‘NUMISNET WORLD’

  Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)


       Volume 23                                               Issue 2                                               February  2018


 

SNIPPETS, QUESTIONS & ANSWERS!

OLD STUFF...and NEW STUFF!

 

Compiled and Edited

by

Graeme Petterwood.

Even though the title implies that this publication is mainly about numismatic items that interest our international readers - I encourage discussions about  any closely associated hobby.

This 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.

PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aprilnews.html

 

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The FRONT...

 and - the BACK...!

 

The 1980 decimal Proof Set (shown above), contains the two Bronze coins which have been deleted (1cent & 2 Cents) from our circulating denomination range since 1991 - but, which have since re-appeared amongst our Non Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) on special occasions.

It is also missing two Aluminium-Bronze coins that were added in 1984 and 1988 respectively  ($1.00 & $2.00) when the paper counterparts (shown below) were withdrawn.

 

As a casual gatherer becomes more of a dedicated collector of numismatic items, exonumia, medals and tokens etc. there are certain terms that will become part of his/her vocabulary

The front and back sides of coins and assorted metal numismatic objects become more familiar as 'Obverse' and 'Reverse' - however, those terms do not apply to paper or 'plastic' notes, which still retain the more mundane 'Front' and 'Back'   to describe which side we are referring to!

 

With notes, it is usually the side bearing signatures and/or serial number that is regarded as the Front ...but, not always! The portrait of the ruling monarch is ALWAYS regarded as the FRONT of any Australian banknote.

At the advent of Decimal currency in 1966, the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was incorporated on the One Dollar note. Since that paper note denomination was withdrawn, the Queen's effigy has appeared on the $5.00 note.

 

 

In most instances - metallic items, including coins, medals etc. of other nations as well - the ruling 'Head-of-State' or an iconic representation - is the traditional 'Obverse'  - but not always!

 

THE OBVERSES ...

 

THE REVERSES ... 

 

Until recent times, most national coins maintained their original issue Obverse and Reverse designs for many years - with an occasional 'commemorative' Reverse making an appearance to highlight any truly momentous event. In Australia, prior to the advent of Decimal coinage in 1966, the Reverse of the large-sized Florin (2 Shillings) was the usual coin of choice for those special occasions.

 

 

Australian .925 Silver Commemorative Florins -  1927 - 1934/5.

Australian .500 Silver Commemorative Florins - 1951 - 1954

 

This philosophy has now changed dramatically, and commemorative Reverses are being designed to fit on any suitably sized circulation coins - and are used to promote national events, icons and organizations.

The variety of the Reverses - have, probably, attained greater interest than the relatively unchanging portrait of our long-serving Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

 

  

AUSTRALIAN ASSORTED ONE DOLLAR COMMEMORATIVE CIRCULATION COINS

AUSTRALIAN ASSORTED DENOMINATION CIRCULATION ICONIC COINAGE

AUSTRALIAN ASSORTED TWO DOLLAR COMMEMORATIVE CIRCULATION COINS

AUSTRALIAN 2016 OLYMPIC RINGS TWO DOLLAR CIRCULATION COINS

(Not to Scale)

 

As mentioned, the frequency of new releases from the Royal Australian Mint has become an out-pouring - but the R.A.M. is not the only traditional national Mint to rethink its role and to add the 'artistic' string to its' bow to increase its product share of the collector market!

The U.S. Mint has been flirting with the commemorative circulation coinage idea for some years now, and, suddenly - the question is being asked:

'Are the numbers becoming too frequent - and, does the general collecting public have the financial capacity and interest to absorb so many new designs?'

 

Part of the U.S. State Quarters selection.

 

The U.S. State Quarters release campaign from  1999 - 2002 covered issues from the 3 major U.S. Mints.

It was well received even though it was drawn out over such an extended period - and it produced a lot of coins.

 

From recent reports, the U.S. Mint is believed to be planning another state-oriented release in the near future!!

Now that the novelty has worn-off, is too much of a good thing a recipe for a numismatic 'belly-ache'?!  

Is it all becoming rather blasé?  

 

The Mints have done their homework as sales dropped away - they have produced new items to broaden the appeal - but  limited the numbers of an issue to create a demand.

They have put the price up to take advantage of that demand, and know that the majority of these limited edition coins will be put away and never spent.

