Volume 5 Issue 6                                                                                            June 2000.

Index For This Month:

Anyone who wishes to apply for membership to our non-profit making organisation, 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 addresses for an application form and details of subscriptions:-
The Secretary,
Tasmanian Numismatic Society, Inc.
G.P.O. Box 884J.
Hobart. Tasmania. 7001.
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!

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,
Tasmanian Numismatist.
P.O.Box 10,
Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.
Internet Page: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html
The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ is published and distributed 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.

All details of a commercial nature, organisations, items or individual arrangement to buy, sell or trade are provided as information only, and any consequent dealings are between the parties concerned.
The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ takes no responsibility for disagreements between parties, and also reserves the right to only feature information that it considers suitable in promoting our hobby to our members under the guidelines suggested by the Society.Deadline for contributions or amendment to copy is 7 Days prior to the beginning of the month of publication.

 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 much!
 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.




  • …..or, perhaps the question posed by Shakespeare in his famous play 'Hamlet' should have really been his more definite statement: "Out, damned spot!"

  • 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.
    The hobbyists' assert that any reasonable quantity of 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.
    With all of the recent discussion about die varieties and error strikes - and the release of Moss Byrnes' new book about the subject - it was interesting to note a new filled die variety (?) on a 1999 10 cent coin. At my request T.N.S. member Ian McConnelly has done a quick survey and estimates, on his small sample count, that approximately 5% of the 1999 coins are showing signs of this defect. I have yet to see one in my change.
    Numismatists come from all walks of life, and it was a pleasant surprise to find that my G.P. and this G.P. have more in common than my continued wellbeing. A chance remark indicated that he was more than conversant with many aspects of the hobby and it was he who pointed out the apparent variety on the 10c coin - and supplied me with the two excellent enlarged comparison pictures of the coin. (Members and readers will note that portion of the area between the Lyre- bird's main plumage and the fronds is filled.)
    For those members, who have been pointing out the increase in varieties and errors recently appearing in our decimal currency range, this additional item will be of some interest - firstly, it again highlights an apparent relaxation of the Mint's usually high standards of quality control - secondly, and more importantly, it gives them another Aussie decimal coin worth searching for.
    Pictures courtesy of Dr. P.J. Briddon, Launceston.



  • The following Internet News contains several Web addresses of international correspondents who have recently e-mailed the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - some with requests for members and readers, who are interested in swapping, buying and/or selling, to contact them. As with all these matters, we again remind readers that the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' supplies this information as a service only.

  • The 'Tasmanian Numismatist' will not accept any responsibility for disputes over any business dealings between private individuals or commercial parties - nor do we accept responsibility for content on correspondent's Internet home pages or any advertisements supplied thereon.

    Eduardo of Barcelona has a good range of low denomination Spanish and French coins for swapping. He has supplied a detailed list but, by the time you receive this newsletter, it would be wise to check if it is still up-to-date.
    Eduardo's contact email is: Lydia@cinebank.es

    Paul Dytang from the Philippines is interested in swapping S.E. Asian coins including Hong Kong (new and old) South Korea, China etc. for any Australian or other world coins. His email address for enquiries is: pauldt@hotmail.com

    The following newsflash was recently received by the Editor from WBCC's Martin Peeters about an ANA convention to be held in Philadelphia, U.S.A. from 9 -13th August.
    Martin also mentions that Ray Lockwood will be involved.
    Ray and his wife have been friends of the "Tasmanian Numismatic Society' for many years by virtue of their personal contact with the late Dorothy Lockwood - a tireless worker for our Society - who passed away a few years ago.
    If any of our members or readers are planning a trip into this area during the time mentioned we are sure that Ray would be only too pleased to make your acquaintance.

    The Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club will attend the ANA World's Fair of Money® in Philadelphia held from August 9-13, 2000 - IF enough WBCC members also plan to attend the Fair.
    WBCC member Ray Lockwood has the possibility to get all the arrangements we need to expose the WBCC to the US numismatic communities, coin dealers and the US public.

    PLEASE INDICATE TO US - Martin Peeters: martinp@westbrabant.net - or - Ray Lockwood: sunray@comteck.com

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/ August 9-13, 2000
    Pennsylvania Convention Center1201 Arch Street
    The American Numismatic Association:
    Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau:
    Hotel Reservation:



  • On 21 January of this year the Royal Canadian Mint, in Ottawa, issued a $100 coin of 14 carat Gold to mark the 150th anniversary of the first search for the missing expedition of Sir John Franklin by Captain Robert McClure in 1850.



    Sir John had set out in 1845 with two ships, the 'Erebus' and the 'Terror', in an endeavour to find a north-western sea passage over the Canadian Arctic that would lead towards Europe and enable commercial maritime enterprises to cut out the far longer North Atlantic route. The whole expedition disappeared into the white hell of the Arctic and its members were never seen alive again - at least by European eyes.
    Several costly rescue expeditions were mounted - but all were in vain.

