Volume 12 Issue 7Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996) July 2007
Any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor.
Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, the Internet links selected by the authors of this newsletter are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to:
(1) Illustrations and, (2) to provide additional important information.
We trust that this issue of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.
After some consideration, and due to the international aspect of this Internet newsletter, we have decided to make a small name change to reflect the broad reader appeal that we have been providing for the last 12 years plus. There may be a few other minor changes forthcoming but nothing drastic.
The new name 'Numisnet World' is self-explanatory - we will continue on the same pathway of entertaining and educating our readers in matters numismatic. Due to our continuing close relationship with the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' we are also continuing the sequence and issue numbers of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition. There has been no alteration to our Internet address.
We will continue to welcome numismatic literary contributions for consideration - however, we are not a scientific numismatic journal and articles must fit our relatively informal subject parameters. A reminder - this not-for-profit amateur newsletter production is still prepared by volunteer hobbiests with limited resources. Articles which contain statements or material of a contentious nature may be refused publication.
The Editor's decision is always final and we again draw your attention to our disclaimers at the end of this newsletter..
by Graeme Petterwood. © 2007.
Remember - be astute when you are handed change - not all the wonders of numismatics have been discovered yet - and they don't have to be shiny and new! This edition again features an assortment of 'trivia' that I think is of interest and I trust it will prove educational and entertaining to you as well.
All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Please note that the photoscans of numismatic items are usually not to size or scale, but - wherever possible - they are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the 'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition.
PRINCIPALITY of HUTT RIVER
For the majority of adult Australians the 37 year existence of the Principality of Hutt River (formerly Hutt River Province Principality) is reasonably well-known. However, we now have many international readers outside the boundaries of this island continent who may wonder about this rather unique 75 square kilometer independent principality tucked away in the bosom of Western Australia within the Commonwealth of Australia. Hopefully, this brief article - the first under our new banner - may answer some of the questions that people ask and encourage a visit, in person, to Hutt River and see for themselves.
THE EARLY COINS and CURRENCY of PRINCE LEONARD of HUTT RIVER
As a numismatist for as long as the Hutt River principality or province has been in existence, I have always been fascinated with the history and numismatic aspects connected with it and other important micro-nations.
I do remember that my desire to obtain something from Hutt River was re-stimulated after meeting and talking with Prince John, Duke of Avram, at the Royal Bank of Avram in his Duchy at Strahan, Tasmania - and obtaining a set of his original 1982 Ducals that had been seized by the Commonwealth Government in its unsuccessful court case against him for setting up an illegal bank.. The constitutional hodge-podge was intriguing.
Over the years I have regularly corresponded - and even had some additional personal conversations - with Prince John.
The courage or determination of individuals to buck a seemingly unfair situation. and the bureaucratic humbug that often goes with it. is a trait that I - and thousands of others - admire and wish we also had the internal fortitude to take that first step in a different direction.
It takes real courage to risk everything.
The history of Hutt River and Prince Leonard is best explained by the official web-site and, with the gracious permission of the Prince, I have included the direct Link (below) for your perusal.
The Official Home Site of the Principality of Hutt River: http://www.principality-hutt-river.com/
Hutt River is an Independent Sovereign State having seceded from Australia on the Twenty First Day of April 1970 and is of comparable size to Hong Kong (not the New Territories). The Principality consists of undulating farmland well covered in places with a wealth of shrubs and glorious wildflowers.
H.R.H. Prince Leonard, a keen supporter of both the Arts and Conservation, has named parts of the Principality with such identities as Lake Beginning, Mount Secession, Lake Serenity and Wild Boar Gorge.
His town site, Nain, has been developed with many buildings to provide facilities for the tourists who visit in their thousands each year.
These facilities include The Administration Building containing
the Government Office and Post Office, Tea Rooms with Swimming Pool and a
charming Inter-Denominational Chapel as well as the arcade housing the
Memorabilia Dept. and Historical Society displays.
It is perhaps of interest to note, that Western Australia was actually never proclaimed by Captain Stirling as British Territory, as was required of him under his Letter Patent. He only Proclaimed a Settlement (the Swan Settlement) in Western Australia.
Here, in Prince Leonard's own words, is the reason that the Principality of Hutt River came into existence:
"In November 1969, the West Australian Government, like all other State Governments of Australia applied, “Wheat Quotas”, a restriction of the amount of wheat a farmer could sell. This was done at the insistence of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Australian Government was concerned that the farmers might over produce and if the Export Trade did not take up this surplus, then the Australian Government would, under the “Guarantee Price”, have to be paying for this surplus.
So, the States agreed to limit the amount of wheat a farmer could have for sale, by a reduction of 10% against previous year’s production. Any 10% reduction did not worry us at all. We had for the previous twenty years, annually produced a minimum of 6,000 acres, up to a maximum of 13,000 acres of wheat. Then in November 1969, after having grown our thousands of acres of wheat and ready to harvest and deliver it, the Quotas were issued. Our Quota was equivalent to 100 acres. As we had thousands of acres of wheat, we were in a bad way in relation to our wheat crop. So, I went to Perth to have a look at the “Wheat Quota Act”, with the intention to then frame up a legal protest, in respect of getting our Quota rectified.
However, when in Perth, I found that the West Australian Government did not have an “Act of Parliament”. They had acted without having a law to do so, but they did have a “Wheat Quota Bill” in Parliament, which would become law if Parliament passed it. So, I had a look at the Bill.
Two clauses in the Bill concerned me. One stated, “That no Appeals would be allowed”, and the second, “That no compensation would be allowed”.
I consider that this then cut across all sense of Justice, that if injustice was done, there was to be no right of remedy. I returned home and immediately lodged three protests:
One with the Wheat Quota Board.
One with the then Premier of Western Australia, Sir David Brand.
