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

       Volume 22                                               Issue 5                                                      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 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.




It has been argued that the infamous Biblical 30 pieces of 'Easter' Silver were most probably a mixture of locally produced coins and those of Augustus or Tiberius......either Roman Tetradrachms or Staters - made in the manner of the older Greek and Roman coins which were still in circulation at that time - and, that the weight of the 30 pieces, taken to betray Jesus, was approximately 15 troy ounces of alloyed Silver. The Staters from Antioch, bearing a likeness of Augustus Caesar, are the hot favourites in the race to bear the title of the infamous 30 pieces of Silver. Today's bullion value is about US$200

In that era, they would have had a buying power of 4 - 6 months wages to a 'blue-collar' worker! 

A considerable sum, that some pundits have put at a more modern worth of about US$15,000+


Refer:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_pieces_of_silver



'Coin Week' pic.



Not exactly 30 pieces of Biblical Silver!

Over the years, I was fortunate to have friends at the nearest local grocer - the Ravenswood  IGA Everyday Supermarket as it now is. The store grew from humble beginning and has changed hands a few times - but, the advantage of being an original resident of this suburb in the foothills of the City of Launceston meant that I knew most of the people in all the local businesses in those early days as our area 'grew like Topsy!'.

My request to exchange new coins for old - was a bit like the story of Aladdin's Lamp .... when I rubbed the lamp and wished hard (and took everything that was gathered at face value)  - I ended up with some bits of silver shrapnel (and scraps of pretty paper) that proved to be small treasures!


Silver Shrapnel leftovers!

Australian well circulated .500 and .925 Fine Silver pre-decimal coinage



 .800 Fine Silver Round 50 Cents (issued and withdrawn 1966)

Now replaced by a 12 sided Copper-Nickel alloy coin.


Perhaps, some middle-aged men and women may still remember, kindly, the parent who came to their local suburban school and told interesting stories about money - and even gave away a few old coins - at the St. Leonard's and old Ravenswood Primary School Fairs - or, those times when he was invited to do some slightly more serious 'Show 'n' Tell' history sessions in class - about the origins of money - back in the mid 1970's.

I disposed of a lot of spare change - and told a lot of tales - to encourage some of the local kids to have a great hobby they could turn to in later years.

I hope that some of those children, from decades long gone, may have memories of the stories and the little plastic packets of 'starter-kit samples' that I made up for them - or, perhaps, they may still have the 'penny-bags' tucked away, somewhere, for their own kids or grand-kids.





...the article heading says it all ....!


One of our 'favourite' old paper 'notes' has recently reappeared - with a double-query from a friend.

 'Is it real? ...What is it worth?'



1828 Five Pounds Sterling - Serial Number No.A3

It's a Replica note!

These 'notes' still turn up occasionally in flea-market scratch boxes or from grandma's kitchen cupboard drawer. They were not marked as replicas and lots of people thought they were a genuine find.

As a curiosity - in good condition -(and still not marked as a copy) - they should sell at about $2 - if that!

This double-sided replica colonial banknote - is not of correct size - it is printed on thickish light mauve-grey card paper, and it was an advertising and competition gimmick issued by 'Reader's Digest' magazine many decades ago. Over the years, the number of finders of these 'gimmicks' is now legion!


Also appearing again, but in lesser numbers, are other examples of the facsimile banknotes now known generically in the trade as 'Kool Pop' notes.  Issued by organizations like 'Reader's Digest' and 'White Wings Limited' nearly 40 years ago, these notes can be mistaken by members of the public who are not familiar with their history!

A complete list of these 'notes' has been issued by noted South Australian banknote expert, Mick Vort-Ronald, from his informative book 'Banks of Issue in Australia' (published in 1982). They are all printed on thickish coloured paper, identically on both sides, and measure 127x77mm., which is a lot smaller than the real things.

The following list may prove to be valuable in the event you are approached to identify any of these items:

·                Australian and European Bank. 10 Pounds. Serial No. 08001.
·                Bank of Adelaide. 50 Pounds. Serial No. 02210. (Marked PAID 11th. Dec. 1875).
·                Bank of Newcastle. 5 Pounds. Serial No. A3. Dated 18th. June 1828.* (see above)
·                Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. 1 Pound. Serial No. B100000.
·                London Chartered Bank of Australia. 10 Pounds. Serial No. 4000.
·                National Bank of Australasia. 1 Pound. Serial No. 002.
·                Queensland National Bank. 1 Pound. Serial No. B50001.
·                Royal Bank of Australia. 1 Pound. Serial No. 114. 
·                Sydney Deposit Bank. 1 Pound. Serial No. A5978. 
·                Union Bank of Australia. 50 Pounds. Serial No. 3/J2930 (Incorrectly shown as 2390).

