Volume 11 Issue 10                                INTERNET EDITION - Established 1996                                October 2006


The name 'Tasmanian Numismatist' is used with the permission  of the Executive Committee of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' however, any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', its Executive Committee or its members. Bearing in mind our public disclaimers,  the Internet links selected by the authors of this  newsletter are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to: (1) Illustrations and, (2) to provide additional important information. 

Any notices of concern to 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members will be included in the 'Society Snippets' section.

We trust that this issue of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.

 

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TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY

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: 

 

THE SECRETARY.

Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

G. P. O. Box 884J

Hobart. 7001.

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INTERNET EDITION

by Graeme Petterwood © 1996 - 2006

 

Remember - be astute when you are handed change - not all the wonders of numismatics have been discovered yet - and they don't have to be shiny and new! This edition again features an assortment of  'trivia' that I think is of interest and I trust it will prove educational and entertaining to you as well. 

All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Please note that the photoscans of numismatic items are usually not to size or scale, but - wherever possible - they are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition.

 

LESSONS for LEARNERS

Part 2 - BANKNOTES

As this is an Australian site, I will concentrate on our local products in particular as this is usually where our new collector's start . However, the same basic principles apply no matter where a new numismatist happens to live. This continuation is all about paper or plastic currency or banknotes

I also hope this section will encourage our newest collectors (or numismatists) to seek out information for themselves from other collectors, books and the Internet and enjoy the world's most educational hobby as much as I have - and remember, a suggestion is not always a rule - but it is offered in good faith for serious consideration. Welcome to Part 2 (Banknotes) - Lessons for Learners.

Folding Money!

Many new or young banknote collectors find that the temptation to spend local currency instead of hoarding it away is too great - for a start.

Why save an Oz Ten Dollar note when you can buy so many other cheap bits from foreign countries with it?

I know that I had a big stack of South American and Asian  notes before I started to put away a few Australian notes by face values and by signatures.

The hardest test is not to spend them when you need a few dollars for a bill or a trip to the shops. By recording them and putting them into proper 'storage', and treat them as a numismatic item instead of money,  you can lessen that temptation - although there are times when real neccessity makes a call on you

 

DO - If you are interested, and can afford to collect paper or plastic money (sometimes refered to as Currency) - you can find that notes are very attractive things and you can make several themes even from the notes of one country. Most collectors will have to buy their notes from dealers unless they have friends in another country or are lucky enough to go on an overseas trip. With banknotes you should always buy the best example that you can and not waste money on cheap notes like I did - you can always get cheap notes when you feel like it  if you are wanting to fill up your albums. Some cheap notes are unusual - and nice to look at.  The 'cheapies'  shouldn't be forgotten altogether because they are still part of the hobby and also have tales to tell if you care to search the stories out - but, use a bit of sense about the money you have to spend.

DO - If you do get a note that is dirty, torn or crumpled there is not much you can do with it - some notes can be repaired but only by experts - so ask about it.

Historic or rare pieces should be kept in the condition you find them -  they may appear to be in need of a bit of tender, loving care -  but, trying to fix them can cause even more damage if we don't know the right way to go about it.

 

Badly damaged, creased and stained 1899 U.S. Silver Certificate $1.00 notes as seen on eBay - virtually irrepairable.

 

DON'T - Paper notes should never be washed or ironed to get out marks or creases as it permanently damages the paper  - sometimes, if the note is only dabbed with a cotton bud and warm water, placed between two sheets of kitchen paper or plain tissues - and put under something not too heavy, some of the surface dirt can be removed and the note flattened. Do not use a pencil rubber on any Very Fine notes - paper or plastic - as this will take off the sheen as well.

If you join a club you will learn that paper and plastic currency is very easy to damage and you will be shown the best ways of looking after it.

By getting too much light, dampness, fumes from wood and plastic as well as rust from metal containers, your collection can be easily ruined.There are now many very good professional storage products on the market for notes and coins, however, if economy is a problem it is possible to buy different sized plastic pockets from stationery stores or from dealers that will be quite OK for average notes - and packaged coin sets

At present, a local stationer's retail price for these sheets of pockets, is approximately AUD$2.00 each - and they may even be worth more than the notes you want to put in them - but, once you have them you will be able to show of your notes to their best advantage - however, every so often, check the plastic and make sure that it is not sweating or the notes are sticking and that everything is still OK.......

