October, 1998

1st Place Outstanding Local Publication
American Numismatic Association 1995, 1996, and 1997

Meeting 7:30pm, Wednesday, October 8
Talk and trading 7:00-7:30pm
VFW, 1601 Weld Road, Elgin, IL
Not a member? Come and join us anyway!
October Meeting
October Prizes
September Minutes
Board Meeting
Raffle Tickets
ANA 1999 Show Chairmen
ANA Summer Seminar July 1998 - Part 2

October Meeting

The October program will be our semi-annual White Elephant Sale for the club's treasury benefit. Bring and donate whatever you think two or more members attending would be willing to bid for. This is a fun day. How about a real white elephant this time? We haven't had one for a while.

Bring along some show and tell. Remember you can set up a few things for sale before the meeting if you want.

November is membership auction night. Please bring a list of anything for sale you'd like to have published in the November Newsletter for your potential buyers to preview. Please use the form at the end of this Newsletter.

October Prizes

September Minutes

ECC Meeting 489
September 2, 1998
Opened:around 7:45
Closed:around 9:20

President Doug Nelson called the 489th meeting of the Elgin Coin Club to order around 7:45pm at the VFW.

Secretary's Report

The minutes were accepted as published.

I pointed out two errors on the show raffle tickets: 1997 was overstamped to 1998; there are two second place prizes listed--the second is the third place prize.

Treasurer's Report

Don reported the numbers in the box and those present accepted them. The cost of the gold for the raffle is not included in the box figures.

Show Report

Jim Clevenger reported that 20 tables are sold for the show.

We will have a youth auction as last year. All donations will be happily accepted and Jim Davis can use any volunteer help.

We will have the give-away cent dishes for the YNs again.

Old and New Business

There was no new business. David J. asked about us helping as a club for the ANA convention in Rosemont next August. I said I would ask at the next Chicago CC meeting. I did and was told they will be accepting volunteers (with very open arms) on an individual basis this time. I have included a list of committee chairpersons in another part of this Newsletter. Please contact one or more of them directly if you want to help.

September Prize Winners
Membership: Margaret M
YN: Alyssa H, Mike C, Shane R
Raffle winners: Al M, Jim C, Clayton H, Mike C, Bruce, Jeniffer S
Door: Mike M, Don C, Jerry R, Mike C

We sold tickets and drew for prizes before the long program so those wanting to leave early could do so. The winners are listed in the box.

Program - NOVA Currency

We watched a great video describing the whys, wherefores, and hows of the new redesigned currency. Thanks to Denise for noticing the NOVA program and recording it for us. Doug closed the meeting about 9:15.

Submitted by Mike Metras

Raffle Tickets

We have all the prizes for the show raffle. Now let's all get out there and try to sell as many tickets as we can. We did very well last year...but our top ticket seller of last year is no longer with us. Who is going to step up and replace him? We're not putting a quota out there for each because when that happens, that is the day that I sell none because this is my hobby and no one tells me what I have to do with my hobby. Rather we just ask you to sell a some for the good of your club. Thanks so much for your effort. Jim Davis has more tickets if you need any.

Helping During ANA 1999 Convention

Several have expressed interest in helping with the ANA Convention show at Rosemont August 11-15, 1999. Kermit Wasmer sent the following list of contacts if you want to help.

Board Meeting

Don Cerny, Doug Nelson, Jim Davis, Jim Clevenger and I got together at Don's September 19 in the evening for a board meeting.

We spent the majority of time talking about the show. Everything is basically set and ready to go. We only have 20 tables sold so far, but that was the same this time last year. And remember, we can use all the help you want to give us. [How's that for boiling 3/4 hours down to a couple sentences?]

We are going to try to get the same dinner arrangements this year as last for the December holiday meal meeting.

ANA Summer Seminar July 1998
Part 2

ANA Summer Seminar pewter metal desiged by Virgina Jansen and Ron Landis and struck by Gallery Mint Museum in Colorado Springs during the seminar. Virginia's side is the Eagle.

(c) Mike Metras

[Editor's note: This continues the narrative of day to day activity at the July 1998 ANA Summer Seminar started in last month's Newsletter (Click here to see it).]

Day three, Monday morning, July 13, began with breakfast at 7:30.

