‘NUMISNET WORLD’

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


       Volume 23                                               Issue 5                                              May 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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MEDALS - or is it  - MEDALLIONS

 FOR THE MASSES...and the SELECT FEW?!

 

As a point of interest, medallions differ from medals in that they are, usually, not meant to be suspended by a ribbon. However, to many of us - it can be 6 of one - and half-a-dozen of the other!

 

1988 - A Commemorative Medal Collection

The folder was designed and produced by Wallace International of Sydney to hold 20 Nickel-plated Steel 27mm.'medals' - it also included an attached 8 page explanatory booklet.

 

The empty holder cost AUD$1.99  -and, it was marketed Australia-wide, through Coles Supermarkets who also facilitated the sale of the 'medals' as they periodically came to hand.

 

The iconic 'medal' images deemed appropriate at that time were:-

Top row: Captain James Cook, The Landing of the First Fleet, John Macarthur, Matthew Flinders, Blaxland, Wentworth & Lawson.

2nd. row: The Eureka Stockade, Burke & Wills, Australian Rules Football, Ned Kelly, Henry Lawson & Banjo Paterson.

3rd. row: The Ashes, The Anzacs, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Phar Lap, The Sydney Harbour Bridge.

4th row:  New Australians, The First Holden, The Golden Age of Sport, Australia II, New Parliament House.

 

Do you wonder what are they worth today 30 years on from their issue date?

 

Noble's Auctions last recorded sale of a completed set was nearly two decades ago - estimated AUD$30 - but only realized AUD$14.50 - and that included handling costs and GST...

Some other sets, in slightly poorer condition, sold for even less - barely making AUD$10.00 - .probably, due to the numbers already hoarded away in tens of thousands of Australian kitchen drawers.

Quite often, a impulse buy of a few of these medallions - for whatever reason - can cost even more than the equivalent price if they were in a complete set. 

 

Unlike coins, or other officially-made medallic service awards, commemorative and decorative medallions are often mass produced, as a commercial reaction, to fill an anticipated public demand.

Usually, they are issued periodically, in loose form, to fit appropriate catalogues and form a set.

Those that are not collected for the catalogues are usually thrown back into the melting-pot for metal recycling, so, accurate mintage details are often extremely hard to come by - and retail prices, for individual pieces, hard to rationalize.

 

Ancient gatherers, such as myself, usually find that we have ended up with a quantity of these odd things - in all sorts of condition - whenever we do our inventory. They seem to breed like rabbits!

They are often found in bulk accumulations, or estate clean-outs that we acquire at times - and some are, or may have been perceived to be, family heirlooms that, probably, had an emotional value far greater than their intrinsic, or numismatic, worth in today's market-place.

 

Rusty, old 1988 Nickel-plated Steel, mass-produced loose Australian medallions

... only suitable for recycling.

 

Unless we are, personally, into exonumia as a branch of our hobby of numismatics -  these unknowns are often undervalued in importance, and - once the interest has diminished - they are often thrown into the old kitchen oddment drawer - or even the dust bin - as miscellaneous - even if temporarily interesting - pieces of junk!

The retail Dollar value may even not be considered that important, in some instances - even when the story, that justifies their existence, is taken into consideration!

Currently, many similar common items are selling in the trade at between AUD$1.00 - $5.00...depending on condition and the medallion content - most of the modern items are nickel-plated steel or similar...but, some of the older ones are now being re-valued due to subject matter and the demand from new gatherers.

Don't forget! - they are not making these anymore!

 

 King GEORGE VI & Queen ELIZABETH MARRIAGE & CORONATION MEDALS

Australian issues of Coronation and Royal Wedding Commemorative medals with ribbon rings of Brass, Silvered Bronze and Bronze - dated May,1937. Many styles produced by Stokes of Melbourne.

  (27mm.Cross - Various Australian issues for major city locations, 2000 - 5000 average.)

(Launceston 28mm.Round Silvered Bronze and Victoria State 31mm.Round Bronze  - unknown mintages.)

 

ROYAL HOBART REGATTA 1938 MEDAL - with original ribbon. (Silvered Bronze 36mm,)

(Mintage 300)

 

However, as mentioned - over the last 20 years, or so - some of the commercially produced medallions have appreciated in interest, as historical records of a few of the more notable, older events have gained more resonance with the collector market. Some are spurred by local demand - but - others get a national interest!

