‘NUMISNET WORLD’


Volume 12 Issue 8            Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)                             August 2007


Any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor.

Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, the Internet links selected by the authors of this  newsletter are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to:

(1) Illustrations and, (2) to provide additional important information. 

We trust that this issue of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.

 

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 NAME CHANGE!

After some consideration, and due to the international aspect of this Internet newsletter, we decided to make a small name change effective when our  July 2007 newsletter was presented.  It was designed to reflect the broad reader appeal that we have been providing for the last 12 years plus.

The new name 'Numisnet World' is self-explanatory - we will continue on the same pathway of entertaining and educating our readers in matters numismatic. Due to our continuing close relationship with the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' we are also continuing the sequence and issue numbers of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition. There has been no alteration to our Internet address.

We will continue to welcome numismatic literary contributions for consideration - however, we are not a scientific numismatic  journal and articles must fit our relatively informal subject parameters. A reminder - this not-for-profit amateur newsletter production is still prepared by volunteer hobbiests with limited resources. Articles which contain statements or material of a contentious nature may be refused publication.

The Editor's decision is always final and we again draw your attention to our disclaimers at the end of this newsletter..

 

'NUMISNET WORLD'

INTERNET EDITION

by Graeme Petterwood. © 2007.

 

Remember - be astute when you are handed change - not all the wonders of numismatics have been discovered yet - and they don't have to be shiny and new! This edition again features an assortment of  'trivia' that I think is of interest and I trust it will prove educational and entertaining to you as well. 

All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Please note that the photoscans of numismatic items are usually not to size or scale, but - wherever possible - they are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the 'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition.

 

HOW MUCH CAN A COLLECTOR COLLECT?

An Observation - by Graeme Petterwood (Editor).

 

Some years ago, I first asked that very same question - and so did a lot of other small 'c' collectors, and even a few big 'C' collectors

Even established numismatists and dealers who specialize in the Australian coinage are now wondering again about that same old problem of the plethora of 'collectable' NCLT coins pouring from the Mint and aimed directly at the hobbiest market .The cost of obtaining a complete range is becoming exhorbitant unless you are particularly well-heeled - and, we have to face it that many of us 'average' collectors - such as myself -  are now allowing some issues to slide passed us. The nearest a lot of us will get to some of these newest 2007  products may well be seeing them in the back pages of catalogues - or unsold on dealers' tables a few years down the track.. Whilst I do not want to knock the idea of public presentation of these, mainly commemorative issues, I do ponder whether too much of a good thing might well do what it did before - saturate and ultimately tend to spoil the market, a bit like the second and  third release of Telstra shares. As I do not have samples, due to the number involved, I cannot  hope to illustrate this article with all the new articles mentioned at this time.

It is noted with growing concern that some traditional lines such as the annual Mint, Proof and Baby packs are featuring some different prestige commemorative coins that will not be released for circulation or be included in the other basic sets - it that really fair? 

 

To obtain these 3 coins it is necessary to buy a 2007 Proof Set, a Mint Set and a Baby Mint Set (Total price $134.00)

They will not be available togeter nor in the circulation issue. (Illustration 'Numi$news')

 

These 6 coin sets are no longer the true representations of our general issue circulation coinage, are they? 

I realise that, for many years, commemorative coins have been included in these sets which were originally produced as an annual representation of Australia's decimal coinage that was issued for circulation. Since 1991 the inclusion of a special coin has virtually become the norm.

I considered that  'Commemoratives' were supposed to publically commemorate, across the board - to all Australians -  some event or place of importance.

Is the Mint falling back into the same groove it was in a decade years ago when it swamped the market with 'must have'  items targetted at a special audience. I realise business is business - and a certain amount of variety has to be offered to keep things fresh - but it looks like it's becoming a coinage range for the 'rich' and another for the 'poor' - and I ponder what excuses the 'powers-that-be' at the Mint will discover in 2008 to make their NCLT issues relevant.and their Mint and Proof sets actually reflect our circulation coinage.

If they bowed to temptation and extended the number of coins in the commemorative spectrum - in the worst scenario, we could end up with 36 diferent Mint sets and another 36 different Proof sets as well - WOW!.

 

 

2007 Year of the Surf Lifesaver Six Coin Mint set (Not to Scale)

The 20 Cent coin shown will not be circulated.

 

Some of these beautiful well-packaged Proof and Specimen coins - wonderful as they are, technically - are celebrating special events or subjects that are of limited interest to many hobbiest, and, this year, it seems to be a case of 'you can't please all of the collectors all of the time - but let's try' - so the Royal Australian Mint is making such a hugely diverse range in the hope that, sooner or later, some of the long-line hooks will get taken.

Undoubtedly, a great many of these special coins will be snapped up with gusto, as future investments, due to limited mintages, or, the fact that they are so attractive and some collectors have deeper pockets than others. Some will become prized assets!  It is a difficult one to call isn't it !!?

I haven't added up the precise cost of obtaining the complete range of 2007 Mint products available to us so far this year - but the cost appears quite considerable bearing in mind the number of precious metal issues..How many more are still in production for this year ?

It appears that the Mint is going down the same marketing path as the major supermarkets - additional top brand-names for those who can afford to pay the price, and a generic range for the likes of the hobbiest with limited dollars.

If any of these special coins stray and get into the open public market - as standard  sized  and usual denomination NCLT sometimes does - the general public will not know what they've got.  I have been asked, on previous occasions, are such odd stray coins 'real or fakes!

 

The Perth Mint at night.

