7 Issue 7
Editor: Graeme E. Petterwood. (T.N.S. Member #332)
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.
G. P. O. Box 884J
Due to a decline in health and pending treatment, our Editor will be incapacitated in the near future, until further notice.
As far as possible, the August 'Tasmanian Numismatist Internet Edition' will be prepared in advance of any decision needing to be made on the future of this version of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society's' newsletter.
Meeting inquiries and other queries should be addressed, in writing, to our Hobart P.O. Box number. (See above).
Those members who plan to attend the next meeting of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society are again reminded that it will be combined with a 'BYO everything' BBQ, and it will be held at the home of President Chris Heath - and guests are welcome after 11.00a.m. on Sunday, 7th July. As this will be a social event, members are invited to bring along their partner or a guest if they wish, as well as any numismatic objects that may be included in our 'show and tell' segment.
The following reviews are courtesy of our first International Life member, Jerry Remick of Canada (T.N.S. Member #112.) who was granted the honour late last year. Jerry was also the initial winner of the Editor's Awards for contributions to the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' in 1998 and has since been awarded additional Editor's awards for his efforts. Due to inclement health during 2001 he was not able to devote as much effort as he would have liked to; but he has been an active (by correspondence) member for well over 30 years. He is a member of about 60 other numismatic groups throughout the world, an internationally acclaimed author and reviewer as well as a professional geologist. He has been bestowed with many prestigious awards and honours in Canada and overseas and we are pleased that he has continued to find the time and effort to support the Tasmanian Numismatic Society with his excellent and informative reviews.
JERRY'S BOOK REVIEWS.
A series of Reviews - by Jérôme 'Jerry' H. Remick III.
More than four centuries of circulating coins are included in the 2002 edition of 'STANDARD CATALOG OF WORLD COINS; SPAIN, PORTUGAL AND THE NEW WORLD' by Chester L. Krause, Clifford Mishler and Colin R. Bruce II. (Illustration below).
The 648 page soft cover catalogue was published in February and, as usual, is approx 216mm x 280mm (8.5 inches x 11 inches) in size and it has more than 10,000 photos of coins dating from the 1500's to the mid 1900's.
The range covers Argentina, Azores, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic/Santo Domingo, Central American Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Madeira Islands, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Typically, the catalogue covers all coinage types including patterns, trial strikes, essais, medallic issues, token coinage as well as mint and proof sets with up to 4 price gradings amongst the 35,000 listed.
'Standard Catalogs' are noted for their attention to detail and again this edition has the things we ask for such as: Maps, historical and geographical detail, metal contents, as well as mint marks and number issued when known.
As an extra bonus within the Introductory texts are included: 'The Colonial Coinage of Spanish America', The Latin American Republics in the Wake of the Wars of Independence', and 'The Need for Numismatic Research'.
'A Spanish Colonial Mint Production Table' lists the Spanish colonial mints and the years during which they minted Cobs, Milled Pillar Dollars and, finally, Milled Busts. For those interested in the coins of this era this book is a necessity for your library.
The first edition of the 'STANDARD CATALOG OF STOCKS AND BONDS' by Rainer Stahlberg with Colin R. Bruce II was published in April 2002 and presents more than 6,500 listings of collectable stocks and bonds - many with valuations from US$3.00 - $5.00. (Illustration below).
There are more than 2,500 photos and some interesting historical data on some issues of the stocks and bonds.
The 712 page catalogue is a soft cover version in the popular 216mm x 280mm size for easy readable consultation. There are 382 pages devoted to U.S. companies and 245 pages devoted to companies located in 75 other countries including 5 bond issues from Australia.
Listings of stocks and bonds include company name, photo of the document, year issued, vignette display, imprint, certificate type, number of shares, dimensions, colours and valuations.
The catalogue has an Introductory Section that explains the hobby of Scripophily as the collecting of shares and bonds is known; with additional chapters on the History of Stocks and Bonds; Elements of a Certificate; How to begin Collecting; Fraudulent Certificates; Scripophily books etc. An Index of U.S. stocks and bonds and an index of the foreign scripophily conclude the catalogue.
This section of numismatics is one of the fastest growing hobbies in America and it has gained a serious following elsewhere in the world since its beginnings in the mid 1970's due to the availability of a large number of inexpensive securities in today's market place. This catalogue is well worth having as an initial source of reference in the event the scripophily bug strikes you!
The 8th Edition of the 'STANDARD CATALOG OF WORLD PAPER MONEY, MODERN ISSUES 1961 - DATE, VOLUME THREE' was also issued in April 2002. (Not Illustrated).
