|Volume 66 No. 3||March 2020|
The 1213th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President Richard Lipman at 6:45 PM, Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago with 28 members and 3 guests: Daniel Vaisrub, Dennis Hoelzle, and Amy Leisel-Rodriguez.
President Lipman announced prohibition of all photographs and videos without explicit approval.
The January minutes were approved as printed in the Chatter. Elliott Krieter gave the January treasurer’s report showing $260.00 in revenue, $18.00 in expenses, and $34,138.90 in assets. The report was approved.
The membership application for Denise Kitchen received a second reading and a motion was passed accepting her into membership. The membership application of Daniel Vaisrub received a first reading.
President Lipman called upon John Kent and Jack Smith to come forward and accept Educational Awards for representing the Chicago Coin Club on WTTW Chicago’s PBS broadcast Chicago Tonight on January 14th discussing the U.S. Mint America the Beautiful quarter series. The club gave them an enthusiastic round of applause.
First VP Lyle Daly presented YN Jack Smith with a copy of Winston Zack’s recent book, Bad Metal: Copper & Nickel. Lyle announced the upcoming featured programs:
Brett Irick delivered the featured program The Art of Cherrypicking and Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Buying. After a question and answer period, Lyle presented Brett with an ANA Educational Certificate and a personally engraved Club medal suspended from a neck ribbon.
John Riley announced the evening’s 11 exhibitors.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:06 PM.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
presented by Brett Irick,
to our February 12, 2020 meeting.
The first part of Brett’s presentation covered cherrypicking and some approaches for a collector to use as a customer. The second part consisted of a slide show using humor in identifying common mistakes collectors make.
Cherrypick, a verb, is to choose and take only the most beneficial or profitable items from what is available. In numismatics, a good cherrypick comes along occasionally. Brett described ANA past president Bob Campbell as a master of cherrypicking, and many of Brett’s techniques have been learned from listening from Bob’s talks which includes such gems as, “Big sharks swallow little sharks.” Additional techniques were learned from Brett’s grandfather. Successful cherrypicking can be done at auctions as well as at a dealer’s table or store.
Sizing up the Customer
You should dress appropriately for the environment where you will be doing your shopping and auction lot viewing and bidding. Suggested is at least business casual. Other suggestions are to have a good ink pen and watch if you still wear one. Good rings also can help. At some more formal events such as the New York International and Canadian events, a suit jacket or sport coat is also appropriate. This is especially true if you are looking at high value material. Have a business card that you can give the dealer – especially if you have elected positions in the hobby.
Look around the events you attend and try to be at least above average in how you appear. The average dealer has you sized up in under thirty seconds. This will affect their attentiveness to your requests, definitely the price you can negotiate, and whether they may choose to offer you special occasion material that is not in their cases.
Cherrypicking Guides and How to Use Them
There are several cherrypicking guides, many of which are pocket sized and range up to the size of a large encyclopedia. For the material you specialize in, have the books on the subject. In the recent years, much of this information has become readily available on your smart phone.
Never get your guides out at during lot viewing or at a dealer’s table. Dealers generally do not like overt cherrypickers. If you need to confirm something, leave the venue and look up the information privately. One possible research location is a bathroom toilet stall.
After scanning a dealer’s material, there may be one or more items of interest to you. Pick several additional items to look at, and review those as well as what interests you. Start casting doubt by saying “not interested” until you are down to the item that you want. Then ask, “What can you do on this?” At this point dealer morale might be lowered, and you might be offered a better price. Negotiate if you are a bit too far apart. Otherwise accept the price, since the dealer needs to eat and you might buy from the dealer again. Then, as Fred Schwan says, “Pay, get the merchandise, walk away, and try not to giggle until you are out of sight of the dealer.”
Buying Time and Casting Doubt during Auction Bidding
So, you are after a good cherrypick but don’t want to signal you are willing to pay above market for the rare variety that is not attributed. When you get close to the right price, you occasionally can do a buy time move. One of my favorites is to tap my fingers on my shoulder. Generally, the auctioneer will take a sip of water and say, “He’s thinking.” This can cast doubt in the other bidder’s mind, and you can move in for the kill with your next bid.
About fifteen years ago, a Long Beach afternoon auction session included Morgan dollars. Brett had lot viewed them earlier, with the intent of only checking his grading skills versus the prices. There were only two other bidders! Basically, some form of courtesy occurred where whoever got their card up first won the lot. A couple of hours later, Brett had paid, picked up, and sold – and still had around $6,000 that went into his collection.
At coin shows, the most fertile venue is dealers who do not specialize in what you are looking for. They may have an orphan item that has been sitting in their inventory forever, and you are their savior. During a Long Beach show in 2006, Brett visited a dealer who had two Canadian coins. One was an 1870 twenty-five cents coin in PCGS MS64. At that time it was tied for pop top with a three other coins. It was nicer than the one in the same grade in the auction at the same show. Brett paid nearly fifty percent less that the auctioned coin hammered for, and the dealer still made money!
Estate auctions, rural auctions, and rural area coin shows can also be fertile areas. The auctioneer and the local dealer – many times part time – sometimes do not know how to size up their material properly. A raw 1890-CC Morgan dollar described as Choice BU was purchased at a rural Ohio show for less than half of retail, and now resides in a PCGS MS62 deep mirror proof-like holder.
