Volume 69 No. 3 March, 2023

Minutes of the 1249th Meeting

The 1249th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President John Riley at 6:45 PM CST, Wednesday February 8, 2023. This was a hybrid in-person and online meeting. Attendance at the meeting was 17 in person and 30 online for a total of 47.

Club Meeting Minutes and Treasurer’s Report

The January 2023 meeting minutes were approved as published in the Chatter, both in print and on the CCC website. The January treasurer’s report was shown to the club, reporting income of $1,801.00 with expenses of $0.00, for a period gain of $1,801.00. The report was approved by the membership.

The club was reminded that due to the 1250th Banquet and counterstamped American Silver Eagle sales, income will be recorded in multiple months however expenses will likely hit all in February, showing a single period loss; overall banquets and coin/medal sales are close to revenue neutral.

Guests and New Members

One guest was announced: Noah J. Graf, a guest of Deven Kane. Two new membership applications were submitted for their first reading. New member readings were for Tyler M. Rossi and Noah J. Graf.

Old Business

  1. The 1250 Committee reminded the club of the March activities: the Banquet and counterstamped 2023 American Silver Eagle (ASE). The deadline is February 17th to order the ASE, and February 28th is the deadline to pay for banquet attendance at Capri Italian Restaurant in Palos Heights. Attendees will receive a 1250th meeting souvenir card and elongated coin.
  2. Reminder: The CCC Board will meet February 15, 2023. Refer any comments, recommendation to a board member for discussion.

New Business

  1. A moment of silence was held for the passing of David Lange of NGC.
  2. The Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) will hold its symposium in conjunction with the CSNS convention in April; it was reported that this symposium is full. There however is opportunity in the fall symposium.
  3. Reminder of the ANA Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs this year, and there are opportunities for scholarships.
  4. The US Mint will hold the US quarter dollar coin release for the Bessie Coleman quarter in Chicago on Saturday, February 18, (12 pm-3pm) at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, 740 East 56th Place, Chicago.
  5. Congratulations to CCC member Winston Zack for mention in the e-Sylum for completing his contemporary counterfeit Bust Dime Varieties collection.
  6. ANA Officers nominations. The CCC was asked for nominations by two members to run for ANA officers. Tom Uram announced his run for ANA President; the club voted to sign his nomination. The club also voted to nominate Shanna Schmidt for ANA Governor.
  7. ANA Governor Shanna Schmidt discussed a proposal she was presenting to the ANA Board about anchoring the ANA World’s Fair of Money at a single location for multiple years at a major airport hub, with possible mention of Chicago Rosemont or McCormick Place. Part of this proposal is to grow the participation of more World mints and world coinage dealers. This is all in a preliminary proposal stage, with more details to be announced.

First Vice President Melissa Gumm introduced the featured program, Eduardo Garcia-Molina on Small Change, Big Change: Researching Seleukid “Bottlecap” Bronzes at the American Numismatic Society.

Second Vice President Deven Kane announced there were 12 Show and Tell presentations.


  1. Greater Chicago Coin & Currency Show, Tinley Park, February 23-25, 2023.
  2. Will County Coin Club Show, Joliet, Illinois, February 26, 2023.
  3. ANA National Money Show, Phoenix, Arizona, March 2-4, 2023.
  4. Central States Numismatic Society Convention, Schaumburg, Illinois, April 27-29, 2023.

Our next meeting will be March 8, 2023, and will be in-person only at Capri Restaurant, Palos Heights.

John Riley adjourned the meeting at 9:01pm CST.

Respectfully Submitted,
Scott A. McGowan, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Small Change, Big Change: Researching Seleukid “Bottlecap” Bronzes at the American Numismatic Society

by Eduardo Garcia-Molina,
presented to our February 8, 2023 meeting
(abridged by Chatter editor)

As a general introduction, the American Numismatic Society hosts a yearly eight week summer seminar on numismatic training that is generally divided into two chunks: the first is roughly four weeks of intensive lectures on numismatic history and more general ones on methodology, hoards, and even publishing, and the second being more open and research-focused which allows you time to construct your research project. I very much enjoyed my time at the ANS and my research benefitted immensely not only from the numismatic training and resources available, but also from the scholarly community it continually strives to foster. Since I study Hellenistic coins, they paired me with Dr. Peter van Alfen, the current Chief Curator and a prolific scholar on, among other things, Greek coinage. Between our first lectures, I had a meeting with Peter to discuss the aims of my tentative project. At that point, I only had one Seleukid coin in mind – an elephant holds a torch in its trunk on one side of a coin with serrations around both sides. Peter, who is a very kind and generous scholar, encouraged me to broaden my scope and think not only about the iconography itself, but how the coin fit into broader trends in Seleukid coinage of the time. This is an often-overlooked aspect in some numismatic inquiries; the allure of the iconographical readings without sufficient consideration of either the quantitative aspects, like levels of monetization, hoards, and metrological data or qualitative aspects beyond the initial iconographical elements, the fabric of the coin and consideration of the coin as a worked object requiring a substantial investment to produce.

