Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club

WBCC Newsmail 165, Volume 4, October 9, 1999
Composed with help from members of the
Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club (WBCC)
and weekly published by Martin Peeters, Netherlands,
Focal Point of the WBCC, martinp@westbrabant.net

Dear WBCC members and non WBCC members,

Every week I'm still surpriced there is news about Bi-metallics to report.
So please read this week WBCC Newsmail. I hope you enjoy reading it !!

1. A new WBCC member...by Martin Peeters, WBCC Focal Point

We have a new member. Let me introduce him to you:

Name:       Andrew Morozuk (WBCC member #147), Canada
E-mail:       mas88@sprint.ca
Age:          10
Proffesion: Student
Hobby:      Collecting coins from all around the world
Goal:        To get coins from all over the world
Against:    Sex tv

2. My new E-mail address..........by John Denham, USA

Please read my e-mail new address, John Denham (WBCC member #140)

3. Bi-metallic Ecu from Monaco....by Cliff Anderson, USA

In the WBCC Homepage, in the section
http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/7513/worldtokens/wbcctkns.htmlyou can
see a picture of a Bi-metallic Eco from Monaco. This comes from Coincraft
(UK) whose write-up says "The Rare Monaco Ecu in Bi-Metallic - Only 100
Struck!"  "As many of you know this crown sized Ecu was issued to honour
Monaco and had Montgolfier's Hot Air Balloon on it. The prices in Europe
became artificially high at one one time on these pieces, nothing I might
add, to do with me! [meaning Concraft]  But we are offering them to you at a
great price!  We can now offer you the incredible Bi-metallic Monaco Ecu,
with a mintage figure of just 100 pieces!  That's right, there were only 100
pieces struck of this scarce piece in Bi-metallic. Remember you have to fit
the two rings, one in side the other, by hand and then make sure that the
pressure is just right to fuse the two metals into one piece. These
Bi-metallic beauties are in Brilliant Uncirculated condition and with the
Euro coming shortly, I believe that more and more collectors will want to
complete the previous series, i.e. the Ecu."
The address of Coincraft is:
44 and 45 Great Russel Street
London, WC1B 3LU
Phone: (44) 0207-636-1188
Fax (44) 0207-323-2860

4. Bi-metallic 10 Markkaa 1999.........by Massimiliano Aiello, Italy

Refering to WBCC Newsmail 163, item 8, about the Gold/Silver 10 Markkaa 1999
for commemorating EU Presidency, The characteristics are as follows:
Design (obverse): Jarkko Roth
Design (reverse): Antti Neuvonen
Outer ring: Gold 750
Inner core: Silver 925
Diameter: 27,25 mm
Weight: 13,2 g
Maximum mintage: 3.000 pieces
The coin is sold out in Finland.
A picture can be seen in the WBCC Homepage,
http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/7513/wbcc/wbcc.html. You can see that
this coin is different from the same coin for the normal circulation. It's
like the Switzerland 5 Francs 1999 ESSAI Fete des Vignerons and the same for
the circulation.

5. Bi-metallic Mexico 1 Peso 1999...by Martin Peeters, Netherlands

This week I received from a Mexico WBCC member a Bi-metallic 1 Peso 1999.
This was new to me. There is also a Bi-metallic 5 Peso 1999 issued and
expected is the Bi-metallic 2 and 10 Pesos 1999 will be issued too. José
Melchor Ayala Salazar, WBCC member #144, is willing to help you to obtain
the 1999 pieces. Just send him an E-mail: mailto:AASM5895@sat.gob/mx

6. WBCC and PR.................by Cliff Anderson, USA

The following article I could read in the October 1999 issue of the US coin
magazine The Numismatist and it is written by WBCC member David Schenkman.

