Volume 7 Issue 5                            INTERNET EDITION                             May  2002.


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

Hobart. 7001.





The next meeting of T.N.S. members for May is to be incorporated in an informal BBQ meeting to be held in Launceston at the private residence of T.N.S. editor, Graeme Petterwood. (Refer 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - April). 

To make things easier for all the travellers concerned, this will be held on a Saturday (May 11th) and will start anytime after 11.00 a.m. for a 12.00 a.m. BBQ - so dress casual to suit the conditions. If the weather is inclement the BBQ will be held under cover. To help with the catering, a BYO system is suggested to allow for personal (dietary, liquid or culinary) requirements.

If you plan to come we would appreciate a quick RSVP if you have not already done so - especially if you wish us to do a bit of BBQ shopping for you - but you will be welcomed anyway if you forget.

If you need to know how to get to the BBQ please mention it when you reply to:

Graeme Petterwood.


Ph: (03) 6339 1898




We have also had a reminder from 'The Stamp Place' that they will be visiting Launceston in Northern Tasmania twice over the next two months.

"We will be at Max Fry Hall, Trevallyn on Saturday 18th May and at the Albert Hall for the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June.  Hopefully we can see you at one or both of these fairs. Regards, David Newell."

As usual, fellow Northern Chapter T.N.S. members should take the time to visit these venues and introduce themselves to David. There will be a good range of numismatics along with the philatelic items on show and, as usual, David will give great service to fellow Society members.



It was a small relief when I received my first circulating Tasmanian motif Anniversary of Federation 20 cent coin on April 1st.. 2002, in change - only 5 months after its proposed November 2001 release date and a full 15 months after the actual Federation anniversary event that took place on January 1st. 2001. 

A week later I was handed the first circulating Tasmanian motif 50 cent Anniversary of Federation coin that has come my way. 

After getting the 20 cent Federation piece I had thought the commemorative 50 cent shouldn't be far away - now all I want for my collection of circulated coins is the N.S.W., A.C.T., Q'land, Western Australia 50 Cents and the last few 20 Cent coins from A.C.T., Q'land and Norfolk Island. 

Bit of a shame really that the event and the availability of the coins to the public couldn't have coincided a little better. 

I also hope that date that I got the 20 cent coin was just coincidental and not significant in regard to the way that Van Diemen's Land, discovered in 1642, and known as Tasmania since Jan. 1st 1856, is apparently looked upon by many national organisations, including some Federal semi-governmental and bureaucratic bodies. 

Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that some Australians, who know more about 'somewhere else', also need to look at our own Oz history. At first glance it may seem mundane compared to some of the broader canvases that have been painted but, if we stand back, we can see the intricacies and nuances that are ours alone. Take the time to look a little closer.

After New South Wales was opened up as a penal settlement in 1788, military parties were sent out to establish further convict settlements along the Tamar River and Derwent River in Van Diemen's Land during 1803 - 4 and, of course, civilian settlement eventually followed. Besides the usual privations as a horrendous penal colony and then our development and obvious contributions to the Australian Federation ideal, this small state also has a long and illustrious military history, particularly with its Volunteer Artillery that has been in being since 1860 - the oldest constant functioning Artillery unit in the Commonwealth.

The island was declared a separate colony by Royal Proclamation on Dec. 3rd 1825,and, by 1835, land hungry settlers from the island were also establishing themselves in Victoria, on the site of present day Melbourne, on the Australian mainland. 

Victoria would not gain its independence from New South Wales until Nov.11th. 1850.

This island boasts the 2nd. and 3rd. oldest cities in the Commonwealth of Australia and many more very historical English style villages than most other states - and some of the nation's most beautiful temperate scenery. 

We are not an overseas country -  we are much more than an exotic tourist destination - we are Australia's second state and we even use the same money!



Members may or may not know that our T.N.S. Member #363, Jerry Adams,  is a senior draughtsman with a large firm of well-known and respected architects in Texas - VLK ARCHITECTS of Arlington - who have designed, amongst other things, many of the fine schools in the Dallas - Fort Worth area including the more modern ones at a place called Weatherford. 

After receiving an email in mid March with an interesting comment attached about Weatherford I asked Jerry to consider an article and it has now been completed. (See below.)

"On a side note, the building I am working on now, is the renovation of the "old" Weatherford high school, which is being converted into a 9th grade campus. I have worked on the same building 2 times before in the last 30 years. I also drew the new Weatherford high school plans. It is a nice little town, they still have "first Monday" trade days there each month, which is a throw back to the old days, when farmers brought their cotton, mules, horses, etc. to town on the weekend of the first Monday to trade. The story goes that the court was in session that week also, so everyone could do their town business in one trip to town. 

Amongst my own collection are several tokens from Weatherford that may be of interest to those members who are into exonumia."


             Baker’s Transfer Tokens

by Jerry Adams T.N.S. Member #363

This is the story of the family that issued numerous (about 11 types) trade tokens, called “depotel tokens”, in the town of Weatherford, Texas in the late 1800’s. The name “depotel” is derived from the fact that the tokens were generally good for a trip from the train depot, to a hotel, or from the hotel to the train depot.  These early horse drawn wagons carried both human passengers and their bags, often the round trip was paid for at the depot, and a token was given to the individual for the return trip.  Many of the customers of the early “hack” drivers that used depotel tokens, were salesmen, or “drummers”.   