Edited by Neil Shafer and George S. Cuhaj the 920 page catalogue has all the usual attributes that make this another 'must have' volume for numismatic libraries. As usual the size is 216mm x 260mm. and it is published in easy-to-read print.
This edition covers banknotes issued by 376 authorities in 225 countries and with over 11,200 listings and 7,400 illustrations showing most obverses and reverses of notes, it lives up to its reputation as the paper money collecting numismatists' 'bible'.
Along with all the standard inclusions that we have come to expect such as: signature charts, valuations in up to at least 3 grades, issue dates and a huge amount of other relevant technical data, this catalogue now has an additional 8 page section in colour showing the obverses of notes from 77 countries to highlight the beauty of the note designers and printers' art.
This volume makes an ideal companion to 'STANDARD CATALOG OF WORLD PAPER MONEY' Volumes 1 - Specialised Issues (9th Edition) which shows details of provincial, private and commercial banknotes, and Volume 2 - General Issues (9th Edition) which covers the general issue notes from 1368 - 1960.(Illustrated below).
As usual these catalogues are available, or can be ordered, from your local Krause Publications agents or direct from the publishers. Illustrations of all new publications can be seen at the Internet Site address: http://www.krause.com/
Book Dept. PRO2, P.O. Box 5005.
Iola, Wisconsin. 54545 - 0009
JERRY ADAMS' HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT
A few issues ago, we featured stories about the tokens from two Texas towns, Keller and Weatherford, and in the articles we mentioned that T.N.S. Member #363, Gerald 'Jerry' Adams, is a senior draughtsman with a large firm of well-known and respected architects in Texas - VLK ARCHITECTS of Arlington - and at that time he was currently involved in planning the designs of high schools in the two towns.
One design was for a revamp and extension of an existing campus and the other was for a completely new school and Jerry has just sent me an update and a picture of early progress at the new building site in his home town of Keller.
I have included the scan of the construction work in this edition, mainly for our fellow T.N.S. members' information.
The piece of earth-moving equipment under the central crane gives some perspective to the size of the building at this initial stage and in the foreground is an area that is due to be built upon shortly.
"The school will be a new High school for the Keller Independent School District, it will take the 12th, 11th, and 10th grades I believe. It will be on a sloped site, and counting all the floors will be four floors high total, but only 3 in one spot.
The job required 157 Architectural drawings of 30" x 42" size, many more drawings of Mechanical, Electrical, plumbing, civil, theatrical, etc. I ended up drawing 60 of the 157 drawings, which included all of the floor plans. It took us about 7 months to do the original contract documents (drawings) so it was a reasonably long job - followed by the usual review and some redrawing.
The total square footage of the job is 394,500 square feet. Total cost, will be about US$ 52 million.(Aust$97 million).
The actual name of the school, has not been decided yet. The Keller I.S.D. always lets the students vote on the school name and mascot, so the name is yet to be determined. There is growing interest in a patriotic name, something like "Liberty High School" but only time will tell. Of some of the newer schools here, one is named "Bluebonnet" (which is the state flower) and another is named "Freedom" (the patriotic theme). The two existing high schools are named "Keller High school" (that is the old original school), and the newer one is called "Fossil Ridge High School". - Regards, Jerry."
New high school under construction at Keller, Texas.
Selected and/or edited items are re-published with permission or can be regarded as public domain.
BENT, BROKEN, BRUISED & BATTERED - BUT NOT BEATEN
It has become very obvious, of late, that the subject of Varieties is gaining a lot of popularity within the numismatic community. With most collectors of Australiana now restricted to a plethora of new - and expensive - releases that will excite no-one who enjoys the hunt, the prospect of getting out amongst the rough again, looking for the odd and unusual, must stir the blood.
I have been following the exploits of fellow Tasmanian Numismatic Society member, Ian McConnelly, whose descriptive articles in the Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine (CAB) cannot fail to impart enthusiasm for this section of the hobby.
People are again sifting through their old accumulations of pre and early decimal coinage with astonishing results.
Amongst the bronze penny and halfpenny battlers, the old grey zacks, the wizened-up treys, the dented deeners and the old and bruised two bobs, an amazing discovery has taken place - not all of our coins are as we expect from the catalogues.
The 1962 bronze penny illustrated below has noticeable doubling (known as working hub doubled) showing on the nose, hair ribbons, back of the head and in the legend.
