Volume 6 Issue 10
INTERNET EDITION October
The 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' membership expresses its profound sympathy to all the families of those thousands of innocents who were lost in the recent New York and Washington diabolical and fanatical outrages, and those hundreds of men, women and children who perished as a result of the hijackers actions on board the four airliners.
We weep with the families of those who fought back to save the toll being so much higher - they did not die in vain.
To the families of the frontline troops - the fire services and police department personnel - who did their duty and put their lives on the line to try and save thousands of their fellow citizens - we also especially commend our thoughts and prayers. Terrorism will never prevail when the free world has heroes such as these who are prepared to defend it with their very lives. Graeme E. Petterwood. (Editor)
Selected items from the official bi-monthly 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter may have been included in this Internet Edition version that has been provided for 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members and any other readers who are interested in the hobby of numismatics. We draw readers attention to our notifications and disclaimers located at the conclusion of this monthly Internet Edition.
NEWS IN BRIEF.
The Tasmanian Numismatic Society is currently in Winter Recess and, at this time, it is planned that members will commence meeting again at 8.00p.m. on Thursday November 8th. 2001, at the Masonic Club, Hobart.
With the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' in Winter Recess until November we are featuring a few articles and notices that may be of some interest to our cousins on the North American continent - both in Canada and the U.S. - as well as our other regular international Internet readers.
SOUTH SEAS PARADISE. by Graeme Petterwood.
If anyone in the Northern hemisphere mentions a 'South Seas island paradise' an immediate picture springs to mind of a coconut palm fringed blue lagoon with lukewarm waters, coral reefs and pristine white beaches, brilliant sunsets, friendly natives, exotic flora and fauna etc. - but when you take away the coconuts, the reefs and the warm water, what remains is - Tasmania. (For those readers who think Tasmania is part of Africa - you could not be more mistaken!)
The island of Tasmania is, in fact, the 2nd. oldest state in the Commonwealth of Australia and boasts the 2nd. and 3rd. oldest cities 'Down Under'. It also has a very pleasant climate to go with the pristine beaches and all those other things that make for an 'island paradise' and, typical of countries in the temperate zone, we have 4 definite seasons to enjoy.
To top it off, the weather is rarely extreme - although we do have our moments.
Our wild West Coast is the first stopping place for the waves of the Southern Ocean and the infamous winds of the Roaring Forties - and we are virtually the last stop south before Antarctica.
Tasmania is a well kept secret from the rest of the world, but we welcome those who make the effort to visit our shores.
Lying between Latitude 40 - 44 Degrees south and Longitude 145 - 148 Degrees east, the 67,800 square kilometre island has a population of just under half a million who are actively engaged in basic industries as diversified as mining and manufacturing to sophisticated agriculture - including world class vineyards - and aquaculture. Our water is the freshest, our air at Cape Grim is the purest in the world, we have unbelievable temperate forest wilderness, unique fauna and flora, mountains and moors, magnificent seascapes and fish-filled lakes by the thousands, and, as a bonus we still have country villages in old England settings, a majority of good roads and small - but 'user-friendly' - cities. If that's not a sort of paradise these days - what is?!
Many features were named by 18th. century French adventurer and explorer, Bruni D'Entrecastreaux in 1792 as he surveyed the coasts of West Australia, then sailed south-east to what he thought was a promontory of the great unknown continent, in his ships the 'Recherche' and 'Esperance'. As he sailed around South East Cape and up the south east coastline he discovered the Derwent River, which he originally named Riviere du Nord, as well as several islands and channels that now bear his and his family's names - Bruny Island, D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Maria Island to mention but a few.
Initially, the whole island was once known as Van Diemen's Land - a name that was bestowed upon it by the Dutch explorer, Abel Janzoon Tasman, in November 1642, in honour of the Dutch governor of Batavia.
Tasman also named a few mountains and other prominent features he could see from his ships, the 'Heemskirk' and the 'Zeehan', but he and his crew made no real effort to stop and explore the inhospitable areas where he originally made landfall on the West Coast. He saw fires burning inland and decided not to go ashore to face an unknown reception, but noted the instances in his diary. On December 3rd. 1643, a sailor named Jacobsz swam ashore in rough weather and planted the Dutch flag on the shore of an East Coast bay.
Although he saw no-one, Tasman reported in his journal that steps - about 5 ft apart (1.5mtrs) - had been cut into trees and that tracks resembling those of a tiger has been sighted. The Dutch explorer and his crew sailed away without incurring the wrath of the inhabitants or the wild animals he felt sure were lurking in the thick scrub. We must remember that the world in his day was a superstitious place inhabited by sea monsters, giants, cannibalistic savages and other spectres - and he was thousands of miles away from all he knew.
Like most areas of the new world that were 'discovered' by European explorers, the native aboriginal population that did inhabit the island were nearly annihilated after they were subjugated. They were assimilated, humiliated, abused and eventually ignored and nearly forgotten by those who eventually came to stay. This is a story that has been repeated all over the world since time began, and the harrowing Tasmanian aboriginal experiences have already been - and deserve to be - told fully in a different forum than this. That any of the descendants and Tasmanian aboriginal culture has survived is remarkable in itself and shows a resilience of spirit that will continue to thrive and grow.
The island is also rich in European based history dating back to when the English forestalled further French expansion into the area by establishing a fledgling colony here at Risdon Cove in September 1803 after some years of spirited exploration of the east coast by all the European sea powers of the day. At that point in time, it had only recently been discovered that Van Diemen's Land was a largish island and not a peninsula of the main continent. In late 1798, Bass and Flinders had sailed around it in a very small boat and had re-discovered the entrance to the Derwent River as well as surveying and exploring other major waterways and features on the unknown northern coast.