Much of this information is the result of interviews of the Baker family by Fred Cotton and John Coffee both of the American Vecturist Association. The Vecturist Association collects transportation tokens, a large branch of exonumia.

The Baker family came to Texas from central Wisconsin in the mid 1850’s.  

Texas was a wild and woolly place in those days, full of hostile native American Indians and buffalo. 

Comanche Indians and Kiowa Indians often raided the settlements of whites in the area of north Texas, and what is now southern Oklahoma. Large herds of American bison, or buffalo, ranged south from the great plains into the cross timbers area near the newly established Fort Worth and the town of Dallas.  

The Baker family settled in Corsicana, Texas, not far south of Dallas.  

Mrs. Baker ran a hotel in Corsicana, and her son’s name was Chauncey Cyrus Baker.  

During the early 1860’s, the Baker family became uneasy with the looming talk of southern rebellion, and civil war so they packed their bags, sold the hotel and returned to Wisconsin where C. C. Baker and his brother both enlisted in a newly formed Wisconsin military regiment, and spent the war years fighting for the Union.  After the war’s end, the family returned to Texas.  

Texans who had fought for the Confederacy referred disparagingly to new arrivals from the north as “carpet baggers”, but the derogatory term barely fit the Baker family, since they had lived in Texas prior to the war.   

As the Texas and Pacific railroad built westward, the family moved to Weatherford, Texas about 1879. 




When telephones arrived in Weatherford, C. C. Baker registered his wagon business phone number as 79, to commemorate the year of his arrival in the town. For years he placed an advertisement in the local newspaper for his transfer company which only had the numerals “79” in a one inch square.

C. C. Baker started his transfer business in Weatherford in 1883, selling furniture and coffins. About 1889 he also started embalming as a natural part of the business of selling coffins. They added a horse drawn hearse to their wagons, and furnished funeral services to the area of Texas as far as 90 miles west and northeast. Funerals also used his carriages, which were furnished for $5 each. 

Baker’s main competitor was a man named J. C. Piland, who also issued tokens. Piland and Baker were in competition for years, and the wagon drivers often came to blows at the train station over who would carry passengers.  

The main hotel in Weatherford for years was the Sikes House which was known for it’s fine table (food) and that was run by Mr. and Mrs. Sikes. (Mrs. Sikes was also affectionately known as “Mammy Sikes”).    

The Carson and Lewis Hotel later became a competitor to the Sikes House.


  One of the more profitable areas of the transfer business was hauling trunks, boxes and freight. For large loads, he had what was called a “float line," which consisted of large wide wagons, that were towed. The typical charge for these large loads hauled from the depot to a warehouse was 15¢ per hundred pounds. 

The wagons used to haul passengers and their baggage were called "buses" and, through the years, Mr. Baker had three of these operating. Each bus had the name of one of his three daughters painted on the side -- Bess, Lucy and Mary - and passengers' baggage was allocated a brass tag to ensure safe delivery. The typical  "baggage tag" was made from brass. There were originally two shapes, one square, the other was shield shaped with matching numbers on the shield and square shapes. All of the baggage tags were made by W.W. Wilcox of Chicago, as stamped on the reverse in small letters. 


Mr. Baker’s barn for the transfer operation had a large cupola on top, with a large bell, which he used to communicate with the bus drivers.  Each driver had a number, one, two or three.  The number of rings of the bell called a particular driver who was needed to respond for a hotel or depot pickup.  Often the drivers had stopped to talk, or dropped into a local saloon, or confectionery.

It is said, that C. C. Baker was one of those men, who kept his barn scrupulously clean. There was never an odour of ammonia to the barn.  His horses all were trained to go to his lot should they break loose. He had a wash rack, his equipment was always well maintained, painted. His harnesses were neat, and the brass fittings on the equipment were always shiny.  He maintained a solid place in the community, his family was of most importance to him, followed by the church. 

As the motor bus took much of the business into the early 1900’s, private cars or “jitneys”  took much of his depot to hotel business, and the role of Baker Transfer diminished.  

After his death, Mr. Baker’s son tried to keep the business afloat using motor trucks, but could not beat the competition.  He closed the business and became the Greyhound ticket agent. 

The token:



Brass-round-33 millimetre diameter.



Some other known Baker Transfer tokens:


(reverse blank)

brass-round-32 mm (holed as made)




heavy yellow cardboard-round-39 mm (holed as made)




aluminum-octagonal-29 mm







The Atwood-Coffee Catalogue of United States and Canadian Transportation Tokens, Fourth Edition, Volume Two” by John M. Coffee, Jr.  


For other fascinating stories of early U.S. Tokens - particularly those from the mid-West and the Texas area - Jerry Adams' highly recommended site 'TRADE TOKEN TALES' is the place to find them!  - Please note new site address!