1962 'Double-nosed ' Penny
It is also
now apparent that a lot of funny stuff is floating around amongst our maturing decimal
coinage as well and - of course, to continue the trend into the 21st Century, -
the new mod decimal coinage is as varied as our youthful population is with
metallic accessories stuck to all parts of their bodies or holes pierced in the
most delicate of places.
The definition of what makes a die variety differs.
The purists say that a die variety occurs when a deliberate decision to replace a worn working die, or to treat an injured one to ensure that a near perfect coin is struck for circulation, is made by the mint managers. Usually, a noticeable difference can be observed between the old and new or repaired die. Sometimes the mint will stipulate that it is a replacement die by indicating the difference, in some official way, on the coin itself. Some pre-decimal English silver and gold coins in the Victorian era, for instance, had small Die numbers indicated on them.
The hobbyists' assert that any reasonable quantity of 'error' coins that bypass the checking system and are released into public circulation have become die variations if they have occasioned the same perceived fault that differentiates them from the original 'perfect' strike and they are allowed to continue circulating.
Ten Cents Lyre-bird reverse showing filling between tail feathers. (Pictures courtesy of Dr. P.J. Briddon, Launceston.)
Ian's turn of phrase in his CAB articles is very entertaining - and his descriptive analysis leaves little doubt to what he is referring to - but one thing, however, that has given me pause to think, is that many of the newly discovered varieties have no standard term applied to them, and for an amateur like me, who tries to talk about what I have found, it becomes a very drawn out conversation just trying to describe the phenomena to another collector. I know that there are the usual definitions - such 'clashed dies', 'double strikes', 'bites', 'split laminates', 'brockages' etc. - that can be found in the normal numismatic catalogue terminology; but it would be nice if a more specialised list could be drawn up one day that everyone could comfortably use when describing a particular feature on a variety.
Due to the nature of the 'variety' of the beast I realise this would be a list that would be open to interpretation - but a start needs to be made sometime with the types not previously defined but now known to be relatively common - and those new definitions could be fine-tuned and expanded as need be. How about it?
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that the Bank of England has suspended the release of the new £5 note due to a serious problem with the fastness of the ink used on the serial numbers. It was even reported that someone, in a bank, spilt a strawberry milkshake on a pile of the notes and in rubbing it off also erased the serial numbers. Evidently the sealant used to coat the notes, before the final process took place, was applied at the wrong time and left the numbers vulnerable. Shades of the debacle concerning our first Australian $5.00 polymer notes featuring the effigy of monarch ER II, whose face vanished after a good rub - and also a series of 'Made in Australia' polymer notes sent off to an Oceania nation whose sovereign was also capable of being rubbed out! Illustrations of the new £5 note can be seen at: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/newfive/main.htm
Did you know that modern salvage vessels mainly from the U.S., supposedly being used for recent wreck recovery, are locating and plundering the old Spanish Main treasure vessels off Panama - and, blatantly, getting away with it? The cash strapped Panamanian Government cannot afford the security methods or ships needed to protect the wrecks; and is now contemplating using some of the gold coins, that they themselves will recover, to pay for the cost of patrol boats to save the rest of the known undersea archaeological sites from needless destruction by the scavengers. One of the ships believed to be under threat is that of Capt. Henry Morgan, the famed buccaneer.
Scuba equipped salvage diver. Gold coins salvaged from an ancient shipwreck.
Did you know that Cuba has legitimised the use of the Euro as an alternative currency to the Cuban Peso in selected areas due to the influx of European tourists? The Spanish, in particular, are opting for the island as a holiday destination after the U.S.A. terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 and, it is said, that the tourists may never see or use the local money with the hard currency now predominately in U.S. Dollars and Euros.
Even the kids on the street in Cuba ask for these currencies as hand-outs from foreigners.
Did you know that huge stocks of the Sacagawea 'gold' U.S. Dollar coins are languishing in bank vaults and they are apparently due to suffer the same fate as the Susan B. Anthony issues? The over-simplified supposition being touted is that the general public do not consider that native American Sacagawea - or any other woman for that matter - is worthy of a place on an American coin at this time.
Souvenir 2000 Sacagawea Dollars - featuring model Randy L' Teton
The real reason is probably that, without decisive Governmental direction, the paper US$1.00 note will continue to circulate alongside the coin and while the citizens have the choice, they will stick to the old familiar version even though the economics of wear and tear dictate the coin will outlast the note and be cheaper to maintain in the long term.
The American public cannot abide changes in their monetary habits it appears! If it ain't broke don't fix it!