'Reader's Digest' has repeated this sort of promotional exercise in more recent times with thinner good quality pieces of watermarked paper resembling banknote fabric - but -'RD' are more cautious in their presentation these days, and the items are more clearly identified as 'vouchers' or certificates.


Reader's Digest

Competition Money Vouchers - some with 'serial numbers'.



Some decades ago, a correspondent to the now defunct 'Australian Coin Review' magazine, mentioned having found 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.

This 'coin' was, in fact, manufactured and distributed on behalf of the "Reader's Digest' organisation some 3 - 4 decades ago as a promotional gimmick. They also regularly turn up in dealer's scratch-boxes or at markets in both 'gold' or 'silver' finishes.

1752 Replica 'Austrian Ducat' lightweight advertising gimmick - actual size 20mm


These 'Ducats' usually have a dark chemical reaction spot in the centre where they had been attached with rubbery-adhesive glue to a 'Reader's Digest' give-away sheet. The 'spot' can be of various sizes from 'seriously defacing' to 'barely noticeable' - so be alert!

I regret that these scanned illustrations are not good - but - the item, made of some poor quality metallic base or plastic, is highly reflective.


This writer has samples of both the 'Reader's Digest ' Ducat, in both finishes, and the Bank of Newcastle 5 Pounds - and, it is little wonder 'Joe Public' can be fooled!




The old mantra - 'Appearances can be deceiving!' - could be applied to the downright negativity of the public to using the U.S.$2.00 banknote in normal circulation ... however, perhaps it should be -

'Non-appearances can be even more deceiving!'


'Numismatic News' recently issued an interesting article by Editor, Robert R. Van Ryzin, regarding his experience, as a young coin collector in April 1976. The newly issued Federal Reserve US$2 note, of that year, caught his attention.

The demand was huge at that time and the available stocks of the denomination were soon exhausted at some banks.

The article writer also observed that, today, the $2 note is rarely sighted... so, there must be a lot lurking somewhere!


1976 U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE - $2.00 denomination.


However, for many years, the U.S. $2 bill has been a bone of contention with the U.S. general public for a number of impossibly illogical reasons. One excuse mentioned; is that it meant another number to look for on the 'greenback'.

Another excuse is that there is no space available in a standard till, so, it fell out of commercial fashion as a nuisance to handle - and, another perennial excuse is that it is not entirely necessary.

For whatever weird reason, the $2.00 denomination became unpopular with the public.

The psychology escapes outsiders - but, it seems that they are also considered to be 'unlucky'!


It's infrequency and hoarding gained it the status of a scarcity - a somewhat miscellaneous 'collectible' - and stocks, when they are found in circulation, or brought to light from old hoards, are now disappearing rapidly out of purses and wallets back into banks or to form a new hoard - or, worse still, are being mutilated for gain.


*It should also be noted that modified presidential portraits (including those still living), altered reverses featuring tourist destinations etc. - and brightly colorized versions of the still official US$2.00 legal tender notes are also being offered for sale as commercial promotional merchandise.

They are being privately enhanced as a gimmick and sold at a premium - whilst they have novelty value, and some may still be able to be classified as Legal Tender, others are bordering on the line as defaced currency or 'Funny Money'. These enhanced Federal Reserve $2.00 notes may not be accepted as part of a legitimate issue by serious banknote collectors - or commercial interests.  - Caveat Emptor!


Back in 1815, a 3 Dollar note had been introduced - but, in 1862, a series of United States Notes of $2 appeared, it was repeated in Series 1869, 1874, 1875, 1878, 1880, 1917 and 1963 - and Silver Certificate series issued in 1886, 1891, 1896 and 1899 -  as well as Treasury notes in series 1890 and 1891.  In 1918, the U.S. Federal Reserve issued another series of $2's and repeated it in 1928 and again in 1953, 1976, 1995, 2003 and 2013 ... so it must have had something going for it. However, even 'Blind Freddy' realizes that the increasing use of electronic 'swipe cards' - for even small transactions -  is having a dramatic effect on all currency notes now - and not just in the U.S.


1963 UNITED STATES NOTE - $2.00 denomination - now rarely sighted.


Size and design variations of U.S. notes have occurred since the $2.00 denomination was first introduced, and, it can also be tentatively assumed, that small amounts of notes from supplementary printings done in various centres may have been issued, to meet demand or error replacements, bearing original series dates.

Few details are available in regard to these notes, or, if they are marked in traditional ways as replacements..


