Meeting 7:30pm, Wednesday, January 3
Talk and trading 7:00-7:30pm
VFW, 1601 Weld Road, Elgin, IL
This month's program will be a presentation by Shea F. of some of his favorite foreign notes.
|ECC Meeting 586|
Doug called the meeting to order at 7:30. The Secretaries and Treasurers reports were accepted as published. Old and new business was discussed and show and tells were given. We then went into the month's program, which was our annual holiday dinner. After the program, raffle tickets were sold and winners selected. The meeting adjourned about 9:00 pm.
Accepted as printed in the December's newsletter.
The report was accepted as published.
Fantasy coin contest final standings:
For winning this years contest, Rick was awarded a 2004 Proof silver Eagle.
Club election results, Vice President Steve H. and Treasurer Shea F. The club extends its thanks to Don C. for his many years of service as Treasurer.
We had our customary raffle and membership drawings. The winners were:
The meeting closed around 9:00 P.M.
Submitted by Jim D.
There was no board meeting this month.
Jim D. brought in a partial set of Jefferson 5c. As featured in the December newsletter, a printout from coin world on the Elgin Half dollar, a New Mexico tax token, A Colorado tax token and a medal from sears that may have been struck from copper salvaged from the statue of liberty.
Tim T. showed an ad from coin world of a certified proof 1895 Morgan dollar offered as Ms-60 but appears to be well circulated.
Don C. brought in some fancy serial number one and five dollar bills, including some radar and star notes. In addition, a 1971-S unc Ike dollar that is still in its original packaging that has a large fingerprint on the obverse.
Eagle brought in some waffle-canceled coins including a Kennedy half, a Missouri 25c., and a Maine 25c.
Rick W. showed a letter printed in Numismatic News saying that in 1960 to buy all coins the mint offered a person would spend $5.60. Today to buy all mint products the cost is over $15,000.
Government bans melting of cents and nickels. Recently the government on the urging of the mint banned the melting of one and five cent coins for their metal value, as previously stated in this newsletter, based on spot metal prices the pre 1982 cent has over 2 cents in metal and the five cent coin has over 7 cents in metal. The mint wants the ban for two main reasons; first, the mass melting of minor coinage would create a shortage similar to the one in the early 1960's. The second reason the mint would spend more to replace the coins than they are worth. Perhaps this is why the mint is trying to cut their losses by selling so many high price sets to collectors.
The results of the annual state quarter Poll. At the December meeting, I conducted my eight annual poll of the club member's favorite state quarter design. The winner was North Dakota with 8 votes. Nevada came in second with 5, Colorado received 2 and Nebraska and South Dakota received zero. Three members did not cast a vote.
Book Review: Walking Life: Meditations on the Pilgrimage of Life by Mike Metras. This is his latest book, a collection of thoughts and meditations gathered during his pilgrimages in Europe. Each chapter consists of a philosophical thought accompanied by a photo illustrating that thought. According to the author the book is meant to be read slowly giving the reader time to explore the ideas given and how they apply to the reader's life. I found the book to be very interesting in a spiritual but not overly religious way. The book is available in two formats, a PDF version for the computer and a hard printed copy.
[From Mike, the author and your webperson: You can learn more about the book at your sponsor's site at the Walking Life page. There you can review the entire text and even purchase the book. Or when you would like to do so, you can go directly to purchase it at Lulu.com.]
In the 1870's the U.S. Mint conducted a failed experiment by issuing a twenty-cent coin. President Grant signed the bill authorizing the coin on March 31, 1874. The main reason for issuing the coin was to provide an equivalent coin to the French and Swiss Franc and Spanish Peseta. Another reason was to use some of the abundant silver from the Comstock Lode and provide minor coinage to the western states. The obverse of the coin shows the same seated liberty design as featured on the half-dime, dime, quarter, half dollar and dollar. The reverse has an eagle in the same style as the trade dollar. After the coin was released, the public soon complained the coin was too close in size to the quarter, making this the 19th century equivalent of the Susan Anthony dollar. The concept of issuing a 20-cent coin is not new; in fact, many countries today issue that denomination. Some of those countries are all Euro issuing countries, England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Hong Kong.
The coin is 20 mm in diameter and weighs 5 grams of 90% silver and 10% copper.