    In 1854 a rumour circulated that Eskimos had news of a party of white men who had perished some years before, this prompted Lady Jane Franklin to raise funds for another expedition.
    Tasmanians made a large donation towards the cost - as Sir John and Lady Jane had been highly thought of during their 6-year stay in Government House from 1837 - 1843.

    In 1987, the Tasmanian Numismatic Society issued for general sale a very limited edition of (40) Sterling Silver and (150) Olympic Bronze (65mm x 4mm) numbered medallions with an accompanying brochure, in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the arrival of the couple in Tasmania to take up their vice-regal position. The following detail about this adventuresome duo is taken directly from the Tasmanian Numismatic Society brochure and highlights the Tasmanian connection.

    Perhaps the best known of all Tasmania's governors was Sir John Franklin, who arrived in Hobart with his wife Jane in 1837.
    Sir John, born in 1786, had served with Flinders during his Australian voyage of discovery in 1801-4.
    Later he was present at the Battle of Trafalgar and took part in two Arctic expeditions.
    His first wife died young and Franklin married Jane Griffin, the intelligent and idealistic daughter of a wealthy London merchant. The couple had no children although Franklin had a daughter by his first wife.
    The Franklins were greeted with great enthusiasm by the Van Diemen's Land colonists, many of whom had disliked Governor Arthur's strict rule. Nethertheless, the Franklins had a daunting task ahead. Van Diemen's Land population of 43,000 was made up of 19,000 convicts and many more ex-convicts; the free settlers tended to be argumentative, and resented many aspects of English control, which Franklin had to implement. Moreover, Franklin inherited Arthur's officials, particularly his nephews-by-marriage, John Montagu and Matthew Forster, and these two made difficulties for him.
    The Franklins tried to raise the colony from a gaol mentality into a free society, by fostering culture and understanding.
    Franklin reorganised and improved the state's education system and he and his wife founded Christ's College, a private boy's school. They also began the Tasmanian Natural History Society, at one meeting of which Sir John went to sleep and 'snored like a hog and blew like a grampus'. Despite this, the society fostered learning and its journal, the Tasmanian Journal of Natural History, became widely respected.
    Lady Franklin, always keen to promote the colony's interests, sent copies to London as well as various pieces of Tasmaniana, such as a white Kangaroo for Queen Victoria. Lady Franklin also had built a small Greek temple, 'Ancanthe' to be a library and museum. It was said at this time that Van Diemen's Land was the intellectual centre of the Australian colonies, a boast which has rarely been made since.
    The Franklins also promoted various charitable enterprises. Lady Franklin bought land in the Huon and settled farmers there, and she adopted an Aboriginal girl, Mathinna, and treated her as one of the family - an unheard-of action for a governor's wife. The Franklins also instigated the Hobart Regatta, first held in 1838, and Lady Franklin tried to improve the island by eradicating snakes, which she loathed. She offered a shilling for every snake killed, and in 1838 paid for over 12,000 snakes.
    The Franklins, particularly Lady Franklin, loved travel. She was the first woman to climb Mount Wellington and she accompanies Sir John on many tours around the island.
    Their most famous exploit was a trip overland from Lake St. Clair to Macquarie harbour. This was a journey that was meant to take eight days but which lasted, largely due to bad weather, for three weeks. The Franklins' tents were soaked, they had waded through mud and crossed rivers on fallen logs, but both apparently enjoyed it and were described as good-humoured companions. Lady Franklin also journeyed overland from Melbourne to Sydney, and visited New Zealand, leaving Sir John to govern the colony.
    This was proving an extremely difficult task, especially when depression in the 1840's brought bankruptcies and unemployment, for which Franklin's policies were blamed.
    Franklin was a good, noble and upright man, but he had no administrative experience and was unprepared for the devious tactics of his enemies, particularly Montagu.
    After many disputes, Montagu wrote Franklin an insolent letter implying that he, Franklin, was an imbecile.
    Franklin dismissed him!
    Montagu went to England and appealed, successfully, against his dismissal. He wrote his version of the affair in a book that accused Sir John of ineptitude and Lady Franklin of interfering in government, a dreadful action at a period when women were expected to have nothing to do with public affairs.
    The Franklins were extremely upset, especially when some of Montagu's writings were published in England. Nevertheless, many colonists admired the couple; Sir John had many enemies that any man should be proud of, wrote one newspaper.
    In 1843 Franklin was recalled, though he only knew this when he read it in a newspaper.
    When the Franklins sailed, one of the colony's newspapers wrote:
    'They are really gone at last! '- and the other rival paper added in reply '- and with the good will of most and the esteem of all'.

