Rich shared some history of the company town’s founding and eventual dissolution arising from the negative publicity from meat packing abuse of the early 1900’s as well as the coming of motor truck distribution methods.
    4. A modern era Challenge Coin from the Secretary of Defense’s office in the Pentagon, Washington, DC. Rich talked on the evolution of challenge pieces, from a WWI pilot’s identification device to tokens of individual unit fraternity in the present day.
  10. Mark Wieclaw showed three coins:
    1. Two silver tetradrachms from Elymais, circa 50 BC, of Kamnaskinos V, resulting from Mark’s efforts to find an elusive example with a strong obverse and reverse – after all he found were strong on one side and weak on the other. So Mark bought two coins: one with the best obverse and another with the best reverse.
    2. A silver tetradrachm of Septemius Severus, 197 AD: a very rare coin from Roman Egypt in Alexandria. This coin was in the Dattari collection, the author of the definitive work on Roman Egypt coinage. This coin is considered unique.

Reminder: You can email to John a description of what you will show at a meeting, to give him a start on this write-up. Send it to

Annual Member Auction

Here are the lots known to us by October 20, 2019. The auction will be held near the start of the meeting, after a short time for lot examination.

Reid Geisler (former member, now in Arizona) Consignment.

  1. April 1997 CCC Odd and Curious souvenir card #53/150; woven cloth money.
  2. March 1995 CCC Odd and Curious souvenir card #170/250; Chinese knife money.
  3. February 1997 sample CCC souvenir card “Bank of Chicago”
  4. March 2002 First national Bank of Chicago autographed souvenir card #5/150.
  5. April 2001 CCC Odd and Curious Obsidian #7/150 autographed.
  6. March 2001 Chicago City Bank CCC souvenir card #7/150.
  7. February 1998 CCC souvenir card “The Phenix Bank” #64/200
  8. March 2001 CCC souvenir card #8/150 autographed by Chet Krause.
  9. April 2002 World Coin News and Numismatic News magazines commemorating the 1000th CCC meeting.
  10. April 2002 set of CCC 1000th banquet meeting invitation, program, and assorted material autographed by ANS head, Ms. Ute Wartenberg.
  11. Bronze CCC 80th anniversary medal #5, “The Pioneers.”
  12. 5 ounce .999 Silver CCC 1000th meeting medal #8/69.
  13. CCC 1000th meeting special ceramic medallion given by Mark Wieclaw to all attendees at meeting. 100 pcs produced.
  14. CCC 1000th meeting lead trial strike medal given to committee members. Mintage 10 pcs.
  15. Set of 3 elongated coins from CCC 1000th meeting:
  16. 1996 CCC souvenir sheet of obsolete bank notes from Merchants and Mechanics bank, #16/200.
  17. 1996 CCC souvenir sheet of obsolete bank notes from Merchants and Mechanics bank, #17/200, autographed by Herb & Martha Schingoethe and Bob Feiler.
  18. Same as above but un-numbered and not autographed.
  19. 2004, 85th anniversary CCC brass encased 85¢ postage stamp.
  20. CCC February 1999, 961st meeting, George Smith souvenir note #8/200 autographed by Ken Bressett, Art Kagin, and Mike Metras.
  21. 2000 CCC Colorized addendum sheet to accompany the Potter Palmer scrip handout.
  22. April 2000 CCC Chatter autographed by David Vagi.
  23. April 2000 CCC Civil War Postage Stamp with souvenir card, #10/150.

Bob Feiler Consignment.

  1. 60 gram round .999 silver Albert Einstein medal #373/1,500. X-Harry Flower collection, MB $50.
  2. Six piece Ferris Wheel copper “process set”, MB $125.
  3. Nov 18, 1962 CCC Festival token, Chicago “Convention Capital of the World.”
  4. CCC 50th anniversary, 1919-1969 .999 silver medal #239 ex Harry X Boosel. MB $75.
  5. 1960 CCC 500th meeting barrel medal. MB $20.
  6. Whitman Black Book. Patriotic Civil War Tokens. Proceeds to the club.

Club Material Consignment.

  1. Book Numismatics of Venezuelan Lazarettos, Historical Review and Catalog. Donation from the author, Manuel F. Rojas Aponte.
  2. 2019 Five ANA Convention shirts available. MB $5 each. Sizes: Two Extra Large TALL; One Double Extra Large; Two TRIPLE Extra Large.