Assembling a complete set of these coins is a task for collectors with very deep pockets. The complete set consists of 10 coins, 5 mint state and 5 Proof. The business strikes start at about $100 in good and rise to about $5,000 to $6,000 in MS-65. Proof coins will bring from $8,000 to $20,000 in Prf-65. Included in this set are two major rarities, first is the 1875-S Proof of which there are 6-12 known and the 1876-CC of which 18-25 is known. Both these coins easily bring $100,000 to $200,000 when they appear at an auction, which is very seldom.
[This is Mike's last installment in a series of articles telling how living is different in Germany.]
Second part of A Different Life
Copyright 2006 by Mike Metras
This edition's look into life in Germany today brings you some minor and not so minor differences in prices, breakfast, smoking, royalty, weather, farming, old buildings, house hunting, open borders, time, fresh air, and music and TV.
Beer comes in many flavors and versions, most of them very good. The common pils, similar to but stronger and tastier than American beer, costs between $2.50 and $3.00 for a 0.5 liter (16.9 oz) glass here in the south.
As a sidelight, Spanish smokers are even worse than German smokers. But in Italy, of all places where everyone likes their cigarettes, they have banned smoking in all bars and restaurants. What a delight! But they can smoke outside. So in that land of sun where there are a lot of tables outside, you have to make sure you are on the upwind side of any smokers.
Cattle, dairy products, and grass to feed the cattle are the major products in this immediate area. Farmers grow and bail grass, not hay, here, three or four times a year from the same field.
In Wangen, the next town south, we eat in a 500-year-old, modern restaurant. It was founded in 500 and has a wonderful bakery and seating around picnic tables. Come in and find a seat with fellow customers and have a beer and lieberkase, or whatever else you want.
And the weekly market has been on Wednesday in Wangen since 1390. I know that because they are trying to get a second market day on Saturday and a long discussion has brought out the history. Before that it was for 200 years on Friday. Many are loath to change a good thing by adding another day.
After I wrote this last paragraph, a train we were on was boarded twice by customs agents, first on the way into Switzerland from Italy and then later on the same day when we entered Austria. But this was only the first time in the three years I have been in Europe.
On a recent trip from southern to northern Germany, I drove across three quarters of the country. Along the way I identified license plates of 19 different countries, many odd ones (like Lithuania) on semi trucks. People are moving throughout Germany.
At first these bells are an enjoyable addition to my day, pleasant enough. But with time, now well over a year, I have began to realize what they are doing and it gets a little annoying. The church is saying, "Another 15 minutes have passed. What have you been doing with your life? Are you being a good Christian and working hard with your life? You have 15 minutes less to live. And be sure you say your prayers now. Get busy or...." And the city bell is saying much the same with a secular bent, "What have you done the past 15 minutes? Have you used the time to do your job well? Are you being a good citizen? Get busy...." Do I really need all these reminders that time is ticking? I think not. Let me live NOW well and leave the past in the past and the future in the future.
The German passion for fresh air made for some interesting interchanges while walking on the Camino de Santiago in Spain a couple years ago. Most walkers stay in refugios, youth-hostel-like sleeping quarters where several people sleep in a single room with bunk beds. A German would come in the room and immediately open one or more windows. A French man or Spaniard would come in and close any open windows. The German would soon open them again and the other close them. Eventually they would come to some compromise but usually not until some words were exchanged. I knew Germans who would come into a room, find a bed next to a window that opened and promptly prop the window open with their bed to end any potential argument before it started.
In these refugios windows were always a point of irritation, even more than someone's smelly shoes. One would usually put their shoes our in the hall willingly when someone else reminded him or her they were a bit ripe. But windows were special. I remember one night on the Via de la Plata walk; we stopped in a clean but quite warm and stuffy refugio. One of us opened a window to let in some air. The hospitalero (person running the place) came up a bit later and asked who opened it. Whoever did answered up to it. The hospitalero said, "You do not open the window. I control the heat and have it on so you do not open the window. When you want to window open you talk to me and I will decide." That didn't set well at all with me and I called him "Gestapo." He shot back, "What did you say, if you do not like it you can leave." We left and found a delightful inexpensive hotel and had a wonderful evening on our own terms-and had the window open all night.
America has public TV and radio and we are encouraged to support them with donations. Germany also has public TV and radio but they require you to pay for it. A special department of the government collects fees for each radio and TV you have. When you do not pay, they fine you. We have no TV and they don't seem to believe it. Every few months we get a letter that asks if we have bought a TV in the last few months. And if we have then we should start paying for using it. We pay around $6.70 a month for the radios we have in the car and on a radio-CD combo.
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