They are, in fact, producing a 'hot' saleable item - separate from their once dedicated role as producers of national circulation coinages -  they are now, basically, in the retail 'token' business ... and, these items will be geared to make a tidy profit on top of the production costs.

 

As mentioned, these sorts of  coins will rarely be redeemed or used, commercially, at face value.

In other words, they are making well-presented, and marketed, pieces of stamped out metal - not even useful except as washers or sinkers - that have been over-priced and sold for what they are - numismatic medallions or ornamental tokens - and no longer destined to be used as what they are supposed to represent.

 

Definition:- SEIGNIORAGE (various similar spellings) - noun - The profit made by the Government or a currency issuing authority , especially the calculated differences between retail price, face value and the production and distribution costs.

 

With so many of these hoarded commemorative coins classified as 'Non Circulating Legal Tender' and sold at a premium - (especially those with a precious metal content that are tied to a nominal 'face value' that will be legally applied at time of redemption or if used as circulation coinage) - it means that the numismatic term 'seigniorage' can be considered applicable with a vengeance!

Those 'special' coins, if sold for bullion value, will disappear forever - and that will have a bearing on the survivors' market price.

 

A selection of Proof coins found in circulation.

The percentage of profit made - on the broken sets that these oddments came from - would indicate that the Mint probably made a nice little bit of seigniorage when they were used as small change at the supermarket.

They ended up in the hands of an experienced collector who recognised them for what they were.

They are now in a collection - and will , probably, never be redeemed.

 

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A BLAST FROM THE PAST!

 

 Hanrahan's Saloon at Adobe Walls, Texas in 1874.

compiled by Jerry Adams © 2007

 

James N. Hanrahan operated a saloon at the famous buffalo hunters' settlement called Adobe Walls in 1874.

Hanrahan was one of the original entrepreneurs of the Old West and he had sold his interest in a saloon in Dodge City to his partner, Mose Waters, and joined his friend Charles Rath in building and operating the saloon at Adobe Walls.  

It was here that one of the last large attacks of Native Americans on buffalo hunters took place. The battle took place on June 26, 1874 with the famous Comanche chief, Kwahnah (Quanah Parker), as one of the leaders of the Kwahadi tribal group of Indians during the fight..

 

Cynthia Ann Parker, her young daughter Topasannah - and her eldest son, Chief Kwahnah (Quanah) Parker.

 

Quanah's mother was a kidnapped white girl, Cynthia Ann Parker, the daughter of a prominent Texas family.

Her father had been killed by the Indians and she had been taken away as a 9 y.o in 1836  - she was rescued in 1860, but, by then,  she had become more Comanche than white. She had 3 children, Quanah, Pecos and a daughter, Topasannah and had an Indian Chief , Peta Nacona, as her husband.

Her daughter died in 1864 and, after trying unsuccessfully  to run away back to her Indian family on several occasions, she fell into a state of apathy.

Cynthia died of self-inflicted starvation shortly afterwards.

 

Her son, Quanah, who had been  born in 1845, had the distinction of being blue-eyed like his mother - but he had a darker complexion than his father.

The estimated number of Indians - which included Cheyenne, Kiowa and Arapaho warriors -  attacking the post ranged from about 200 - up to 700 in some reports. Quanah had his horse shot from under him during the battle and was lucky to have survived.

Adopting his mother's surname, Quanah Parker later surrendered to the U.S. Army, in 1875, and went on to assimilate very successfully into the white man's way of life and became a prosperous businessman in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). He spoke reasonably good English and Spanish and became a judge at the reservation court. He died in 1911 after serving as a leader of the Comanche, Kiowa and Apache confederation.

 

Among the sod and picket structures were the Myers & Leonard Store, Tom O'Keefe's blacksmith shop, the Rath store, - and Hanrahan's Saloon.

There were only the three main structures at Adobe Walls - not counting the blacksmith shop, outhouses, etc, - and the saloon was the middle one, between the Rath store and the other supply store, Leonard and Myers. The saloon was also the smallest building.  As mentioned, all the major buildings were either built with sod, or with pickets.  The sod turned out to be a lifesaver as it couldn't be set on fire, and it also stopped arrows and bullets quite well. 

 

Adobe Walls, Texas had Comanche Indians fighting in the streets on June 26, 1874

 

It is reported that the townspeople may have learned of the imminent attack the afternoon before the raid, and Charles Rath and some others wisely left for the safety of Dodge City - but Hanrahan stayed at his saloon and was actively involved in the fight along with some of the hunters and inhabitants - including one woman -  who had gathered there.