DO - I normally use a 2 ring lever arch binder to store my world note pockets, as it is more convenient to get a particular sheet out if I want it, but a common  3  - 4 ring binder is a lot cheaper and it holds the plastic pockets from flopping over and bending your notes if you stack them flat in your cupboard.

I like to sort my notes into alphabetical and series order and, if I am storing several countries' notes in the one folder, I use an index divider between each letter of the alphabet. For instance, A. Afghanistan, Australia, Austria etc. - B. Bahrain, Baku, Bangladesh etc. - C. Cambodia, Canada , Chile etc.etc.

Different colour binders can also be of help it you are after a particular group of countries  A.B.C. - D.E.F. - etc. or else a large self-adhesive label on the spine of the folder with the letter groups marked on it, in Black marking pen, at a large enough size than can easily be read from a distance.

DO - Note folders, loose plastic pockets and individual notes should be stored flat - off the floor away from dust or possible insect invasion - and in a dry, cool, dark  place. If you are also storing coins in the same place, it is good common sense to make sure that the note folders or binders go on top to avoid crushing. I learnt that fact of life the hard way......

 

Egyptian banknotes stored in a 3 pocket sleeve with a seperate white paper backer to show off the notes clearly.

These sleeves can be obtained with single or two pockets for much larger notes.

 

DO - Each time you make a purchase it pays to record the details and the grading as soon as possible. If you have a computer, try and make, or use, a broadsheet program (Microsoft Excel is great ) that can sort them up for you by Country, Date, Mintmark (if any) Value, Serial numbers, Catalogue number (if you can) Condition and any other special details - such as rips or sticky tape or scribble (graffitti).

 

GRADING and SPECIAL PACKAGING

Notes in Australia are printed by Note Printing Australia

Being made from paper or polymer plastic, notes have a slightly different grading system than coins - but they still work from really good down to scruffy old bits of whatever. The way that notes are made and tightly bundled together with paper bands around them often means that they sometimes get squashed and their edges wrinkled over when they are stacked up. Each additional fault or flaw means points could be deducted from its grade.

Note gradings, by unskilled collectors, are very hard to make - so this is one area where some assistance from experienced collectors can be of great help.

You will find that most catalogues start grading notes as if they were already slightly less than perfect - just in case - as Uncirculated. The main gradings for notes will go down to Very Fine, Fine and then to Very Good and then the less than desireable - but, like coins, valuable notes can have in-between gradings.

High value notes of a high level of quality but with pinholes or graffitti are often graded at their correct level - as long as the flaw is noted.

The price will be affected depending how bad the problem is - and how much the buyer wants the note.

The grading explanations that I have used here are mainly very simple and most, originally, refered to paper notes. However, the newer plastic note qualities have now been improved so much as to resemble paper - so the main points are still similar. Let's have a look....!

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Uncirculated - These notes are the best of the lot - they are virtually the equivalent to a Proof coin. They should be perfectly clean and well-printed with only a few waves in the paper - or plastic - if you hold it up and look along the shiny surface, their edges must also be virtually straight and flat and not damaged or cut into by the paper bands that may have held them together.

 

Top:- 1992 Australian $5.00 polymer plastic note in Uncirculated condition (Unc.)

Lower:- The Australian $5.00 polymer plastic notes were modified and re-coloured in 1995.

(Actual size approx. 132 x 67mm)

 

Very Fine - This is the sort of condition most collectors want to get if they can't afford or obtain an Uncirculated note. It can have a few tiny wavy wrinkles on the edges and across the note and it even can have been folded over (but not heavily creased) and the corners can be bent a little.

Very tiny edge tears or nicks are also acceptable as long as they do not go too far. With plastic notes the start of a tear can be a bad sign for a buyer..

A small amount of wear and tear is obvious but the paper or plastic is still quite shiny when held up flat to the light - it is still very nice to look at.

Any patches of discolourisation from white to brown (called foxing) on the old paper notes must not be too bad or they will lower the price down to Fine or an even lesser Grade.