Once the colony was finally established across the river at Sullivan's Cove - a more suitable site than Risdon - it only took a short period for areas in the north and south to be opened up for farming and grazing activities. By 1807, the first convicts from notorious Norfolk Island had been transferred to Van Diemen's Land, but it took another 8 years for free settlers to arrive. Convicts made up a considerable part of the population, first there was a trickle then, with regular shiploads arriving after 1820, the situation became a flood. Cases of larceny, drunkenness, utter brutality, murder were common place events recorded in the press at the time and even several cases of cannibalism occurred amongst groups of convicts who escaped into the indescribable temperate rain forest wildness of the West Coast and ate their weaker comrades to survive A handful of ex-convicts, unable to return to England after completing their sentences and with no chances of finding employment, became vicious bushrangers and raided isolated farms and robbed all those unfortunate to cross their paths. It became so much of a problem that the free settlers and their families demanded that the English government cease directing these felons to the shores of the island.
Van Diemen's Land became officially known as Tasmania after a petition was presented to Queen Victoria and it was ratified on Jan 1st. 1856, but it is not the intention of this writer to expand on all the aspects of the history of Australia's second state suffice to repeat the statement that it is a very rich and interesting one that encompasses whaling, discovery of rich gold deposits as well as other precious metals, the world's best fine wools and a proud Tasmanian volunteer military tradition as well as the bleak dark side of our convict heritage.
At the same time, commerce was developing in the port of Hobarton (Hobart) on Sullivan's Cove, and quickly spreading northwards - and this is the time period where we find our interest in Tasmanian numismatics has its start.
Initially, like British colonies all over the world during the late 1700's into the early 1800's, a shortage of specie was addressed by the new Australian commercial interests in similar manners. Paper promissory notes and letters of credit circulated along side a plethora of different coinages brought in by passing ships and, when they weren't available, the old barter system was implemented - albeit a highly dubious way of trying to conduct business. Usually the barter goods revolved mainly around rum and other alcoholic beverages as well as crops and other hard-to-get produce and, of course, this led to more problems as profits were often consumed by the less affluent members of the community which contained quite a number of old 'lags'.
Most of this trade was controlled by the corrupt officers of the graft-ridden New South Wales Corps and, until the rum trade was brought under control in 1807 by a serious Governor William Bligh (of the 'Bounty' fame) and his successor, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, the colonies were racked with alcoholism and the problems that are associated with it.
Macquarie arrived with his regiment of Black Watch regulars, disbanded the N.S.W. Corps and sent all of the officers and some other ranks packing back to England. The remainder of the Corps were dispersed into other regular units - including some in Van Diemen's Land that were mainly concerned with penal guard duty and other relatively mundane tasks.
Many of these men opted to settle in Tasmania when their service commitments had expired and, as the writer has discovered, several ancestors were ex-soldiers or pensioner guards, who accompanied shiploads of convicts and were granted a small piece of land on retirement, so it is an interesting time indeed from a personal aspect.
However, a few other direct ancestors, Irish and English, even fitted into the other category and arrived as 'passengers' not 'crew' on the convict ships - but that is a different story and perhaps even more interesting.
Amongst my family possessions, I have an early 1800's worn-smooth large Irish copper penny that would have a few tales to tell if it could only talk. (I even carried it as a talisman for some time - until it started to wear a hole in my pocket and the Luck of the Irish didn't manifest itself in a substantial way! It is now in my numismatic collection storing up power again.)
These are the sort of pieces that had found their way to the colonies and were being used by the coinage starved public.
In September of 1813, Governor Macquarie tackled the problem of lack of coinage by ordering that a large shipment of silver Spanish Dollars - valued at Five English Shillings - be centre-punched so that two coins were formed, a ring and a smaller solid dump. He then stipulated that the holed ring Dollar (or 'holey dollar' as it became known) would remain valued at Five Shillings and the centre Dump would have a value of 15 Pence within the colonies and he had the pieces marked accordingly.
In this way he made a profit, created two commercially valuable coins and, as the face value exceeded the bullion value, it ensured that the mutilated silver coins remained in the colonies.
A few years later on April 8th. 1817 Governor Macquarie oversaw the establishment of the first trading bank in Sydney, Australia and two years later the first savings bank in that colony opened its doors. The advent of banking in Tasmania followed closely on the heels of the N.S.W. ventures with the opening of The Bank of Van Diemen's Land in 1824.
Prior to the establishment of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land, the island colony was proliferated with paper promissory notes of all values from Threepence up to cater for the lack of small change. The issuers of these notes - which could be ordered or purchased from the printers in bundles or tear out booklets of 100 blank forms - promised to reimburse the bearer for the amount stated on the note. Some were not worth the flimsy paper they were written on but continued to circulate all the same.
The practice of issuing paper 'money' in the form of official Commissariat bills of exchange had started virtually at the same time the colony had opened up and it was a logical step for the population to use a similar method to address the problem of not having hard cash reserves in those early days.
The Spanish silver Dollar in those days was accepted as a universal currency and the people of Van Diemen's Land had no qualms in using it alongside the British sterling at a level of exchange that sometimes was more favourable than the official rate. Even promissory notes were often issued in terms of Spanish Dollars but the final book-keeping tallies were always converted into pounds sterling at the going exchange rate.
Other notes were written up as 'Currency' notes and these were redeemed in any sort of foreign bullion coinage that could be utilised but usually notes issued in these terms were discounted when converted to English sterling for any trade dealings.
In an effort to control the amount of private promissory notes expressed in Spanish Dollars and Currency instead of English sterling some sort of action was needed by the authorities. By March 8th. 1826 a Government order had been issued that set a rate of 4 Shillings and 4 pence sterling as the Spanish Dollar's value and the minimum amount value of a promissory note was to be One Pound sterling - and this would take effect as from April 1st. 1826.
All notes expressed in Spanish dollars were to be declared void.
An almost immediate withdrawal of the Spanish Dollar and small value Currency and Sterling notes occurred, and, whilst it created a deflationary effect in the short term on an already depressed economy, the opening of four more sterling note-issuing private banks in Van Diemen's Land at that time alleviated the problem of an imminent cash shortage amongst the colony's traders.
Still the bugbear of small change was a prime concern and whatever foreign coinage that was available still continued to circulate freely. It was still not enough to satisfy the demand even though more Imperial coinage was slowly arriving to address the chronic shortages that all English colonies had been experiencing.
In England, the practise of issuing copper and silver tradesmen's tokens of similar style and weight to official coinage to counter the small value specie shortage had been widespread amongst commercial interests in that country for some time.
