Volume 69 No. 5 May, 2023

Minutes of the 1251st Meeting

Session I of the 1251st meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President John Riley at 6:45 PM CDT, Wednesday April 12, 2023. This was a hybrid in-person and online meeting. Attendance at the meeting was 17 in person and 17 online, for a total of 34.

President John Riley started the meeting by calling for a moment of silence for the passing of long time member David Gumm. A photo of David was projected for the club members’ viewing, while after the silence several members gave tributes to David.

Club Meeting Minutes and Treasurer’s Report

The March 2023 meeting minutes were approved as published in the Chatter, both in print and on the CCC website.

A revised January 2023 treasurer’s report was presented showing $1,811.00 revenue and $62.00 expenses, for a period total of $1,749.00. This was a correction from the original report that showed a period total of $1,801.00. The February period report showed $3,049.00 revenue with $454.00 expenses, for a period total of $2,595.00. The March period report showed $909.00 revenue with $4,326.88 expenses, for a period total of -$3,336.88. Members are reminded that, as with the 1250th banquet, the revenues and expenses for a single event are often spread over multiple periods.

The January update and both new February and March reports were approved by the club membership.

New Members

No new member applications have been received since the last meeting.

Old Business

  1. Reminder that dues were due by March 1st.
  2. A huge thank you for the hard work by the committee chaired by Bill Burd and the donations for the 1250th meeting celebration in March 2023. Thanks too, for the banquet planning, souvenir card, elongated coins, printed menu program, featured presentation, door prizes, and financial support by Chicago Coin Company, Mark Wieclaw, and Sharon and Kevin Blocker; and to Richard Hamilton for providing the invocation.
  3. Legacy committee provided updates: Wieclaw interview completed, Ricard video in production, and new CCC virtual background for the video sessions.
  4. A few brief mentions from the CCC February board meeting: Remember to mute phones/computers during club meetings, club will be establishing a committee for gathering, reviewing, and recommending expenditures of club treasury monies for programs that benefit club membership; YN “coins for As” program approved and will be published soon.
  5. Reminder that several CCC members will be running for ANA offices this year. All CCC members who are also ANA members are encouraged to vote. See announcement below.

New Business

  1. A moment of silence was held for the passing of Howard Daniel, former World Coin News columnist – specialist and writer on Asian numismatics.
  2. National Money Show update: Bob Leonard reported that attendance of approx. 4,300 (1,600 locals) was a great turnout for the successful show. Paul Hybert, Steve Zitowsky, Jeff Rosinia, and Bob Leonard all attended the show.

Featured Program

James Davis on Events Leading to the Founding of the Denver Mint, and the First-Year Coinage of the Denver Mint.

Show and Tell

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


  1. Central States Numismatic Society Convention, Schaumburg, Illinois; April 27-29, 2023.
  2. CCC Board meeting May 17, 2023 – forward any issues to a board member.
  3. ANA officer candidates’ forum can be viewed at This page has the names and biographies of the candidates, as well as a 1-hour video of the candidates’ statements and Q&A.

The next meetings will be the April (session II) meeting on April 29, 2023 at the Central States Numismatic Society Convention, at 12:00 noon in the Innovation Room, then the May meeting on May 10, 2023, 6:45pm at the Chicago Bar Association.

John Riley adjourned the meeting at 8:30pm CDT.

Session II of the 1251st meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President John Riley at 12:00 PM CDT, Saturday, April 29, 2023. This was an in-person only meeting. Attendance at the meeting was 39.

President John Riley started the meeting by calling for an abbreviated agenda for session II of the April meeting.

John welcomed all guests attending the Chicago Coin Club meeting. John called for all individuals running for ANA offices to stand, state their name and desired office. Two individuals running for ANA offices were introduced: Tom Uram running for President, and Jeff Rosinia running for Governor. Tom Uram spoke briefly and encouraged all ANA members to vote in the ANA officers’ election, and to view the candidates’ forum on the ANA website (see link below).

John Riley announced the passing of CCC member Doug Baldwin on April 24th. Doug had been a CCC member since 2019.

Richard Hamilton inquired on the current CCC membership, which was reported to be around 141 current paid-up members.

President John Riley announced the ANA World’s Fair of Money will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2023, and is planned for Rosemont, Illinois in 2024 with the CCC applying to be the host club for 2024.

Board member Carl Wolf announced there is a Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) welcome event on Tuesday night at the 2023 World’s Fair of Money (WFoM) in Pittsburgh, and that members from the New York Numismatics Club (NYNC) will likely join for the event. CCC members planning to attend the 2023 WFoM should look into attending this event. Tom Uram clarified that this event is a PAN welcome event for the ANA WFoM, it will be held at the LeMont Restaurant, and it will include a dinner, a band entertainment, and a speaker. A shuttle will be available from the convention to the restaurant. Prior registration is recommended.