 

Browsing through Bob Roberts' latest NUMI$NEWS issues, I see we are currently being offered Proof and Uncirculated coin sets, individual Proof coins in Gold and Silver as well as the standard Copper-nickel and Aluminium-Bronze in various depictions of the same subject - and there are others, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge (4 or 5 mintmarks & 2 different designs - 9 coins), Kangaroos by famous artist Rolf Harris (3 different presentations), 1 oz. Silver gilded Kookaburra (with a pin), 1 oz. silver Koala, the Ocean series (2 designs so far), the Polar series, Surf-lifesavers (3 presentations), Magic Pudding Baby series (2 presentations), Wedding Coin Collection, Year of the Pig Lunar series (5 different presentations), Year of the Pig Holey Dollar and Dump, Discover Australia (5 reverses, 2 presentations), 150 Years of State Government  series (only 1 so far), Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Wedding Jubilee (2 metals), Masterpieces in Silver Art Collection, Ashes seies (3 coins) Phar Lap's death 75th. anniversary, Platinum Flora series, as well as continuations of several on-going series - plus other desireable Mint products, made for our neighbouring countries like Tuvalu's Fighting Ships series (5 coins),and even medallions. and philatelic-numismatic First Day covers (PNC) - have I missed any?

Most probably, after viewing the July 2007  Perth Mint Catalogue!

Freecall 1800 098 817 or Email: www.perthmint.com.au

 

 

However, if you want to keep up-to-date on the latest coins at competitive prices - and get a free copy of NUMI$NEWS - you can, by contacting one of our highly recommended dealers:

M.R. Roberts

Wynyard Coin Centre

7 Hunter Arcade, Sydney, N.S.W.

Australia. 2000

 

THEMATIC COLLECTING

Part 1 - VARIETIES & MINT ERRORS

For those hobbiests who cannot afford the time - and considerable money and effort  - to be 'broad-based' in their gathering habits it is always advisable to consider a thematic collection. We have discussed this in previous newsletter issues but it is always something to keep reminding ourselves - we are the collectors, without us there is no hobby!.

With the demand for the available numismatic dollar at such a high level (see previous article) it might be an alternative facet of the hobby to ponder about.

We often associate with colleagues who have made this decision and have narrowed down their interest and are devoted to just a few spheres.

The theme could be - the accumulation of coins from a certain era or country - it may be a type or size of coins - it might be a particular style or design that holds them enthralled. Whatever it is, it allows the collector the luxury of only spending on the theme(s) he/she has chosen instead of chasing after a million 'grains of sand' as can occur when issuing authorities get too enthusiastic.

 

In Australia for instance, one of the 'old is new again' themes is that of searching for  'varieties and mint errors'.

Often the collector's own powers of observation will make the finding of any such items, amongst older collections or even bulk accumulations, so much more rewarding than spending money to obtain it. - however, that is not to say, on occasion, we may not need to put our hand in our pockets to reward someone else's diligence if they find a piece we desire.

It is not my object to show many examples of mint errors, just to suggest that collecting them can be developed into an interesting alternative theme.

Here are a few of the more common definitions that may give an indication of the challenges involved :

MINT ERRORS occur by accident during the processing of the coin and be caused by mechanical, chemical or human error. This includes normal wear and tear or a deteriorating die that continues to produce coins with varying degrees of alteration or detracting flaws from the intention of the original strike.

VARIETIES are deliberate and authorised changes created when the initial striking die is (a) removed and repaired or (b) replaced with another with slightly different characteristics and also (c) when several official dies are used in conjunction to produce additional numbers. Any of these factors that noticeably alter the original intention and character of the strike can be defined as varieties.

CUDS - BLOBS are mint errors caused when the die has deteriorated to the extend that metal is spread into an area it should not be in the form of a blob.

DIE CRACK is a self-explanatory explanation of a common mint error. It is noticeable as a raised imprint on the coin from a crack in the striking surface of the die.

This area of collecting 'different' coins never went away completely after the introduction of decimal currency over 41 years ago - although, with the withdrawal of so much Imperal coinage, it certainly made the task a lot more difficult and a considerable number of hobbiests put their pre-decimal varieties in the back-drawer. That has now changed with a vengeance - and it does make an ideal collecting theme that, at present, is not grossly expensive and is sure to hold the attention of those who like a challenge. Many errors are spectacular whilst others can be very subtle - so it is a case of keeping alert!

For obvious reasons, a good clear error or variety on a quality coin is most desireable, but, in many instances, a X10 magnification is the only way to enjoy the hunt for the elusive 'difference'. This is not a facet of numismatics for the impatient collector looking for a 'quick fix' so - 'Good Hunting'!

 

   

Mint Error examples - Australian 10 Cent coin reverses magnified

(Left) - Note the filling or cuds between the fronds of the Lyrebird feathers.

(First discoved by a former Tasmanian collector, Dr. P. Briddon, in 1999, this error has since been noted on some later coins).

(Right) - An easily seen dorsal-fin-like rim fault on a slightly off-centre struck 2004 Australian 10 cent coin.

 

A few years ago a strong resurgence of interest was created by the late Mostyn Arthur Byrnes (1920 - 2007) when he self-published a very limited edition of a 140page book entitled "A Search for Varieties on Australian Pre-Decimal Coins 1910 -1964 ½d to 5/- " . 

The book retailed at AUD$40.00 and it featured details of almost 1000 coin differences - it was a complete sell-out! 

Unfortunately, Mos' health was not the best, and future editions or revisions were not forth-coming - although there have been some very vague recent rumours of a 'maybe' revised online or CD format from Mos' family who hold the copyright of his book . We will need to wait and see!

Since then, however,  several other authors have put pen to paper about this fascinating theme - and the ball is well and truly on a roll within the hobby.

Actually, there is even a theme within the theme in this case, Imperial pre-decimal coinage and Decimal coinage issues from 1966 onwards have both been spattered with varieties of all sorts - as well as production errors from the Mint - so, if you care to - choose your denomination theme from Pounds, Shillings and Pence or Dollars and Cents.

