Chatter


Volume 69 No. 1 January, 2023


Minutes of the 1247th Meeting

The 1247th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club, the annual club banquet, was held on December 14, 2022 at Cooper’s Hawk restaurant in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Starting at 6:00pm, 49 members and guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with hors d’oeurves supplied by Chicago Coin Company. This was followed at 7:00pm by a dinner of salad, mixed grilled beef and chicken with mashed potatoes and asparagus, and a trio of desserts.

President Lyle Daly called the club business meeting to order at 7:59pm CST, and called for a motion to suspend the regular order of business and follow an abbreviated agenda for the banquet meeting. Said motion was approved. Lyle reminded everyone in attendance to sign the club meeting register for the banquet. Lyle also asked any in attendance who were also at the November club meeting to sign the register book for the 1246th meeting since the book was not available at that meeting. Lyle wished all in attendance and all club members in general a very happiest of holidays. Lyle thanked all who made the banquet possible, including: the banquet committee headed by Bob Feiler; Sharon and Kevin Blocker, whose generous donation included support for four young numismatists to attend the banquet; and the Chicago Coin Company.

No new member applications were submitted.

The treasurer’s report for the November period was deferred to the January meeting.

President Lyle Daly initiated the election of new club officers, presenting the slate that was presented at the November meeting – President: John Riley; 1st Vice President: Melissa Gumm; 2nd Vice President: Deven Kane; Archivist: Bill Burd; Directors: Carl Wolf, Steve Zitowsky, Mark Wieclaw, Ray Dagenais, and Rich Lipman. The club voted to approve the club officers, and Robert Leonard issued the pledge of office. Appointed members to the board include – Secretary: Scott McGowan; Treasurer: Elliott Kreiter; Chatter Editor, Webmaster: Paul Hybert; ANA Club Representative: Jeff Rosinia.

Control of the 1247th club meeting was transferred to new president John Riley. John presented the Medal of Past President to Lyle Daly and thanked him for his term in office and service to the club.

John Introduced the Featured Program Speaker, Mark Borckardt, on A Career in Numismatics. This exciting talk walked banquet attendees through Mark’s 33-year numismatic auctions career with stories of handling some of the most famous and sought-after numismatic coins from some of numismatics legendary collectors. John Riley then presented Mark with a CCC presenter’s medal and an ANA education certificate.

1st Vice President Melissa Gumm announced the CCC Cabeen Award winners. The Cabeen awards are given annually to club members for their scores from club member votes on their monthly Show and Tell presentations.

January starts a new year, and all club members are invited and encouraged to make a three-minute presentation on a numismatic item(s) for Show and Tell at club meetings. A minimum of four Show and Tell presentations is required for Cabeen award consideration. Plan your Show and Tells now!!

Being an abbreviated agenda, there was no Show and Tell.

John Riley then introduced Carl Wolf who announced the 2022 introduction into the CCC Hall of Fame. Introduced in 2019 on the occasion of the CCC 100th anniversary, the CCC Hall of Fame recognizes club members who have made, or are making, contributions to the Numismatic community on a local, state, regional, and national level. The 2022 Hall of Fame inductee is Bill Burd. Please visit the hall’s webpage to see the extensive biography of Bill’s numismatic legacy.

There being no further business, President John Riley adjourned the meeting at 9:06pm CST.

The next CCC Board meeting will be February 15, 2023. Club members with any items to be brought to the board, please submit them to a board member by February 10, 2023.

Respectfully Submitted,
Scott A. McGowan, Secretary


Speaker’s Wor[l]d
A Career in Numismatics

a presentation by Mark Borckardt,
to our December 14, 2023 banquet meeting,
reported by John Riley.

Chicago Coin Club member Mark Borckardt, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger for Heritage Auctions, presented to the Chicago Coin Club from a professional numismatic perspective: a remarkable career in the hobby that has spanned the most exciting and lucrative era of the rare coin business.

But it has been a true adventure story in our hobby as well.

Mark described for the audience many of the moments that have separated dollars-and-cents investment assets to real human-interest stories of a few dedicated lifelong collectors at their highest levels within coin collecting.

It all began for Mark with a gifted Guide Book of United States Coins (known as the “Red Book”) in the early 1960s. Armed with that basic knowledge and aided by the monetary help of his father, young Mark pursued and obtained an elusive “doubled die” 1955 U.S. Lincoln cent at a local coin show. This purchase, however, would be a problem for Mark’s mother to equate a rather sizable price tag for a single “penny!”

The tale had a happy ending, however, and peace was restored in the household after a subsequent profit was returned for the fortuitous purchase, starting a career in the rare coin business!

