Index For This Month:
TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY INC.
The Secretary,Our members meet at 8.00 p.m. on the 2nd.Thursday of each month (except January), in our social rooms at the Masonic Club, 181 Macquarie St., Hobart. Tasmania. Visitors are always welcome!
Tasmanian Numismatic Society, Inc.
G.P.O. Box 884J.
Hobart. Tasmania. 7001.
Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome and can be sent to the T.N.S. or directed to:
The Editor,The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ is published and distributed FREE, on a monthly basis, to members of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc. and selected associates and institutions. This publication is the only official newsletter of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc.’ and its aim is to promote the hobby of numismatics in an entertaining and enjoyable way, under the guidelines suggested by the executive committee of the T.N.S.
Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.
Internet Page: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html
This newsletter and its contents are copyrighted ©, but anything
herein (except as noted below) 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. Usually, we are not too
hard to get on with - and, as long as you undertake to give credit to the
author and the ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ we don’t mind too
This permission, however, does not extend to any article specifically marked as copyrighted © by the author of the article. In the latter case, you must get explicit permission from the author either directly or through the ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ to use that material.
All opinions expressed in material published in this newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc.’ or the Editor.
FROM THE COLUMNS.
Another currency WARNING!
Following on from the warning from Jerry Adams (refer 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - May issue) in regard to the flood of fake US$100.00 paper notes pouring into the US from Columbia, we have a local reminder that we all must remain vigilant.
Mike Edmonds' report in the 'Herald Sun' of June 6, 2000 highlights the fact that some people still want to make a little money at home. The report states that an average of about 20 dud $50.00 notes, each week, end up at the Federal Currency Squad's office for investigation.
Some of our members had the opportunity to meet Federal Agent Denis Carr when he was in Hobart for the Numismatic Symposium in November 1997 and were allowed to see a collection of counterfeit notes of all types from various countries.
Denis states that this current batch of forgeries is poorly made. The notes have been produced on paper not polymer - with a simulated see-through window with no embossing. It is apparent that the notes are being made one at a time, as there is no number sequence.
Under normal circumstances they would be easily recognised for the fakes they are but in poor light and at very busy trading times they could be passed on - so BEWARE!
Details of genuine Australian note features can be obtained from the Internet site:- http://www.rba.gov.au/poly/po_count.html
It is very fitting, that at the time of receiving this news, our 'Tasmanian
Numismatic Society' President Roger McNeice, OAM, FRNS has been travelling
overseas and, in his capacity as Honorary Numismatist for the Tasmanian
Museum and as a representative on the International Committee of Monetary
and Bank Museums, he has attended a meeting in the Netherlands to discuss
the matter of counterfeiting in all related money matters.
It appears this scourge and assault on all nations' financial institutions has now reached plague proportions and it is not just with modern coins and currency. Technology has enabled the counterfeiters to obtain a high level of sophistication, undreamed of a few years ago, and reproduction of valuable ancient coins, for example, is now becoming a nightmare for museum curators who are responsible for the acquisition of genuine specimens for their establishments.
PERSPECTIVE. Contributed by Gerald R. Adams (Trade Token Tales ©)
following article is copyrighted © but permission to reprint it from
Trade Token Tales ©) has been kindly supplied to the 'Tasmanian
Numismatist' by the author 'Jerry' Adams.
Please note that the eBay© site mentioned by the author refers to the U.S. Internet online auction site.
It is his personal perspective on the U.S. Trade Token aspect of numismatics - but much of the article can also easily refer to the general range of circulating coins available and is a timely reminder of the new way that our business is being conducted.
If you wish to read some really interesting tales about U.S. trade tokens, Jerry's Trade Token Tales © can be accessed at:- http://www.members.home.net/tokenguy/
Values of trade tokens are a constant source of discussion among token collectors. Values and prices are subjective to say the least, and collectors often get in heated arguments over values, and terrible head butting matches over prices. After some consideration of the subject, I have reached some conclusions, which may be over-simplified, but they are just one man’s views. Prices or values can be influenced by a number of factors. Here are the four primary factors I see: conditions of the buyer, conditions of the seller, the token itself, and the sale type. Let us look at each one separately.
THE BUYER FACTORS.
1. Desire of the buyer for the token (motivation).
2. Token related knowledge of the buyer (selling prices, number of examples, history, etc.).
3. Number of buyers desiring the token.
THE SELLER FACTORS.
