|Volume 69 No. 6||June, 2023|
Gone for summer vacation – July Chatter to be delayed.
I will take a five-week vacation this summer, delaying the July Chatter until very late July or early August. The printed Chatter issues for July and August will be mailed together. Each issue will be posted online as soon as it is completed, with the usual link to it being immediately emailed to the usual list.
I will leave less than one week after our June meeting. In the best case, I might be able to temporarily place an abbreviated July Chatter on the club website before I leave; a link to it would be emailed to the usual list.
If you are looking for something to do during your summer doldrums, think of creating an exhibit to show at the ANA’s convention! Although Pittsburgh might be too far away for a trip this August, the convention will be in Rosemont in August 2024. According to the Exhibit Rules, a new Class has been introduced: the new Single-Case Class is for any topic, but the exhibit must fit into a standard exhibiting case.
Paul Hybert, editor
The 1252nd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President John Riley at 6:45 PM CDT, Wednesday May 10, 2023. This was a hybrid in-person and online meeting. Attendance at the meeting was 20 members and 1 guest in person and 19 online for a total of 40.
Club Meeting Minutes and Treasurer’s Report
The April 2023 session I and II meeting minutes were approved as published in the Chatter, both in print and on the CCC website, with one noted correction. Attendance at the April session II meeting was 40, not 39 as previously published.
The April period treasurer’s report indicated $370.00 revenue (dues and memorabilia sales) and $77.00 expense for Chatter publication, for a period total of $293.00. The April report was approved by the club membership.
A second reading of the membership application for Thomas Canoles was completed and the membership approved his application.
One new member application was received for Richard Hathaway. Richard collects world and French coins, and was referred by the club secretary. The first membership application reading was completed.
Deven Kane on Little Louis, the story of how a piece of small change sparked a fashion craze and then an international scam.
Show and Tell
Second Vice President Deven Kane announced there were 12 Show and Tell presentations.
The next meeting will be June 14, 2023 6:45pm at the Chicago Bar Association.
John Riley adjourned the meeting at 9:14pm CDT.
Scott A. McGowan, Secretary
Douglas Baldwin of Arlington Heights, Illinois passed on April 24, 2023; he was 61 years of age. Doug became member number 1284 when he joined the Chicago Coin Club in April, 2019.
Doug collected a wide range of numismatic subjects including American coins and currency, English and German medieval, Greek and Roman Ancients, as well as numerous Numismatic friends and associates. In fact, two friends contributed to Doug joining the CCC as noted on his membership application; Doug cited John Kent’s “casual coin discussions” and Steve Zitowsky as “talked me into joining.”
Doug was a high school Bible philosophy and history teacher at the Christian Liberty Academy for over 32 years, and was originally from Indiana. He was involved in and helped create some of the homeschool Bible curriculum and taught mathematics.
Doug was a member of the American Numismatic Association as well, and always volunteered as an Ambassador to help staffing at the ANA World’s Fair of Money when the shows were in Rosemont and the CCC was host club.
In addition to the CCC and the ANA he was a member of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Botanical Gardens, the Field Museum, the Arlington Heights Historical Museum, and a member and docent at the Oriental Institute.
Doug is survived by his mother, Beverly Kesot Baldwin; sister, Sandra Maggart (Zach) and their children; sister, Sharon Baldwin; and his cat, Kuyper. There was a memorial service for all who knew Doug at the Christian Liberty Academy, 502 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004 on Sunday, May 7, 2023, from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. A service for family and friends took place at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Grant Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel, 1606 W. 26th St., Marion, Indiana 46953.
presented by Mark Wieclaw,
to our April 29, 2023 meeting
The motto of the Chicago Coin Club is Docendo Discimus, which is latin for “We learn by teaching.” Mark feels that the ability for us to learn by teaching is one of the great things about being in a club. Many of us like to show what we collect, and to share stories about them. Of the many considerations when buying a coin, Mark also thinks of to whom he can show it. We make an impact on others, whether fleeting or long lasting, whether on one or many.
Mark encouraged us to share our knowledge, suggesting a few methods: write a book or article, place an educational exhibit, give presents, or give a talk. Performing the research for any of these will increase your knowledge. As you start, you will find out how little you know. Remember to reach out to fellow club members for assistance when you have a question.
