Volume 5 Issue 9                                                                                           September  2000.

Index For This Month:


  • Anyone who wishes to apply for membership to our non-profit making organisation, and who is prepared to abide by the rules of the Society and its aim of promoting the study and enjoyment of the hobby of numismatics, should contact the following addresses for an application form and details of subscriptions :-
  • The Secretary,
    Tasmanian Numismatic Society, Inc.
    G.P.O. Box 884J.
    Hobart. Tasmania. 7001.
    Our members meet at 8.00 p.m. on the 2nd.Thursday of each month (except January), in our social rooms at the Masonic Club, 181 Macquarie St., Hobart. Tasmania. Visitors are always welcome!

    Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome and can be sent to the T.N.S. or directed to:

    The Editor,
    Tasmanian Numismatist.
    P.O.Box 10,
    Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.
    Internet Page: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html
    Email: pwood@vision.net.au
    The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ is published and distributed FREE, on a monthly basis, to members of the Tasmanian Numismatic SocietyInc. and selected associates and institutions. This publication is the only official newsletter of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc.’ and its aim is to promote the hobby of numismatics in an entertaining and enjoyable way, under the guidelines suggested by the executive committee of the T.N.S.
    All details of a commercial nature, organisations, items or individual arrangement to buy, sell or trade are provided as information only, and any consequent dealings are between the parties concerned.
    The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ takes no responsibility for disagreements between parties, and also reserves the right to only feature information that it considers suitable in promoting our hobby to our members under the guidelines suggested by the Society. Deadline for contributions or amendment to copy is 7 Days prior to the beginning of the month of publication.

    This newsletter and its contents are copyrighted ©, but anything herein (except as noted below) can be fairly used to promote the great hobby of numismatics; however, we do like to be asked by commercial interests if they wish to use any of our copy. Usually, we are not too hard to get on with - and, as long as you undertake to give credit to the author and the Tasmanian Numismatist’ we don’t mind too much!
    This permission, however, does not extend to any article specifically marked as copyrighted © by the author of the article. In the latter case, you must get explicit permission from the author either directly or through the ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ to use that material.
    All opinions expressed in material published in this newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc.’ or the Editor.



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

  • The 'Tasmanian Numismatist' will not accept any responsibility for disputes over any business dealings between private individuals or commercial parties - nor do we accept responsibility for content on correspondent's Internet home pages or any advertisements supplied thereon.
    U.S.A. (1)
    Some current T.N.S members will remember Ray Lockwood's close ties with the Society through his friendship with the late Arthur and Dorothy Lockwood. Ray who hails from Marion, Indiana was recently heavily involved at the ANA Coin Fair in Philadelphia in his capacity as a WBCC member. He sends his regards to all at the T.N.S. and I will endeavour to encourage him to give an update on proceedings from his viewpoint when he has a chance to settle down after the successful event.
    The recent WBCC Newsmail #210 prepared - in Martin Peeters absence - by internationally known Cliff Anderson states,
    "To give you an impression how big this event is:  22 Mints had their display stands to present themselves to the collectors, 22
    collectors clubs had their own booths, and more than 350 coin dealers were present to sell coins and banknotes. The World of Money was in an exhibition hall about the size of a soccer-field!!
    The WBCC could attend the ANA only because of the work of our member Ray Lockwood.
    Ray did a great job in the last few weeks to make it possible (Thanks Ray !!).
    Special for the ANA. WBCC member Jack Hepler made a special Encased Set with 4 coins in it: Australia 5 Cent 1999, Canada 1 Cent 2000 USA 1 Cent 2000, and finally a Netherlands 25 Cent 2000.  The coins are used as centre-pieces with an aluminium outer ring with the wording 'WORLDWIDE BI-METALLIC COLLECTORS CLUB' and the WBCC Homepage site address forming the surround. This had never been done before by the WBCC and only 150 specimen sets were made. Scans of these special bi-metallic coins can be seen on the homepage - plus information regarding availability and price etc.
    The Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club (WBCC) was established September 14, 1996 and is the very first Worldwide
    Collector's Club using the Internet.
    Goal of the WBCC is to exchange Bi-metallics and to exchange knowledge about Bi-metallics.
    WBCC Organisation:
    WBCC Homepage Provider: Rod Sell, Australia, Rod.Sell@elderwyn.com
    WBCC DoCu-Centre: Frans Dubois, Netherlands, dubois.f@wxs.nl
    WBCC Public Relations: Cliff Anderson, USA, chander@mciworld.com
    WBCC Research Centre: Paul Baker, UK, 85@wbcc.fsnet.co.uk
    WBCC Development Centre: Jack Hepler, USA, leslie.j.hepler@saic.com
    WBCC Focal Point ANA 2000 Convention, Ray Lockwood, USA, sunray@comteck.com
    WBCC Focal Point Martin Peeters, Netherlands, martinp@westbrabant.net
    WBCC Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/7513/wbcc/wbcc.html
    WBCC Bi-metallic Web Ring: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Estates/9540/WRhelp.html
    "All That Is Bi-metallic" Website: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Estates/9540/bmhome.html
    The WBCC is official sponsored by: Imprensa Nacional - Casa da Moeda, S.A (The Portuguese Mint)

