Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996) and 'Numisnet World' (Est. 2007).

       Volume 22                                               Issue 2                                                       2017





Compiled and Edited


Graeme Petterwood.

Even though the title implies that this News Sheet will be mainly about numismatic items that interest our international readers - I intend to encourage discussions about virtually anything decent and reasonable- particularly, in any closely associated hobby or trivia-type areas that are of mutual interest. Storylines will be interesting, hopefully, and I may even encourage a bit of gossip at times!  (Illustrations are not to scale.)

This 'Numisnet World (N.S.)' news-sheet may be linked to other forums - and it will be uploaded 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.



One of the Questions I am often asked :- "Are Australian special Commemorative Coins, Uncirculated and Proof Sets good value as investments for the average collector with limited finances?"


The answer is always time sensitive - and, often, rather complex - and, it does not always satisfy those who are over-optimistic gatherers.

These repeat questions often arise from some of our newer readers and colleagues, who tend to expect that the 'glowing' investment results suggested to them - when they made their acquisition - will automatically occur! However, like anything intrinsic - supply and demand, and other factors, will play their part in Market Value!


The 2016 trends in the market-place price structure of Commemorative coins etc. had been somewhat disconcerting as some collectors watched Catalogue prices - and, the actual Market - hesitate and slow to a crawl, then come to a grinding halt. A retreat back beyond issue cost even became evident on some previously considered 'star' performers.

Previous healthy gains in many aspects of business, including numismatics, were negated towards the end of last year by uncertainty created by dire international events.


Not everything numismatic was blitzed in Oz  - but some of the more trendy issues were hard hit - so, be careful when you buy in the first place. Pretty and iconic is not always sustainable in the long term - nor is coinage produced without a valid or popular reason! 

It is an exchange medium, after all!

As many of these items are produced in precious metals, and intended not to circulate, it is obvious that ruling bullion prices also play a part in setting a value.

Currently, the bullion prices of noble metals are volatile.

At time of writing, Silver is just holding its own at US$17.70 oz, and Gold is like a cat on a hot, tin roof at US$1220 oz. - give or take some substantial daily swings.. but, things change quickly - so, don't to get your knickers in a knot and start to panic just yet.

It's a fact of Life! 'The pendulum swings like a pendulum do!'

Coins - as a last resort - will retain their Face Value - unless something catastrophic occurs - so, that must also be incorporated into our idea of real value to us, even if we did initially look upon the acquisition as an investment of sorts. The Royal Australian Mint bean-counters are smart.


If you do decide to off-load your treasure - you will have to find someone who wants to buy it - and their idea of value will be based on their own standards of supply and demand - no matter what stars you may have in your eyes .... and, no matter what last year's catalogue says is a 'recommended' retail price!

Mentally, take off at least 60% from a reliable catalogue suggested retail price to give yourself a low-end price as a reserve* to start haggling from - and, remember, an educated, potential buyer always has the advantage in tight times. (*Also, if applicable, calculate the bullion rate as well....)


I have selected (below) a few examples of older individually boxed, commemorative 1 oz. Non Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) .999 Pure Silver coins etc. that I have noted from my copy of Greg McDonald's 'Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes' (22nd Edition).

McDonald's Pocket Guide provides the best easy access reference I have - and it shows the 2016 values that were prevalent at the time this very informative catalogue was being prepared - and - they do prove the volatility of the current market.

If you compare them with previous McDonald's catalogue values from issue date to the present, you will see that some items show a massive decrease in collectors' market prices while others are barely holding on.

(I have included the 2013 prices in brackets as a guide.)


However, do your homework - if you are a collector first, and an investor second - and, if you want to expand your holdings - you may score a nice piece of numismatic history during this lull in the market... the U.S. forecast is for Bullion Silver to rise later this year and that may stimulate Australian Silver non-circulating Legal Tender once more. So don't throw the baby out with the dishwater just yet...!



1996 - 30th Anniversary Decimal Currency - Issue Price AUD$45 - 2016 Market Value AUD$80 ($110)

1997-8 Old and New Parliament Houses - Issue Prices AUD$45 - 2016 Market Values AUD$60 ($75, $60)

2000 Earth, Moon and Sun Millennium - Issue Price AUD$59 - 2016 Market Value AUD$65 ($195)

2001 Cleopatra's Needle Millennium - Issue Price AUD$65 - 2016 Market Value AUD$65 ($95)

2001 Tasmania's Federation State Tribute - Issue Price AUD$99 - 2016 Market Value AUD$80 ($125)

Current Silver value AUD$22.75oz.