Right Material, Wrong Auction, Wrong Time
One of Brett’s specialties is Canadian ten cents coins of Queen Victoria. One of his Canadian friends located an 1888 ICCS MS65 that was listed in a Toronto estate auction listing. It was described as “Mirror Surface; Cameo” by a Canadian coin company. These are terms almost never used to describe any Canadian coins of Queen Victoria. The picture was horrible – it looked like the coin was toned black. This can happen if you do not provide correct lighting when taking images of a Deep Mirror Proof Like (DMPL) coin. It was the only significant Canadian coin in the auction. A special trip was made to Toronto in a snow storm and bitterly cold weather. The coin was beautiful. It was purchased at a very low opening bid, and now resides in a PCGS MS64+ holder. The coin was shown later in the meeting during Show and Tell, where its pedigree was highlighted.
Brett then showed us a humorous slide show on 10 mistakes to avoid when buying numismatic material. The humorous approach and underlying idea were made clear by the first image, of $20 and $100 notes in the bottom of a trash can! This presentation was developed two years ago by Andy Kimmel, a Central States Numismatic Society governor. The countdown started with number 10, Do Not Pay High Premiums for Modern Certified Coins – the slabbed population might be small now, but look how many coins were made and packaged by the mint. Although members might already know these mistakes, a quick refresher is always good; and our newer members might have never heard these.
Do Not Buy Coins Because They Are There or You Are Bored at a Show – buy only coins you want. We all know not to buy the overhyped and mass-produced coins that are unwanted by experience collectors, right? Good! Do Not Buy Coins Described Simply as Uncirculated – there is an enormous difference between any of the Mint States and uncirculated, and it often involves things done to the coin. If you are not aware of this, that is your first assignment, to be followed by grading lessons.
Do Not Pursue Bargain or “Investment” Coins – today’s bargain is tomorrow’s liability; if it looks too good to be true, it is; dead inventory with no market demand; overgraded or it has other problems; and be extremely careful whenever a coin is touted as an investment. A bargain is encountered now and then – that was the point of the cherrypicking talk – but it is a bargain only if you call it a bargain, not if the seller calls it a bargain. Invest in a great collection focused on your collecting interests, but be prepared to pay top dollar for a great coin.
Do Not Pinch Nickels – establish a working relationship with a dealer; show loyalty and trust because loyal customers are offered better coins and prices. Do Not Place Complete Trust in Grading Services – the services offer opinions; they can make mistakes, and things can slightly change over the years. Learning to grade for yourself was mentioned above, but it deserves to be mentioned again. Take a grading course. Compare coins, ask dealers, refer to trusted websites. If you have taken a grading course, take a refresher course.
Do Not Purchase Coins Using Poor Optics or Lighting – a pin-point light source is better for seeing the marks on a coin. A 10-times magnifier is great for finding marks on an uncirculated coin; you will also see all the marks on a circulated coin, but you will never buy a coin if you forget that a circulated coin has marks. Do Not Go It Alone – if professional guidance is not available, ask a trusted, experienced collector.
The slides’ ten points were well summarized by the last point: Do Not Purchase Anything Without Grading Skills, Knowledge, or Focus.
|CSNS Convention||Chicago Coin Company|
|Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.||Kedzie Koins Inc.|
Items shown at our February 12, 2020 meeting,
reported by John Riley.
February 19, 2020
The Chicago Coin Club Board met February 19, 2020 at Connie’s Pizza, 2373 S. Archer Ave., Chicago. President Rich Lipman called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM with the following members present: Deven Kane, Paul Hybert, Mark Wieclaw, Steve Zitowsky, Melissa Gumm, Elliott Krieter, Carl Wolf, Lyle Daly, Bill Burd, and Scott McGowan. John Riley and Jeff Rosinia were unable to attend.
Lyle Daly spoke on the Hall of Fame Committee:
Bill Burd, Archivist, delivered the following reports:
The Board accepted the resignation of Dale Lukanich as Governor. After a discussion, the Board unanimously voted to appoint Steve Zitowsky to fill the position.
President Lipman led a discussion on committee appointments. The Board unanimously agreed that the President should be an ex-officio member of every committee, and vote only to break a tie.
In recent years, the Club experienced a big increase in issued publicity and correspondence. Mark Wieclaw and President Lipman led a discussion on the importance of one or more officers proof reading all press releases, Club reports, official documents, etc.
Carl Wolf, Secretary, delivered the following reports:
Deven Kane reported that Marc Stackler stepped down from managing the Club’s Facebook page. Deven can use another member to assist in posting upcoming events and publicity.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:28 PM with the next meeting scheduled to be held at 6 PM, Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at Connie’s Pizza, 2373 S. Archer Ave.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
|Date:||March 11, 2020|
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.
|Featured Program:||Jim Davis —
U.S. Fractional Currency
With gold and silver coins hoarded during the Civil War, the Union government’s response to the lack of small change was the issuance of paper money in denominations of less than one dollar – hence the name Fractional Currency. This presentation will set the background, give an overview of the issued and proposed designs, and cover the later Shield showing 20 obverses and 19 reverses.
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.
|March||11||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Jim Davis on U.S. Fractional Currency|
|April||8||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Mark Wieclaw on Dynastic Issues of the Roman Empire|
|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, http://www.centralstatesnumismaticsociety.org/convention.|
|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 - Dr. Gilles Bransbourg on Inflation and Coinage Reflected in the 4th Century Roman Empire
|May||13||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|June||10||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|July||8||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|August||4-8||ANA in downtown Pittsburgh. Admission is free for ANA members — for details, see http://www.worldsfairofmoney.com.|
|August||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
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CHICAGO COIN CLUB
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