    It was a very pleasant surprise for me to receive a small parcel during the last month that included a few coins and tokens from Jerry Adams of Keller, Texas (T.N.S. Member) - who can be contacted at: tokenguy@home.com

    One unusual token needed an explanation - it was made of 31mm diameter stiff white cardboard with black printing. The obverse inscription read - Mt. Carmel Center, Waco, 1938 Texas - the words forming the surround, with a front-facing standing full-maned lion printed in the centre. The reverse showed a small clock - with hands pointing to eleven o'clock - placed directly under the centralised denomination of 50 cents and apparently replacing the 13th (and lower-most) five-pointed star used in the surround
    Jerry's email response is as follows:

    "As you may remember, Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas, was the place where a charismatic sect leader, David Koresh, and his followers had the large wooden structure "compound", or church, depending on your view - the one that the federal agents raided and gunfire broke out.
    A number of federal agents were shot and killed and many of the people inside the wooden building were burned alive.
    My understanding, of what "really" happened, is as in most other federal raids of this kind, the government agents shot the guard-dogs outside the building either before or as they were going to the door and, hearing the gunshots outside, the people inside starting shooting back.  Thus the fire-fight erupted.  Also, it is my understanding, that at least two of the people inside, had "class three" gun permits, which did allow the possession of fully automatic weapons.  Federal gun laws here, are quite numerous and specific, but the average person on the street does not understand even the basic laws.  So most US people, when asked, would say that the people in the building had no right to own any fully automatic weapons, or 50 calibre weapons, etc.  In fact, anyone who gets a class three permit may own fully automatic weapons...but the permits are not easy to get!  As I understand the law, even I could own a 50 calibre single shot rifle, except they are extremely expensive  - about US$1800 (A$3000), and there are few places to shoot one, as the round will travel well over a mile.
    The connection between the token, and the actual group, that got burned up in Waco, is distant I suspect.  The token being dated 1938 and the fire was in 1993.  Anyway, the time distance between the token and the 1993 date make the connection a bit of a stretch, but it is a connection never-the-less"
    As to the symbols on the token, notice the date is 1938, I assume the group of the Branch Davidians have been around about that long at least. The clock-face on the other side, as well as the lion, all have religious meaning, the clock at a few minutes 'til midnight, means the end is near I think.  The lion I am told means the Lion of Judea. There are complete sets of these tokens around, and I have one such set, the 50 cent token I sent you is an extra in that denomination.
    So you have a exonumia tie-in token to the Branch Davidian shoot out in Waco Texas."



  • Tokens, like most coins, always have a story behind them if you care to do the research - and sometimes use a little lateral imagination. This is what draws all of us to the hobby of numismatics and exonumia in the first place and then holds us here. Thank you Jerry, for the token, the interesting explanation and the site address of -The Handbook of Texas, Online-for additional commentary of the scenario which links the 1938 token with the more recent past and the tragic events at Waco.