I took the opportunity to access the ANS vault and sit down with trays of coins that I had only ever seen in images within articles and books, behind glass, or online. There really is something to the tactile experience of holding a coin, a sort of experiential bridge between modernity and antiquity. As I went through the trays, I started encountering these bronzes with odd, jagged edges. Serrated bronzes appear in the Western portions of the Seleukid Empire for roughly 50 years between the 170s and the 120s BC. This naturally led me to ask the question, “Why?” These were generally thought to be stylistic choices, but if we recall Peter’s advice, we must attempt to situate coins as worked objects that require coordination and thus purpose; plus “style” in and of itself serves a function. Herein I think is one of the strengths of this program. It has been explicitly stated by scholars working on Hellenistic coinage, that their production is almost always predicated by a tangible purpose, the most common of which, especially for bronzes, is large-scale payments to soldiers. This is why scholars must treat numismatic evidence seriously, beyond the allure of the figures on the coins themselves; these figures very frequently work in tandem with other aspects and you run the risk, as some have, of misrepresenting the evidence. Here, for instance, it is not only the serrations that are introduced; there are control marks and central cavities, too. Such innovations, I believe, were spurred by the changing geopolitical situation, especially the acquisition of the former Ptolemaic territories of Koile Syria and Phoenicia, and Seleukid responses to these regions’ monetary customs. Thus in order for me to attempt to answer this question of “why serrations”, I had to examine when these coins were first created to attempt to glean a purpose. So let us now turn to the first Seleukid king to make use of this type of fabric, Seleukos IV.

Preceded and succeeded by two of the most prominent Seleukid monarchs, much of Seleukos IV’s twelve-year reign is shrouded in uncertainty. A consequence of this is that his rule has drawn little attention compared to those of his predecessor, Antiokhos III, and his successor, Antiokhos IV, both of whom are much better attested in sources and have been the subjects of scholarly monographs and conferences. Nevertheless, Seleukos IV, who has generally been painted as a feeble king by ancient sources, assumed the throne and reigned during a significant time in Seleukid history. The Seleukid Kingdom was a Hellenistic polity which stretched at its greatest extent from Ionia on the west coast of modern Turkey to Baktria in modern Afghanistan and was founded in 312 BC. While the severity of their impact is still subject to debate, it is clear that the conquest of Koile Syria and Phoenicia, the loss of Asia Minor, and the stipulations codified in the Treaty of Apameia that followed the Seleukid defeat in the Roman-Seleukid War from 192 to 188 BC, right before Seleukos IV’s reign, affected the subsequent governance of the Hellenistic empire.

Among the many stipulations were: the cessation of Seleukid rule and further claims over the lucrative territories beyond the Taurus, the prohibition of elephants and warships above a certain number and size, and the payment of indemnities to the Romans and Eumenes through an initial lump sum (3,000 talents) to be followed by yearly installments of 1,000 talents for twelve years (12,000 talents) in addition to a payment of 350 talents to Eumenes spread over five years; notably, the Romans demanded these sums be paid in high quality silver coinage under the Attic standard. This did not result in debasement of the coinage; one must consider the open monetary policy of the Seleukids which allowed for all coins of the Attic standard to circulate and wherein debasement would have carried consequences for the mercantile standing of the polity in the interconnected trade networks of the Hellenistic Mediterranean. The open monetary policy utilized by the Seleukids allowed for a degree of flexibility since Seleukid coins circulated alongside non-Seleukid coins with some modern estimates presenting a ratio of 1:2 in favor of non-Seleukid coinage. This would have allowed for selectivity in the coinage used to pay the yearly payments of Apameia with the Romans demanding silver coins under the Attic standard with no provision concerning their origin. When one also accounts for the loss of Asia Minor and a fruitless final campaign, the numerous years of constant warfare by his predecessor, and events that hint at financial duress, it would be surprising if there had been no financial strain. Note I employ the word “strain,” not collapse or crisis. There is clear pressure which coincides with an increased effort to monetize the western portion of the empire in a push to extract more funds.

The introduction of bronze currency presents to us an opportunity to examine how the state apparatus interacted with subject populations and vice versa. This is what led me to examine a particular series of bronze coins instituted under the reign of Seleukos IV which feature a relative oddity, serrated edges. Now, when I say serrated edges, I do not mean those more well-known ones found on Roman denarii which were scored manually after striking. These serrations were crafted into the very molds for the flans. Because of this, they are at times referred to as “bottlecap” coins. But it is not only the serrations that are introduced. The role of these serrations has been largely consigned by scholars to a stylistic one with little consideration given to their relationship with the circulation of Seleukid bronzes during this period, the restructuring of Seleukid minting and broader administrative practices, and the other innovations I noted. I think that form is congruous with function; the serration and other innovations of Seleukos IV’s bronzes indicate a change in the way the Seleukid administration operated and represented itself in a specific region.