Because it is difficult to proof read your own material, find someone to help. That person does not need to be an expert – you want someone to find the poor phrasing, unclear points, and rough spots. You want your writing to teach that person, not leave that person confused.
On certain occasions, Mark has handed out elongated coins made for the occasion. Sometimes, a recipient shows Mark an elongated from a prior occasion – it is not just numismatists who keep these items. Most people do not have elongateds made because of the cost, and focus is needed – to have elongateds made in 1986 for the birth of his first daughter, Mark’s first phone call from the hospital was to the elongated manufacturer. His earlier article, “Celebrating Life Through Elongateds,” did inspire other to have their own made.
Creating and showing an Educational Exhibit at a coin show are other ways of increasing your knowledge and sharing it. (Just do not get hung up on pleasing all the judges, because you cannot.) In your exhibit, give enough information to pique the interest of the viewer. In 1984, Mark created an exhibit for a Joliet show, where a judge gave it a grade of 95. When Mark showed it at the ANA convention in Detroit, that judge gave the exhibit a grade of 46 – when asked about it later, he explained that while it was great for Joliet, “this is the ANA!”
In the late 1980s, Mark showed an exhibit at three different shows (ILNA, MSNS, and FUN); John Wilson and another collector also each had an exhibit at the three shows; at each show, the Best of Show went to a different exhibit – three different Best of Show winners with the same exhibits, but with different judges. Mark pointed out club member Jeff Rosinia as someone who does not care about the judges’ scoring; he just wants to show interesting items and pique the viewer’s interest. At the 1991 ANA, Mark’s exhibit on ancient error coins was second in its class; after the result was announced, Walter Breen shook Mark’s hand and said he had learned some things from the exhibit.
If you have the opportunity, talk in front of an audience. Many people have offered hints for speakers – “Speak with confidence” from Neil Shafer, for example – and Mark offers, “Make an outline.” In college, an instructor required outlines before the first two in-class talks, but not before the third talk – Mark’s first two talks went well, but his third talk bombed because he had no guide!
When you give a presentation, there is no way to know the effect it will have and what might result. At a 1993 talk at a high school, Mark handed out late 3rd century Roman bronze coins that had been donated by Harlan Berk. Years later, the history teacher for one of Mark’s daughters showed him the bronze coin he had handed out – the presentation had inspired her to become a History teacher.
As an example of a smaller sharing effort, Mark told a tale starting after the release of the 1995 edition of David Hendin’s Guide to Biblical Coins. Mark gave a copy of the prior edition, along with examples of some of the coins, to a Reverend Winkler who was not a coin collector. In 2005 at a Roselle church, Mark met another Reverend Winkler – a son of the first, who now held the book and the coins!
The tradition of a short snorter to mark an occasion is known to most of us, so Mark did not spend much time on the concept; autographs on a piece of currency or pieces taped together, if you did not know. Mark has created a short snorter keepsake for farewell and retirement celebrations; both recipients, neither is a collector, were inspired to create short snorters for future celebrations with family and friends.
The key to his effort have been to make it interesting and not too technical. This report does not cover all the examples mentioned by Mark, and it likely skimps on the details. If you missed this presentation at the CSNS convention and would like to know more, look for Mark when he gives this program at the ANA’s 2023 convention in Pittsburgh this August.
by Deven Kane,
presented to our May 10, 2023 meeting
This is the story of how a piece of small change sparked a fashion craze and then an international scam. The small coin was the French 5 sous coin, a small silver coin valued, in the 17th century, at 1⁄12 of a Spanish 8 reales or “Spanish dollar.” In 1641, Louis XIII had introduced the Louis d’argent, also known as an écu, valuing it as equivalent to the Spanish dollar; it was declared equal to three of the old livre tournois (each of which contained 20 sous tournois), so that a Spanish dollar was equal to 60 sous.
Louis XIV became King at the age of 4 and reigned for 72 years, 1643-1715. His first coins showed a realistic childish bust of the King, appropriate for someone known as Little Louis (or petit Louis in French, or Luigino in Italian). The obverse of a shown 5 sous coin dated 1662 has a bust of Louis XIV as a young man, while the reverse continues to show a crowned coat of arms of France. In France, it was not only the king who issued coins. We saw a 1⁄12 écu from the French principality of Dombes, with a bust of the Princess of Dombes, Anna Maria Louise d‘Orléans (1627-1693), on the obverse; her father was a brother of Louis XIII, so she was a cousin of Louis XIV.
