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

       Volume 23                                               Issue 3                                               March 2018





Compiled and Edited


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




A little belated Anniversary - but still topical reading!


Launceston, Tasmania - 'The Examiner' newspaper - February 15, 1966


A gentle reminder, reported from February 14, 1966, when our Australian monetary history was being made.

My late father (pictured) worked in the Paint Department at J. R. Green Pty. Ltd. Hardware, in Launceston, Tasmania for many years, and his work section was located nearest the pay-office - so he was, quite possibly, one of the first shop employees in the state of Tasmania, or even Australia, to be paid in our brand new Decimal currency.


I had my chance, later that same day when I did the banking, to encounter the stuff, as the reality of the changeover became a fact of life, and decimal currency started to slowly appear in the shops and businesses all over the city and the nation.


It was a bit like handling 'Monopoly' money, for a short while, until we accepted it for what it was and watched the old currency slowly disappear as it was banked and exchanged for the new Dollars and Cents.

There were a few emotional community misgivings as the 'old lamps' were exchanged for the new ...with some older people saying that they would refuse to accept it - however it was a 'fait accompli' within a week or so!


P.S. - My son was born 18 days later...so, his birthday is still a reminder that 1966 was an interesting year!


What we lost - and what our family gained!


I recollect that just prior to the changeover, the local Saturday evening newspaper, the Launceston 'Express'. published a list of Australian Imperial issue coins that collectors were interested in obtaining - and an indication of their values at that time. It was my first introduction to numismatics.

As I worked in a city work-wear store at that time - and handled all of the money - I was soon hooked as I checked the counter-till each day prior to banking! 


The store owner and I had worked together, and had been good friends, for years, and we were in the process of building the business up from virtually nothing into a leading store in the city - and, we had come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement about swapping soon after Decimal Day ...(until he found out the bullion value of Silver was rising - and, from then on it was a race, to gather the older silver content coinage - it was a race that I could not win.) We have still remained friends since we met in 1953.


At that time in 1966, a certain amount of misinformation - and misconception - was rife about the exchange process - particularly of the paper-money ... and, also, what part that the tax-man might play....!.

Hoards of musty notes - mainly 5 & 10 Pounds - were being uncovered, and many found their way into circulation before the 'perceived' deadline struck!

As my wages at the time were only about 20 Pounds for a 6 day week - and I had a growing family to support - an investment of 15 Pounds was a very big deal - but I did it - and, if I remember correctly, I think I paid a little more than 'face value' (everyone wants a profit). The two older King George VI notes I have - were from such a hoard that was 'dispersed'.



1941 Five Pounds

- sometimes colloquially known as 5 Quid (Gaelic 'cuid' - meaning money) or a 'fiver'

1943 Ten Pounds

- sometimes colloquially known as 10 Quid, a 'tenner' or a 'brick'


These older higher value notes were either being quietly spent, or, being avidly put aside by the public - as reminders ...or, just in case, decimals 'didn't take on!'.

Everyone saved something at the time - for whatever reasons!  There are, probably, hundreds of these older notes still out there as 'family heirlooms', I believe!


For more serious coin collectors, it was often the contents of money-boxes that were hunted down before they were spent or banked....this was a momentous time for budding numismatists like myself - but, the community, in the main, coped admirably - and did what it had to do!!



Commonwealth of Australia.

Standard designs (1953/4 - 60) pre-decimal currency notes

... and equivalent decimal notes issued on 14th. February 1966.


The original range of basic circulation notes issued in 1966 included the One, Two, Ten and Twenty Dollar denominations signed by H.C.Coombs (Governor, Commonwealth Bank of Australia) and Roland Wilson (Secretary of the Treasury).

The new non-equivalent denomination $5.00 note was in preparation, but not officially issued until 1967.


1967 - 74 Australian Paper Five Dollars

Sample is from the second issue.(1969 Signatories -Phillips-Randall)


The One Dollar featured Queen Elizabeth II. and various historically notable persons, who contributed to the building of our nation, were featured on the others.

The higher denominations of $50.00 and $100.00 were not added until 1974 and 1984 respectively.

An extended article regarding the original effigies on the 1966 paper note decimal issue was published in a previous newsletter. Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb16.htm


The Cent coinage range all bore the monarch's newest 'tiara' effigy and consisted of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and an 80% silver Fifty Cents that was soon withdrawn due to a rapid increase in Silver prices that year.

The awkward shaped Cupro-Nickel 12 sided (dodectagonal) 50Cents was issued in 1969 as a replacement coin.