Dealers are now becoming more aware of this old but new facet of Australian coin collecting and are starting to carry stock of examples of the main varieties and errors - no doubt - as time goes by, the prices asked will better reflect the scarcity of some of these errors.

Get in early while coins are still cheap and easy to find is always good advice!

 

   

Australian Pocket Change - by Ian Hartshorn (2005)*

Renniks Pre-Decimal Coin Varieties 1st. Edition - compiled and written by Ian McConnelly © (2005)*

 

 

The two IAN's - both with 'rakish' beards - and both with a love for varieties and error coins.

 

*Ian Hartshorn has been a Victorian (associate) Member of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' for some years and is well-known as a mega-distance adult tricycle rider and, in his younger days, a 'sometimes' adventurer.

*Ian McConnelly has been a local Member of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' for many years and is the regular varieties article writer for the 'Australian Coin and Banknote Magazine' (CAB). His most famous and consistent quote - 'Varieties: The Thinking Arm of Numismatics!!'

 

Reference: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june05.htm - illustrations of some varieties and errors.

 

MORE THEMATIC ALTERNATIVES in our next issue - 

 

THE END OF AN ERA

It is now just over 89 years since Czar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife and their young children, were murdered by the Bolsheviks. 

 

The shocking news that Nicholas, the Imperial Czar of Russia, had been secretly executed on July 19th. 1918, by his Bolshevik captors broke upon a horrified world, in late July of that year, when it was announced that, because of ‘innumerable foul crimes against the people’, he had been found guilty and the death sentence had been carried out. The manner that it was carried out was most foul!

The Bolsheviks also announced that Czarina Alexandra and her five children - Alexei, Olga, Maria, Tatiana and Anastasia had been moved to a secret place for their own safety. Another despicable lie!

It is now known, and confirmed by new forensic DNA evidence, that all were murdered, with three other members of their household and their personal physician, Dr. Botkin, who had been held with them and who may have been able to act as witnesses.

A total of 11 people were taken down and shot to death in the darkened cellar of the house at Ekaterinburg were they had been imprisoned, and their bodies were burnt and thrown down the ‘Four Brothers’ disused mine-shaft 23 kms. from where they died - hardly the actions of a brave group of new Russian patriots with a regard for justice.

In fact, in fear that they might be discovered, the bodies were recovered shortly afterwards and reburied under the middle of a dirt road some distance away and trucks driven over the grave in an effort to totally obliterate it. and hide the evidence of the crime. Some years later, the Soviets again relocated the remains and, fearing a repercussion from the populace - and the world, the bones were disposed of once again down a nearby well or mineshaft. - but there were witnesses, and the truth eventually came out decades later as the Soviet Government was collapsing under the event now called Glasnost.

The charred skeletal remains were recovered and are now re-buried in a more fitting place in St.Petersburg Cathedral..(See reference below)

A few months after the murders, the rumours had started coming out of Ekaterinburg, and the western world was appalled to learn that the whole Imperial family may have been killed in such a brutal fashion. The actual truth of the matter was concealed for over 80 years by successive Soviet governments who allowed disinformation, rumours and counter rumours to circulate, to add to the mystique of the Romanov family - especially about Anastasia.

It was speculated, for many years, that she may have survived the massacre and had lived in hiding.

Impostors, some very convincing, were regularly coming forward with claims to be the ‘missing’ Romanov daughter.

However, in recent years the advent of DNA technology has proven that the main 'claimant' , Anna Anderson, was not a Romanov. Her story was made into the movie entitled. 'Anastadia'. The mystery had started due to the fact that two of the younger childrens bodies appeared to be missing.

Later theories consider that Anastasia and heronly brother Alexei - who suffered from haemophelia (a bleeding disease) had escaped the massacre and had been spirited away to Tibet or China but these were refuted with equally convincing arguments that in the process of burning the bodies and then the reburial and the crushing under the weight of the trucks may have reduced the missing bones of these younger children to powder.

There are still unanswered questions!

The horrendous deaths of the Romanovs brought an end to the 300 year dynasty that proudly bore the double-headed eagle crest on its currency as its right to rule and, whilst we may never know all the facts of that terrible night, we do know what led to it. - and the aftermath - by way of the history of Russia

 

  Portrait of the last Russian Czar and his family, 1914.

Olgar, Marie, Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra, Anastasia, Alexei and Tatiana

 

This huge country of Russia had Ivan the Great to thank for its formation when, in 1480, he defeated the Tartars who had controlled it for the previous 200 years. Under his leadership, and then his son, Vasili, the country prospered.

Vasili’s son known as Ivan the Terrible, declared himself ‘Sovereign of all the Russias’ and he is credited as being the first Czar and, it was under his rule, that the borders were extended from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Volga River in the east and southwards to the Caspian Sea - but after Ivan’s death there followed a period of great uncertainty.

During the first 14 months after Ivan’s demise, at least 4 Czars came and went and this, coupled with a serious drought and the consequent period of famine, left the country weakened ready to be invaded by the Polish king, Sigismund.

In 1612, after only 2 years in power, King Sigismund was driven from the land by a People’s Army, which was supported by the powerful Russian Orthodox Church. The Church then harnessed the religious fervour of the Russian peasantry and, with the aid of the Army and the National Assembly of Nobles, mounted a campaign to get the country back onto a strong and stable footing by electing a new Czar.

They chose a grand nephew of Ivan the Terrible – Michael Romanov – and the country again prospered under his strong reign.

 

In 1700 ‘The Great Northern War’ commenced and eventually involved all the Baltic States and it was mainly fought over border disputes.

