Volume 15 Issue 9          Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)          September 2010




Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2010.


Any comments published in this privately produced - not for profit -  newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor. 

Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, any 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 -  or  - (2) To provide additional important information. 

Some illustrated items - including their designs and packaging -  may be subject to existing copyright restrictions. In such instances, they may not be replicated or their images reproduced or republished - unless prior permission is sought from, and given by, the originator of such item, design or packaging.


Please consider my conditional invitation to make a literary contribution if you feel you have something numismatically themed that may appeal to a general level of interest and fulfils our stated editorial guidelines. 

As Editor, I am always prepared to look at it - and if need be - assist in presentation.  However, please be aware that not every submission will be automatically accepted for publication.  We regret the imposition of 'editorial control' - but previous experience has necessitated the following conditions.

If common courtesy, and normally acceptable moral standards are not upheld, or, the subject matter is considered to contain plagiarized or defamatory content, or, if it is not considered 'generic' enough for this type of newsletter, or, if the subject has already been covered in depth in earlier editions - it may be refused, held aside or selectively edited.  This is, obviously, not a scientific-style journal - our object is to educate, certainly - but, hopefully, in an entertaining way for the average hobbyist collector.  - G.E.P.


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. 

Wherever possible - illustrations (*enlarged or otherwise) are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist' -  Internet Edition and the  'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition. © 1996 - 2010.

(Fair 'acknowledged' use of any original scan is allowed for educational purposes.)

*Please note that the photoscans of items are not always to size or scale.


PLEASE NOTE - RE-STATED DISCLAIMER: Where on-line web-site addresses are supplied, they are done so in good faith after we have checked them ourselves - however, our readers are advised that if a personal decision to access them is made - it is at your own risk.






- a very brief look at some old coins from the back of the kitchen drawer ...!


Recently, a regular corresponding friend in Great Britain mentioned that she had a small selection of reasonable quality, fairly modern, low value coins that she was sorting out, and, did I know which ones might be of more worth than token or bullion value.  As an addicted reader of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) for the last few years, she has learnt more about the basics of collecting, and, she can now appreciate that some coins are worth more than others because of rarity or because they might be classed as varieties.

As a numismatic mentor, this pleased me immensely - so I have decided to give our other readers an insight into which 'small change' coins, from the pre- 'new-pence' era in Great Britain or Scotland, might be worth looking for.

This brief study will only be based on the rarity of circulating coinage from Queen Victoria until the death of King George VI - and probably needs a lot more by way of explanation regarding why some coins are rarer than others - and what market value may be. Price is a volatile thing but, at least, this will give readers a head start by pointing a finger at some of the more interesting pieces..

Regrettably, this article will not touch on varieties either - except to mention their vital place in establishing prices, as that subject is far too complex for this issue of the newsletter.

However, the study of English modern varieties - at least from this era -  is a subject that might be revisited at a more convenient time.


As a rule of thumb - all pieces of British silver content coinage, worn or otherwise, currently have more intrinsic metal value than face value. I have deliberately refrained from putting prices on these examples as the current market demand is the only true barometer of value at any given time - prices rise and fall every day.

However, it should be noted that basic circulating silver coins prior to 1919-20 are Sterling Silver 92.5% pure - whilst after that date period, up to 1946, they are only 50% Silver. (Dates specified below with an asterisk* are of additional value due to rarity - no matter what intrinsic metal value they possess.)

The modern type Copper-Nickel - 'looks like silver' - coins started in earnest in 1947 during the latter part of King George VI reign - although Maundy coins were still produced with the same contemporary silver content as normal coins - the last being made in .500 Silver. 

With the exception of some special Non Circulating Legal Tender commemorative coins, those packaged silver-looking issues of Queen Elizabeth are all modern Nickel alloys.

Bear in mind that silver content coins with the least amount of 'rubbing' or detracting scratches are deemed to be better value than heavily marked or damaged coins and will be more acceptable to dealers when selling or buying the item as a collectible - instead of for its bullion value..

A good magnifying glass or a small fold-up x10 magnifier would be a wise purchase.


I must admit that many of the dated coins that I have noted are also on my own 'wish list' - I think that of those shown with an asterisk, I only have a dozen or so - that is one reason why British coins still hold a certain fascination for me as well!