The Wheat Quota Board and the Premier never replied to my protest, the Governor replied and said that he had called for Ministerial advice, and that, “no rectification of our Quota would be allowed”. Now, he was acting in the name of the Queen and he had no Law by which he could apply such a Quota.
So by this action he made Her Majesty liable, in Tort, for applying an unlawful imposition.
I then had to do something to get our harvesting going in full swing. So, I lodged, what was probably the then largest claim that the Crown in Western Australia had ever encountered, by using the Wheat Quota back on them to calculate a claim, under the Law of Tort.
This claim came out to be $52,000 000 and was plus Interest from 1st January 1970.
I did believe, that in showing how the Crown was affected by such a Quota, when applied on them, that they might very well say, sorry, and fix up the Quota. But what did happen, was, that a day after the Governor received my claim, a prominent West Australian Minister, went over to help the Minister of Agriculture who was advising the Governor on our problem, Then, two weeks later, he returned to Parliament and introduced a Bill into Parliament whereby the West Australian Governor would get the Power to “Resume” our lands.
I immediately raised this matter with the Governor and pointed out that not only were we upset by this type of attitude to resolve a problem, but the intention to resume our land was also quite “Unlawful”.
Our lands were
with a “Freehold Title”, and those Titles, signed by the Governor, in the name
of the Queen, it stated, “No more than One Twentieth of the lands could be
resumed for any purpose”. This I pointed out to the Governor and requested that
he inform the West Australian Government that they could not resume our
lands. When a month went by and no response from the Governor had occurred, we
were most concerned.
At this stage it was thence considered that only two alternatives existed.
We could sit as we were and proceed to sue Her Majesty in her Courts under the claim which we had lodged. However, firstly you needed her permission to sue her, and we might never get such permission, if we did in time get such permission, then we might not have any lands.
This then was not very satisfactory.
The other alternative was to exercise the International Law Entitlement to form a Self Preservation Government by seceding. The entitlements were:
a) The Economy has been taken.
b) A threat to the loss of the lands existed.
These both existed, and in both cases we had simply been asking the Government to abide by their own Laws. If one believes that a person of a Government department has done something wrong to you, all one can do, is sue that person, but in our case there was no Government person to sue, when both matters were being dealt with between the Sovereign Queen and myself. Thus, our matters were taken out of Common Law and put into a higher Category of Law, which exists, but cannot normally be used.
Therefore the decision to exercise this entitlement and to secede was taken on: 21st April 1970
The Australian Government response is typically that HRP is a private farm and that the Prince is nothing but a businessman. One particular public note on HRP is a warning that any commercial involvement with HRP could be illegal. However, despite this activity, the ATO have not acted against HRP. Contradicting this, the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Territories are believed to have engaged in correspondence that recognise his claim may have validity and he is exempt from Taxes.
On occasion, HRP is mentioned in parliament. Sometimes there may be a negative connotation with allegations of opportunism.
Australian postal services officially will not send letters to HRP; however, the reality is that letters addressed to the province do arrive, and letters sent with HRP stamps also leave the country. At times, HRP did not pay taxes, and certainly Department of Territories internal government documents posted on the HRP Web site indicate that the province is not bound to pay taxation.
The Australian government generally appears to avoid any legal challenge to the HRP.
While HRP builds its own buildings (without any Australian government approval), offers company registrations, car licences, sells coinage, philately and even runs its own University, many of these activities would seemingly draw the ire of the Australian government on any other Australian citizen.
However, the Australian government has so far not interfered with HRP sovereignty in these matters, and appears to avoid any legal stoush with the HRP.
Prince Leonard is the name and title that has been used by Leonard George Casley and his supporters since his creation of the Hutt River Province Principality, the oldest and most widely known micronation in Australia. Prince Leonard purports to be the Sovereign of that entity, which he claims is an independent state - a position that is not supported by the government of Australia.
Prince Leonard pursued a number of occupations before purchasing a large wheat farm near Geraldton, Western Australia in the 1960s.
In 1970, after a longrunning dispute over quotas with the Australian Wheat Board, he declared the "secession" of his 75 square kilometre property from the Commonwealth of Australia, based on his unique interpretation of British and Australian constitutional law.
Despite his advancing years the Prince is known as a keen-minded "bush lawyer". He is also an adherent of hermeticism, a subject on which he has privately published a number of research papers. He is married to "Her Royal Highness Princess Shirley", by whom he has seven adult children, among them "His Royal Highness Crown Prince Ian" (Ian George Casley, born 1947), who has been designated as his eventual successor as "Sovereign Prince".
Many Australians are somewhat familiar with the Principality of Hutt River and know of "Prince Leonard".
Some Australians view him affectionately as a harmless eccentric and view his tenacity in taking on "big government" with wry amusement, while others believe him to be looking for a fight where none exists. He is the subject of a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of Australia, in Canberra.
Our numismatic interest.
In 1976, Prince Leonard commissioned the production and issuance of a small range of coins and paper money in various low denominations, bearing his likeness, firstly, to re-enforce the claims that Hutt River Province (as it was then known) was an independent principality with its own facilities - and, secondly, to meet the needs of the increasing number of local and international tourists visiting the Province who wanted to obtain souvenirs or other memorabilia.
Most of the coinage and currency has tended to circulate internally within the Principality except that which has been retained as souvenirs or numismatically collectable pieces. The exchange rate is on a par with the Australian Dollar and, in theory, the residue from the visit can be converted back to Aust. Dollars as in the case of other international currencies. However, because of the uniqueness of the currency and the large retention rate by visitors, an economic event called 'seignorage' occurs. In this instance, if the money is not redeemed, the difference between manufacturing it and its replacement costs - and its buying power - is a small profit that goes towards benefiting the Principality's economy. Every Government in the world relies on seignorage to some extent.