Once I had sketched out the initial historical context surrounding Seleukos with the resources of the ANS Library, I approached the bronzes themselves. I was helped in this endeavor by complementing lectures on metrological analysis and further discussions with not only my fellow students and our invited scholar, Jerome Jambu from the Universté de Lille, but various curators in addition to ANS members and guests who would just be on the premises at various points. Serration on coins has little precedent before this issue; the only comparable evidence is from a series of concurrent bronzes from Antigonid Makedonia under Philip V and his son Perseus and Kappadokian bronzes that were either minted under Ariarathes IV, V, or X. It has been suggested that the Seleukid serration was the result of the increased relations between the Antigonid and Seleukid Kingdoms; while this may have served as the inspiration for the serration, wholesale emulation does not satisfyingly explain why this practice was transferred to Antiokheia and why it continued to be employed alongside more traditional designs at Antiokheia and other mints for roughly 60 years afterwards. Additionally, the dating of the Makedonian issues is difficult and the serrated design could have just as easily originated in Seleukid Syria and then found its way into Antigonid mints. The original attribution of the serrated design as an Antigonid fabrication is thus at least questionable. Since chronology is currently the topic, it is also interesting to note that these serrated bronzes possibly appear during times of Antigonid and Seleukid monetary reforms in the face of war indemnities after engagements with Romans. It is curious that these serrations pop up in moments where both the Antigonid and Seleukid states are pushing for more intensive collection of taxes and fees through administrative restructuring following a substantial military defeat. Even if such a pattern of adoption is coincidental, the usage of serrated bronzes by the Ariarathids, Antigonids, and Seleukids at various points invites a reexamination of the process by which these coins are produced and their value beyond simply that of style.

Denom. Antiokhos III      Seleukos IV
A (Series I) 12-12.49g
(Series II) 9.08-15.87g
(Series III) 12g
10-10.49g 21-24mm
B N/A 7-7.49g 18-21mm
C (Series I) 3-3.49g
(Series III) 3.20-4.27g
    (most > 4g)
4.5-4.99g 15-18mm
D (Series I) 1.5-1.99g
(Series II) 1.5-1.99g
(Series III) 1-1.49g
3.5-3.99g 14-16mm
E(?) (Series III) 1.08-1.21g 9-10mm 2.5-2.99g 12-14mm

In terms of production, the serrated form demanded that new molds be made, from which the flans could be produced. Following the standard practice for bronzes, the value of these coins was largely fiduciary. An examination of the metrological data, however, reveals the largest denomination (A) was smaller in both diameter and weight under Seleukos IV while the lower denominations (C, D, E) all appear to have been made larger and heavier along with the resurfacing of Denomination B which had not been produced in Antiokheia under Antiokhos III. This closing of the weight disparity among these coins along with the usage of consistent iconography for each denomination does appear to be a way of standardizing bronzes. While the fabric of the flan demanded greater care, it is evident that quality control for these bronzes was not exercised as frequently when it came to weight and striking errors; both of these aspects are unsurprising given the fiduciary value of these coins and their mass production as smaller change which saw quality control lessen when compared to silver and gold coinage. Tetradrachms minted in Antiokheia during this period also feature a different control mark from the serrated bronzes, possibly indicating that the mint had different officials in charge of the different coinage. However, the lack of quality control with respect to weight, mold remnants, and striking errors does not necessarily mean these coins were neglected. In a stark departure from previous Seleukid bronzes, serrated ones feature control marks on both the obverse and reverse. In the later issues from Ptolemaïs-Ake, the control mark mirrors the one used on the obverse of those in Antiokheia; this has been suggested to mean that the mint official of Antiokheia was moved down to instruct workers on the new practices and to oversee the production of these new issues.

In addition, these serrated bronzes are also the first time central cavities are consistently employed by a Seleukid mint; there are two prior examples: bronzes from Seleukos II in an undisclosed mint and bronzes minted in Tyre under Antiokhos III. Such cavities are, however, common for bronzes minted by the Ptolemies. While we do not know the mint that produced divoted bronzes under Seleukos II, Tyre under Antiokhos III makes sense since they did indeed mint Ptolemaic bronzes with central cavities and continued the practice under Seleukid rule. The purpose of the central cavity, which we see sporadically in other mints across space and time, is still somewhat uncertain. Possibly, the cavities helped coins stand on a lathe where they could be smoothed and polished before striking to ensure a level surface; this is bolstered by some blank flans we have that show circular scoring. Notably, the lathe did not appear to clamp down on both sides, explaining why the cavities on the obverse and reverse are off center and frequently mismatched. For the serrated bronzes, the central cavity helped the bronzes be recognized as legitimate currency in regions where the Ptolemies once held sway and spread their own bronzes.

