January, 1998

1995, 1996, and 1997
American Numismatic Association
Outstanding Local Publication

Meeting 7:30pm, Wednesday, January 7
Talk and trading 7:00-7:30pm
VFW Post 1307
1601 Weld Road
Elgin, IL
Not a member?
Come and join us anyway!

January Prizes

the prizes are surprises this month. You have to come to see what will be in the prize box.

January Meeting

Happy New Year! January's program will feature Roger Bear talking about Numismatic Literature and our 1998 programs.

Bring along something for show and tell.

Please pay your $10 or $15 dues at the meeting or send them into our PO address (See pg 2).

December Minutes

ECC Meeting 480
Dec 3, 1997

Before the meeting, we had a fine holiday dinner of ham, roast beef, potatoes, beans, veggies, rolls, and butter. Everyone ate to their fill (if you didn't, be more aggressive the next time) and had conversations on the coins of the day.

President Doug N. called the 480th meeting of the Elgin Coin Club to order around 7:15pm at VFW Post 1308 after the dinner. We all gave a hand to the cook.

Secretary's Report

The minutes were accepted as published. I also announced that we were ready to accept dues for 1998.

Treasurer's Report

Don read the numbers listed in the box and you accepted them.

Constitutional Changes

The members present unanimously accepted the changes to the constitution and bylaws as proposed by the officers and published in the December Newsletter. The official changes follow:


The members elected: Both offices are for two years. Runner-up for Vice President, Jim Clevenger, was elected to be a board member. Congratulations to you all.

Please remember that when the officers and board members get together for a board meeting every month to plan upcoming events, this is not an exclusive meeting. Any club member can attend. We usually meet at Don's. Contact any officer for directions.

Old Business

Marty K. asked whether we had ever heard what happened to the ANA time capsule contents that the Elgin Coin Club had contributed to during the ANA centennial year. The last time the club inquired they were told the ANA had not decided what they were going to do with the contributed material. I agreed to send a letter asking about where the material ended up.

Roger Bear talked with Judson College about a meeting place but didn't pursue it. It looks as though that we'll be staying here at the VFW for a while unless something extraordinary happens to change it. That will be OK.

Frank Schlapinski asked if we could do something about segregating the smokers during the meeting. I seconded his thought and a discussion ensued. We basically concluded with we would talk about at the board meeting. (Maybe, now that the smokers know how the rest of us feel about it, they'll consider us a bit before they light up in our midst.) One of our problems is that the VFW has a lot of ambient smoke that hangs in there to be carried home on our clothes even with no one smoking. We will talk about this at the board meeting.

Party Delights

About this time Denise came in with cookies and holiday handouts for everyone. Thanks so much for the goodies, Denise. We all enjoyed them.

Show and Tell

Rich Eckebrecht showed a wonderful item he identified as a chatelaine, a hook-like clasp made up of several coins wired together to form a chain-mail-like item that was warn on the belt to hold keys. It was made up of several seated liberty coins, a bust half, and a Brazilian silver coin. A coat of arms was engraved on the back of the bust half. The date Jan. 25, 1879, was scribed an another coin. It was a very impressive piece of coin memorabilia.

I showed the bracelet I had on my arm. It was really a Manilla, a copper ring that was used as money in West Africa from 1515 to 1948. They were first introduced in 1505 by the Portuguese when 12 to 15 would have bought you a slave. The British retired them in 1948 for 80 to 480 per Pound depending on their size.

Gifts for all YNs

President Doug Nelson gave each YN a package of ancient coins.

December Prize Winners
Membership: No Prize
YN: No Prize
Raffle: Jerry, R., Marty K., Joe's friend
Door: None this month

We had a break to talk and sell raffle tickets. When we cane back, we drew the winners listed in the table.

Finally we drew to see who would get Holiday gifts. Everyone had one ticket for each meeting they attended during the year, based on the sign-up book. We drew names from the basket until some 25 gifts were given away. The gifts ranged from an Elgin bank note, to world coin books, to Red Books.

Holiday Gift Recipients
Marty, Shae, Harold, Jim D., Don C.,
Harold, Al, Rich, Adam, Mike C., Shae,
Shane, Jim D., Shane, Joe, Mike C.,
Harry, Adam, Darryl

Everyone wished everyone else Happy Holidays and we adjourned for the last time in 1997.

Submitted by Mike Metras

Board Meeting

There was none. We skipped it in favor of concentrating on the holidays and in honor of Louise, whose birthday it was on our regular board meeting day. Happy Birthday Louise.