    Quote - ' Victor T. Houteff established the Davidians, a small Adventist reform movement, in 1929, and in 1955 Ben Roden organized the Branch Davidians. Both groups were formed to prepare for the second advent of Christ, and both movements survive in small but active communities in the 1990s.  Houteff, a Bulgarian immigrant, left the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and accepted Seventh-day Adventist teaching in 1918. He led Sabbath classes in his Los Angeles church and began publishing a series of tracts called collectively The Shepherd's Rod. He embraced the Adventist teachings of Christ's imminent return, Saturday worship, dietary regulations and pacifism. But he criticized the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for compromise with worldly standards of behavior. The Shepherd's Rod movement called for reform of life. Houteff, like all Adventists, focused above all on the near return of Christ; this is the central idea of the movement. He taught that an elect group of 144,000 followers would form a truly reformed church and that the forming of his pure church was a prerequisite for Christ's return to earth.
    When the Seventh-day Adventist Conference rejected his message, Houteff decided to settle in Texas. In 1935 he and thirty-seven followers moved to a site two miles from Waco, which they called Mount Carmel. The Davidians established a semicommunal organization. Because they wanted to avoid the corruptions of the world they settled beyond the city limits.Everyone worked and received pay. Together they farmed and built buildings on their property. But since one farm could not support an entire community, some Davidians worked in Waco and were encouraged by leaders to pay a double tithe.
    Despite the Great Depression the community flourished, and by 1940 it had grown to sixty-four residents, ten buildings, and 375 acres. The members constructed water and sewage systems and added electricity and telephone services. Houteff had full authority in the community. He was viewed as a unique prophet: followers believed that only he could unravel Biblical secrets about the end of time.
    Davidians worshipped on Saturday. They practiced vegetarianism and observed strict rules of conduct (no tobacco, dancing, or movies). Women used no cosmetics and wore distinctive long dresses. The group established its own press to print and distribute large numbers of Houteff's tracts. His writings were widely distributed, and Davidians converted scattered pockets of Adventists throughout the United States. Houteff changed the movement's name to Davidian Seventh-day Adventists in a successful effort to achieve conscientious-objector status for his followers. His death in 1955 shook but did not destroy the group, which survived under the leadership of his wife, Florence. By then Waco had grown too close to old Mount Carmel, and the Davidians sold their property for residential development. In 1957 the group bought a 941-acre farm, which they called New Mount Carmel, nine miles east of Waco, near Elk. The Davidians predicted the imminent establishment of God's kingdom. They called on members to gather at New Mount Carmel before April 22, 1959 (Passover). People from California, Wyoming, Canada, and elsewhere sold businesses, farms, and houses to move to Mount Carmel and await a sign from God. About 900 people gathered for this meeting, which began on April 18 and peaked on April 22. Hope soon faded when the sign did not appear, and the Davidians began to disperse rapidly. They sold all but seventy-seven acres of New Mount Carmel, and various Davidian splinters disputed ownership in court.

    The most significant of the splinter groups to emerge after Houteff's death was the Branch Davidians, organized by Ben Roden. When the great gathering occurred in 1959, Roden appeared and announced that he was the sign the Davidians sought. The 1959 debacle discredited Florence Houteff, and a small following looked to Roden as their new prophet. The Roden faction laid claim to the property at New Mount Carmel. Roden embraced the central teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist church and also Houteff's message regarding the purified church. Roden's own thought centered on the significance of the restored state of Israel. This political fact was for him a key sign of preparation for Christ to return to earth. Roden not only visited Israel; he also established a small community of followers there. When he died in 1978, his wife, Lois, assumed leadership. Her distinctive teaching centered on the female character of the Holy Spirit and ordination for women. She devoted her short-lived journal, Shekinah, to women's issues. George Roden, son of Ben and Lois, assumed leadership of the Branch Davidians in 1985 and made messianic claims. Vernon Howell, a persuasive Bible teacher, led a rival faction that George Roden expelled at gunpoint. Howell and his followers moved to Palestine, Texas, but returned to New Mount Carmel in 1987 and exchanged gunfire with Roden. The rivals were taken to court. Roden was jailed, and the Howell faction secured control of New Mount Carmel by paying the back taxes.