Token coinage had been a progression from the emergency money contrived over hundreds of years by various groups of Englishmen who disagreed, violently, with other Englishmen on how the country should be run.
If they didn't have access to the legal coin of the realm - they made their own acceptable alternative to finance their causes!
The low value tradesmen's tokens were a more commercially driven enterprise and were often used as a form of advertising as well as to address the small change problem within the business community.
Many private manufacturers of these tokens were firmly established in England when the first Australian colonies at Sydney, New South Wales and at Hobart in Van Diemen's Land were first opening up at the beginning of the 19th.century.
Surprisingly, few of the English tokens made an appearance in the colonies but the early convicts and soldiers didn't have much call for cash of any description as there was nothing for them to spend it on.
Things change and if there is a need someone will fill it - such is the situation that soon arose in New South Wales (as the total area was called at that time). Ultimately convicts - both male and female - were freed, soldiers retired, settlers started to arrive in Van Diemen's Land in 1815 and enterprises started up to cater for the needs of a growing civilian population and the spread of settlements.
Dated 1823, the first tradesmen's token prepared in England for Australian use appeared in Van Diemen's Land (which was soon to be declared a separate colony by Royal Proclamation on December 3rd. 1825).
A silver shilling piece, which had been prepared for partners Macintosh and Degraves, who operated the Cascade Saw Mill near Hobart, appeared in very small numbers and even today there is some controversy about when and how many were actually released. Some numismatists believe it was issued basically as an advertising piece and later research indicates that they may not have been actually distributed until 1824 -25 due to an argument, then a legal case, that had involved the partners, Major Hugh Macintoish (or Macintosh) and Peter Degraves, and some of the paying passengers on the ship that they had hired to transport themselves and their equipment to the colony. Because of their necessary appearances in a London court to fight the case, the partners and their ship were delayed somewhat, and newspaper records of the time suggest that they did not arrive in the colony until late1824.
With the word ‘TASMANIA’ on the reverse (plus a contemporary idea of a kangaroo), the token prophetically predated the actual official name-change for Van Diemen’s Land by about 20 years.
Only a few of these rare tokens survive, and there is no record of them being extensively used by the general public, so it is considered that most were probably held by the partners for their own use - or as mementoes issued to celebrate the establishment of their business venture. No mintage details, whatsoever, seem to be available, but, as most examples of the 22mm. (66.5 gram) pure silver token that have been found are in excellent condition, it seems to bear out the latter theory.
Researchers also believe that the spelling of Macintosh on the token was incorrect, and it should have been spelt Macintoish.
Peter Degraves later went on to establish the famous Cascade Breweries in the idyllic surrounds of the area with its pure water supply straight off the slopes of Mt. Wellington.
The following few years saw the start of early entrepreneurial efforts to produce tokens locally in Australia with varying degrees of expertise from terrible to worse but, eventually, the English produced quality half-penny and penny sized imported pieces with Australian motifs became established in all colonies until a few competent die-makers and manufacturers arrived and set up their businesses.
Van Diemen's Land, or Tasmania as it was becoming known, had 18 other issuers of copper or bronze tokens, as well as the Macintosh and Degraves silver Shilling. Some were manufactured in England and shipped out by the barrel full and some were made in the new Victorian establishment of Thomas Stokes. The Tasmanian issuers were:
L. Abrahams; J. G. Fleming; I. Friedman; O. H. Hedberg; R. Henry; W. A. Jarvey (see article below); H. Lipscombe; Marsh & Brother; R. A. Mather; J. Moir; A. Nicholas; R. S. Waterhouse; W. D. Wood - all of Hobart and, Jos. Brickhill, (Campbelltown); E. F. Dease, (Launceston); S. Henry, (Deloraine); R. Josephs, (Newtown - now a suburb of Hobart) and Thos. White & Son, (Westbury).
It appears that quite a lot of other acceptable tokens made their way to Tasmania from mainland colonies and also New Zealand and were circulated as coinage until the Colonial Government controlled from England gradually managed to get the official coinage problem under control and, in Tasmania during 1876, an Act was passed to declare the copper tokens illegal and the British bronze coin of the realm the only legal coinage. Many of the tradesmen's tokens were eventually sold off as bullion and an interesting contemporary Tasmanian numismatic chapter almost came to a close after about 50 years - but not quite!
An interesting series of three 30mm. metallic gift vouchers (Brass, Nickel and Copper) has recently been produced for Hobart based company Ellison Hawker Bookshop with values of $20.00, $10.00 and $5.00.
(Refer Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition): http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may2001.htm
To a numismatist - if not the public - they fit into the broad category of a traditional tradesmen's metallic token as they are a variety of the 'redeemable at store' advertising pieces of the mid 1800's. They look like a token, work like a token, so .......!
Until Australia received its own official (English made) coinage in 1910, English sterling coinage continued to circulate in Tasmania and is still regularly found in old pre-decimal accumulations - along with the occasional tradesmen's token or two.
During the 54 year period until 1964 when the Imperial coinage of Edward VII, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II circulated there was no specific piece that gave the state of Tasmania any precedence, however after the introduction of Australian decimal currency in 1966, aspects of the island or its unique flora and fauna as well as its explorers have featured on no less than 6 - 7 individual coins to date and in quite a few other sets - such as Masterpieces in Silver.
These state or related issues are mainly Non Circulating Legal Tender coins, or included in mint-issued sets, and are often available both in Uncirculated and Proof. Listed below are some of the most prominent of the Tasmanian theme issues to date.
1991 $10 State Series Commemorative - Tasmania. Sterling Silver. (Uncirculated; Proof.)
1993 $5 Masterpieces in Silver - The Explorers (Pt.1). Sterling Silver. (Proof only.)
1994 $200 Tasmanian Devil. 99.9% Gold. (Proof only.)
1996 $100 Tasmanian Blue Gum. 99.9% Gold. (Proof only.)
1996 $150 Tasmanian Blue Gum. 99.9% Gold. (Proof only.)
1998 50Cent Bass & Flinders Anniversary. Copper-Nickel. (Circulating coin.)
1998 50Cent Bass & Flinders Anniversary. Copper-Nickel. (Mint set; Proof set.)