1. Desire to sell the token (motivation).THE TOKEN.
2. Token related knowledge of the seller.
1. Rarity of the token (the number available).THE SALE FACTORS.
2. Desirability of the token (includes historical significance, if the token is a saloon, post trader, Brunswick Balke tokens, materials such as vulcanite, increase value, etc…. desirability also means how valuable the token is to other collectors, as most token collectors recognize the value of "rare" tokens as trading material).
3. Condition of the token.
4. Provenance of the token (including if it was a plate token in any publication).
1. Type of sale, i.e. either sold by mail auction, EBAY, face to face sale, absolute auction, private treaty, floor auction etc.Any one of the above factors can cause the price of a particular token to rise or fall on a particular day. For instance, let us assume that a seller, who is anxious to sell a certain token which he knows similar tokens have been seen for sale at the price of $100. Knowing that the tokens were for sale at that price, and not SOLD, he places his token for auction on EBAY for a low opening bid of $50, half of what he thinks it is worth. A buyer who has all the qualities listed above, except he is lacking in his knowledge of tokens (i.e. the tokens for sale at $100 which the seller has seen), waits until the last minute to bid, and bids in at $200 for the token, not knowing a second EBAY buyer has done almost the same, but the second buyer also lacked the knowledge and bid $210. Then you have the condition where a token that on a normal day, might sell for $100 sells for over $200, not because it was the norm, but because it was worth that much, that day to that buyer. Tokens, and most other things, are worth what someone will pay for them.
2. Overhead of sale including commissions, fees, buyer’s premium, etc.
3. Number of buyers who desire token that are participating in the sale.
BOOK PRICES - Book prices, are hotly discussed among token collectors also. Usually the person responsible for writing the book makes the final decision as to include prices for tokens, or a rarity scale, or nothing at all. I have found book prices on trade tokens to be a misleading bane. On some types of tokens, such as transit tokens, where there only a certain number of types of tokens known and most all are well defined, book prices are fine, although they are rarely adhered to. Trade tokens on the other hand, are not catalogued as well as transit tokens, new trade tokens from new towns and merchants turn up almost every day, and it would be impossible to catalogue them all, and know the rarity and desirability of them all.
EBAY SALES - EBAY sales of almost any item, when successful, seem to work best when a person is selling an item with a low starting price. This seems mainly to be true on higher priced items. I believe the reason is that the really dedicated collectors who scour EBAY for trade tokens every week (or some every day) has many of the common items, which are often listed on EBAY. They want to "cherry pick" the better items from the large token selection, and often bidding wars erupt over a single token. Another oddity of EBAY, is that some bidders, especially serious bidders who have considerable assets to spend and large collections to start with, deploy the "bushwhacker" tactics. In EBAY lingo, a "sniper" who is a person who bids on a token, generally is outbid, and bids a large bid the last few seconds. But a "bushwhacker" is a person who does not bid at all, until the last 10 seconds or so, of the auction. Generally this is done with special software, which electronically does the split second work of bidding those last 10 to 15 seconds. The thinking of the typical "bushwhacker" seems to be that if the other advanced token collectors don’t know he "needs" this token, then they are less likely to "bid it up" causing him/her to pay more in the end. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not.
THE EBAY TRAP - The most often seen EBAY "trap" that befalls sniper bidders and bushwhacker bidders on tokens, is that two or three of them will bid on the same token the last 15 seconds or so, thus driving up the price on some tokens by as much as 600% in the last minute of bidding. Of course, this is fantastic for the lucky seller of the desired token! Many people extrapolate that a second token like the first, will sell for the same amount, that the three snipers bid on, not realizing that the "real" price on a second token, would really bring would be closer to the bid increment above the third highest bid, not the second highest! Indeed, many bidders on EBAY in the exonumia heading seem to go into a "feeding frenzy" on some of the more desired tokens, the same phenomena has been observed in other headings to a similar extent.