The new methods introduced into Seleukid minting practices with these serrated bronzes show an increase in attention by the state to smaller change to boost their status as legitimate currency in newly administered regions wherein Seleukid bronzes had not been the standard; such choices make these coins stand out. It must be said that the feel of the serrations truly makes these coins different. The added steps also likely made attempts at counterfeiting harder since the process of casting serrated flans was more intensive in addition to the inclusion of control marks and divots on both sides. Interestingly, many of these practices did not transfer to the eastern mints of the empire which continued to produce unserrated coins with no central cavities of various denominations with differences in diameter and weights from those at Antiokheia; this is unsurprising given that Seleukid bronzes were likely the only bronzes circulating in those eastern regions.

The use of Antiokheia as the main mint for these bronzes is a deliberate one. One would expect local mints to be allowed to continue, like we see in Tyre, in a territory as monetized (when compared to other regions) and lucrative as Phoenicia and Koile Syria. This is certainly what occurs during the reign of Antiokhos IV. Such a decision is even more pronounced when one accounts for the relatively low circulation pattern of bronzes, typically not traveling far from their minting locations. These serrated bronzes, however, were moved to the south from Antiokheia. This was likely not a singular occurrence, since these coins pop up with relative frequency in Koile Syria and Phoenicia. There had to be some financial gain underlying this decision and it is clear this is part of an attempt to impose bronze uniformity in a newly conquered region that still operated under the closed Ptolemaic monetary system; it was a way of encroaching on that system and extracting resources without destabilizing its economy. The production of bronzes at Ptolemaïs-Ake appears to have been started later in Seleukos’ reign, was relegated to a smaller denomination (C), and was overseen by the same official from Antiokheia due to his control mark appearing in coins minted here.

I should note that scholars have generally linked the production of bronze and more precious metals coinage under the Seleukids to payments for soldiers. I offer no repudiation of this claim, which has found general acceptance, but do wish to consider the implications. If soldiers are the main motivation behind their production and the spreaders of these coins, instead of say a more purposeful shipping of new coins in bulk into a new region, an interesting dynamic is presented with Antiokheia being the center for the production of these coins. It would make sense since two of the regions wherein the coins circulated, Koile Syria and Phoenicia, were recently taken and their security would demand increased military presence in the form of garrisons. If the main vehicles for the diffusion of the new currency were soldiers, however, why are so many innovations introduced? And who accepted these coins from soldiers? We are treading on shakier ground, but it appears to me that the main anxiety behind the innovations is one of trust. That is to say, that Seleukid bronzes, due to their fiduciary nature, needed to display a variety of signifiers that would lead audiences, particularly those in Koile Syria and Phoenicia which have dealt with Ptolemaic bronzes before, to recognize their value and possibly differentiate Seleukid bronzes from Ptolemaic remnants still in circulation. Before I wrap up the project, let us take a brief look at some of the iconographical elements displayed on these bronzes.

Denomination A, the largest, offers a fairly programmatic design that is replicated in a variety of Seleukid coins; we have Apollo, the heavenly progenitor of the stock of Seleukos, wearing what scholars have deemed an archaic hairstyle on the obverse and a nude standing Apollo, resting on a tripod and inspecting his arrow on the reverse. Denomination D features Apollo as well, but the reverse has him assuming a seated position on an omphalos. Denomination B features a prow on the reverse, another rarity on Seleukid royal coinage before this period and a symbol of naval might that would have resonated with many, but especially the Phoenician cities, and the odd inclusion of Dionysos, denoted by the ivy wreath. I say odd because Dionysos and Dionysian imagery is also exceedingly rare on Seleukid coins before this period. Dionysos, however, is also arguably one of the most transmutable gods, similar to Zeus, among a variety of cultures; a god of fertility and wine, he certainly would have resonated in the territories where these coins circulated among a variety of peoples of varying faiths and where wine was a major export and import. Denomination C features Artemis, the sister of Apollo and another prominent deity in the Seleukid pantheon, on both the obverse and reverse.

Denomination C or E, there is some question about where these stand, features an elephant on the reverse, a symbol similar to the prow which reinforces the military might of the Seleukids even after the Treaty of Apameia sought to reduce the number of both. That being said, I do have some reservation in always linking the elephant so solely military might, I do think they are elevated to be more linked to royal prestige since their upkeep is tremendous. The obverse features another rarity for Seleukid coinage before this period: a Seleukid queen. Most scholars are comfortable with labeling her as Laodike IV, the daughter of Antiokhos III, who first married his short-lived successor, Antiokhos, before then marrying her other brother, Seleukos IV. She would later also marry Antiokhos IV and was an absolute pillar of the state during this period. Veiled and with a diadem, she evokes some earlier profiles of Lagid queens, notably Arsinoe II, who are featured on Ptolemaic coins, but also stands on her own as the first priestess for the royal cult that Antiokhos III began for the queen, Laodike III. It appears to me that the main anxiety presented in the iconography on these coins is legitimacy. Much like the choice of serration, it was a new product predicated on a blending of innovations and traditions, something the Seleukids knew very well how to accomplish and would continue to develop and experiment with throughout the second and early first century.