Plastic notes do not suffer from this problem - if they are a bit grubby when you get them you can wet the end of a cotton-bud and gently dab off the dirt and dry with a soft cloth or another clean cotton-bud. Do not scrub at it.or use a solvent, methylated spirits or any commercial alcohol-based cleaner.

 

1995 Australian $5.00 polymer plastic note.

This note has a few light creases just behind the Queen's shoulders and some of the sheen has worn off.

 

FineThis is the condition that is usually available to collectors who collect from existing circulation notes. These notes can be a bit 'untidy' with numerous dirt-marks, several major creases and wrinkles, bent corners - but no holes caused by folding or a stapler. Bigger edge tears (not rips) into a paper note are acceptable just like in the Very Fine notes - but they should not cause very noticeable damage to the note design..

Paper notes will show some minor discolourisation and wear and tear is more obvious. Sheen is dull and disappearing from the paper or plastic.

Look at notes you already have in your wallet or purse and compare them.

 

1961 Australian One Pound paper note with a small amount of discolourisation (foxing) near the Queen's head.

(Actual size approx. 155 x 80mm)

 

Very Good - This is about as low as a new collector should go with basic currency from anywhere and only get it because there is nothing better or affordable on offer. Damage and dirt-marks and creasing is more noticeable. However, many rare notes are collected in very low grades and you should not be put off if you recognise a scarce note in this condition. Get it - then upgrade later if you can. These notes are usually still attractive but have lost all of their paper sheen.

 

1934 Australian Ten Shillings paper note in (nearly) Fine condition - with bottom edge tear on a fold line.

 This note has been flattened (not ironed) and the tear extending into the design will probably lower the grade down to Very Good.

(Actual size approx. 157 x 80mm)

 

Good and Poor- These $5.00 notes are a bit better than the U.S. notes shown above - but both had reached the end of their useful lives and would have been removed from circulation as soon as they were noticed in a bank or other financial institution.

 

1995 Australian $5.00 plastic note in Good condition - heavy crease marks can be seen clearly.

 

This 1995 plastic note might have graded at Good - if it had not been badly torn on the corner.

Closer study, under magnification, also revealed loss of ink and extra folding faults - graded Poor.

 

 

SPECIAL ISSUE BANKNOTES

From time to time, Note Printing Australia sends out a special issue of currency that is different than normal. Usually they only do this on special occasions.

These issues can be special packaged single notes in folders or in sets, they can be in the form of notes that haven't been cut apart (see below), they can have been stamped with an important date or enclosed with another item like coins or stamps. These notes always cost more than Face Value.

Because there are quite a lot of these special issues - mainly made for collectors - it is not possible to show them all in this newsletter. This is where a catalogue is important so that you know what some of them look like - some dealers do prepare sets of uncirculated notes for sale in their shops but, remember, all official sets should have the Note Printing Australia 3-armed emblem on them.(see below).

 

May 1991 Special $2.00 note folder release for 1st. Hobart International Coin, Banknote and Medal Fair (500 folders only)

Note was from the last $2.00 note issue (1988) - folder was also in a decorative paper envelope featuring effigies from the notes shown below.

The 3-armed Note Printing Australia logo is on all official packaged products.

 

Obverse - John Macarthur, sheepgrazier and developer of Merino sheep in Australia.

Reverse - William Farrer, rural scientist specializing in breeding wheat suitable for Australian conditions.

(Actual size approx. 147 x 73mm)

 

May 11 - 12 (Hobart issue) 1991 - Australian $10.00 paper notes - an uncut centre pair (with bottom border) from a sheet of 40 notes

These sheets of notes were available as a full sheet or cut into pairs or blocks of 4 usually with a certificate

(Actual note size approx. 155 x 78mm )

 

 

26th January 1988 - Australia's first Polymer plastic $10.00 to commemorate the English arrival in 1788

Over-printed date above ship's mast on serial numbers starting with AA00 - AA23 (the initial release).

Later issues of 1988 notes did not have the date. One year only note.

 

RECORDING INFORMATION

An alphabetically 'sortable' spread-sheet program table shown below (Microsoft Excel in this instance) is an example of how you might want to record your banknotes - or any other numismatic item you chose to collect. These can be 'tailor-made' to suit individual requirements.