For those of us that have had the privilege of having a four-legged canine companion of any breed, it was a sad note that we also received from our Texas member, Jerry Adams, on April 17th. 2002.  

After nearly 13 years, Jerry's faithful 'Sam the Dog' has drifted away comfortably with Jerry and his wife, Sandy, at his side. 

Sam had not been well of late and, unfortunately, old age had taken its toll so a compassionate decision had to be made.

General Sam's One-eyed Jack (Sam) was an American Kennel Club registered Bull Terrier born on April 26th. 1989.

"He brought happiness and smiles into everyone's life that he met. Never bit anyone, or harmed another animal." 

Sam was an extremely well-known dog and had been photo-featured in several Texas newspapers, magazines and in comic strips over the years - and had even been presented with a hand-written greeting card signed by famous actress Doris Day.





We trust that this issue of the Internet Edition will continue to provide interesting reading. The name of this Internet based newsletter is in keeping with the content so, bearing in mind our disclaimers, the Internet links selected are usually complimentary to the featured article in regard to: (1) illustrations and, (2) additional important information.

Please also bear in mind that some Internet links are of a temporary nature.


The following extracts were included in the Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club (WBCC) on-line Newsmails #264 & 293 and gives readers a little more information about the edge markings on the world's newest coinage system - as well as a few other snippets that may be of interest about bi-metallics.


Bi-metallic 2 Euro and edge lettering.                       by WBCC Member, Frans Woons, Canada
The new euro coins show a variety of edges to help the visual impaired in identifying the coins. 

The types of edges found are: Smooth (1 and 5 eurocent), Single groove around the coin (2 euro cent), Coarsely reeded (10 and 50 euro cent), Smooth with seven indentations (20 euro cent), Alternating sections that are smooth and finely reeded (Euro  1), Finely reeded plus incuse lettering (Euro 2). This information and the report that some Euro 2 pieces show the "wrong" lettering made me look into the coin production process a little closer. 

In contrast to older coins (struck before the introduction of the screw press around 1500 A. D.), modern coins are struck in a collar (sometimes called "virole brise"; the other two dies being for the obverse and reverse of the coins). Because early coins were struck without a collar, they tend to be irregular in shape (so-called "splashes").
Coins with a smooth or straight reeded (either total or partial) edge can be struck in one operation. In those cases the inside of the collar is either smooth or (partially) grooved (vertically).  Coins with edge lettering (incuse or raised) cannot be struck in a tight-fitting collar; the coin and/or collar would be damaged when the coin is ejected from the collar. A possible solution is a collar in sections (the so-called "virole brisé"). In that case the collar sections are moved apart just before the coin is ejected from the press.  However, this is a slow process; too slow for modern high-speed presses.
So, how is the edge lettering applied to the Euro 2 coins?  I don't know for sure but after some reading I came to the conclusion that it must be done before or after the obverse and reverse dies are applied (simultaneously).
First possibility: in many mints it is customary that coin blanks go through a "rimming machine" before they are struck.  This machine reduces the diameter of the planchets a bit thus making them a little thicker at the edges (the "upsetting" process).  During this process the edge lettering (or a groove as for the 2 euro cent piece) can be applied. This was customary in early American coins which were rolled between two dies ("cheeks") in a "Casting Machine" (e.g., 1793 1 cent pieces with the incuse edge lettering ONE HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR). Coins with raised edge lettering include Maria Theresa Thalers of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
The second possibility is that the coin, after it has been struck, is rolled in an edge milling machine. This was sometimes done in the 18th century to produce coins with slanted grooves or similar pattern.
In conclusion, I think the production of the Euro 2 pieces is as follows (concerning the edges): First the blanks go through a rimming machine that produces the incuse lettering [e.g., in the Dutch coins GOD * ZIJ * MET * ONS * (God be with us)], second the coin is struck in a finely grooved collar producing the reeding.
For more information on coin making see the book "The Art and Craft of Coinmaking; A History of Minting Technology" written by Denis R. Cooper. Published by Spink & Son, London, England. 1988.


Bi-metallic 2 Euros and edge text...                                       by WBCC Member, Randy Dean, USA
Here's what's on the edge of the respective Bi-metallic 2 euro coins. 
(The term 'Wiederholung' = Repeat rotated).

Randschriften der europäischen 2-Euro-Münzen (Edge text European 2 Euro coins)
* Belgien (Belgium)                                2 * *                                                                  (Wiederholung 180°)
* Deutschland (Germany)                        EINIGKEIT UND RECHT UND FREIHEIT (Adler)
* Finnland (Finland)                                SUOMI  FINLAND 4 Wildschweine (?)
* Frankreich (France)                              * * 2                                                                   (Wiederholung 180°)
* Griechenland (Greece)                        E**HNIKH  *HMOKPATIA *
* Italien (Italy)                                         2 *                                                                      (Wiederholung 180°)
* Irland (Ireland)                                     2 * *                                                                    (Wiederholung 180°)
* Luxemburg                                         2 * *                                                                     (Wiederholung 180°)
* Niederlande (Netherlands)                   GOD * ZIJ * MET * ONS *
* Österreich (Austria)                              2EURO * * *                                                         (Wiederholung 180°)
* Portugal                                              D D D D D * * * * * * *
* Spanien (Spain)                                   * * 2                                                                    (Wiederholung 180°)


Bi-metallic variety of the 2 Euro of Luxembourg..        by WBCC Member, Frans Dubois
Luxembourg issued a BU set with the new euro coins (including the Bi-metallic 1 and 2 Euro), dated 2002 and produced by the Dutch Mint. Total number of sets was 5000. That is a rather low number but so far nothing is special. But there is something special in the sets. It seems that the Bi-metallic 2 Euro coins have a  little rotated reverse side of 10 %  If that
happened to all the 2 euro coins is not sure but it made raise the price of the sets sharply to about 200 euro!