2001 3Pce Federation Set - Tasmania. Copper-Nickel. (Mint set; Proof set.)
2001 Centenary of Federation Holey Dollar & Dump - Tasmania issue. Sterling Silver. (Proof only.)
A TOKEN TALE FROM TASMANIA.
At a meeting of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society some years ago, an extremely brief statement was made about an early Tasmanian token issuer, William Andrew Jarvey. The 'facts' as related to me were even less than sketchy - "He was hung, you know!" - but those few words, just dropped into a conversation by a token collecting member, stimulated sufficient interest for me to carry out further investigation.
I felt compelled to find out a little more, as I had several of Jarvey’s tokens in my own collection, and eventually I became rapt as the story unfolded little by little. The story was eventually published with a more complete detail of the Tasmanian experiences of William Andrew Jarvey - and his New Zealand court-case - in the 'Australian Coin Review' (March 1994).
However, even though I have now edited my original article for this publication, it does give an inkling of how it was in the early days of the colony and highlights one of the more colourful characters who issued several of Tasmanian tradesmen's tokens.
Let us briefly re-visit the life of a man who was a Policeman, Teacher, Pawnbroker, Farmer, Sailor - Murderer!
BORN TO BE HANGED. by Graeme Petterwood.
William Andrew Jarvey arrived in Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land on the 8th. April 1844, just two years after the settlement had been proclaimed Australia’s second city.
Little is known about his life prior to his arrival in Australia, except that he probably was a descendant of the old French Huguenot family of Gervois which had fled France and settled in County Tyrone in Ireland sometime after 1685.
In 1685, many Huguenot families had fled from France to England and then on to Ireland to escape religious persecution after the Edict of Nantes (which was supposed to guarantee religious freedom) was revoked.
Two sons of nobleman Jean Gervais deTournon from Guinne, France settled in Cecil, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland and over time their name was blurred by Irish brogue to become Garvey, Jarvey or Jarvie and Gervoise or Jarvis.
Jarvey was sent a generous £36 per annum allowance from his parents, so by local standards he was reasonable well off.
He must have had some considerable connections or been well credentialed because, on his arrival, he was immediately appointed as a Police Constable for the district but, after nine days, he transferred to the Water Police.
Hobart has one of the world’s finest and most beautiful deep water harbours, but at that time Van Diemen’s land was also one of those cesspools of humanity that were being used, by the English, as a dumping-ground for many of their more hardened criminals, repeat offenders, political prisoners and many Irish dissidents.
After six years, the well-educated and respected Jarvey resigned and became a school-teacher in 1850, and received a salary of £48 per annum on top of his parent’s allowance.
Because of a shortage of suitable ‘ladies’ in the colony at the time and, in line with common practice, Jarvey had been granted leave to marry a 25 year old Irish convict Catherine Jane Shaw, who had been transported in 1845. The reason for his decision to leave the Water Police, to become a teacher, may have been caused by this event.
It was about this time that gold had been discovered in California and Hobart became a stop-over port for shipping from Europe that did not dare the Cape Horn route. Jarvey saw the commercial advantages of the situation and left teaching to set up shop as a Clothier and Pawnbroker in Murray Street, Hobart .
The business thrived and Jarvey issued several undated redeemable Penny tokens during an eight year period until 1862.
Ironically, Jarvey’s business of pawnbroker started to fail as the economic conditions in Tasmania started to improve so he sold up and bought a small four acre farm on the outskirts of Hobart city, but he was not a good farmer and soon tired of it.
With a growing family of three sons and two daughters and an accumulation of debts, Jarvey decided to leave Tasmania, as Van Diemen’s Land was now known, and start a new life in New Zealand.
With his sea-faring experiences and Water Police record, Jarvey had no trouble in convincing the owners of the 756 ton screw-driven ‘Titania’ to appoint him as captain.
Within a month, Jarvey had left the local shipping run along Tasmania’s north coast, to establish a run out of Dunedin to Invercargill in New Zealand’s Otago Bay - and he also left his wife and family behind on the farm near Hobart.
Gold had been discovered in the Dunedin area in 1861 and the population had exploded. By 1863, a lucrative trade in fresh produce had been created between Tasmania and New Zealand and Captain Jarvey determined to become part of it.
In April 1864, Catherine and the children decided to sell the farm, for what they could get, and join Jarvey in Dunedin as it was obvious that he was not going to return.
It is known that the relationship between the Captain and his wife had cooled, and it was reported that Jarvey was well known around the Otago Harbour district in the company of another younger woman. The situation deteriorated further when, in August, Jarvey was accused of adultery by his wife and she was severely beaten and left unconscious during the argument that followed.
A few days later Jarvey bought a strychnine based poison to rid his ship of alleged ‘persistent’ rats - and Mrs. Jarvey became ill but recovered after a severe vomiting attack.
On September 22nd. Jarvey complained to the chemist that the poison had only made the ‘rats’ sick - and then purchased some pure strychnine to finish them off.
Mrs. Catherine Jarvey died late on the evening of September 26th., after eating a hearty meal, and the attending doctor’s death certificate was made out stating that her demise was caused by an ‘epileptic fit’.
Within three months, however, Catherine’s eldest daughter, 18y.o. Elizabeth, had gone to police and gave information that led to the case being re-opened. Catherine’s body was exhumed and traces of the rat poison were found.
Jarvey was brought to trial but, after the jury had heard the evidence presented during the six day proceedings, they could not reach a verdict. There seemed to be no apparent motive and Jarvey’s previous good character created a deadlock that could not be resolved. The Jury were discharged after deliberating for 40 hours and a retrial was ordered by the judge.
In September 1864, the second jury convicted Jarvey at his second trial of killing his wife on the second attempt. Jarvey swore his innocence but the judge was not moved by his ‘hypocrisy’ and sentenced him to death by hanging.
On October 25th. 1865, it is reported that Jarvey shook hands with his gaolers and then calmly walked onto the scaffold and that his last words to his executioner were "God bless you, Sir!"
He was the first criminal to be executed in the Province of Otago, New Zealand.
