Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)
Volume 22 Issue11 November 2017
SNIPPETS, QUESTIONS & ANSWERS!
OLD STUFF...and NEW STUFF!
Compiled and Edited
Even though the title implies that this publication is mainly about numismatic items that interest our international readers - I encourage and invite discussions about virtually anything decent and reasonable- particularly, in any closely associated hobby or trivia-type areas that may be of mutual interest.
Storylines will be interesting, hopefully, and I may even encourage a bit of gossip at times!
Whilst this revised publication is no longer an official auspice ofany association or club - it does maintain close friendly relationships with the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' and several other groups and organizations, and, it will feature articles and issue reminders from those sources, on occasion, as a mutual service.
This new version of the 'Numisnet World' publication may also be linked to other forums for distribution - and it will be uploaded to the Internet whenever it is convenient - and when, the subject matter is of interest and sufficient in quantity to attract and entertain new readers - but, hopefully, not bore - old friends.
PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aprilnews.html
Q & A Reminder!
Readers are reminded that - while the 'Numisnet World' is prepared to try to find answers to any pertinent numismatic questions you may have regarding the study of money in its usual forms - we also cover the more common types of exonumia. Things like medals, medallions, 'funny' money - cash vouchers, local currency and tokens etc. all fall into this category - so, if you want answers - ask the questions! (Please note illustrations are not always to scale.)
How much it means! ....
That firm 'pat on the back' - the hearty words 'well done!' - and other actions that can shape our lives - even old ones - and set us on a course that we may not have ventured upon without those moments of encouragement, are always worthy of a few comments!
Early on the morning of 11 May 1991, my late wife, Ailsa, and I set off from our home in Ravenswood, near Launceston in the North of Tasmania, for the long drive to Hobart to participate in the first International Coin, Medals and Banknote Fair to be held at the former Sheraton Hotel under the auspices of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society'.
I have related the outcome of that wonderful event on previous occasions - it was such a remarkable pivotal watershed in my life that I will never forget it.
That day, I also re-acquainted with an old friend, T.N.S. Hon. Sec. Chris Heath, who encouraged me to join the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' and, with the available mentoring that was forthcoming from my new peers, I graduated from casual gatherer to an avid collector!
Due to previously arranged commitments, my wife could not attend the Dinner at 'Woodstock' (Token issuer, Peter Degraves' former residence) that evening - but - I accepted the unexpected invitation, and had the opportunity to meet some of the giants of the Australian numismatic hobby and the business - as well as several members of the T.N.S. - sadly, some are no longer with us!
I regularly stayed at the 'Black Buffalo Hotel' when I was in Hobart, as I had business accommodation there. Eventually - I was encouraged, by our friend Chris Heath, to stay with him - if, I visited the capital city on private matters, or, if both of us came down for a 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' function..
Trips to Hobart to participate in special Society functions - albeit somewhat infrequent in the early days - were always thoroughly enjoyable breaks for both my wife and myself as we made some remarkable and enduring friendships over the following decades.
At that period, I was writing paid articles for the 'Australian Coin Review' and this event was certainly news-worthy - so, I also earned myself a little extra pocket-money to spend on more coins, banknotes et al.
My A.C.R. literary efforts were duly noted by someone on the T.N.S. Executive Committee, and I was encouraged to contribute to the Society's news-sheet as a literary contributor.
However, in a relatively short period of time - due to the retirement of the former Editor of the Society's own news-sheet - of which I had become a literary contributor - I was encouraged to take on the post of Acting Editor and finally, Editor of the small publication - interests that I held for nearly two decades until my 'first' retirement a few years ago.
I was also still writing for A.C.R. until it ceased publication in 1996 - and then was encouraged to contribute a few unpaid articles to the newly conceived 'Australasian Coin & Banknote' Magazine (CAB) started by Greg McDonald and others to provide numismatists with a dedicated literary magazine.
I continued to contribute until the magazine eventually changed hands and policy changes took effect.