Did you know that there has been a hint of a proposal to introduce the concept of coloured reverses and even the remote possibility of differing sizes in U.S. banknotes over $1.00? (Notice the $1.00 note is still contemplated in the future tense).
Do you think the idea will even get a fair hearing if it ever gets to the next stage? Not on present attitudes I would suspect!
It is recognised, amongst U.S. money makers and distributors, that some of the general public are so poorly educated in regard to the drab old-fashioned paper banknotes they handle every day, that, as long as the notes are greyish on one side, green on the other, have big numbers in the corners and have the words 'United States' or 'Dollar' printed somewhere on them - they must be OK!
For a full report on similar pieces of Trivia and many more current numismatic news flashes, I recommend that readers log onto one of the premier Internet sites - that of Coin Today - which is located at: http://www.cointoday.com/
Readers' Mailbag is a section of our newsletter that will focus on readers' requests for contacts or information as well as any relevant and constructive comments about numismatics or the contents of articles in this newsletter. This section is provided as a service only and our usual disclaimers, regarding dealings between parties, will continue to apply.
I am Mario from Germany and I collect coins. Do you want to swap your Australian coins with German or other European coins ? Kind regards, Mario Houska.
Hi, my name's Vitor, and I'm from Portugal. I would like to know if you are interested in exchanging coins with me. I can attach my doubles list. Let me know if you want any coin from me. Thanks. Regards, Vitor Medina
Do you have any members or readers who are collectors
of tokens issued by these soap companies - Palmolive,
Kirkmans, Colgate and Peet? If so, I am interested in contacting
Ronald E. Salazar, TAMS 7874
Email: email@example.com or: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Saxton, who has been a discerning correspondent to the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' for the past three years, is based in New York City, N.Y. and is a software developer and the U.S. agent for Triton Technologies International Ltd. The following information was received just in time for this edition and should be of interest to collectors of WWII internment camp tokens.
Graeme, Over the past several days I have been corresponding
with a collector in New Zealand by the name of Martin McKenzie. He and a
colleague, Rob Watts, discovered two distinct reverse dies were used for
striking the threepenny WWII internment camp token. When Martin told me about this, I went to my own collection where I have a bit
over two complete sets of ICT tokens and discovered that my two 1/- tokens
were different on each face. Without Martin's alert I would never have
thought of looking.
So far the varieties have only been seen on the tokens minted by K.G. Luke & Co but our samples are extremely small in number. None of us has a large enough collection to make any estimate of the number and frequency of the ICT die
varieties. For all we know the R. Arendeen & Sons tokens may also exhibit die varieties.
I invite any readers who have internment camp tokens to check theirs against the illustrations on my web site and let me know if there are any die varieties not shown. I'm not concerned about die cracks and such, more with actual design differences.
Start at: http://triton.vg/ozcoins.html and the internment camp tokens are just a click away.
Jon Saxton <email@example.com> OS/2 software developer
U.S. agent for Triton Technologies International Ltd
Hi! My name is Jorge Suárez and I come from Spain. I've just started to be into the collecting hobby. I'd be interested in swapping some circulated coins from your country against some Spanish Euro coins. Would you be interested too?
If so, please write me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ELGIN COIN CLUB
Mike Metras of the Elgin Coin Club and the Fox Valley Coin Club of Illinois, is a long time friend and numismatic colleague who has produced several most interesting numismatic CD's that I have had the pleasure to have already reviewed.
Mike has reminded me that he has still a few of the original 'Money Meanderings' that he is offering to readers at a special clearance price if you are interested. His new 'Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth' CD is also now available and for collectors of African coins who want to get a real feel of what it is like in Ethiopia - this is the CD for you.
Money Meanderings: An Introduction to Numismatics by Mike Metras.
Enjoy more than 85 articles, 180 pictures and an extensive bibliography on a wide variety of fascinating topics for the beginning and seasoned collector of U.S., foreign, and ancient coins and currency. Currently available for the special price of US$33.90
(packaging and postage included). Order address and other products and information refer: http://www.WorksAndWords.com
For a full review of this great CD visit: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/sept2001.htm
After 30 years in production Mike has finally put together a CD that will give an historical and geographical feast as well as the numismatic interests he discovered during his time in Eritrea and Ethiopia while in military service.
Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth by Mike Metras.