In the middle of the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire faced a significant crisis in silver coinage, particularly of the low and mid-level values. By the reign of Mehmed IV (1648-1687) the little akçe was barely being produced, and people had lost confidence in Ottoman silver coinage due to debasements. Useful coins like the beşlik (5 akçes) were not minted in sufficient quantity to meet the demand. Ottoman merchants and other consumers turned to foreign specie to make up the silver shortfall. Big trade coins like the Dutch lion dollar or the Spanish dollar were useful for larger transactions, but something was needed for smaller change.
French merchants were very influential in the Ottoman realms by his point, and they began importing a new coin, the 1⁄12 écu, from the 1640s. This proved such a popular coin that by the late 1650s it was one of the most important pieces of currency in the Ottoman realms. It was valued locally at 1⁄8 of a Spanish dollar, and so became known as a timmin, a corruption of the Arabic for “an eighth.” In France they were worth less, at 1⁄12 of a Spanish dollar, meaning they had a higher purchasing power in the Ottoman Empire enabling higher profit for French merchants. As a result, they were imported in huge quantities into the Ottoman Empire.
While the Luigino addressed the pressing need for silver currency, what made the demand unexpected was its sudden emergence as an item of fashion – particularly among women. Women wanted these coins to decorate their dresses and the coat of arms was looked at as a good luck charm. As a small silver coin, it was in reach of a lower socio-economic strata while the elites preferred gold. The Dombes head was particularly preferred. As the demand grew, Turkish soldiers on campaign in Crete insisted on being paid in this coin.
Attracted by the opportunity to make money quickly, other nobles with the right to mint coins produced pieces similar in design to the 1⁄12 écu. Not satisfied with the profits to be had legally, some issued coins in debased silver. Jean Chardin noticed the situation during his visit to Turkey in the 1670s that was chronicled in his work Voyages du chevalier Chardin en Perse et autres lieux de l’Orient.
“This trade, which was basically extremely unfair, is that of five sol pieces, which made so much noise in its time. The Turks, who called them timmin, took the first ones at ten sous a piece, or six for an ecu. They remained at this price for some time, then dropped to seven and a half cents. They did not want any other coins. All of Turkey was filled with it and we never saw another coin again, because the French imported it. This good fortune blinded them so much that they were not satisfied with the great profit they made, they wanted to make more; they started altering the five penny pieces, and they started making them out of low-alloy silver first at Dombes, then at Orange and Avignon.”
Prince Giambattista Centurioni appeased his conscience by consulting a theologian who stated that the faults lay with those who did not carry out the assay to evaluate the quality of the coins, especially since they were used as an ornament and not as actual coins. Princess Violante Lomellini D’Oria consulted 12 experts and relied on the three who said it was fine to mint the fakes. Whether the Papal Legate of Avignon and the Abbot of Lerino had doubts is not known.
Deven showed slides with images of these pieces from many issuers, starting with those using a bust similar to that of the Princess of Dombes on one side and the crowned French shield on the reverse. Some issuers used a local bust and shield on their products. These are known from not just French entities – we saw pieces from Malta, the Papal States, other Italian places, Swiss Neuchatel, and other places. A 1665 piece showed the young Prince of Orange, William III, who was only 15 years of age.
Deven shared with us some contemporary responses to these coins, from Antonio Serristori, the governor of Livorno, to Grand Duke Ferdinando II de’Medici in June of 1665. “Here [in Livorno] there is great confusion for these blessed Luigini. The Depositary recommends with great haste that you do not let yourself be rushed or introduce bad coins and there are good ones and bad ones of these Luigini, but we don’t know which mints are the good ones and which ones are the bad ones; that, however, it will be necessary to have a distinct note of it because continuing with this uncertainty does not go well and serves only to make these merchants disgusted and uncomfortable, many times without purpose. This morning a boat from France arrived which has plenty of it. Until now, two sorts have been seen, of which the exhibits are enclosed so that your Highness can see them and be able to order whether or not they should be afforded. And in order to have here a certain rule for the future of all the fates of said Luigini, it would be necessary to know what alloy those who have to let themselves go must be…”
In another message, “A character has arrived called by these French General Commissioner of the King’s mints who is out to remedy the inconveniences of these Luigini since the King does not want that in the future the French vessels bring to the Levant unless beaten in his mints. And for this purpose, a person by post went to Smyrna with an assayer and with the order that all these coins that will be brought in with French vessels must be unloaded at the consul’s house and there they will be assayed to recognize which ones must be allowed to pass and which ones must not.”