In his very informative books on Tasmanian Tokens, Roger McNeice O.A.M., F.R.N.S., has detailed the known tokens issued by Jarvey - plus one that has been reported as "very rare.... there is a die crack running from the top of the central ball (on the pawnbrokers traditional symbol that Jarvey used as trademark) up along the side."
Like this rarity amongst Tasmanian tokens, Captain William Andrew Jarvey also appears to have had a fatal flaw.
OF DUCALS AND AVRAMS.
His Eminence, Prince John, The Grand Duke of Avram is another personality, although more contemporary, who cannot be overlooked when recounting the numismatic history of our island state of Tasmania. (See below for contact information.)
On October 1, 1980, the self-proclaimed Duke of Avram permitted the use of his devices and armorial bearings on a first set of Duchy of Avram notes when a Royal Charter was applied for and the 'Royal Bank of Avram' was formed by a group of like-minded people. The Royal Bank of Avram and the Duke are separate entities with the bank having its own charter, rules and regulations, and its own directors. The Bank states that it is honouring the Duke by issuing the 'Avram' currency under the Duke's coats-of-arms and titles - all of which have been granted by Royal Charter and Letters Patent. In 1982 a set of 6 Ducal coins was introduced and this was followed up with second coin issue in 1985. The dated coins featured selected coats-of-arms of the Grand Duke and the denominations were available in 1, 3, 7, 15, 30, and 75 Ducals.
Read the full statistical details of the early Avrams and Ducals at: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb99.htm
Prince John's life story, to date, has been recounted in many national and international magazines as well as numerous numismatic papers - particularly when in March 1985 the Federal Government decided that the issuing of private coinage and banknotes was not a good idea. In that month, Federal Police raided the Duke's residence and seized large amounts of cash and pertinent papers including the Royal Charter and Letters Patent.
Eventually, all the 6 charges in the case brought against the Duke were dismissed in December 1986 and some of his material was returned - but not all - even though the Court ordered it to be. His Grace is still patiently waiting!
The case did have some positive aspects, however, in that it forced the tidying up of some of the archaic banking laws in Australia. The Duke agrees, in principal, that laws are made with the protection and well-being of the general public in mind but, occasionally, the 'Law is an Ass'.
As an example, His Grace pointed out a 1999 amendment to the Goods and Services Tax Act that has to be read to be believed. Quote -
" NEW TAX SYSTEM (GOODS AND SERVICES TAX) ACT 1999
- Section 175 -55. Commissioner may disregard scheme in making declarations. For the purpose of making a declaration under this Subdivision, the Commissioner may:
(a) treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; and
(b) treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as:
(i) having happened at a particular time; and
(ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity; and
(c) treat a particular event that actually happened as;
(i) having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened; or
(ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity)." - Unquote.
In 2000, the Duke authorised new designs, in the 6 coin Ducal series, to be produced to celebrate the Millennium.
The Ducals again featured attractive renditions of coats-of-arms enamelled on to goldine plated metal bases and it was envisaged that a limit of only 250 sets would be minted. For further information contact: www.royalbanker.org
(His Grace informs me that some teachers are currently using the above website as a teaching aid for website design.)
Duke John's Ducals.
Listed below are the
estimated numismatic values of the Duchy's coinage in U.S. Dollars
at uncirculated condition in 1992, and the official mintage figures for
the two issues as listed in ‘Unusual World Coins.’
The going exchange rate of the 1985 issue, was 1 Ducal to U.S.$0.10 (or about A$0.145 per Ducal - at that particular time).
This Duchy of Avram -
U.S. exchange rate is still the official rate for current issues. The attractive
range consisted of six various sizes coins with face values of 1, 3, 7, 15, 30
and 75 Ducals - bearing different obscure, and slightly off-beat, heraldic
devices peculiar to the Duchy, set into various coloured enamelled backgrounds on the slightly domed
obverse, while the flat plain metallic reverse reads - DUCHY OF AVRAM.- centred,
with the date below the raised lettering.
|U.W.C Ref No.||X1.||X2.||X3.||X4.||X5.||X6.|
|COLOUR||L. BLUE||L. GREEN||ORANGE||PINK||YELLOW||RED|
* Approximate Weight.
BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER.
Recently I was asked by a friend in the U.S.A. if Tasmanian collectors preferred to deal in slabbed coins - and I recollected a furious debate in 1997 that seemed to polarise Australian collectors into two separate camps - the majority who didn't and the few that had found positive points that appealed to them as investor-collectors. The debate had then switched to methods of grading and the vastly differing interpretations of both the U.S numbering system and the standard descriptive systems. Looking back into the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' of April 1997 to refresh my memory, I came across a short tongue-in-cheek piece that I had written about the grading subject and I now re-present it for your consideration. I trust the Australian idioms are not lost in the translation.
AN AUSTRALIAN GRADING SYSTEM - PERHAPS?!
Once upon a time the average collector was the bloke off the street who did it because he liked to!
If coins or notes looked good to him- they were!
He'd scratch off any dirt or verdigris from his 'special' coins with a sharp needle or a rusty nail, and then he'd polish them with steel-wool and 'Brasso' until they shone like stars and, finally, he'd pop them into an old screw-top 'Vegemite' jar with his old mismatched cuff-links and tie-pins.
He would often warm rinse and steam- iron his old and crinkled banknotes, and throw them into an old toffee or biscuit tin, with a rubber-band around them for safe-keeping, before he'd stash them away, (with his 'Vegemite' jar) in the bottom drawer of the bedroom wardrobe so they would definitely become family heirlooms and 'be worth a fortune in years to come!'
And if you asked him, 'What condition are they in?' he'd always reply, 'Bonza, mate!'
Bearing all this in mind, I would like to suggest that we look seriously at devising a grading system to suit those average Australian collectors who are still with us.
So perhaps we could start with -'Not Worth a Brass Razoo'- meaning - worse than 'Crook'. (Yuk) Ungradeable.
'Crook' - meaning - real lousy. (AG3) Poor.
'Not Bad' - meaning - not good. (G4) Good.
'Orright' - meaning - good. (VG8) Very Good.
'Bonza' - meaning - pretty good! (F12) Fine.