In the first few years of the 1990's, with the Internet becoming a technological force with great potential, the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' eventually started to spread its wings a little wider - and, from being a totally local printed presentation - it flew into the international sphere of electronically presented numismatics, and, under my tutelage, the news-sheet rapidly expanded to become a regular periodical newsletter - both in printed and the new electronic format.
As the volunteer who had ended up as the Editor for the Society - I was given a relatively free rein by our T.N.S. President Roger McNiece OAM and the Executive Committee - and I was encouraged to take it upon myself to implement innovations and upgrades in presentation -. and, hopefully, encourage a new breed of international Internet member to join the Society - and to connect with other numismatic groups.
Like 'Topsy' ...with encouragement, it grew and achieved its purpose!
It actually thrived far beyond all my expectations - and, with the positive encouragement of readers, a new, more inclusive, title was born - 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) - to run separately from the local printed 'Tasmanian Numismatist' on a more frequent basis. Articles would be interchangeable when warranted.
Although I gave the local newsletter Editorship due and diligent attention, this was not a job I had, originally, actively pursued - rather, I felt that I was probably -'it' - when the music had stopped...however, in late 1994, at a Society function, another unexpected act of encouragement changed all that forever!
GREG & JENNY McDONALD AWARD
This small wooden plaque, presented by Greg and Jenny McDonald, still inspires and means the world to me.
I was always optimistic - I had a small spot on a wall reserved for such a recognition if it ever came along - and, although it now has plenty of company - I will always acknowledge that this was the very first Award I received for doing what I still love to do. Thank you Greg and Jenny!
Editor, Graeme Petterwood - with publisher and friend, Greg McDonald
(T.N.S. Dinner 2015).
...and, Greg is still encouraging me by his own dedicated example of perseverance!
Encouragement, however, is always a two-way street - and, I know from personal experience that numismatic publications - even club newsletters - do not just appear - as if by magic.
It is now my turn to offer encouragement for the decades of hard work that Greg and Jenny McDonald - and their family - have lavished on the Australian numismatic community.
This level of commitment cannot be balanced out by comparing the small profits made from such a publication against the huge undertaking of time away from family, missed holidays, loss of private time - and the sheer hard work that is needed to bring this recommended publication to life each year.
The amount of research and work to put together Greg's famous little 'pocket-book', for instance, must be phenomenally difficult.
Imagine the effort involved in getting the hundreds of illustrations, putting them into a semblance of order, acquiring mintage details, contemporary pricing, history - and then publishing it all in a compact form ... the mind boggles!
This 496 page compact compendium, of all you will want to know about the Australian contemporary numismatic scene, still retails under AUD$40.00 - but, we need to show our encouragement by continuing to invest in the annual volume.
Greg McDonald Publishing and Numismatics Pty. Ltd.
P.O. Box 649, Lavington, N.S.W. 2641 Australia.
THE 'EX'-TRA STRING
TO OUR NUMISMATIC BOW!
'EXONUMIA:- Numismatic items not of government issue e.g. tokens, medals and scrip'
COIN WORLD ALMANAC 1975.
The purpose of this newsletter is to feature - for educational purpose, as well as our enjoyment - the host of 'numismatic' items we have come to accept using this collective term. Thankfully, our own definition of our main subject is relatively loose - and the scope includes coins, banknotes, medals, medallions, tokens, scrip - and all sorts of closely associated objects we care to encompass under that broad umbrella. They can be real, replicas or even fakes - but all have stories to tell - and some are far more intriguing than others!
Our readers will encounter the term 'exonumia' regularly in this publication - so, perhaps, we should briefly examine a few items of interest to tickle the fancy of those of us who have chosen - or may choose - to venture along this fascinating numismatic pathway. (Please note that illustrations shown in this article are not always to scale.)
There are many definitions of the terms that accompany this page in the handbook so I will mention just a few that will be useful. They are quoted from 'Coin World Almanac - First Edition 1975'.
Facsimile - An exact copy or reproduction.
Original 'Thomas White and Son' (Westbury) Penny token in Copper.
Facsimile token dated 1855 in new Bronze.
(This copy is too close to the original in presentation - it could be mistaken as a variety - and it has been sold on several occasions as a genuine item.)
