‘NUMISNET WORLD (N.S.)’
Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996) and'Numisnet World' (Est. 2007).
Volume 22 Issue4 2017
SNIPPETS, QUESTIONS & ANSWERS!
OLD STUFF...and NEW STUFF!
Compiled and Edited
Even though the title implies that this News Sheet will be 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 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.
Bi-Metallic and Enclosed Coins & Tokens!
European Zone Coinage
Original 1991-2002 issues included One & Two Euro Bimetallic coins
with national iconic reverses.
It was just a little surprising to be asked about 'irregular' sorts of legal tender coinage by one of my more regular 'Facebook' correspondents - who has developed an interest in numismatics after reading the 'Numisnet World' link. I thought that everyone, in the more civilized places, had experienced bi-metallic coinage by now.
The two part coinage had well and truly joined the ranks of national coinages some decades ago..
However, after broadening the scope of the inquiry, I realized that this subject of bi-metallic and other enclosed coins - and tokens - probably does need a second look, as a reminder.
Bi-metallic coins, enclosed and plugged coins as well as mixed metal tokens have been around for a long time - mainly as advertising gimmicks - but, in recent years, an adaptation of the idea of two or more metals, arranged in an attractive way, has attained legitimacy as part of the official coinage of many nations.
A different sort of 'plugged' English coin courtesy of the late Annie Oakley - world famous markswoman.
This type of plugging does not refer to those precious coins that are holed and plugged with another base metal to form a token of sorts - or even to extract some of the more valuable material.
These sorts of fabrications coined the saying - 'not worth a plugged nickel!'
However, it occasionally happens in reverse - when a small quantity of precious metal is added and increases the value of a base metal coin or token.
1988 Anchorage Coin Club - Alaska U.S.A.
Boxed pair Commemorative Gold Rush Medallions
(Note:- Small thin plug of Gold in the Silver medallion)
The most convenient presentation is the enclosed inner disc surrounded by an outer ring of a different metal composition. However, the success of the bi-metallic coin, at an official mass circulation level, is still being judged. With the cost of production a key factor, the advent of plastic electronic zip-card technology - that has no real set boundaries on its use - is now proving to be a tempting alternative.
In some instances - bimetal coins have reverted to being an official Mint gimmick - of commemorative 'limited release' status - Non-Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) 'works-of-art'! They are always priced at a premium!
Pictured below, are several types of commonly encountered bi-metallic token types that we may add to our collections before they vanish into history. Most are classed as 'exonumia' - not quite money - and, not quite pure numismatics either - although, some may have had temporary redeemable value in some commercial arenas as 'Good For' tokens. Another root - same tree!
Limited release issues.
Enclosed U.S. One Cent and 'Good Luck' enclosed 2005 Quarter Dollar
One Cent (mirror reverse) Good for 12 1/2 Cents (One 'Bit') Tokens (various designs)
(courtesy Jerry Adams - Texas)
Genuine Bi-metallic 'Zenoria Lumber Company' - Louisiana token
'Ralph M. Hall', of Rockwall - enclosed One U.S. Cent political token.
'Windsor Canadian Whisky' - enclosed One Canadian Cent advertising token.
Tasmanian Numismatic Society
50th Anniversary - 2013 Dinner Guests' Remembrance Tokens
(Featuring Australian 1963 Sixpence .500 Silver)
A little more....serious!
As mentioned, the technology was not lost on the world's official Mints - and, some years ago, several nations improved upon the theme and started issuing coinage denominations of, usually, the namesake currency - e.g. Dollars. As a rule, these bi-metallic coins were reserved for special occasions - commemoratives with a specific purpose.
Australian Bi-Metallic Commemorative coins
A small selection of designs from 1994 - 2002
In addition to certain denominations of prestige circulation coinage - several other international Mints also started issuing high priced, very limited issues to cash in on the investment market - a habit that still persists to some extent - although it has fluctuated with demand.
Singapore Official circulation Bi-metallic 2013 One Dollar coins.
The blanks are now being made in commercial quantities by specialist manufacturers - so, it is now just a case of any national Mint using the appropriate new dies when needed to produce any of these Non-Circulating Legal Tender items that are made as investment commemoratives - but, too often, double as revenue-raisers!
Enamelling is a further development - but, that is another story!
Certain enamelled items, with national significance, such as the Olympic Games or Anzac Centenary etc., may have reached the public as circulating coinage in Australia, but, as yet, these are relatively limited issues and soon disappear into collections - or kitchen drawers! However, that could change......!
The enamelled coins appear to be produced quicker -and more economically - with local sourced material, equipment and expertise.
Perhaps, the time and cost involved in importing blanks from overseas suppliers to manufacture Bi-metallic coinage is subject to availability - and conditions that may be outside of our control to guarantee supply.
THE ICONIC AUSTRALIAN
Back in 1993, the Royal Australian Mint started to issue an annual series of Fine silver 1 oz. N.C.L.T. (Non Circulating Legal Tender) One Dollar coins on a descriptive laminated card within a sealed plastic envelope.
These coins featured different members of the pouched marsupial species known as Kangaroos, in various settings, and they were minted, mainly upon Frosted fields, in Uncirculated (Specimen) quality .. and they became an instant winner with collectors who wanted an economically priced iconic collectible.