2001 Federation - Issue Price AUD$250 - 2016 Market Value AUD$175 ($310)

Current total Silver value approx AUD$136



For many years, I have had an agreement to off-load any foreign coinage that ends up in the local supermarket tills. Most of the time it consists of small change that can easily be passed as ours due to size and general appearance ...but it is 'supermarket shrapnel' at the end of the day - and is an impost on the stores profits - albeit, a small one.

However, enough of this junk coinage adds up over time - so I take it at 'face value' and recycle, what I can't absorb, through my coin collector contacts. Everyone is deliriously happy.


Occasionally, something else appears - Australian decimal paper money or, even older, Imperial paper banknotes issued prior to 1966.

While most old Australian paper currency is still legal tender, it is a nuisance in the till and to handle it in the banking procedure is tedious - so, storekeepers are loathe to accept it for trivial transactions... however, I am prepared to do an exchange deal to facilitate matters when I get told about it.


I also get asked about collector prices of these older paper notes (they are usually in 'good nick' after years in granny's kitchen cupboard).

Of course, my idea of 'good nick' is usually a lot different than a bloke who wants to earn a little extra and thinks he has a fortune - and, who also thinks that I will try to rip him off as a matter of course!.


What would a collector reasonably pay?

Firstly, he would offer equivalent value against the modern currency - it is always a dream that in such a deal he WILL find a treasure - but, there are still mountains of the good stuff hoarded away and it is not as scarce as people think - and, depending on his own needs, a gatherer might go up to about 25% more than Face Value on that basic stuff - depending on how good the piece of pretty paper really is.

He may not really need it....but, buying it takes another one off the street! (Sizes of scans not to scale)



New Denominations added to Decimal Paper Currency range

$5.00 (1967) - $50.00 and $100.00 (1973) *(Not to scale)


From time to time, I may get a really special request to do a little bit of international currency exchange when US Dollars, Euros - or some near Asian neighbour currency - becomes available from friends after a trip away... but, it is a risky business sometimes with fast changing daily rates.

I usually limit my exchanges to very small amounts that only benefit my collecting habit.

A few years ago, I did get caught'napping' when one national currency devalued immensely, without warning, soon after I had paid full rate for a heap of it to help out a friend and hadn't time to off-load it after her holiday in Indonesia. It wasn't a fortune so I just absorbed the loss and added the majority of it to my own accumulation and distributed some to other gatherers in swaps.

However, it could have been costly - so, I now warn our fellow gatherers - try to be aware of current events and economic trends that may be just under the horizon if you decide to dabble in an effort to pick up a few new banknotes.

The notes shown below are just a few from my venture ....


1984 Indonesian 100 Rupiah - 1988 Indonesian 500 Rupiah

1992 Indonesian Rupiah - 100 Indonesian Rupiah


1992 Indonesian 5000 Rupiah


For a great number of years - and, from two younger generations - I have been asked:

'What did you do in the War, Pop?'


Many of Australia's older men of my generation were fortunate that, through quirks in history, we leap-frogged the conflicts of the 1940's, 50's and the 60's.

The War referred to - is the historic one for these youngsters - World War II (1939 - 45) when we old age pensioners were either - not born, too young - or weren't needed.

It doesn't mean that we were not willing - if, the need had arisen at the right time in our lives!

We often served our country in other ways - but, we were never called upon to fire a shot in anger.


1951 - 1972 Anniversary of National Service Medal (Bronze) 

Retrospectively introduced in 2001, after decades of pressure on Government by former National Servicemen, this Anniversary Medal was initially unpopular with recipients - but, it was all that was on offer from the intransigent Government of the era- so, it was eventually accepted - and is now worn with pride.

160,000 issued to date - expectations were 300,000+ ... Value +AUD$250+

Edge inscribed - Serial No. and Name


National Service was introduced as a compulsory military training scheme in the early 1950's, when the world was still in turmoil after the Korean conflict, and a ballot was held each year to select a quota of 18 y.o. youths who were drafted to be intensively trained for 3 months - with a 2 year part time training component attached to complete the service. Many of our officers and NCO's had WWII or Korean War first-hand experience and we learned our lessons well from men who had been there.

The Boy Scouts' motto is 'Be Prepared!' - and, it was a motto that the Australian military also adhered to during the 1950's with good reason. Our part of the world was in in a strategically fragile place at that time.