Bi-metallic 2 Pound GB Commonwealth Games.        by WBCC Member Keith Beaumont, UK
A little point of interest regarding the new Commonwealth Games packs with the 4 different Bi-metallic 2 Pound pieces, I acquired three recently and the one I opened for myself did in fact contain four coins but instead of Eng.Ire.Scot.Wales the pack contained two Ireland coins and not the English version, I wonder if anyone else has had the same, the other two packs were okay. If you know more please E-mail me at:

Bi-metallic 2 Euros and the edge.                                           by WBCC Member Rob Kooy, Netherlands
Shortly after the bi-metallic Netherlands 2 euro coins came into circulation it was noticed that the edge-lettering "GOD * ZIJ * MET * ONS *" came in two types.
Both the letters and the stars on the 1999 coins are visibly smaller than those on the coins of the years thereafter.
The Dutch Mint, were asked for the reason for this change, answered:
"Here you see an example of product development, the later 2 euro coins are better looking".
But the 2 euro coins in the 1999 "CliniClowns" Brilliant Uncirculated sets do have the larger edge-inscription, and for that reason are different from the 1999 circulation coins.
Earlier, in WBCC Newsmail 294 item 11,  I explained to you that the blanks for the various 2 euro coins are pre-manufactured, including the edge-inscription, before being dispatched to the respective Mints where the coins are minted.
As the blanks are minted indiscriminately, this also explains why the edge-inscription on the 2 euro coins is existing both "upright" and "upside down". This, of course, applies to the 2 euro edge-inscriptions of Finland, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, and Portugal only, as those are the only ones on which one can see if they are turned upside down.
Statistically, both varieties should exist 50% - 50%.

Bi-metallic Euros from Andorra.                                     by WBCC Member, Hans Bucek, Switzerland.
There are so many rumours whether or not Andorra will issue Euro coins. I found a reply on the German language homepage of Andorra, saying, that no such coins will be minted.  See this homepage: www.andorra-intern.com/faq/de_faq_euro.htm

The Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club (WBCC) was established on September 14, 1996 and is the very first Worldwide Collectors Club using the Internet. The goal of the WBCC is to exchange Bi-metallics, and to exchange knowledge about Bi-metallics, wherever they are made and collected.
WBCC Focal Point: Martin Peeters, Netherlands, bi.metallic@kabelfoon.nl
WBCC Website: http://wbcc-online.com



Internet News is provided for information only and we ask that readers refer to our usual disclaimers in reference to any business dealings that may occur between parties. Selected and/or edited items are re-published with permission or can be regarded as public domain.




The following email was received on April 25th and highlights a small error made by the editor in assuming that the letters ACGS in a correspondent's email referred to the American coin grading organisation when, in fact, it was the Australian Coin Grading Service. All the detail regarding the coins mentioned has been supplied by the reader and, at this time, we still have not been able to ascertain how the 'variety' mentioned could have occurred - although several logical suppositions had been put forward by learned numismatists at the time of the original query. These suppositions were passed on to the reader.

The coins had been graded and given a reference number by the ACGS.


'Just for the record, your article in the Tasmanian Numismatist Internet Edition (Volume 6 issue 3-March 2001) reads "American Coin Grading Service" and should read "ACGS - Australian Coin Grading Service" and by the way it is not a deteriorated or plugged die as the coins are well struck and show no disturbance to the "Flow" lines. Under a 20x stereoscope-they were struck that way - without the SD as opposed to other two cent pieces that do show deterioration of the letters "SD". 

When I was in Sydney in 1995 I showed these two examples (1967 and 1968-2 cent) to the gentlemen at Spinks in downtown Sydney and their comments where, "that probably one die was used without these initials - they would have a chat with a person that used to work at the mint to confirm."  He also suspected that, "about 25,000 were minted as that's the approximate life of the dies used."  - Jerry Himelfarb.  email:  j_himelfarb@yahoo.com

As a reminder of the events about the 'SD'-less 2 Cent coin the following original extract from the Feb. 2001 article may give readers a new variety of coin to look for amongst their accumulations of Oz decimal bronze.



The Internet News segment has recently received a request for information about a 1968 2 cent coin variety. It appears that the designer's initials S D (Stuart Devlin) are absent from the reverse of some of these coins.  The initials are normally located between the front and back legs of the frilled neck lizard. It has already been noted by the editor's personal observation that varying degrees of clarity are obvious on some 2 cent coins between 1966 - 1980's because of either excessive wear on soft strikes or filled dies but this complete absence of initials on a few of the 1968's has apparently been verified.