    Back in England Sir John was placed in charge of an expedition to discover the North-West passage believed to be to the north of Canada, and left in 1845.
    Lady Franklin travelled widely before returning to wait for news. Despite the efforts of several relief expeditions, no tidings came until 1854 when Lady Franklin heard that a party of white men had perished. She raised money, including a large donation from Tasmania, to send a ship to the area, and learnt that Franklin had indeed discovered the North-West passage but had died in 1847.
    Lady Franklin spent much of the rest of her life travelling and died, after refusing to take her medicine, aged eighty-four.



  • The recent May 2000 edition of the Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine featured a tour de force in regard to the

  • growth industry and high interest in Banknote collecting, particular emphasis being made on the discovery and marketing of the Excelsior Bank remainders and the results from the Noble's auction which also included some very expensive pre-decimal notes.Several other excellent articles about banknotes, in general, made this a great 'CAB' edition for banknote collectors such as yours truly and no doubt will cause a flurry as we drag out our bits and pieces to check again if we had tucked away an artistic banknote masterpiece or a potential treasure.
    One thing, however, that has puzzled me is that - with the steady progress that NPA have made in marketing their polymer note technology - is why no one, not even the major catalogue issuers, have apparently gone to the effort of preparing a grading scale similar to the much used scale for the paper banknote product as discussed by Tony James in his article:
    'Grading! A Much Misunderstood Science'
    The majority of the standard circulating polymer notes are standing the test of time quite well, but it is noticeable that several similar wear patterns are developing on the oldest notes - the $10.00 for instance - which was released in 1993.
    Whilst we don't get the same sort of 'rounded corners' - 'tears into the design' - 'raggy, floppy or limp paper' - as mentioned by Tony, we are getting definite signs of wear and tear on the central portrait inkwork where polymer notes are normally folded in most men's wallets. On viewing any handful of polymer notes of various denominations and age it would appear that the current banknote system does need to be expanded to cater for the 'fantastic plastics' that are now slowly - but surely - spreading around the world. The basic definitions are fine, but they may need to take into consideration the properties of the polymer substrate that, because of its relative springiness and rigidity compared to paper, should be stored flat and vertical - but rarely is.

    Editor's suggested definitions are as follows:

    Uncirculated - A perfect note as far as a collector is concerned. No evidence of handling whatsoever.

    About Uncirculated - A mere suggestion of use - it may have a minute ripple or indentation on the top and bottom edges where banding may have flawed an otherwise perfect note.


    Extremely Fine - A very attractive note with light handling evident. Note is clean and bright with original sheen. May have one very light but noticeable springy centre fold but not a definite crease.

    Very Fine - An attractive note, but with more evidence of handling and wear. May have several strong springy folds or light creases that are quite noticeable but do not detract from the overall appearance of the note. Good corners.

    Fine - A note that shows many permanent creases and may have a small fold on one of the corners that is impossible to straighten efficiently. May show some signs of light ink wear from the main designs but it is still a desirable note.


    Very Good - A well used note that shows extensive and permanent wrinkling, several folded corners and substantial ink loss from the main designs, and it has become far less attractive to collect. No longer extremely springy.
    Removal of marks or even graffiti by chemical means also detracts from the overall appearance of a polymer note and should only be attempted by an expert.


    Good - This is the lowest grade that any collector should accept if unavailable in a better grade. Pieces missing from a polymer note, massive ink loss, larger rips, burn marks or other heat effects are usually unacceptable due to the nature of the material.
    Usually only suitable for re-cycling, these notes should be surrendered for replacement at any suitable banking institution.


    It has also been noted that the stability of the ink on polymer notes seems to have varied a little at times, so you will needto watch out for notes that may have been assessed incorrectly, particularly by part-time dealers. Various degrees of light smudging have been observed on many plastic notes that can only be attributed to technical problems in the printing proceduresand, therefore, they may be of interestto those collectors of banknote printing faults.
    Notes - paper or plastic - with errors or faults usually attract a premium commensurate with the degree of the problem.



  • It appears that Canadian Municipal Trade Token expert, producer and author, Serge Pelletier, is planning to head further

  • south to the State of Maryland in the U.S.A., in his other guise as Major Serge Pelletier, for an extended stay courtesy of the Canadian Army. Serge tells me he wanted to come to Australia again but - orders are orders!
    For those token collectors amongst us who value his great comprehensive volumes on Canadian M.T.T.'s, and his very interesting reviews in this newsletter, the following email recently received from Serge gives us the new details for our address books. Serge's current press releases have also advised us of three new Canadian M.T.T.'sand he has assured me that he still is in- boots and all - the trade token business and is looking to expand into the U.S. and Mexico. Interesting possibilities!
    "My e-mail address will remain: serge@eligi.ca- but effective 1 July 2000, my new postal address will be":
    Serge Pelletier.
    Box 9440
    Silver Spring, MD  29016