THE ADVANTAGES OF EBAY TOKEN SELLING - EBAY offers the advantage of allowing the pacing of listing items for sale. A person can list one item, on the weekend (for 25 cents if less than $9.99) and not list anymore if he so desires. So the number of items listed, can be as few or as many as desired. Since listing prices start at 25 cents, the cost is nominal to say the least. All that is required is a computer and Internet access. If photos are desired, a digital camera or scanner is fine, and an "FTP" program is used to upload photographs to a hosting computer, which is usually the user’s ISP webspace. A good knowledge of token pricing is helpful in starting to list tokens, and when in doubt on pricing, price it low if you really want to sell it! One of the really "slick" things about EBAY selling, in my view, is this: let’s say, you have a trade token, that is worth (in your well-versed opinion) at LEAST $225. And let’s say that you have offered it to one or two advanced collectors, who have hesitated buying the token, for one reason or another (lack of funds at the moment, etc). Let’s also say that you know these collectors are bidding actively on EBAY, along with some other collectors who are interested in the same type of token you have. You decide to list the token on EBAY with a starting bid of $180 (80% of the 225). You can then email the collectors who have been interested in that token, and advise them of the token. They then are put in the position of either bidding on the token (even at the last minute), or allowing someone else to buy the token "from under them". Even if you listed the token at the full $225 price, and it had received no bids up until the last 30 seconds, any collector can basically buy the token for that price at the last second! So any collector who ignores the token at the price you list it, sacrifices his "place in line" for the token.
THE ADVANTAGES OF BUYING TOKENS FROM EBAY - I have found, that
buying tokens from the EBAY website, is fun, and the selection is large.
It seems to be more suited to those token collectors among us, who have
eclectic tastes in tokens, have wide and far ranging interests, and are
pleased to find inexpensive interesting tokens. Many inexpensive common
tokens "fall through the cracks" on EBAY, as many of the collectors are
bidding mostly on the more expensive tokens. The sheer
number of items on the EBAY site at any one time, dictate that viewers
use their best thinking when conducting searches on the EBAY site. Often
times, tokens will not be listed under exonumia, but rather under some
odd branch, and wide searches with specific words, bring in those tokens
listed in the odd categories. Again, the sheer numbers of tokens listed
on EBAY, mean that many common tokens will go begging for bidders, at reasonable
prices! Also, some rare and valuable tokens are listed on EBAY by sellers
who do not understand the points that make the token valuable, thus they
may list a post trader token from Wyoming Territory in the heading as just:
BRASS 'GOOD FOR' TOKEN FROM WYOMING
Collectors who do not bid until the last second ("bushwhackers") often say they do not want others to know what they are bidding on. In addition, buyers on EBAY, will often see tokens for sale, that would normally only be seen at national or regional token shows, which can often cost hundreds of dollars to attend, once air fares, hotel bills, taxi bills, missed work costs, food, drink, etc are factored in as costs in acquiring the tokens. EBAY allows the same collectors to see fairly good photographs or scans of the tokens, which is almost as good as attending the shows to see the tokens for yourself. Plus the bidders on EBAY have their token libraries available at home, and can answer questions in their own reference books prior to bidding!
HOW TOKEN CONDITION RELATES TO PRICE/VALUE - Many non-collectors, such as metal detector enthusiasts, fail to understand the importance of condition of tokens as related to value. Most token collectors are not nearly as critical of condition as coin collectors are, however condition plays a huge part in determining the value of any one token. A rare token in mildly circulated condition that brings $1000 on the open market, if worn considerably may bring only $600. If the same token is dug, pitted and rough may bring only $500. If the dug and pitted token has holes drilled, punched, or rusted through the token, it may only bring $100. Even non-dug tokens, which have clean holes drilled through them, may drop in value by 70 to 80 percent, depending on the size of the hole, the placement of the hole, etc. Small holes may only decrease the value by 5 to 10 percent if they are centered, small and clean.
PROVENANCE OF A TOKEN AND PRICE - The provenance of a certain token can add a certain amount to the value of a token, say 5 to 10 percent. Things most collectors would be willing to pay for, is a token that was in the collection of a famous token collector they admire, or one that was the specific token photographed for a token reference book. Tokens that were in the collection of the author of a token reference book are generally considered to be worth a premium.
TOKENS THAT HAVE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE AND PRICE - Tokens increase in price when they can be tied to specific historic events, or places. For instance, tokens from the town of Tombstone, Arizona Territory are highly valued, due to the widely known connection with the Wyatt Earp story and the "shootout at OK Corral." Other tokens that bring a premium due to historical significance are any territorial tokens; post trader tokens, Indian trader tokens, and tokens from ghost towns of western states. Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California are the "hottest" states for ghost town tokens.