Growing up in Findlay, Ohio, Mark fondly recalled the educational opportunities and friendships gained by joining the Early American Coppers (EAC) organization, enjoyable trips to coin shows and conventions (once staying too late and having his car locked in at a Chicago parking garage!), and frequent coin purchasing events he was involved in during the 1980 precious metals and bullion “heyday” in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Mark recounted the story of a Monroeville resident’s insistent offering of non-precious metal pocket change at one of these events: ensuring there was no misunderstanding, Mark dutifully brokered and documented a transaction at 75% of face value to complete the deal. Explaining the purchase rationale to a skeptical boss afterwards was awkward, but all would agree that it was a proper business deal done in the heat of speculation fever!

Many adventures would follow as an independent coin buyer, including a disastrous fire at his business that came close to derailing Mark’s ambitions as a professional numismatist.

But faith has a way. Reaching out to the principals of Bowers and Merena Galleries in 1989 with a resume and pushing successfully through two formal interviews and “coin quizzes” to assess his knowledge, Mark would find his life’s work. Documenting the sales catalogs that would end up being the industry standard, Mark was able to closely examine and document the storied U.S. coin collections of the time, including the only believed “complete” U.S. coin cabinet (Baltimore’s Louis Eliasberg collection) that was cataloged and sold by the Bowers and Merena firm. Mark related how the 1870-S half-dime was unknown to the collecting world at the time and only after Eliasberg’s death would be discovered.

The Bass Collection out of Texas, particularly notable for thoroughness in complete U.S. gold coinage, would be cataloged and partially sold during Mark’s tenure at Bowers and Merena.

Among other great U.S. rarities, Mark would have his first encounter with a 1913 Liberty Head nickel being brought to auction by the Bowers and Merena firm in 1996.

Mark was again involved with the famous 1913 Liberty Head nickel while Bowers and Merena was relocating to Louisiana. The long missing fifth example was brought out of obscurity to be “reunited” with the other four examples at one setting when all five were displayed at the 2003 Baltimore ANA convention. Mark described the excitement of the advertised opportunity to locate the coin – and its authentication at a clandestine midnight meeting – in front of the hobby’s foremost figures at the time.

Times and the major players were restructuring by the early 2000s, and Mark was wrestling with the potential of having to relocate permanently to Southern California – fate again intervened with the multi-category collectibles company, Heritage Auctions, out of Dallas, Texas.

A similar hiring process ensued and Mark found himself back in good company with a large and dynamic auctions house that expanded on the earlier work of other firms beyond just coins and paper money. Shortly after joining Heritage, Mark was presented with the opportunity to catalog two of the fabled Brasher doubloons.

Heritage has provided Mark with numerous opportunities to handle and document for sale most of the great U.S. rarities – he estimates he has cataloged 80 of the “100 Greatest U.S. Coins” as featured in the reference by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth.

Mark counts among his many accomplishments at Heritage the detailed cataloging of additional landmark collections including Gardner, Partrick, and the legendary collection of St. Louis centenarian Eric P. Newman – truly remarkable in strength of early American issues, the collection was one of sheer volume, quality, and scope.

Currently, the final part of the Bass collection, as held for the past 20 years by the American Numismatic Association in Colorado Springs, is being dispersed into the marketplace through Heritage Auctions.

Mark concluded his presentation with several questions from the audience and insightful discussion around the treasures that he personally collects!


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Our 1248th Meeting

Date: January 11, 2023
Time: 6:45PM CST (UTC-06:00)
Location: Downtown Chicago
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: Steve FellerStagecoach and Post Office Scrip of the American Civil War
The complexity of the American Civil War manifests itself through the monies issued by the North and the South. Numerous organizations had their own paper currency, including the central and state governments, cities, banks, stores, railroads, and insurance companies. This talk is on the the Confederate quartermasters who issued scrip for rides on mostly short-haul stages and trains. The routes will be discussed, as well as interesting stories related to these small reminders of our American Civil War.

Important Dates

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.

January 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Steve Feller on Stagecoach and Post Office Scrip of the American Civil War
February 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert Leonard on Latin Imitations of Hyperpyra of John III Vatatzes – Byzantine Gold and the Egos of Princes
February 26 Will County Coin Club Show, to be held at the Weitendorf Ag Ed Center (Joliet Junior College), 17840 W. Laraway Road in Joliet, Illinois.
March 2-4 ANA’s National Money Show at Phoenix, Arizona. Details at https://www.money.org/NationalMoneyShow
March 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Eduardo Garcia-Molina on Research Experience at the American Numismatic Society: Unraveling Seleucid Empire Mysteries
April 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
April 27-29 84th 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, a 3-day pass for $10, and (maybe) free admission for CSNS Life Members. For details, refer to their website, https://www.csns.org/
April 29 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

http://www.ChicagoCoinClub.org/

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Club Officers

Elected positions:
John Riley- President
Melissa Gumm- First V.P.
Deven Kane- Second V.P.
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Ray Dagenais
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

Correspondence

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.

Payments

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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