Bimetallic Trade Tokens are Popular with collectors
By David E. Schenkman

In 1899 a man by the name of George G. Greenburg made his mark in
numismatic history when he filed a patent application for "Bimetallic Coins
or Checks." At that time most trade tokens were being struck in either
aluminum or brass, and Greenburg evidently felt that tokens made from a
combination of these two metals would be in demand.
No doubt about it, this was a novel concept, but what need would it serve?
Even more important was the question of whether merchants would be willing
to pay a premium to use such tokens in place of the more traditional single
metal counterparts? I imagine these questions and others crossed
Greenburg's mind while he was writing up the patent papers.
In his specifications Greenburg noted that although tokens made of
aluminum were desirable because of their light weight, they "have proven
objectionable because they would soon become worn, and more particularly
around the rim." His "invention" overcame this by offering a token that was
constructed of a hard outer metal such as brass and a center section of
aluminum or other light metal. (It should be noted that the usage of a
combination of two metals in coinage predates Greenburg's 1899 patent by
more than a hundred years.)
The resulting token, according to Greenburg, combined the advantages of
light weight and durability. Low manufacturing costs were touted as another
feature of the product, but this was hardly true. Token makers' price lists
of the period indicate that bimetallic tokens cost merchants more than
twice as much as did aluminum or brass tokens.
Greenburg was employed by S. D. Childs and Company when his patent was
assigned on 12 September 1899. The Childs firm was a major maker of tokens
and medals so it isn't surprising that they struck many of the bimetallic
tokens known to exist today. Other firms also manufactured these tokens, in
some instances seemingly circumventing the patent stipulations by using
aluminum as the outer ring and brass in the center. I've never found
anything to suggest that attempts were ever made to enforce the patent
Without going into all the details, a typical procedure for striking a
bimetallic token is as follows: first a brass blank outer section, with a
beveled center hole, is stamped from a sheet of metal. Next an aluminum
disc, somewhat thicker than the outer section, is punched out. This disc is
placed inside the outer section and the resulting planchet is struck with
prepared dies. The striking pressure causes the aluminum to spread out,
overlapping and bonding with the brass section.
It isn't known exactly when bimetallic tokens were first manufactured. S.
D. Childs and Company struck numerous tokens using "stock" reverse dies
which say PAT. APPLD. FOR. Another commonly seen "stock" reverse die
includes the words PAT. JULY 1899.
I've never seen a token that mentions the actual patent date of 12
September 1899, so the July 1899 date on the tokens remains a mystery.
Possibly when the "stock" dies were prepared it was thought that the patent
would be awarded in July. In any event, it isn't possible to date a token
from the reverse dies, since both types were still being used in the late
1920s, long after the patent had expired. Obviously the manufacturer
continued to utilize these dies until they were no longer serviceable.
Most bimetallic trade tokens were struck in the same denominations as were
official U.S. coins -- 1˘ through $1.00. The 1˘ denomination was rarely
used, undoubtedly due to the high cost of manufacturing a token with such a
low face value. $5.00 denominations are not uncommon, and $10.00 tokens are
occasionally encountered. In western states some merchants utilized 12˝˘
tokens, this denomination representing the cost of a drink.
Not all tokens had monetary denominations. Some specified specific values
to suit the needs of the issuing merchant. For a saloon this could be ONE
DRINK OR CIGAR, while a dairy might want its tokens to read 1 PINT OF MILK.

In retrospect, it doesn't seem that Greenburg's idea was a great success.
The number of merchants known to have issued bimetallic tokens is miniscule
compared to those who used single metal tokens, and I assume cost was the
major factor. Nonetheless they were utilized, to some extent, by various
types of merchants and business establishments throughout the country.
These attractive and very distinctive tokens, which were used during a
period of less than forty years, are now quite popular with collectors. In
1990 I wrote a book, Bimetallic Trade Tokens of the United States, which
catalogs more than sixteen hundred varieties. Since then many unlisted
tokens have been reported to me, and I'm sure previously unknown tokens
will continue to be discovered.
Martin Peeters, a hobbyist in the Netherlands who collects all types of
bimetallic numismatic items, is the impetus behind the Worldwide Bi-Metallic
Collectors Clubs.  The group publishes a weekly newsletter that keeps
members up to date on new pieces and reports finds of older items.  (To the
best of my knowledge, the newsletter is not printed, but rather E-mailed to
Those interested in learning more about the club should contact Peeters at
(Correspondence should be sent to the author at P.O. Box 366, Bryantown, MD
20617. If a reply is desired, include a stamped, self addressed envelope.)