If any of our members or readers have further information regarding availability of this mysterious piece the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' editor would be as interested to hear about it as is our correspondent, Jerry Himelfarb.
Quote - "This is in fact a proven example that the ACGS has graded and Spinks has acknowledged. I've have personally seen two examples and am looking for another. I find it rather curious that only a few collectors in OZ actually know about it. I know one did transact a few years ago at some ridiculous price. I'm looking to get one of my own and am looking for some help. It's not a soft strike or "Filled die as there is no residual material under extreme magnification - this was a die that simply didn't have the initials engraved." - Unquote.


U.S.A. (2)

We have received an updated list of Banknotes available from Audrius Tomonis for those readers who are interested in buying world currency notes from a reliable source at realistic prices. Refer: http://www.banknotes.com



Good evening, My name is Ovidiu Gheorghian; I’m a Romanian bank-notes collector. I’d like to make trade with other collectors from all over the world. I can offer in exchange, if you are interested, not only bank notes, but also Romanian stamps, coins and old post cards. I’m a serious person and I expect the same thing. Respectfully,

Ovidiu Gheorghian  

Brasov- Romania         Email: elis-parts@xnet.ro



Recently received from Bonavita Ltd., which is a division of Eligi Consultants Inc., was a copy of e-XONUMIA Vol. 2 No. 10.

The latest 3 Dollar Canadian Municipal Trade Token from Clare, Nova Scotia has been released in 4 styles. The majority of 2,100 will be in bi-metallic, 100 each will be nickel-silver  and gold-plated and another 50 each in enamelled bi-metallic and gold-plated - the respective prices are (in U.S. dollars) $4.75 - $13.00, $16.00 - $19.00, $42.50

The tokens, that are issued by the Clare Tourism Association, feature the Université Sainte-Anne as the obverse.

On May 7, 1891 the cornerstone of a school of higher learning, to be known as Collège Ste-Anne was laid and the school was soon operating. However, on Jan 16, 1899 it burnt to the ground - but by hard work and dedication the necessary rebuilding was completed by August 29 the same year. The Université Sainte-Anne is the only French language university in Nova Scotia.

All tokens will feature the old French Arcadian flag as a common reverse, and it will be in full colour on the enamelled pieces.

As usual, all inquiries are welcome through:

Bonavita Ltd.

Box 11447, Station H, 

Ottawa, ON 

Canada K2H  7V1

Website: www.eligi.ca/bonavita         Email: bonavita@eligi.ca



It was rather sad to note, in one of Australia's leading popular magazines 'That's Life' (Issue 16 April 24), a story that the 'Out of Africa' scam, previously mentioned in these columns, had claimed another victim. (See below).

It is a story that all should read - especially if you have been offered an unsolicited windfall - from 'Out of Africa', in particular.

The old American entrepreneur, P.T.Barnum probably had it right when he said - "There's a sucker born every minute!"

So, try and make sure its not you - if it looks too good to be true - it probably is! 

This is a well organised international level scam that the F.B.I. is now investigating because of a version that has surfaced in the United States with African-Americans being targeted and offered reparations for the enslavement of their ancestors, but numerous methods of extracting money, documentation etc. from people who are far less wise in the ways of the world are being used, so be aware that these people will try to bait the greed hook with the appropriate stuff to get a bite from YOU.


A retired couple from Queensland were conned, with the husband flying to the Netherlands to collect an A$6,000,000.00 'inheritance' from a long lost uncle, after a very plausible story had been put to them.

It ending up with the husband forking out A$36,000 in 'administrative charges' in cash - in his hotel room -  to a well organised group, purportedly from South Africa, who were patient enough to entertain him and wait the 10 days for the bank draft to arrive from Australia and be cleared. 

The victims did everything right - or thought they did - in checking out the deal before setting off, however, these con merchants are experts at what they do - and all questions had a convincing answer. Official looking documentation was supplied to back the story up and international phone numbers and fax numbers connected them directly with other confederates who acted out the roles as lawyers, bankers and officials in the fictitious 'money' holding companies. 

Originally, the 'urgency and confidentiality' of the deal was stressed - so, to obtain money for the hurried trip, the couple remortgaged their family home. Of course, there was no money - and the retiree was left waiting in vain - with a hefty Dutch hotel account and of course the cost of the return plane fare. The couple now also have another mortgage on their home, that will need to be cleared off again. Some people would not be as lucky as to financially survive the scam..

During the month of March the staggering amount of US$2016.5 Million plus 50 kilograms of gold plus four boxes of untold size of 'raw gold' was offered as a carrot through my own email system. 

At time of writing this article, in late April, an additional amount of US$460 Million has been found in 'bank accounts' and 'trunk boxes' - this amounts to approximately Aust. $5 Billion in total -  all of which I can get a nice little earner out of  if I am greedy enough and silly enough to follow the prompts, fly half way around the world at my own expense, and have a lot of my own money available for the 'administration costs' that have to be met before I can get my hot little hands on my share of the loot.