However, in 1998, a Mint policy change occurred and a Proof version of the Kangaroo Dollar was produced and a variety of different presentation packs were introduced to reap the interest that the original series had sparked.
The Uncirculated version of the coin was still the established item for the average Australian collector, and, it still enjoyed its fair share of market popularity - but these new items were aimed at a perceived 'investment' layer of gatherers.
In 2003, the Mint introduced a Silver Gilt version, priced accordingly, and, from 2007, a few 1/10oz. Gold 'Roos' were also included in the series. Due to some serious price hikes in Silver at the time, the 2007 price for the carded coin jumped to nearly double the price of the previous year, and, in 2008, collectors saw the inclusion of an uncirculated Cupro-Nickel coin - that retailed at the previous 2006 Silver price - in an effort to retain the common collector's share of the market at an affordable price. A downturn in sales occurred at this time, notwithstanding!
The basic .999 Silver Dollar coin is still in production, I believe, but it has now been seen in several versions of Frosted Uncirculated and Proof - even enamelled coins were done, in 2009, as a set with colour reverses by Rolf Harris, Ken Done and Reg Mombassa were introduced.
Old saying - 'If it ain't broke - don't fix it!' - doesn't seem to hold much logic to the 'bean counters'!
(Refer:- Greg McDonald's 'Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes' for the confused plethora of detail).
For the normal gatherer, who wanted nothing more than the iconic Kangaroo Silver Dollar - in an easy-to-handle format - it became a little too much of a hassle - and, due to price - the sales (and manufacturing quantities) have reflected the uncertainty of current demand. At time of writing, official mintage details apparently only cover from 1993 - 2013 but sales appear to have warranted a downturn in production.
The Silver Kangaroo is truly an iconic precious metal coin and - high price or otherwise - it would be a shame to see it totally lost due to commercial expediency. It makes a nice presentation piece for adults.
However, that does not mean that the Mint should keep trying to use it as another 'cash cow' issue!
Back in the early 1990's, iconic Australian fauna coins - such as the Koalas and Kookaburras - featured on several series of Proof and Specimen quality coins - however, fashion - even in Mint products - has its trends as collectors change their tastes over time - and fluctuations caused by world events come into play.
It should be noted that the investment return on some bullion coins appears to have temporarily hit a plateau in recent years as the international Silver ratio price gave percentage ground to Gold as the traditional metal of choice.
A mid March report in'Numismatic News' even indicated that sales of U.S. Silver Eagles bullion coins are 85% down on the January 2017 levels.
However, the very latest reports (received on April 1st. 2017) and published in the featured articles - indicated that prices of the noble metals themselves had actually risen steadily during 2015 and has continued to do so through to 2017. '... the prices of Gold and Silver had outperformed all major American and foreign stock market indices and the U.S. Dollar index.'.
'The European Central Bank last week announced a massive quarter trillion dollar interest-free loan subsidy to Eurozone banks to support the euro currency! With European residents alarmed that the euro or the European Union might collapse, they are buying large quantities of physical gold.'
It was also noted that Russia is getting geared to deal in Gold on a larger scale.
Perth Mint products.
Proof Quality 1 Oz. Kookaburra Rounds .999 Silver.
(Sealed in 1990's approved containers, these Proof coins are now showing signs of mild toning.)
ANZAC DAY 2017
ANZAC COVE BEACHHEAD - April 1915.
The anniversary of the 102nd.Anzac Day (25th. April) is nearing as I put the final touches to this news-sheet - just in case I don't have the chance to upload another during this month - I'll take this opportunity to honour some of my many great-uncles and older cousins who served during WWI.
I actually met some of these men in their later life - and the celebration of the day makes the personal memories take wings once more. Great-uncle Fred Fox was at the actual Landing at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915 and Great-uncle Jim Petterwood arrived as a reinforcement in September 1915 - both went on to serve with distinction in the European battlefields and both returned home in 1919 - a bit worse for wear - but, they carried the ANZAC spirit with them all the remaining days of their lives.
#1010 12th. Battalion, A.I.F. - L/Cpl.FREDERICK ROBERT FOX MM - Gallipoli, Belgium, France.
#1395 3rd.Light Horse A.I.F. - Pte.JAMES HENRY PETTERWOOD - Gallipoli, Beersheba Campaign, France.
The Fighting Fox Family.
For those of my extended family who still lie in foreign fields...
Thomas John Fox - died of wounds (age 29) - Battle of the Somme (Sept. 1918)
(top) Francis (Mick) Llewellan Fox - German P.O.W. (Crete) for duration of war.
(bottom) Clyde (Colin) Harold Fox (age 33) - K.I.A. at El Khalde near Beirut (July 1941).
'Rest in Peace'!
LEST WE FORGET!
A BATTLEFIELD SOUVENIR FROM GALLIPOLI - 1915
10cms. carved bone handled dagger, approx. 29 cms. hand-fashioned steel blade with brass tine locking nut, two silver handle-locking washers - possibly made from beaten Turkish coins or medallions (some calligraphy marks still visible).
(Verified by Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston - possible blood rust inner handle.)
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