Chatter


Volume 66 No. 7 July 2020


Editor’s Notes

A recent Press Release from the ANA announced the “suspension” of the summer convention in downtown Pittsburgh scheduled for early August. Although ideas are likely circulating on where and when the ANA’s replacement convention will be held, a full replacement show, with all the traditional activities, seems unlikely. A number of companies have announced their own replacement shows, but they appear to be small with a dealer-to-dealer focus.

The ANA’s spring show in Phoenix in March, 2021 is still planned, as is the 2021 summer convention planned for Rosemont, Illinois in August, 2021.

We seem to be adjusting to our online meetings. Attendance would have been higher if not for problems encountered by some members. A recent entry level PC should provide acceptable real-time video and audio – just remember, the newer the better. Also, acceptable performance will require a good network connection. Instead of guessing at a minimal data rate, I suggest you verify your device can play some online videos in real time. Our page of instructions, to participate in our online meetings, has links to YouTube videos on using the Webex service we will be using. If you have no problems with those videos, there is a good chance you will have no problems with our meeting.

An email will be sent to all members a day or two before our regular July meeting, containing an invitation (as a link) to participate in our July online meeting. If you received an invitation to a prior online meeting, you should receive an invitation to our July online meeting. If you did not receive an invitation to a prior online meeting, email the club secretary, at secretary.chicagocoinclub@gmail.com and request an invitation.

If you could not connect to a prior online meeting, please email the Club Secretary with as many details as you can remember. A club member will help you resolve the issue.

Paul Hybert, editor


Minutes of the 1217th Meeting

The 1217th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President Richard Lipman at 6:45 PM CDT, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Due to the pandemic shutdown, the meeting was online with 34 members and guests. As the meeting progressed, additional members joined and reached 40 at 7:10 PM.

The May minutes were approved as appeared in the June Chatter, as posted on the Club’s website. Elliott Krieter gave a restated April treasurer’s report showing $80.00 in revenue, and an additional $100 room rent bringing expenses to $144.76. The May treasury showed $60 in revenue and no expenses. The report was approved.

The membership applications of Sanjeev Kumar and Joe Conte received second reading and a motion was passed accepting them into the club.

The Secretary had correspondence with the Chicago Bar Association and they will not reopen their building before August 1. The club should expect the July and August meetings to be online.

Announcements:

Lyle Daly introduced Jeff Amelse who gave the featured program The Visigoth Gold Tremisses Series as Illustrated via Ruth Pleigo ‘Falsifications.’

Second VP John Riley announced the evening’s 7 exhibitors.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:17 PM CDT.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary


Speaker’s Wor[l]d
The Visigoth Gold Tremisses Series as Illustrated via Ruth Pleigo “Falsifications”

by Jeffrey Amelse,
presented to our June 10, 2020 meeting.

The Goths were barbaric German tribes that moved west during “The Great Migration.” The Visigothic Kingdom occupied what is now southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to the 8th centuries. Their coinage was mainly of small gold tremisses, typically about 15 mm in diameter and weighing 1.4 grams. Several thousand die varieties of bonafide tremisses were minted. Since little information about them was available until recently, they were easy to forge. Thus, several thousand different forgery varieties are also known to exist. Both real and forgery varieties are listed in a recent two-volume set by Ruth Pliego Vasquez of the University of Seville. It would now be impossible to put together a set of real coins from all rulers both because of cost and scarcity. I have assembled a collection of over 50 “falsifications” that represent most of the rulers. Most are catalogued in Ruth’s books and most are pretty scarce themselves. I have a few that are not even listed. It is a neat series because many of the portraits are abstract, comical, almost cartoon-like.

The Visigoths were pagans who converted to Christianity. Only a handful of Visigoth churches survive. Pictures were shown of a few that I was able to visit in Portugal and just across the northern border into Spain.

Forgeries of most of the emperors, and from several of the numerous mints, were shown. Two coins of Gundemar were shown from very similar, but different, dies. One of my coins of Gundemar from the Ispali mint is believed to be genuine by tying the dies to a picture in Pliego’s book.

CORRECTION: I presented several coins of King Wittiza that I had incorrectly stated showed clashing at three different die rotations. Thanks to Bob Leonard for the following clarification: “I think that the “clashing” you identified at 3 axes is actually ghosting, i.e., failure to fill the die completely due to high relief on the opposite die. This is very common on medieval coins struck on thin planchets. I don’t see how the same die can be clashed three times.” Sorry for the mistake. I still have a lot to learn from members of the club, which is why I am sorry I had not discovered CCC years ago.

Rodrigo (AD 710-711) was the last Visigoth king to control the entire Iberian Peninsula before the Moor invasion. While strolling down an ancient Roman street in the Portuguese city of Viseu, I came across a depiction of one of his coins on the window of a small museum. Rodrigo is believed to be buried in the current cathedral of Viseu, which dates back to the 1700s, per the chronicles of several clergymen written at the time of the cathedral construction.


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Show and Tell

Items shown at our June 10, 2020 meeting,
reported by John Riley.