My family has had a very long history of military Service - my great, great grandfather, James Peterwood, (born in 1804) was a professional boy soldier at the time of the 1812 - 15 conflicts, on the Canadian border, with the U.S.

He married Sarah Emma Wyatt in Portsea 18th June 1836 and, during the Napoleonic era, he had progressed to the Royal Marines and, as a Corporal  he was aboard the paddle steamer sloop, HMS 'Vesuvius' during 1840-2 doing troop carrying duties. As a member of  the Battalion of Supernumerary Royal Marines, (Portsmouth Division), he took part in operations against the French in the Sidon campaign (Syria) in 1847 and later in Europe.

Eventually, he was discharged as 'worn-out' - after a short time in Ireland fighting rebels - he then joined the ranks of Pensioner-Guards aboard the convict ship 'Blenheim' with his surviving family.

Two daughters had died earlier in infancy, and were buried in England, at Clanfield and Blendworth, one son - also an infant - died during the journey on the 'Blenheim' and was buried at sea - the survivors came to Tasmania in December 1850 and settled down in Perth - and started a small dynasty with 6 children.

My great-uncles, father and uncles - from the extended family - were veterans of WWI and WWII - so, it was not a problem for me when my name came up in the National Service ballot.

I had my moments during my training in 1956 - but, it was a rewarding experience as far as I was concerned.



That some of our National Servicemen volunteered, after the 2 year compulsory obligation had finished, and went on to serve in the Citizen Military Forces as Militia, indicated personal willingness! 

As conscripted National Servicemen, we had been trained in our thousands -but, not all of those who applied were accepted as volunteers. I chose to stay in the Royal Australian Artillery, 6th Field Regiment 'R' Battery as it had family connections - my uncle had been a 6th. Field Regiment Gunner in the pre-WWII militia (pic) - and I progressed to the rank of Gun Sergeant over time.


Gunner Raymond N. Petterwood at the breech of a 12 Pounder.


Our Army still needed to grow - modernization and expertise were now part of the disciplines that were required in an ever-increasingly fragile political climate in the South East of Asia.



We, the former members of the citizen military forces, saluted those from the next generation who, we sometimes trained, and, particularly those who went on to play active roles in the regular forces - or were part of the next compulsory call up for Vietnam.

That other younger members of our extended family went into a politically motivated conflict not of their choosing - as a result of a ballot aimed at underage youth without a vote at that time in history - was especially perturbing and poignant - but our family was lucky and the old saying, "There, but for the Grace of God, go I" - does have a special meaning to a lot of us who survived the era.

Lessons were learned, things did change, but only after intense political lobbying and some nasty confrontations on the home front!


2006 The Australian Defence Medal

Total struck 260,000+ .... Value +AUD$150+

Edge inscribed - Serial No. and Name


In later years, that willingness to serve was rewarded when eligibility to a new Australian Commonwealth medal - The Australian Defence Medal - was approved in 2004 and instituted in 2006. (above)

It has now been extended from its original role to encompass and recognise the role that the citizen and reserve forces volunteers played in their non-combative situation as trainers, and possible defenders, on the national front during those years from 1945.

They were originally struck at the Royal Australian Mint at Canberra, then in Singapore (for economic reasons) but, are now produced in Australia, once more, by Cash's of Melbourne.


The red field of the ribbon, with its black edges, represents Flanders Poppies and the Anzac Spirit.

The two white lines divide the ribbon field - to symbolise the three branches of military service - and, the part played by all - during times of peace as well as times of conflict.

The boxed medal, with its accessories, was backdated until 1945 and issued to applicants - within guidelines established by the Department of Defence, and, that included an initial length-of-service provision of at least 4 years. That has now altered slightly to cover the term of engagement and/or extenuating circumstances.


'Australians AWARDED'

(Rennicks Publication 2nd Edition 2014) compiled by Clive Johnson


 Vietnam Active Service medals group.

(Shown with permission of Donald B. Petterwood.)




Courtesy of the Launceston 'Examiner' Saturday Feb.16 2017



The new Australian $10 banknote will retain its blue tones and the faces of literary talents and take on new splashes of yellow and tactile features. It will have additional security features as well,

It will be issued from September 2017, the Reserve Bank said recently.

The estimated 120 million old style $10 notes still in circulation will remain valid - and will be slowly replaced as they are gathered through normal channels, and returned for recycling, as usual.




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