It is "annoying as can be, to find after a long time spent in toil and effort, that the problem ... is totally incapable of any solution at all - either because there exists no indisputable method to unravel it, or because ... it turns out to be absolutely void of all meaning - in other words, it is a phantom problem, and all that mental work and effort was expanded on a mere nothing." Max Planck (1946)

The Chicago Coin Club is one of the oldest numismatic societies in the United States suggesting that marking its 800th meeting is an event worthy of appropriate celebration. As in any organization, there are a few who have the vision - or perhaps the resolve, certainly the willingness, to step forth and look beyond the obvious, such as for appropriate means for celebrating this occasion. Then there are the masses, in some clubs, content to sit back and let others bring to reality their ideas.

The special 800th meeting medal and the special banquet program (encompassing an A.N.A. Round Table & Numismatic Festival) are two events which almost might not have been but for the few. This book is another such effort.

Assured that one would not be able to get some of the leading numismatic authorities in the world to contribute meaningful and original manuscripts to a book celebrating an anniversary of a local coin club, the book committee nevertheless accomplished exactly that. They garnered 19 manuscripts covering the major fields of traditional numismatics as well as more exotic areas related to the hobby. Each article is new, expressly written for this book. Many survey general areas of their topic; some are devoted to original findings in specific topics. There are other areas, other authors who might have been included. The scope of the book and the selection of authors is mine alone and any blame accruing to these points belongs to me alone.

To David Simpson, Carl Wolf, Robert Leonard Jr. and Gerard Anaszewicz go my profound thanks for serving with me as the Book Committee - without whose efforts this might in fact still be a dream. In addition, thanks are due Harry X Boosel, Don Valenziano and Harry Flower who came through when they were needed. Of course, I thank each of the contributing authors without whose kindness and labors none of this would have been possible. I would be remiss, if I did not extend to Mrs. Marcella Sheldon the most sincere thanks on behalf of the Chicago Coin Club for her generous donation in memory of her husband and our former member, M. Vernon Sheldon, which ultimately made believers of all of us that this book would come into being. Important thanks must be extended to Mr. Al Oikonomides for his extensive technical advice and assistance in bringing out this book. Finally, I thank Sondra, my wife, for running the errands, getting the letters out, making the calls and for being generally supportive during this project - as usual.

Highland Park, Illinois

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