    Howell perpetuated the distinctive emphases of Davidian tradition - the authoritarian leader, communal life organized apart from society, and expectation of the imminent end of the world. He changed his name to David, suggesting his messianic task, and to Koresh, suggesting that his role was to destroy the enemies of God as King Cyrus had destroyed the Babylonians, enemies of Israel. However, whereas Adventists and Houteff had been pacifists, Koresh stockpiled weapons and ammunition. Finally, he believed that members of the New Kingdom should be children of the Messiah: DNA evidence gathered after his death indicated that he sired thirteen of the Davidian children by seven mothers.
    The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms raided the Davidians on February 28, 1993, for possession of illegal arms. In a shootout both Davidians and ATF forces were killed. A fifty-one-day siege followed. On April 19, 1993, government forces used tanks to precipitate an end to the stand-off. Fire broke out, engulfing the building and killing eighty-one Branch Davidians. The event triggered heated debate over several issues relating to the nature of alternative religious groups, including their understanding of religious authority, arms accumulation, and the interpretation of apocalyptic Biblical images. Debate, including congressional hearings in 1995, also raged over government use of deadly force.
    Davidians and Branch Davidians flourish in scattered communities in the United States and beyond. In 1991 Davidians purchased part of Old Mount Carmel, where they re-established a press for reproducing Houteff's message. The Branch Davidians own New Mount Carmel. Though it has not been rebuilt, a small group meets there regularly for Sabbath study. The best known Davidian artefact is a clock, set in the floor of the central building of Old Mount Carmel, with the hands set near the eleventh hour, indicating that the end of time is near. This physical reminder of the end of time captures perfectly the essence of the Davidians and Branch Davidians. ' - Unquote.
    BIBLIOGRAPHY: James R. Lewis, ed., From the Ashes: Making Sense of Waco (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 1994). Bill Pitts, "The Davidian Tradition." Council of Societies for the Study of Religion Bulletin 22 (November 1993). Bill Pitts, "The Mount Carmel Davidians: Adventist Reformers, 1935-1959," Syzygy 2 (1993). Stuart Wright, ed., Armageddon in Waco (University of Chicago Press, 1995).  William L. Pitts
    Recommended citation:
    "DAVIDIANS AND BRANCH DAVIDIANS." The Handbook of Texas Online.    http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/DD/ird1.html



  • The August edition of the Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine (CAB) features an extract about learning the process of coin grading which has been taken from the newest opus of well known and respected author, Greg McDonald. This 1500page virtual encyclopaedia of numismatics is currently in preparation and will be available in early 2001.

  • From conversations with the author, I have learned that the 2 book set will be available in a slip cover and, whilst final production costs and the GST have to be taken into consideration, this will still be an affordable asset for most serious numismatists ranging from the newer collector - who just wants to know the how, where and why of the hobby - to those who need a completely reliable reference for the more serious aspects of the industry. Start as you mean to go on - with quality!
    The 1500 page 'The Essential Reference to Australian Coin & Banknotes' will truly be the quintessence of Australian numismatic literature for the beginning of the 21st Millennium and - if Greg's previous 7 pocketbook guides to Australian Coins and Banknotes, 5 excellent books and hundreds of comprehensive articles can be used as yardsticks - this new one should be miles ahead of anything else for some time to come.
  •  I note that in my latest free copy of Numi$News that the excellent numismatic CD - 'COINWeb AUSTRALASIAN CURRENCY (July, 2000)' - Compiled by Alan Austin is still available at the special bargain price of $19.50 plus postage at:
  • M.R. Robert’s Wynyard Coin Centre.
    7 Hunter Arcade,
    Sydney, 2000.  N.S.W.
    Phone :- (02) 9299 2047.   Fax :- (02) 9290 371
    For those members who have a computer that is Windows based, this third edition CD of Australasian currency is a must. It is an ideal reference tool for collectors at all levels - with 000's of full-colour images and a staggering amount of up-dated information. Expanded coverage now means that the official banknotes, circulating and non-circulating coinage from Australia and New Zealand as well as tradesmen's tokens, colonial issues etc. etc. are all given a comprehensive airing.