After a resounding victory at Narva, the brave – if somewhat rash and ambitious – King Charles the 12th. of Sweden invaded Russia and held part of it for nearly nine years. However, by 1709 the Russians had strengthened their armies and, under the command of Peter the Great ,at the Battle of Poltava, they drove Charles back out of the motherland.

Peter was the son of Czar Alexis I Mikhailovich, and he was born June 9th. 1672 in Moscow and, from an early age, showed great interest in all aspects of technical and mechanical applications to naval and military warfare.

From the age of 10, Peter was under the control of his half-sister, Sophia Alekseyevna, and shared the throne with his half-brother, Ivan.

With the aid of his courtiers, Peter took control and overthrew Sophia in 1689, but kept the sickly Ivan as co-ruler and the formal Czar, until the latter died 1696.

During his schooling period, Peter had been in contact with many Western tutors and, with his natural intelligence, he realised that the only way to bring Russia out of the ‘Dark Ages’ was to embrace their Western technology.

Prior to his half-brother’s death, Peter had gone to Deptford in England and had personally learnt the trade of ship-building – something unheard of for an Imperial Czar – and on his return to Russia he had organised the first Russian Navy based on the British model.

Peter then invaded, and captured, the Turkish fortress of Azov - and that gave him access to the Black Sea - then, with assistance from over 900 artisans and military advisers that he had convinced to return with him from Europe, Peter went about the task of revitalising Russia’s armies and ‘Europeanising’ the country – by force, where necessary.

In 1709 he defeated the Swedes with his technologically superior forces and, by 1721, he had regained access to the Baltic Sea and had been proclaimed Emperor. With the coming of peace, Peter started a system of reforms - he introduced the ‘Arabic’ numeric system, simplified the Cyrillic alphabet, established an Academy of Science, and even had newspapers printed in the Russian language.

In return, he demanded that his subjects should be unceasing in their obligation to the State as he, the Czar, was to their welfare. 

For the next 50 years, the Russian Imperial double-headed crowned Eagle flew over a population that was completely dominated by the Romanov Czars.

In fact, what Peter had created was a ‘police state’ situation - which has persisted in the minds and lives of the Russians even to this day.

 

In 1753, Russia abolished the death penalty, for certain crimes, and started to send its criminals and political dissidents to Siberia – never to return.

By 1773, the grievances of the people began to erupt, violently, against Catherine the Great who had repressed religious freedoms in a deeply religious peasantry. This first revolt was put down, as was another in 1825, but the discontent continued to fester until 1855 when Catherine’s son, Alexander II., acted to lift the repression and give some liberation to the Russian serfs.

The Russian nobility, however, resisted the changes and it is believed that they may have been involved in Alexander’s  assassination in 1881.

With the death of this well-meaning Czar, another period of darkness descended over Russia that would last until 1905 – and it was in that year when an event occurred that heralded the violence that was to come!

Convinced that the only way to get a peaceful settlement to the civil unrest that was racking the country, many of the moderate members of the Church, and the general population, decided to petition the Czar directly for his intervention.

On Sunday, January 22nd. 1905, a procession lead by the priest, Father Georgi Gapon, approached the Czar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg singing “God save the Czar” and requested to see Czar Nicholas II.

The peaceful march ended in the square outside the Palace in a hail of gunfire when it was, mistakenly, seen as a revolt by the officer-in-charge of the Czar’s troops. This terrible tragedy left hundreds dead and became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’.

It also lead to a massive general strike that forced Nicholas II, and his government, to start implementing the reforms promised years before – but, as usual, these new promises were forgotten as things returned to normal and the government, which was controlled by the ruling class, continued to procrastinate.

 

1905 dated Nicholas II Three Ruble State Credit Note issues bearing the Imperial crest and Nicholas II cypher (H II)

 

1909 dated 10 Ruble State Credit Note bearing the Imperial crest - but apparently lacking the Czar's cypher.

The same dated notes were also printed by the Provisional and Soviet Governments during the transition period in 1917.

 

It was about this time that a faith healer was presented at the Royal Court in an effort to help cure the dreaded bleeding disease, haemophilia, that was causing great concern over the future of Alexei, the Czar’s only son.

The uneducated, wandering holy man – from peasant stock – appeared to be able to give some relief to the sick child and, in doing so, he made a deep impression on Empress Alexandria. His name was Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin.

By 1911, with the Czarina’s approval, Rasputin had gained so much influence that he was appointing his cronies into positions of political power and high government office. Most of these appointees were totally incompetent and soon Rasputin became an object of hatred because it was obvious that his power over the Czarina was allowing him to indirectly manipulate the Czar. 

When the ‘Great War’ started in 1914, and its horrors started to unfold on mankind, it did not take long for the rumours to start that linked the German-born Czarina and the mystic Rasputin to the German cause. It was a rumour that even the nobility could no longer ignore.

On December 29th. 1916, the debauched Rasputin was invited to a midnight ‘tea-party’ by a group of aristocrats who promised him a ‘night to remember’. The ‘tea’ was laced with a massive dose of poison.

Rasputin was unbelievably strong, so the plotters bludgeoned him and, finally, had to resort to shooting to finish him off and they then threw his weighted body into the river – so the story goes!

Unfortunately by then the damage had been done to Russia.

Rasputin must go into the history books as one of the major causes for the demise of the Russian Empire.

 

The Russian government at that time was completely incompetent and coupled with poor leadership in the field of battle, thousands of soldiers – mainly peasants – were sacrificed in vain attempts to halt the German invaders. Some of the more able and humane Russian generals became totally disillusioned with the futility of the situation and, eventually, a mutiny broke out but was contained by March 1917.