TOKEN MATERIAL AND DESIRABILITY - Certain materials that tokens were made from also increase the value of any token found in that material. Certainly, the least seen and most highly desirable material that tokens were made in is "vulcanite", which is a plastic appearing material. Celluloid is very similar, and a close second, although vulcanite is likely more common than celluloid. Two other materials that tokens were made from are also highly sought after, one is "white metal" or nickel, and the other is "bimetal" which is usually an outer brass ring and an aluminium centre. Brass would likely rate next in the pecking order, followed by aluminium at the bottom of the scale. Other materials are seen including cardboard (or pasteboard) and fibre, and even zinc. Generally they are not as desirable as brass and aluminium. An exception to this, is the cardboard "depot to hotel" transit and saloon tokens, which when found, are extremely rare, and valuable.
BUSINESS TYPE AND DESIREABLILITY / PRICE - Generally, the most
desired issuing business types, are saloons, post traders, Indian traders,
CCC tokens, very old military tokens and such. Also to a lesser degree
are billiard parlours, cigar stores, domino halls, dairies etc. General
stores, grocers, etc issued the most common and the least sought-after
IN SUMMATION - Selling tokens is a complicated proposition, and the person who has the most experience selling tokens, may be the person to ask for help when seeking sage advice. A person selling 2000 tokens ONE AT A TIME, will have a better understanding of the process, that a person who sells a collection of 2000 tokens as a lot. Likewise, a person who conducts a floor auction will generally have a good understanding of prices. EBAY has let everyone, including non-collectors, have the ability to see (in real time) what tokens are selling for every day of the week, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If nothing else, EBAY has become the educational equalizer for all token collectors!
Jerry's current illustrated token offers can be located at:
On Saturday 10 June, the 200th Anniversary edition of the WBCC Newsmail was emailed to me by Martin Peeters.
As usual, it was full of informative information about all sorts of bi-metallic coins, tokens and medals - but this edition also included contributions from many members of the WBCC and these snippets gave a far greater insight on their reasons why they decided to collect this growing area of numismatics.
Space does not permit me to reprint the # 200 Edition in full but one section from Australian numismatist, Rod Sell, probably encapsulates most of the philosophy behind the WBCC. Details of the WBCC and many great scans can be located at: http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/7513/wbcc/wbcc.html
WBCC # 200 Anniversary Newsmail.
I doubt any of us could have guessed nearly four years ago that the WBCC would have grown to the wonderful informative club it is today. When I first joined in those early days, there were not that many Bi-metallics and the information about them was very scarce. I found on joining the members were ready to share all their knowledge, and that there were a lot more
Bi-metallics produced than I knew about. I also found the members were also very helpful in finding my missing items. As you can see we haven't changed from that assistance, and I am sure new members are in much the same situation as I was four years ago. With the exception that in the four years there have been a heck of a lot of Bi-metallic produced so you new members have a lot of catching up to do.
The WBCC has grown in numbers and our members are in more Countries around the World. This is just as well as there are more Countries now producing Bi-metallics and we have members who can supply the information on new items and supply the Bi-metallic from almost anywhere in the World.
It is now almost impossible to collect every Bi-metallic produced, however I am sure if you wanted to and had the finances available you still could. Our WBCC Image Library is designed as an illustrated catalogue of all known Bi-metallics. It is a great source of information and with the WBCC Newsmail index will help members to see and know about all Bi-metallics. A club is only as good as the activities of its membership.
We have a very good club with very active members and I would ask those of you who have any knowledge about Bi-metallics to share it with the rest of us. Information and active discussion is never wasted. There are still a lot of unknowns especially about early Bi-metallics and every little piece of information will help us to view the items in their correct perspective.
Martin is to be congratulated for his production of this weekly WBCC Newsmail. Every Saturday morning (here in Australia it is Saturday when it arrives) I read the weekly news with interest to see what new information and Bi-metallics have been found. We are always open to change.
The WBCC site is designed for information and I have tried to make it as user friendly as possible. If you have any ideas on ways to improve it please let me know. However be aware that everything takes time, so if your idea is time consuming please consider a quicker practical way of doing it. I am slowly working my way back through the earlier WBCC Newsmail items for the index. In the process the text files are being converted to html files with links straight to the article concerned. Again, this will take time but eventually it will be fully indexed.
The following details of the medal have been supplied to Kerry, but
readers are asked to be on the alert if this Medallion or any other of
the items appears in a group for sale. Do any of Essie Larkin's contemporaries
of 12 years ago, who may have also obtained this Medallion, remember the
facts regarding this issue?
