April, 1998

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

Meeting 7:30pm, Wednesday, April 1
Talk and trading 7:00-7:30pm
VFW Post 1307
1601 Weld Road
Elgin, IL
Not a member?
Come and join us anyway!

This Month at a Glance

April Meeting
March Minutes
Board Meeting
Advertisers Receive Letters
National Coin Week
Kermit Needs Help
A Little of This
    A Little of That

Coin of The Month -- New Eritrean Coins

April Meeting

This month we will have our semi-annual White Elephant Sale. All proceeds go to the club treasury. The sale's success is based on what you donate Please bring some things that will make more than one of your neighbors' eyes look with envy so that they think and have to have them.

Since we did not have the tickets for the Super Raffle ready for the March meeting, we moved the raffle up to May in order to give you a chance to sell a few extra tickets to friends between April and May.

Bring along some show and tell.

April Prizes

March Minutes

ECC Meeting 483
March 4, 1998
Opened:around 7:45
Closed:around 8:50

President Doug Nelson called the 483nd meeting of the Elgin Coin Club to order around 7:45pm at the VFW.

Secretary's Report

The minutes were accepted as published with the exception of my spelling of Jim Clevenger's name--it starts with a "C" not a "K." Sorry, Jim. All the Greek influence in my past life made me do it.

Joe Miller, who had a first reading in February, was not at the meeting, so we did not have his second reading.

We welcomed four visitors Tom and Diana Johnson, Roger's Wife Barb, and Charles Lindman. Come back again.

Treasurer's Report

Don gave us the numbers in the box and you accepted them.

Old Business

Marty K. asked about the response to the time- capsule inquiry letter I had sent to the ANA. I reported that Mr. Swiatek said that our contribution was in the time capsule to be opened in 2091 and that he expected he would not be around at that time. David Jones said that the "time capsule" is actually a safe in the museum.

We talked for a while about sharing books as I mentioned in the March Newsletter. Among opinions expressed were the fear that books would be lost, not returned, or just kept by the borrower. We left it with the fact that any exchange would have to be between individuals with open eyes. I mentioned that I would be willing to maintain lists. But in reality, if you have books, you should keep your own list (i'll be glad to help).

Roger reported that April 19-25 is National Coin Week. He said that he could get on the radio again but he would like help. Marty K. volunteered to help.

Marty also asked about what we might want to do--give out coins or what. We talked about this more at the board meeting (see below for details).

I once again said I'd get out a press release to the local papers about the club's activity in general and the National Coin Week in particular.

I reminded the members of the Chicago International Coin Fair and the Chicago Coin Club's meeting there March 14.

We took break here and sold raffle tickets.

Personal Histories

Roger Bear, as program chairman described a mini-program he wants to do each month--histories of each member. Each one will speak for five minutes or so at the meeting, one person per meeting. Roger started this month by describing his history.


Roger Bear gave a talk on preserving and storing coins. Among the items he mentioned were

Whatever you use, you have to keep the coins in a cool dry environment, because even the best of containers can leak the outside environment into the coins.

Marty uses Cointainers, little plastic capsules that hold the coins. These let him even put his coins in soft flips for long periods with no problems.

Marty also mentioned silicone gel as a means of keeping moisture out of packages with coins.

Concerning cleaning, Roger mentioned acetone as a good quick cleaner. But be careful: acetone is poisonous... always use it only with good ventilation and ware protective gloves. You can also use the acetone to seal plastic.

Jewel luster is good but be quick with it.

From here several people on the floor got into the discussion and we had a truly great exchange--just what should be happening at a coin club meeting.

Jim Davis mentioned that you can use the silver stop solution (the last bath used for printing black and white pictures) to clean coins.

Another mentioned using ultra sound.

Shampoo was mentioned but we were cautioned not to use it (I do not remember why--was it sulphur in it?)

MS-70, a commercial cleaning product was mentioned.

A product called Blue Ribbon was mentioned as a cleaning product that left a protective silicon covering on circulated coins. [editor's note: I thought we were trying to get all foreign matter off the coin, so why this?]

Roger mentioned that we should always wear plastic or surgical gloves whenever we use these chemicals because these chemicals can come in through the skin.

At the end Roger said that when in doubt, you should always consult an expert whenever you are not sure what to do to clean your coins. [That expert will tell you, "Don't!"]

[Editor's note again: I feel compelled to emphasize here that whenever you use these chemicals or anything like them to clean your coins, do not do so lightly. They can be and often are very dangerous to your health (to say nothing for what they can do to your coins). Never use them in closed quarters without abundant ventilation and always use protective eye glasses and gloves.]

Show and Tell

Marty K. had a round, pill-shaped, brass carrier or container about a foot high. You could remove its sides. It looked like something from the last century. He was looking for ideas as to what it was. The only viable guess was that it might have been a carrier for carrying hot coals to keep your feet (or whole self) warm in some remote part of the house.

Marty also showed his wonderful two cent collection again for all to oooo and aaaaa over. I do like them, Marty.

I showed the Eritrean Nakfa notes and their security features I described in the Newsletter last month.

February Prize Winners
Membership: Marty K
YN: Alex F and Mike C
Raffle winners: Al M, Jerry R, Roger B, Mike C, Harry W
Door: Mark F, Barb B, Tom H, Harry W, and Jim C

Finally, we drew for membership and raffle prizes. The winners listed in the box. Doug closed the meeting around 8:50.

Submitted by Mike Metras

Board Meeting

Don Cerny, Jim Davis, Doug Nelson and I got together at Don's March 18 in the evening for a board meeting.