All, 1904*, 1910* 1935*


Half Penny All, 1845*, 1860*, 1861*, 1862*, 1878*, 1889* All, 1904*, 1905*,1909*, 1910* 1922, 1925, 1926



All, 1843*, 1849*, 1856*, 1860*, 1861*, 1862*, 1863*,1869*, 1875*, 1877*, 1882*

All, 1904*

1912H*, 1915H*, 1918KN*, 1919KN*, 1926*,             

1926 (Modified Head)*

1950*, 1951*

All, 1849*, 1853*, 1868*, 1869*

All, 1905*

1911- 1920 .925 Sterling, 1921-1936 .500 Silver 

1937-54 .500 Silver

Nickel-Brass 1946*, 1950*, 1951*


All, 1848*, 1854*, 1866*, 1878*, 1893*

All, 1905*

1911- 1920 .925 Sterling, 1913*

1921-1936 .500 Silver 

1937-54 .500 Silver



All, 1850*,1867*, 1854*, 1889*

All, 1905*

1911- 1919 .925 Sterling, 1920-1936 .500 Silver  1937 -46 .500 Silver

All, 1854*, 1862*, 1863*. 1877*

All, 1905*

1911- 1919 .925 Sterling, 1920-1936 .500 Silver 


1937- 46 .500 Silver
Half Crown

All, 1839*,1848*

All, 1905*

1911- 1919 .925 Sterling,

1920-1936 .500 Silver 


1937 - 46 .500 Silver

All, 1847*, 1893LVII*

1902 Only*

1927-1936 .500 Silver


1937 & 1951 only*

*The coins of Queen Victoria are littered with variations in date-number sizing and (with or without) mint-marks.

Reference to a good catalogue would be more than useful - so at first opportunity try your local library or the Internet - and do some homework.

Great Britain's Silver coins (including Maundy coins) with values of One Silver penny upwards, and other silver homeland styles struck for overseas use, from 1838 - 1920 were .925 Sterling Silver, thence .500 Silver.


Various higher denomination silver coins of Great Britain.

l. to r.(top)- 1899 Crown, 1889 Double Florin, 1890 Half Crown - (all .925 Sterling Silver)

(bottom) 1928 Half Crown (.500Silver), 1935 Crown (.500 Silver)


It is of interest that 2 of the coins - (shown in the small change illustration above) - the worn Queen Victoria Shilling and the Florin with a slightly pitted obverse - were recovered, with the aid of a metal detector, from under 30 cms. of white quartz gravel  at an old abandoned sports-ground in a tin and gold-mining area at Pioneer in N.E. Tasmania - a very long way from 'home'. They were close to the spot once occupied by the on-ground 'boozer'.


Main references.

'Standard Catalog of World Coins' - (various issues 1800 - 1990) - Krause Publications.

Coincraft's 'Standard Catalogue of English & U.K. coins - 1066 to Date' - by R. Lobel, M. Davidson, A. Hailstone & E. Calligas.




Just a few miles away, from the tiny township of Pioneer in North-Eastern Tasmania, lies another abandoned mining shanty-town - still shown on the map as 'Garibaldi'.  It was a natural progression that we would investigate that as well!


My former neighbour, who became a friend of many years, John D.  once had a home-made metal detector well before the popularity of 'detecting' became so popular with the general public and the proliferation of 'you beaut' gadgets occurred. John was a weekend bushman and fossicker, and he had previously 'detected' several areas in N.E. Tasmania - and in 1985, he had found an old corrupted brass Chinese Cash coin that he had casually given to me for identification and because he thought I might like it. 

It took a fair while to put a label on it as I had little knowledge of Asian coins and sources of information were scare in those days.

John and I were just neighbourhood acquaintances with little in common, at that time - so the precise location where the coin was found was not divulged to me. However, over the next few years, we struck up a mutual bond - and both our late wives were good friends - and I would occasionally go with him as company on his 'expeditions' looking for old bottles from isolated mining camp dumps.

Bottle collecting was John's prime hobby interest by then - and he still has some great examples - but he always allowed me some time to scan for coins and minerals as well.  We even got fairly good at it. - for amateurs - and we went to some wonderfully wild places that were worthy of the time and effort.

I consider that it was a fortunate stroke of archaeological detective work that a small hoard of 4 Chinese Brass Cash coins, dating from the 1600's, was found by John and myself - after I convinced him to accompany me on the expedition back to the Garibaldi site in late 1990.

At that stage the area was still off the beaten track - but I had the thought that, if one Cash coin had been found on the old town-site, there may be others. The time of the second find was during early October 1990 and all the buildings had long gone from Garibaldi, to be replaced by a grassy uneven stepped-slope which was being used as a grazing site for dairy cattle - but, an old photo that I had found, gave an approximate placement of the main street and, after the Pioneer experience, we considered it a likely spot to have a look, so we asked permission from the land-owner to have a careful fossick for common artefacts.