 1966 Original coinage - 1969 Cupro-Nickel 50Cent replacement.

(Illustrations in this article are not to scale)


However, I suppose, we must all remember that our idea of what constitutes money is changing all the time!

Will this happen with our 'fantastic' little plastic zip cards? ..or, will we all soon need retina scans, implanted microchips or barcode tattoos to do business - if the power stays on! 




We all know the place where we live - don't we?!

In simple facts, we might still be living in the place where we were born - but, it may not the same place that is listed on today's map.


Among my accumulation of coins and banknotes, I have many examples that reflect the passage of Time and feature places that are no longer listed among the current countries of the modern world - and I would like to remind readers of the changes that have occurred within memory of some who are even a lot younger than I.

One day, in this time of electronic currency and transactions, as a gatherer, you may even come across strange old metal coins and interesting banknotes from these vanished places - and tend to wonder....


With global warming now a threat to low laying oceanic nations - we can expect more changes to the coastlines shown in our atlases in the next 50 years...or, perhaps, even less!

Recently, I touched on this subject when I wrote about Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and other nations that are adjacent to Australia and New Zealand.

Some of the smaller islands, in these South Pacific groups, may forever disappear from our maps - due to the undeniable fact that they are already under duress and the future threat of major inundation is now obvious.


Over the last 80 years, during this editor's lifetime, borders have become blurred, or melded, as the geographical lines have undergone some tremendous changes and some populations begin exoduses from their homelands, and have placed huge burdens on neighbouring nations, in their search for safety.


Due to war, amalgamations, annexation or other cataclysmic natural - and not so natural - events, we are now living on the brink of the era of 'science fiction' and the sort of inhumanity that was imagined by Jules Verne, George Orwell and Isaac Asimov...The cost in human suffering is becoming intolerable in some places.


There have been many other types of upheavals as well, that have been created by problems within political, national and financial structures -  that were unimaginable a century ago - and created another class - that of the economic refugees who are searching for a better lifestyle and are prepared to break the law to get it.

Unfortunately, there are those who profit from facilitating these illegal excursions - that sometimes also end in terrible disasters - as dreams turn to nightmares!


Small city-states and nations have come and gone since history began - but this period we are referencing starts 100 years ago - give or take a few years. Some places were gobbled up and disappeared quickly, others just faded away ...it was during the time of the great upheaval - as the whole World went to War!




The list of places that once issued coins and currency is still changing constantly - but, thankfully, it is changing very slowly! I have featured just a few of the currencies of some of those nations that have disappeared in the last century and will endeavour to show more in future newsletters.

They are illustrated in no set order - but more by generations!

Some are old personal 'favourites' and those will, probably, get a little better showing due to the fact I know more about them - so forgive my relatively 'parochial' outlook with them.


The Imperial and early Soviet Russian regional examples shown below are some of those favourites that I have in my banknote accumulation - there are more from these areas and within the time frame, but, many are in a rather poor condition and printed on less than desirable paper - and, some obvious tears and repairs (with scrap paper and paste) indicates they were well worn at the time of their greatest need.



(1918 -19) BAKU (3 Flames) & BATUM notes and 'Postage stamp' currency

These two City-States used short-lived issues of low value RUBLE currency, during the Bolshevik and English occupations, and they were also acceptable throughout Azerbajan.


After the WWI and WWII carve-up of European states, many minor nations and former territories, elsewhere in the world, asserted their independence and tried to go it alone. Not all were successful and some either fell to stronger willed leaders or went back to the status quo. 



One such short-lived nation was the African breakaway Nigerian state known as Biafra - which was born of a military coup. Three years later, after it had gone through very nasty times, as horrendous, murderous tribal violence was used to get rid of the new Government and cow the population back into submission, it was forced to rejoin Nigeria.

Some large quantities of the unissued stocks of Bank of Biafra notes - that had been cached because of the resumption of the area by the Nigerians -  later filtered into the polyglot range of notes being accepted, as a de facto currency, in the inflation-riddled Zimbabwe border region during the early to mid 2000's.



1972 1 & 25 Kyats

Another former British colony that had a period as an independent nation for some time after WWII,  before a military coup disposed the elected government and installed a military junta, was the Union of Burma - now known as the Republic of Myanmar. The change of name occurred in 1989 and, since that time, the junta has eased its stranglehold and allowed the nation to develop a controlled 'democracy' ....of sorts.


CEYLON - now known as SRI LANKA.