Hutt River Province 20 and 50 Cents notes
The original coin range consisted of an Aluminium 5 Cents, Bronze 10 Cents, Brass 20 Cents and Copper-Nickel 50 Cents and this range was repeated, as need arose, until the 1990's I believe..
Coins were available in Uncirculated and Proof finish - the initial mintings were 5,000 Unc - 2000 Proof, while later issues were 1000 and 500 respectively
To celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Leonard authorized issuance of a Nickel-Silvered-Copper One Dollar coin in 1977-8 .
The Province also commenced to issue .999 Silver commemorative proof and uncirculated coins in various denominations ranging from 5, 20, 30 and 100 Dollars. The first of the 5 Dollars appeared dated 1991 and depicted aspects of the 'Desert Storm' battle in the Middle East and these coins were made by the New Queensland Mint in California, U.S.A.
Krause Publications 'Unusual World Coins' cover - featuring Hutt River Province 'Desert Storm' commemorative coinage
1976 Profile bust of Prince Leonard (Eagle & Scales reverse) - .999 Silver $30 coin
A small issue of 500 pieces of .917 Gold were produced annually during 1976 - 1980. Most of the gold coins bore Prince Leonard's profile bust as the obverse and a significant icon as the reverse.
The 1980 issue was to celebrate the 80th birthday of the Queen Mother, Elizabeth, and a unique sample gold coin was made by Pobjoy Mint, bearing their mintmark, and is currently held as part of Prince Leonard's private numismatic collection. However, due to Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding due to occur in 1981, the Pobjoy Mint were placed under tremendous pressure and were unable to accept the principality commission; and manufacture was turned over to the Lombardo Mint which had been involved in making many of the earlier coinage issues. Pobjoy have not been connected to any further Principality issues to date even though the 1980 Queen Mother, Elizabeth, coin mintage had been incorrectly attributed to that Mint in 'Unusual World Coins'.
Johnson Matthey Company of Toronto, Canada produced Silver 25 and 30 dollar pieces between 1984 - 1987 and other coins were manufactured by other private mints. On some Hutt River coins, designer Howard Reed has his monogrammed initials - HR
1985 Automobile Centenary (Kangaroo obverse) (Automobile reverse) - .999 Silver $25 coin
The last coinage issue was made in 2000 - and this new release in 2007 is causing interest amongst general numismatists as well as collectors of micro-nation releases .
RECENT COIN RELEASE
On 1st July 2007,as part of the Dual Celebration year of 2007 (Refer to Home-site for details), the Principality released a set of 5 coins depicting the Armorial Bearings of Prince Leonard and His four Sons. The Larger, $10.00 coin depicting the Arms of HRH Prince Leonard is a 35mm x 3mm x 15.4 gm coin of Zinc alloy, Nickel plated with milled edges. The slightly smaller coins of the Arms of the Sons being 30mm x 3mm x 11gms also of Zinc alloy, Nickel plated with milled edges. The coins are available as a proof set of all five coins presented in a plastic display case with Gold print to the outside of the lid, coin specs affixed by label underneath or the coins may be purchased as individual proofs, each coin enclosed in a plastic coin case with foam internal edging.
For full details, viewing and ordering:
2007 Armorial Coin Set and individual encapsulated coins
Sovereign, Prince Leonard of Hutt
Grand Duke of Hutt, Crown Prince Ian
Duke of Nain, Prince Wayne - Duke of Carmel, Prince Richard - Duke of Gilboa, Prince Graeme
In order of precedence these arms belong to:
$10 HRH Prince
$5 Crown Prince, Ian Grand Duke of Hutt
$5 Prince Wayne Duke of Nain
$5 Prince Richard Duke of Carmel
$5 Prince Graeme Duke of Gilboa
Principality of Hutt River Home site: http://www.principality-hutt-river.com
Wikipedia - the Free Encyclopaedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutt_River_Province
Unusual World Coins - 3rd Edition. by Colin R. Bruce II - Krause Publication.
PRIVATE CURRENCY ISSUES
From time to time, we read about private issue of promotional currency being made for a particular event and withdrawn after the event has concluded. We have also read of currency - such as the Chatham Island notes - that had an extended lifespan and became quite collectable.
Most of these issues are classified as 'tokens' or 'souvenir' notes to avoid clashes with the official currency laws of the area - but as long as they do not purport to be legal tender and intended to replace the official currency they do become an acceptable mode of exchange for goods and services by those who are prepared to honour them. This newsletter has featured several such issues in the past, and advises that another one has been in operation since September 27th. 2006, in the U.S., and is being accepted in business and banks in its local area. The notes, known as BerkShares - bearing the likenesses of the late, famous artist, Norman Rockwell, and other famous sons who came from this area - can actually be purchased from the participating banks and can be spent in selected local stores in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts. Refer: http://www.berkshares.org/
The denominations of the BerkShares and their obverse effigies are:
1 BerkShare -- unidentified member of the Mohican tribe, the original inhabitants of the area
5 BerkShares -- W.E.B. DuBois, early civil rights leader who was born in Great Barrington in 1868.
10 BerkShares -- Robyn Van En, leader of local community agriculture programs who died in 1997
20 BerkShares -- Herman Melville, who wrote much of Moby Dick in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
50 BerkShares -- Norman Rockwell, creator of images of mid-20th Century life who lived in Stockbridge, Massachusetts
The following is an extract from the official BerkShare Inc. site and was published to answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions.
QUOTE - What are BerkShares?
BerkShares are a local currency designed for use in the Southern Berkshire region of Massachusetts with issue by BerkShares, Inc., a non-profit organization working in collaboration with the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, participating local banks, local businesses, and local non-profit organizations.
The purpose of a local currency is to function on a local scale the same way that national currencies have functioned on a national scale—building the local economy by maximizing circulation of trade within a defined region. Widely used in the early 1900s, local currencies are again being recognized as a tool for sustainable economic development. The currency distinguishes the local businesses that accept the currency from those that do not, building stronger relationships and a greater affinity between the business community and the citizens of a particular place.