I had pioneer family relatives still living in the area so that was also an advantage.


The Cash were located amongst the buried and crumbling brick foundations of a 'sly-grog' shop, which had been used by the Chinese tin and gold miners, and they were very carefully removed for numismatic conservation by myself.

Two samples of those Chinese brass Cash coins (shown below) are now safely in the proper numismatic care of this author -  after some gentle restoration. Sadly, the other two dug Cash crumbled into tiny black rust chunks - like burnt toast scrapings - at the first attempt to extract them from the soil using coin tweezers and an old soft tooth-brush to clear away the caked soil..


'Australian Coin Review' - December 1990.


The story was published as "Seen one of these before?" in the now defunct 'Australian Coin Review' (December 1990) - but, as a well-known colleague and good Tasmanian numismatic friend, Ian McConnelly has ruefully pointed out:  "Even the 'crooks' can sometimes read!"  

At that time, an upsurge in interest in old historical sites was occurring - not for knowledge, but for what may have been left there - especially if it had a resale value - and, unfortunately, within a few years, many of the old sites and surrounding areas had been desecrated by local amateur 'treasure-seekers' with little care for the historical  or archaeological well-being of anything. The despoilers used anything from bulldozers to dynamite to search the dumps and the big collectible money item was 'bottles' - especially pre-1900 - but how many other things did they destroy!?

We are all somewhat naive at times - but we learn, hopefully, from our experiences.

In recent times, the old Garibaldi site - in particular -  and a few other abandoned small Chinese miners' camp sites nearby, have come off the 'endangered list' due to volunteer efforts by Scottsdale High School students to save them for  posterity.

The north-eastern Tasmanian district, is now a recognised part of the Chinese mining heritage area known as the "Trail of the Tin Dragon", and it is attracting increasing tourist interest.



Main St., Garibaldi township, Tasmania.


These coins would have been lost in the mid-late 1800's when alluvial gold and tin was being panned from the local rivers. These old brass coins from various dynasties were brought to Tasmania by poor miners from the Kwan-tung district of Southern China, for their own use as coinage, in the predominately Chinese camps, and they were sometimes even nailed to a 'joss' stick to rattle noisily during religious or cultural occasions.


Reproduction Brass Cash coins from the CH'ING Manchu Dynasty 1644 - 1911.


CHINESE CASH - cast brass coins.

(r.) - KM293 - 27mm. Shun-chi (1644 - 1661) and KM312.1 - 28mm. Kang-hsi (1662 - 1722) - obverses (in Chinese script0)

(l.) -(Mint) Hu-pu Board of Revenue and (Mint) Kung-pu Board of Public Works - reverses (in Manchu script.)


Numismatic Reference:-

Standard Catalog of World Coins 19th. Century (5th Edition) - edited by Colin R. Bruce II. Published by Krause Publications 2006.




                           - TO STACK!"






by Graeme E. Petterwood  © 2010


The Australian paper banknotes and training notes illustrated below (at a common size) are some of those that I currently own or have encountered over the time I have been interested in money - either spending it or collecting it.

Even though the notes encompass a time span of over 80 years, this ancient writer claims to be just a little bit younger than that - but not much. However, one note that I don't possess - and wish I did - is only available here for viewing on a COINWeb link - and that depicts a Cerutty - Collins 100 Pound note similar to one that belonged, briefly, to my late Grand-mother many years ago*. 


*(Her £100 note was paid to her when she sold a quality upright grand piano - just after WWII - and, I have the remembrance of holding and looking at the note a few times - until it went back to the bank.  It was probably a note in the Series 1924 - 45, but the pictorials are the only thing I can recollect about it now. That was a great encounter for a lad who would later develop a love of numismatics!)


As a  9 y.o. kid, I think I missed 'plunking' out my first musical notes on that beautiful old black piano - with its ornate brass candlestick holders - far more than I was impressed by the fat blue £100 bank-note - but I do remember that I did find the money interesting enough at the time, as it was a small 'fortune' for a working-class family. My late aunt, who lived nearby, was to be the main recipient of the sale - as it was she who had played as a girl - and it was always said to be 'her' piano.  She and her three children had fallen on hard times - and, in those days just after WWII, asking for welfare was the last resort. for a proud but middle-class family.

Not many adults of that era would ever see £100 during their lifetimes - and we young cousins were fully aware it was special - because we were sworn to secrecy about the fact that 'Nan' had the note in the house! 

That much money was well over six month's wages in the mid 1940's.


I must admit, I rarely think about the piano now - although it was the source of my interest in music - but, I do often wonder where Nan's neat blue £100 note ended up - especially, when I see the current catalogue price one would need to find to even make an offer!