Carl Wolf reminded all in attendance that CCC souvenir sheets are still available for purchase and supplies are in the CCC booth. These souvenir sheets are from past CCC events or from joint programs with other organizations, and focus on varied subjects including Primitive Money.

Central States Numismatic Society Vice President and CCC member Brett Irick thanked the Chicago Coin Club for continuing their tradition of a club meeting at the convention and praised the club for continuing the online part of their monthly meetings, which many other clubs have stopped doing post-pandemic. Brett also indicated this CSNS convention was the largest since 1980.

John Riley reported on the CCC Legacy Project, which documents and records interviews with longtime members on their collecting and numismatic passions.

Featured Program

Mark Wieclaw on Docendo Discimus, We Learn by Teaching, an inspirational program on numismatic education by sharing through speaking, Exhibitions at conventions, Show and Tell, and other methods often citing personal experiences that have promoted numismatics.

Secretary Scott McGowan announced one new membership application, for Thomas Canoles a collector of US coins.

Being an abbreviated meeting there was no old or new business or Show and Tell agenda items.


  1. CCC Board meeting May 17, 2023 – forward any issues to a board member.
  2. ANA officer candidates’ forum can be viewed at This page has the names and biographies of the candidates, as well as a 1-hour video of the candidates’ statements and Q&A.

The next meeting will be May 10, 2023, 6:45pm at the Chicago Bar Association, and will be in-person and online.

John Riley adjourned the meeting at 12:45pm CDT.

Respectfully Submitted,
Scott A. McGowan, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Events Leading Up to the Founding of the Denver Mint, and the First-Year Coinage of the Denver Mint

by James Davis,
presented to our April 12, 2023 meeting

The origins of the Denver Mint began almost 50 years before the first coins were struck. In 1858, gold was discovered near Pikes Peak; that brought out a multitude of men seeking their fortune the following year. The new arrivals were called ’59ers, reminiscent of how the California gold rush participants a decade earlier became known as the ’49ers. Soon thereafter, the city of Denver was formed.

A good panner could recover about ½ to ¾ of an ounce in one day. Soon, prospectors began arriving in Denver to spend their gold – but making purchases with gold dust is at best imprecise. It became apparent a Bank and Assay office were needed.

In 1860, Milton Clark and Emanuel Gruber arrived from the Kansas City area and formed Clark, Gruber & Company. In addition to banking services, they melted, poured, and assayed the native gold found by miners and prospectors; but they did not refine the gold ore. Their initial business plan was to buy gold and ship it to Philadelphia in exchange for coins to buy more gold. The problem was it took a long time for the gold to arrive in Phildelphia and the resultant money to arrive in Denver; also, there were costs for shipping and insurance, and always the threat of robbery. The railroads were not near Denver – there were few west of the Mississippi River. Clark, Gruber & Co. then decided to purchase their own coin press and have dies engraved.

With those dies Clark, Gruber & Co. produced coins in 1860 and 1861; some designs were taken from US coins but altered slightly to protect them from counterfeiting charges. In 1860, one design was used on the $2½ and $5 pieces, while a different design was used on the $10 and $20 pieces. The obverses of the $2½ and $5 use a bust of Liberty, above the date and surrounded by 13 stars, but Liberty’s coronet here says CLARK & CO instead of LIBERTY; the reverses use a spread eagle above the denomination, but surrounds it with PIKES PEAK GOLD DENVER instead of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

While the designs of the 1860 $10 and $20 have an eagle similar to the eagle on US gold coins, all other elements are original. The date appears below the eagle, so is this side the obverse or reverse? The eagle is surrounded by CLARK GRUBER & CO. The other side prominently features a mountain with the profile of an equilateral triangle; below it are DENVER and the denomination, while above it are PIKES PEAK GOLD. That representation of Pike’s Peak must have originated with someone who never saw the actual mountain.

On the coins dated 1861, the $2½, $5, and $10 use a design similar to that used on the $2½ and $5 of 1860, with the $20 using a different design. The obverses of the $2½, $5, and $10 use a bust of Liberty above the date and surrounded by 13 stars, but Liberty’s coronet here says PIKES PEAK instead of the LIBERTY found on US coins; the reverses use a spread eagle above the denomination, but surrounds it with CLARK GRUBER & CO DENVER instead of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The 1861 $20 piece uses a Liberty bust which differs from the bust used on the lower denominations; but PIKES PEAK still appears on this coin’coronet. The reverse features an eagle similar to that on the US $20 piece, above the denomination, surrounded by CLARK GRUBER & CO DENVER. The devices were reminiscent of contemporary US coins, with different legends. Was this sufficient to keep the US government away?