Their fixed visual elements denoted the legitimacy of the new ruler, presenting a mixture of established Seleukid iconography and newer inclusions that I have teased as having local appeal in newer regions (though, as ever, we must be guarded about such readings). I have underscored that the main reason for such innovations has to do with anxiety over establishing trust in these coins in newly conquered regions. The so-called bottlecap coins thus fit into a wider pattern of increased centralization and administrative oversight that defined and, thanks to hostile ancient sources, maligned much of Seleukos’ reign. Beyond simply style, these serrated coins held a tangible function and are indicative of a trend that began during the second century of Seleukid fiscal experimentation and increased monetization which would result in one of the most dynamic periods for Seleukid coinage, showing that small change can be indicative of big change.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our February 8, 2023 meeting,
reported by Deven Kane.

  1. With Valentine’s Day bearing down, John Riley provided a numismatic tie-in. The beloved Teddy Bear has long been a staple item for the romantic day: the popularity of the small stuffed animal goes back to President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and his invitation in 1902 to hunt at a Mississippi site from the state’s Governor, Andrew Longino. The President, when presented with a young brown bear tied to a tree for his “trophy,” refused to take the shot – citing a complete lack of sportsmanship. His administration was a master of promotion and the story spread, creating the iconic and beloved toy, every bit as popular today as 120 years ago. The legend enjoyed wild popularity at the time and John showed an early Teddy Bear “penny postcard” of the time and, the numismatic connection, a “Teddy Bear” encased 1908 Indian Cent distributed late in the years of TR’s administration by Louis John Kolb’s Philadelphia bakery, advertising Teddy Bear Bread. Among the most popular encased coins ever produced, token collectors are very familiar with Kolb’s inscription to “Bear Us In Mind!”
  2. Deven Kane showed two coins.
    1. A bronze coin of George IV, 1208-1223, from the Kingdom of Georgia. Dated 430 in Georgian years (AD 1210), the obverse inscriptions include: “Giorgi, son of T’amar“ (in Georgian), and “In the name of God, this coin was struck in the year 430 of the koronikon” (in Georgian). The reverse inscriptions include: “The king of kings, Glory of the world and faith, Giorgi, son of Tamar, sword of Messiah” (in Arabic), and “In the name of God most pure, this coin was struck in the year 430” (in Pahlawi). Very rare and in exceptional condition for the issue; good very fine. A son of Queen Regnant Tamar and her consort David Soslan, George was declared as a coregent by his mother in 1207. George IV continued Tamar’s policy of strengthening of the Georgia feudal state. He put down the revolts in neighbouring Muslim vassal states in the 1210s and began preparations for a large-scale campaign against Jerusalem to support the Crusaders in 1220. The first Mongol expedition defeated two Georgian armies in 1221–1222; the Georgians suffered heavy losses and the King himself was severely wounded, became an invalid, and died at the age of 31.
    2. A Roman sestertius honoring Diva Faustina Senior, who died in 140/1. The obverse has a draped bust of Diva Faustina, while the reverse has the legend CONSECRATIO, and S - C flanking a veiled and standing Vesta, holding a patera over lighted and garlanded altar in her right hand and long torch in her left. The type is rare, and this coin, with very minor deposits but otherwise very fine, has an illustrious pedigree. It is pedigreed to the collection of Apostolo Zeno (1668-1750), a Venetian librettist and humanist who worked as poet laureate in Vienna in 1715-1729, where he also curated the imperial coin collection of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740). His collection was preserved for more than two-hundred years, until eventually being sold by Dorotheum in 1955, thus forming one of the oldest and most celebrated pedigrees in ancient numismatics.
  3. James McMenamin showed items from his early days in our club.
    1. CCC membership cards: 1976-1982 (large size) and 1983 (small, credit card-sized).
    2. CCC membership cards: 1983 (reverse), 1984 (reverse), 1985 (obverse). CCC Annual Dinner cards: 1976 and 1977.
    3. CCC Chatter for December, 1975.
    4. CCC 1980 letter on “old” CCC letterhead, signed by Carl F. Wolf.
    5. October 1977 Guest Speaker Award Plaque (minus silver “award medal”).
    6. October 1977 Guest Speaker “Award Medal,” a repurposed silver 1965 Central States Numismatic Society Chicago Convention medal.
  4. Bob Leonard showed two coins.
    1. In honor of Black History Month – though not involving African Americans – a coin with the actual name of an Ethiopian slave, Najjah. A gold dinar of al-Mu’ayyad (title) Najjah, the die duplicate of one in Paris. The medieval Ziyadid Dynasty of Yemen imported Ethiopian slaves to serve as viziers, and one of them, Najjah, killed a rival and set himself up as an independent ruler, founding the Najjahid Dynasty. “Najjah” is a typical one-word slave name, since it lacks a patrionymic like his nominal overlord, Ali b. al-Muzaffir.
    2. To complement tonight’s speaker on Seleukid serrated coins, a 13 mm serrated bronze of Antiochus IV, 175-164 B.C.
  5. Scott McGowan showed old family heirlooms.
    1. A Ford Motor Token in brass, bearing the dates 1903-1933. Nearly 700,000 of these souvenir pieces were made for visitors to the Ford Exposition of Progress in 1933, held at Detroit, Michigan. Notable for the stylized V8 on one side.
    2. A copper token with a bust of George Washington and the inscription “Born in 1908,” from the city of Oneonta, New York. This piece was good for 50¢ on a $5 purchase at Herriff’s Clothes.
    3. A 1960 Syracuse Numismatic Association Token, for its 30th anniversary.
    4. A 1919 WWI “Victory Liberty Loan” steel medallion made from “captured German cannon” and awarded by the U.S. Treasury Department for “patriotic service in behalf of the Liberty Loans.” Medallion is 1.25 inches in diameter. Obverse depicts the U.S. Treasury Department. Awarded by the Department to Victory Liberty Loan campaign volunteers.