This small, but persistent, demand has been created among the new generation of gatherers - and, with the demand comes the increase in that nebulous market value - for things we, sometimes, know very little about!

 

I have selected a few examples of local interest for you, our Tasmanian reader, to peruse - however, it might give rise to having all readers taking time to look in the kitchen drawer once again - and doing some fresh research!

Some of the Tasmanian items, shown below, were probably produced to order, and, although they were designed for selected market distribution, they still would have had realistic, and finite, minting parameters that will tend to ensure their scarceness and value in the secondary market.

 

   

NATIONAL PENNY FARTHING CHAMPIONSHIPS - Evandale 1997, 2009 (Bronze 51mm.)

(Average annual mintage in the early years was 60 Bronze and 1 Gold-plated)

 150th ANNIVERSARY of ORGANIZED CRICKET in TASMANIA

(Tasmanian Numismatic Society Issue) 1832 - 1982 (Bronze & Silver) 38mm.

(Bronze mintage 225. Silver 100.)

 

350th ANNIVERSARY of the EUROPEAN SIGHTING of TASMANIA

(Trust Bank of Tasmania Issue) 1642- 1992 (Gold-plated 40mm. Limited mintage)

200th ANNIVERSARY of the COLONY of HOBART TOWN (#16)

1804 - 2004 (Antique Finish 38mm. Mintage 200)

 

At the end of major conflicts, victors like to commemorate their victory in various ways - and the most common is to issue a medal for the masses. Australia was no different at the conclusion of WWI.

The amount of 27mm. medals that were estimated to be needed for distribution to Australian school-children was 1.670,000 - so the Government of the day put the job out to tender to 6 companies to get the amount required at the best price. They were to be Silvered Bronze for the kids - and a few Silver for dignitaries

The successful design was to feature a stylized female PEACE figure, in flowing robes, by sculptor, Charles Douglas Richardson, and the reverse was to be a representation of the armed services and bear the word VICTORY.. A Red, White and Blue striped ribbon and a pin was to be used as the suspension.

Two of the major medallists, who were involved in 1919, were Stokes of Melbourne and A. J. Parkes of Melbourne. The others companies were Amor, Schlank, Platers and Angus & Coote (who later withdrew).

 

Current market prices for WWI & WWII Children's Victory Medals - depending on condition - with or without ribbon - varies from AUD$10 - $20

 

       

1919 PEACE - VICTORY MEDALS

Stokes of Melbourne was one of the successful manufacturers. 

 A. J. Parkes Gold-plated Bronze uniface pattern medal without ribbon lug & ring.

 

1945  CHILDREN'S VICTORY MEDAL

Produced by Stokes of Melbourne  27mm Silvered Bronze for distribution 6th. June 1945

(Approx. mintage 1,252,500 with Red, White & Blue Ribbon - Designer: Lyndon Dadswell)

 

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THE REPUBLIC of CHINA

1914 - 1936

...a little before my Time!

 

China has had a plethora of paper money for a long, long time - and, I would need a lot more space than I have here to do it all justice!  So.... I have decided to select some interesting Chinese notes from my own accumulation to give you a thumbnail sketch of that tumultuous part of the 20th. Century, when the Japanese were invading parts of mainland China - and the aftermath. The period may be relevant to some of us - and, interesting to others - who may like to see some historical numismatic reminders from the last 80 years or so..

 

MAJOR CHINESE BANKS

BANK of COMMUNICATIONS

BANK of CHINA

THE CENTRAL BANK of CHINA

BANK of TAIWAN (off-shore)

 

PUPPET BANKS (Japanese controlled)

The Central Reserve Bank of China

The Federal Reserve Bank of China

 

1914 BANK of COMMUNICATIONS 10 YUAN

Overprinted with navy-blue ink, this sample was for use in Shanghai - but, over a dozen other provincial centres of importance were also overprinted in similar fashion.

(Amoy, Changchun, Chefoo, Chekiang, Chungking, Hungkoe, Honan, Kalgan, Kansu, Kiukiang, Pukow, Shanghai, Shantung, Sian. Tientsin)

Printer: American Bank Note Co. (USA) - (Pick #118o)

 

1930 The CENTRAL BANK of CHINA - SHANGHAI

10 CUSTOMS GOLD UNITS

Originally designed to facilitate Customs duty payments this series of notes was adapted for general use prior to, and during, the Japanese invasion in the early 1930's, at the rate of 1CGU = 10 Yuan.

