Reno Cartwheel
May 2012

Next Meeting:

Tuesday, 1st of May 7:30 PM
Carrow’s Restaurant
605 N. Wells Avenue (Wells and 6th), Reno, NV

May ANA’s “Change in Money: Cowries to Credit Cards.”
We will present ANA’s National Coin Week program on the origins of coins and the manipulation of cash and credit.

June My Favorite Coin and Pizza
Bring an old or new favorite coin to share. We will have pizza!

July Mini-Bourse
Bring coins to sell or trade. (I know I've a bunch of duplicate ancients.)

August History of Coin Press #1 at the Old Carson Mint & Its Modern Medal Production
Ken Hopple will give us the history of the 1876 press still minting at the Nevada State Museum and bring a selection of the
medals produced there. Also a good time to start planning our 30th anniversary medal (which is also Nevada's 150th
anniversary, 2014).  

At The Last Meeting
28  members were in attendance for the Merena and Bowers VHS, but the sound was too low and I will have to mess with the
tape to see if the sound can be improved. The board approved getting new dollars and quarters from the Mint. The first batch
of Chester Arthur dollars and Chaco quarter both P and D are here. They will be at the May 1 meeting God willing. I will be
returning the Scottsdale and my father’s 80th birthday, so there should be no problems, except we will be crossing the Alien

                                                 Chaco  P or D .50
                                                 Chester Arthur P or D $1.25

Early Bird Prize was a lucky horseshoe penny won by Ken Hopple.

Raffle prizes winners were:
Bob Wagner: 1910 Barber .50
Rick DeAvilla: Idaho $2 bill, 1956 proof penny, 1941 D .05
Leo Rossow: 1976 Ike proof, 1968 proof set
Jerry Breedlove: Franklin mint 50 state coins in
mystery box, 1967 .50
Thomas Charleton: 1927 S nickle
Gary Dahlke: Coins of the Comstock
Breanna Baldridge: 1981 proof .50, 1970 S proof .25
Troy Young: 2 $1 Andrew Jackson, 50 states quarter album
Ken Hopple:2 $1 Zachary Taylor
Bart Daniels: NV Commemorative medal, 1999 NJ .25 proof
Jack Gruhler: 1981 S proof penny


Quarter Pot

Shannon Holmes won the quarter pot, about $15 and he was there to collect.


Fred Holabird wanted to remind everyone that the club’s large library is house by him at 3555 Airway Drive #308 (around back
as Holabird Americana). Call ahead 852-8822.

Upcoming Coin Shows

April 28th, VFW Post 1900 Coin & Stamp Show
Veterans Memorial Bldg. , 293 Seminary Ave., Ukiah Bourse Chair: Karl Caukwell, 707-621-0998, Admission $1, Kids under
12 free

May 5 Sacramento Valley Coin Club Show
Elks Lodge, 6446 Riverside Blvd., 9AM-5PM. Admission $2, under 18 FREE Website:

May 6 Vallejo Numismatic Society Show
Veteran’s Memorial Bldg, 420 Admiral Callaghan Lane Bourse Chair: Harry Davis, 707-642-0216

May 19-20 Carson City Downtown Coin Club Annual Coin Show, 10-5 Sat, 10-4 Sun
Carson City Nugget, 507 N. Carson, Admission $2.  Bourse Chair: Dan Wilson, 775-883-4653,

June 10 Sacramento Coin Show
Red Lion Inn, 1401 Arden Way, Sacramento Bourse Chair: Peter McIntosh, 916-317-9055,,
Admission $2

RCC Officers
David Elliott….......... President….......…815-8625
Rusty King..............Vice President......... 673-6745
Doug Larson............Past President..........843-0162
Gerald Breedlove........Treasurer..............425-2967
Andre Azzam ..............Secretary….........338-0707
Dan Waterman…..........Director…......…747-4380
Ed Waselewski.........…Director…......…354-0287
Ken Hopple ....…..........Director..............677-1544
Bob Wagner..................Director..............3781022
Paul Williams…..........ANA Rep.............720-5395
David Elliott...................Editor................815-8625,

The RCC Board meets the 3rd  Tuesday of the month at Carrow’s at 7:30PM. Everyone is invited to attend.

If there is a topic you would like to see please let a board member know. Someone in the club knows all    

The Other Coin: ANA National Coin Week’s “Change in Money: Cowries to Credit Cards”

This year’s National Coin Week theme is one I already display at the State Museum. I have Sumerian shell money from 3500
BC and a cowry shell, popular through Africa and the East as small change. Indeed the Chinese went on to make cowries out
of bone, then bronze as small change, before they made cast bronze knives, hoes, and finally the cash coin. In the West lumps
of metal were currency. I have a lump of bronze(Roman Coin #1), an As in weight, and pictures of lumps of silver found in a
pot that were shekels (shekel weight). The shekel in the Old Testament, what Abraham paid for Sarah’s tomb, looked just like
the silver below.

 The Greeks made cast bronze coins in the shape of dolphins and arrow heads and the Celts made cast bronze small change in
beads, bells, wheels, and rings. Lumps of electrum (naturally occurring nuggets of silver and gold) were marked and stamped
in Asia Minor (now Turkey) in late 8th and first part of the 7th century BC as coinage until King Croesus of Lydia refined gold
and silver making coins in a variety of denominations of gold and silver stamped with confronting heads of a bull and lion.


