Volume 67 No. 8 August, 2021

See You at the ANA Convention!

Please bring your face mask to the convention – it might not be required, but be prepared – the Covid-19’s delta variant keeps surprising us, and I have given up making predictions.

Carl Wolf will be at the club’s table, which will be located near the Collector Exhibits Area. Stop by, chat a while, recharge your electronics, check your dues status, and maybe pay for 2022 – renewal notices will be going out soon.

Please get back in the habit of submitting a short trip/show report for the Chatter. Take good notes, and tell us about your show highlights!

Our club meeting will meet in person at the convention! We plan on supporting remote attendees via an online WebEx connection, but attend in person to avoid any technical difficulties.

Paul Hybert, editor

Minutes of the 1230th Meeting

The 1230th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President Lyle Daly at 6:45 PM CDT, Wednesday July 14, 2021. Due to the pandemic shutdown, the meeting was online using Webex with 31 members but rose to 38.

Club Meeting Minutes

The June 9, 2021 meeting minutes were approved.

Guests and New Members

Scott McGowan announced there were two invited guests, Melissa Zitowsky and Daniel Hammer. One new membership application was received from Vic Anderson. He was present at the meeting and the first reading of the application was completed.

Treasurer’s Report

Elliott Krieter reported for the June 2021 period: income of $60.00 from member dues; expenses of $244.50 for Chatter printing and postage, and the annual Club PO box renewal; giving a net loss of $184.50. The report was approved.

Old Business

  1. Mark Wieclaw reported that a suitable and affordable location for the proposed CCC/NYNC joint dinner at the ANA convention in August could not be found. Prices for covered outside dining of 50-100 individuals ranged $5000-$8000, way beyond target budget. Rich Lipman recommended we look at country clubs. Scott McGowan and Mark Wieclaw to discuss and report at ANA host club committee meeting on Thursday July 15.
  2. Committee reports:
    1. Banquet Committee: Bob Feiler reported the location of Coopers Hawk Winery and Restaurant location in Oak Park, Illinois provides a central location, parking, and close to mass transit. The location capacity would be 48 people. Expected cost is in the $55-$60 range but to-be-determined. Concern was raised that the capacity of 48 seemed small, especially if members wanted to bring spouses. The committee will research more, and a decision is expected by the September meeting. Secretary Scott McGowan was asked to survey the club membership for attendance.
    2. Technology Committee: Deven Kane reported the plan to hook up a computer to the club projector and Bluetooth microphone to give online access to meetings. Paul Hybert provided feedback on other clubs’ process for hybrid meetings. Our plan is for a first hybrid meeting in August, during the ANA World’s Fair of Money (WFoM), then go forward with hybrid meetings in September.
    3. ANA WFoM host committee: Elliott Krieter and Lyle Daly reported the committee is set for the convention. The last committee meeting is July 15, 2021, at 7pm CDT. The host club stipend is approved; we will have a number of parking passes for the Ambassadors. Several CCC members will give Money Talks lectures. Anyone interested in becoming an Ambassador should reach out to Scott McGowan at
    4. Hall of Fame committee: Deven Kane reported no new update.
  3. Bob Leonard offered some historical reference on two points.
    1. The term ANA Ambassador was suggested by Bob in 2011 with the intent to have them welcome non-ANA members and introduce them to the ANA.
    2. Bob came across a 1991 brochure for the 100th anniversary ANA convention, inviting membership into the Chicago Coin Club. It references 12 prominent numismatic individuals who are members of the CCC, of which seven are among the 14 members of the CCC Hall of Fame.

New Business

  1. Elliott Krieter reported the Membership Status Report will be moved to September after the ANA, so we can push 2021 renewals at the show.
  2. Deven Kane reported on the new Chicago Coin Club DISCORD chat group. This newly created group allows CCC members to chat via the DISCORD CCC group 24/7. The DISCORD CCC group will be reachable from computer or smartphone. Signup details will be sent to the membership.

General Announcements

  1. The ILNA Coin and Currency Show will be held September 9-11, 2021 at the Dupage County Fair Grounds. For details, see

First V.P. John Riley introduced Featured Speaker Steve Zitowsky on War, Romance, Numismatics – The Coins of German East Africa.

Following a question-and-answer period, John announced Steve would receive an ANA Educational Award and engraved Club medal.

Second V.P. Melissa Gumm announced there were six exhibitors for the evening.