    CLARE, NS - The Clare Tourism Association is happy to announce that it will be issuing a 2-Dollar token featuring St. Bernard Church at Baie-Sainte-Marie.  Issued in May, it will have currency value at participating merchants, until October 31.  This is the fourth year the association has issued a municipal trade token as a means to raise funds for their community projects.
    The St. Bernard Church is a monument to determination as its construction started in 1910 to be completed in 1942.  Two world wars and a depression were not sufficient to make the parishioners lose heart as they continued their work on the 1,000 person grey granite building. "Tourists visiting this fabulous church will now be able to take it home!" joked Jean Le
    Blanc, program coordinator.
    Église Saint-Bernard (St. Bernard's Church)
    The excavation for the foundations of St. Bernard's Church began in 1910, parishioners digging deep to find the solid bedrock followed by the carting of load after load of field rocks to build the foundation to a thickness of 3 metres.  Wondering whether the project was too massive to accomplish in granite, the parishioners received a visit from the Archbishop of Halifax who stated that the work should continue in granite.
    The blocks of granite were hauled from Shelburne (NS) by railroad to a siding some 3 kilometres from the church.  From there they were loaded on dray carts hauled by ox teams over the next 20 years.  Weather permitting; the parishioners worked seven months a year, cutting the stones with hand tools only.
    World War I slowed down the construction slightly, but new layers of granite continued to be laid at a cost of $1,000 per layer.  The steel framework was also erected and for a long time a great mass of rock and steel rose from the countryside, waiting for a roof.  It was completed between 1928 - 1930.
    When the great depression hit, money was impossible to find and construction ground to a halt.  Work resumed slowly in 1935 when the economic situation started to improve.  In 1939 it was deemed that the old church could no longer support the parish and a loan for $10,000 was secured to continue the work on the interior.  Work continued to progress, despite World War II, and the church was officially opened on September 24, 1942.
    It now stands 65 metres (212 feet) in length with a ceiling 21.5 metres (70 feet) high and steeples 43.7 metres high (142 feet).  Its main arch is 30 metres (100 feet) long with transcript 28 metres (92 feet) wide.  The main walls on the first stage are over 1 metre (3 feet) thick, extending beyond 2.1 metres (7 feet) in the buttresses.  The walls on the second stage are half a metre thick (18 inches).  Steel beams resting on cement piers in the basement support the walls. The outside walls required more than 8,000 blocks of granite.  The inside required 96 tons of mixed plasters of which two coats were applied over wooden laths and scored to simulate stones.
    The St. Bernard Church is truly a monument to the determination of its parishioners.

    Obverse:  St. Bernard Church.  Legend:  2 DOLLARS / ÉGLISE SAINT-BERNARD / CONSTRUITE DE 1910 À 1942 / VALIDE CHEZ LES MARCHANDS PARTICIPANTS / JUSQU'AU 31 OCT 2000 (2 Dollars / St. Bernard Church / Built from 1910 to 1942 /Valid at Participating Merchants / Until Oct 31, 2000)
    Reverse:  Clare Tourism Association logo. Legend: ASSOCIATION TOURISTIQUE DE CLARE / BAIE SAINTE-MARIE - NOUVELLE-ÉCOSSE (Clare Tourism Association / St. Mary's Bay / Nova Scotia)

    Issuing Agency:  Clare Tourism Association
    Designer:  Jacques Gourdreau
    Mint:  Eligi Consultants Inc.
    Diameter:  32mm
    Edge:  Plain
    Composition             Mintage      Price (US$)
    Brass                                2,000           $3.00
    Antique Brass                      100           $12.50
    Antique Silver Plated           100            $15.00
    Gold Plated                         100            $18.50
    Gold Plated Enamelled          50            $44.00
    Bimetallic                              25           SOLD OUT

    Canadian Elementary School Strikes Medal with Message of Hope.
    The École Madeleine-de-Roybon, an Eastern Ontario Public School Council French elementary school in Kingston, held a design contest from January 25 - February 4, aimed at obtaining designs for a medal it will be striking for the year 2000.
    The 136 students were asked to submit designs on two themes: "building the future..." and "towards peace".
    The idea for the contest came from Serge Pelletier, a well-known numismatist and parent whose children are attending the school. "Everyone at the school, student, teacher and support staff, is extremely excited about this project" said Anne Lengellé, School Principal, "to think everyone will be getting a copy of this unique memento of a very unique year".

    The project started on January 24 when Mr. Pelletier met with the student body, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6, to explain the process involved in designing a coin/medal. "We also discussed ideas for illustrating the two themes", he said of his meetings, "I was quite impressed with some of the ideas being expressed, even from the youngest group".  The students had two weeks to produce their designs both during class and at home.  The 287 designs submitted were displayed in one of the school's corridors for all to see from February 4 to 9.

