|Volume 68 No. 10||October, 2022|
The club auction is scheduled for 7PM, near the start of the regular November club meeting. In the past few auctions, club related material (and Chicago area numismatic items) have had the best results. Please consider using the club auction to dispose of the numismatic items you no longer need.
We have a number of items already consigned, but we have space for some more items. Please contact Bill Burd at Chicago Coin Company to discuss what material would complement the existing lots. Among the consigned lots are items from Canadian clubs and dealers, items from US clubs and dealers, and even some large silver medals.
The auction will be called from our in-person meeting room, and all lots must be picked up when the auction ends – that is when all accounts must be settled, too. If you wish to bid but will not attend in person, please make arrangements with a fellow member: to bid for you, to pick up your won lots, and to pay for you. We do not know how well the remote-support capabilities of our meeting room will support remote bidders.
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.
The November Chatter will contain a list of all auction lots that are known to Bill Burd by Friday, October 14. Bring your lots with you to the November meeting, or you can ship your items to Bill Burd by Friday, October 14 if you will not be at the November meeting.
|Bill Burd / CCC-A Dept.
Chicago Coin Company
11527 S. Harlem Ave.
Worth, IL 60482
The 1244th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President Lyle Daly at 6:45 PM CDT, Wednesday September 14, 2022. This was a hybrid in-person and online meeting. Attendance at the meeting was 16 in person and 23 online for a total of 39.
Club Meeting Minutes and Treasurer’s Report
The August Session I and II 2022 meeting minutes were approved as published in the Chatter, both in print and on the CCC website.
Treasurer Elliott Krieter submitted the treasurer’s report for the August period, stating income of $3,814.00 (CCC-NYNC Joint Dinner payments, dues, ANA club table sales) and expenses of $2,285.97 (Chatter, meeting room cost, corporate filing, postage, ANA expense, medals expense) for a net August total of $1,528.03.
Secretary Scott McGowan announced the second readings for new member applications. Readings are done in the order applications are received.
Second readings were completed for Christopher Propheter, Mary N. Lannin, Ray Oshinski, Floyd April, Raul Buendia, Helen (Louise) Boling, Albert Azarias, and Dr. Ralph W. Ross. After each reading the club members voted to approve all for membership.
First Vice President John Riley introduced the Featured Program: Jeffrey A. Amelse on Early Half Dollars: Overdates and Some Interesting Late Die State Varieties. After the presentation, John presented a Speaker’s Medal and ANA education certificate to Jeff.
Second Vice President Melissa Gumm introduced the evening’s five Show and Tell exhibitors.
The next meeting will be October 12, 2022, at 6:45pm CDT, both in-person at the Chicago Bar Association and online.
Lyle Daly adjourned the meeting at 8:37pm CDT.
Scott A. McGowan, Secretary
a presentation by Gilles Bransbourg,
to our August 20, 2022 meeting.
The presentation started with two slides, showing the obverse and reverse of typical Roman coins of 294 and of 400 – inflation between these years is a complex topic with research in progress. At a glance, each slide had one gold coin, one silver coin and a few bronze coins, and the slides did not appear to be all that different. Extra slides provided details on the shown gold and silver coins, along with a tabular summary of monetary details in 274, 294, and 301. After Diocletian’s reform of 294-295:
During the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire, the denarius had been a silver coin – although by the year 300 a denarius coin no longer was minted, the name lived on as a unit of accounting. The denominations mentioned above do not appear on the precious metal coins or many of the bronze coins– these names are in general use now – our understanding of some names has changed over the years. For example, the nummus had been called the follis, but its use has been deprecated since about 1995 when the few ancient mentions of that word were first understood to be refering to a bag or group of coins, and not to a single coin.
Although copper coins were mentioned above, those coins also are refered to as bronze coins. Due to their wide range of sizes and our uncertainty as to what they were called over time, the convention has been to give them four different names, from AE1 for the largest to AE4 for the smallest.
The next group of slides covered the debasement and weight loss of the base coinage. From 300 to 400, a graph of the weights of the AE coins shows a band of weights for each year in a succession of decreasing steady values, following a generally downward staircase pattern – except for two upward steps in the last two decades, which were followed by the lowest values yet. The weights ranged between 8 and 12 grams in the first two decades, but stepped downward to a range between 1 to 2 grams before the two aforementioned upward steps. From 400 to 490, a graph of the weights of the AE coins shows a nominally steady range of weights under 1.5 grams. A series of slides of bronze coins, in the collection of the American Numismatic Society and from eastern and western mints, shows coins with a wide range of weights; most coins are listed with some denomination, from nummus for earlier examples to AE2 (22mm diameter), AE3, and AE4 (11mm diameter) for the later.
How can a base coin be debased? By decreasing the silver content of the billon coins. Graphs from various studies showed the silver content of the billon pieces decreasing from about 4% around 300 to a trace around 360. Even with a range of 1% to 2%, the silver content was important to users, so the debasement was in small steps.