    In fact the number of features incorporated in the current COINWeb are astounding and it has my full recommendation - as has Numi$News, which is available from the Wynyard Coin Centre on request, and is always a great source for quality international and Australasian numismatic bargains from ancients up to the newest releases. This month's Numi$News also features a list of very affordable pre-decimal coins - get back to basics with these genuine circulation pieces - as well as the sought-after Centenary of the Australian Victoria Cross $1.00 coin folders.
    P.S. - The current ranges of our Australian military oriented coins are attracting collectors of militaria - here and overseas - as well as the usual numismatist. Stocks are limited and disappearing fast at higher than issue prices - so we recommend that you ORDER NOW OR MISS OUT!!
    P.P.S.  - Don't forget that Numi$News customers receive Bonus Rebates for orders over $100.00



  • Members are reminded that their numismatic requirements - accessories and literature - may be available through our own T.N.S. Bookroom contacts at very favourable rates. Like any facility the Bookroom can only continue to function efficiently with the active support of our members.

  • During our last stock-take of medallions we also noted a broken range of the early and highly sought-after N.A.A. Journals  (dating back to the No.1 issue) - plus a very small quantity of the second special N.A.A. publication - 'ICOMON Proceedings' - that contains lectures presented by prominent International Committee of Money and Banking Museum members during the Melbourne conference Oct 10 - 16, 1998. (Details below). Members, or readers, who desire to complete their N.A.A. library, are encouraged to check the list - and do so A.S.A.P. - as these can never be repeated. These Journals are numismatic literature at its best from leaders in the field, they make great and extremely informative and affordable collectibles in their own right - so, as usual, it will be a case of 'First in - First served!'

    ITEM.  Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia @ $6.00 post-paid (Australia)

    Issue 1  = 1
    Issue 3 = 3
    Issue 5 = 2
    Issue 6 = 9
    Issue 7 = 14
    Issue 8 = 5
    Issue 9 = 7
    Issue 10 = 12
    ITEM. ICOMON Proceedings. (October 10 - 16, 1998) @ $9.00 post-paid (Australia).
    No.2 = 4

    All inquiries should be directed through the T.N.S. Secretary in the first instance.



  •  As mentioned in our last issue, I had received an illustrated brochure from H.E. Prince John, The Grand Duke of Avram, proclaiming the release of his newest series - the Millennium Edition of Coins.

  • As you also know, the previous issues of His Excellency's coins, produced in 1982 and 1985, featured in the Krause publication 'Unusual World Coins' (Third Edition) by Colin R. Bruce II and were subject of a successful court battle by H.E. Prince John against the Australian Government who sought to have the Royal Bank closed and the coinage suppressed.
    Owing the space constraints last month we were unable to feature the new designs in our hard-copy issue however, we now have suitable quality illustrations available (which we managed to include in our August Internet edition) and bring them to you as another numismatic item from our island.

    No doubt they could be a conversation starter and unusual memento of this Olympic year for international tourists. Sizes and face values are as the original issue of 1982 but the new edition Ducals are far better produced - again they are heraldic and finished in the attractive enamel-faced goldine obverse and have the words 'Duchy of Avram 2000' embossed on the central reverse. For details of the new designs of the 2000 Ducals you can contact:

    The Mint Release Manager
    The Royal bank of Avram
    C/- P.O. Box 628
    Sorell, Tasmania, 7172 Australia
    Email: royalbank@hushmail.com
    Website: http://www.royalbanker.org

    JERRY'S BOOK REVIEWS.                                                     by Jérôme Remick (T.N.S. Member # 112)

  • For those of our readers who are interested in Canadian - U.S. coins and currency the following reviews from one of our international members, Jerry Remick, will be timely as usual.  Jerry has forwarded brief details of current information sources that will cover most of the Canadian numismatic scene- as well as his review of the famous U.S. 'Red Book' for this year.