    On February 9, a jury composed of two parents, two teachers, one assistant-teacher, the school principal and the project coordinator got together to select the winners.  After several hours of reviewing the designs two entries were selected to be used for the medal. "The final selections were very difficult," said Sonia Laplante, the Junior Kindergarten teacher and one of the jurors, "we had so many beautiful designs from all grades".
    Everyone involved was presented with an envelope containing two numismatic books, four Canadian municipal trade tokens and a municipal trade note.  All the prizes were graciously donated by Bonavita Ltd.
    Only 200 medals were struck on 38-millimetre bimetallic blanks (Aluminium-Bronze centre, Cupro-Nickel ring).  They were given to all students and staff at the school.  The funding for the project comes from the school's budget and the Parents Association. Only a few specimen were made available to the general public, they are available for US $15 from Bonavita Ltd. (orders@eligi.ca)

    WAWA, ON - The Rotary Club of Wawa is happy to announce that it is issuing a 5-Dollar token commemorating the New Millennium.  Issued in May it will have currency value, at participating merchants, until December 31.  The Rotary Club
    has been issuing such tokens as a means to raise funds for their community projects since 1984.
    The limited edition token features the universal symbol for Peace, a dove in flight carrying an olive branch in its beak.  "It is our way to wish for Peace to triumph in the new Millennium." said Gib Sabourin, the program coordinator.  The token is available in two versions: Nickel-Silver (1,500 struck) and Commercial Bronze (200 struck).

    The Community.
    Wawa is located on the Trans-Canada Highway (17), just a day drive from many cities and small towns in Michigan and Ontario.  Most visitors drive to Wawa.  The drive from Sault Ste. Marie is particularly spectacular, as the road follows the rugged coastline of Lake Superior, providing some picture perfect views.
    The community of Wawa is surrounded by water with access to some beautiful beaches along Lake Superior's coastline, and a downtown that rests on the shores of Wawa Lake, a picturesque inland lake.
    Many visitors remember Wawa for it's excellent fishing opportunities.  Three air services fly thousands of fishermen each summer deep into the wilderness to outpost camps or full service lodges to enjoy a week close to nature on a quiet lake with superb angling.  Road accessible fishing lodges provide a close getaway for many visitors in a relaxing natural surrounding.
    Wawa's attraction as a vacation destination is its access to outdoors and wilderness adventures.  It's location on the shore of Lake Superior - the largest freshwater lake in the world - allows the more adventurous to explore the most rugged and remote part of the coastline.  Canoe and kayak adventures on the Lake from the Michipicoten River to Pukaskwa are becoming
    a popular wilderness retreat.
    The Goose Monument.
    The largest of its kind in Canada and one of the most photographed landmarks in North America, the huge monument of a Canada Goose standing poised over the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 101 "came to life" in 1960.  That is when the last leg of the Trans-Canada was finally completed linking Wawa to Sault Ste. Marie and Western Canada.  The folks of Wawa fought long and hard to see the road completed and although they were glad to see it reach their front doors, local businessmen were a bit disappointed that the highway actually bypassed the downtown core of the community.
    So, one of Wawa's local entrepreneurs of the day, Mr. Turcott, felt that Wawa needed something that would stop highway travellers and invite them to come into town.  It has since welcomed millions of visitors.
    The original plaster sculpture did not stand up to local weather and, in 1963, a new monument was constructed of steel which was more representative of Wawa and its large iron ore mine.  With Wawa meaning "Wild Goose" in Ojibway, it makes perfect sense to have a goose welcoming visitors at the entrance of the town.

    Obverse:  Dove flying to the left with olive branch in its beak, over the date "2000".  Legend: (Rotary logo) ROTARY CLUB OF WAWA (Rotary logo) / MILLENNIUM / EXPIRES DEC. 31, 2000 / GOOSE 5 BUCKS
    Reverse:  Goose Monument.  Legend: (Rotary logo) WAWA ONTARIO (Rotary logo) / CANADA / LAND OF THE BIG
    Issuing Agency:  Rotary Club of Wawa
    Designer:  Serge Pelletier
    Mint:  Eligi Consultants Inc.
    Diameter:  38mm
    Edge:  Reeded
    Composition  Mintage  Price
    Nickel-Silver  1,500  $6.00
    Commercial Bronze 200  $16.00
    Those interested in getting some of these tokens should contact the exclusive distributor. Shipping and handling and taxes are extra. MASTERCARD and VISA accepted.  Available from:
    Bonavita Ltd,
    Box 11447, Station H,
    Nepean, ON K2H 7V1
    (Tel: +1-613-823-3844 / Fax: +1-613-825-3092).
    For more information please contact:
    Serge Pelletier
    Tel: +1-613-542-1669
    E-Mail:  info@eligi.ca



  • With all the numismatic emphasis now directed towards the Sydney Olympic Coin Collection it is easy to put the recent