By now, even the politicians realised that things had to change and recommended, to the Czar, that a new government needed to be formed to resolve the serious problems confronting the nation. It was then that Czar Nicholas II made a major error of judgement.

He ordered that the Russian parliament be dispersed and, when it refused, he sent in his troops to enforce his commands.

His generals refused to obey the order and they then pledged allegiance to the revolutionary government.

On March 15th. 1917, Nicholas II., Czar of Russia, was forced to abdicate - and, shortly afterwards, he and his family were taken into 'protective custody'.

 

The new provisional government was faced with immense difficulties because of the effect of the War and internal political differences.

Because it was broad-based and moderate it tried to be all things for all people and, for a while, it looked as if it would succeed.

The group was originally headed by a nobleman, Prince Georgi Lvov but, increasingly, it fell under the influence of a radical, Alexander Kerensky, who created an untenable situation for Lvov who ultimately resigned.

When the provisional government was first formed it was authorised by the St. Petersburg Council of Workers and Soldiers, or as it was known - the Soviet. With the aid of Kerensky the Soviet was rallied to support a former exile who had returned from Germany and who brought with him a political idea, or cause, that was to change the country.

The cause was Marxism, and the exile was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov - who used the alias of N. Lenin as his political name.

 

By September 1917, Lenin and his aide, Leon Trotsky, had overwhelmed the moderates and taken over control of the Soviet and forced Lvov to stand aside completely.  “All power to the Soviets”, was the catch-cry that was used when the Bolsheviks decided to take over the government on the opening of the All Russia Congress of the Soviets on 25th. October 1917.  (November 7th. by the Western calendar.)

Kerensky realised, too late, what Lenin’s true aims were and he was forced to flee when the government buildings and the Czar’s Winter Palace were stormed by the Army lead by Lenin’s Bolsheviks.

Within a few days, the whole of St. Petersburg was in Lenin’s hands and then, with the aid of conspirators in other major cities, a successful campaign was launched to overthrow the local governments and authorities. The opposition forces formed a ‘White Army’ of sorts whilst Lenin’s organised Bolsheviks were the ‘Red Army’.

A good description of the situation is available from Wikipedia.

Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_movement

 

The deposed Imperial family had been held under house arrest at the Tsarkoe Selo Palace on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, which had been renamed – this time as Leningrad, but it was feared that the ‘White Army’ may attempt to rescue them so Lenin had them moved.

After a brief stay in the Siberian village of Tobolsk, the Czar and his family were again taken moved - and this time Ekaterinburg was chosen, as the town was completely under the control of the ‘Red Army’

All these movements took place in secret and culminated in the terrible fate that history has only just confirmed in the last few years as many of the secret files have been opened by the new Commonwealth of Independent States.

Czar Nicholas and his family had believed that they would be exiled to England as he was part of the same family group as the English monarch.

The mild-mannered Cazar had said, on another occasion, that he hoped to fulfill a life-long dream if he was exiled to England -  he would become a gentleman farmer. However, unbeknowns to many concerned,  the British Government - fearing a political backlash - declined to take the Imperial family.

It is now believed that late on the night of  19th July 1918 the family and four others, the Romanovs' doctor, maid, valet and cook, were awakened and told to assemble in a small downstairs room or cellar. It appears that the Romanov family had been led to believe that they were to be moved again as the White Army was approaching the town. From reports, it is known that Nicholas had asked that chairs to brought to the room as it was not known how long they would be assembled there.

Yakov Yurovsky, one of the Bolshevik leaders, recalled that he had arranged the chairs in a row and told the family to stand in front of their chairs. At this point, the family believed they were to be photographed as proof for their captivity as they had been reported as having escaped or had been rescued by the White Army.   When Yurovsky called in the photographer, the Imperial family realised the worst when  11 men armed with revolvers stepped inside. A brief statement was made by Yurovsky:

"In view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you."

It is believed that the Czar was first to die, shot in the face by Yurovsky.

 

"Within minutes, all who had been associated with the czar in the house in Ekaterinburg were dead, or near death. Alexis, wounded, tried to clutch his father's shirt. A heavy boot came down on his head. Yurovsky then fired twice into the boy's ear. Later, as the assassination squad and others hoisted the bodies into a waiting truck, one of the daughters cried out. Rifle butts and bayonets finished her off.

Stripped naked, the royal family and the four retainers were laid on the ground at a spot called Four Brothers, a trackless patch of woods distinguished by a 9-foot deep pit and a smaller, narrow well. Fires were built. The gruesome job of trying to destroy the bodies was completed well past sunrise.

Eight days later, the anti-Bolsheviks captured the city where the Romanovs had died. White Army officers inspected the house. The death chamber itself was riddled with bullet holes. A fruitless search for the family resulted six months later in the appointment of a chief investigator. The 9-foot pit and the narrow well were discovered along with traces of two fires. Both the pit and the well were drained of water. A pearl earring, a child's military belt buckle and a belt buckle believed to belong to the czar were among the objects recovered. There were no bodies save one: the decomposing remains of Anastasia's spaniel dog Jemmy were found at the bottom of the pit.

In 1924, the exiled investigator, Nicholas Slokolov, published his conclusions. The world accepted Slokolov's contention that the royal family had been murdered and their bodies incinerated without trace at Four Brothers.

Something like this did happen. The Romanovs were killed, their bodies taken to Four Brothers, where the assassins and a profane band of peasants recruited for the task took measures to obliterate all traces of the crime; however, the human body is not easily disposed of. It may be shot, hacked, doused with sulfuric acid, burned, but still some parts may survive. Eventually, what remained of the royal family and the others was thrown into the deep, narrow well. Yurovksy tossed a grenade in after them. At this point Yurovsky returned to Ekaterinburg, where news of what transpired at Four Brothers had preceded him. The men of the burial detail had failed to hold their tongues. At midnight of the next day Yurovsky set off again, this time in company with loyal Soviets. The bodies were retrieved from the dark, contaminated waters of the well and reburied 12 miles northwest of Ekaterinburg, some distance from Four Brothers. This final resting place of the Romanovs was known only to God for the next 56 years. 