In the 1860 annual Mint Report, mint director James Ross Snowden called out Clark, Gruber & Co.; several pieces had been assayed at between 815 and 838 fine (instead of the US standard 900 fine) with silver the remaining alloy and no attempt to maintain an exact standard. Weights of the $10 pieces varied from 273 to 283.5 grains. He also stated, “The devices on the ten dollar piece are appropriate and distinctive; but on the five dollar piece they are made in close imitation of the legal coin, a reprehensible and illegal practice, countenanced by previous similar emissions in California.”

In 1863, the US Treasury Department bought out Clark, Gruber & Co., taking over its building and operations. For the next 43 years it served as an assay office only, even though it was called a Branch Mint in contemporary government documents, especially in its early years. In the late 1890s, Congress made the facility a branch mint. Funding and construction delays of the new building kept the mint from striking coins until 1906. On February 1, 1906, the Denver Mint began striking coins for circulation. The first-year issues consist of three silver and three gold denominations.

All three silver coins issued this year were designed by Charles E. Barber, using designs first used in 1892;they are the Dime, Quarter, and Half Dollar. The dime mintage of 4,060,000 includes varieties such as a re-punched mintmark and a doubled 6. The quarter mintage was 3,280,000, and the half dollar mintage was 4,028,000.

The $5 and $10 had been designed by Christian Gobrecht; the Clark, Gruber & Co. pieces were reminiscent of these pieces. The $5 half eagle mintage was 320,000; the $10 eagle mintage was 981,000. The Double Eagle had been designed by James B. Longacre, who also designed the Flying Eagle cent, Indian head cent, Two cent, Three cent silver, Three cent nickel, Shield nickel, and the $3 gold. The $20 double eagle mintage of 620,250 includes varieties such as re-punched mintmarks.

But wait … there is more: special strikes! On April 4, 1906 about 12 proof-like double eagles were struck for presentation purposes. Today, only 2 or 3 are known; the third-party grading services refer to them as special strikes. The first recorded auction sale of a 1906-D specimen double eagle was in January, 1957. The Kreisberg-Schulman auction house sold the Adolphe Menjou specimen, lot 2608, for $240.00. In 2013, a specimen 66 coin, which may or not be the Menjou coin, sold for $440,625.

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our April 12, 2023 meeting,
reported by Deven Kane.