However, this exchange rate gradually equalized as inflation became rampant with the invaders seizing printing facilities and manufacturing unauthorized currency. Eventually, notes of inflated high denominations were issued in Customs Gold Units that were made in China by the Japanese..

Official original Printer: American Bank Note Co (USA) - (Pick #327d)

 

1935 BANK of COMMUNICATIONS -  5 YUAN

Printer: Thomas de la Rue (London) - (Pick #154a)

The Bank of Communications was another of the strong banks that issued currency under their own banner.

*There were somewhere in the vicinity of 50 or so, regional or specialized, banks, some issuing varying amounts of currency at that time in the late Imperial and early Republican eras. (Refer Krause SCWPM)

 

1936 - The CENTRAL BANK of CHINA

The CBC 5 Yuan was a popular denomination. (See notes below)

Dual Printers:-  Waterlow & Sons (England) - (Pick #217a)

Thomas de la Rue - (Pick #214a)

 

1936 - The CENTRAL BANK of CHINA - 100 YUAN

Printer: Waterlow & Sons (England) (Pick # 220a)

 

The denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Yuan were economic mainstays, and, in this year of 1936, at least 2 designs were issued in most of the lower value notes until they were claimed by inflation or by unauthorized currency printed by the Japanese in some of the captured regions.

It was during this era, from 1928 - 1945, that the Central Bank of China banknotes were being issued by two sources - the official Republican government in Nanking - and, in Kwantung Provimce, under the auspices of quasi-nationalist Kuomintang* military forces.

 

*The Kuomintang was the original Nationalist Party - founded by leaders like President Sun Yat-sen (the iconic figure shown on many of the banknotes) and Song Jiaren in 1928 - that had overthrown the old warlord system. During the early 1930's, the Communists were also a part of the Kuomintang - but were expelled when the new leader, Chiang Kai-shek, was persuaded by influential businesses that it was not in China's interests to have them as part of the Government.

By 1934, fighting had broken out with the ousted Communists and the Civil War was going against the them - it was then that they took their famous 'Long March' 6000 miles north to the Mongolian border where they established a stronghold. An uneasy truce was eventually brokered between the two major groups when it became obvious that the Japanese incursions into China were serious.

However, it was always a fragile coalition - and it ended in 1945, when the wartime situation altered.

 

At that time in world history, a huge gulf had appeared between the ideologies of the 'western' democracies and the Communist nations such as Russia and its allies - and that spilled over into Asia.

Fighting resumed in China - and this time the Communists had the edge.

 

Refer to the 'Krause General Issues World Paper Money Catalog' for further details.

 

CHINA - UNDER SIEGE!

From 1937 - 1945

...when I was a kid....!

 

Most of China's authorized banknotes were still being printed overseas during this time in Great Britain, Canada or U.S.A.  However, in the mid 1930's, the Japanese incursion into China became deadly serious and their military forces overwhelmed areas of China and swamped it with Military-issue Japanese currency.

 

BANK OF CHINA

1937 - 10 YUAN- (Front Colour differences and slight printing variations)

Original Printer: Thomas de la Rue (London)

 (Pick #81)

 

BANK OF CHINA

Top: 1940 5 YUAN (Pick #84)

Bottom: 1940 10 YUAN (Pick #85)

Original Printer: American Bank Note Co.

 

THE CENTRAL BANK of CHINA

1944 500 YUAN

Original Printer: British American Bank Note Co. (Canada)

(Pick #267)

 

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REPUBLIC of CHINA - TAIWAN

By late 1948, after the conclusion of the Pacific War and the withdrawal or capture of Japanese forces on the Chinese mainland - the Chinese Kuomintang (Nationalist) Government Forces of Chiang Kai-shek, had gradually lost control of mainland China to the Communist forces of Mao Tse-tung, and, in 1949, had withdrawn to their last stronghold on Taiwan, a large defensible island off the S.E. coast, which they have held until the present day. (Refer map)

 

1972 Republic of China - Taiwan Bank

Printer - Central Printing Factory. (Pick #963)

 

The notes that were also being printed for the (Communist) People's Republic of China -during and after this era - will be told in our next issue!

 

MAIN REFERENCE

 'Standard Catalog of WORLD PAPER MONEY '

8th. Edition. Volume Two (General Issues) by Albert Pick .

Colin R. Bruce, Neil Shafer, Editors.

KRAUSE PUBLICATIONS

 

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