The next meeting will be August 14, 2021. NOTE this is a Saturday during the ANA show. There will be no meeting on the second Wednesday in August.

Lyle Daly adjourned the meeting at 9:07pm CDT.

Respectfully Submitted,
Scott A. McGowan, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
War, Romance, Numismatics – The Coins of German East Africa

by Steve Zitowsky,
presented to our July 14, 2021 meeting.

One of the joys of numismatics is connecting a solid object, such as a coin, to history; and connecting history to the solidity of coins. I hope you share in that joy.

In the early 20th century, the East African Great Lakes region became a theater of war of the First World War, one that tied-up hundreds of thousands of Allied troops that might have been deployed on the Western Front. Maybe you have seen the 1951 film or read C.S. Forester’s 1935 novel The African Queen. This was not all fiction; war was fought between Germany and Britain in East Africa. This presentation will touch on the 35-year history, and coins, of the German East Africa Company, then its evolution into the Colony of German East Africa; you will meet some of the interesting characters involved; and you will learn how the debris of war became the coins made and used during that war.

After victory over France in 1871, Germany unified as a nation under Prussia’s Wilhelm I as Kaiser. Germany wanted to join the other great European powers in the rush for territorial acquisitions in what later became known as the Third World. The age of imperialism was at its height, and Germany wanted to take its place as one of the world’s Imperial powers. Britain, Belgium, Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany laid claim to territory on the African continent. German efforts began in earnest in East Africa when, in 1884, the controversial Carl Peters, an adventurer and founder of the Society for German Colonization, set out for the region in search of a suitable colony, and concluded a series of so-called “treaties” with local chiefs on the mainland opposite Zanzibar.

Returning to Berlin, Peters applied for governmental protection for his acquisitions. After initial hesitation, he was granted an Imperial Charter, for the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, the German East African Company, or DOAG. This was the foundation of the Colony. Under Peters, the Company expanded its territory, ostensibly to fight slavery and the slave trade. In reality, neither was abolished; instead it curtailed the production of new “recruits” and regulated the slaving business.

Rule was established at Dar es Salaam, the Haven of Peace, as the capital. Germany’s sphere included present-day mainland Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and a small area of northern Mozambique. At about 384,000 square miles, it was nearly double the area of Germany then, and nearly 3 times that of Germany today.

It was not long before native rebellions and other issues made it apparent to Berlin that the Company was too weak to take on the various administrative tasks of the area. Peters was disgraced and removed. The Company ceded its sovereign rights to Berlin, which took over administration of the area in January 1891, and the DOAG was relegated to running plantations and the trade. But it still retained the lucrative coin monopoly and made their coins the basis of the currency in the Colony.

Prior to our story, the Maria Theresa Thaler was in common use throughout the region. In order to facilitate trade, a value of 3 Marks was assigned each Thaler in circulation in the colony. But the growing needs of commerce called for a more diversified coinage than just the Thaler.

A new Company coin, called the Pesa, was created in 1890. The Pesa denomination, familiar to Arab and Indian traders, was assigned an equivalent value of 64 Pesa to one DOAG Rupie, which was at par with the Indian Rupee. The German spelling R-U-P-I-E was adopted to distinguish the coinage from other rupees then in circulation; the plural is Rupien.

Over 41 million of the copper 1 Pesa coin was minted, but for only 3 years: 1890-1892 AD; 1307-09 AH. This is the only coin in the series with Arabic writing and the After Hijra date. The obverse has an Imperial eagle with crown above, surrounded by the Company name and AD date: Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft 1890. The reverse has Arabic lettering, and the AH date, surrounded by a wreath. Words translate to “Germany Partnership (shiraka) year 1307.” If it was meant to be “Germany Company (sharika),” the first word should have been written without a Vertical Character. Was this deliberate, or careless? Scholars do not agree. Partnership has a different meaning than Company in Arabic, as well as in German. Also, Gesellschaft can also mean Society.

The Company also minted, in Berlin without mintmark, four silver coins, in denominations of ¼, ½, 1 and 2 Rupien, all to a common design with reeded edges, at .917%. Obverses of all silver coins carry a likeness of the Kaiser in military dress, with a crowned griffin on a helmet as used by his Imperial Guard. The Latin legend, of course, translates as Wilhelm II Emperor. Production of this silver series started in 1890 and lasted until 1904. Coins were struck only to meet the demands of existing commerce, so some years saw none minted. Company mintages are low as compared to later Colonial issues, making them relatively more costly today.