Two different metal 51mm. Medallions were issued in 1988 to commemorate the 25th. Anniversary of the foundation of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society'- they were in Silver-plated Bronze and Bronze.
They were sold as either a set of two metals or in the silver-plated bronze only. There were only sufficient made for member's orders at that time and they were not released to the general public, unfortunately I cannot advise a registration number as I have been advised that this limited member's only edition was probably not numbered - however, I will try and confirm this.
Most of these Medallions would probably have remained with Society members or their heirs so one turning up in the numismatic market place may be noticeable. The estimated market value at 1 June 1990 was: Silver $50.00 - Bronze $25.00
No doubt their value could have increased even further during the last 10 years because of the low mintages.
I have been led to believe that there may still be a set of the two medallions still available from the Society and they could be made available as a replacement, under the circumstances, at a suitable price structure if you or your representatives contact our Vice President Christopher Heath in Hobart (address supplied).
Original Mintage - (Silver-plated) 30 only*
- (Bronze) 15 only*
Reference: 'Tasmanian Commemorative Medals and Medallions 1853 - 1990 - Vol.2' by Roger V McNeice, OAM, FRNS.
The Stamp Place,David has also advised that arrangements have been finalised with a few mainland dealers who will be visiting the North of the State and will be holding two numismatic fairs during their visit. The fairs will be held at The Voyager, Burnie on 8 July and Great Northern, Launceston on the 9th July.
Trafalgar On Collins,
110 Collins St, Hobart,
Tasmania 7000, Australia
Phone/Fax +61 3 6224 3536
JERRY'S BOOK REVIEWS.
NEW EDITION OF THE CATALOGUE OF WORLD PAPER MONEY 1961-2000
This is the sixth edition of the '2000 Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues 1961-2000, Vol. 3', edited by Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer and it was released in May, 2000.
The new edition of 864 pages - soft covered, is again printed on the large size 8½ x 11 inch pages and contains over 10,500 listings of banknotes from 376 note-issuing authorities between 1961 - 2000.
The 7,000 plus photo illustrations are in black and white as usual and show both sides of most notes.
With the demand for good quality banknotes now at an all time high, valuations of many of the scarce notes in Unc. Grades have increased accordingly. The investment potential in foreign banknotes in these grades of condition and rarity is very promising.
With some dealers currently selling well above the older catalogue values for the better and scarcer notes this new upgraded 6th Edition will, at least, give the banknote collector a higher benchmark to work from.
An 8 page photo section of the obverse sides of 78 banknotes, each from a different country - and in COLOR - has been added to this edition to assist in banknote identification.
Those who are familiar with the previous editions will continue to enjoy the usual features such as grading guides, foreign exchange tables, standard international numerical systems, historical and geographical information, printers, issuers, terminology and various identification charts and tables plus a lot more.
All features are indexed for ease of use - this is truly a user-friendly catalogue of the top order!
For those collectors who have banknotes of a slightly earlier vintage, the coverage of banknotes from 1650 - 1960 is given in Krause Publications 'Standard Catalog of World paper Money, General Issues, Vol. 2' by Albert Pick, which was last published in 1997. This 1096 page hardcover catalogue is still available and would form an integral part of the complete banknote library. A lengthy illustrated catalogue of all publications issued by Krause Publications is available free on request from the publishers if you care to contact them at:
700 East State St., Iola.
Wisconsin, U.S.A. 54990 - 0001.
Please note that Australian enquiries and orders for the above Krause Publications can be placed directly with: -
M.R. Robert’s Wynyard Coin Centre.
7 Hunter Arcade,
Sydney, 2000. N.S.W.
Phone: - (02) 9299 2047.
Fax: - (02) 9290 3710.
PS - If you are going to be in Sydney for the Olympic Games don't forget to call in and see Bob Roberts and mention us - he always has a heap of bargains at 'mate's rates' for our readers, including some hard to get Olympic Pins, Australian and world coins, medallions, Roman and other ancient coins and artifacts - plus all sorts of great reference material.
BLAST FROM THE PAST.
This honour has only been “awarded to those Australian numismatists, both collectors and professionals, selected after much consideration by the Executive Committee of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’ for various contributions to Australian numismatics” so, consequently, the ‘Lockwood Medal’ - presented by our numismatic peers - is held in very high esteem by all recipients.