This column does not incorporate any offers to professionally evaluate items or any offers 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 keep anonymous.


Recent Search Report Queries.

1. A request to identify and give an estimate of value of two Arabic 'coins' was recently received. Unfortunately, insufficient detail was forwarded with the scans to accurately identify the size, composition or country of origin. As my Arabic is limited to numbers, letters and reading a few basic words, we will try to work it out with some educated guesses.


The newest looking of the two items was over 185 years old, at least judging from the decipherable Arabic Hejira date AH1232 (1816)  and it appeared to have been milled. The overall quality appearance gives an impression that it may be silver.

The other damaged item appeared to be quite a bit older and of hammered construction but, regrettably, the scan was not of a good enough quality to read any date but the inscriptions and designs on both pieces appeared to be relatively identical - however, the older one was finished in a different style and with much cruder calligraphy. Metal composition unknown - but, again, it could be silver. It also bears signs of a fold and it appears to have been holed near the rim, possibly for use as a necklet or such, and then roughly repaired. The obverse and reverse are in 'coin alignment' but upset by about 30 degrees.

However, I do not believe that these are actually Islamic 'coins' of the time - they are possibly the types of  'tokens' or medallions produced for dignitaries' birthdays, anniversaries, special events and famous buildings etc.

Both tokens feature versions of the same basic Byzantine type arches, Dome and six Minarets - and we could assume that the  items might be Turkish as Turkey boasts the only similar shaped Mosque with 6 Minarets that I know of outside of Makkah (Mecca) - the famous Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet in Istanbul.



The Blue Mosque - Sultanamhet Mosque in Istanbul.

As a more feasible alternative, the items are probably more likely to be religious mementos of a 'Haj'  which is an obligatory visit by all people of the Islamic faith to the city of Mecca to pray at the Ka'aba Stone in the Great Mosque. 

The concept of tokens is well established in the Moslem Qu'ran (Koran) and these physical metallic items may be a manifestation of that idea. These tokens are still produced by a number of Asiatic Mints in Gold and Silver in various weights.  

These religious tokens may be sold, perhaps, to raise funds for the Mosque, or by vendors as souvenirs similar to the Christian Papal medals, and would be something of an heirloom as a token of remembrance and public acknowledgement of such an important, once in a lifetime event for true believers.



The Great Mosque - Mecca with the Ka'aba Stone in the centre.


2. For the inquirer about gold coins and/or sovereigns, would you please redefine your question with a little more detail if you wish us to give you a more precise answer about any particular Australian gold coin - be it modern or pre-decimal. 

In the meantime we have included a general sketch of the early history of Australian gold coins that might help. 


Australian gold coins commenced with the issue of the famous 1852 Adelaide Pound. This coin was basically an unauthorised  'emergency issue'  prepared from dies engraved by a local Adelaide jeweller, Joshua Payne. The records show that the extremely short-lived issue of the 5 Pennyweight 15 Grs. ( 22 Carat)  One Pound coins is extremely valuable due to, firstly, a problem of a reverse die crack that developed shortly after striking commenced and, secondly, their original low mintage and prestige as being Australia's own first gold coin. The early melt down of these coins has also contributed to their value.

Gold coinage had circulate in the colonies since their beginnings but all was of foreign origin.

Prior to this date, the official circulating gold coins were English minted Half and Full Sovereigns shipped out in relatively small quantities to a coin starved colony that had gold of its own in great quantities - but no authorisation or official mints to make acceptable coins of any description.  

In early January 1852 the demand for coinage led a group of leading merchants to request the South Australian  Lt. Governor, Sir Henry Young, to convert some of the raw gold into a useable form and, using a loophole in the Royal Assent law, Young had brought about the manufacture of stamped strips of gold which are now known as 'Adelaide Ingots'. 

The price of gold was set at £3/11/- per ounce and the Act was amended on 28th January to cater for the production and for the ingots to be redeemable for banknotes on demand. Only two of these ingots are known to exist today and are of different weights - a little over 5 Pennyweights each.

However, these ingots were still not satisfactory for various reasons. 

The main reason would probably have been their varying weights and the difficulty in working out values in transactions - it was a system that was only little better than calculating raw gold values - so, on 23rd November 1852, the Act was amended once again and the production started on the Adelaide Pound with a metal composition of 91.67% gold and 8.33 silver. 

A true coin with a standard weight was to be made in Australia.


Originally a series of gold coins, starting at 10 Shillings plus a One, Two and Five Pounds, was to be produced and it is known several of the denominations had dies made and it is believed a few patterns may have been struck - but they were never all produced as circulating pieces.

After 50 or so of the Adelaide gold Pound coins had been struck the reverse die cracked near the letter D of DWT (an abbreviation of Pennyweight) and a new die had to be cut that varied noticeably from the original . 

This created two types - Type 1 - about 50 coins which had the die crack and - Type 2  - consisting of 24,648 coins that were produced from the newer unflawed die. It was later found that the gold value was greater than face value so many of the more numerous Type 2 coin ended back in the melting pot and the number of available coins is a lot less than the mintage figures would indicate. The current catalogue values depict the esteem these coins have developed over the ensuing 150 years. 