The reverse of each silver bears the Company arms consisting of a shield, a palm tree with a lion in front, and date at bottom. The surrounding inscription is the Company name, with the value expressed in Rupien below. The ¼ Rupie was minted in 1891, 1898, and 1901. The ½ Rupie was minted in 1891, 1897, and 1901. The 1 Rupie was minted in 1890-94 and 1897-1902. The 2 Rupien was minted in only two years, 1893-94.

In 1897, the Imperial government declared a protectorate over the region, and its name was changed to German East Africa (Deutsch Ostafrika), the DOA. The new colonial government was anxious to develop the economy, so they settled outstanding debts with all locals, and immediately took over the administration. They also wanted to exploit the resources by promoting commerce and economic growth. At first sisal was the most valuable crop, followed by coffee, rubber, and cotton.

They quickly set about improving harbors and building railroads to the interior. This included developing the port of Dar es Salaam and building railroads from there to Tabora and onwards to Lake Tanganyika. Gold mining began with discoveries SE of Lake Victoria in 1894. The Kironda goldmine in Sekenke began operation in 1909. I found some gold ore specimens from Kironda in the Field Museum of Natural History collections.

All these activities expanded the young colony’s economy, but, as with many such European Colonies, it was never really profitable. The situation of the indigenous population did improve with the abolition of slavery, establishment of a police force called Schutztruppe, a postal system, a smallpox vaccination program, and compulsory education. Company coin production ceased in 1904, and from that point onwards all management of the Colony was fully assumed by the Imperial government.

The value of the Rupie had fluctuated for years, which was troublesome for business partners in Germany. Administrators also were unhappy with the situation, as their salaries were fixed in Marks, but they were paid in Rupien. A fluctuation of 20% within a year made their income unratable. So, it came as no surprise when the Reichstag stepped in to deal with the issue. It was decided that the Colony would be better served if the valuation of the Rupie was tied to the German Gold Mark. The Rupie denomination was retained due to the widespread use of the name. From 1904 to 1916: there were 100 Heller in 1 Rupie, while 15 Rupien = 20 Marks (or, 4 Marks = 3 Rupien). Subsidiary coinage was named Heller to distinguish it from the Pfennig used in the Fatherland.

All pre-War DOA coins were minted at Berlin (A), and/or Hamburg (J) mints. Mint-marks are on the reverse. In some years production was assigned to both mints for the same coin to keep up with demand. Again, coins were struck only to meet demands of existing commerce; in some years, certain denominations were not minted. Bronze Hellers ran into millions per year for each denomination, while silver issues seldom exceeded 500,000.

The bronze ½ Heller was minted in only 1904-06; the obverses depict the Imperial crown at the center with the colony name above, and date below; the value surrounded by crossed laurel branches on reverses, with mintmark below. The bronze 1 Heller was minted in 1904-13. The bronze 5 Heller, weighing five times as much as the 1 Heller coin, was minted in only 1908-09; it was replaced in 1913 by a smaller and lighter holed copper-nickel piece which was minted in 1913 and 1914. A similarly holed 10 Heller copper nickel type was struck in 1908-11 and 1914.

The silver DOA Rupie obverse was unchanged from the design on the Company coins. New common reverse dies have the value in the center, surrounded by crossed palm fronds with the colony name above, and date and mintmark below. All are .917%, with reeded edge. The ¼ Rupie and ½ Rupie were minted in 1904, 1906-07, 1909-10, and 1912-14. The 1 Rupie was minted in 1904-14.

The vulnerability of the overseas colonies, should Britain declare war, did not escape the German War Ministry. They correctly foresaw that the far-flung colonies would be essentially cut off from the Fatherland and fall easy prey to Britain’s colonial ambitions. The First World War began in Europe in August 1914, putting an end to the German overseas experiment. Blockaded by the Royal Navy, the colonies could neither export products nor receive assistance from home.

Lt. Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck arrived in Dar es Salaam in January, 1914 to take over DOA defense forces. A veteran of the Boxer Rebellion in China, and uprisings in Kamerun and South West Africa, he was probably the most experienced colonial military officer in the army. At that time there was little inkling as to the skills that were to make him one of the most legendary guerrilla leaders. He organized the colony’s resistance for if, and when, war came. With this goal in mind, he was brilliantly successful.