The innovation quickly spread to the Ionian Greeks, Greek Islands, Cyprus, and when Cyrus of Persia conquered Lydia and
Croesus in c. 546BC, the Persian Empire quickly adopted coins. Bronze coins were introduced in the 6th century BC about 75
years after gold and silver for small change in the markets. The rest is history. Masterpieces of sculpted art were made by
Greek and Persians and money greatly increased world commerce. Romans in late 4th BC, early 3rd BC adopted coinage from
their Southern Italy Greek neighbors to pay mercenaries in silver coin made in Greek mints for them. Romans then issued
lumps, bars and cast bronze coins in various weights. They adopted silver and gold coinage when they defeated the
Carthaginians in the First Punic War (264-241BC).
Coinage spread throughout the Classical world. Alexander the Great introduced coinage to India, although Indians were already
stamping little square bars with various images as coinage, they quickly adopted round coinages with kings, elephants and gods.


       The standard for  international coinage went from the Aegina turtle to the Athenian owl, Persian Daric and siglos, Tyre
stater, Alexander’s drachm.  then Roman denarius, Byzantine solidus, Venetian Florin and Arabic dinar to British pound and
American dollar.

Governments quickly found out, probably first in Athens that issued silver plated bronze owls while besieged in the
Peloponnesian War (431-404BC), that coins could be valued at whatever the government declared by fiat. Bronze market coins
often became fiat coins (coins whose value was set by the issuing authority) with various amounts of bronze coins
exchangeable for silver, which traded at bullion weight value. Occasionally copper or bronze coins were created to be valued
as bullion, leading to massive coins of 100s of grams. The standard international silver or gold coin became such as the issuer
guaranteed weight and purity of the coin. As soon as the coinage became fiat coinage without reference to its metal content a
whole new world was created with devastating results.
The devastation of fiat money came to the Roman Empire beginning with Emperor Nero. He was the first to debase with 98%+
silver denarius, which became a habit of emperors following him:  

Inflation outran even the debasement of coinage and destroyed the Roman economy reaching 1 million percent by the time of
Diocletian (301AD) when the silver content of the denarius dropped to less than 3%, simply a wash on coins and tariffed for
21 denarii by fiat. When fiat money replaces bullion, inflation taxes everyone, especially hurting the savers, property owners,
and workers. Paper money is the ultimate fiat money.          
The Chinese invented paper money to move large sums quickly rather than cartloads of silk or cash coins. The first mention of
paper money is in the 10th  C. AD, but Chinese paper money only survives from the 13th century, so the earlier date is not
confirmed. Paper money brings up the problems of credit.
Bullion coins were valued at weight, just like the earlier lumps of metal. For example, in 1928 you could buy a gallon of gas for
a silver quarter. The silver quarter has about $5 worth of silver today, so you could still buy a gallon of gas. However, your $5
bill is worth about a quarter, and almost all commodities have increased in cost about 2000% since 1928. Fiat money can
expand the economy and put value on small amounts of goods, like bronze coins did in the ancient world, if used sparingly and
carefully and tied to bullion, hence our gold and silver backed paper money in the past. An economy based only on fiat money
should not increase the money supply any faster that the increase in goods and services the country produces. Otherwise,
runaway inflation will result and the economy will be destroyed as it was in Germany in the 1920's, Turkey in the 1980s,
Russia in the 1990s, and the European Union is now col-lapsing under debt and credit. We have been increasing the money
supply and debt at trillions of dollars with a few computer key strokes. Our debt and money supply has already surpassed the
percentages that collapsed the Greek economy. The devaluing of the dollar in just the last 3 years has doubled gasoline, medical
care, my macaroni and cheese dinner, gold, almost any real commodity. Without careful management of the economy we
appear to be following in the footsteps of Rome and other European countries.
Please bring non-perishable food for the food bank.
Numismatically yours, David Elliott

Numismatic Potpourri
A nice follow-up to fiat money and inflation discussed above is Canada’s ending the cent coin this year as it costs 1.6 cents to
produce. Our mint is considering using steel or some less expensive metal or alloy for the cent. The metal and production
prices have risen as the value of our fiat money has become less and less due to reckless increases in money supply and debt

                                                                      In January, at the Original Hobo Nickel Society’s sale
                                                                      in Orlando, a 5-cent piece carved by Bert Weigand sold for $13,750.

These nickels are quite a popular collector’s items often given or left as a thank you by the unemployed wandering men during
the Depression when given shelter or a meal. The carvings both front and back can be very elaborate.
I’m excited about the new Native American dollar to be issued April 26th. It is a spectacular design with and Indian in war
bonnet before a horse and other horses in the background. Let me know if you want some and I will order 20 rolls to sell at
$30 a roll or or $1.25 a piece. Neat coin.   

Finally, I learned that there is such a thing as a O over CC Morgan dollar. Some 12 million of them. Evidently Carson
reverse dies were made and not used, so shipped to New Orleans creating the unusual coin. In VG-8 the 1900-O/CC is $37.50.
In MS-60 it lists for $285, while an MS-65 is at $1,850.