'Grouse'- meaning - real good! (VF30) Very Fine.
'Extra Grouse' - meaning - extra good! (EF45) Extra Fine
'Bewdy orright' - meaning - excellent! (AU58) aUnc.
'Little Ripper' - meaning - seen nothin' better! (MS67) B.Unc.
'Wotta-Ripper! - meaning - sure it's real? (MS70) Proof.
These 'accurate' verbal descriptions have been used for years by true-blue Aussies, at all levels, to clarify their innermost thoughts on any type of subject matter, and they should be given the consideration they deserve when any new Australian banknote grading system is closer to fruition.
(The word 'Mate' after each description is optional, but should be used with discretion for gradings over 'Extra Grouse'. At this point 'She's a' is a more appropriate prefix up to, but not including, 'Wotta-Ripper' - which stands alone, except for a low whistle of genuine appreciation.)
In the meantime, at the average Aussie collector correspondence level, we could use the new suggested numismatic abbreviations : NWBR, C, NB, O, B, G, EG, BO, LR and WR!
We might choose to have 'Not Quite' (NQ) or 'Better'n' (Bn) to cover some of the 'in-betweens' in the middle gradings.( e.g. Coins in BnG ('Better'n Grouse') but NQEG ('Not Quite Extra Grouse') condition would probably be a rarity, and very acceptable, to our average collector!)
I'm quite sure that, between us, we should be able to produce something uniquely Australian!
Australasian Tokens and Coins. by Dr. Arthur Andrews. (Originally published 1921 - reissued Sandford J. Durst 1982).
Tasmanian Promissory Notes. by Roger V. McNeice. (Hawthorn Press 1971).
Early Colonial Coinages. - Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition. (April 1998). Edited by Graeme Petterwood.
New Token Releases. - Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition. (May 2001). Edited by Graeme Petterwood. http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may2001.htm
The Macquarie Book of Events. Edited by Bryce Fraser. (Macquarie Library 1984).
The Pocketbook Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes (8th. Edition) by Greg McDonald (2001).
World Coins. (Third Edition. 1992.) by Colin R. Bruce II.
Krause Publications Inc.
World Coin News. Article ‘ Just call him John’ by Kit Kiefer, W.C.N. Managing Editor. April 1st. 1986.
The Original Mint Release of Banknotes by the Royal Bank of Avram.
From an official Pamphlet kindly supplied by His Grace, The Most Noble, Admiral, The Duke of Avram.
Coin News (U.K.) - On the Fringe. Article by Mick Vort-Ronald. February 2001.
Of Ducals and Avrams. - Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition. (Aug.- Sept., 2000) Edited by Graeme Petterwood.
The Grading Discussion. - Tasmanian Numismatist, Vol.2 Issue 4 (April 1997) Edited by Graeme Petterwood.
FROM THE COLUMNS.
From time to time, we will continue to feature edited items that we have noted in commercial, or other club, Internet or hard-copy publications that we consider interesting enough to pass on to 'Tasmanian Numismatist' readers.
The first excerpt is from the Elgin Coin Club's (September 2001) Internet newsletter and provides some interesting facts about the older European Union coinage which is being replaced by the Euro. Full text available: http://www.prairienet.com/coins/ecc/
On Jan 1, 2002 twelve of the fifteen countries of the European Union will issue Euro coins and notes.
The twelve countries consist of Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Greece and Finland. The transition period of the old currencies to the new Euros will vary by country with demonetisation dates ranging from Dec 31, 2001 to Feb 28, 2002.
This is not to say that people who still have the old monies are out of luck after Feb 28, 2002.
Each country has set a schedule where people can still exchange for Euros after the demonetisation date but this can only be done at that country's central bank, the schedule for demonetisation and final redemption for each country is as follows:
Austria - The Schilling - ceases to be legal after 28/2/2002, but can still be redeemed at the central bank indefinitely.
Belgium - The Franc - ceases to be legal after 28/2/2002, notes will be redeemed indefinitely but coins will be exchanged only until 2004.
Finland - The Markka - legal until 28/2/2002, but can be redeemed for 10 years.
France - The Franc - legal until 17/2/2002. The notes will be redeemed for 10 years, the coins for 3 years.
Germany - The Mark - legal until 31/12/2001, which is the earliest demonetisation date, but all coins and notes can be exchanged at the central bank indefinitely.
Greece - The Drachma- legal until 28/2/2002 with a redemption time of 10 years for notes and 2 years for coins.
Ireland - The Punt - legal till 9/2/2002, with an indefinite time for exchange at the central bank.
Italy - the Lira - ceases to be legal tender on 28/2/ 2002, but Lira will still be redeemable for 10 years.
Luxembourg - the Franc - legal until 28/2/2002. Notes can be redeemed indefinitely, but coins can only be exchanged till the end of 2004.
Netherlands - the Guilder - ceases to be legal tender on 28/1/2002. The notes will be redeemable until 2032, the coins until 2007.
Spain - the Peseta - legal until 28/2/2002, with an indefinite period of redemption for both notes and coins.
Portugal - the Escudo - legal tender till 28/2/2002. The notes redeemable for 20 years, the coins only until 31/12/2002.
ACTUAL CONVERSION RATES.
As an addenda to the above article we noted in the Australian Coin Review 'Coin News' (September 2001) a table showing the conversion rates for the Euro against existing EU currencies.
One Euro equals -
13.7903 Austrian Schilling
40.3399 Belgian Francs (incl. Luxembourg)
5.04573 Finnish Markaa
6.55957 French Francs
1.95583 German Marks
0.787564 Irish Punt
1936.27 Italian Lire
2.20371 Netherlands Gulden
200.482 Portuguese Escudos
166.386 Spanish Pesetas
Also noted in the September 'Australian Coin Review' (A.C.R.) was a segment on counterfeit U.S. notes which I feel will be of interest to our own readers and deserves a quick comment.
It bore out a suspicion that I have held for some time that some U.S. citizens really don't know their own currency too well.
We have all heard the persistent rumours of the people that have made change from a Hillary Rodman Clinton $3.00 note, or something similar, haven't we! Personally, I have my doubts on some of these rather imaginative stories - but there again ...!