By August 1914, von Lettow’s expanded Schutztruppe, consisted of an overall military of 3,500 Europeans and 2,500 native Askari – a highly efficient fighting force, aggressive, completely self-supporting, and organized into field companies of 200 men, with 250 porters each. Askari means soldier, in both Swahili and Arabic.

All troops were trained “in the Prussian manner” and integrated into the German Army. He trained both Europeans and Askari to be bush soldiers, second to none in the region. It was “the first racially integrated army in modern history.” As Lettow bluntly said, “Here in Africa we are all equal. The better man will always outwit the inferior, and the color of his skin does not matter.” These words were not mere lip service, as his actions show that he genuinely believed them.

His war strategy was to harass and delay the British, and later Belgian and Portuguese, forces. This was done to prevent their men and materiel from being deployed on the European front, the focus of the war. For over 4 years he fought a campaign with a handful of troops despite losing territory and being cut off from supplies from Germany. When Armistice in Europe came, he was still operating in the field with an effective fighting force. He had accomplished this by using the classic guerrilla tactics of flexibility, improvisation, living off the land, and by turning the enemy’s weight of numbers against itself.

Defying the 1885 Conference at which it was specifically agreed that European powers would not extend their wars into Africa, the British opened hostilities in East Africa in August 1914, when they made a preemptive strike against Dar es Salaam, hoping the colony would surrender. They were unsuccessful. Lettow took the fight north into British East Africa, inflicting heavy losses upon a poorly organized enemy, and disrupting their rail network. But Lettow was not to see a major action until November, 1914.

Meanwhile at sea, a drama took place that affects our numismatic story. The German light cruiser Königsberg had arrived at Dar es Salaam earlier that year. Now prepared for the role as sea raider, Captain Max Looff had no wish to be caught in port when war began. So, on July 31, 1914 he put to sea. The next day, during a heavy rain squall, Königsberg narrowly escaped the British squadron sent to intercept her. When war began in the region, she interdicted the sea lanes.

Within days she captured the first merchant ship casualty of the war. The plan now was to make a run around the Cape of Good Hope, capturing targets of opportunity en-route home to Germany. But on the day of departure, Looff received a message that a British cruiser was spotted anchored off the island of Zanzibar. Sailing there overnight he arrived just as the sun rose. The clearing fog revealed HMS Pegasus moored just offshore. In a 45 minute bombardment, Pegasus, a larger ship, was reduced to a flaming wreck and sank later that day. The Königsberg continued its journey south, but within hours suffered a broken part forcing her to shelter in the Rufiji delta. The damaged part was hauled overland to be repaired at the railroad shops at Dar es Salaam.

Almost 10 months passed, during which the Royal Navy tied up some 20 ships and 10 aircraft trying to locate and destroy Königsberg. In July 1915 they finally got close enough to cause severe damage, whereupon Looff scuttled the ship in the Rufiji delta. The surviving crew removed everything of value, including the ship’s engines. They stripped out the big guns and mounted them on ‘new’ gun carriages manufactured at Dar es Salaam. The guns now augmented Lettow’s land-based field artillery, and the navy crew joined and added considerably to the land forces’ effectiveness.

By the way, a 2-year campaign was conducted in Lake Tanganyika, involving a British-Belgian flotilla, against the German garrison at modern-day Kasanga, and the Graf von Goetzen. She is believed to be the inspiration for the German gunboat Luisa in The African Queen. She was ultimately scuttled in the lake in July 1916.

While the Königsberg drama was playing out, Commonwealth troops attacked Tanga in November 1914. The British-Indian amphibious invasion force outnumbered the Schutztruppe 8 to 1. Caught in von Lettow’s withering crossfire, they took unprecedented casualties – 4,000 were killed or wounded. Lettow’s casualties totaled 70 Europeans and Askaris. As a result of this lop-sided victory he captured large amounts of arms and ammunition with which to continue campaigning. This was known as the Battle of the Bees.

After Tanga, the Brits left Lettow alone for 18 months, allowing him to prepare for extensive campaigning. He encouraged the production of local materials to alleviate shortages. The enterprising Schutztruppe fashioned shoes and boots from captured saddles and hides, wove cotton cloth, and made motor fuel from palm nuts. Salt was obtained from boiling sea-water, sugar was replaced with wild honey, and bandages were made from bark. The diet was augmented from plentiful game, including buffalo, antelope, elephants, and hippos. Even ersatz quinine was produced to treat the endemic malaria; nicknamed “Lettow’s schnapps,” it proved highly effective. Throughout 1915 and into early 1916, Lettow launched raids into Kenya and Rhodesia. After a major battle which resulted in heavy casualties on both sides, he realized that he must avoid major land actions and instead rely entirely on guerrilla tactics.