It appears that there were about 26 or 27 defenders - but, it was Billy Dixon's long range shot that turned the tables. He used a Sharps rifle to pick off a Kiowa Indian on horseback - who was on top of the bluff in the distance - a confirmed distance of 1,538 yards away.

The Indians believed they had the magic power to avoid bullets and, when one of their number was shot, it demoralized them to some extent.

 

Entrepreneur and salon-keeper, James N. Hanrahan in later life.

 

Afterwards, when Hanrahan decided to leave Adobe Walls, he returned  to Dodge City and thence to Lake City, Colorado. He later moved to Idaho and represented Custer County in the Legislature during 1895 - 6.

He retired, first to Lost River and then finally to Blackfoot, Idaho where he died about the end of WWI.

(His name is connected with the Empire Copper Mining Company in Idaho and speculative water-works and a large-scale irrigation project in c.1901)

Interesting site: http://www.texaspanhandleplains.com/amarillo-texas.html

 

Actually there were two battles at Adobe Walls, a decade apart - the first in 1864, involved Colonel Christopher 'Kit' Carson against several thousand Indians. He was fortunate, as he had two howitzer guns at his command, and just managed to save his troops from destruction.

 

One of the defenders at the 1874 Adobe Walls fight was the famous marksman, buffalo hunter, Army scout and cowboy, Billy Dixon.

 

Dixon had come West as a 14 y.o. boy from West Virginia and drifted into the occupation of buffalo hunter and he was soon recognised as having a  'fine eye' with a rifle. It was he who made the famous shot, at the Adobe Walls battle, with his 50.90 Sharps buffalo rifle when he shot and killed an Indian on a rise some distance away - a long, long way away!

Dixon had toppled the hostile rider from a group of 15 horsemen (at a surveyor measured distance) of 1538 yards. The accuracy and distances quoted were always somewhat controversial and 'experts' often stated it could not have been any further than 700 yards - and Billy always stated it was just a lucky shot - but, whatever the truth is, one thing is well-known  - he was a superb marksman with his superb weapon, the Sharps buffalo gun.

In the above picture of the Adobe Walls 'commercial area' - (reputedly, taken the day before the attack) - the hill in the distance behind O'Keefe's blacksmith shop and sheds seems to be the most likely spot for Dixon's shot - (reputedly, fired from the front window of Hanrahan's Saloon) - to have claimed its target.

 

During another incident, the Battle of Buffalo Wallow, Billy Dixon had been a civilian scout for a group of  5 other men who fought off over 100 Indians before help arrived.

He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action on September 12, 1874 and, in 1883, he settled back at Adobe Walls as its post-master and stayed at that job for 20 years.

He was also the first sheriff of Hutchinson County, Texas.

His journalist wife, Olive, wrote his biography - and the first edition was published just after his death in 1913 at age 63.

The book, 'Life of Billy Dixon' by Olive K. Dixon, was re-released in 1927 and again in 1987 - and recently, it has been extensively reviewed once again in its facsimile paperback form. 

 

My Texan friend of long-standing, Jerry 'Grizzly' Adams, has been reading the story, and had this to say:

 

"In the  memoirs of Billy Dixon, the man who made the long shot, I did find out that he ran a general store in the settlement of Adobe Walls in 1902, and the settlement had a population of 38 at that time  He referred to all rifles of the 50 caliber as a "big 50" rather than the more descriptive 50-90 etc. 

It is an amazing story and I can feel myself transported back to the era and the place as I read his memoirs.  

The description of the grass growing higher than the horses backs...the wide open spaces, the fresh air, the herds of antelope, the black mat of bison ..... 

Most interesting is Billy's description of the approaching bison herds in migration.  He said the female and male bison were in separate groups except in mating season. The approaching bison herds could be audibly heard for miles, due NOT to the sound of the hooves, but the sound of the bull bison snorting their mating calls. 

 

 Grazing bison bulls.

 

Dixon wrote, "You could smell the bison - and smell the Indians -  the bison could also smell the Indians, and would get terribly nervous when the Indians approached - but not the white buffalo hunters "

 

The photo of Billy Dixon is courtesy  of -  HomeOfHeroes.com

The other gent is the dapper and be-hatted 'Bat' Masterson - 'with rosy cheeks and a grave demeanour'.