The people who choose to use the currency make a conscious commitment to buy local first. They are taking personal responsibility for the health and well-being of their community by laying the foundation of a truly vibrant, thriving local economy.
BerkShares will not, and are not intended to, replace federal currency. Their use will help strengthen the regional economy, favoring locally owned enterprises, local manufacturing, and local jobs, and reducing the region's dependence on an unpredictable global economy.
How are BerkShares placed in circulation?
BerkShares are placed in circulation when citizens exchange federal dollars for BerkShares at any of the BerkShares Exchange Banks (see list below). Some restrictions may apply. Citizens may exchange federal dollars for BerkShares at any of the BerkShare Exchange Banks during normal bank hours (some restrictions may apply):
Berkshire Bank—Main Street, Great Barrington branch
Berkshire Bank—Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington Branch
Berkshire Bank—Main Street, Stockbridge branch
Berkshire Bank—Sheffield Branch
Berkshire Bank—West Stockbridge Branch
Lee Bank—Main Street, Great Barrington branch
Lee Bank—Elm Street branch
Pittsfield Coop Bank—Main Street, Great Barrington branch
Salisbury Bank—Egremont branch
Salisbury Bank—Sheffield branch
The exchange rate is ninety cents per BerkShare. Ninety federal dollars will yield one hundred BerkShares. BerkShares are printed in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 denominations of BerkShares.
Federal dollars remain on deposit at the BerkShare Exchange Banks to redeem excess BerkShares at a ten percent discount.
100 BerkShares would be exchanged for ninety federal dollars.
How does the 10% discount work? Where does that 10% go?
The ten percent discount is part of the exchange rate, not a discount given at the point-of-sale. That 10% doesn't "go" anywhere - no one is making a percentage on BerkShares transactions. To explain more clearly, let's follow 100 BerkShares through a common transaction:
One day, you decide to go out for a nice dinner. You go to the bank to purchase BerkShares to spend at a local restaurant. You go in with 90 federal dollars and exchange them for 100 BerkShares. You go to dinner, and the total cost comes to $100. The restaurant accepts BerkShares in full, so you pay entirely in BerkShares. Therefore, you've spent 90 federal dollars and recieved a $100 meal - a ten percent discount for you. The owner of the restaurant now has 100 BerkShares. They decide that they need to deposit them for federal dollars and return them to the bank. When they bring them to the bank, the banker deposits the 100 BerkShares you spent on dinner and gives the restaurant $90 federal dollars, the same 90 dollars that you had originally exchanged for BerkShares. The end result? You receive a ten percent discount because of the initial exchange, but the same $90 you originally traded for BerkShares all goes to the business where you spent those BerkShares.
BerkShares Accepted Here!
Citizens with BerkShares in hand will look for the "BerkShares Accepted Here" sign in store windows or can browse the BerkShares Directory. BerkShares are accepted at face value for goods and services—10 Berkshares for a $10 purchase, though some restrictions may apply. Every business listed in the BerkShares Directory and displaying the BerkShares sign commits to taking full or partial payment for its goods or services in BerkShares. Most listed businesses accept BerkShares for the full value of an item, but some find they cannot and so it is important to ask about store policy before making a purchase. BerkShares provide a flexible and adaptable tool to meet the needs of differing business.
Change for purchases in BerkShares will be made in BerkShares. Customers paying with federal dollars may ask for BerkShares in change.
By accepting BerkShares merchants are helping to establish markets for locally made products, providing an incentive for the growth of home-based industries and creating opportunities for those underemployed and unemployed to turn latent skills into business ventures.
What do I have to do to accept BerkShares as payment?
Any business or individual may accept BerkShares as payment and then spend them as they choose. You are not required to sign up with BerkShares, Inc. to trade in BerkShares! However, we strongly advise that you do choose to sign up with us and join our business directory for a number of reasons. First, you'll recieve materials that will help you trade in BerkShares, including brochures, information, stickers, and other promotional materials; second, you'll recieve our updates and newsletters, which will keep you informed of the latest BerkShares developments, and third, you'll recieve free listings in our online directory and in any future print or display advertisements or catalogues that feature a list of businesses.
How do BerkShares benefit the local economy?
Everyone benefits from using BerkShares. Consumers benefit from receving a 10% discount on purchases. Businesses benefit from increased patronage. Local non-profit organizations can also benefit by purchasing BerkShares at the 10% discount rate and selling them at full face value to their supporters.
It will take citizens working in their own communities, region by region, to create the kind of systemic change that will lead to sustainable economic practices—practices that foster ecologically responsible production of goods and a more equitable distribution of wealth. Local currencies are a tool to bring about such change. BerkShares are about building community while building the local economy.
How do I get my business listed to accept BerkShares?
Follow the link to our business sign-up page.
How do I work BerkShares into my accounting?
Click Here for information on BerkShares accounting.
How do I support BerkShares and BerkShares, Inc.?
Buy and spend BerkShares! Use them the same way you would cash in your day-to-day transactions. Trade them for goods and services outside of stores; remember, a local currency is only successful if it is traded and valued locally. If you would like to help support BerkShares, Inc., the non-profit organization comprised of community members dedicated to introducing a viable, strong local currency for the Berkshire region, please consider becoming a member today! The membership sign-up page can be found here.
What is the timeline for BerkShares?
At the end of June 2007, BerkShares, Inc., with input from participating banks and businesses, will evaluate the circulation of the local currency. At that point those participating might recommend modifications to the program--such as a 5% discount rather than 10%, or the addition of another denomination.
If changes are approved, then BerkShares, Inc. will take the next two months to structure the changes which will then go into effect on September 30, 2007.