Your Editor Speaks

Your Elgin Coin Club Newsletter has survived for four years now. This 48th issue begins the fifth year. And I'm having at least as much fun with it as I did with the first one in January, 1994.

This issue brings you another visit from Dennis Kwas with his "Little of this...Little of That" and some material I retrieved from "down under" concerning the Tasmanian Devil that has little more to do with coins than that I came from the Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

A Little of This ...
A Little of That ...

By Dennis A. Kwas

Don't look now but another year has come and gone. Here we are looking at another year with new challenges for us all. New challenges for our club--new challenges for you and me in the world of coin collecting.

As I have looked around at the coin shows this past year, I noticed that the crowds were not there, nor were the buyers. Of course there was always buying and selling going on, but they seemed to be slower and harder to complete.

I have heard that the key coins were not being found. It appeared that only the common date coins were available. At best, the coins found, for the most part, were always in a lower grade than the customers where seeking.

Please do not misunderstand, there were and are dealers that always seem to do well, or at least better than others at any show.

The club shows seem the offer, at times, more high grades and more of the key dates. This is because some of the dealers at the club shows only set up at club shows. They are collectors that have coins to sell that may not have been on the market for years. This is a chance to meet new people (dealers) that may be able to help you find that coin. They may have what you want with them or they may have it in their collection and may be willing to deal with you, as a collector. For you may have something they need and trading may make the deal.

Oh let's see, what else is going on? Oh yes... GREAT Christmas Dinner meeting at our December meeting... THANKS to the Elgin Coin Club and THANKS to the Cook.

THANK YOU - THANK YOU to Harold Hunt for his time and the job he did setting up and running our annual club show. He did a great job!

Oh yes, we had our election of officers. Boy I am looking forward seeing all the new officers in January. I'm sure Mike will list their name's in another part of this newsletter. [See p. 2]


[Editor's note: I took the following from the November issue of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society's Newsletter via the Internet at www.vision.net.au/~pwood/nov97.htm. I pass it on to you here with permission from the author and Newsletter editor. In case you're wondering where I got the address of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society...it is listed on the connections of the Anchorage Coin Club, and now on our Connections page.]

The Tasmanian Devil

By Graeme Petterwood. (T.N.S. Member # 332.)

It is with interest that we Tasmanians are currently reading of the acquisition of one our unique native animals, the Tasmanian Devil, as an internationally 'copyrighted' possession of Warner Bros. the cartoon and movie producers. Whilst we are aware that friendly and realistic negotiations are taking place at high corporate levels between the company and Tasmanian government agencies, beware the biter does not get bitten! We are quite sure that some cute--or not so cute-- possession of Uncle Sam's may be lurking, somewhere, ripe for a reciprocal Tassie take-over! Not that we mind the valuable publicity about the cartoon character that has been generated (and is being milked by our politicians and some commercial interests with great gusto), but the average 'Taswegian' does need to draw a line in the sand sometimes.(dare we now mention it's name without breaching some international copyright law?) Where will it all end?

What a real little devil! For those overseas and Internet readers who thought that the 'Tasmanian Devil' was just a figment of someone's vivid imagination let us assure you the animal does exist!--although--not quite as delightfully depicted as in the cartoons at kid's hour on the telly! Contrary to the cartoonist's image of a whirlwind of motion moving across the forest floor, the real Tasmanian Devil is rather slow and clumsy (it's fastest burst of speed is about 13 kms an hour), and it only grows to the size of a small black-bodied and white-chested terrier dog, although officially it is part of the same family as the native cats (Pasyuridae). However, whilst the devil's extremely powerful jaws and it's 42 teeth, are designed by nature to crack bones with ease, it's growling blood-curdling scream, when feeding, is used mainly to intimidate other devils so that it can procure a bigger share of what's on offer.

Tasmanian Devil (from the November 1997 Newsletter of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society) (Click here to enlarge)

The Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is basically an ugly little nocturnal carnivorous scavenger, cleaning up the thick Tasmanian bush forest floors of carrion--not only will it eat almost everything and usually only leave the strongest jawbones and teeth behind--but it will also, occasionally, pick off any other small, sick, weak or unprotected animal that may be unfortunate enough to come within it's scope. Devils are known to eat crustaceans, fish, and reptiles, and, when it is in it's prime, it can climb small trees to eat bird's eggs (or the sleeping birds), and the record of a tied-up sheep-dog pup that was added to the menu--gives an indication of the diversity of their tastes.

