August, 1998

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

Meeting 7:30pm, Wednesday, August 5
Talk and trading 7:00-7:30pm
VFW Post 1307
1601 Weld Road
Elgin, IL
Not a member?
Come and join us anyway!

August Meeting
August Prizes
July Minutes
July Program - Other Hobbies
Board Meeting
Coin of the Month -
  The Byzantine Follis

August Meeting

For August's program I will report on the ANA Summer Seminar. An awful lot of things went on in the week of July 11 to 17: classes, bull sessions, side trips, the ever popular YN auction, and many more. I'll tell you about them all and then some.

And as always, bring along some show and tell. Do you remember we used to have dealers set up a few things for sale before the meeting? Dealers and members, you are both free to do that before any meeting.

August Prizes

July Minutes

ECC Meeting 487
July 1, 1998
Opened:around 7:35
Closed:around 8:30

President Doug Nelson called the 487th meeting of the Elgin Coin Club to order around 7:35pm at the VFW.

Secretary's Report

The minutes were accepted as published with these corrections:

Treasurer's Report

Don and his family were on vacation up north so I was supposed to give this report. I had left the numbers on my desk so I couldn't give them to you at that time. They are now in the box on the previous page.

Show Report

Jim and Jerry reported they are getting things moving for the show and that we already have sold six tables for the show. Jerry was going to pass out applications at the Sunday show in Lemont.

Old Business

There was none.

New Business

Roger reported that Bob Hackbarth, a former member and president (in '81, '82, and '83) had died. He was a true collector of everything. The club sent flowers. Roger also said that the family has a video of his life from 2 years old onward. He said members were invited to contact the family to see the video if they so wish. Bob was host to the "biggest pizza parties the club ever had" according to one comment.

We broke to sell $58 in raffle tickets.

Program - Other Hobbies

Roger B had his collection of turn-of-the-century picture post cards. The early ones were made in Germany because the Germans were the only ones who could do decent color reproduction. The World War brought an end to that production.

David J had a collection of Emmit Kelly figurines done by Frambro[sp?]. But David also gave us a treat by bringing his fabulous type collection of US coins (not other hobby, but thanks a lot for sharing it with us, David.)

Rich E brought Riverview Park things. To illustrate that Riverview was a life-long experience for him, he started with a picture of his dad on a wooden horse there in 1917 and then Rich himself on the same horse in 1947. He went to school just down the road at Lane Tech and even met his wife at the roller rink in Riverview.

Rich's collection included Riverview glasses, tokens, tickets, pennants, and later reproductions. He had a reproduction of the Constitution of the US, given out by Mayor Thompson. He told of a Ralph Lopez who, after Riverview closed, bought a garage full (really!) of Riverview tickets and is still framing and selling them. Riverview closed in 1967.

One of my other hobbies is language. I described how it is interesting and intriguing to be able to read coins of other nations and understand what the are saying. Beyond coins other languages open new patterns of thinking, other ways of looking at the universe we live in. For example we say of a person in the river "The man in the river" while Greeks say "the in the river man." I told of the words "ruah elohim" in the beginning of the bible and how when it is translated you can use only two words and those are usually "spirit of God." And yet, when you read it in Hebrew you are privy to the other nuances of the words that include "mighty wind," "mighty fart," "godly wind," and "godly fart." All together they translate to a situation when great wind and sulfur smell were blowing things all over in no order what so ever. Now that's so much more than simply "spirit of God." I ended up teaching you all to count from one to ten in Swahili (moja, mbili, tatu, nne, tano, sita, saba, nane, tisa, kumi).
July Prize Winners
Membership: Mike M
YN: No YNs attended
Raffle winners: Joe M, Harry W, Don E, Mike M
Door: Jim D, Marty K, Bill S, Mike M

Finally we drew for prizes. The winners are listed in the box. Doug closed the meeting about 8:30.

Submitted by Mike Metras

Board Meeting

Don Cerny, Doug Nelson, Jim Davis, Jim Clevenger and I got together at Don's July 22 in the evening for a board meeting.

We discussed advertising for the annual show. The ads with the Krause publications and the Numismatist are already submitted. We'll also take out a three-week ad in the Coin World and put one in the Elgin paper.

We discussed asking for a place on the club table during the ILNA/CSNS show in Harvey Sep 11-13 but then found out later that there will be no room for clubs this year other than a place to put some fliers. All the tables were sold to dealers.

We are planning on having a youth auction again this year at the show.

We also talked about programs for the coming months. I am on deck for August. If Roger does not have something for September, Denise recorded a great NOVA program that describes very well the whys, wherefores, and hows of the design and execution of the new currency. We will use that for a program soon. As is our norm, October will be White Elephant month and November member coin auction time.

Coin of the Month The Byzantine Follis

When we Westerners think of the fall of Rome to the barbarians in 476 with the death of Romulus Agustus, we think this is the end of the Roman Empire. That is not at all so. The Roman Empire continued as a flourishing society in the East until May 29, 1453, when Constantine IX was killed by the Turks under Mohammed II. It lasted almost a full 1000 years longer. They called themselves "Romans" from the beginning when Constantine I founded "New Rome," renaming the old city of Byzantium. The people began to call it Constantinople, "Constantine's City," from the beginning. It is still called that.

The coins of the Roman Empire after Constantine I got to be smaller and smaller and poorer and poorer quality. By the time of the fall of the West they were pitiful. In 498 Anastasius I (491- 518) created a new standard for the coins of the East.

40 Nummi (Follis) of Anastasius I

The new standard copper coin kept its old popular name, follis. But is was now technically 40 nummi. And it was much larger. 7,200 of the new nummi were equal to the new gold solidus (4.43 grams).

There were also half, quarter, and eighth follis coins, 20, 10, and 5 nummi.

Besides being much larger coins than the old ones, these new coins actually had their denominations on them so those using them no longer had to guess at their denomination. The Greeks used letters for numbers (in a way similar to the roman numerals we still use). A=1, B=2, E=5, I=10, K=20, L=30, and M=40. So the follis had a large M on the reverse to indicate it was valued at 40 nummi. The half follis had a large K, the quarter, a large I, and the eighth, a large E.

Later there were several other denominations with the mint of Alexandria in Egypt favoring denominations divisible by 3 (like 12=IB and 6=S) and the mint of Thesolonika favoring those divisible by 4 (like 8=H and 16=IS).

In 512 Anastasius did a rather astounding thing. He doubled the size of the copper coins so that each denomination had twice the amount of copper as it used to have, making it closer to its intrinsic value.

40 Nummi (Follis) of Justin I (518-527) - Large Standard

All these copper coins were extensively used in commerce. The ones you can get always look crude and are in poor condition. But they are tangible contact with a flourishing society that lasted 1000 years after the fall of the western Rome.

And you have a chance to win one in the raffle this month. This one is of Justin I who reigned from 518-527.

As time passed the follis got smaller and was again rejuvenated in the 9th century. The denomination was removed from the reverse to be replaced in turn by words and then icons of Christ and the Virgin.

The following coin of Leo III (886-912) says on the reverse: "Leo, in God, King of the Romans."

40 Nummi (Follis) of Leo III

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