Fantasy - An object having the physical characteristics of a coin or medal, issued by an agency other than a governing authority yet purporting to be issued by a real or imaginary governing authority as a coin or medal.
Royal Bank of Avram - Ducal denomination 'coins'
The 'Royal Bank of Avram' in located in a mythical Duchy - wherever another of my acquaintances, Prince John (Duke of Avram) (nee Rudge) happened to be at any time.
Empire of Atlantium - 'Emperor George' (Cruickshank) issued a 10 Gold Soldi piece
- another fantasy - but with real intrinsic value! (Library pic.)
A selection of Coins of the 'Hutt River Principality'.
'Prince Leonard' (Castley) - and his heirs - are the rulers of this 1970 self- proclaimed principality within a nation.
These coins are legal tender in 'Hutt River Province' - located within the Australian state of West Australia - and are interchangeable with Australian and other international currencies at a special tourist exchange rate. (Library pics.)
Imitation - That which is produced commercially and sold as a copy, and which is not in violation of counterfeit laws - although many go very close!.
Copy in Cupro-Nickel of a genuine Chinese 1904 Silver coin.
(Note missing 'leg' from Chinese character and extra 'dots' between sections of the reverse legend.)
This shiny copy is close to the original in size and style and it is known that it has been on-sold as a genuine 'variety' token ...at C.N. prices. (Genuine coin pic. is from Internet source.)
There is one other rather 'famous' - or should I say 'infamous' - imitation that turns up regularly for comment in this column - our old favourite - the 1752 Reader's Digest Ducat..
It has very similar design characteristics and text as the genuine Austrian Ducat coins of the era - enough to be a nuisance for collectors who think that they have stumbled upon an unlisted variety.
It has become such a continuing controversial piece that I believe it now should be worthy of it's own spot in any exonumia or numismatic handbook - if it hasn't already appeared.
As far as a value - depending on condition - anything in loose change under an AUD$1.00 might be a reasonable ask!
The following correspondence is from a previous 'Tasmanian Numismatist ' newsletter published in September 2002 - referring back even further - and gives an indication of how long this piece has been plaguing me - and many others who have been vexed by it!
With replica items like this it is no wonder that the public can be fooled.
I still have a 'silver' sample of the base metal 'ducat' and, prior the time the original article was researched and prepared, I also thought I had something that might be 'rare' as it was not listed in any publication.
(The high reflective surfaces did not scan well but the old illustrations below show the style.)
I was also disappointed, as the latest correspondents would have been, when advised of its rather mundane history.
The reasonably well-made 'coin' has a measurement of 20mm. and weighs less that 2 grams. - a lot lighter than the genuine article - but, of course, it is now an interesting pseudo-numismatic item of some small note in its own right - if collectors are aware and accept it for what it is."
"A correspondent from Belgium requested information from the searchable archives about that old 'Austrian Ducat' dated 1752 with the legend 'TU DOMINE SPES MEA' on the reverse. Unfortunately, the records with the explanatory article had been deleted from this archival area as they were over 15 years old, so it was a case of resurrecting the original hard-copy newsletter. This condensed extract is from the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - April 1996.
1752 AUSTRIAN DUCAT
'Some time ago a correspondent to the 'Australian Coin Review' (now incorporated into the 'Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine') mentioned having found, what appeared to be, an unlisted Austrian Ducat dated 1752 bearing the legend 'FRANC. D.G. R.I.S. A. GER. IER. REX.' with the portrait of Francis of Lorraine on the obverse and the legend 'TU DOMINE SPES MEA' on the reverse.
It was very similar - but 'not quite right' - in comparison to others of that time period.
The 'coin' was in fact manufactured and distributed on behalf of the 'READERS DIGEST' organisation some decades ago (c.1984) as a promotional gimmick, and samples regularly turn up on market stalls in both 'gold' and 'silver' finishes.
These 'coins' usually have a dark chemical reaction spot in the centre where they had been attached with an adhesive glue to a 'Reader's Digest' give-away sheet.'
Reader's Digest 'Austrian Ducats' c. 1984 (?) - 'Gold' or 'Silver' finishes.