In 1975, it was discovered by a native of the Ural Mountain region and a Moscow filmmaker intent on solving the Romanov mystery. It took until the end of the Cold War for the Russian government to open an investigation. "

Refer:  http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90416.html

 

"Common sense always suggested that Lenin must have given approval. The incoming Communists intended to make so complete a break with history and morality that the Russians' perception of themselves would be altered forever. If the highest in the land were wiped out without formalities, what could ordinary people expect?
Always the conspirator, Lenin succeeded in exculpating himself from the murder. According to Soviet history, his colleague Sverdlov made the decision to kill the Romanovs. Local Ural Party leaders, in particular Goloshchekin and Beloborodov, were further depicted as hot-heads so thirsting for revolutionary justice that they had taken matters into their own hands. There had been a reason for swift action. That July, the White Army was closing in on Ekaterinburg, and indeed captured it a few days after the killing.
Confusion did not stop there. Several of the leaders involved in the murder squad, for instance Commissars Yakov Yurovsky and Peter Ermakov, left boastful but conflicting accounts of their roles. Once the Whites occupied Ekaterinburg, Nikolai Sokolov, formerly a Tsarist legal official, began a famous investigation. Collecting evidence from eyewitnesses, he established the facts, though he failed to locate the bodies. His report has been the foundation of the historical record.  "

Refer: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Last+Tsar%3a+The+Life+and+Death+of+Nicholas+II-a012933133


During the black years that followed the downfall of the Romanov Empire, the Communist stranglehold tightened on the country, and the Russian people experienced a far worse fate than that which preceded the event.  Siberia started to become relatively crowded – but it was a better option that the alternative.

For many years the instability and brutal repression was reflected in the many currency issues, rampant inflation, and sudden changes in any members of local officialdom that disagreed with the central Soviet and the iron will of a new leader, Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili, who was known as Stalin.

 

SOME of the NOTES OF NICHOLAS II - The last of the Romanov Czars.

This note dated 1898 was re-issued in 1915 with 'Control' Numbers (sample shown) instead of Serial numbers.

The Imperial crest is on the left and Czar Nicholas' initial 'N' is shown within a circular belt - written in Cyrillic script as an ornate 'H II'.

The original design was first issued during the reign of Czar Alexander III (1887-94) with his initial 'A'.

 

 

In 1912 this large sized note (272 x 126mm) was issued bearing the Imperial cyphers on the obverse and Peter the Great as the reverse.

 

(Left) - Postage Stamp Currency issues occurred during the WWI era - mainly 1915-17 - portrayed various Czars.

(Right) - 1915 Small Change Notes. 1, 2, 3, 5 Kopeks shown - other denominations were 10, 15, 20 and 50 Kopeks.

 

The denominations shown above, 10, 15 and 20 Kopeks were not dated but were released in 1915, whilst the 3 Kopeks stamp was issued during 1916-17.

The reverse carried the Imperial cypher, authorisation and the denomination. These could be used as stamps or small change but the backs were not adhesive and would need to be glued for postal use.

For a short period, after the overthrow of the Csar, the new revolutionary  Provisional Goverment continued the issue of the  'stamp' Kopeks but without the eagle which was replaced with a suitable inscription stamped on the reverse. Denominations of 1, 2, 3 Kopeks only in the Provisional issue..

 

 

Samples of imperial Romanov Russian Silver 10, 15 and 20 Kopek coinage - all bear the Imperial crest as the obverse

 

The use of the existing Imperial coinage continued until 1921 when a new range consisting of .500 Silver 10, 15, 20 Kopeks and a .900 Silver  50 Kopeks and a similar Silver Rouble coin was issued.

The lower value Kopeks were issued again in 1922 and 1923, but the 50 Kopeks and Rouble only again in 1922

All bore a large depiction of the Hammer and Sickle as the obverse. The denomination and date was located within a wreath as the reverse on the lower values, and a large pentagram star with value and date was featured on the two higher denominations.

These coins also all bore the legend, in Russian script, 'Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic'

 

Russian Provisional Government 1000 Ruble Credit note - issued 1917 (Actual size 133 x 215mm)

(It could be considered ironic that this note depicts a Swastika underprint in centre)

 

During this era the amalgamation of neighbouring countries into the new greater Soviet state was occuring and Ukraine, for instance, became one of the founding states. The bloody turmoil between the rival factions that had resulted in civil war during the early years of the Revolution also saw printing presses on both sides churning out bogus banknotes to undermine the currency of the other - or to pay their troops - even if the money was made from seized printing-plates. The illegally issued notes soon became worthless in the disputed areas - such as the Ukraine. - as the Red Army became victorious.

The main Ukranian Republican currency was known as Karbowanez and was equal to the Ruble.

Other areas of South Russia were also in the hands of the White Russian armies during 1918 - 20 - and printed Imperial-style currency authorised by their Generals, Anton I.Deniken and Baron Peter Wrangel - until they were vanquished by the Soviets.

 

Ukraine 50 Karbowanez (Not dated - issued 1918). Serial No. AO 217

Serial numbers over AO 210 indicate that this note was unofficially issued by General Denikin of the White Russian Army.