If it has big numbers in the corners, is grey on the front and has a familiar presidential looking face, and is green on the back and has an imposing looking building - it must be U.S. currency - O.K?!
How many Americans actually look past the denomination markings? In fact, how many international travellers do as well?
It apparently doesn't seem to matter what numbers go with what faces on the notes, which are all the one size and drab colour combination, and who has got time to look for block numbers, micro-printing and all those other 'security' features recently incorporated into the new style U.S. notes.
If someone is quickly sorting a heap of these rather unimaginative notes and relying on the corner denomination numbers it would be relatively easy for the type of simple scam that is now occurring to be quite successful.
Bleaching out the corner figures on a genuine U.S. note and reprinting it with a higher denomination is so simple with paper currency that it is a wonder it wasn't foreseen by the powers-that-be.
I also read in the A.C.R. that Canada was also experiencing a problem with its new C$10.00 which also had been designed with similar sophisticated security features as the U.S. notes. The A.C.R. reported that at the time its article was being prepared for publication about 140 Canadian phoney notes had been found.
Even a small one-by-one operation has an effect on the trust that currency must deliver to the population. At this point in time, the quantities are very small by North American and Canadian standards but it delivers a message to all of us that, no matter what our note makers envisage in the way of security for currency, there is always someone out there who is just as bright and who is working out how to beat the system - and, if we are too complacent and not doing our part in being vigilant, we deserve what we might end up with in our wallets.
AUSTRALIAN COIN REVIEW.
If any readers wish to contribute articles or subscribe to Australia's first and oldest numismatic magazine, the 'Australian Coin Review', please contact: http://www.coinreview.com.au/ for details and national and international postage rates.
Please note that the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) provides names, addresses and other details of commercial organisations and/or individuals, for our reader's information purposes only. It does not necessarily mean that the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) endorses those or any other organisations, individuals or products mentioned therein or any views proffered in our correspondents' articles or reviews. Readers are reminded that any consequent dealings between correspondents is of a private nature and we take no responsibility for disagreements between parties.
The following news releases, e-XONUMIA #26 - 28, have been issued by regular correspondent, author, World Coin News columnist and Canadian Municipal Trade token designer, Serge Pelletier. Unfortunately, they just missed publication in our September 1st.issue - but better late than never! Canadian M.T.T. collectors can check out Serge's site at: www.eligi.ca/bonavita
#26 - ST. ALBERT TOKEN ROCKS!
ST. ALBERT, ALBERTA - From August 7th to 11th, St. Albert was rocking thanks to "Rock'n August 5". Hosted by the Cosmopolitan Clubs of Edmonton, St. Albert and Sturgeon Valley, as well as the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce, St. Albert Cruisers Car Club and The Handicapped Housing Society of Alberta, Rock'n August 5 was a non-profit event staged specifically in support of Diabetes Research, The Handicapped Housing Society of Alberta and for the enjoyment of everyone.
Billed as a "Festival of Cars and Music", the event celebrated the rumble of chrome pipes and the rim shots of classic Rock and Roll music of the 50's and 60's. It included a Pancake Breakfast; a Car Show; a Karaoke Night featuring, of course, music of the 50's and 60's; a Parade Cruise; a Street Dance and a Show & Shine.
For more information, visit their web
site at: www.rocknaugust.com.
The event was commemorated on a superb 5-Dollar token issued by the Cosmopolitan Club of St. Albert. Designed by Tom Doersken, Creative Director at Ad Centre in Edmonton, the 38-millimetre token features on the obverse a convertible of the 1950s surmounted by the word ROCK'N AUGUST in two lines. Above it, is the denomination "$5" flanked by the St. Albert Cruisers' logo at left and the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce logo at right. The Cosmopolitan Club's logo is located at 3 o'clock. Below the car the legend reads: "FESTIVAL OF CARS & MUSIC" and "GOOD FOR $5 IN ST. ALBERT DURING AUGUST 2001" in two lines. The reverse shows a rear fender with the legend "ROCK'N AUGUST / 5 / 2001 / ST. ALBERT / ALBERTA . CANADA". It was struck in the following metals:
Metal / Mintage / Price
Commercial Bronze / 850 / $7.00
Nickel-Silver / 50 / $14.00
Bimetallic / 50 / $17.50
Gold Plated / 50 / $17.00
This is the fourth token issued for St. Albert. Two 1-Dollar tokens featuring respectively St. Albert Place and the St. Albert Mission Bells, were struck back in 1984 and 1985 and last year, the St. Albert Cosmopolitan Club struck a Millennium 2000-Cent piece. Bonavita has many of the previous St. Albert pieces available. To find out which ones, go to the "Past Issues" tab of the web site (www.eligi.ca/bonavtia) and click on the "MTTs of Alberta" link.
#27 - TROIS-PISTOLES SALUTES
TROIS-PISTOLES, QUÉBEC - For ten summers now, Les Productions théâtrales de Trois-Pistoles (Trois-Pistoles' Theatrical Productions) have been offering drama to the people of the Lower-St-Lawrence. From its inception, the organization decided to produce Quebec contemporary theatre favouring a local author, Victor-Lévy Beaulieu, well known to the whole of Québec, for his books, plays and television series. The goal of the Productions is to make theatre accessible in an area with very few cultural events.
To commemorate this anniversary, the 'Centre local de développement des Basques' has issued a 2-Dollar token, the sixteenth of this series. The obverse features the well known symbol for theatre, two masks representing two faces, one grimacing the other laughing. The Productions théâtrales de Trois-Pistoles' logo a "T" with an apostrophe and an "O" have been added at
3 and 9 o'clock. The legend reads: "TROIS-PISTOLES/LES BASQUES (QUÉBEC)" at the top and "THÉÂTRE 1991-2001" in two lines below the masks. "VALEUR DE 2$ EN 2001" (value of $2 in 2001) is written below. The reverse is the same as all previous pieces, an imaginary coin inspired from a Spanish-American cob dollar. This coin was thought to be the one called "pistole" in the 17th Century. Research has now revealed that the pistole was actually a gold dobla introduce by Charles Ist of Spain in the 1500s. But for the population of Trois-Pistoles, this is the real thing.