  1. Tyler Rossi showed Greek fourrees which are contemporary counterfeits of silver or gold coins, made with a bronze or copper core.
    1. A very small late archaic/transitional fractional silver Greek fourree, most likely imitating a hemiobol or Trihemitartemorion of the Greek city of Phokaia (roughly 500-450BC). The obverse has a female head in helmet or close fitting cap, while the reverse has a quadripartite incuse square.
    2. An Alexander the Great silver fourree tetradrachm from Carrhae, about 305-300 B.C. The obverse has a head of young Herakles wearing a lion’s skin, while the reverse has Zeus enthroned, holding an eagle and a scepter; a crescent and monogram on the left, and a monogram below the throne.
    3. An Alexander the Great silver fourree drachm from an uncertain mint, circa 336-323BC. The obverse has the head of Herakles wearing a lion skin headdress, while the reverse has a seated Zeus Aëtophoros holding a scepter.
    4. A Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, with Romanus II, gold fourree Solidus from Constantinopolis, 945-959. On one side is a facing nimbate bust of Christ, wearing tunic and pallium, raising his right hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels in his left. On the other side, crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, bearded and wearing loros on the left, and Romanus II, beardless and wearing chlamys on the right; both holding, between them with their right hands, a long patriarchal cross.
  2. Complementing the evening’s speaker, John Riley noted that not many major or well-publicized ERROR coins have come out of the U.S. Mint in Denver since its 1906 founding. He showed a vivid doubled die error from 1945, which resides in his own U.S. Philippines collection. The 75% silver 10 centavos coin is very small at 16.5mm in diameter, and much of the issue ended up in melting pots. The doubled-die reverse error variety was overlooked for many years.
  3. Deven Kane showed coins from “The (other) Son of Sam.” He set the stage with two maps of southwest Asia, from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea, and from the Euphrates River on the west and the Indus River on the east. The first showed various States from the Iranian Intermezzo, and the second showed the following Ghaznavid Empire. Deven’s coins were from the short-lived Ghorid dynasty which followed the Ghaznavids.
    1. A very nice silver dirham of Mu‘izz al-Din Muhammad, minted at Ghazni in 596AH (1200/1201AD) as a vassal of his brother Ghiyath ad-Din; it has a fine patina. Each side has three circular legends, with “Muhammad bin Sam” at the center. The obverse has the Kalima, the name of the Abassid caliph in Baghdad (Al-Nasir li-Din Allah), name and titles, and mint-date formula; the reverse has Quranic verses as the circular legend.
    2. A silver dirham of Mu‘izz al-Din Muhammad bin Sam (589-602AH / 1193-1206AD), with the date off the flan. The Arabic legends are arranged horizontally, with the Kalima Shahada at the top in two lines on the obverse. this coinage is known for its flat strikes; this VF piece has some usual flatness.
    3. Two gold coins of Mu‘izz al-Din Muhammad bin Sam (589-602AH / 1193-1206AD), possibly from the Kanauj and Badaun mints. One side has a stylized figure of Lakshmi, and the other has the ruler’s name in Nagari as “Sri Mahmad Sami.”
    This ruler, who laid the foundation for Muslim rule in Delhi, met his end on the road to Ghazni, done in by the Assassins.
  4. Bob Leonard showed two items.
    1. Complementing the featured program, a Clark, Gruber 1860 2½ dollars gold piece, with an ANACS photo Certificate of Authenticity dated 10-25-78 and a 1931 auction listing of what is apparently the same coin. The coin is described as damagaed and with a mount removed; Bob had purchased it in New York in 1978, from Albuquerque Rare Coins.
    2. The auction catalog of “Numismatique Collection N. K.” (Nadia Kapamadji), Paris, 1992. A surprise was an insert by a British coin dealer, trashing the catalog!
  5. Melissa Gumm showed two medals with ties to Chicago World’s Fairs.
    1. A medal of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, commemorating Netherlands Day. This brass medal features Queen Wilhelmina, a young head facing front with the inscription Queen Wilhelmina in the center of circles with an ornate border of leaves. The reverse is inscribed Souvenir, Netherlands Day, Worlds Columbian, Exposition, Chicago, Aug 31 1893. The medal hangs via a red, white, and blue ribbon from a bar which is the Arms of the Netherlands with a pin attachment; on the reverse S.D. Childs & Co Chicago is found in small letters. Queen Wilhelmina reigned from 1890 to 1948, taking the throne at the age of 10 due to her father’s poor health. She was the fourth of his children and the only surviving, as her father’s three sons had all died. After 58 years she abdicated the throne to her daughter; she was the longest reigning Dutch monarch and the world first female billionaire. Melissa believes her maternal grandfather’s foster parents likely obtained this medal when attending the fair in 1893.
    2. on first look, it seems a medal of the Century of Progress worlds fair – the 1934 date was right and the image similar to that on other souvenirs. Reaching out to the Chicago History Museum resulted in the true story. On August 18, 1934, the Chicago Tribune hosted the 5th Chicagoland Music Festival. It featured 43 bands, 1,600 bandsmen, and well over 12,000 performers with all the choruses, from Canada and every corner of the US. Soldier Field played host to this delightful event, with the likes of Al Jolson and John Charles Thomas performing as well. Bands performed on Saturday at the Drake and Knickerbocker Hotels with the two winning organizations, adult band and juvenile band, receiving a gold medal and the opportunity to play that evening. The medal for the adult band, small unit, went to the Prairie View Concert Band of Prairie View, Illinois. The band consisted of 28 pieces and represented a village of population 217; it was directed by Lloyd Ritzenthaler. Melissa believes this 1/20 10kt GF (gold filled) medal, made by Jostens, was won by her maternal grandfather who played the bass drum in the band.
  6. Dale Lukanich showed two silver coins of Trajan, from Cyrene. These are Roman coins using the local denominations. Located in what is now Libya in North Africa, the city was established by the Greeks around 630 BCE. During the Roman period, the Jewish population of Cyrenaica grew to about 5000. In the Gospels, Simon of Cyrene, perhaps visiting Jerusalem for Passover, was forced by Roman soldiers to carry the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
    1. A hemidrachm with a Greek legend around the laureate bust of Trajan on the obverse, with a bust of Zeus with a ram horn on the reverse.
    2. A drachm with the same design elements.
    3. A table showing approximate weights of denominations of some Greek and Roman coins: the (Greek) 1.57 gram drachm and 1.57 gram hemidrachm, versus the (Roman) 3.3 gram denarius and 1.4 gram quinarius.
    4. To get an indication of their rarity, Dale checked the site, which shows only 10 auction appearances of the drachm since 2000, and 100 auction appearances of the hemidrachm.


Our 1252nd Meeting

Date: May 10, 2023
Time: 6:45PM CDT (UTC-05:00)
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 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 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: Deven KaneLittle Louis
The story of how a piece of small change sparked a fashion craze and then an international scam. In normal circumstances, the French silver coin of 1⁄12 Ecu (equal to 5 sols tournois) would have remained an unremarkable piece of small change. However, a sudden fashion craze in the Ottoman empire created a huge demand for the coin. This gave speculators and a bunch of minor princes with minting authority the arbitrage opportunity to make a lot of money. The scam soon followed. Join us as we follow the story of this little coin and the various principalities that decided to join the party.

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.

May 10 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Deven Kane on Little Louis
June 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
July 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
August 8-12 ANA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Admission is free for ANA members — see 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
September 13 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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