--Remark WBCC Focal Point: David Schenkman is the author of the book
"Bimetallic Trade Tokens of the United States". It is still available at:
David Schenkman
E-mail: mailto:turltehill@olg.com
P.O. Box 366
Bryantown, MD 20617

7. New Bi-metallic images......by Rod Sell, WBCC Homepage Provider

This weeks new pictures in the WBCC Homapge:

* Finland 5 Euro for World Air Games with 96 Hologram Variety
* A Schuler Bi-Metallic Press
* US 5 Cent Trade Token of J.R. Adcock of Amsterdam  N.Y
* Vatican 1997 & 1998 1000 Lire coins
* China 1999 10 Yuan for the 50th Anniversary of the Peoples Republic
* Australia 1999 $10 Bi-metallic Series "The Past"
* Czech Republic 2000 Korun coin with Inlay Gold Hologram

8. Bi-metallic 10 Yuan from China...by Liu Jian China

Refering to WBCC Newsmail 163, item 1, about the China 10 Yuan commemorating
the 50th anniversary of the PRC, I have this new Bi-metallic coin for trade
and sell now: it costs US$6 each (Postage and insurance: US$3 for
International orders) Iif you want one or more you can E-mail me at:
liuj@public.ytptt.sd.cn. If you want to see a picture of it, just take a
look in the WBCC Homepage:

9. World Coin News article.........by Martin Peeters, Netherlands

The following article I could read in World Coin News of september 1999:

Armenian commemorative never authorized
By L. A: Saryan
After seven decades of Soviet rule, Armenia declared independence in 1991.
Since then, a steady stream of thematic coins, paper money and postage
stamps have been released. In 1994, a series of small-denomination coins in
aluminum intended for circulation was issued, and shortly thereafter,
limited-mintage non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) commemorative coins
struck in silver and gold also became available. The British Royal Mint
struck some of the NCLT issues, while others were produced for Armenia by an
unnamed firm or firms. Shortly after Armenia gained independence, various
commercial enterprises expressed interest in striking commemorative coinage
to order for the Armenian government. One of these was International
Currency Bureau, Ltd. (ICB), which contacted Armenia and suggested one or
more commemorative coins. ICB offered to produce a "pattern" or "sample
coin" to be submitted to governmental banking authorities in Armenia for
their approval. According to information provided by ICB, the Central Bank
of Armenia, located in Yerevan, wrote on Oct. 18, 1995 to ICB expressing a
"keen interest in the company's work" with the application of color to
coins. In order to promote its custom minting services, ICB offered to
prepare a "non-colour sample or pattern" for the bank, after which
production of a colored coin could be discussed. Chief of the Reserve
Department of the Central Bank of Armenia Reuben Simonian replied, providing
a description of recent Armenian silver and gold commemorative coins. In his
letter, Simonian pointed out three themes contemplated for new commemorative
coinage issues: Armenian statehood, the 1700 the anniversary of Christianity
in Armenia and the pre-Christian Armenian king, Tigranes the Great. After
some deliberation, ICB designed and manufactured dies for an Armenian
pattern coin (dated 1996) commemorating Christianity in Armenia. Several
sample 38mm (I.5-inch) diameter coins of a single design, all with proof
fields, were produced. The obverse of these coins shows the facing head of
Jesus Christ, with a double-pointed beard and shoulderlength hair. A
clockwise legend to the right of the portrait reads ARMENIACA, and the
denomination (25 DRAM) and date (1996) appear to the left. The word "Dram"
appears in Armenian capital letters. The reverse depicts the Armenian coat
of arms (lion and eagle holding a shield) enclosed within a solid circle,
and an Armenian legend along the edge reading HAYASTANI HANRAPE-
(Republic of Armenia). According to available information this single design
was produced in just one size. To illustrate their minting capabilities,
however, ICB offered the same piece in eight different metal varieties and
two different edge styles (either smooth or milled (reeded)). The issue was
limited to 100 pieces in each alloy; another source indicates that as many
as 150 pieces of the tri-metallic issue may have been produced. The alloy
types and approximate weights are as follows:
a. 0.925 (sterling) Silver Piedfort (approximately 48 grams, double
b. 0.925 Silver regular (approxiinately 24 grams).
d. Brass (approximately 23 grams)
e. Gold-plated alloy (approximately 20 grams).
f. Tri-metallic surface (approxi mately 23 grams), consisting of three rings
of brass plated alternately with silver and gold (center appears to be
brass, middle ring silver-plated; and outer ring gold-plated) and struck as
one piece.
g. Aluminum (approximately 6 grams).
h. Copper (approximately 23 grams)
i: Cupronickel (approximately 20 grams).
On July 29, 1996, ICB shipped a quantity of sample pieces to the Central
Bank of Armema in Yerevan for their consideration. The Armenian authorities,
however, showed no further interest in the project; as ICB reports, "for
whatever reason no further response ever came from Armenia:' A few examples
were distributed to "official parties" or sold by private treatise,
otherwise virtually the entire mintage was placed for sale at auction in
Europe. I have been told that most of the mintage was purchased by dealers
in California and Canada for resale at approximately $800 per set of 16
varieties. A certificate of authenticity accompanied the sets sold at
auction: From the circumstances described above it appears' appropriate to
designate these pieces as unauthorized commercial samples. ICB volunteered
to strike them and sent samples to Armenia for its consideration and
approval. Information available to date does not indicate that the Armenian
government ever authorized these pieces to be struck or to be sold on the
numismatic market. Use of the term "pattern" suggests that the issue was
officially approved by the Armenian government, which does not appear to be
the case. Examination of the tri-metallic piece suggests several reasons why
the Armenian Central Bank showed no further interest in this project. In
1995, Armenia's authorities were particularly interested in the application
of color to the surface of coins, but the outcome on these pieces was not
particularly successful. The tri-metallic examples do not compare favorably
to circulating bimetatlic coins recently issued by other countries. The
popular bimetallic Canadian $2 piece now in wide circulation, for example,
shows a clear demarcation of the design between the two metals, whereas on
the Armenia coin the applied colors do not align with the design devices on
either face. The artwork for the reverse face is pleasing; the circular
border between the heraldic image and the legend offers an improvement over
similar designs that appear on current official issues of Armenian coinage.
The obverse pornait depiction of Jesus Christ, however, has little aesthetic
merit and offers nothing to attract the viewer. Furthermore, the concentric
circles of color appearing on the tri-metallic pieces mar the portrait,
almost as if the head of Jesus were a marksmanship target! It is recommended
that collectors note the unofficial and unauthorized status of this piece
when considering whether to add it to their collections. Dr. Saryan is a
member of the Armenian Numismatic Society and Corresponding Editor of the
Armenian Numismatic Journal.