I have since seen similar items in major dealers' collections - but, to have held one when they were legal tender and still being used in some transactions is another thing altogether - and, at least,  I have done that!

Refer: http://www.australianstamp.com/Coin-web/aust/notes/100pound/100pound.htm


However, back to the present - these few other old, lesser value notes that I do possess will, hopefully, remain in my family until someone has the need to pass on their custodianship, for whatever reason. The numismatic hobby is strong and well with my offspring - and even into the next generation - so I hope it stays that way - and these notes may well have their own stories to tell about my life and my times.


King George V - 1934 Ten Shillings and 1927 One Pound notes.

These rarely appeared in shops and produce stores  - until the decimal currency changeover was announced.

I recollect handling a few of these musty, hoarded notes - mainly brought back into play by farmers in the late stages of 1965.


The timing of my own birth meant that I was hatched 'between' monarchs ascending the throne of Great Britain and the 'colonies' - King George V had just passed away and King Edward VIII was never crowned - and, whilst I was too young to appreciate the commotion prior to the coronation of King George VI - I did have occasion to see, and even handle, some of his coinage just prior to and during WWII - the paper money came a little later!

As a young schoolboy, from a less than genteel area of the city, I had learnt about the value of money fairly quickly - I sold newspapers on street corners during the week and, on Saturday nights, in the city pubs.

My pay was usually 3 or 4 pence (2 or 3 Cents) for every dozen papers sold - plus tips - so I worked hard to earn a pittance of up to One Shilling (10 Cents) each day - and I learnt to pick a tipping client - and to defend my corner and my pubs - until I was about  12 y. o. when my Mum passed away and I  started at a local technical high school.

During 1949, and the early 1950's, I earned an orange coloured paper 10 Shillings note ($1.00) for working as a grocer's roustabout and delivery boy after school - about 14 hours each week.

On the job, I had plenty of nibbles of broken biscuits, ham and cheese crumbs - but I rarely saw any of the cash money from my wages which went straight into the family budget during those tough post-war times.


Charles Street, Launceston - 1922 - 2010.

Store names have changed - and horses and the electric trams are now part of history - but the street lives on.

James Beck Grocers (with its 3 red balls on roof-top columns) - and other historic buildings' upper facades - are now preserved by the National Trust.


"The grocery store, James Beck & Son, was the old-fashioned family type business with coffee-grinders, meat slicers, big cheese rounds, hams and loose products that needed to be paper-bagged and binned. I loved the atmosphere - and the glorious smells still linger in my mind!.

Both my father and uncle worked there after the War and I was lucky to become the shop-boy, the  'go-for' - and local delivery lad.

The late owner, Mr. Frank Beck, was a tall rotund elderly man - who always looked over his glasses - he was pasty-skinned and he was not jolly - and he never said much - but he was a good person who gave our two families a chance to get re-established at a very difficult time".


By 1953, as I started my own lifetime of toil, that eventually became a successful career in soft-goods and clothing, I saw the old currency replaced the following year, by that of Her Gracious Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, when King George VI died suddenly.

(In fact, I didn't see much of that wage or money either - as the family was still in need at that time.)

There was a small overlap of high denomination issues due to the suddenness of the King's demise and the Queen's ascendency - however, that mattered little as the 'Fivers' and 'Tenners' of  both KGVI and QEII  were scarce in those days for a young-man who earned  an average of £3.15. 0 ($7.50) per 45 hour week - and overtime if I could get it..

The work ethic was established early - because I was lower class and needed to make money to improve - it was that simple.

National Service in the Artillery in 1956 - and a militia obligation for another two years - meant another source of income if I did more and rose in rank.  I worked at it it and stayed on after my obligation had expired and I ended up as a Gunnery-Sergeant (now I am still connected with the Tasmanian Volunteer Artillery as an Royal Australian Artillery Association committeeman and editor of their newsletters in my home state.)


In the mid 1950's I even had a deal with my civilian boss to repair some broken items during my lunch-break so I could earn a little extra cash, just for myself - and some years later, in the late 1950's, another employee and I bought a huge heap old carded button stock, cleaned it up and repackaged it into small plastic pockets and sold them at local markets and split the profits.

It was penny-ante stuff to start with - but I found I has a real flair for sales - and that helped me advance in my regular employment as well.

At the markets, I also had my first real taste of professional numismatics when I befriended a nearby dealer - and, when I became more aware of the 'money in money' - and I started watching my pocket change more carefully.