When sighted by collectors of U.S. notes - who live in other less naive places - these notes are usually found, in reasonably excellent condition, in local dealers' stocks, and - at least one U.S.$2.00 from issuing source - is a 'must have' for any collection.

We worldly gatherers are quite prepared to pay a slight premium for the acquisition of nice quality examples of these 'non-appearance'  U.S. $2 notes - with such an interesting green back.


Main References:-

'Numismatic News' - April 2017

'Wikipedia' - 'United States two-dollar bill.'

'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money' (various editions) - Krause Publications.





1873 - 1958


As an interesting little follow-up to the #4 news-sheet snippet about ANZAC DAY, I was contacted by a lady correspondent, on Facebook, who mentioned that her grandfather had also brought a few souvenirs home from France after WWI. 

It's a thing that military people do, of course - and it has happened since the year dot!

Australians and New Zealanders, who ventured forth during WWI, were no exception - and, in fact, our ANZAC troops were among the greatest gatherers of artefacts - and trivia - you could imagine.

If it could be conveniently carried - it was stuffed into kitbags and eventually brought home to the Antipodes at the end of the 'war to end all wars'!



The battle that spelt the beginning of the end for Germany in 1918.

(Australian War Memorial pic)


One expatriate English-Irishman from Liverpool, who was wandering around Australia when war broke out, joined the Australian Army  - and fought with the 45th. Battalion A.I.F. in the extended Somme campaign.

He was a nomadic, rough and tumble adventurer - his name was Pte. John 'Barney' Hines - and, I believe he was also at the Battle of Polygon Wood (with forces that included my Great-uncle, L/Cpl. Fred Fox MM.)

Like many others, 'Barney' Hines had signed-up and was accepted as fit, however, he suffered from bouts of ill-health during his service. He was actually discharged in 1916 due to his health.

Not deterred, he signed up again ... and was accepted once again!

Hines was acknowledged to be an effective and aggressive soldier, but, a rather undisciplined one, and he was often in trouble when he was off-duty - or during his frequent bouts of self-extended 'leave'.

During his time in France, 'Barney' Hines also 'collected' stuff - from various sources - so much in fact that he became known as the 'Souvenir King' ...

(His story is more detailed in Wikipedia - and on the Australian War Memorial site - it's worthy of a read.)

He fought in the major battles along the Somme but was discharged again in 1918 before war's end - again due to a recurrence of ill-health and chose to be repatriated back to Australia where he lived out his life.


John 'Barney' Hines died alone, poverty-stricken, in Sydney, Australia in 1958 at age 85 ..but, over the years he had some charitable hands on offer from ex-servicemen's groups, when he chose to take them.



 This famous photo was taken after the Battle of Ypres.

It was originally titled:- 'Wild Eyes - the souvenir king.'


For many years, a framed copy of this photo of 'Barney' Hines - with a selection of some of his 'souvenired' stuff - was displayed in the downstairs display window of A.A. Castley's Jewellers, in the alcove near 'Chung Gon Greengrocers' at 66 Brisbane St. Launceston,Tasmania - to be admired by passers-by....and kids.

I think that I first saw this graphic pic. of 'Barney' Hines - "The Souvenir King" -  about 70 years ago!



(Author's collection - courtesy of my Great-uncle Fred Fox MM..)






GOING..... GOING ..... GONE!

The general public of Great Britain are about to lose their paper 'Fiver' as polymer substrate continues its transitional creep across the banknote landscape. By the time you read this note, the legal tender status of the paper note will have been cancelled, as planned, and the only place that they can be exchanged for the new fantastic plastic Five Pounds will be in Threadneedle St. London at the main office of the Bank of England!



It will be up to individual storekeepers or other businesses if they refuse to take the old paper Fives, or, if they will continue to accept the paper notes as payment for goods or services rendered for such time as it takes for them to be retrieved - and that is the law of the land as at May 5th. 2017.



I have recently acquired a dramatic carded 48mm. Bronze medallion, issued in February this year (2017) through the 'Mercury' newspaper, to commemorate the 50th. Anniversary of the tragic events of 1967 that were so vividly recollected in the well-documented book, by Roger McNeice OAM, entitled:-

 'Flames of Fear'.





"The most well-researched collation of facts and tales that I have read - relating to

the humanity, heroism and tragedy - the terrors and errors - of Black Tuesday Feb. 7th. 1967."




The members of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' - and the Australian  numismatic community in general - extend their best wishes to friend and colleague, Roger McNeice OAM, who has just returned home to recuperate and rehabilitate after his very recent, major heart surgery in Melbourne, Victoria.

The operation was deemed a success - but, now Roger needs time - and patience - for the procedure to do its' work!  We ask that due consideration be extended to Roger and his family at this time!





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