  • controversy - of whether or not it was the start, middle or finish of the old or new millennium - behind us.
    It appears that the Perth Mint probably had a punt each way when they issued their NCLT $1.00 Australia 2000 Silver Millennium Coin in late 1999.
    The quite stunning concept that features a partial alignment of the Moon, Earth and Sun - shows the scene at the end of a day with the Sun apparently setting in the West as viewed from the Moon - with a large portion of the East of our planet in darkness and a golden Australia still glowing with light.
    This is one coin that has to be actually seen as no photoscan can do it justice.
    To me, this sunset scene symbolises the finish of an era not the beginning of one - maybe the Mint is planning to have another millennium release next year with the sun coming up over the Eastern horizon!
    It is also interesting to note that this once in a lifetime proof-like millennium - no matter when it is - coin has already started to dramatically increase in price on the secondary market.
    Issued at $59.00 the price of the encapsulated and plush metal-boxed coin, with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, had risen to about $79.50 on the Sydney market early last month. With an advertised mintage limit of only 30,000 to cover the Australian market and any international demand, this coin may prove to be a handsome and moderately profitable acquisition to any collection - if you can get one.



  • Just noticed an interesting article in the May 28th issue of the 'Sunday Tasmanian' newspaper while I was belatedly catching up on the news before consigning the old papers to be recycled.

  • It appears that a review of the Australian coinage is almost complete and Royal Australian Mint Controller, Graeme Moffat confirmed that there would be changes to our 50c, $1.00 and 10c coins - possibly even changes in the material that these coins were made from. The 5c coin is to be retained - even though it has assumed the role of a nuisance, similar to the 1c and 2c coins that were withdrawn in 1991 - however, it may be on the short list for the next review.
    The plan is to make the 50c smaller and lighter but still maintain its distinctive 12 edges - although they are a nuisance for vending machine manufacturers - and because the 10c and $1.00 coins are similar in size, and easily confused when well-worn or in the dark, there will also be attention given to these to try and overcome the problem.
    The discussion on whether there would be a 25c and a $5.00 coin has been put on the backburner as it is considered we have a large enough coin range without introducing additional coins at this time. However, the necessary legislation is already in place if there is a change of heart in the future.
    The CSIRO is testing several alternatives for the R. A. M. - who are considering steel with an alloy coating as a cheaper alternative to C.N. - but they have ruled out hi-tech plastics and ceramics at this time.
    The recommendations will be going to public scrutiny before finalisation - and no date was stipulated in the press release.
    Noted in the same newspaper was a paragraph that will - no doubt - wake up a few people to the Olympic collectable that is just about to assault the minds of the common man!
    It seems that the interest in Sydney 2000 Olympic pins is just about to hit the simmer before the boilover!
    Those local T.N.S. members who did get in early can only rub their hands with glee!
    If you have been thinking about getting a few pins just to put aside as mementos, NOW is the time to do it because the secondary market price is set to skyrocket as many of our international visitors to Sydney, and elsewhere, will be prepared to pay top dollar and that means our local stock allocations will dry up overnight.
    Quote: - "The unofficial sport of the Olympic Games does not require athletic ability - but you will need sharp negotiating skills. Pin collecting mania is about to hit Sydney on a mega-scale, with about 70 million expected to be swapped and sold during the Games. Trading tents will be set up around the city and Games venues. The lapel sticks, released by sponsors, licensees and official bodies, are so sought after some fetch up to 10 times their original value."- Unquote.



  • The following Internet correspondents are all interested in swapping coins with Australian collectors.

  • Please bear in mind our newsletter disclaimers and conditions.
    I collect coins, bank notes, stamps.I have for swap many Israel's coins and bank notes (1949 -1984), coins, medals, tokens, lottery tickets and bank notes of USSR (1961-1990), Ukraine, Russia and other countries worldwide, used stamps and phonecards of Israel. I have for swap Soviet and Israeli post cards and pins too. I have Ukrainian and Russian tokens for underground and bank notes too. I'm open for every offer about coins, medals, stamps and phonecards!!!
    Send me your swap list, please!! Vladimir Bernshtam can be contacted at email: fnbern@plasma-gate.weizmann.ac.il

    Jorge Cunha has forwarded a list of coins he wishes to sell or swap - he can be contacted at email: - joek@mail.pt

    A very interesting email note arrived from Jerry Adams of Texas in a form of a U.S.currency WARNING!
    It will pay Australian collectors - and travellers - to take note! BEWARE! New notes have a thread and microprint.
    "I heard on the news the other night that there are lots of counterfeit 100 dollar bills (U.S.) of the new type, being made in Columbia, and they even showed men selling them on the street down there.  They are coming into the states in all sorts of ways, from being stuffed into coolers with hollow sides to - you name it."

    The following information is reprinted from our January 1999 edition on the release of the new designs but still gives the most pertinent features to be aware of in regard to other U.S. denominations.
    New U.S. Currency Design. (Obtained from THE U.S. BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING Web Page.)