In the unlikely event that exchange in BerkShares fails to be vibrant, then trade in BerkShares will terminate on September 30, 2007. Those with BerkShares in hand will have until December 31, 2007 to exchange their BerkShares for federal dollars at designated BerkShares Exchange Banks. The federal funds will no longer be available for redemption of BerkShares beyond the December 31, 2007 date. Federal dollars remaining in BerkShares accounts after that date will be donated to the South Berkshire Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation as a charitable contribution. The Foundation will use the donated funds exclusively to make grants to community groups in the Southern Berkshires. Berkshire Taconic (www.brkshiretaconic.org) is a trusted vehicle for responsible philanthropy in the region and has an established procedure for soliciting, evaluating, making, and overseeing grants.
Public notice of the decision of any change in the BerkShares program will be in local press and at the BerkShares website in September of 2007.
Please note, it is the intent of BerkShares board of directors to continue the program indefinitely. BerkShares are placed in circulation as a tool for citizens to support regional businesses and together build a sustainable local economy. The success of the program will depend on all of us!
I'm a currency collector or just someone who thinks BerkShares are beautiful. How can I obtain a set of BerkShares if I'm not local to the area?
The best way to get a set of BerkShares is to walk right into one of our participating banks and purchase them! However, if you are interested in obtaining BerkShares but are not close enough to visit one of our banks to purchase them, BerkShares are available through the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce (www.southernberkshirechamber.com). There are no "sample" BerkShares; if you would like to get BerkShares, you will need to buy them from the Chamber of Commerce for the cost of the notes themselves plus a small handling fee. " - Unquote.
Please bear in mind that the program shown above is only available in the Berkshire Region of Massachusetts, U.S.A. and that opinion has been divided on the U.S. Constitutional legality of the scheme even though it appears completely legal under the current U.S. law.
Analysts are discussing the viability of similar schemes and the effects it will have on the U.S. economy if even more of these local schemes commence operating. Refer: http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2007/06/berkshares.html
Some other local 'currencies', that we have featured previously, are still available in various U.S. states.
Local Currency Directory
As compiled by E. F. Schumacher Society staff person Erika Levasseur, in May of 1997. Revised by Karen Lyness LeBlanc in 2000, Bryn Myer in 2001, Alyson Mayo in 2004, and Jing Cao in 2006. Local currency issuers are listed in alphabetical order by state, in the following groupings:
A NATION ALWAYS - NEARLY - IN THE NEWS
There are some nations that we sometimes overlook from a numismatic standpoint - nations that are always - 'nearly' - in the news.
In fact, we often dread when they are mentioned with any sort of prominence as most are more politically unstable than we would like them to be.
It is my plan to present some of the more 'modern' history - in a brief form - plus the coinage and currency notes of a few selected regimes - and, if I have a few of their earlier notes - to bring them to the attention of our newer generation of collectors as a starting point. They may present the opportunity for a thematic concept to be developed. In this issue of 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition' the nation that is always - nearly - in the news - is North Korea.
THE KOREAN PENINSULA.
Brief history - The Korean peninsula 'Land of the Morning Calm' was under Chinese and Manchurian cultural dominence for hundreds of years but, in 1895, the Empire of Japan replaced the Chinese influence and by 1910 has annexed the peninsula as part of Japan.
This was the third time that Japan had invaded and occupied Korea - the first instance was in the late 1590's and they only remained for about 7 years.
However, by 1627, the Chinese were back in power and Korea was being treated as a semi-independent province of that country.
When the Chinese and Japanese went to war between 1894 - 95, the Japanese again gained control of the peninsula but then they found that they had a new threat to contend with - the Russians. The situation deteriorated from 1896 onwards.
The ensuing armed conflict of 1904 - 05, between the empires of Japan and Russia, was also relatively brief - but it left Japan as the nation with the direct 'protectorate' over Korea. By 1910, after Japan had annexed Korea, for the last time, as part of the Japanese Empire, it would remain so until the end of WWII in 1945 when Russian troops entered the country from the North and the United States forces came in from the South.
In 1945, just prior to the Korean 'invasion' a decision had been made at the famous Conference in Potsdam that, after dividing up Europe, it defined the 38th parallel as the demarcation line between the two forces about to take over Korea..
Due to the lack of cooperation that had reached 'cold war' levels by 1948. particularly the refusal of the Russians to allow the United Nation's electoral commission into the norther Korean area to supervise the re-unification of the country with new general elections, the southern end of the peninsula went ahead with their own elections under U.N. supervision. On August 15 1948, they formed the Republic of Korea.
On the 25 August 1948, the northern area held unsupervised elections - and formed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The two Koreas had been formed and were soon on their paths to conflict that nearly had all the world at war once more.
The political and military history of the two Koreas is long and complicated and well documented for those who wish to pursue this area of research.
Coinage of Korea - In the early days of Chinese and then Japanese influence, the coinage of Korea was very similar to that used by both countries. The cast copper or bronze coinage was square-holed and mainly had denominations with names like Mun or Mon, Fun, Chon, Yang, Niang, Hwan. Warn, Won, Whan and Hwan depending who was in power and where they were issued. In 1392, the Dynasty of King Yi Sung Kye was established and his descendants were the ruling monarchs until Japanese annexation in 1910.
The kings were : Yi Kwang 1801 - 1835; Yi Whan 1835 - 1850; Yi Chung 1850 - 1864; Yi Hyong 1864 - 1897. Yi Hong also continued to rule as Emperor Kwang Mu from 1897 - 1907 and, from 1907 - 1910, the Japanese puppet Emperor was Yung Hi.
Korean coins, prior to experimentation in the late 1880's and a monetary reform in the late 1890's and when the Russians were dominant, were similar to Chinese Cash - the authorization office, series number and value that was shown in greatest prominence.