    5. A set of 6 China plates from the Nieman Marcus deptartment store that celebrated the Gold Coins of 1907 with 6-inch images of that year’s coins.
  6. Noah Graf showed two late Roman coins with a constitutional theme.
    1. A large bronze follis of Maximian, circa 297-299, Made at the fourth officina (represented by the Δ, the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet) of the mint at Cyzicus (represented by the Κ). A laureate head of Maximian apears on the obverse, while the reverse has a standing representation of the Genius of the Roman People pouring libation from a patera and holding a cornucopia, and the legend GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI. This is a symbol of the deified Unity of the Roman people.
    2. A smaller follis from the second officina of the mint at Lugdunum, circa 333-334. The obvers features a helmeted head of Roma, the personification of Rome, while the reverse has a she-wolf and twins.
  7. Melissa Gumm showed two pieces of obsolete currency auction “wins” at the last pre-covid live auction in February of 2020.
    1. A $4 note from the Bank of Washington, in Washington, North Carolina. This note features the portraits of George and Martha Washington and a nice red orange die outlined 4 on a white FOUR, the handiwork of the American Bank Note Company, New York. The Bank of Washington was incorporated October 29, 1850 with an authorized capital of $400,000, and opened July 15, 1851 with a paid-in capital of $78,000. James E Hoyt served as the first President and M. Stevenson as the first cashier. The bank closed in 1862 when there was an attack by Union forces on the city. Many of the notes for this bank feature bright red tints on the face; the scarce $50 and $100 notes feature green in a similar fashion. Q. David Bowers suggests that collecting notes of North Carolina offers an artistic viewpoint with simple colorful notes in odd denominations.
    2. A $10 note from the New Orleans Canal & Banking Company, New Orleans, Louisiana. Canal bank, as it was more commonly known, was chartered in March of 1831 and began operations in June with an authorized capital of $4,000,000. Elected as President was Archibald R. Taylor and as Cashier Beverly Chew. In 1848 the bank faced extensive fraud with counterfeit notes. The bank’s original charter expired in 1870, when it was reorganized, continuing into the 20th century. This $10 note features nice red orange coloring throughout, with a large spread wing eagle in black at the center, done by the National Bank Note Company
  8. Mark Wieclaw showed coins of Caracalla. Born in April of 188 to Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, he was originally named Bassianus but changed to M. Aurelius Antoninus. “Caracalla,” by which he is commonly known, was a nick-name derived from a long tunic of Gallic origin that was his favorite. He was a ruthless ruler, but also proclaimed all free inhabitants of the Empire the name and privileges of Roman citizens. Through his coins his portrait changes from an innocent boy of eight to that of twenty-nine year old tyrant. We saw:
    1. His first coins as Caesar, in 196-198.
    2. His first bearded appearance on coins came in 209.
    3. He introduced a new coin denomination, the Antoninianus, in 215.
    4. An elephant on coin reverses during 211-212.
    5. Mark recently acquired a rare drachm from Alexandria, showing the river god Nilus on the reverse.
    6. The coins of Caracalla provide a lifetime collecting challenge.
  9. Gerard Anaszewicz showed three copper coins of the Begtimurids, circa 1183-1193 (AH 579-589), from the middle of Armenia. The reverse insciption in Arabic gives the authorization to strike the coins. The obverse design is usuall called “cow with suckling calf,” but some call it “horse being attacked by wolf,” hinting at the roughness of the coins. These three pieces weigh 5.55g, 9.64g, and 10.20g.
  10. Dale Lukanich showed a bronze Arab-Sassanian-Byzantine piece, bearing elements from those opposing groups. Dale introduced the piece with a brief summary of how the Sassanian was expanding at the expense of the Byzantine Empire, soon before the utter collapse of the Sassanians to the Arabs. The obverse has facing figures in the typical Byzantine style, figures similar to Emperor Heraclius and his son as shown on some gold and copper coins – except between them is not the usual cross, but some Pahlavi or Arabic letters. The reverse has a fire altar flanked by attendants/priests in style of silver Sassanian coins, but the figures are not artistically rendered, and the legend might contain a Pahlavi phrase, but at also has an illegible combination of letters. Grading Choice EF, this type is extremely rare. Dale concluded with a reference to a much earlier defeat of the Romans by the Persians: a silver antoninianus of Valerian I, 253-260, from the Antioch mint – he was the only Roman emperor to die in captivity.
  11. After showing a slide giving a profile view of an African and Asian elephant, Jeff Amelse showed some of his bronze Seleukid coins.
    1. A coin of Antiochos VI Dionysos, 144-142 BC, with serrated edges. The reverse shows a walking pather in profile, with a broken spear in its jaws. From the mint at Antioch on the Orontes mint, struck mid-143 to circa 142 BC.  A radiate and diademed head of Antiochos VIis on the obverse.
    2. A serrated coin of Demetrios I Soter, 162-150 BC, from the mint at Antioch on the Orontes. One side has a horse’s head, while the other has an elephant’s head and the king’s name.
    3. A coin of Seleukos II, 246-226 BC, from the Sardes mint. A helmeted head of Athena is on the obverse, while an elepant’s head and the king’s name are the main features on the reverse.
    4. A worn coin of Antiochos III, 223-187 BC, from the mint at Sardes. A laureate head of Apollo is on the obverse, while a standing elephant and the king’s name are prominent on the reverse.
    5. A coin of Seleukos II, 246-226 BC, from the Ekbatana mint. The king’s diademed head is on the obverse, while the main features on the reverse are the king’s name and an elephant with a rider.
    6. A serrated coin of Antiochos VI Epiphanes Dionysos, 144-142 BC, from the mint at Antioch. The obverse has a radiate and diademed head of Antiochos VI, while the main features on the reverse are the king’s name and an advancing elephant, holding a torch with its trunk.