1949 Government and 1974 Central Bank of Ceylon Rupee issues.


The civil strife that befell - and divided - Ceylon, after the somewhat acrimonious preparations for partition of Indian and Pakistan during the late 1950's, was typical of the growing nationalistic fervour and unrest in the region at that time. After British withdrawal in 1947, the sub-continent started to fracture, mainly on ethnic grounds. Eventually, on the 22 May 1972, the island of Ceylon regained some of its previous stability - after an awful civil conflict between ethnic groups - and adopted the name - REPUBLIC of SRI LANKA.



Various notes issued at various times during the existence of the Confederate States of America.


Probably the best know example of a 'disappeared' state, in relatively modern times, was that of the CSA.

The Confederate States notes became legally worthless pink paper when the 'South' was defeated and humiliated after, another horrendous civil war, lasting from April 12th 1861 - April 9th. 1865, that almost tore the American heart asunder.

The history of the 'War Between the States' is well documented within our previous issues - and the link provided here is provided to give an indication of how the financial aspect fared during the war years - and, also an insight to some of the main characters.

Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may13,htm


A few more modern 'disappeared' notes are shown below for your perusal - and your own personal investigation if you want to avail yourself of the national banknote history of the issuers. As mentioned, there are more!

Some of the stories, surrounding the demise of these pieces of paper, were world news at the time.


Pre-Japanese invasion Netherlands-Indies notes

These were printed in 1943. Many were not issued due to the speed and success of the Japanese invasion.

 Values 50 Cents, 1, 2, 5, 10,25, 50, 100 and 500 Gulden


Issues made for Hong Kong, by various organizations, prior to Chinese resumption.


(The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation is still issuing notes under the People's Republic of China controlling auspices - in tandem with the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited.)


1949 EAST GERMANY - 50 Deutsche Mark

 DDR (Deutsche Democratic Republic) Notenbank issue

DDR notes of various denominations from 50 Deutsche Pfennig - 1000 Deutsche Mark were printed in East Berlin in the years 1948 and 1955 - and were still in use prior to unification on 1st. July, 1990.





Prior to the break-up of the former Soviet Union and its subsidiary republics, the People's Republic of Yugoslavia - under the iron-willed control of virtual dictator Marshall Josef Tito - issued notes for many years - from 1946 - 1980. At his death, the cracks started to appear in the fabric of the multicultural region.

Hyper-inflation had already overtaken the nation in the late 1970's, and some extremely high denominations were introduced prior the violent upheaval and fall of the old Federal Republic in 1992 and the new one being formed with monetary reform occurring in 1994.


It would, obviously, take more than one newsletter's space to cover all the banknotes of those nations that have suffered to extinction in the ways I have mentioned. One of the first things that any collector is advised to do - is get knowledge about the hobby from those who have it.


I regularly use several proven sources to 'do my homework' - I can suggest a few in regard to world 'paper' money - but perhaps, the best, overall, is the Krause numismatic publication series...


'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money'

(Volumes 1, 2 and 3.)


Even the old book versions I have retained (shown below) are useful, as they feature all of the notes that we are currently researching - and, although bulky, they can still provide relatively fast access at times.

These good (decades old) catalogues - or the newer computerized CD format that I also have - are the way to go for all essential basic information - so if possible, use any of it!





700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990 - 0001.







In early 2018, the signs of a undefinable uneasiness within U.S. politics had spilled over in the financial markets - there were great gains and uncontrolled plummets in some areas.

The stock market rose spectacularly in the New Year - and, then,  fell dramatically in  February 2018, when a panic set in with the speculative players - and an amazing crash occurred that wiped millions of Dollars from all sorts of stocks.


The nature of the U.S. Stock Market - and free world trade, in general, these days - meant that the shockwave was felt in stock trading all over the globe including Australia - which also suffered some major losses, but at a lower speed than that of the U.S. due to the forewarning and the time difference.


It has taken weeks for the markets to recover some of the lost ground - in the meantime, ordinary people suffered from the investment losses in many ways - shades of the 1930's came to mind -  many dollars will never be recovered - nor will the same level of confidence be shared with the more volatile market that has emerged after the current U.S. debacle.


Precious metals suffered temporarily, but are again on a more even keel - and the Australian Dollar and most of the other major world currencies, compared to the U.S., have risen back close to pre-crash heights.

Those who like to keep on eye on Exchange rates - or are planning trips out of Australia - are strongly advised - at this time - to consult your daily newspaper financial columns for current trends.




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