Whether it is called inflation or debasement, the value of one pound of gold increased from 60,000 denarii in 300 to about 3,000,000,000 denarii around 400; the value of gold increased by 50,000 times in 100 years. The exchange rate between gold and silver varied over time – from ten to 16 ounces of silver were equivalent to one ounce of gold. There are two types of monetary inflation: either revalue the existing coinage, or replace existing coinage with debased coinage of same declared value.
A major source of what we know about pricing during the fourth century comes from Edicts during that century. Our knowledge increases as more stones and other records are discovered from around the Empire; our views can change with better translations. There were edicts on currency, which revalued the existing coins. The pricing edicts set the prices of commodities such as wheat, and permits soldiers to enforce the overvalued prices in current currency. Taxes were paid in gold and silver, metals which could be obtained from the government in payment for commodities at the stated prices. Call it a tax, or call it a transfer of wealth to state coffers – by its influence over commerce, the government was able to extract enough wealth in order to sustain itself.
On a number of slides, Gilles showed examples of the new coins from years which followed specific debasements, oh sorry, I mean reforms. Roman authorities were sophisticated enough to develop a system of multiple moving parts, some actions compensating for prior actions, for many years. We must take care and not widely extrapolate a single action; there were many parts, and we can uncover new details at any time.
Counterfeiting was a problem, and there were laws against it. There was even a law against selling the silver which had been privately extracted from billon coins. By telling of an analysis of the metallic signatures of silver, which shows that the 364-378 silver coinage and the 294-330 billon coinage have the same signature, Gilles suggests the state achieved what it had prohibited the public from doing.
Annual fourth century inflation averaged 12% per year. This inflation was a consequence of state actions, intentional and unintentional. The more stable fifth century had a currency system of gold coins and bronze minimi, with no silver coins in the middle.
|Chicago Coin Company|
|Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.|
|Kedzie Koins Inc.|
|Classical Numismatic Group|
Items shown at our September 14, 2022 meeting,
reported by Melissa Gumm.
|Date:||December 14, 2022|
|Time:||6:00PM Cocktails (cash bar),
with complementary hors d’oeuvres.
7:00PM to 10PM Dinner and Meeting
|Location:||Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant, 798 W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60006 (847) 981-0900. It is a couple miles east of Route 53 and 10 minutes from the Arlington Heights commuter train station; some members living in the area mentioned being willing to offer rides to those taking the train.|
The cost is $55 if paid in advance, and will be $65 if paid at
Early commitments and payments are greatly appreciated.
Our group will be meeting in their Barrel Room, which can
accommodate 80 people.
There will be a private cash bar in the room for those wanting
an alcoholic beverage.
Make your reservation by mailing your check (payable to Chicago
Coin Club) to P.O. Box 2301, Chicago, IL 60690; or by paying
electronically (see the Chatter Matter page for details).
• Our dinner will start off with a Crab & Lobster Bisque soup, followed by a Caesar Salad.
• The plated dinner will be Filet Beef Medallions and Dana’s Parmesan Crusted Chicken Chicken – no special dietary requests can be honored.
• Dessert will be Salted Carmel Crème Brulee, with a second desert to be determined.
|Parking:||There is a large free parking lot attached.|
|Program:||The speaker is Mark Borckardt, on to be announced. CCC member Mark Borckardt has many interesting experiences from his long career in numismatics. Which will he tell us? What names will he mention? A pleasant presentation, neither too technical nor too scandalous, to be sure.|
Election of Club Officers.
|Date:||October 12, 2022|
|Time:||6:45PM CDT (UTC-05:00)|
At the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Court, 3rd or 4th 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.
Because things can change between when this is written and we meet, please bring your face covering to the meeting – all attendees must follow the city’s and building’s rules.
This will be another attempt at a regular in-person meeting in the Covid-19 era. We will try for a better experience than in the past, but please be prepared for possible diifficulties.
|Online:||For all the details on participating online in one of our club meetings, visit our Online Meeting webpage at www.chicagocoinclub.org/meetings/online_meeting.html. 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:||James McMenamin —
Select Guernsey and Jersey Coins
Let us take a numismatic journey to the bailiwicks of the Channel Islands. Jim will describe his fascinating travels from New Zealand to Australia, Great Britain, and the Islands of Guernsey and Jersey; all while collecting large and small “Coppers” of the Channel Islands.
Unless stated otherwise, our regular monthly CCC Meeting is in downtown Chicago and also online on the second Wednesday of the month; the starting time is 6:45PM CT.
|October||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - James McMenamin on Select Guernsey and Jersey Coins|
|November||9||CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker|
|December||14||CCC Meeting - Annual Banquet - details to be announced|
|January||11||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Steve Feller on Stagecoach and Post Office Scrip of the American Civil War|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can resume receiving a mailed print copy at any time, just by sending another email.
All correspondence pertaining to Club matters
should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
CHICAGO COIN CLUB
P.O. Box 2301
CHICAGO, IL 60690
Or email the Secretary at Secretary.ChicagoCoinClub@GMail.com
Payments to the Club, including membership dues, can be addressed to the Treasurer at the above street 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 Treasurer.ChicagoCoinClub@GMail.com 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 https://www.zellepay.com Please read all rules and requirements carefully.
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