Details should include - Name of Country - Issue Date and/or actual release date of delayed issue, if known (N.D. - if not officially dated) - Denomination - Prefix/Serial numbers - Catalogue number, if known (Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Vols. 1 & 2 in this instance) - Condition - Special or important details can be added in additional columns. If possible, column widths should be adjustable to suit information requirements.

 

SOUTH AFRICA 1973 (N.D.) 1 RAND B/177 295537 116a VF  
SOUTH AFRICA 1974- 2 RAND D65 640918 117a VG  
SOUTH AFRICA 1978-81 (N.D.) 2 RAND GE 8235231 118b F  
SOUTH RUSSIA 1918- 500 RUBLES BI 50450 S415c VF  
SOUTH RUSSIA 1919- 5000 RUBLES YaA-064 S419d aUNC Simferopol Issue
SOUTH RUSSIA 1919- 1000 RUBLES OA-044 S424a VF Odessa - Damaged L.Edge
SPAIN 1928- 25 PESETAS A2,183, 763 74a VG  
SPAIN 1928- 100 PESETAS 6,663,599 76- XF Top l.h. corner missing
SPAIN 1931- 500 PESETAS 0,962,959 84- XF  
SPAIN 1935- 10 PESETAS B9,472,871 86 UNC  
SPAIN 1970 (1974) 100 PESETAS 5G6773625 152 XF  
SPAIN 1979 (1982) 1000 PESETAS 1B1630511 158 XF  
SPAIN 1992- 1000 PESETAS 2D7200506 163 XF  
SRI LANKA (Ceylon) 1949- 50 CENTS A/48 201711 45b VG  
SRI LANKA (Ceylon) 1965- 2 RUPEES E/125 997002 67 G  
SRI LANKA (Ceylon) 1974- 5 RUPEES G/176 693106 73b VF  
SWEDEN 1975- 10 KRONER C796633 52c VG+  
SWITZERLAND 1969- 10 FRANKEN 63 I 041030 174c VF Staple Holes
SWITZERLAND 1990- 20 FRANKEN 90M1034626 181d UNC  
TAHITI  (Papeete) 1965 (N.D.) 100 FRANCS X2/28061-04628061 24b VF  

 

 

Main References - Recommended Viewing and Reading

The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes (13th Edition) - by Greg McDonald

Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (Volume 2) - by Albert Pick - (Editors - Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer)

Note Printing Australia - Internet site. Refer: http://www.noteprinting.com/

 

NEXT MONTH - 'Lessons for Learners' (Part 3) -  Medals and Medallions.

 

 MONNAIE DE FRANCE

Signatures on Issues from 1937-1943

For those of us who collect world notes, and particularly European pre-Euro paper money, we would have often noticed several signatures that 'stand out' on 50 - 60 year old French currency. The most commonly sighted signatures that appear on notes, mainly between 1937 - 1947, are those of two senior officials of the Banque de France - Le Secretaire-Général  P. Favre-Gilly  and Le Caissier-Général  P. Rousseau, and some notes bearing either of their names are even on currency up to 1958.

Personal information about most of the Banque de France officials of the era is extremely difficult to find on the Internet, and, in most cases, their only apparent contributions to French currency  remain as reproduced ink scratches on pieces of paper.  

These are shadows I would like to make solid when I have time. Any information is very welcome.

 

J. Belin (Controleur); P. Rousseau (Caissier); P. Favre-Gilly (Secretaire)

 

Other signatures, Le Controleur-Général H. de Bletterie 24/3/1938 - 16/1/1941 and Le Controleur-Général J. Belin 4/1/1941 - 26/6/1944, are not as well-known by sight - but they should be also noted as they also were on the verge of French numismatic history as the world teetered - then fell - into World War.

The post-war report on banking situation in France, just prior to the German invasion, found it was infiltrated with German-interest groups of financial saboteurs - a virtual 5th Column. Refer: http://larouchepub.com/other/2006/3323_france_fifth_column.html

It is now known that the assets of the Jewish community, in particular, held by French banks had been pin-pointed, well before the invasion, by the collaborateurs - and Jewish accounts had even identified by some American banks who were allegedly neutral at that time -  and were immediately seized.