 The printing-plates were seized in Odessa (O)

 

1919 South Russia 1000 Ruble State Treasury note also printed in Odessa by White Russian Army generals.

 

 

(Top) - 1919 Russian Soviet Currency Notes in 1, 2, 3, and 5 Rubles (a 3 Ruble reverse is shown)

(Lower) - 1919 Russian Soviet 500 Rubles Currency note - these multi-lingual notes were often called 'Babylonians'

The following is an article produced by Associated Press July 16, 2007

"MOSCOW -- A court has again denied a request by descendants of the last Czar to have the monarch and the royal family declared victims of political repression, Russian news agencies reported Friday.
The decision by the Moscow City Court is the second time that the court has ruled on the matter of whether to "rehabilitate" Czar Nicholas II and his family.Nicholas abdicated in 1917 as revolutionary fervor swept Russia, and he and his family were detained. The next year, they were sent to the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, where a firing squad executed them on July 17, 1918, in the basement of a merchant's house.

 

Lawyers for the Czar's descendants had petitioned prosecutors two years ago, asking them to classify the royal family as victims of political persecution

but prosecutors have consistently refused to make that decision, saying the execution was a premeditated murder, not a politically motivated killing.
The Moscow City Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling that refused to order prosecutors to reclassify the royal family's status, Interfax and RIA-Novosti reported. However, the court agreed with the Tverskoi District Court, which said prosecutors must again consider the appeal from the royal descendants. Court officia could not be reached for comment after hours Friday.
The rl family's remains were unearthed from a mining pit in 1991 while the Soviet Union was collapsing. After genetic tests and disputes about their authenticity, they were buried in 1998 at a St. Petersburg cathedral. The remains of two of the children were never found.
The Russian Orthodox Church canonized Nicholas, his wife, Alexandra, and their four daughters and one son as martyrs in 2000."

 

Internet sources:

http://www.answers.com/topic/nicholas-ii

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90416.html

 

WANTED KNOWN.

Tasmania: Email request dated 28/7/07.

"About 40 years ago I began to collect the change I brought back from my business trips. Today I have about 6kg of coins from almost all European countries (pre-Euro), USA, Canada, and from all over Asia (all pre-sorted by country). Should some members of your numismatic fraternity be interested in the one or other coin accumulations please don't hesitate to get in touch with me."

Kind regards,

Klaus-Peter Effenberger

Tinderbox, TAS 7054      Email: effenberger@bigpond.com

 

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'TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST' 1996 - 2007 GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.

The updated and illustrated general Index of the former  'Tasmanian Numismatist'  (Internet Edition) newsletter has now been completed.

We serialized the Internet version update, as we did with the original Index in 2003, and the first instalment was included in the January 2007 issue and it was located at the conclusion of each 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.

Individual articles are not directly linked to the early version of the Index nor have they been cross-referenced, at this time, but they can be located by checking the Links listed below and then checking against the newsletter Archives: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aprilnews.html

Articles or information prior to the Year 2000 can be requested by contacting the Editor.

The original Index covered the period from 1995 - 2003 (Volumes 1 - 8). Details can be found in the issues listed below.

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug03.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept2003.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Oct2003.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Nov03.htm

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec2003.htm

The complete addendum includes the content details of both versions of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter from Volumes 9 (Issue 1 - January, 2004) up to Volume 12 - Issue 6, 2007 but, from this Issue onwards, the Internet Edition details and link only will be published herein .

 

  • 'Tasmanian Numismatist'  (Internet Edition) .

    Volume 12 – Issues 1 - 6, 2007

    Issue 1. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan07.htm

    See What I Mean! - a practical explanation about unusual coins found in pocket change.

    Counterfeits & Forgeries - a closer look at some Oz duds - compiled by Ian Hartshorn

    Canadian Blacksmith Tokens -  an article by Dominic Labbe (updated and re-illustrated) showing forgeries come from everywhere.

    Encased Cent Mirror Tokens - a look at something different and a bit of trivia to go with an interesting token concept from 1900

    From Inside the Magpie's Nest - The Bass & Flinders Circumnavigation of Tasmania Medallion from Tasmedals.

    Messages from Mick & Mike - a couple of long-time colleagues and mates have put 'pen to paper' once more.

    Index Update - Vol. 9 (2004).

     

    Issue 2. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb07.htm

    Society Snippets - featuring the history of Old West characters named on some fantasy encased cents from T.N.S. member Jerry Adams

    Hanrahan's Saloon at Adobe Walls 1874 - the story of a battle with Comanches and the incredible rifle shot. by Billy Dixon, that virtually saved the day.

    Sharps Rifle Trivia

    'Viva Mexico' - the volatile country to the south of the U.S. has had many exploiters. The story of its coinage, from Spanish occupation until pre-Millennium, is as fascinating as the personages who trod the Mexican political stage during this period.

    Index Update - Vol.10 ( 2005).

     

    Issue 3. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.html

    Society Snippets - Jerry Adams' newest encased coin - the Jefferson Buffalo Nickel within a 'Good Luck' token.

    Post Traders of the Old West - a brief look at what the local 'supermarket' was like during the early 1800's in the days of the buffalo, cowboys and Indians.

    Do Not Disturb! - Sleepers .... - there are many newer coins in Australia that have the potential of appreciating in value at a far more rapid pace than usual - these are the decimal 'sleepers' - watch for them!

    Index Update - Vol. 11 (2006) and Vol. 12 (2007 to date.

     

    Issue 4. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/april07.html

    Society Snippets -  ANZAC DAY 2007

    Adams & Smith's Fantasy Enclosed Coin Token - the newest release of their modern Fantasy Post Trader's token

    Fantasy Post Traders Tokens ( Part 2) - Why Fort Chadbourne? - the choice of location, for these modern tokens, is always a story in itself..

    The Butterfield Stage Coach Connection - John Butterfield's partners Henry Wells and William Fargo founded an empire - from the back of a stage-coach.