 

Another, was a 21 y.o. buffalo hunter named William Bartholomew 'Bat' Masterson (1853-1921).

He later changed his name to William Barclay Masterson as he didn't like his given name.

'Bat' Masterson and his brother, Edward, were originally from Quebec in Canada - but had travelled at an early age, with their restless parents, in search of a better life in the U.S. near Wichita, Kansas.

The boys got jobs as 'graders' on the railways and then drifted into Buffalo City (later Dodge) and took up buffalo hunting. They became part of the great slaughter of the American bison.

It was a profitable, if dirty, enterprise, and the U.S. Army actively encouraged the hunters as a means of destroying native independence.

Of course, the Plains Indians reacted violently to the destruction of the herds until, finally, the buffalo slaughter, combined with raids on the horse herds of the southern tribes by thieves - like 'Hurricane' Bill Martin - precipitated the Red River War in 1874 and caused the uprisings.

 

After the battle at Adobe Walls, 'Bat' turned lawman, as had his brother Ed, and he also had a few further run-ins with Hurricane Bill Martin.

'Bat'.gained a reputation as a tough customer amongst the wrong-doers, and he mixed company with the Earps and other famous lawman of the era. His brother, Marshall Ed Masterson, was killed in Dodge City in April 1878 and 'Bat' killed the two cowboys responsible.

He was appointed Deputy Marshall - but he, actually, made his living as a gambler.

 

In 1881, a Kansas City newspaper had described him as  being of modest and grave demeanour - and polite to a fault. It was reputed that he had killed 23 men - a point he denied strenuously - 'though he had experienced many difficulties'.

In 1902, he became a referee and boxing promoter in New York City and, eventually, he settled down as the  feature sports-writer on the New York 'Daily Telegraph'.

He died from a heart attack at his desk on 25th October, 1921.

 

Other 'well worth the read' reference sites:

http://www.huntamerica.com/wwwthreads/showflat.php?Number=555460

http://www.homeofheroes.com/photos/1_indian/dixon_william_bw.html

 

Main References:

'Story of the Great American West' Reader's Digest Publication. 1977

 

SHARPS RIFLE TRIVIA

In recent years, scientific tests have been carried out on the capabilities of the old  50.90 Sharps rifle, and, it was proven that the carrying distance of the big 50 calibre 650 grain bullet driven by a 90 grain load of black powder was enormous (over 3000 yards), and, in the right conditions, it still had the power to inflict serious damage to whatever it hit..

Different calibre and sized replicas are now being made for American collectors and sharp-shooters by at least 4 rifle manufacturers.

 

Replica Pedersoli Sharps rifles are available from the Cimarron Firearms Company.

 

Tom Selleck in his role of 'Matthew Quigley' in the 1989 M.G.M. movie 'Quigley'

(aka 'Quigley Down Under').

 

The replica double-set trigger rifle shown in the 'Quigley' movie was a "34 inch barrel .45 calibre with a custom load 110 grain cartridge" provided by the Shiloh Rifle Co. It is reported that this movie did for the 1874 Model Sharps rifle what 'Dirty Harry' did for the Magnum .357

The Shiloh 'Quigley' Rifles currently retail at US$3041 - considerably more than other standard replica Sharps models in the range - and some of the accessories now also carry the 'Quigley' label description.

 

The original C. Sharps Arms, Inc., itself, does not use the 'Quigley' movie connection to sell its firearms, and still advertise their 'Old Reliable' rifles with the traditional model names.

 

'Sharps' Rifle sites:

http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/SingleShotRifles/PedSharps.htm

http://www.shilohrifle.com/model1874.html

http://www.csharpsarms.com/pdf/catalog.pdf   (Catalogue is in PDF Format)

 

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*RECENT MEMORANDUMS*

 

(ADVERTISEMENT)

 

ROGER V McNEICE  OAM. FRNS.

P.O. Box 27, Kingston

Tasmania

Australia 7051

Email:- rvm@eftel.net.au

 

The Editor has recently been corresponding with good friend, numismatic guru and prolific author, Roger V. McNeiece OAM. FRNS, in regard to several new projects he is planning for 2018.

During the conversations, I learned that some of these plans have already come to fruition.

 

Roger has advertised several new publications - or has advised on social media, Facebook, in recent weeks, that he has organized limited reprints of some of his most popular books.