(Not that I could spend a lot of it due to the fact, in 1958 - at the ripe old age of 21, I had just started courting the true love of my life. She was a petite 16 y.o. vivacious country girl - she was only 4ft 11 1/2" tall - but she had big plans for our future together; and that, eventually, included a love of numismatics - and its people. We married in late 1962 - had 3 kids and 5 grandkids -all with a knowledge of our hobby - and we were a great team until she passed away in 2005.)

Back in those early days, my diligence had assured I was also 'noticed by management' - and I got the chances to improve my lot by becoming a local commercial representative and, eventually, the company's state-wide trouble-shooter with major clients.

This ripple effect meant that I also met all sorts of influential people - including a Prime Minister, several Premiers, Generals, a Governor-General and several Governors - as well as 'Captains' of industry and even a spectrum of manufacturers who were all associated with product sales. 

My market training - and my innate 'cheek'  - meant that I could dare talk with anyone as an equal - I still do!


When the Queen's new currency had first appeared in 1953, I remember that  it was treated a bit too nonchantly by the public, who were used to the staid, traditional styles of the previous monarchs, and, the absence of the Queens portrait on all of the series' notes was a case for eye-brow lifting - however, it did indicate that Australia was asserting it's own stamp on our nationhood by the placement of our 'own' notable people on the notes - even if they were nearly all British - or first generation.

We soon dismissed the 'wrapping-paper' scorn - and settled into our new Elizabethan era - that is still continuing on with the range of current polymer notes - which still has only one picture of the monarch on the $5 .00 note. The signatures have occasionally changed - but the styles have remained relatively conservative compared to some other world currencies.


The Imperial style notes of King George VI issued 1939 - 54 & Queen Elizabeth II issued 1953 -66

King George VI Ten Shillings 1939 - 54; Matthew Flinders Ten Shillings 1954 - 66.


King George VI One Pound 1938 - 53; Queen Elizabeth II One Pound 1953 - 66.


King George VI Five Pounds 1939 - 53; Sir John Franklin Five Pounds 1954 - 66.


King George VI Ten Pounds 1940 - 54; Governor Phillip Ten Pounds 1954 - 66.


In the early 1960's, a further step was taken - politically and financially - when the will of the Australian people was reflected in the Government's announcement that the Commonwealth would be 'going decimal'. 

Weights and all other measurements would be converted - as well as our currency. The original changeover date was set to be February 2nd. 1963 - but nothing happened - and the public eventually had to wait until February 14th. 1966 before we swapped - but we had already started to get 'educated' in many ways prior to that event.


Prior to the changeover, a mad scramble was taking place between collectors and some members of the public, all endeavouring to obtain final stocks of quality old-style higher denomination notes in particular. The financial education process had suddenly produced hordes of amateur  'collectors' - out to make a quick profit - who, until then, had been unaware of the values placed on coins and currency by numismatists.

Those of us, who normally had access to a favourite bank-teller, found that the only way to get a few good samples meant 'crossing the palm with a bit of extra silver' - such was the demand during the last few weeks. Money wore hob-nailed boots!

Sometimes, the older KGVI notes, in particular, weren't quite as pristine as we hoped - but, we beggars (at a price) couldn't be choosers if we wanted to complete our type collections before all the items disappeared..

Small fortunes were made from 1963 through to 1966 by speculators; the fast-track dealers were flying all over Australia making pittance offers for silver coinage and notes; and many old family collections were broken up and sold cheaply by people who knew little of their value.


'Dollar Bill!" Conversion table.

Educational aids to help us understand the conversion from Pounds, Shillings and Pence .


Bank training and familiarisation notes printed to size in the expected colours.

Official paper remnant - with security fibres - from a non-issued 5/- denomination note, was used for this purpose.



Official range of Australian Decimal paper notes.

This actual range (7) includes the orange AUD$1.00 - which was not included in the Training notes range (6) shown above


Coin clubs' memberships that had soared in the early 1960's began to wane again by the mid 1970's - and, eventually, things settled down and stabilized somewhat for the genuine long-term hobby collectors, but - it would never be the same again - the numismatic cat was out of the bag!


The complete range of decimal paper notes, with some changes of signatories, was gradually released between 1966 - 1996 - with the initial note denominations of - $1.00, $2.00, $5.00 (1967), $10.00 and $20.00 - being issued under the heading of 'Commonwealth of Australia' until 1974 .

The new Five Dollars was likened, by the currency 'knockers',  to a popular local confectionary  'Hoadley's Violet Crumble Bar' wrapper.