Devils are not particularly territorial, they usually range over an area of 10 -20 hectares in a solitary fashion most of the year by preference but, like sea gulls, they often gather near established camping-spots where food scraps are readily available, and then create the most horrible argumentative din that can frighten the 'bejabbers' out of any uninitiated campers, who may not realize that the frightful banshee screams they sometimes hear through the thin canvas of their tents, in the dead of night, are made by these little animals.

In the past, young Tasmanian Devil kittens (or should we call them 'imps') have been kept as pets by a few hardy local zoo-keepers (who apparently didn't value their fingers too much), but they are now a protected species, only kept under conditional licenses from the State Government--and, as they rarely interfere with the pursuits of Man in the wild, they are enjoying a respite from the total extinction that has befallen our other bigger and more aggressive carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian 'Tiger'.

The female Tasmanian Devil suckles her litter (a maximum of 4 kittens) for 15 weeks, in a backward facing pouch, after a gestation period of 31 days, which commences after mating in March-April. The young devils need another 15 weeks of maternal care before they are self-sufficient, and many may not survive their harsh Tasmanian bush habitat--or their fellow devil's appetites--if left unattended too long. Winter in Australia officially commences in June, but it sometimes arrives unseasonably earlier in Tasmania, which is the world's most mountainous island, and with the highland snows, bitterly cold Antarctic winds and day-long frosts that can occur (on rare occasions, of course), it makes the survival percentages rather low for any late devil litters, however, this is one of Nature's ways of ensuring the devil population never becomes excessive. These amazing and ferocious sounding little animals, which are thought to be the world's largest marsupial carnivores, were supposed to have become unique to Tasmania after those on the Australian continental mainland were gradually driven south and decimated by the arrival and spread of the Asian wild dog, better known as the Dingo (Canis familaris dingo) about 3000 years ago. Those Devils that had previously been isolated when the last Ice Age created Bass' Strait, and our island was formed, were thought to be the last survivors--but it looks as if they are now well established, and being distributed, world-wide courtesy of Warner Bros.!

And Where is Tasmania?

Australia with Tasmania (scanned from National Geographic Atlas of the World, 1981) (Click here to enlarge)

Tasmania (scanned from National Geographic Atlas of the World, 1981) (Click here to enlarge)

That, me friends, is the question. The fact that the salutation on the return EMail was "G'Day Mike" gives some of it away. But Tasmania is even more remote. It is an island on the south eastern coast of Australia, about as far south of the equator as we are north of it. And nothing comes between its southern shores and Antarctica! Next month the Tasmanian Tiger and some tokens with both of these beasts.

Coin of The Month The Coins of the Philippines

Ask the average collector which is the farthest east United States mint ever used and you're likely to be told West Point. But the correct answer is, Manila, in the Philippines. The United States obtained the Philippines as a colony at the end of the Spanish American War in 1898.

U. S. Philippine Obverses (scanned by Metras) (Click here to enlarge)

In 1903 the U. S. began issuing 1/2, 1, 5, 20, and 50 centavo and 1 peso coins for the new colony using the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints. The exchange rate was set at 2 pesos to 1 dollar. The obverse of the coins had a woman standing or a man sitting at an anvil with a volcano in the background. The denomination was written around the top and "Filipinas" around the bottom.

U. S. and Philippine Shields (scanned by Metras) (Click here to enlarge)

The reverses had an eagle with outstretched wings standing on a United States shield with "United States of America" around the top and the date and any mint mark on the bottom. All coins weighed more than their exchange equivalent on the U.S. mainland.

From 1925 on these coins were minted in the Manila Mint--the farthest east mint of the United States.

In 1935 the Philippines became a self governing commonwealth of the United States. The only thing that changed on the coins was the shield on the reverse. It changed from a US shied to one of the Philippines.

The coins continued to be made in Manila until the Japanese took over the country in 1941. All three mainland mints made Philippine coins in 1944 and 1945 for the then captive country.

The Republic of the Philippines was given its independence on July 4, 1946, ending this chapter of US colonial coinage.

There were 35,180 1857 half cents minted.
The Red Book says one in MS60 is worth $300.

More than 24 times as many 1877 Indian cents
were made (852,500) and one in MS60 is worth $2,000
according to the same source.

What's different here?

Look at the Elgin Coin Club Home Page for more information.

This Newsletter is the informal mouthpiece of the Elgin Coin Club. This Newsletter and its contents are copyrighted but you may use anything herein (accept as noted below) for non-commercial use as long as you give credit to the Elgin Coin Club Newsletter. This blanket permission does not extend to articles specifically marked as copyrighted by the author of the article. In the latter case, you must get explicit written permission from the author either directly or through the Newsletter to use that material.