With the flow of money from home cut off, the colonists hoarded coins, creating a shortage. The situation had become critical, obliging Governor Schnee to order the Deutsch Ostafrikanische Bank to print an interim money supply. The issue of these notes was restricted to the duration of the war. First there was the matter of an adequate paper supply. Fortunately, one of the last ships to arrive in the colony had brought a supply of different kinds of durable paper sufficiently uniform to print bills of exchange. Presses already existed which, after adjustment, were used for printing the colony’s banknotes.

To alleviate the coin shortage, a different course was taken. It had become clear that the coastal cities could not be held much longer. Due to the impending British occupation of Dar es Salaam, Tabora had become the administrative capital. A mining engineer, a Dr Schumacher, was appointed as head of the mint. Not knowing how to mint coins, Schumacher learned “how-to” from an encyclopedia. There was no YouTube. Using parts and equipment salvaged and fabricated from the engines of the scuttled Königsberg, they had enough material to make a crude minting machine. So, in 1916 the Tabora mint was founded and installed in a garage.

Men recruited from various machine shops operated the mint. Other shops were scoured for jewelry makers, who became die makers. They designed and issued new 5 and 20 Heller coins. To expedite the process, dies were engraved directly, instead of making working dies from a master. Tabora issues are considered “Provisional,” brought about by wartime necessity. All are dated 1916, with a “T” mintmark. Both 5 and 20 Heller obverses depict an Imperial crown with date and D.O.A. below. The reverses display the respective value, surrounded by 2 crossed laurel branches. There were 2 varieties of the 5 Hellers – one has a crown with an oval base, minted on 1.5 to 2 mm thick planchets; the other has a crown with flat base, minted on planchets 1mm thick or less. A total of 30,000 5 Hellers were struck in the 2 varieties, all in brass.

The 20 Heller has 12 varieties, 6 in brass and 6 in copper. These include combinations of a large or small crown obverse, and one of three types of lettering in the word “Heller” on the reverse:, the serifs on the letter “L” are pointed or curled. The same dies were used for both copper and brass 20s! 1.6 million 20 Hellers were produced before Tabora fell to Belgian forces in September 1916, after 10 days and nights of heavy fighting. The copper or brass for these Tabora coins was from expended artillery shell casings, spent cartridges, and other scrap.

Another coin struck on the salvaged equipment was the so-called Tabora ‘Sovereign.’ The British Sovereign was legal tender in the surrounding British colonies. This put the Germans at a disadvantage when trading for supplies with those who wanted payment in gold. Since the British Sovereign was so popular, why not, in the middle of a war, mint a gold coin of equivalent value? Gold bullion was available, but, unless coined, pretty much useless. So, Governor Schnee authorized the use of gold from the Kironde mine 110 miles NE of Tabora.

Dirk Löbbers, a coin dealer in Wettringen, Germany said, “Gold was brought to Tabora in a 10 day safari led by Schumacher, along with 20 Schutztruppe guards and 200 porters.” Löbbers also said the chief die maker for this coin was a Sinhalese gold-worker from Zanzibar, who, according to Schumacher, “usually worked while drunk!” The 15 Rupien denomination was chosen as it was equivalent to 1 British Sovereign. Schumacher wrote, that to get a good impression, the gold coins were struck 3 times in the press, with both dies turned 120° each time, a full rotation. There was a lot of reworking on these dies, so, it is difficult to determine what was original and what was retouched. Unlike its British counterpart, the Tabora sovereign did not depict the head of the monarch, but shows an elephant! Technically it was not a sovereign but came to be called that through popular usage.

On the obverse is an African elephant with raised trunk in front of Mount Kilimanjaro, with date and mintmark below, all surrounded by a circle of dots. The reverse of this smooth edge coin has a crowned Imperial eagle, with Deutsch Ostafrika above, and 15 Rupien below. Legends are separated by two 4-leafed rosettes, surrounded by a circle of dots. These were immediately accepted by traders. As far as they were concerned, any gold coin used in commerce was considered good.