However, the general population adopted them with vigour - as they provided a natural step in the ladder of values at that time - and they now are our lowest denomination note - and, despite inflation, they are still popular with shoppers. The $10. 00 note is the most frequently used..


In 1974, the heading had been changed to simply read 'Australia' and the $50.00 notes were introduced.

The largest denomination of $100.00 completed the paper range in 1984 - but the year also saw the demise of the $1.00 note which was replaced by a coin. In 1988, the $2.00 followed suit and was replaced by a coin as well.

It was also interesting to note that 1988 was the bi-centenary of the settling of Australia - and, to celebrate the occasion, a new polymer substrate $10.00 was introduced as an 'one-year' issue. It was not without some severe technical problems with the 'see-through' window that needed to be sorted out - thus creating a numismatic scramble at the time - (refer any good Australian catalogue for details)!


Australian Polymer Substrate $10.00 Bi-Centenary note' - dated 26th. January 1988.

A total amount of 800,000 of these unique design notes were dated and individually packaged in folders to be sold at a premium of AUD$14.00 to commemorate the landing of the First Fleet two hundred years previously.

The current numismatic retail price is hovering at about AUD$40.00


Miss Sue Preece of J. R. Green Pty. Ltd. - Ironmongers - collected the first (?) decimal currency.

'The Examiner' newspaper - front page dated 15th Feb. 1966.


As things turned out, my late father was probably one of the first Australian retail store workers to be paid with the new style money.

Within half an hour, or so, of Australian decimal currency being publicly available from the banks on Monday 14th. February 1966 - the Tasmanian-based ironmongery company of  J. R. Green Pty. Ltd. of Launceston, of which he was an employee, was paying its staff with the new-fangled Dollars and Cents.

(As a men's work-wear shop assistant manager, at that time, I also had the opportunity to feel history being made as I handled a few small purchases using decimal currency very early that day.)


The use of the dual coinages and currency was expected to last for a considerable while, but, the Australian public embraced the new money with a vengeance, and, within a relatively short period, the use of Pounds, Shilling and Pence became the exception rather than the rule.


A recollection of interstate Decimals - with a tiny touch of devilment!

I recollect, some years after the decimal changeover, while visiting a cousin and her family at Warrnambool, in the Australian mainland state of Victoria, I was asked if I could drive to the nearby 'George Taylor's' Rural Supply Store' to pick up a parcel.. 

The founder, George Taylor, had established rural stores in many country towns in Victoria - he had two in this area near the coast - and this one was  the largest - and it was located just out of the township.

In fact, it was the founder's original head office - and, if I were to see the owner in person, it would probably be there.

I actually 'knew' the affable George - but I had only dealt with him by telephone - so,  I decided that it was time I met him face to face - and this was an excellent chance. By that time, I was the new Warehouse Manager of the Tasmanian-based 'Tamar Knitting Mills' that supplied the majority of the industrial work pullovers to rural Australia - and George, and his chain of Victorian stores, were very good customers.


While waiting in the store - that sold everything from trousers to tractors and a lot more -  I browsed, and I saw some ex-military items I thought I would purchase for a militaria collector friend in Texas, and - in spontaneous jest  - I asked the young assistant if they took 'Tasmanian' money.

(As most Australian readers would realise - our decimal currency and coinage was a national issue throughout the Commonwealth.)


The tall, lean and wiry, young country lad looked slightly bewildered, so I told him my name and asked for the manager, and he scooted over to the office and relayed my query. A minute or so later, and he returned with Mr. George Taylor in tow.

 With a huge grin - and a wink in my direction as he shook my hand - George said: 

"Sir!  We can supply anything - as long as you take our Victorian decimal coins in change!"

The penny (or, should I say Cent) - only dropped for the 'thin but wiry' lad when I produced my wallet to pay for my purchases - it was a little bit of  country dry humour that I still manage to grin about when I think of the late great George Taylor, decimal currency, and my first memorable trip to Warrnambool, so many years ago.



 Australasian Numismatic References




COINWeb - a CD-ROM catalogue.

'A Catalogue of Australasian  Currency' - compiled by Alan Austin. 2010.

This CD-ROM disc covers Australian coins, banknotes and tradesmen's tokens - it also includes Keeling Cocos Islands, Papua New Guinea, Hutt River Province as well as parts of New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Special retail price still currently  AUD$19.95 - plus postage on application.


* Australian Numismatic Stockist:-

M. R. Roberts - Wynyard Coin Centre.

7 Hunter Arcade, Sydney.

N. S. W. 2000.




Domingo Faustino Sarmiento - Statesman


7th. President of Argentina.