When the remaining assets of the financial sector were eventually seized by the Germans, the Vichy Government, based in the south of France, continued to keep the banks operating to retain some stability in the economy for its own interests.

However - with a reasonable amount of foresight by the newly formed Free French forces - on Wednesday 29th. May 1940, 200 tons of the French Gold Reserve was seized and removed to Casablanca on board the auxilary cruiser 'Ville d'Oran'.

In 1932, the gold reserve was approximately 5000 tons but, by 1948, it had been 'reduced' to 487 tons.

 

In regard to those Banque de France officials mentioned, all their signatures overlap to some extent, however, one of the lesser names had disappeared from the currency signing scene by the start of the war in France  Controleur-Général H. de Bletterie had stopped signing new issues of notes in January  1941, just prior to the German invasion and occupation.

(There is a record of a Henri de Bletterie achieving a pilot's licence in 1912 and who most probably filew in WWI as many others in his flying club did.- and just perhaps it might be the same man and perhaps he resigned from Banque de France in 1941 and perhaps he volunteered for military service.)

 

However, Belin, Favre-Gilly and Rousseau, who had also achieved their positions in pre-war France, survived the German Occupation and continued in their positions of trust with Banque de France during the reconstruction period. Obviously, they were not classed as collaborateurs and, it could be reasoned that the use of their signatures on notes would have been out of their control during the 3 year Occupation..

The bank was nationalised in 1946 and changes had been inevitable - a case of a 'new broom sweeps clean' for many of the former hierarchy - and some new signatures appeared on French currency - but  Belin's signature still continued to be used until 1950 and Rousseau and Favre-Gilly's until 1958.

The older style currency that bears various combination of the signatures of the officials, commenced in 1937 and the pre-war denominations printed (listed below) show that, even with the start of European turmoil, that France still retained a reasonably stable economy and was not issuing notes depicting inflation. As it was in their best interests, the German authorities in Paris had also kept a tight rein on the economy  and, with the exception of a 5000 Franc denomination, they also allowed the issuance of multitudes of smaller  value notes, bearing Favre-Gilly and Rousseau signatures, instead of adding to the range of denominations. It still had the same effect but was not as obvious.

 

1937 - 39: Issued Banque de France note denominations of  5,10, 50, 100, 300, 500, 1000 and 5000 Francs.

1939 - 41: Issued banque de France note denominations of  20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 Francs.

1941 - 43 (German Occupation from June 1941 - Dec. 1943): Issued Banque de France note denominations of  5, 10, 20, 100 and 5000 Francs

 

The French system of note numbering appears to consists of a single letter of the alphabet combined with numerals from 1 - to whatever -  to establish a series, and this is then supplemented with a standard serial number range. Each of the letters and number combinations x serial number limit determines how many notes are produced in a run.

For instance, if they were wanting the high turn-over Five Franc note they may do a series number run  say up to #2000 for each letter of the alphabet - probably bar I and O = 24 and when 24 is multiplied by 2000 and then by e.g. 20,000, it would equal the required quantity - in this example 96,000,000 notes.  Of course, the whole system is based on monetary requirement and this means that the formula for the higher denomination notes would be adjusted accordingly. Some of the notes shown below have large series numbers but relatively low serial numbers. The ending of the 9 digit number, in small print in the centre of each note, shows the serial number but without knowing the formula it is hard to reconcile the whole number at this time.

 

France (dated 6th February 1941) - 500 Francs. Signed by J. Belin as Controleur-Général and Messrs Rousseau and Favre-Gilly

Series # U.2127 Number 471 - at that time it appears that the quantity issued was 53,169,471

(Actual size 114 x 195mm - produced on very thin paper)

 

France (dated 3rd April 1941) - 20 Francs Series # N. 3405 Number 863 signed by Rousseau and Favre-Gilly.