Per Kees Uitenbroek, the easiest way to distinguish among the three varieties is by looking at the Arabesques at the top of both wings on the Reverse: match their ends with the nearby letters. The total mintage, over all three types, is under 17,000. To my knowledge, this coin is the only 20th century Gold Provisional or emergency money issued into circulation; the Gold 1961 Katanga 5 Francs was a non-circulating government issue.

The remainder of 1916 took a heavy toll on Commonwealth troops, now primarily South African Boers. In addition to attrition from enemy attacks, they were not used to the difficult jungle terrain; the floods; the parasites; the malaria bearing mosquitoes; and the tsetse flies which attacked their horses, mules and donkeys – and their greatly overstretched supply lines. As 1917 wore on, Lettow moved further south into the Rufiji River valley, where there were fewer settlements to assist in subsistence. After the available supply of colonial banknotes ran out, it was imperative to replenish them. Since these notes were freely exchanged among settlers and soldiers, it was necessary to print more to finance the campaign. But where to find equipment with which to create them?

The problem was overcome when they came across a farm with a child’s plaything, a toy printing press, complete with movable rubber type. Not pretty, but functional, and it was quickly pressed into service to make more notes. Running out of paper, the Treasury even used official letterhead stationery on which to print notes. Some were printed on the backs of district office forms including police departments, customs houses, and agricultural experiment stations. All very collectible, and many are unique. Some of you have heard tales of Notgeld being used as wallpaper after WWI – there is a 5 Rupie Bush note printed on wallpaper. It got the job done.

Eventually, the weight of enemy numbers and dwindling supplies forced Lettow to abandon the Colony. In December 1917, he invaded Portuguese East Africa, ultimately capturing a major supply depot at Namacurra, over 1,000 km deep in Portuguese territory. The garrison was well stocked with modern weapons, horses, and millions of rounds of ammunition. This enabled the Schutztruppe to continue the fight in relative comfort. I acquired acountermarked Brass 20 Heller coin last year, and it became the impetus of this talk. The obverse die had deteriorated, and there is a large ‘M’ stamp on the reverse. Some Tabora 20 Hellers were countermarked and used by the Germans for purchases in the Portuguese colony. These are scarce, as the number of countermarked coins is unknown, but extremely low. I have not found record of any counter-marked 5 Heller Tabora coins. They may be out there.

In September 1918, Lettow made another strategic decision, as the combined force of Commonwealth, Belgian, and Portuguese troops was breathing down his neck. If he continued farther south he would be trapped by the Zambezi River, which he could not cross. Quickly turning north he outran his pursuers, fighting skirmishes along the way and he reentered the DOA. The fighting and influenza had reduced his force to 170 Europeans and 1,400 Askaris. He again eluded capture with a swift march around the north end of Lake Nyasa to carry the offensive into Rhodesia. In September and October, a series of successful attacks against Rhodesian forts was launched.

On November 12, while planning an attack on a British command center, he set out by bicycle to reconnoiter the area. One of his officers caught up with him bearing an urgent message that an Armistice had been signed in Europe. On November 17, 6 days after cessation of hostilities in Europe, he informed the British commander that he was not surrendering but ceasing his campaign. At Abercorn, the Schutztruppe handed over their weapons to the British; nearly all were of English or Portuguese origin. All fighting in the region formally ended on 25 November 1918!

By Lettow’s count, during the 4 year campaign, his little army – at its greatest strength no more than 15,000, including porters – had fought off, defeated, or confounded Allied forces totaling more than 300,000, led by 137 generals. They inflicted casualties many times their own number, at least 20,000 killed and another 40,000 wounded. They marched 10,000 miles on foot through impossibly rugged country and had always managed to keep the respect of their enemy by fighting.

The campaign cost the British an estimated £15 Billion in today’s money, yet they were never able to catch, or defeat him in battle. A pyrrhic victory for the Allies, much blood and treasure lost. This was Lettow’s strategy all along, to tie the British down, preventing their troops from being used elsewhere. The Treaty of Versailles ended the DOA, transferring it to Britain, Belgium, and Portugal.

After the War, von Lettow was welcomed back in Germany as an undefeated hero. On March 2, 1919, the Schutztruppe were celebrated as the only German force not defeated in open combat. Surrounded by cheering crowds of Berliners, Lettow and the surviving Schutztruppe, plus Captain Looff, and Governor Schnee, all moved in regimental order, in a strange kind of victory parade through Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. Most wore the faded khakis and sun helmets they had worn in Africa. Only 114 European officers and under-officers survived the War.