However, if you have not seen these advertisements, or, do not have FB access, 'Numisnet World' has gathered a few illustrations and some detail for your perusal.

 

 

We have also included a non-numismatic book 'Flames of Fear' (limited copies still available - an historical must have) that gives graphic details of Tasmania's wild infernos - since the colonization era - through to the most recent deadly conflagration that Roger was actively involved in as a Fire Brigade Officer.

 

A graphic illustrated account of Tasmania's worst infernos.

 

The illustrations, shown below, are from my own collection of acquired numismatic Literature by this author.

These books, booklets and CD discs have proven to be hugely beneficial to me, as a newsletter editor, due to the sheer volume and quality of the compacted information that Roger had compiled and published over many years.  To collectors - they are virtually priceless - and - totally essential material to build on!

 

'Tasmanian Commemorative Medals and Medallions'

1853 - 1990

(Well-worn but worn-well!)

 

This book, first published in June 1990, is currently out-of-print and, although plans have been in hand for some time to update Volume 2, it has taken more time than anticipated to review, gather newer illustrations and confidently compile many of the additional facts. ... A work-in-progress!

 

However, in the interim, Roger has amalgamated several other individual scarce, limited edition, publications,  that covered several of the most historically relevant items - onto an economical 3  book copyrighted CD disc, which is now also available from the author.

 

 

It is suggested that national or international readers contact the author direct via email or at Roger's postal address (shown above) to get an idea of current individual or quantity prices, interstate or overseas postage, ordering or delivery details - if you wish to get any of these limited edition items prior to complete sell-out!

 

 

Unique opportunity – Rare Tasmanian Token

 

 

 

          

A very hard to obtain and important token in the Tasmanian Token series has always been the famous MacIntosh and Degraves Shilling.

 

Mystery has surrounded the issue of this important token and only 12 are known.

They command very high prices when rarely offered and the token is missing from even the most prestigious collection.

 

To assist collectors I have decided to manufacture a limited edition of 100 replica Macintosh and Degraves Shillings. The replica will be very high quality, exact size and housed in a special case with Certificate of Issue and numbered. The dies will be destroyed.

The cost of the replica is $25 plus $5.50 registered post within Australia.

To ensure all collectors are able to obtain copies, orders are limited to 5 per person until sold out.

 

Orders may be lodged by contacting me at:-

 rvm@eftel.net.au

 

Payment may be made direct to BSB737015 - Account number 594688

in name of Roger McNeice (Westpac Bank.)

or PayPal:  rvm@eftel.net.au

 

Payments by cheque or Money Order may be sent to:-

P O Box 27 Kingston Tasmania 70151

 

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(MEMORANDUM)

THE COIN & STAMP PLACE

HOBART. TASMANIA

 

Another 'Recent Memorandum' was received from David and Kim Newell of 'The Coin & Stamp Place' in regard to forthcoming events, during 2018, at which they plan to be present with numismatic and philatelic items to offer patrons as well as their usual friendly advice and guidance.

 

February 10.

Devonport Stamp, Coin and Militaria Fair - East Devonport Recreation Centre, Caroline St. East Devonport.  10a.m. - 3 p.m. (Entry Charge).

 

March 17.

LPS Market Day - Max Fry Hall, Gorge Rd. Trevallyn.  10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

 

June 8 - 11.

Tasmanian Antiques Fair - Albert Hall, Launceston. (Event to be confirmed. Entry Charge)

 

July 7.

Devonport Stamp and Militaria Fair - East Devonport Recreation Centre, Caroline St.

East Devonport.  10a.m. - 3 p.m. (Entry Charge).

 

September 15.

LPS Market Day - Max Fry Hall, Gorge Rd. Trevallyn.  10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

 

November 10.

Devonport Stamp and Militaria Fair - East Devonport Recreation Centre, Caroline St.

East Devonport.  10a.m. - 3 p.m. (Entry Charge).

 

November 17 - 18.

Woolmers Antiques Fair - Nigil Peck Centre, Woolmers Lane, Longford. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Entry Charge).

 

* This calendar may be amended with new or cancelled event details.  

As much as possible, we will keep you informed of any changes.  

Up to date information is also available on our website at www.thestampplace.com

 and our Facebook page.

We look forward to helping you with your collecting needs during 2018 and hope you can make it to one or more of the events.
 

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 'Numisnet World'

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 Australia

Email: pwood@vision.net.au