Minutes of the Chicago Coin Club Board

February 15, 2023

The meeting was called to order by club President John Riley at 6:15pm.

Board members present for the meeting were John Riley, Melissa Gumm, Deven Kane, Scott McGowan, Paul Hybert, Mark Wieclaw, Steve Zitowsky, Rich Lipman, Jeff Rosinia, and Ray Dagenais. Excused were Carl Wolf, Bill Burd and Elliott Krieter.

Old Business:

  1. The board discussed strategy for using portions of the club treasury for membership investment and development. Ideas ranged from Scholarships to publication grants. A committee will be formed of six members to research annual income and expenses, and formulate a plan for recommendation to the board and club. The committee will consist of three board members and three non-board members. Board members are Rich Lipman, Jeff Rosinia, plus Treasurer Elliott Krieter. It is recommended that the committee reach out to club donors for ideas.
  2. Coins for “As” program. The program for giving Coins for “As” on report cards for YNs was approved at the November 2022 Board meeting, but we need to announce it. Scott McGowan to write up program details for club announcement and publication.
  3. Online Symposium with NYNC status. With the transition to new club Presidents for both the CCC and NYNC, we need to reach out to the NYNC for current status.
  4. Legacy Project. The project has been set to move forward in conjunction with the NNP assistance. The December systems test for the interviews had problems, delaying the interviews into 2023. Plan is to start interviews by March 2023.
  5. 1250th meeting report. Discussion centered around having Show and Tell at the meeting. Decision to not have Show and Tell at Banquet type meetings due to logistics. A press release will be issued detailing the club milestone.
  6. Director and officer insurance update. Still need quotes from companies. John Riley to follow up.
  7. Discussion of upcoming deadlines per by-laws. Audit Committee needs to meet for 2022 audit. Mark Wieclaw to reach out to Bill Burd and Elliott Krieter to schedule.
  8. Club forms at CBA. Board member Melissa Gumm created copies of various club forms and a file folder for keeping at the CBA meeting site. This will provide club forms in the event a board member is unable to attend a meeting.
  9. Update needed for various Numismatic books in possession of the CCC from two estates. Bill Burd to follow up with Estates for approval of recommendations.
  10. Club meeting Audio improvements. Issues with the audio at the February 2023 meeting led to online attendees not hearing some of the Show and Tell. Need to revisit the following…
    1. All club members must Mute during club meeting, to reduce background noise and only unmute when speaking.
    2. Revisit the portable speaker settings to ensure they are maximized. The settings at the February meeting were not optimal.
    3. Review with in-person presenters, for Featured Program and Show and Tell, to utilize the microphone.
    4. Review “Best Practices” for viewing meeting for online attendees.