(Usually with either light or dark centre-mark caused by an adhesive glue.)
Jeton - A counter intended, usually, to be used for computing purposes or games (much like a 'poker chip') There are a great many varieties.
Brass Victorian-age Card Counter.
Maverick - An unidentifiable or non-attributed specimen. It might even be very straight-forward in design and text - but, often, its origin, purpose and source, may turn out to be a real mystery!
Chancery Hotel - One Shilling brass token
- but, where do I come from?
Medalet - A small medal, often lugged or pierced for appropriate ribbon or attachment , usually no larger than 18-20 mms. in diameter, usually presented by an official organization. To be worn on special occasion when full-size medals are not appropriate or convenient.
The Australian military 'Anniversary of National Service' Medal and the 'Defence' Medal 19mm. medalets (shown below) fall within the strict numismatic definition - but some other similar items put out by some commercial manufacturers do not - and can be broadly classed as 'exonumia.' - and they must be worn according to the official order of preference.
The other medalets (right) were issued to commemorate - (1) the 1894/5 Exhibition in Hobart (top pierced) and, an Italian produced commemorative gilded religious medalet depicting - (2) B. Frederic Ozanam and an occasion at Notre Dame de Paris on August 22nd., 1997(with ribbon or pin lug)
19mm. 'Anniversary of National Service' and 'Defence Medal' medalets.
1894/5 Hobart Exhibition medalet reverse - 17mm. generic obverse medalet.
Italian 17mm (B. Frederic Ozanam obverse) medalet dated August 22, 1997.
Medallion - A medal-like object, usually of large diameter, often in presentation packaging (and not normally meant to be worn as a personal decoration) - usually acceptable as a genuine officially-issued numismatic inclusion.
There are some good quality commercial exceptions that fall within the category of 'fantasies' - so be aware!
Occasionally, as well as other special limited issue official versions that do surface within the market - manufacturer's 'trial pieces' - sometimes in 'off-metal' strikes and sometimes weight variations - but which have most of the visual appearances of an official release- do also occur. These are sort after by those accumulators who consider that these objects constitute another challenging and interesting collecting string to the same 'exonumia' bow.
2004 Official Commemorative Presentation 40mm.Medallion
European Foundation of Hobart 1804.
1992 Gilded Pewter 70mm.Tasman Medallion (Tasmania Bank issue)
Off-metal trial strike from various waste metals ('rainbow slag').
Mule - A 'mule' is a hybrid coin, medal or token whose obverse die is not matched with its official or regular die, i.e. mismatched obverse and reverse.
33mm. 'muled' brass token
Issued by the T.N.S. as an advertising piece - International Coin & Medal Fair Hobart 1991.
Sources were 1891-2 Queen Victoria International Exhibition medal obverse - and Macintosh & Degraves 1/- Silver Shilling token reverse (Library pic.)
Necessity (Emergency) Paper Money - Fiat money issued locally, often under ad-hoc authorization, to meet an emergency, hostilities or a lengthy siege, a breakdown of central authority - or an absence of regular money.
The well-known Gutschein and Notgeld paper notes and various 'token coinages' fall into this category as does the issuance of non-authorised 'official' money. The 1918 Ukrainian note shown below is identical to the official currency - it was printed using genuine plates and paper - except it was issued without any authority - except that of an occupying military force - albeit even part of the official Russian Tsarist army.
The additional part of this issue - recognised by its non-conforming series numbers - was later repudiated when the area was re-occupied by the conquering Bolshevik forces during the Russian Revolution in 1919.
1918 Ukrainian 50 Karbowanez notes (after Series # A0 209)
Issued in Odessa by Tsarist forces under the command of Gen. Danikin during the Russian Revolution.
These notes were later repudiated as illegal by the victorious Bolshevik controlled Ukrainian Government.
Scrip - Paper notes usually of denominations less than a Dollar - as substitutes for official currency.
Scrip is usually issued by private persons or organizations such as Coal mines and sutlers (providores) - but modern versions are emerging which are usually time-sensitive, but, also attractive as 'discounts' to shoppers.