    Jamestown Commemorative Coins. - U.S. Mint unveils the 400th Anniversary Commemorative designs to celebrate the first English settlement in the U.S.

    Percentage Points! - a comparison of percentage differences in the price structure of recent U.S. and Australian Uncirculated silver and gold coinage.

    Who was 'Saharet'? - the brief story of an Australian Can-Can Dancer who was once called 'The most beautiful woman in the world.'

    NZBANKNOTES.COM - http://www.nzbanknotes.com/first.asp  Was established in July 2004, and this is  hugely popular international site is growing 'faster than inflation'  Recommended site.

    Index Update - Vol. 12 (2007 to date).

     

    Issue 5. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may07.htm

    Slipping through the Cracks? - older listed items are disappearing from the catalogues. Remember how 'Varieties and Mint errors' fell through the cracks?

    Australia's decimal coins - What ARE those Animals? - just a reminder of the unique Australian wild-life that graced our own first decimal coins in 1966.

    Trivia - The American Prairies - and the Bison - the newest state Quarter from North Dakota reminds us of what nearly was lost in North America.

    U.S. Quarters program - Check list update of mintages (where available) and release dates of coins now in circulation

    Index Update - Vol. 12 (2007 to date

     

    Issue 6. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june07.htm

    From Drachma ....  - a brief history of early Greek coinage.

    ... to the Unica.  - a brief history of early Roman coinage.

    Item of Interest - Military Payment Certificate

    Notification of Name Change - the renamed newsletter is just that! The 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition' is now geared to our international audience.

     

    'NUMISNET WORLD' - Internet Edition.

    Volume 12 – Issues 7 - to date, 2007

    Issue 7. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july07.htm

    Name Change - We have decided to make a small name change due to the international aspect of this Internet newsletter.

    Principality of Hutt River - A brief look at the history and new coinage release of a 'close-to-home' micro-nation and its Sovereign and his sons.

    Private Currency issues - Another private local currency issue is available in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, U.S.A.

    A Nation Always - Nearly - in the News. - A history of the coinage and paper Money of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea).

     

    Issue 8. -

    How Much Can a Collector Collect? - an observation on the number of 2007 commemorative issues being issued from the R.A.M.

    Thematic Collecting! - another brief reminder of one of the alternative in collecting - Varieties & Mint Errors. More suggestions in our next issue.

    The End of an Era. - It is now just over 89 years since Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his entire family were murdered by the Bolsheviks. 

    Wanted Known - A segment for passing on readers' requests or information of a reasonable nature. (Caveat Emptor - and our disclaimers apply.)

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    TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY

    Anyone who wishes to apply for membership to the non-profit making organization, and who is prepared to abide by the rules of the Society and its aim of promoting the study and enjoyment of the hobby of numismatics, should contact the following address for an application form and details of subscriptions: 

    Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc. 

    Postal Address: GPO Box 884J, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, AUSTRALIA.
    Email (President): rogermcneice@our.net.au
    Email (Secretary): misteeth@bigpond.net.au
    Email (Editorial): pwood@vision.net.au
    Internet: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html
     

    Meetings: Currently in Recess.

     

    State Sponsor

    of the

     Numismatic Association of Australia

    ************************************************

    'NUMISNET WORLD'

    (INTERNET EDITION)

     

    The 'NumisNet World'’ (Internet Edition) newsletter has been provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is currently presented free on a monthly basis  with the aim of promoting the hobby of numismatics. 

    The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ newsletter is the only official newsletter of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’ and it is published periodically and distributed by post, or hand delivered, directly to members of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society and selected associates and institutions. All matters pertaining to the T.N.S. are re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the  ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

    The ''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter abides by the same basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter. Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome.

    Please note that all opinions expressed in material published in the ''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the the Editor. ALL comments in linked articles are the responsibility of the original authors.

     

    PRIVACY PROTECTION

    The 'NumisNet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter complies with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.

    Under this act, information about individuals can be stored and published only if: the information is already contained in a publicly available document or if personal information has been provided by the individual to whom the information relates, and if that individual is aware of the purposes for which the information is being collected.

    All information published by the''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter is either publicly available, or has been voluntarily provided by writers, on request from the Editor of the ''NumisNet World'  (Internet Edition) newsletter.

    While the ''NumisNet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter may hold writers' addresses and other details for the purposes of communication and copyright protection, it will never make such addresses or details available to any member of the public without the permission of those involved.

    The 'NumisNet World''(Internet Edition) newsletter also respects the privacy of our readers. When you write to us with comments, queries or suggestions, you may provide us with personal information including your contact address or other relevant information. Your personal information will never be made available to a third party without permission.

     

    DISCLAIMER

    All details of a commercial nature, organisations, items or individual arrangement to buy, sell or trade are provided in good faith as information only, and any consequent dealings are between the parties concerned. 

    The 'NumisNet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter takes no responsibility for disagreements between parties, and also reserves the right to only feature information that it considers suitable in promoting the hobby to our readers. Deadline for any literary contributions or amendment to copy is 7 Days prior to the beginning of the month of publication.

    The contents of this Internet newsletter, and all prior issues, are copyrighted ©, but anything herein can be fairly used to promote the great hobby of numismatics; however, we do like to be asked by commercial interests if they wish to use any of our copy. 

    This permission, however, does not extend to any article specifically marked as copyrighted © by the author of the article. Explicit permission from the author or the Editor of the  NumisNet World' '(Internet Edition) newsletter is required prior to use of that material.

     

    The Editor,

    Numisnet World - (Internet Edition). 

    P.O. Box 10,

    Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.

    Australia.

    Internet Page: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html

    Email: pwood@vision.net.au