The token was struck in the following metals:
Metal / Mintage / Price
Nickel-Bonded-Steel / 2,500 / $3.25
Antique Copper Plated / 250 / $10.75
Gold Plated / 250 / $12.75
Silver - .999 / 51 / $60.50
Trois-Pistoles is the main municipality in the Regional Municipality of Les Basques which includes another eleven municipalities. All Trois-Pistoles pieces are available. To find out which ones, go to the "Past Issues" tab of the web site:
(www.eligi.ca/bonavtia) and click on the "MTTs of Québec" link.
#28 - (1.)LEGION BRANCH STRIKES DUAL
COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL AND TRIBUTE TO VETERANS
NEPEAN, ONTARIO - The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 593, Bell Corners (Nepean, Ontario), recently issued a superb medal to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the branch and the 75th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Legion itself. But the medal is also meant as a tribute to all Canadian veterans. "It won't be long before all World War II and Korean War veterans have all passed on" said Dave Palmer, the program instigator and Chair of the Medallion Committee, "we wanted to do something significant and lasting that would show our Veterans that we care and, more importantly, that we will remember them".
The obverse of the medal shows the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, inaugurated in Ottawa last May, in front of a maple leaf enamelled in red. The legend reads: ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION BRANCH 593 BELLS CORNERS above the design and the dates 1961-2001 below. Dave Palmer's initials (he is the designer as well) DWP are at 7 o'clock. The reverse feature the Royal Canadian Legion's badge with white, red and blue enamels. The legend reads: (maple leaf) ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION (maple leaf) LÉGION ROYALE CANADIENNE (maple leaf) above the badge and the dates 1926-2001 below. The mintmark of Eligi Consultants Inc., who coordinated the strike on behalf of the branch, is at
7 o'clock. Only 550 of the 38-millimetre medals were struck, in enamelled commercial bronze.
"The medals will be distributed to members beginning on September 12th but WWII and Korean veterans will be presented with their personal copies at a special event entitled A Tribute to our Veterans" said Palmer "this is the most important aspect of the whole program". The branch hopes this will establish a precedent for other branches to follow.
"We have also set aside a quantity of medals to be used for upcoming Remembrance Day events with our local schools. The poems, essays and poster events that many children participate in to keep the history and knowledge of our Veterans alive to remember the price of the freedom we as Canadians enjoy today".
Unfortunately, none are available for collectors at this time, most of the remaining medals have been sold to branch members and even veterans themselves, who want to give one to their grandchildren. For more information contact Dave Palmer, the Chair of the Medallion Committee, at: email@example.com.
*** You are strongly encouraged to go the website, the newsletter version of this e-XONUMIA has colour photos ***
(2.) MANITOULIN UPDATE.
We have just heard some great news from the Little Current Lions Club. It was reported that a 2000 Cents 2000 piece sold locally last week for C$100.00! Only 500 of the splendid enamelled nickel-silver pieces were struck and they are very hard to find. As far as the 3-Dollar 2001 token is concerned, the island stocks are as follows: bimetallic, about 20 left, antique bronze, about 10 left and gold plated, SOLD OUT! Our stocks are equally depleting rapidly with more and more Haweaters contacting us. If you are a subscriber, you have nothing to worry about, you will get those you want, if not, hurry while supplies last, when we run out, it will be a complete sell out!
As previously mentioned, an illustrated newsletter version of these new releases can be found at the Bonavita web site at www.eligi.ca/bonavita under "Newsletter". Bonavita Ltd. is a subsidiary of Eligi Consultants Inc.
Bonavita Ltd, Box 11447, Station H, Nepean, ON K2H 7V1
Tel: +1-613-823-3844 / Fax: +1-613-825-3092
MASTERCARD and VISA accepted.
Hello. My name is Gian Paolo Melis. I'm an Italian coin collector. If you are interested on swapping coins I can send you my list. Tell me which coins you collect (for year, for type, for Country...). I hope we could do good swapping.
Bye, Gian Paolo. Please contact: Gian Paolo Melis
For those collectors who are interested in banknotes from India we have recently received an updated list of individual and sets of (VF - UNC) Rupees of various denominations with such features as radar notes, low consecutive numbers, errors, unusual combinations of signatures etc. from a regular dealer. This list quotes current Pick catalogue numbers and is priced in US dollars and has all the relevant detail of note and any special features. If any of our readers are interested please contact the correspondent direct for information at his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or, alternatively write to:-
662, sec-39, Urban Estate.
Chd. Road, Ludhiana - 9 (Pb)
(1) We, of the 'Elgin Coin Club' of Illinois, would like to add our condolences to the immediate and heartfelt condolences offered by the Tasmanian Numismatic Society membership as printed elsewhere in this Newsletter. We received their words already on Sept 12. Our hearts and prayers go out not only to the families of the many dead and injured Americans but also to the families of the Australians, the Britons, the numerous Moslems, and the many, many hundreds of nationals from other countries who lost loved ones. May peace return soon, Mike Metras. email: email@example.com
Mike's homepage is located at: www.worksandwords.com
(2) Hello, I have just updated my
World Paper Money price list. You will notice some lower prices and hope you
will find many good deals. Please go to: http://www.banknotes.com/pricelst.htm
There may be discounts for certain orders, it depends on how many and on what
banknotes you will order. Also I have a Currency Gallery at http://www.banknotes.com/images.htm
with images of several thousand banknotes of the world. Check it out. I also
am looking for buying world better and rare banknotes.
Wilmington, NC 28406
IBNS # 7012
Web site: http://www.banknotes.com
I am a collector of old Australian bank cheques and promissory notes and would like to contact anyone who may have some to sell. (Pre 1900 era.) Thanks,
Email: bjbennetta6 @hotmail.com
The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ newsletter is the only official newsletter of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc. ’and it is published periodically and distributed by post, or hand delivered, directly to members of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc. and selected associates and institutions.
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NUMISMATIC SOCIETY INC.
Members meet at 8.00 p.m. on the 2nd. Thursday of each month (except January or when advised) in the social room:
The Masonic Club,
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Tasmania. Visitors are always welcome!
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:
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