This CD takes you down the highways and byways of Eritrea and northern Ethiopia in the late 1960s. Over 75,000 words and 440 pictures along with 11 videos and 11 sound tracks on a CD bring the past to life on your Internet browser. Over 60 minutes of music on this CD. Order now direct from the author by email for US$49.90 (packaging and postage included)
A full review of this CD will be forthcoming in a future 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.
MISCELLANEOUS Q & A's
This is not an offer to professionally evaluate items or an offer to purchase or become directly involved in commercial dealings. The most interesting or most frequently asked questions will be answered - to the best of our ability - through these columns in a general manner as well as immediately and directly to the questioner if possible. All names and direct contact addresses that may be supplied will be kept anonymous unless advised to the contrary.
Recent Search Report Queries.
A recent inquiry from one of our readers about 'silver ingots' was not sufficiently specific to be answered directly - so, again we will briefly explore the possibilities in a general manner.
Silver bullion, formed into ingots, has been around since history started to be recorded in Mesopotamia over 4,500 years ago, so we should not be surprised that the trade in ingots was the fore-runner to coinage as we know it. Most numismatic histories, including previous articles in this newsletter, will give the details of the gradual transition from raw bullion to modern day coinage so we will not repeat the story at this time. Over the millennia, as any student of numismatics will know, the shape of many of these silver ingots was refined into the familiar round shape and as such ended up in coinage similar to the American Silver Dollar and the large European and Chinese trade coins that, because of their intrinsic value they were, and still are, accepted and interchangeable in most places in the world by their weight in precious metal.
These bullion coins are quite often marked with their weight and purity and are 'ingots' by another name!
The Ancient Mesopotamians used a system of Shekel weights to calculate the value of a silver ingot which was given a trade worth in 'minas' also a unit of weight. Initially, there were 60 Shekels in a Mina, and 60 Minas equalled a Talent of 24 kilos.
During the reign of Sin-Kasid of Uruk (B.C. 1865 - 1804) one Shekel of silver could buy "three measures of barley, or twelve minas of wool, or ten minas of bronze or three measures of sesame oil..."
The most famous king of Babylon, Hammurabi (B.C. 1792 - 1750) enshrined a law in stone that stated, "If a common man slaps the face of another common man, he must pay ten shekels of silver as compensation."
Hammurabi also prescribed many other wide ranging examples of what shekel values could be applied to.
There was much variance in the weight of shekels used in the Middle East, however, and it is known that a Hebrew Shekel weight was equivalent to 12.3 grams - but some of the other ancient Shekels weighed as light as 9.4 grams or as heavy as 13.9 grams. An excellent explanation of how the shekel - based on the weight of 360 grains of ripe wheat - was applied to the ancient silver ingots can be found at: http://deweymag0.tripod.com/deweyscoinsandarticles/id9.html
Many societies maintained their commercial dealings in precious metal ingots, particularly silver, even after less noble metal coinages were being widely used. The Chinese, for instance, had brass coins from the 6th Century B.C. but they still used gold and silver ingots for payments right up until the 1930's.
A simple, but ingenious, scaled rod, pan and counterweight was used as a balance to ascertain the ingot weight.
The weights of basic ingots usually ranged from about 1/10 of a liang (ounce) up to 1 liang for everyday trade - but up to 50 liang ingots were also used for large financial deals. The larger ingots were known as sycee and valued in taels
Many Chinese ingots were made in special shapes to signify their place of origin and to indicate the quality to be expected.
sycee, Value 8 taels
Size 58 x 46 mm, weight 10 oz. (316g)
These days, modern commercially produced silver bullion ingots have lost a lot of their glow as prices of the metal have plummeted from the highs of the 1960's but they still are nice to handle purely from a sensuous point of view - and they stack nicely. A big problem for collectors of silver is that once the metal has undergone processing the value shoots up - most disproportionately. The current price of silver bullion is only hovering at about AUD$8.85 per oz. - and that would buy me about 2 loaves bread and 3 litres of milk - or a couple of decent sized McDonald's burgers.
An Australian 1oz.(31.6g) .999 Silver Dollar Kangaroo series uncirculated coin from 1993 - 2000, for instance, which would have cost me less than A$20.00 at issue date - 2 ¼ times that of raw bullion - now has an average catalogue value of between A$30.00 (a little over 3 times raw bullion price) and rising - and other modern Australian 1oz. silver coins are selling at double and triple that for special series issues.
Obviously there is a strong message there in regard to the type of modern silver 'ingot' that we should be collecting!
1997 $1.00 .999 Pure Silver
Kangaroo Series 1 oz. (31.6g)
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.
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Tasmanian Numismatist (Internet Edition).
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