In 1667 the English, who had a trade surplus with the Turks, discovered that the silver content of the coins was a third lower than it should have been. They complained to the Sublime Porte. With the Cretan War winding down and not having the need to pay soldiers, the Turks complained to the French. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Contrôleur général des finances, forbade the processing of Luigini. On July 10, 1667 Genoa forbade not just speculation but even possession of the coins. So the speculators moved on to other fiefdoms outside the direct control of France and Genoa. By the 1670s the fashion craze was over and the disposal of the debased coins was the problem. Pope Innocent XII not so innocently minted the last of these coins in the 1690s in Avignon.
When the Ottoman government finally acted, genuine timmins were allowed to remain in circulation as Ottoman coinage, and to show they contained the proper silver purity they were stamped in commercial centers like Izmir with an official government countermark which translates to “genuine currency.” Sometimes the number Λ•, (80) was stamped too, to denote the Islamic year 1080 (1699).
There are collectors and students of this coinage. The standard reference works are by Maurice Cammarano and are titled Corpus Luiginorum; the 1998 book (408 pages) is in French and Italian, while the 2020 book (240 pages) is in Italian. Some of the coin types are considered scarce, rare, or unique.
|Chicago Coin Company|
|Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.|
|Kedzie Koins Inc.|
|Classical Numismatic Group|
Items shown at our May 10, 2023 meeting,
reported by Deven Kane.
May 17, 2023
The meeting was called to order by club President John Riley at 6:03PM.
Board members present for the meeting were John Riley, Melissa Gumm, Deven Kane, Scott McGowan, Elliott Krieter, Paul Hybert, Carl Wolf, Bill Burd, Mark Wieclaw, Steve Zitowsky, Rich Lipman, and Ray Dagenais. Absent was Jeff Rosinia. One guest was present, Dale Lukanich, the 2024 ANA World‘s Fair of Money host club chairperson.
Next CCC Board Meeting on August 16, 2023 at 6:00pm CDT.
President John Riley adjourned the meeting at 7:41pm CDT.
Scott A. McGowan, Secretary
|Date:||June 14, 2023|
|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 post-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:||Tyler Rossi —
The Two Sides of a Bosnian Bill: the Story of a Divided Country
After years of always vicious, often genocidal, fighting in which no side escaped unharmed, Bosnia lay in ruins. Finally, the Dayton Peace Accords were signed bringing together the three warring groups – Serb, Croat, and Bosniak – to create a new shared government. In fact, BiH is still governed by the Dayton Accords, and to this day remains the only country in the world to be governed by a peace treaty. The Accords split the country into two national entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srbska, both of which would retain separate governments, police forces, court systems, and customs services. As a result of these combined ethnic tensions and monetary inflation, it became clear that Bosnia needed a new currency. This is the story of how a series of contentious post-war debates led to a bifurcated currency!
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.
|June||14||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Tyler Rossi on The Two Sides of a Bosnian Bill: the Story of a Divided Country|
|July||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Mary Lannin on History of Collecting: Parallel Lives of Samuel Jean Pozzi and Fenerly Bey|
|August||8-12||ANA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Admission is free for ANA members — see http://www.worldsfairofmoney.com for details.|
|August||9||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|September||7-9||ILNA 2023 Annual Coin & Currency Show at the Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park, Illinois 60477. Details, including hours and events, are available at http://www.ilnaclub.org/show.html|
|September||13||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert D. Leonard on When Princes Overpromise: “Latin” Imitations of Villehardouin (Plus Sutton Hoo and King Offa)|
|October||11||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Marc Ricard on The Red Book Special Editions and Their Histories|
|November||8||CCC Meeting - Club Auction - no featured speaker|
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 email@example.com. 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.
Sharing this complete Chatter issue with a friend is simple.
Just let them scan this code into their smartphone!
Or, you can check it out for yourself.