For a brief period in 1882 - 83, denominations of 1 Chon (22mm dia.), 2 Chon (27mm dia.) and 3 Chon (32.5mm dia.) were produced in Silver at the Tae Dong Treasury Department but, due to technical problems, the plans to expand the issue were scrapped.
By 1888, milled coinage was starting to appear, some with round centre-holes and some without. A variety of metals, other than copper and bronze also was being used. An issue, in 1888 - 91, of a brass round-holed 'Cash-like' coin valued at 5 Mun made a brief debut along with a smaller 5 Mun Copper unholed version, a 10 Mun Copper and a One Warn (.900 Silver) coin - also unholed - the monetary system rate at that time was 1000 Mun = one Warn.
Between 1892 - 1902, due of a monetary reform, the denominations of the coinage were renamed and the new designations were 100 Fun = 1 Yang, 5 Yang = 1 Whan. These were all unholed coins with an encircled Dragon obversed and a wreathed denomination reverse and the range consisted of a Brass 1 and Copper 5 Fun, Copper-Nickel 1/4, .800 Silver 1 and .900 Silver 5 Yang, .900 Silver One Whan. It should be noted that some Japanese demonetized silver Trade Dollars and One yen pieces countermarked with a 'Gin' stamp were shipped in Japanese 'provinces' such as Korea. The were to be used as bullion coins only - the 'Gin' counterstamp meant they could not be sent back to Japan as official coinage - a principle a bit like the Holey Dollars of Australia and Canada.
The short-lived Imperial Russian eagle graced the Korean coinage between 1896 - 1904 - the values were a Bronze Chon, Copper- Nickel 5 Chon and a .800 Silver 1/2 Won. The rate was 100 Chon to One Won.
The Japannese regained power in Korea in 1905 and, up until the anexation in 1910, they issued a series of Chon and Won coins. A Bronze 1/2 and One Chon. a Copper-Nickel 5 Chon. and .800 Silver 10 and 20 Chon as well as a 1/2 Won. The 5, 10 and 20 Won were issued in .900 Gold.
During the period from 1910 until 1945, it is likely that a mixture of existing Korean and contemporary Japanese coinage would have circulated.
Paper Money of Korea - The notes of the early Kingdom of Korea were mainly promissory notes in Yang denominations but, as Japan began to spread its influence over the Peninsula in 1902, notes from the Dai Ichi Ginko (First National Bank of Japan) in Yen denominations of 1, 5, 10 began to circulate at the rate of One Yen = 100 Sen. In 1904, a series of low value Sen notes of 10, 20 and 50 were issued from Japan and by 1907, after the Russian had been expelled, the Ichi Ginko issued a 5 Yen and during the following two years they introduced a 1, 5 and a 10 Yen note series.
The decision to issue notes under the Bank of Korea authority was also made in 1909, and the earlier 1909 Ichi Ginko designs were re-vamped in the same denominations of 1, 5 and 10 Yen.
The Bank of Korea had a name change in 1911 to Bank of Chosen and notes issued in 1914 - 15 (dated 1911) under its authority were redeemable in Gold - or in Ichi Ginko notes. The 1911 (1914) two issues were both for 100 Yen and had either stylized Korean or Japanese serial numbers. In 1915 the next issue, still dated 1911, were in denominations 1, 5 and 10 Yen, still payable in Gold or Ichi Ginko notes, and available with either stylized Korean or Japanese serial numbers.
A short issue of 10 and 20 Sen notes were issued in 1916 without any Western numerals or language.
After the world started settling down again after WWI, the only issue of Bank of Chosen notes was a 10, 20 and 50 Sen series destined for Manchuria with Japanese and Russian markings but payable in Japanese currency.
The period between 1932 - 45 saw the use of notes very similar to mainland Japanese issue - in style. Some had Russian wording incorporated on the reverses and were obviously for use in the northern areas. Denominations ranged from 10 and 50 Sen as well as from 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Yen values.
During the transistion period immediately after hostilities ceased in 1945 some contemporary 1000 yen Japanese currency was overprinted in Red - Chosen Ginko Ken (Bank of Korea) to signify that it was to be for Korean use - it was never issued - but, in 1946 - 47, dedicated Bank of Chosen overstamped notes in values of 10 Yen = 10 Won, plus 3 slightly different 100 Yen = 100 Won were released. These were all similar to the previous 1945 issue.
In the northern areas under Russian occupation, 1945 saw the release of a series of Won notes issued under the authority of the Russian Army Headquarters - the values were 1, 5, 10 and 100 Won. This was the first issue of notes specifically for the area now known as the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea).
The Coinage and Paper Money
Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea
With the invasion of Korea by the allied forces, and the consequent isolation of the north - and then the political upheaval that saw the formation of two Koreas divided by the 38th Parallel, it was little wonder that the whole peninsula erupted into bloody warfare on June 25th 1950.
In an effort to seize control, North Korea had stated that the whole of Korea was under its jurisdiction and, on that day, the army of North Korea advanced into the south to try and use force to achieve its aims.
President Truman of the United States of America ordered U.S.military intervention, on land, sea and in the air, to protect the legally elected government of South Korea and called upon the United Nations for assistance.
By October 19, 1950 the North Korean capital of Pyongyang had been captured - however, by November 8th. 1950, Chinese forces crossed from Manchuria and began fighting alongside the North Koreans. The conflict would end in a stalemate that still exists today - 54 years later - and the demarcation line at the 38th parallel.
The link below gives a time-line of the events for those interested.
Flag of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea)
Coins of North Korea
In 1959, the DPRK issued a small series of Aluminium coinage ranging from 1, 5, 10 Chon. Further issues in 1974 and 1978 saw the range increased to include a new design 5 Chon and a 50 Chon coin. The main differences in the newer 5 and 10 Chon issues were that some coins had 1 star (for hard currency country visitors), others had 2 (for the visitors from other Communist countries) and the general issue had no stars..