Domingo Sarmiento was born in San Juan, Argentina on Feb. 5th. 1811 and was a part of a poor, but politically active, family.

A survivor of 15 children - 9 of whom died in infancy - he was the only son to reach adulthood.

His story has been reported in part, or full, many times before (see selected link) - but it is worthy of a brief recap for those who have seen his rather stern, less than attractive, visage on Argentina's 100 Australes issued in 1985 - 90 (shown below) and the newer 50 Pesos banknotes issued in 1992 - 97 and again in 1999 - 2003.

Refer:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domingo_Faustino_Sarmiento


Banco Central de la Republica Argentina 100 Australes note (N.D. 1985)

featuring Domingo F. Sarmiento - Series D (Catalog # KM327c).


The young Sarmiento was an intellectual social activist, with a deep religious conviction taught to him by his mother and a clergical uncle.

He was known for his wide interests and his membership of a group known as the 'Generation of 1837' - in fact, his genre scope was enormous.

Sarmiento's talents included journalism, biographical and autobiographical essays, political philosophy and history - and it is now said that he was 'The Teacher' of Latin America.

Being a truly active 'activist' also meant that, during various periods of his young adult life, Sarmiento became engrossed in finding ways forward for his country. His first exile was forced upon him in 1831 after he joined with the rebels to fight the corrupt regime. After his brief period as a soldier , he was arrested for his participation in the failed revolution in San Juan -  and he was forced into exile in nearby Chile for a period of 5 years, where he continued his writings about European-style democracy. He returned a sick man with typhoid fever - but he recovered fully.

At that time, South America was not overly blessed with democracy - only despots and tyrants, backed by the gaucho armies under the control of caudillos (local dictators or strongmen), still held the reins of power in places like Argentina.

Again, in 1840 and 1848,  the political problems of Argentina created turmoil - and, again Sarmiento published rousing disclaimers about regime corruption - and, again, he was forced - or chose (in the latter instance) -  to seek sanctuary in Chile.

During the period 1845 - 47 he had travelled extensively - including a trip to Europe -  to gain further insights into the democratic process and  education.

Sarmiento's political ambitions prospered and, by the mid 1850's - after several false starts when he was arrested and had to flee to Chile again - he was back in Argentina and the groundswell of Liberal and Unitarian support, eventually, carried him into the nation's greatest office - that of the President.  However, during the lead-up to this, he had been appointed as a special envoy to the United States in 1865 and had visited and toured that nation gaining more knowledge. He even wrote a book about the late Abraham Lincoln.

His tenure as Argentina's 7th. President, from 1868 - 1874, saw momentous changes in social welfare -  particularly the opening up of education opportunities for women and children - and, under his guidance, the nation embraced modernisation with the new rail and postal systems that he instigated, and, the power of the caudillos was broken.

After his presidential duties had concluded in 1875, Sarmiento went on to enjoy an illustrious career in the Public Service area of Education - but, in September 1888, while on a visit to Paraguay with his daughter and his companion, he had a heart attack and died suddenly.

He was so well thought of in that nation that he was given a State Funeral procession, organised by the President of Paraguay, and his body was returned to Argentina where he was buried in Buenos Aires - again with full honours.


Sarmiento's life proved a point - that you can't judge a book by its cover - nor the person - by the unflattering portrait on a banknote!





Every so often, we get a reminder that - once upon a time - many economies around our world depended on locally produced currency to tide them over during a tough time. In fact, it is still a phenomena that continues in some places to this day.


Recently, I was fortunate to receive a listing of a informative site that may prove very useful to collectors of Notgeld or Gutschein - or whatever term we may refer to as a description for Emergency Money. This is a fringe area of numismatics that still has great scope and it is always of interest to beginners, or those of us who find numismatic history fascinating. The collecting of Notgeld is  sometimes referred to as 'exonumia' by the numismatic purists - but I tend to think of this more informal area as 'another room in the same house'!

I have included just a few examples of the types of Emergency money that you may run across in dealers stock - as a rule, it is certainly an economical part of our hobby and, it shouldn't be dismissed for that reason, as being not as important as the official issues of currency.

At times, the issues of Emergency money were the only sources of small change or currency available to the general public - and it had real worth during periods of local need.

In recent years, the demand for quality Notgeld has spawned a spate of 'copy-cat' notes that are purely fantasy - they look very much like the real thing and they are often purported to be scarce genuine items from obscure issuers - so, if you do get 'bitten' by the bug - make sure you deal with reputable dealers - and get a good catalogue, or two, covering your own area of interest or you may find that you can also get badly 'stung'.