New Business:

  1. News of the ANS possible move to Chicago – opportunities for clubs? Too early to discuss.
  2. CCC meetings at the Chicago Bar Association in virtual world. Meetings at CBA to continue at location. Space rent is very favorable. Need to discuss membership concerns of attending in person. Ideas to boost in person attendance could be monthly door prizes.
  3. Discussion of Club 2nd VP who is coordinator of judging for the Cabeen and should they be eligible for awards. Board feels since there should always be more than one set of eyes reviewing the monthly voting, there should not be an issue.
  4. President John Riley proposed a trial project of CCC members bringing a small amount of items to monthly club meetings to trade/buy/sell. Items would be on tables in the back of the room, maybe watched over by a YN. Board felt this is a cool idea and would not violate the club’s stance that state we, the CCC, do not buy/sell/appraise coins.
  5. Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Convention. Details communicated from Carl Wolf that CCC has a club table on the main bourse floor for the 2023 convention. Four CCC board members who are also CSNS members are the table holders and the only ones to sit behind the table. They are Carl Wolf, John Riley, Steve Zitowsky, and Scott McGowan. A meeting room will be reserved for the traditional CCC meeting at the CSNS convention. Many exciting enhancements will take place this year at the convention.
  6. Reminder for Chatter’s schedule: July (4 weeks late), and August (maybe 1 week late) due to editor’s vacation; May will be 1 week late due to CCC meeting at CSNS on Saturday, April 29.
  7. Chatter advertisers. The current cycle is from June 2022 through May 2023; we do not have ad for the 4th advertiser. Scott McGowan to follow up and issue invoice letter.
  8. Show and Tell at Banquet Meetings. It was decided we should not have Show and Tell at any banquet meeting.
  9. ANA World’s Fair of Money, 2024 in Rosemont IL. Discussion on the committee and a chairman. It was discussed that usually the last convention’s vice chair becomes the next convention’s committee chair. Also the Club usually writes a letter of request to become Host Club, and must get ANA board approval before we can form the Host Club Committee. Secretary Scott McGowan to write a request to ANA for 2024 Host Club by August 2023.
  10. Proposal to ANA Board of anchoring the ANA World’s Fair of Money in one location for 10 years, and possibly Chicagoland area. Further details to be forthcoming from the ANA.
  11. ANA governor and Coin Dealer Shanna Schmidt invite to cocktail party at her offices after CSNS on April 29th, 7:00-9:00pm. She will have bus transportation to/from the convention center. Office is at 8 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 3600. Need RSVP info.
  12. Hall of Fame committee. We need to solidify committee for 2023. Reach out to previous committee for interest to stay on.

Next CCC Board Meeting on May 17, 2023 at 6:00pm CDT; on-line versus in-person, to be determined.

President John Riley adjourned the meeting at 8:12pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Scott A. McGowan, Secretary

Our 1250th Meeting

Date: March 8, 2023 Reservations are required. This banquet meeting is in-person only.
Time: 5:45pm Reception, fried calamari and cash bar.
6:30pm Dinner (Family Style).
7:30pm Meeting called to order.
Location:Capri Italian Restaurant, 12307 S. Harlem Avenue, Palos Heights, IL 60463.
Details: The cost is $35 if paid by February 28 – if you cannot pay by the cutoff, let Bill Burd know via email ( by March 2, and pay $40 at the door. Early commitments and payments are greatly appreciated. There will be a cash bar 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 family style dinner will start at 6:30pm, with a House Salad.
• Mostaccioli with marinara sauce, Chicken ala Capri, and Vesuvio potatoes will be served.
• Dessert will be Italian lemon ice and mini canoli.
Parking: There is a large free parking lot attached.
Program: The speaker is Robert Leonard, on The Lasting Contributions of Honorees of the Chicago Coin Club’s Hall of Fame.
In 2018 past president Robert Leonard suggested that the Chicago Coin Club institute a Hall of Fame to commemorate its centennial the next year. This was approved, together with a group of 12 honorees, from charter members to recently deceased, and Bob researched them and prepared citations for review. The final versions were released at a rate of one per month throughout 2019, and generated much favorable publicity for the club. Since then, five more people have been inducted. Bob will focus on their notable accomplishments and their service to the Club over the decades, with some personal anecdotes not included in the citations.
Agenda: • All attendees will recieve a souvenir card and elongated coin. There will be door prizes.
• There will be no Show-and-Tell session after the featured speaker.

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.

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
March 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert Leonard on The Lasting Contributions of Honorees of the Chicago Coin Club’s Hall of Fame
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 $15 per day admission charge, a 3-day pass for $30, free for youth (17 and under), and free for CSNS Members. For details, refer to their website,
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
May 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
June 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
July 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced

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:
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


All correspondence pertaining to Club matters should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
P.O. Box 2301

Or email the Secretary at
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 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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