    'The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins' by W.K. Cross, editor and publisher, is currently available from:

    The Charlton Press,
    Suite 208, 2040 Yonge St.,
    Toronto, Ontario M4S 1Z9
    The cost of this 344 page soft bound book is under US$15.00 to U.S. and Canadian collectors but, for other international readers, enquiries should be directed to the publisher who can be contacted by Phone (plus applicable International dial code) on (800) 442-6042 or (416) 488-1418 or Fax (800) 442-1542 or (416) 488-4656.

    This catalogue covers legal tender coinage used in Canada and its provinces from the 17th Century French colonial regime through to the year 2000.
    Specimen coins, collector sets, platinum and gold coins, gold and silver bullion coins, patterns, trial pieces, official fabrications, test tokens and even foreign coins used in Canada from the 17th to the 19th Century are catalogued.
    There are more than 1250 photos and 8000 price listings in up to eight different grades from G4 to MS 65 with mintage figures also included. Both sides of coins are depicted as well as specifications, metal, weight, size and edge types etc. even major die varieties are priced and all are briefly but adequately described.
    Historical and descriptive texts are included for each denomination in the Canadian and various provincial series as well as a short text for type coins. All prices have been reviewed to reflect current market trends and, with the other features such as the 32 page introductory, the glossary of terms and the metal content tables, this catalogue is worthy of a top spot in your international coin library.

    From the same publisher comes another very informative 320 page softbound catalogue that contains 450 photos and catalogues all issues of Canadian Government paper money, starting with French Colonial Playing Card Money issued from 1685 - 1757. It continues on through the various issues of government banknotes - including those currently in circulation including paper money errors and special serial numbers.
    The range of the catalogue also includes French colonial issues, Army Bills, provincial and municipal issues, Province of Canada, Dominion of Canada and Bank of Canada issues. Photos of both sides of each type of note are featured with all essential descriptive data and a background text is supplied about each type. Gradings are up to six conditions with enlarged photos used to show more important features on some notes.
    The cost of this catalogue to U.S. and Canadian readers is under US$22.00 but international orders should be directed to the publisher at the contact numbers already supplied.

    The final catalogue from the Charlton Press is the 39th Edition of their dealers' buying prices for Canadian coins by W.K. Cross. It sells for under US$10.00 for U.S. and Canadian readers but consult the publishers for international order details.
    The 120 page soft bound book catalogues dealer's prices for average condition Canadian War medals as well as Canadian, Newfoundland and Atlantic provinces coins and tokens. It even touches on to paper money values, collector issues, and precious metal. There are also about 17 pages devoted mainly to US coins and world gold coins.
    Photos of types are included and enlarged sections are used where necessary to show pertinent features e.g. die cracks etc.
    There are 7 sets of tables that cover various precious metals available in the Canadian coin range.

    This is the 54th Edition of the famous 'Red Book' by R.S. Yeoman, which is currently edited by Ken Bressett. It reflects the growing interest in collecting that was sparked by the new issues of U.S. coins including the statehood quarters, demand for older commemorative pieces and the publicity surrounding the Sacagawea dollar. Premium prices have been shown in the market place for some state quarters such as Delaware and Pennsylvania but also shows the substantial and overall increases that have occurred in Colonial and Territorial coins and rare date gold - which can only be described as dramatic.
    However, it appears that most modern commemorative issues are not attracting the same sort of demand and this is reflected in the softer market prices that have been catalogued - some are selling under issue price.
    For those who are familiar with the Red Book features they will know that it covers all U.S. coins including pieces from all sources from 1616 to date - this includes Civil War and Hard times Tokens, bullion issues, errors, mint and proof sets plus coins and tokens from Alaska, Hawaii and the Philippines. There are many coloured photos in the catalogue and, where necessary, enlargements are used to highlight features. Gradings are up to 10 stages of preservation and an indication of market movement is given as well as all the tables and historical background that is so essential in today's numismatic volatile climate.
    The 352 page book is available both in soft and hard cover versions from the publisher and enquiries can be directed to:

    St. Martin's Press.
    175 Fifth Avenue
    New York, N.Y. 10018- 7848
    U.S.A.          Phone: (262) 631-5066 or Fax (262) 631-5086
    Attention Karry Jasin.