The 50 Chon reverse featured a depiction of the famous statue of a winged leaping horse and riders - the 'Chonllima' - with a rising sun in the background .
"The Chonllima Statue stands for the heroism and invincible fighting spirit of the Korean people. It stands for their ceaseless innovations and continuous advance at the speed of Chollima, the legendary winged horse that is said to cover a thousand 'miles' in a day. The statue was not actuallycompleted until April 15,1961.
The statue stands 46 meters high (from the surface of the pavement to the top of the Red Letter.) The cast statue is 14 meters high and 16 meters long.
Mounted on the winged horse are a worker in front and a young peasant woman behind. The worker who rushes ahead on the Chollima, holding high the "Red Letter" of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, represents the working class of Korea. The peasant woman holding a large sheaf of rice in her arms symbolizes North Korea's fast advancing peasantry."
Copper-Nickel was used for the 1987 One Won and 5 Won series of 3 coins each - all celebrating achievements of Kim Il Sung, the Communist leader.
During the next few years precious metal coins of .999 Silver were produced in denominations of 20, 30, 50, 200, and 500 Won Gold was used for 250 and 1500 Won coins. Gold bullion coins were issued in 1988, 1991 and 1992 in values of 100, 250, 500, 1500, and 2000 Won.
There have also been issues of commemorative coins in Silver and Gold to celebrate the Olympics, World Football Cup and other prestigious events or special anniversaries and this is still a continuing practice even though the general economy is very fragile and, to prop it up, currency conversions have been locked into that of hard currency nations - particularly the U.S.
The value of One Australian dollar, at time of writing, was KPW (Won) 1.8577 (Won = AUD$0.5382) - or One U.S. Dollar was KPW (Won) 2.2000 (Won = US$0.45455)
In mid-January 2007, North Korea banned the internal use of foreign currency in an attempt to collect all the hard currency that was being accumulated locally and exchanged on the currency black-market for many times the value that was being offered at the government exchange centres..
Modern Pyongyang City - North Korea.
(Population estimated to be in excess of 3 million)
NORTH KOREA CENTRAL BANK.
Paper Money of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
In 1947, the first series of dedicated notes was issued by the North Korea Central Bank - they consisted of notes ranging from 15, 20 and 50 Chon which featured decorative scrolls with details of value in Korean and Japanese script across the centre of both sides of the note as well and European numerals on alternate obverse corners and in both side panel cartouches on the reverse. All the Chon notes were similar but with different colours and variations in the scrollwork etc. The colours were 15 Chon - Brown; 20 Chon - Green; 50 Chon - Blue on Lt.Olive underprint. The sizes of this 1947 series increased as the values became larger. The larger value Won value notes ranged from 1, 5 (plus a variation), 10 and 100 - again all designs were similar. The generic Won featured a worker and a farmer as the obverse, and a mountain as the reverse, with different colours and slight variations in the scrollwork for the different denominations.. The colours were 1 Won - Black on Orange and Green underprint; 5 Won - Black on Blue and Red underprint; 10 Won - Black on Red and Green underprint; 100 Won - Black on Red, with various Orange and Lilac underprints within the obverse and reverse edge-scrolls.
1947 Series 100 Won note - issued by North Korea Central Bank.
(Actual size 170 x 95mm)
DEMOCRATIC PEOPLES REPUBLIC - KOREAN CENTRAL BANK
By 1959, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea had become established and notes then began to bear the coat-of-arms of the republic and the official name of the issuer had been changed to suit the circumstances. During that year a range of attractive notes were issued - a 50 Chon which bore a resemblence to the earlier 1947 North Korea Cental Banknote of similar denomination - and a series of Won value notes from 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 that featured maritime, structural, cultural and industrial achievements attributed to the regime. The reverses of the 1 and 5 featured ornate scrollwork -and values were in Korean and European numerals. The higher values of 10 and 50 showed female rural workers at their tasks whilst the 100 Won depicted towering cliffs above a river heading into the sea.
The serial numbers of each denomination were usually issued in two colours (Red and Black) to signify issuance to locals, Black only for other Socialists or Red only for non- Socialist visitors and overprinted seals on visitors notes were in Green and Red respectively.
The 1959 issue notes shown below were all issued for non-Socialist visitors except for the 10 Won - the reason for the different colours between serial number and seal in this instance is not known.
Democratic Peoples Republic Coat-of-Arms
1959 Series 50 Chon note - issued by the Democratic Peoples Republic - Korean Central Bank.
(Actual size 130 x 60mm)
1959 Series 1 & 5 Won notes - issued by the Democratic Peoples Republic - Korean Central Bank.
( Actual sizes: 1 Won = 150 x 65mm, 5 Won = 156 x 68mm )
1959 Series 10 Won note - issued by the Democratic Peoples Republic - Korean Central Bank.
( Actual size 159 x 72mm )
1959 Series 50 Won note - issued by the Democratic Peoples Republic - Korean Central Bank.
( Actual size 193 x 90mm )
1959 Series 100 Won note - issued by the Democratic Peoples Republic - Korean Central Bank.
( Actual size 205 x 95mm )
The 1978 issues were only in Won denominations ranging from 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100. The mood of the note illustrations had changed rather dramatically and a more militant tone was emerging. Citizens shown with arms, flags and trumpets raised, striding forward with head-high determination were the new themes - as well as depictions of helmeted and armed soldiers. The notes were even a little more sober in Browns, Blue-greys and Olive multicolours and the reverse scenes were fairly non-descript local vistas.
The Purple and multicolour 100 Won note featured a large flattering portrayal of the North Korean leader, Kim Il Sung, and an attractive house and trees as the reverse.