  1. Dale Lukanich showed a $1000 “Absolute Money Certificate” from the US Presidential campaign of 1880. This piece of Nineteenth Century political satire has parallels to modern election year arguments around management of US economic policy. This lampoon targeted the goals of the National Greenback-Labor Party, championed by candidate James Weaver, to effectively support agrarian and debtor interests by printing more paper money not backed by reserves of specie. The issuers of this satire were warning that such a move would generate inflation by paying off debts with “cheap money.”
  2. John Riley showed a circa-1900 Love Token on a Spanish-Philippines 10 Centimos coin, engraved as “Best Wishes of Capt W.J. Gilbreth.” Sold as a Spanish coin, John recognized the engraved coin as an 1880s piece from the Spanish Philippines — and fashioned into a “stickpin” keepsake of service from a US Army infantry captain to his troops following the Spanish-American War of 1898-99. With some on-line geneology research, a link was eventually found to Captain William James Gilbreth’s story as ‘D’ Company Commander in the 1st Tennessee Volunteers and their record of action at Iloilo in the central Philippines during the later days of the Philippines Insurrection.
  3. Lyle Daly showed Lodz Ghetto Scrip fron 1940, issued for the Jewish Ghetto. Denominated in 50 Pfennig, Eine (One) Mark, and Funf (Five) Marks, with the larger two bearing circulation evidence, these are sobering reminders of the atrocities of man. The Lodz Ghetto in Poland was a major industrial center which used slave labor to produce war supplies. Upon incarceration, all valuables were taken and these “receipts,” good only in the ghetto, were provided in exchange. All notes carry the same text but vary in size and color — denominated as 50 pf, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 Marks. The currency was officially called “Marks” but were widely known as “Rumki” and “Chaimki” in reference to the head of the ghetto, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski.
  4. Rich Lipman showed a range of items.
    1. A circulated 10 Won note from the Bank of Korea, 1953, featuring an armored turtle boat (“Geobukseon”) engraving. Made famous in contemporary 16th century narratives, the boats were highly maneuverable by sail and oarsmen. The brainchild of Korean admiral Yi Sun Shin, the ships were developed to discourage boarding by the invading Japanese navy during the Seven Years’ War of 1592-1598.
    2. As a continuation of last month’s presentation of the monies of the former French Indochina and Cambodia, a neighboring Laotian 200 Kip banknote (1975) issued under the Pathet Lao regime. The note shows a busy road scene with civilian pedestrians and vehicles on the front of the note, with the reverse showing a factory setting.
    3. In keeping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a commemorative 2019 issue from the island nation of Niue. Denominated as 15 New Zealand dollars, it features a costumed “Plague Doctor” with oilskin coat and hat, along with a beaked mask (to be filled with filtering and scented materials). In a community of the Dark Ages, the Plague Doctor served many roles, including: census taker, sage to protect and advise the uninfected, an autopsy conductor, and a counselor and preparer of wills.
  5. Deven Kane showed a medal, a book, and two coins.
    1. A 61mm uniface bronze medal (1973) modeled by Glenna Goodacre and depicting Buffalo Bill Cody with a trademark wide-brimmed hat; © GOODACRE ’73 2/3 appears on the edge. William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody (February 26, 1846 - January 10, 1917) was an American soldier, bison hunter, and showman. One of the most famous and well-known figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill’s legend began to spread when he was only 23, just before he started performing in shows that displayed cowboy themes and episodes from the frontier and Indian Wars. Glenna Maxey Goodacre was a sculptor best known for designing the obverse of the Sacagawea dollar, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial located in Washington, DC. Goodacre passed away in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 13, 2020 at the age of 80.
    2. Alex Fishman and I.J. Todd’s 2018 book, The Silver Damma. Between 600-1100 AD, a series of tiny silver, and sometimes billon, coins circulated throughout India. This is one of the most underexplored areas of Indian numismatics and until this book came out there was very little published. Only in the last 15 years have many of these coins been conclusively assigned to the Imperial Rashtrakutas who dominated the tripartite struggle for Kanauj between 750-950 AD.
    3. A silver damma of king Agrahasila, circa 10th century. Identified as Fishman-U6, it has a lion facing left with a tail raised above, surrounded by a cicular Nagari legend. This is possibly the second known example. Deven noted an aggravating reality with early Indian coinage: that the name on coins often does not match the name of the ruler. Based on the weight, Fishman considered it equivalent to the Sindhi Habbarid dramma from 855-1025.
    4. Complementing the evening’s featured program, an example from the Visigoths in Spain. A genuine gold tremissis of Emerita (Mérida) by King Suintila, 621-631. One side has a central facing bust, while the other side has the legend EMERITA PIVS and a standing, facing figure. Suintila, (or Suinthila, Swinthila, or Svinthila) was the Visigothic King of Hispania, Septimania and Galicia from 621 to 631. Under Suintila there was an unprecedented peace and unity across the Kingdom of the Visigoths. As a direct result, by 624 the king was able to muster the forces necessary to retake the Byzantine province of Spania other than the Balearic Islands.
  6. Mark WIeclaw showed four coins, all Byzantine and all from the Constantinople mint.
    1. A gold solidus of Constantine VI and Irene, circa 790-792 AD. The Empress Irene and her 10 year old son, Constantine VI, appear on the obverse, while the reverse has Leo III (father of Constantine V), Constantine V (father of Leo IV) and Leo IV (husband of Irene).
    2. A gold solidus of Constantine VI and Irene, circa 792-797 AD. Empress Irene appears on the obverse and Constantine VI appears on the reverse.
    3. A gold solidus of Irene during her sole reign, 797-802 AD, with her portrait appearing on both the obverse and reverse.
    4. A copper Follis of Constantine VI and Irene, 780-797 AD, with Irene on the obverse and Constantine VI on the reverse. While the gold coins are considered rare, the copper piece appears to be much rarer.
  7. Laurence Edwards showed two pieces related to aspects of modern Jewish history.
    1. The Napoleon Grand Sanhedrin medal, 1806, produced by the French mint. The obverse has a bust of Napoleon, while the reverse shows Moses bowing before the emperor and presenting the tablets of the Law. Napoleon convened a council of leaders of the French Jewish community and presented them with a series of questions to determine (to his satisfaction) whether they would be loyal citizens of France. This was a turning point in modern Jewish history: with citizenship came certain compromises and shifts in the nature of Jewish identity and traditional religious authority.
    2. A 15 centisimi coin of the short-lived Republic of Venice (1848). Following emancipation of Jews in western European countries – hastened, in fact, by Napoleon and by French conquests – Napoleon oversaw the removal of ghetto walls in various cities, so Jews were increasingly able to participate in the wider society. Many eagerly joined various social and political movements. Venice had been the site of the first ghetto. A Jew, Isaac Pesaro Maurogonato, served as the Finance Minister of the independent, revolutionary Venetian Republic.