  • With the interest in varieties increasing, it was very heartening to receive a commentary from foundation member T.W. 'Bill' Holmes OAM. AFNS., JP. (T.N.S. Member #5) that dealt with pre-decimal Penny varieties. Due to space constraints in our last issue, I had to break Bill's excellent article into two parts. This is the continuation of that article and takes us forward from the 1920 penny with its 7 varieties up to pre-WWII.

  • DIE VARIETIES. A Short Observation. (Part 2.)     by T. W. 'Bill' Holmes. OAM. AFNS., JP.
    The 1921 mintage has two different variety coins - a common Indian die obverse with flat-based letters reverse which would probably originate from Melbourne and a very rare English die obverse also with flat-based letters reverse which is believed to be a Sydney issue.
    In 1922 the penny again saw three definite varieties emerge. Two of the strikes are regarded as common - both Indian and English obverse dies with curved-base letters reverses. The third is rare - it has the Indian die obverse and flat-based letters reverse. Along with these varieties are an additional three that consist of the English die with flat-based letters reverse but with variations in the date. One has a wide date with the 9 slightly lower but upright, the second has the 9 sloping to the right and the third has the 9 sloping to the left and these range from fairly scarce to rare.
    Two relatively common varieties are available in 1923 in about equal numbers - they feature the two different base letters reverses and the English die obverse. The 1924 varieties again consist of two  - the common English die obverse with curved-base letters reverse and another similar more rare version with an Indian die obverse.
    I have only seen one variety of the 1925 penny with an English die obverse but I have read of sightings of reverses with a thin leg of the second N of penny and a broken leg of the N on others. Whilst I have not personally seen them - they could be die faults. Also reports of an Indian die obverse have not been verified - at least to my knowledge.
    Melbourne and Sydney both minted pennies in 1926 but it appears that no varieties have been reported.
    I am fortunate to have both 1927 varieties - the common English die obverse with curved-base letters reverse and the very rarely seen issue of Indian die with the same reverse. The common English die with curved-base letters reverse is the only variety in 1928 but both Indian and English die obverses were used on the same reverse in 1929.
    The 'king of the pennies', the 1930, is most commonly seen with the Indian die but it is believed that specimens exist with the English die as well.  We have already discussed the 1931 pennies (in Part 1 of this article) and so we will go on to the 1932 with its two varieties - which are both on English die obverses and with curved-base reverses. The figure 2 is either higher or lower on some coins than the other sections of the date.
    The English die and curved-base letters were also used on the normal 1933 but on some coins it is apparent, from small differences, that perhaps two different dies were altered from 1932 to 1933 thus creating an overdate effect with a portion of the loop of the 2 seen under the 3.
    From 1934 - 1936 the Melbourne Mint struck the English die obverse with the curved-base letters reverse and then in 1937 history caught up with the old pennies with the death of King George V, the abdication of Edward VIII and the crowning of King George VI and the consequent changing of the penny design to incorporate the familiar bounding kangaroo - that was to last until the advent of decimal currency - but not without its own varieties.

    Whilst he concentrated on Pennies in the preceding article, Bill added a postscript that highlighted the amount of work still to be done in this and other areas within the Australian pre-decimal range of denominations.
    "A few months ago while recovering from surgery, I went through a large bag of half-pennies and, using Mos Byrne's new book as a guide, in less than an hour I discovered at least another 10 with mint faults and die cracks that had not been listed.
    I have deliberately kept away from listing what I consider to be mint faults e.g. die cracks, double strikes etc. as my definition and views on die varieties remains the same as it always has. As you can see, Australia's pre-decimal coinage is an area that still needs a huge amount of time and research - that I know I will not be doing - and it re-opens up a field for the younger or newer collector who can afford these two valuable assets."


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