As well as the different serial number colours for the notes provided for foreign visitors the Republic, the Korean Central Bank also issued a range of Chon and Won notes in 1988 and 1992 ranging from Chon 1, 5 and 10 and Won 1, 5, 10 and 50 to be used in a similar fashion as Chinese coupon currency - these were simple designs for the non- Socialist and Socialist visitors and had to be paid for with 'hard' currency.
For those who are wondering what 'hard currency' consists of - it is currency that is from nations that are not suffering from extremely rapid rates of inflation. It retains the same stable value in actual buying power for a considerable time - like the U.S. Dollar, the European Euro, the English Pound - and the Australian Dollar etc.
Main Numismatic References:
'Standard Catalogue of World Paper Money (Modern Issues)' 1961 - 1997 Vol.3 - Edited by Colin R. Bruce II and George Cuhaj.
'TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST' GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.
The updated and illustrated general Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter has now been completed.
We serialized the Internet version update, as we did with the original Index in 2003, and the first instalment was included in the January 2007 issue and it was located at the conclusion of each 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.
Individual articles are not directly linked to the early version of the Index nor have they been cross-referenced, at this time, but they can be located by checking the Links listed below and then checking against the newsletter Archives: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aprilnews.html
Articles or information prior to the Year 2000 can be requested by contacting the Editor.
The original Index covered the period from 1995 - 2003 (Volumes 1 - 8).
The complete addendum includes the content details of both versions of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter from Volumes 9 (Issue 1 - January, 2004) up to Volume 12 - Issue 6, 2007 but, from this Issue onwards, the Internet Edition details and link only will be published herein .
'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) .
Volume 12 – Issues 1 - 6, 2007
Issue 1. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan07.htm
See What I Mean! - a practical explanation about unusual coins found in pocket change.
Counterfeits & Forgeries - a closer look at some Oz duds - compiled by Ian Hartshorn
Canadian Blacksmith Tokens - an article by Dominic Labbe (updated and re-illustrated) showing forgeries come from everywhere.
Encased Cent Mirror Tokens - a look at something different and a bit of trivia to go with an interesting token concept from 1900
From Inside the Magpie's Nest - The Bass & Flinders Circumnavigation of Tasmania Medallion from Tasmedals.
Messages from Mick & Mike - a couple of long-time colleagues and mates have put 'pen to paper' once more.
Index Update - Vol. 9 (2004).
Issue 2. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb07.htm
Society Snippets - featuring the history of Old West characters named on some fantasy encased cents from T.N.S. member Jerry Adams
Hanrahan's Saloon at Adobe Walls 1874 - the story of a battle with Comanches and the incredible rifle shot. by Billy Dixon, that virtually saved the day.
Sharps Rifle Trivia
'Viva Mexico' - the volatile country to the south of the U.S. has had many exploiters. The story of its coinage, from Spanish occupation until pre-Millennium, is as fascinating as the personages who trod the Mexican political stage during this period.
Index Update - Vol.10 ( 2005).
Issue 3. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.html
Society Snippets - Jerry Adams' newest encased coin - the Jefferson Buffalo Nickel within a 'Good Luck' token.
Post Traders of the Old West - a brief look at what the local 'supermarket' was like during the early 1800's in the days of the buffalo, cowboys and Indians.
Do Not Disturb! - Sleepers .... - there are many newer coins in Australia that have the potential of appreciating in value at a far more rapid pace than usual - these are the decimal 'sleepers' - watch for them!
Index Update - Vol. 11 (2006) and Vol. 12 (2007 to date.
Issue 4. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/april07.html
Society Snippets - ANZAC DAY 2007
Adams & Smith's Fantasy Enclosed Coin Token - the newest release of their modern Fantasy Post Trader's token
Fantasy Post Traders Tokens ( Part 2) - Why Fort Chadbourne? - the choice of location, for these modern tokens, is always a story in itself..
The Butterfield Stage Coach Connection - John Butterfield's partners Henry Wells and William Fargo founded an empire - from the back of a stage-coach.
Jamestown Commemorative Coins. - U.S. Mint unveils the 400th Anniversary Commemorative designs to celebrate the first English settlement in the U.S.
Percentage Points! - a comparison of percentage differences in the price structure of recent U.S. and Australian Uncirculated silver and gold coinage.
Who was 'Saharet'? - the brief story of an Australian Can-Can Dancer who was once called 'The most beautiful woman in the world.'
NZBANKNOTES.COM - http://www.nzbanknotes.com/first.asp Was established in July 2004, and this is hugely popular international site is growing 'faster than inflation' Recommended site.
Index Update - Vol. 12 (2007 to date).
Issue 5. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may07.htm
Slipping through the Cracks? - older listed items are disappearing from the catalogues. Remember how 'Varieties and Mint errors' fell through the cracks?
Australia's decimal coins - What ARE those Animals? - just a reminder of the unique Australian wild-life that graced our own first decimal coins in 1966.
Trivia - The American Prairies - and the Bison - the newest state Quarter from North Dakota reminds us of what nearly was lost in North America.
U.S. Quarters program - Check list update of mintages (where available) and release dates of coins now in circulation
Index Update - Vol. 12 (2007 to date
Issue 6. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june07.htm
From Drachma .... - a brief history of early Greek coinage.
... to the Unica. - a brief history of early Roman coinage.
Item of Interest - Military Payment Certificate
Notification of Name Change - the renamed newsletter is just that! The 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition' is now geared to our international audience.
'NUMISNET WORLD' - Internet Edition.
Volume 12 – Issues 7 - to date, 2007
Issue 7. -
Name Change - We have decided to make a small name change due to the international aspect of this Internet newsletter.
Principality of Hutt River - A brief look at the history and new coinage release of a 'close-to-home' micro-nation and its Sovereign and his sons.
Private Currency issues - Another private local currency issue is available in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, U.S.A.
A Nation Always - Nearly - in the News. - A history of the coinage and paper Money of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea).
TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY
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Numismatic Association of Australia
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