Typical examples of German and Austrian Notgeld from 1918 -20's


German 1918 - Stadt Rothenburg 50 Pfennig Kreigsgeld.



(Uniface) German 1923 -5 - Stadt Krumbach and the Gerwerbe und Landwirtschafts (agricultural) Bank issue - 500,000 Mark Gutschein.


Austria - various districts - Heller value Gutschein.


NOTGELD.COM - http://www.notgeld.com/

As mentioned, this informative English-based site was suggested to me recently. I have since looked at the site and contacted the author on several occasions and I consider that it may be of interest to others. Many features are available for viewing but, please, bear in mind that it is private and copyrighted site - and the author's time is also private, and of value, and shouldn't be wasted on too much trivia.

I have passed this link on to readers, subject to my normal disclaimers.





'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2007 - December 2009

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'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2010 - to date.


Issue 7. July 2010:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july10.htm

Celebrating a Life - The late Audie Leon Murphy -  a genuine U.S. war hero, and a fine actor from Texas, who battled to survive during the peace.

Blast from the Past - A re-play of the Dalton Gang's raid on Coffeyville, Kansas - and the bloody results when things went dreadfully wrong!.

A Smoking Pipe Style Connects to Coins - Jerry Adams gives us a brief reminder that all sorts of things can relate back to our hobby. This time an unusual pipe style tags us to 'Oom Paul' Kruger - the Boer guerrilla fighter who became president of South Africa.


Issue 8. August 2010:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug10.htm

Reconciliation - Lalla Rookh 'The Last of her Race'. -  For some years, Truganini - or Lalla Rookh as she was also known - was believed to be the last member of her race of Tasmanian Aboriginals. Her sad death at age 73 or thereabouts - and the sordid aftermath - has since been redressed by the people of this state and the descendants of her people. A prestigious medallion was struck in 1976, by the Pobjoy Mint for the Tasmanian Numismatic Society, that commemorated the ceremony of cleansing, the subsequent cremation of her bones, and, finally, the symbolic scattering of her ashes in the area where she lived as a young woman. In the current surge towards reconciliation, it is appropriate we also remember those who didn't live to see the dream fulfilled.

The Royal Bank of Avram -  A brief email visit by HRH Prince John, the Duke of Avram, was sufficient for me to brush off the Ducals once more and catch up on the latest news of our Tasmanian based iconic non-recognised - (except by the prestigious Krause Publications 'Unusual World Coins') - Duchy .

Grading Tokens and other Exonumia - The recent spate of dealers who are grading tokens as if they were coins is fraught with possibilities of danger for newcomers to this section of the hobby. It is establishing a faux pricing system - that will not hold water across the huge variety of stuff that is available

Experienced collectors, of this sort of exonumia, accept that the materials and processes used to make the majority of tokens etc. are not as strict as officially minted products and therefore it needs to be realized that it's a 'horses for courses' situation - and that comparisons with peer products is the only true way to come to a consensus about 'grading'.

R.I.P. - A Great Lady has Passed! - The widow of Audie Murphy, Pam Murphy, died in April of this year aged 90.  In her own humble, but uncommon, way  she was as much a hero to some veterans as her late husband was.  Sometimes we tend to overlook lives like Pam Murphy's - but let this belated press notice dated 16th April 2010, by Dennis McCarthy of the Los Angeles Times,  be a small reminder of a lady who rose above her own problems to offer a smile and helping hand to those veterans she made 'her own'!


Issue 9. September 2010:-

Determining the Value of British Small Change! - check those back of those old drawers - you may have a small fortune amongst that  loose change.

Chinese Cash - In Passing - Between 1644 and 1911, the Ch'ing dynasty flourished in China and many of the older cast Brass Cash coins from the late 1600's and 1700's came to Australia with the thousands of Chinese miners who used them in Chinese camps and enclaves in preference to Western money. Some of these coins became lost, and were only rediscovered years later, where once these industrious miners once worked..

'Made Flat to Stack!' -  Every collector loves to reminisce at times as we pick up an old album or folder with products of - the not so far back - days of yesteryear. Three score years - and a few more than ten -  ago - I first realized that money was great stuff to have access to. The latest trip down memory lane is designed to educated the newcomers in our numismatic family about the sort of stuff that was around when I was not quite so old - and the memories surrounding it were not so poignant.

Domingo Sarmiento - Argentinian Statesman & President - Being born poor and exiled on several occasions didn't stop this boy from becoming Argentina's 7th President and being known as the 'Teacher of Latin America'.

Notgeld - Gutschein - Emergency money - A new site - NOTGELD.COM -  is interesting, and gives us another peek at this fascinating subject.






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