At that time, the quantity issued appears to have been 85,112,863

(Actual size 95 x 160mm)

 

France (dated 24th April 1941) - 50 Francs Series # F.71 Number 92237

At that time, the quantity issue appears to have been 175,592,237

(Actual size 90 x 145mm)

 

France (dated 4th. Dec. 1941) - 100 Francs Series # X. 26420 Number 407

 At that time, the quantity issued appears to have been 660,496,407

(Actual size 97 x 180mm)

 

Liberation of Paris - 25th. August 1944  - while fighting was still occuring...

General Charles de Gaulle (centre- in uniform) leading the people's parade down Champs Ulysses.

 

Liberation of Paris - 29th. August 1944

 28th U.S. Infantry Division troops marching down the Champs Ulysses.

 

LIBERATION AFTERMATH

By 1944, the Allies had produced their own Émis en France (but printed elsewhere) paper currency in various denominations.

Face values were printed in  2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000 Francs for the initial issue and some of these notes were supplied to U.S. airmen after D-Day for inclusion in their escape kits -  just in case they were shot down over areas of still occupied France and, on chance, they contacted partisan groups or sympathetic nationals. Wherever they originated, and for whatever purpose they were used for, these notes were supposed to be redeemable for the current face value after Liberation.

A second 1944 issue of 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 Francs, authorised by the French Committee of National Liberation, was also forthcoming - but not all denominations were released.

However, because of the shortage of all types of basics, a system of blackmarketing was soon instigated in major towns and cities. The thousands of U.S. monied-up. troops actively supported the scheme for obvious reasons and inflation started to take hold -  any Émis en France notes soon lost value in preference to US dollars. The situation became so bad that it was considered that U.S. troops should be paid wholely in Military script or coupons, but U.S. Consitutional law, at that time, forbade it. .

It is also known that the Western Allies suspected that large quantities of counterfeit Émis notes were being produced by the Russians even at that early stage of what was to become known as the Cold War. By 1945, similar notes issued for other previous theatres-of-war were also suspected of having been targeted by the Communists, and their sympathizers, in an effort to destabilize the economic effort.s coming from the West.

 

 

Typical 1944 Émis en France Allied 2 Francs 'Tri-color reverse' Military currency note

(Actual size 67 x 77mm) A security micro-letter F is hidden amongst the scroll on the bottom of the note.

 

In 1945, in an effort to regain some national pride - and lessen the influence of the U.S. Dollar - the Banque de France started re-issuing certain old-style (1941-3 issue) notes in 5, 10, 20 and 5000 Francs as well as introducing a new series with denominations of  50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 Francs which, unfortunately, only reflected the state of post-war inflation.

By 1951, the buying power of French wages was approaching that of 1938 - which was not high - despite the U.S. pumping US$10,000,000,000 into the nation to aid recovery - but it was not until 1959, just after the formation of the Fifth Reublic, when France had a currency revaluation at the rate of 100 'old' Francs = One 'new' Franc, that the result brought the inflation situation back to an acceptable level of control, for a time.

There were numerous revaluations -  and a few changes of Government -  made over the next decade, but, by the early 1960's, the economy had started to boom and France surged ahead - with a few financial hiccups still occuring here and there -  towards regaining its position as the world power it holds today.

 

Main References and Recommended Reading.

Please note:- ALL comments in linked Internet articles are the responsibility of the original authors.

Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (Vol 2)  - by Albert Pick - Edited by Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer.

U.S. National Archives. Refer: http://www.archives.gov/research/ww2/photos/

Banque de France. Refer: http://www.banque-france.fr/fr/instit/histoire/page1.htm (In French - but translations available)

The Role of French Banks during WWII and its Aftermath. Refer: http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/France1.htm

The History Place - World War two in Europe. Refer: http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/libparis.htm

 

A LITTLE BIT of a MYSTERY!

When my favourite newsagent mentioned that he had received an AUD$50.00 note and discovered that it had a mysterious stamped number  705-4  applied on it, I asked to see it.  As he is also a collector - of sorts - he had kept it amongst his bits and pieces as an oddity.

He promised to hold onto it and bring it back in at a more convenient time so I could examine it - and satisfy both our curiosities.

It took a few weeks for me to get together with the note - which I promptly borrowed, drove home, scanned and examined it. and then returned it within 30 minutes. I try not to drag things out like this - but, in this instance, what appeared to be a reasonably simple thing has  left me with a bit of a mystery - and I like to solve mysteries, if I can. I have seen various stamp-marks on notes from all over the world but this one seems a bit different - it was not applied hastily.