In Postscript, having risen to the rank of Major General and having served for 10 years as a member of the Reichstag, von Lettow-Vorbeck was approached by Adolph Hitler with a request to become his ambassador to Great Britain. Stating that he was always a nationalist, but never a Nazi, he very impolitely refused the request. After this, his home office was searched and he was placed under surveillance. His legendary status among the German people protected him from more active harassment.

Lettow tirelessly fought to settle the pay accounts of his Askaris. Those who had fought in the East African campaign were given pensions by the Weimar Republic, and later West Germany. I personally recall news film, in the late 1950s or early 1960s, of former Askaris performing their rifle drill “in the Prussian manner” to prove that they had been soldiers of the Kaiser.

We collectors can still hold these tangible coins and unusual banknotes to remind us of the history, and of these exploits. I hope you found this presentation educational, interesting, informative, and enjoyable.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our July 14, 2021 meeting,
reported by Melissa Gumm.

  1. After patiently waiting and watching its very extensive back and forth postal journey, Deven Kane finally received his auction purchase – a Diva Faustina Junior Sestertius issued posthumously by her husband, Marcus Aurelius. The obverse features a draped bust facing right, while the reverse has a draped throne with a transverse spear resting on the seat, and a peacock below. The peacock is the sacred bird of Juno, which symbolizes the carrying of a dead woman’s soul to Heaven. (Purchased from a UK auction, the package was in transit from April 26 until June 17 – most of its odyssey was spent in the US, getting close to Deven’s town, magically appearing in an east-coast city before starting back to Deven, and repeat. Part of the problem seemed to be a hold or customs stop applied to the package – the applied label partly covered the destination bar code, totally confusing the routing system.)
  2. Mark Wieclaw showed a silver tetartemorion from the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. The draw to this coin for Mark was the owl on it, which is very similar to that on Athenian coinage. He collects owls so he had to have it, however he was quite surprised by how tiny (6mm) the coin was when he received it. All the photos in the online auction showed the coins at the same size and he never looked at the actual size in the description. Amazing that someone could engrave a die with such detail for this tiny coin.
  3. British Armed Forces Special Vouchers similar to the US Military Payment Certificates were what Dale Lukanich showed. These vouchers were issued from 1946 to 1972 in six series, but the one pound notes were only issued until 1962. Notes were only to be used for transactions within official canteens and organizations laid down by the General Register Office (GRO), and only as allowed by the GRO. Improper use was a disciplinary offense and may render the offender liable to penalties. The notes were quite colorful and featured simple designs. Dale showed an inexpensive set of three £1 notes, from the series of 1948, 1956, and 1962 (the second, third, and fourth series).
  4. Lyle Daly showed the Panama-Pacific International Exposition commemorative half dollar. The last coin designed by Charles Barber, the obverse features Columbia scattering fruits and flowers with an attendant behind holding a cornucopia to signify the resources of the West; the background features the Golden Gate illuminated by the rays of the setting sun. The reverse features an eagle on top of the US shield with an olive branch on one side and an oak branch on the other, designed by Mr. Barber’s assistant, George T. Morgan, and did not embrace the artistic changes of the time as Mr. Barber’s obverse design did.
  5. In a bit of a follow-up to June’s speaker, Jeff Amelse showed three US silver type coins with amazing detail.
    1. An 1875-S twenty cent piece, which was only minted for four years.
    2. An 1853 Seated Liberty silver quarter with arrows and rays, which signified the coin’s weight change. Its mintage, of over 15 million pieces, is the third highest in this series.
    3. An 1827 Capped bust silver fifty cent piece with the square base 2.
  6. Joseph Boling, picking up on the German East Africa theme of the evening’s program, showed a 20 rupien note that had been counterfeited by the British military during their campaign against the German colonial government (SCWPM 44b). The note is a good replica of the original (44a), except that the serial numbers on the back and face do not agree with each other. Apparently the person writing the numbers was running in the opposite direction of the numbers recorded on the other side. Whether the mis-numbered notes were placed into circulation is not known (though Joe has never seen one with circulation evidence). It is possible that they were set aside and did not enter the collector market until much later. Initially a small printing defect on the face was believed to be the distinguishing feature for vintage pieces, and ones without that mark were believed to be modern counterfeits of the counterfeits, prepared specifically for collectors of military issues. More recent research shows that the pieces without the blemish are also originals. Joe will keep searching for one with the blemish, to see if he can distinguish any other distinction that would support the original story.