Pseudo-notes Kmart Cash - exchangeable for goods.
Values from 5Cents - One Dollar.
(It is known that Kmart scrip was often utilized by individuals as 'small change' during this long promotion.)
Souvenir Coin - A token of a promotional, or commemorative, character which may purport to have a stated exchange value as temporary coinage by participants within a local area.
Mahone Bay - Canadian Municipal 5 Dollar Tokens.
These types of tokens are desirable collectibles and are available in various metals. (Library pic.)
Souvenir Token - Usually a piece of durable material such as metal, plastic, vulcanite or leather - appropriately marked and issued by private organizations or individuals. These can be purchased for various uses in situ, e.g. admittance to venue and services - as well as advertising mementos - or other designated purposes, however, they do not normally have any value beyond souvenir pieces.
A montage of Tasmanian tourist souvenir tokens.
Vectures - A dedicated collector of transport tokens (Vectures) is known by the title of 'Vecturist'.
These collectible tokens were once purchased for use by commuters to save costly delays caused by money handling on public transport prior to swipe card technology. The non-use of cash was also a security advantage for the transport operator.
U.S. Transport Tokens of the type collected by dedicated vecturists.
They are also very popular collectibles within the broader numismatic community.
Wooden Nickels - Currently used for advertising and souvenir purposes, wooden nickels were originally issued as 'emergency money' in Tenino, Washington State.
Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels!
(- unless you are a collector..... !)
So says the old adage .... it often means - don't accept everything at 'face value', or as genuine, without checking it out carefully - but, I suppose all sorts of meanings can be attributed to the good old wooden nickel syndrome - in fact, these various shaped and humble pieces of 'numismatica' now hold a revered spot in some collector's accumulations of - 'not quite' - coins.
The modern world tends to think of the round Nickel Five Cent coin from the United States of America as the archtypical 'Nickel' these days - even though many other nations still have a similar 'nickel' coin in size - and limited value - usually, as one of their lowest hard-working denominations.
That was the same attitude back in the Great Depression era of the early 1930's when actual metal coinage was seriously lacking in the U.S. public arena and emergency issue 'coins' produced at lesser cost, and using inferior material, started to appear to fill the need..
TENINO 1931 WOODEN 25 CENT 'CHAMBER of COMMERCE' REDEEMABLE CURRENCY CERTIFICATES. (Library pic.)
Further reading: 'Wooden Nickel' information site:- http://www.wooden-nickel.net/
The thin, flat wooden rectangular 'promissory notes' or Certificates - which first appeared in 1931 as emergency money in Tenino, Washington state, during the U.S. Depression came into being due to a chronic shortage of coinage. They were issued by the Chamber of Commerce - but soon were being used, at face value, for a coffee or as a discount off a meal or a product at any local venue who were prepared to accept the ''Certificate' as money to be 'redeemed' at the Citizen's Bank of Tenino.
The phenomena of wooden coinage was well established by 1934 when advertising was also placed on similar wooden redeemable flat rectangular 'Nickels'. Whilst this form of promotion wasn't all that successful initially, it did enjoy a fruitful era during the 1950 - 60's as a novelty item.
2000 WOODEN NICKEL CHRISTMAS GREETING CARDS
(issued by the late, great Canadian numismatist, JERRY REMICK III)
Modern versions of this type of 'Wooden Nickel' are still being produced as gimmick advertising pieces
and personal greeting cards as shown here - often by dealers or collectors of exonumia.
In 1933, the first round Wooden Nickels were actually produced in Blaine, Washington state for the same purpose of allaying a local coinage shortfall..
If the 'cheap to produce' wooden nickel was 'good for' something of real value like food or drink - even it was only 5 Cents worth - it was better than nothing during and just after those dark days of the Great Depression - so it became worth having in local communities who were cash-money poor.
The Wooden Nickels with value were the American equivalent of the European Notgeld or Gutschein token coinages and the Australian Tradesmen's tokens of the mid 1800's. They often filled a niche in both a faltering, and a recovering, financial market that lacked quantities of low value specie.