It was best seen under x10 magnification, but I could tell that the stamped number had been applied after the note had been printed by Note Printing Australia (N.P.A.) and that it was in a similar colour to other colours on the note. In relation to the note, the imprint had been carefully positioned in a lower corner but upside down to the main theme of the note (see scans below) - WHY UPSIDE DOWN?

 

 

 

Due to the 'exactness' of its location, my first impression is that it has been machine applied (even though the number 4 has a small amount of smearing at the top) and it may have been a stamp used for 'accounting' purposes of some description. - BUT - DID IT HAPPEN AT N.P.A.?

As private security contractors, like Armourgard, are now being used for delivery of currency to banks and credit unions etc., as well as to restock Australian A.T.M.'s, I have also given serious consideration that  it may have been applied by such an organisation.

Has anyone seen anything similar - ANY IDEAS?

 

DEFINITIONS

Occasionally, I hear about numismatic items that are described as being  UNIQUE - RARE - VERY SCARCE - SCARCE or  COMMON.

These terms can refer to availability, or even the condition of the item, but, in easily understandable language -  what do these words actually mean?

A good dictionary can give us the accepted definitions, but, if you are in a conversation, particularly about coins, tokens, medals and medallions etc., and these terms are being thrown around like confetti to describe the items, bear in mind these simplified meanings.

Banknotes, and other items of exonumia, can also attract the same terms.- so, use your own COMMON sense - and check things out before committing yourself to any purchase or sale.

 

UNIQUE - Usually, being the only one of a particular type. Impossible to find others. Grade usually doesn't matter too much with items that are truly unique.

RARE - Extremely uncommon - virtually impossible to find unless you are extremely lucky - or know someone who was and who is prepared to negotiate a sale.There are varying grades of rarity ranging up to Extremely Rare. Sometime an item is described as being Rarity 1 through to Rarity 10 - with Rarity 1 being common and Rarity 10 being the scarcest example known - but not unique. A rarity number, or description, might occasionally be linked as a Grading indication on pieces that are usually found in numerous quantities (with Rarity 10 being equivalent to Uncirculated) if the normal availability is limited to well-worn examples, particulary of metallic numismatic items..

VERY SCARCE - Very uncommon and quite difficult to find - but they're out there. Often confused with Rare by those who are not familiar with the history of the item. Someone always has one for sale - at a price -  or you might be the one who gets lucky. A good high Grading is essential to ensure you will get a good return if you ever decide to sell the piece. Never knock back a Very Scarce item, even if you have one already, if you can afford to get it.

SCARCE - Uncommon and fairly hard to find - but keep looking and eventually you will probably have one in your collection due to your own efforts. Again, a high Grading should be striven for if you are looking at any investment potential. A spare Scarce item is nice to have to use as an enticement for a deal.

COMMON - Widespread and easily found. You could probably end up with more than one or two spares. You can usually upgrade these items reasonably easily, but get the best examples you can - they could be handy to negotiate minor deals between fellow collectors or even as 'give-aways' to other learners.

Refer to the coin Grading tables in Part One of this series - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/sept06.htm

 

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'TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST'

(INTERNET EDITION)

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) newsletter is a separate entity and has been provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is currently presented free on a monthly basis  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. The 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter abides by the same basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter. Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome.

Please note that all opinions expressed in material published in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society or the Editor. ALL comments in linked articles are the responsibility of the original authors.

 

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All information published by the'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter is either publicly available, or has been voluntarily provided by writers, or members of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', on request from the Editor of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist'  (Internet Edition) newsletter.

While the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter may hold writers' addresses and other details for the purposes of communication and copyright protection, it will never make such addresses or details available to any member of the public without the permission of those involved.

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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) newsletter 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. 

This permission, however, does not extend to any article specifically marked as copyrighted © by the author of the article. Explicit permission from the author or the Editor of the  ‘Tasmanian Numismatist ' (Internet Edition) newsletter is required prior to use of that material.

 

The Editor,

'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.

Australia.

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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au

 

 

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