    The United States of America is issuing currency with new features. These features will help protect against technologies that could be used for counterfeiting. Newly designed $20 notes are being issued in fall 1998. New $50 and $100 notes have already been introduced. Lower denominations will follow. There will be no recall or devaluation of any U.S. currency. Old or new, all U.S. currency always will be honored at full face value.
    1. Federal Reserve Indicators. A new seal represents the entire Federal Reserve System. The letter and number under the left serial number identify the issuing Federal Reserve Bank.
    2. A larger, off-center portrait allows room for a watermark.
    3. Security Thread. A vertically embedded thread at the far left of the portrait indicates the $20 denomination. The words “USA TWENTY” and a flag can be seen from both sides against a light. The number “20” appears in the star field of the flag. The thread glows green under an ultraviolet light.
    4. Watermark. A watermark identical to the portrait is visible from both sides against a light.
    5. Color-Shifting Ink. The number in the lower right corner on the front of the note looks green when viewed straight on, but black at an angle.
    6. Serial Numbers. An additional letter is added to the serial number.
    7. Low-Vision Feature. The large numeral on the back of the $20 note is easy to read.
    8. Fine Line Printing. Patterns - The fine lines, printed behind the portrait and building, are difficult to replicate.
    9. Microprinting. “The United States of America” is on the lower edge ornamentation of the oval framing the portrait.  On the front of the note, “USA 20“ is repeated within the number in the lower left corner.


    BANKS, STOCKS, TAX and OTHER MUNDANE THINGS.        by Graeme Petterwood (T.N.S. Member # 332).

  • With all the media emphasis on the GST, Australian bank mergers and other money matters, a few things caught my attention. They gave rise to arange of speculative - and purely personal - thoughts that eventually started to boggle my imagination so I have decided to air them - for what they are worth - to let off a little steam and I invite enlightenment - if appropriate.

  • Recently, I received a statement from the newest banking conglomeration showing I owed them $17.59 - being charges on

  • an account with one of the previous banks that had been swallowed up in the mergers - a cheque account that I had not used for over two years and which I had nearly forgotten about in these days of plastic cards. The modest balance of $40.00 - originally left in the account to maintain it - had been eaten up by administrative charges and I was being charged fees for an account that had no money in it and, as stated, had not been operated for over two years.
    I suppose going to the bank on a rainy day, being forced to park a long way away, and then finding about 100 people queued up in front of me trying to change their PIN numbers did not improve my attitude by the time I reached the teller.
    After listening to my problem she advised me to join another line with about 50 people already in it so I then decided to save time, and the hassle of having additional costs incurred, to close the account that had nothing in it and hadn't been used for over two years.
    The teller then politely - but firmly - refused to close the account unless I returned my old chequebook so that the unused cheques could be shredded or cancelled, and I personally signed the appropriate paperwork that she presented to me.
    Return the completed forms, signed, with the chequebook and a revised statement would be sent by post which I would then need to remit - or drop the fees back into this branch of the bank I had been forced to use because my own branch in this city's largest suburb had been rationalised out of existence a few years back - and all would be well.
    What's another 12 km drive to a banking customer without a bank branch or an ATM in his/her mainly residential suburb?!
    As luck had it, I remembered that I still had the old chequebook in the car and after a scurry in the rain and then just as quick return -and after another wait in the queue - an updated fee of $22.13 was requested against the account that had no balance and had not been used.
    An increase of nearly $4.00 on the statement received by post 2 working days earlier seemed a bit cheeky, but I paid up to finalise the matter and was handed a red - CANCELLED - stamp to cancel my own chequebook while the teller processed the completed form.
    I was reminded of the TV commercial of a few years ago about the man having his clothes ripped off when he visited his bank.
    I have no quarrel with the security procedures employed - although I was slightly miffed that this had gone on for the length of time without what I consider to be adequate notification of the situation prior to the merger.
    The question I asked myself is - what about all those thousands of little unused cheque accounts and others that are being eaten up and are now possibly accumulating recoverable fees on NIL balances?
    I pondered - how long would it take them to get to those ancient little school bank account balances that we all once had with the bank we once trusted - but that is impossible - or is it?
    Check your banking arrangements NOW!
  • The old saying by stock market experts about Wall Street getting the sniffles and Australia comes down with pneumonia

  • appears to have some substance. We are now so tied to U.S. interest rates and controlling interest investment that we are no longer able to control our own financial destiny. Unless we revise the way that we want to encourage investment for development in this country we are still seen, by the general public, to be selling off pieces of the 'farm'.
    There must be other ways!
    Each evening, when I watch the daily share market results on the national TV news - and also see another stock market show on ethnic television that is totally devoted to the U.S. market and the high emphasis placed on the Dow and Nasdaq indices- I have come to believe that there are no real benefits for Australians to be tied so tightly another country's apron strings.
    In a recent stock market report, an interesting observation was made:
    Quote: - "Analysts said public holidays in the US and UK on Monday gave Australian investors little to follow" - Unquote.
    Like lemmings we now appear to be blindly 'following the leader' into the sea of potential financial unrest that is not of our own making. We should be making our own road not as followers but as leaders within our capabilities - and I believe we can achieve much more if we strive to be more independent - or have we now become a nation of economic colonists and addicted stock market gamblers. Something is fundamentally wrong when our Federal Government leans over backwards when pressure is applied by foreign interests who wish to impose their trade policies on us and threaten retaliation if we don't concede.
    Surely commercial interests cannot outweigh our national interests and the independence to make our own educated decisions.
    When U.S. financial guru, Alan Greenspan says, 'Jump'- our Australian financial market appears to say: 'How high!'
  • Like many Australians, I am a modest shareholder in a major telecommunication organization that the current government