However, the saying "Don't take any wooden Nickels" also became a warning during those hard times - it came from the practise of some unscrupulous people who were employing out-of-work transients for hard or menial casual work and then encouraging them to take payment in Wooden Nickels, worthless paper scrip or local tokens which may - or may not - be honoured by the issuers. The somewhat dubious promissory paper - took more money to produce than it was worth because of it's short-life span - was often not sturdy enough for many of the itinerant people forced to subsist with this sort of thing. They were really 'cheap and nasty' times!
During the 1940's, the large wooden coin-like rounds bearing a familiar U.S. 'Nickel' coin design started to achieve commercial success for a variety of reasons - mainly because they were easier to handle than the thin wooden rectangular stye gimmick.
The concept of actually using wood for the so-called Wooden Nickels was gradually replaced with the idea of using modern materials such as plastic or cheap alloyed metals - even though the wooden item was still cheaper to produce, it means precious trees need to be cut and processed.
However, there is a thin line between the 'costs' of conservation and the modern industrialization goals of limiting greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel usage..
Those wooden Nickel tokens we do see these days are mainly novelty advertising gimmicks - or only have a limited discount value off a product commensurate with the cost of having the token made and distributed - and often a time element is applied.
"Wooden Nickels" - no matter of what material they are made from - or what stated value - will still have a place for both distributor and user as long as there is a perceived market - but, they should not be confused with the modern era local 'good for' currencies that are starting to proliferate the U.S. during the latest economic downturn - that's another story altogether!
Modern era versions - Advertising or 'Good For' - Wooden Nickels
The obverses and reverses tend to be 'upset' in most instances - and the tokens often vary slightly in thickness and diameter.
Top Row - Reverses:-
1. Eversole's Store - Elk Creek, Nebraska Est. 1908 - 1776 - 1976 Bicentennial.
2. Verona 76 Celebrate American Bicentennial.
3. Souvenir From E.B.'s Restaurant, Garden City.
4. Worth 10% on any Order within 90 days - Campbellsville Industries - Campbellsville, Ky.
Second Row - Reverses:-
1.SMAT Good For 1/2 Fare 928-5624 1987
2.SMAT Good For 1/2 Fare 928-5624 1992
3. Peter Yegen Jr. / 1953 Museum 1999 / Yellowstone County.
4. Good For One Free - Lone Star Root Beer - Lone Star Brewing Co. * Note: Incorrect spelling of 'United' (Untied) on (obverse) Buffalo side.
Third Row - Reverses:-
1. Wood Works Better .... Naturally.
2. Rustler Restaurant - 25% off on any order - Chandler, Texas
3. Memphis Coin Club - 8th Annual Convention November 25-26-27, 1966 - Hotel Sheraton-Peabody
4. Old Country Store - Always Good for 10c Trade - Jackson, Tenn.
Fourth Row - Reverses:-
1. Booneville, Miss. /1861 - 1961 / Good in Trade in Booneville until May 13, 1961 /Centennial
2. United States of America / E Pluribus Unum/ Depiction of an Eagle (on the moon with a palm frond)
3. 90th. Bomb Group (H)1942 - 1945 / Depiction of Skull above two crossed bombs/ Jolly Rogers - Best Damn Heavy Bomb Group in the World
Wooden Nickels - such as these shown above - have a specialist collector value varying from US10Cents - $6.00+ - depending on 'age' and rarity - just as real coins do. However, there are items that can be very desirable if they originate from certain venues - and the prices asked and paid are commensurate.
A recognised U.S. token catalogue - and there are quite a few (mainly as individual state publications) - will give up-to-date valuations - but the average price of wooden coins is always flexible and they are geared to contemporary market demand - and often values are negotiable.
These few selected tokens are typical - most obverse depictions are based on the Indian Head/Buffalo 1913 - 38 U.S. Nickel 5 Cent coin designs - but some are of higher denominations and based on more modern issues - and others are totally original.
1913 Indian Head - Buffalo (Nickel) U.S. 5 Cent coin (Library pic.)
1971 Eisenhower Copper - Nickel clad 'Moon Landing' Dollar
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