August, 1999
Year 6, Issue 8

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

Meeting 7:30pm, Wednesday, August 4
Talk and trading 7:00-7:30pm
VFW, 1601 Weld Road, Elgin, IL
Not a member? Come and join us anyway!

Just Announced: The Elgin Coin Club Newsletter
won second place in the American Numismatic Association
Best Local Publications Contest for 1999!

August Meeting
August Prizes
July Minutes
Board Meeting
Coin Statistics
Coin of the Month
Two Cent Piece

Water Used as Money
Index to other ECC Newsletter articles

August - Meeting Number 500

Mike Metras will be moderating the program for the Elgin Coin Club 500th meeting. We will be reviewing aspects of the Elgin Coin Club history, the history of coin collection, and the world as it unfolded during our 42 years. Come ready to participate. Bring along your piece of our history.

In honor of the 500th meeting, we have two membership prizes and several special raffle prizes (listed above, and more). All will be given away. All guests will also receive a door prize. And all present will receive a special giveaway commemorating the 500th meeting. Do not miss this meeting.

Bring along something for show and tell. What goodie have you acquired during this summer?

August Prizes

July Minutes

ECC Meeting 499 - July 7, 1999
Opened:around 7:50
Closed:around 8:50

President Doug Nelson called the 499th meeting of the Elgin Coin Club to order around 7:45.

Secretary's Report

Jennifer wasn't at the meeting so Mike Metras took the minutes. June's minutes were accepted as published.

New Member

We have a new member. Mike Metras sponsored and the club accepted Ken Frick of Aurora. Welcome, Ken.

Treasurer's Report

Don Cerny was on vacation. Mike was supposed to give the numbers but forgot to bring the notebook with the numbers to the meeting, so they were not reported. They are, however, listed in the box at the beginning of the minutes.

New Member

We have a new member. Mike Metras sponsored and the club accepted Ken Frick of Aurora. Welcome, Ken.

Show Committee

No report.

Old Business


New Business

Roger Bear reported that Gloria Rovelstad is out of the hospital but still sick at home. We wish her well. Roger suggested a card and Doug asked Roger to send her one in the name of the club. Roger is doing so.


Jim Davis gave a fine talk summarizing the design of the United States coinage of this century. He started with the radical changes to the 20 and 10 dollar gold coins and ended with the new quarters and the dollar that will move us into the next century. Thanks Jim for the very informative talk. We all enjoyed it.

July Prize Winners
Membership: Ken Frick
YN: Shea Finnigan
Raffle winners: Don Eckel (times 2), Ken Frick, Clay Hagemann, Jerry Ransom, Josh Barnell

We gave away the prizes listed in the box and adjourned the meeting around 8:50.

Submitted by Mike Metras for Secretary Jennifer Schulze

Board Meeting

Don Cerny, Jim Davis, Doug Nelson, and Mike Metras got together July 21 at Don's for the board meeting.

We finalized plans for the 500th meeting.

Don noted that Shea Finnigan donated the YN prize back to the club.

Jim Davis reported that he had visited Gloria Rovelstad and that she had donated several proofs and medals to the club. Thank you, Gloria.

We renewed our membership in the ANA.

Coin Statistics

While looking back through earlier editions of the Newsletter, I came across the following items concerning our coins. The first two are from my 1994 Minting Process class during the ANA Summer seminars. The last is from a 5/94 Numismatic News item.

Productions Cost

It cost the following to produce $10 in each of the following coins in July, 1994:

Number of Reeds

The reeds on the dime, quarter, and half are counted exactly:

One Pound

How many coins make up an avoirdupois pound (our standard pound of 16 ounces)?

Coin of the Month
Two Cent Piece

Source:  Reed, Cowles
Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. Coins. The short-lived two cent piece was created by the coinage act of April, 1846. This is our first bronze coin (95% copper and 5% zinc and tin) and the first with the motto "In God We Trust." The same coinage legislation changed the Indian cent to bronze from the much heavier copper nickel it had been for five years.

Laurel branches and a shield standing in front of two arrows dominates the obverse. The motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" is written into a flowing ribbon on the top. A wreath of wheat grains dominates the reverse.

The shield nickel, first issued just two years later, has a similar shield. James Longacre designed both. The shield was probably a symbol for liberty at that time close to the end of the Civil War--the military shield of the mother country saving the Union.

These two cent pieces, along with the ever more numerous cents, were designed to fill the change shortage caused because everyone horded silver and gold during the war. In fact, cents were often wrapped and exchanged in roll quantities because there was no other change. Perhaps to discourage this, or perhaps simply to define their value, the same 1864 legislation established that cents were legal up to 10 cents and two cents up to 20 cents.

1864 and 1865 accounted for almost 34 million of the about 45 million two cent pieces minted between 1864 and 1873 when they were discontinued. On a small budget? You could probably put together a full date set (save the 1873--proof only) in fine condition for less than $20 each (some much less than $20).

In its day 2› would buy a newspaper. I still have one my grandmother gave me when I first started collecting coins.

The major varieties are the large and small motto versions of the 1864. But there are number of overdates, double dies, and minor die variations making the series a candidate for an interesting study.

I have always had a hard time recognizing the difference between the 1864 large and small varieties. Kevin Flynn in his Getting Your Two Cents Worth lists 11 additional differences between the two varieties. The following table lists the major differences, Flynn's, and a couple others I have used in the past.

Motto Small Large
Motto smaller letters larger letters
Letters in motto D of GOD and 2nd T of TRUST slightly eschew (tilted counter- clockwise) all letters rotated in accordance with flow of motto
T in Trust close to ribbon farther away
Left arrow feathers 3 left
5 right
3 left
4 right
Right arrow feathers 5 left
4 right
4 left
3 right
Cherries in lower left leaves 2 1
Tip of right leaf in lower left leaves hidden visible
leaves below left banner tip 3 2 with different stem sizes
banner tips curved straighter
first leaf of left side of shield rounded pointed
Leaves under left arrow below IN of motto 4 with 2 touching the banner 3 with none touching banner
stem on leaves below TRUST short longer
Leaves below TRUST 6 6 but 4th and 6th (from top) different size
Leaves under arrow on right first touches banner first does not touch banner


Water Used as Money

In his continuing search of the New York Times, Jim Davis came up with an intriguing fact in the 12/29/35 edition.

It seems that water was in such demand in central Australia that year that it was used as a medium of exchange. Here is the entire article:

So save a corner of your numismatic storage area for a bottle of 1935 Australian water.

Visit the Elgin Coin Club Home Page or our Connections page for more information about the club.

Click here for an index to articles in other on-line Elgin Coin Club Newsletters

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 (c) 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.