  • seems hell-bent on destroying in its present form. For the life of me, I cannot understand the reasoning behind 'doing in' a proven and profitable income earner and then trying to renege on the agreement to maintain a controlling public ownership for Australians.
    Initially, the premise was to provide a 'level playing field' to invite competition that would promote quality in the industry - but further down the track the true reason has emerged.
    If money is needed to fund mounting government expenditure - why not tell us the truth to start with!
    The economic rationale behind selling off our country's assets to pay for our massive debt problem appears somewhat flawed - but I admit I may be wrong in the overall assessment, however, I think I may mirror the thoughts of thousands of others who cannot clearly see the path that our leaders wish us to traverse.
    Like many of our unemployed with mounting debts, we are selling off our most prized possessions and eventually we will have nothing left to sell - except ourselves. With the emergence of the foreign idea of individual enterprise bargaining, that was so eagerly seized upon by some conservative politicians as a way to diminish the collective strength of some workers, many of our socially and financially deprived community members - who are no longer in a position to argue with some of the more unscrupulous employers - have already concluded that they have reached this situation.
    Figuratively speaking, those who have a job are becoming slave labourers to the system - and many feel that they have been conned by experts!
    My thought is that the same bureaucrats who concocted and advised this anathema, will soon be scurrying about to find alternative ways of keeping employed - until their massive superannuation become due - because their responsibilities will have diminished or vanished with the sale of these same public assets to international commercial interests whose bottom line is profit. Many of these bureaucrats would not be employable in the private sector because they would not want to accept the conditions that they, themselves, have indirectly implemented.
  • The introduction of a Goods and Service Tax concept was a bit like a simple idea of taxation paradise.

  • Australia needed to improve a taxation system that was antiquated and stifling economical growth - so a more equitable carrot was dangled in front of us. Some people recognised it for what is was - but their voices were drowned out by others desperate for taxation reform.Some of those members of the public who originally supported the idea of a GST now believe that it has apparently turned out to be a Pandora's Box - with a vengeance!
    Everyone wants to either fully participate or not to fully participate - or perhaps partly or not partly participate!
    The tax on goods is probably O.K.- but the tax on some services is extremely nebulous or nigh impossible to apply.
    The education process has been costly and clumsily managed - or, at worst, it is absolutely impossible to understand.
    People want to do the right thing but don't really know how - and the penalties for non-compliance by companies AND individuals is Draconian. We are talking really BIG bucks that would send some companies and individuals to the wall if they make a mistake in collecting or misapplying the GST on the Government's behalf.
    The Government's own literature says that companies are liable for up to a $10,000,000 fine and individuals up to $500,000 - these are frightening amounts to contemplate if you are in a business that is becoming more regulation-ridden and controlled than ever before in our history. Free enterprise is no longer very free, and when it does deign to appear, it is soon stifled by very positive - and always costly - bureaucratic interference at all levels.
    The revenue gathering costs will be passed on to the public in one way or another, thus negating the tax savings by increasing prices. Inflation is expected to increase because of the wage or pension demands that will inevitably follow - even though the figure crunchers say that we will be better off.The proof of the GST cake will be in the eating - I hope we don't choke on it!

    Indecision is a terrible thing - we have now seen countless anomalies brought forward since the concept was first mooted and now that it is inevitable, the ad hoc approach is still the way our taxation administrators are treating each new matter that occurs. My thought is that a solid tax bucket would have been more appropriate than a sieve that will continue to leak taxation dollars as people try to avoid what they consider to be stupid applications of a rather ill-thought-through impost on those who can least afford it. The worst thing is that most of these same Australians consider that they were never really consulted adequately on the ramifications of the still unexplainable system that has eventually been patched together.
    They are saying that just because an elected government has the numbers to steamroll legislation on party lines doesn't mean that it is always right and in the best interests of the country, nor does it mean it can claim a mandate to ignore or denigrate those electors who choose to vote against it.
    It will certainly have an effect on our numismatic interests - at all levels.

  • P.S. We hope you, our T.N.S. members, like our printed edition new-look front page incorporating the Index - and don't forget that all reader's contributions and ideas are invited and can become eligible for the Editor's Annual Subscription Award if published




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