Robert Rhue Consignment.

  1. 1919 over stamped Half Dollars for the 1981, 750th meeting. Seven coins are available, individually or in small groups.
  2. 1955 Chicago Coin Club Excellence of Exhibit; a most unusual bronze rectangular medal.

Bob Leonard Consignment.

  1. 2017 50¢ NGC ANA Slab, “David Lange, Numismatist of the Year.”
  2. 2018 25¢ NGC ANA Slab, “Worlds Fair of Money, Philadelphia Museum of the American Revolution.”
  3. 1919 Buffalo 5¢ NGC slab for attendees to the Chicago Coin Club 100th anniversary banquet.
  4. 2001 colorized North Carolina state quarter with Wright Brothers plane. And 30 assorted modern elongates (mixed) including 1909 5¢, Jefferson 5¢, quarters, and more.

Club Material Consignment.

  1. 100th Anniversary medal with Platinum highlights; one of five samples provided by minter.

Phil Carrigan Estate Consignment.

  1. Chicago Numismatic Society (CNS) 1907 Masonic Temple token.
  2. CNS 1908 50th Meeting medal.
  3. CNS 1908 50th Meeting medal struck in sterling silver – Rare.
  4. CNS 1912 100th Meeting token.
  5. CNS Collectors Club token.
  6. CNS 1909 Nashville medal in bronze.
  7. CNS 1909 Nashville medal in silver. Given to J. Mitchelson by Virgil Brand.
  8. CNS 1910 Aviation medal (Cleaned?).
  9. CNS 1910 Aviation medal.
  10. CNS 1906 Member’s medal.
  11. CNS 1908 Member’s medal.
  12. CCC 1927 100th Meeting token.
  13. CCC 1960 500th Meeting medal in bronze.
  14. CCC 1960 500th Meeting medal in silver.
  15. CCC 1985 800th Meeting medal in bronze.
  16. CCC 1985 800th Meeting medal in silver – Scarce.
  17. CCC 1969 50th Anniversary medal in bronze.
  18. CCC 1969 50th Anniversary medal in silver. Edge # 492 – ex member Clyde Hand.
  19. CCC Medal of Merit presented to Ernest Jonas in 1959.
  20. CCC 1956 Excellence of Exhibit medal.
  21. CCC 1966 ANA Convention Exhibit medal. Reverse is engraved “Specimen” (for use by Committee).
  22. CCC 1987 817th Meeting elongated 1919 dime given out at CICF – one of seven. Included is a 1919 cent – 1 of 100.
  23. CCC 2002 1000th Meeting medal. 5 oz .999 silver. #12 of 69.
  24. CCC 2009 90th Anniversary Lincoln medal. Struck in bronze #71 of 105.
  25. CCC 2009 90th Anniversary Lincoln medal. Struck in silver #17 of 25.
  26. CCC 2013 ANA Convention Commemorative medal struck in sterling silver. Mintage of 25.
  27. CCC and New York Numismatic Club 2013 joint meeting medal. #13 of 100 with original box and coa.
  28. ANA 2014 Convention medals. One bronze and one silver in original box. Serial #56 of 125.
  29. CCC 1994 900th Meeting elongate of a 1994 Kennedy half dollar. One of 40 pieces elongated.
  30. Chicago 1886 Haymarket Massacre token with shrapnel fragment missing on reverse.
  31. C.D. Peacock 100th Anniversary Medal 1837-1937. Large 65 mm. With embedded piece of safe from Chicago Fire.
  32. Detroit Coin Club 1941 400th Meeting medal. Sterling silver .69 troy oz.
  33. ANA Convention Badges from 1950 to 1957. Ten pieces total. Ex Harry X Boosel.
  34. ANA 1947 Buffalo Convention medals. Three pieces with original box. One each bronze, silver, and gold (agw .254 troy oz).
  35. American Numismatic Society 1958 Centennial medal. By Laura G. Fraser. Large 89 mm. Mintage 620 pcs.
  36. ANA 1929 Badge for Convention held in Chicago.
  37. ANA 1933 Badge for Convention held in Chicago.
  38. CCC 1969 Uniface medal in copper nickel. Reverse of the 50th Anniversary medal. Given to committee members of the CSNS Convention in Chicago in 1969. Mintage 13.
  39. CCC and American Numismatic Society Poster for “The Science of Numismatics” symposium of March 27, 1996. Autographed by all the speakers.
  40. CCC early Club Bulletins from 1937 to 1942. 13 different bulletins.
  41. CCC early Club Annual Bulletins from 1943 to 1957. 8 different plus 2 anniversary issues.
  42. CCC Chatters from 1995 thru Feb 2018. 278 issues total. Great for reading the featured speaker write ups plus show and tell. (Housed at Chicago Coin Company. Arrangements will be made for pickup or delivery to winning bidder).
  43. Book: Use of God’s Name by Saul B. Needleman, PhD., 2002, autographed.
  44. Book: Comitia Americana and Related Medals by John W. Adams & Anne E. Bentley, 2007.
  45. Book: The Feel of Steel by Mark D. Tomasko, 2009. 177 pages and includes engraved vignettes and prints. Hardbound and cloth covered slipcase.