Minutes of the Chicago 2021 ANA Convention Committee

July 15, 2021

The 2021 ANA convention committee met July 15, 2021, in an online meeting. Host chairman Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 7:03pm with Elliott Krieter, Steve Zitowsky, Carl Wolf, Mark Wieclaw, Paul Hybert, John Riley, John Kent, Marc Charles Ricard, Mike Gasvoda, Jack Smith, Lyle Daly, Rich Lipman, and Scott McGowan in attendance.

Elliott opened the meeting with announcements

Money Talks report by Mark Wieclaw

Page Committee report by John Kent

Exhibit Committee report by Marc Charles Ricard

YN Workshop Committee report by Jim Ray

Ambassador report by Scott McGowan

Elliott Krieter announced the ANA approved Carl Wolf to be the Honorary Chairman of the 2021 convention. Steve Zitowsky and Jeff Rosinia will be setting up tables in the bourse area the week before the show. There will be no World Mints at the Show this year, and the US Mint has not confirmed their attendance.

Due to the lack of a suitable location for the CCC/NYNC joint dinner, suggestions were discussed for an informal alternative. On August 12, 2021, at 7-10pm, the group Echoes of Pompeii (a Pink Floyd Tribute Band) will be playing at the “Rockin in the Park” series at Parkway Park, which is west of the convention center, behind the parking garage; many of the restaurants will have outdoor food tents. This could lend to an informal meeting area for the CCC and NYNC members.

ANA World’s Fair of Money 2022 will be in Rosemont August 16-20; Steve Zitowsky was submitted to the ANA to be Host Chair.

Reminder: The Chicago Coin Club August meeting will be during the show on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at Noon in Room 6 with space for 100. The speaker will be Mark Wieclaw.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:45pm CDT.

Respectfully Submitted,
Scott A. McGowan
Secretary, Chicago Coin Club

Our 1231st Meeting

Date: August 14, 2021
Time: Noon — 12:00 PM CDT (UTC-05:00)
Location: Our first joint in-person and online meeting.
At the American Numismatic Association (ANA) Convention, which is held at the Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for anything on Saturday, but admission to the bourse requires registration, and that requires a photo-ID. And the parking lots will charge $$$.
This will be our first attempt at making an in-person meeting available to remote attendees. Remote attendees’ participation might be limited to watching and listening to the meeting; we have no relevant experience at the Stephens Convention Center, so there might be insurmountable diificulties.
Visit our Online Meeting webpage, at, for all the details on participating in an online club meeting. Participation in an online meeting requires some advance work by both our meeting coordinator and attendees, especially first-time participants. Please plan ahead; read the latest instructions on the day before the meeting!
Featured Program: Mark WieclawThe Gun Money of James II, 1689-1690
James II was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland from February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Determined to regain the throne, he sought assistance from both France and Ireland. An assistant suggested minting brass coinage with the promise of exchanging the pieces for silver coins after he was once again seated on the throne. Any available brass objects (such as pots and candlesticks) were melted. this also included decommissioned cannons, thus the term “gun money.” This talk details the issuance of the various denominations minted for regular use between 1689 and 1690.

Important Dates

Unless stated otherwise, our regular monthly CCC Meeting is in downtown Chicago online during the Covid-19 isolation era on the second Wednesday of the month; the starting time is 6:45PM CT.

August 10-14 ANA in Rosemont, at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Admission is free for ANA members — for details, see
August 14 CCC Meeting - Noon at the ANA Convention, which is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Mark Wieclaw on The Gun Money of James II, 1689-1690
September 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Don Kagin on Treasury Notes of the War of 1812
September 9-11 ILNA 61st Annual Coin & Currency Show at the Dupage County Fair Grounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton, IL. Details, including hours and events, are available at
October 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Rich Lipman on And Now For Something Completely Different!
November 10 CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no speaker

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:
Lyle Daly- President
John Riley- First V.P.
Melissa Gumm- Second V.P.
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Deven Kane
Mark Wieclaw
Carl Wolf
Steve Zitowsky
Appointed positions:
Richard Lipman- Immediate Past President
Scott McGowan- Secretary
Elliott Krieter- 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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