Reminder: You can email to John a description of what you will show at a meeting, to give him a start on this write-up. Send it to johnrriley@yahoo.com.


Our 1218th Meeting

Date: July 8, 2020
Time: 6:45 PM CDT (UTC-05:00)
Location: Online Only!
Visit our Online Meeting webpage, at www.chicagocoinclub.org/meetings/online_meetings.html, for all the details on participating in an online club meeting. 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: Dale LukanichJoliet Currency (Hometown Cash)
This is a small (due to time) numismatic story of some of the currency used in Dale’s hometown of Joliet, Illinois. Dale hopes this presentation will inspire others to discover the history in their hometowns. No matter the size or population, every town has a history, including a numismatic history. It might be only a merchant “good for” token, but there is a story behind it. The Joliet in which Dale grew up is much better in his memory than the Joliet of today. People in his father’s and grandfather’s generation remember a better Joliet than Dale knew. A wise man once said, “Change is inevitable, progress is not.” World, national, and local conditions have changed over the years – some were good and some were bad – that history is what made us. The good history we build on. Hopefully, the bad history makes us change direction. Look into the past of your hometown. See what you can find. Share that information, your story. We would love to hear your story. After all, we “Learn by Teaching.”

Important Dates

Unless stated otherwise, our regular monthly CCC Meeting is online during the Covid-19 isolation era on the second Wednesday of the month; the starting time is 6:45PM CT.

July 8 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Dale Lukanich on Joliet Currency (Hometown Cash)
August 12 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
September 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - James McMenamin on to be announced
September 10-12 Illinois Numismatic Association at Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Dr., Tinley Park, IL 60477 (north of I-80, east of Harlem Avenue; enter Convention Center Drive from 183rd Street). Admission is free — for details, see http://www.ilnaclub.org.
October 14 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced
November 11 CCC Meeting - Program to be determined - Member Auction if we meet in person, or a Featured Speaker if we meet online

Chatter Matter

http://www.ChicagoCoinClub.org/

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Club Officers

Elected positions:
Richard Lipman- President
Lyle Daly- First V.P.
John Riley- Second V.P.
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Melissa Gumm
Deven Kane
Mark Wieclaw
Steve Zitowsky
Appointed positions:
Elliott Krieter- Immediate Past President
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Elliott Krieter- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor, webmaster
Jeffrey Rosinia- ANA Club Representative

Correspondence

All correspondence pertaining to Club matters should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
CHICAGO COIN CLUB
P.O. Box 2301
CHICAGO, IL 60690

Payments to the Club, including membership dues, can be addressed to the Treasurer and mailed to the above address.

Payments

Renewing Members Annual dues are $20 a year ($10 for Junior, under 18). Annual Membership expires December 31 of the year through which paid. Cash, check, or money order are acceptable (USD only please). We do not accept PayPal. Email your questions to Treasurer.ChicagoCoinClub@GMail.com Members can pay the Club electronically with Zelle™ using their Android or Apple smart phone. JP Morgan Chase customers can send payments to the Club via Quick Pay. To see if your Bank or Credit Union is part of the Zelle™ Payments Network, go to https://www.zellepay.com Please read all rules and requirements carefully.


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