Preview of Our December Banquet
(1211th Meeting)

Date:December 11, 2019
Time:6:00PM Cocktails (cash bar), with hors d’oeuvres compliments of Chicago Coin Company.
7:00PM to 9PM Dinner and Meeting
Location:Tom’s Steak House, 1901 West North Avenue, Melrose Park.
Menu: The cost is $45.00 per person, and reservations are required. Make your reservation either by mail or at any of our meetings through November. Pay electronically (see the Chatter Matter page for details) or make your check payable to Chicago Coin Club, and either bring it by our December meeting, or mail it to P.O. Box 2301, Chicago, IL 60690.
• A choice between four entrees is planned: Tom’S Top Sirloin Butt Steak (12 ounces); Charcoal Broiled Chicken Breast; Center Cut Pork Chops with Apple Sauce; Fresh Filet of Atlantic Salmon.
• All entrees include: salad, russet potato, cheese and chive sauce, and rolls and butter.
• Please make your entree selection now – when making your reservation and when sending in your payment of $45 per person, please tell us your selection: BEEF, CHICKEN, PORK, or FISH.
• The deadline for reservations is November 29, 2019.
• Since this is the last month of 2019, there will be a special dessert in honor of the clubs 100th anniversary. We hope you can attend this event, which will mark the close of the 100th anniversary year.
Parking: Plenty, and free.
Program: The speaker is Mark Wieclaw, on The Thrill and Joy of Collecting … Anything! See the December Chatter for details.
Agenda: Award Presentations.
Everyone who attends will get a chance to win a 1/10-ounce American Eagle gold coin or one of two proof Silver Eagles!

Our 1210th Meeting

Date: November 13, 2019 – Annual Member Auction
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 be prepared to show their photo-ID and register at the guard’s desk.
Member Auction: 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.
Please find elsewhere in this issue of the Chatter a listing of all auction lots that were known to us by Sunday, October 20.

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.

November 13 CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker
December 11 CCC Meeting - Annual Banquet - Featured Speaker - Mark Wieclaw on The Thrill and Joy of Collecting … Anything!
At Tom’s Steakhouse, 1901 West North Ave, Melrose Park. Please let us know your entrée choice – BEEF, CHICKEN, PORK, or FISH – when you pay, $45 per person. Reservations must be in by November 29th.
January 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
February 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
February 27-29 ANA’s National Money Show at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, Georgia. Details at
March 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 23-25 81st 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,
April 25 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the CSNS Convention, which is held at the Schaumburg Convention Center. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - to be announced

Chatter Matter

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.

Club Officers

Elected positions:
Richard Lipman- President
Lyle Daly- First V.P.
John Riley- Second V.P.
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Melissa Gumm
Deven Kane
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


All correspondence pertaining to Club matters should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
P.O. Box 2301

Payments to the Club, including membership dues, can be addressed to the Treasurer and mailed to the above address.


Renewing Members Annual dues are $20 a year ($10 for Junior, under 18). Annual Membership expires December 31 of the year through which paid. Cash, check, or money order are acceptable (USD only please). We do not accept PayPal. Email your questions to Members can pay the Club electronically with Zelle™ using their Android or Apple smart phone. JP Morgan Chase customers can send payments to the Club via Quick Pay. To see if your Bank or Credit Union is part of the Zelle™ Payments Network, go to Please read all rules and requirements carefully.

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