Values are shown in Australian Dollars.

Type 1: Fine $30,000  VF $45,000  EF $70,000  aUnc $85,000  Unc $100,000 

Type 2: Fine $4,000    VF $9,500   EF $17,000  aUnc $23,000   Unc $28,500    Ch/Unc $33,000

A price of $175,000 - $200,000 has been placed on any Pattern 5 Pounds in E.F. or aUnc. condition that might be still out there.

The coin became the prey of English profiteers when it was discovered that the intrinsic value of the gold contained in each piece exceeded its nominal value. Their actual gold value was worth £1/1/10½ in London but, at the rate of exchange set by the South Australian Assay Office, they could be purchased for only 19 shillings and 11½d. in the colony. Large quantities were exported to London where they were melted down for the near 2/- profit. Those that remained in the colony were used extensively in circulation and it is now extremely difficult to find them in a high state of preservation - no more that a few hundred (possibly as few as 200) specimens have survived. The last Adelaide pound was struck on 13th February, 1853. The British Government intervened, proclaiming that the coins subverted the currency laws of the Empire so, as the Adelaide Pound issue had not been granted Royal assent, it was 'killed off' rather quickly. However, the message had got through to the 'powers-that-be' back in London that the Australian colonies needed to have access to more gold coins -  preferably produced locally from the recently discovered gold-fields opening up in the South Australian and Victoria regions - and that the Mints proposed for Sydney and Melbourne needed to be quickly finished and opened for business.

In 1855 and 1856,distinctive Australian patterns both Half and Full Sovereigns of 22 Carat 916.6 Fine Gold weighing 3.9940 and 7.9881 grams respectively were produced at the newly commissioned Sydney Mint and, in 1857, production commenced in earnest. Both coins metal composition was the same as the Adelaide Pound at 91.67% gold and 8.33 silver (actual gold weighs of .1177 and .2354 ounces). The silver content in the Australian produced coins meant that they were more intrinsically valuable than their English counterparts and, in 1871, again on instruction from the Royal Mint, the silver content was relaced by the same percentage of copper and the reverse was brought back into line with the English die showing Benedetto Pistrucci's 'St.George slaying the Dragon' on some coins and the 'Royal Shield' design of J. B. Merlen on others. 

From then on the only indication of their origin was a small single letter mint-mark S or M above the date

After all, we were still only colonists taking directions from England and we were 30 years away from Federation.

It was during the period, 1872 - 3, that the Melbourne 'M' mint-marked coins came into being, followed lastly by the Perth Mint, with its 'P' mint-mark. 

Perth Mint produced its first patterns and then circulating coins in both denominations during 1899 - 1900.

Sovereigns and Half Sovereigns continued to be produced in Australia with the effigies of the ruling monarch of the time until, in 1918, the King George V Half Sovereigns became the last from Perth Mint and finally, in 1931, both Melbourne and Perth churned out the last few of their George V Sovereigns - 

Even though we no longer had a gold coin in our pocket - and those lesser denominations we did mint were still showing effigies and Australian oriented reverses from the leading English Royal Mint designers such as: Sir E.B. Mackennal, W.H.J. Blakemore, George Kruger Gray, Thomas Hugh Paget, Mary Gillick Raphael Maklouf and others - our bronze and silver coinages had become our 'own'.


Modern 99.9% pure gold coins produced in Australia are non-circulating legal tender in various denominations and have had varying degrees of success and failure as numismatic items. Over production - and over valuing -  in some modern releases between 1995 - 1999 had driven catalogue prices back to or even below issue price but, after a belated realisation of the situation by the Royal Australian Mint at Canberra and the Perth Mint, recent halved production levels have allowed the coins issued from 2000 onwards to slowly float back up to a more viable level - and Gold has its own intrinsic value if all else fails.

Due to scarcity, fluctuating gold prices and coin condition a good catalogue should to be consulted for an indication of current market trends and values. 


Main References - and Highly Recommended:

The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes - Ninth Edition (2002) - by Greg McDonald.

The Recommend Retail Price (Inc GST) is A$19.95  and from personal experience it is money well spent! This handy pocket book size catalogue is still available from good bookstores, dealers or direct from:

Greg McDonald Publishing

P.O.Box 649, Lavington.

N.S.W. 2641.


COINWeb - A CD Catalogue of the  Currency used in Australia and New Zealand  - Compiled by Alan Austin (2002)

Normal Recommended Retail Price (inc GST) is A$23.95 for this CD, however, we have been recently advised that this extremely comprehensive and illustrated CD catalogue is still available at the special price of A$19.95 from:

M. R. Roberts

Wynyard Coin Centre

7 Hunter Arcade, Sydney 

N.S.W. Australia. 2000. 



We have been asked by one of our readers if there was a special Anzac Medal for those Australian who served at Gallipoli in 1915. The short answer is that there was not an official Australian medal struck. However, we do know that in 1990 a private striking was done and the medals were presented to the surviving Australian Gallipoli veterans alive at that time. 