--Remark WBCC Focal Point: Earlier articles about the Armenian Tri-metallics
you could (can) read in WBCC Newsmail 148, item 2 and WBCC Newsmail 90, item

10. Bi-metallics from Lithuania.........by Joel Anderson, USA

I can offer the following  Bi-metallics from Lithuania:
* 2 Litas 1998 and 1999 Unc, price 2.50 US$ per piece
* 5 Litas 1998 and 1999 Unc, price 5.50 US$ per piece
My address is:
Joel Anderson
PO Box 3016
Merced, CA 95344
Phone/Fax (209) 722-5426
E-mail orders@joelscoins.com

11. My offers on eBay...by Al Boulanger (non WBCC member), USA

I have just listed over 50 Bi-metallic coins on eBay. You can access them by
going to item 175885137 and then clicking on other auctions by the same

"See" you next week,
Martin Peeters, Focal Point of the
Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club
The Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club
was established September 14, 1996 and is the very first Worldwide
Collectors Club using the Internet. Goal of the WBCC is exchange
Bi-metallics and exchange knowledge about Bi-metallics
WBCC Organisation:
WBCC Homepage Provider: Rod Sell, Australia, Rod.Sell@hlos.com.au
WBCC DoCu-Centre: Frans Dubois, Netherlands, dubois.f@wxs.nl
WBCC Public Relations: Cliff Anderson, USA, chander@mciworld.com
WBCC Research Centre: Paul Baker, UK, 113076.167@compuserve.com
WBCC Focal Point: Martin Peeters, Netherlands, martinp@westbrabant.net