Cutting short any extended conversation at breakfast I headed for the ANA library when it opened at eight. Our class was to open in the library that morning and I Had a few coins to work with first. The library has an extensive circulating numismatic collection. Unlike the American Numismatic Society (ANS), which does not allow its books out of the library, any ANA member can borrow any circulating book in the library. All you have to do is pay the postage both ways.

All were there by 9:10 and our teacher, Chris, proceeded to identify and let us handle the primary resource books for Byzantine coinage and history. We sat in a circle on the floor (the tables were taken) and regressed 1500 years. But not for long, we headed back to the classroom at ten.

Back in the classroom we decided to break for lunch at 11:30 instead of the scheduled 11:45. That left us at the head of the lunch line. With everyone from the seminars getting out at the same time and three or four other groups also arriving at the line, waiting becomes a waste of good time. We just started class 15 minutes earlier in the afternoon.

In class Chris continued with history and coins. He showed many slides from his collection and then passed the real things around for us to look at and touch. One of our classmates brought his great collection along and filled holes where Chris had no coins to show.

Classes were out at four and another evening of events began. First Susan Nulty conducted a tour the ANA's internet sight. That group also saw the offices of the Numismatist and learned about its monthly publication tasks.

The library book sale reopened.

The YNs took the cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak. The weather appeared ideal from below. No one came back to tell me how it was up there (at 14,000+ feet).

A group of adults headed for the Royal Gorge, site of the world's highest suspension bridge. The last time I walked out on it my legs became close to rubber as a breeze set it swaying. I had to edge my way back to solid ground.

Two busses of fans set off in another direction, to Denver, to watch the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies. They returned late but they had fun.

We who stayed behind had another great dinner in the cafeteria. The food was really good and much too plentiful. Luckily, by this third night I was finally eating a little less.

Two slab buyers and a grading service grader began the first bull session at seven. The grader described how they grade. The buyers told of going to shows and buying already slabbed coins that they thought were under graded and then resubmitting them for regrading. Though they wouldn't say how much money they were making at this, they assured us that they were making a good living.

The question and answer session was not brutal, but it made the grader dance at times. "Do you give a technical grade or a market grade." "We give a technical grade." ...other questions... "If you receive, for example, a coin that you know is particularly 'hot' on the market now and the coin is high end MS63, close to 64, would you give it MS-64?" "Yes, we'd probably give it 64 because it is really in demand." Well, well, I saw a contradiction there--most others saw it too. I'm glad I was not standing in that grader's shoes.

I sat out on the flower bed wall, the general meeting place in front of the dorm, talking with my friend George during the next bull session, Anthony Swiatek's talk, "What Coins of Little Value in Your Collection Could Be Worth Hundreds or Thousands of Dollars without You Knowing it?"

George spent time in Japan after the war (WWII). He learned Japanese and Chinese and has become quite an expert on Chinese coins. He taught a seminar on them a couple years back. The class was scheduled again this year but it was canceled because too few signed up for it. His class was my third choice.

George and I had a cigar together in the fresh evening air as we wandered Far-eastern horizons and his current ANA museum tasks. He regularly volunteers at the ANA museum. Several others also help. Their help provides valuable assistance to a museum that cannot afford to hire the work done. At the same time the volunteers get a chance to work with material that they likely otherwise would never have an opportunity to handle.

Aimie and Steve McCabe were back for the late bull session with an extension of their internet starter course, "The Internet: Getting Started, EMail, ... and Everything Else You're Scared Of." And they had solved most of the irritating problems of the night before. Their working environment was fast and clean.

They not only showed how to make a web page. But they also uploaded that web page to the internet and accessed it right there in the room. The page included a picture of Helen taken right there in the room a few minutes before and of Brian who had recently given a talk. They did all this in a short hour.

The only confusing part of the process was their using a tool that they were not familiar with to create the web page. Actually they discovered a different web-page maker and tried it out on the spot. So they were learning as we were learning. I suggest that the next time they stick with the tools they know to make the process look less complex to the new guy on the block. But even with the experimentation, their presentation showed how really easy the whole task is.

Again we talked into the night of the internet, coins, the economy, language, weather, and tens of other things.

I was in bed early at 12:30. And there was morning and evening of the third day.

Day four, Tuesday, July 14. My alarm brought some radio country and western music to life at 7:05. I was up and showered and in the cafeteria by 7:45. I had intended to do some digging in the library before class, but conversations (much more interesting) got in the way and before I knew it, it was 8:50, time for class.