The following notes will give our inquirer some relevant information. 

It has been extracted from:  http://www.1earth.com.au/australia_day/  (Details of 1Earth are listed below and also links to other coins and collectables for those interested.)

Designers Biography
Ross E Smith, OAM

Born at Dalby Queensland in 1945 and following the death of both parents, Ross E Smith, enlisted in the Australian Army in 1963. As an infantry soldier he saw service in New Guinea and Vietnam, and is a veteran of the Battle of Long Tan, South Vietnam 18 August 1966. In 1990, he retired from the army and is now employed by the Defence Housing Authority as a Property Officer. However, as a keen military historian in his limited spare time he manufactures military orientated memorabilia. Some of the items Ross has designed and produced include:
Gallipoli Star Medal
In 1918, His Majesty King George V approved the design by Mr R.K. Peacock of Melbourne for the Gallipoli Star medal. It was to be awarded to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who landed on the peninsular. Serious difficulties arose after the award of the medal had been announced because of strong opposition from some British Members of Parliament and the British press because the medal could not be conferred on the British personnel who fought on Gallipoli. The award of the medal was then abandoned. However in 1990, Ross manufactured the medal and presented it, as a personal gift to the remaining two hundred ANZAC's of both Australia and New Zealand. A very proud moment in his life was to actually meet some of the ANZAC veterans and present them with this belated and forgotten Gallipoli Star medal.
Military Boards of Memorabilia
Since 1990, he has produced many Military Boards of Memorabilia in order to continue the memories of those Australians who had paid the supreme sacrifice and to those who served abroad and at home in defence of our great country. Many of the following memorabilia boards are on display in service clubs and homes throughout Australia:
Gallipoli Star 1915/1990, World War II 1939-45, Australia's Forgotten Sacrifice - Korea 1950-53 Duty First - The Royal Australian Regiment - The First Fifty Years 1948-98, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) 1962-73, Vietnam - The Royal Australian Regiment 1965-72, 1 RAR (Group) - Meritorious Unit Commendation 1965-66, Battle of Long Tan - South Vietnam 1966
Stamp - Gallipoli Star Medal
In April 2000, he designed a 10th Anniversary Stamp to commemorate the Gallipoli Star medal. This was completed with the assistance of Australia Post, which had initiated the design, and printing of personal stamps. He has received complimentary responses from numerous individuals and organisations including the Prime Minister of both Australia and New Zealand, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Headquarters of the RSL of A, RSA (NZ).
Centenary of Australian Federation Medallion 1901-2001
He has now designed and produced this medallion, ribbon and brooch in order to celebrate the Centenary of Australian Federation. This medallion is a memento to show our pride in being an Australian

1Earth Media and Eureka Militaria.
PO Box 163, Noosa Heads, 

Queensland, Australia, 4567.
Telephone: 0413-188339  

Email: antiques@start.com.au




Like many other medals recently struck to remind us of the numerous unrecognised events that officialdom has overlooked, minatures and commemorative replicas of the Gallipoli Star are available from TasMedals of Hobart as family mementos of the sacrifice made by Anzac troops at Gallipoli. The medal is a private award and without official standing and whilst they cannot be worn alongside official awards on the left breast they can still be proudly displayed on the right breast.

The Gallipoli Star consisted of an eight-pointed star in Bronze; on the face of the star is a silver circle with a crown in the centre surrounded by the words 'Gallipoli 1914-1915', a point of the star representing each of the six states of the Commonwealth, the Territories and New Zealand.
Historians indic
ate the significance to have both 1914 and 1915 on the medal is that the ANZAC'S sailed for Gallipoli in December 1914, landing on 25 April 1915 and the campaign concluded in December 1915.
The symbolic ribbon consisted of an outer edge of gold and red (representing golden wattle and flowering gum Australia) with
another outer edge of silver and red (representing the silvery sheen of the fern and the flower of the Rata - New Zealand separated by a central strip of blue (representing the sea which the troops depended upon). Some thousands of metres of ribbon were duly woven and were a actually ready for issue.

Inquiries about the Gallipoli Star or any other commemorative medal - full size replicas or minatures - should be directed to: TASMEDALS

8 Orana Place, 

Taroona. Tasmania 7053.






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.

The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ (Internet Edition) has been provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is currently presented on a monthly basis by the member-provider with the aim of promoting the hobby of numismatics.  All matters pertaining to the T.N.S. are re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the  ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society and the Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) abides by the same basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.

Please note that all opinions expressed in material published in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society or the Editor. Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome and can be directed to:

The Editor,

Tasmanian Numismatist (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.


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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au


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

The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ (Internet Edition) takes no responsibility for disagreements between parties, and also reserves the right to only feature information that it considers suitable in promoting the hobby to our readers Deadline for any literary contributions or amendment to copy is 7 Days prior to the beginning of the month of publication. The contents of this Internet newsletter, and all prior issues, are copyrighted ©, but anything herein can be fairly used to promote the great hobby of numismatics; however, we do like to be asked by commercial interests if they wish to use any of our copy. 

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