We agreed to move the Super Raffle to May because the tickets were not ready for the March meeting. This gives you all a chance to go out and sell a few in your communities between April and May.

Roger has John Wilson coming down to present the May program. Because of this, we have to move the normal membership auction to June--I would not be able to publish any coins for the auction if we had it in April.

And then we had to deal with the White Elephant Auction, normally held in June. July was not a good time--too many not at that meeting. August was too late. So April it is. Please bring something really outrageous (but wanted by someone else) and make this a fun thing as it always is.

We decided that for National Coin Week we are going to ask each of you to go to your local banks and get half dollars and two dollar bills and spend them during that week. I will be getting out press releases announcing this. See the article later in the Newsletter for details.

We received a late ballot for the Central States Numismatic Society's election. We voted for Kermit Wasmer and Brian Fanton for board members. We did not know others running or they were running uncontested.

We chose the coin prizes for April's meeting and closed the meeting after much coin talking.

Advertisers Receive Letters

I sent out letters to all advertisers whose cards are listed in the Newsletter and on the internet site. The letters thanked some for their continued support this year and asked others if they wanted to continue to support us this way again this year. I also sent letters to a few additional potential supporters.

National Coin Week

As mentioned under the board meeting minutes, we decided that for National Coin Week we are going to ask each of you to go to your local banks and get half dollars and two dollar bills and spend them during that week. This gives you the opportunity to get some of these seldom used items into circulation and (here's the point) to tell the clerk that this is National Coin Week, a week to look more closely at the coins and paper money we use every day.

At the same time, if they show even slight interest, you can tell them we have an Elgin Coin Club where they can come and learn more. This way we actively promote studying and collecting and the club.

If you choose to give out wheat cents, too, that's fine--but our aim is to arouse interest and curiosity, not to give away things to hold on to. Remember, we are about the knowledge as much as, and even more than, these disks of metal and pieces of paper.

Kermit Needs Help

Who's Kermit? Well, Mr. Kermit Wasmer, the president of the Illinois Numismatic Association (ILNA), is now the general chairman for the 1999 World's Fair of Money, the ANA's 108th Anniversary Convention, to be held at the Rosemont Convention Center on August 11-15, 1999.

Kermit needs help. We received a letter from Donn Pearlman asking anyone who has the time and inclination to help with planning and preparations for this important (and last ANA convention in the 1900s) to contact Kermit at 325 Coney Ave., Watseka, IL, 60970. You can also call him at 815-432-4636.

I'll have Donn's letter at the meeting for you to read.

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

By Dennis A. Kwas

Look! Out of a cloud of dust, rising higher and higher, awaking from a long, long sleep. Everyone waiting for this day! Yes, Silver has come alive. OOPS, sorry about that, I guess the day has not come yet.

Well, it was a good dream made people happy, if only for a while. Yes, the price did go up last month, it also came down last month. But there is a bright side to this. The bright side is people, people coming back out to see what all the fuss was. What did Mr. Buffetts' buying of 130 million troy ounce purchase of silver do?

It brought out people. The NOISE Show in Westmont, IL (3rd Sunday of each month) was a bee hive of activity. Something strange was happening, people where buying coins. Some where buying silver bars. There were more 100 oz. Silver bars there then I have seen at a local coin show in the last 6+ years.

Coin dealers where happy, I was happy, and most of the customers were happy. It seems to me there was still carry over to the Lemont Show (1st Sunday of each month) in Lemont, IL. With the price of silver slipping, there still was activity at the March NOISE show. Good sign.

The upturn in silver price brought a lot of silver to the melting pot, but it also brought out collectors--collectors who have not been out for years. They wanted to see what was going on and some where buying and asking questions. Maybe they will catch the fever and come back to the collecting world of coins.

A note to you coin dealers, with the collectors coming out slowly at this time, don't push them back into hiding. Do not lose a new customer or better yet a new friend--both are hard to come by.

Roger Bear, great job at our March club meeting. Roger, as we all know who were there, gave a great talk on how to clean and care for your coins--both short and long term coin care were discussed. I think we all learned something.

Marty also brought up as part of the discussion, putting your coins (after you put them in a proper holder) in a zip lock plastic bag for storage. This will helps keep the coin in saver environment. Good information.

We all have our thoughts on what holder to keep our coins in. Over all the best may be the cheapest--the cardboard holders with only a mylar lining touching the coin. This is the one you staple. I did not say it was the best, but the best overall for the money for sorting and cataloging your coins. This gives one time to work with their coins until they decide how they want to store them or how they want to display them. If there are 2 people discussing coin storage there are 3 options.

Coin of the Month
New Eritrean Coins

Coins or Eritrea(Click here to enlarge)

Following on last month's introduction of the new Eritrean paper money and the security measures taken to prevent counterfeiting, this month introduces Eritrea's new coins.

Until now Eritrea has been using Ethiopian coins as it gets onto its feet after independence in May, 1993. It has had some non- circulating Pobjoy mint animal coins designed to pull in money but no real useable coins of its own.

Now it has 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 cent coins all made of nickel clad steel.

The reverse of each says "Liberty Equality Justice" around patriots setting the Eritrean flag on a hill. Animals (not all indigenous?) stand on the front of the coins surrounded by the "Words State of Ethiopia" and the denomination. All words are in English.

All except the one cent have reeded edges. Each reeding pattern has a considerably different density. The 25 cent coin has alternate reeding and flat edge.

Thank you for indulging me on introducing the coins and paper money of my second country, the place where I lived for two years in my youth.

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.