Chris told us of the imperial clothing rendered on Byzantine coins, things like the chlamys, a purple cloak; the colobian, a sleeveless outer tunic; the hamition, a different outer garment; and the mappa, a handkerchief dropped to begin the games. As he described each piece, Chris showed slides of coins depicting the garment. Later we handled the actual coins.

Before I forget, as I did earlier, we also had an Augustinian Priest in the class. So we were a well rounded group of youth, middle aged, retirees, an artist, and the clergy.

After learning of the clothes of the time, we progressed into the events. Although Constantine established the Eastern Roman Empire in 330 when he moved the capital to Byzantium and renaming it to "New Rome" (the people called it Constantinople--"Constantine's City"), it wasn't until Anastasius, the Monophysite, in 491 that we see the first truly "Byzantine" coins. But the coins themselves are the subject of another writing. This one is of the seminar in general.

Lunch was unexceptional. We broke at 11:30, ate, talked, walked back to Loomis hall (a block or so) for the exercise, checked the message box (nothing for me), walked back to the classroom, sat in the common room (an expansion of the hall), caught a couple winks, talked a bit, and went back to class at one. Most lunches went this way. Some times I went to nearby college computers to check into the internet.

History and coins filled the afternoon. The heavy lunch now and again took its toll--one time my eyes closed for a couple slides of solidi of Maurice Tiberius. But I saw them later as they made their circuit of the table. Such are the risks of such culinary plentitude.

Classes again closed at four and the evening of events began.

Susie Nulty conducted another tour the ANA's internet sight. The group also examined the Numismatist and its monthly publication tasks.

The library book sale reopened and a group of adults visited the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Museum a few hundred yards from the ANA building.

Many others attended a reception and showing of the works of the students taking the engraving class. These students are all accomplished artists who can only attend the class after a review of their works and acceptance by some board or person. When I have attended the reception (I couldn't this time), I have been duly impressed with fine sculpting, painting, and engraving. A couple years back, I commented to an artist that her medal of Einstein looked a lot like one a friend, Harry Flower, had commissioned some time before. She made a comment about the smallness of the world and said that, that was the very metal and that Harry had commissioned from her.

Others headed off for a "Western Chuck Wagon" dinner and cowboy entertainment at the Flying W ranch. This is one that I have neither attended nor ever talked with anyone who has. But if you like that sort of thing, it is there for the asking.

The YNs were treated to a skating party at Colorado College's skating rink. If they didn't want to do that, they were to do it anyway.

I joined a bus load headed for the mining town of Cripple Creek on the far side of Pikes Peak. This has been my perennial pilgrimage. No, gold mining is no longer the principal occupation of the inhabitants (though there are working gold mines there). Rather they now mine the pockets of the tourists (us). Some 16 or 21 "low-stakes" casinos dig into the pockets of anyone who cares to give away their money with a smile (or with anything else).

The $23 ticket included a 42-mile bus ride through spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountain scenery, a free dinner ($13 steak and beer), free drinks, about $7 in free coins, and free popcorn. All you have to do is bring your money for the tables and slot machines. Clay and I had fun walking among the lights, watching the people, and putting our coins in the one-armed bandits. I've always had fun there. And a couple years I've even come back with more coins than I went with, but not this time.

We got back around midnight. While we were gone, those still on campus had three bull sessions to attend: "Gold, Platinum, Silver, and Palladium: An Insider's Look" by Margaret Olsen; "Large Cents: Grading and Varieties" by Doug Bird; and "The Beauty and the Beast: Toning on Coins" by Bob Campbell.

I joined a group talking at the flower bed and didn't make it bed until 1:30. And there was morning and evening of the fourth day.

Day five, Wednesday, July 15. I ate a quick, early breakfast and headed to the library to do my homework. I had to prepare a report on Leo IV ("The Wise") who was emperor from 886-912. Leo was not a big empire maker but he finished the codification of laws that became the basics of medieval law.

By now the routine was established: class, lunch, class, dinner, evening activity. My classes were history and more coins. You can never get enough coins.

But this evening was different--no tours, adult or YN. The schedule makes this evening look deceptively uneventful. This was the evening of the YN benefit auction, known simply as the "YN auction." Nothing else was on the schedule.

Each year the ANA offers scholarships to young collectors ("young numismatists" (YN)) to attend the summer seminar. The YNs at the seminar organize and run an auction that provides funds for the following year's scholarships.

See November's Newsletter to find out about the great event of every Summer Seminar.

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

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