Volume 11 Issue 8                                INTERNET EDITION - Established 1996                                 August 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.




Anyone who wishes to apply for membership to the non-profit making organization, and who is prepared to abide by the rules of the Society and its aim of promoting the study and enjoyment of the hobby of numismatics, should contact the following address for an application form and details of subscriptions: 



Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

G. P. O. Box 884J

Hobart. 7001.



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.




John Fitzgerald Kennedy  29 May 1917 - 22 November 1963


History has recorded John F. Kennedy's life story - 'warts and all' - and it has still forgiven him and placed him on a pedestal as being a great U.S. President. His election as the 35th President of the United States of America - the youngest ever - his beautiful wife Jackie and their children, an extended close-knit family circle of talented siblings and relations -  as well as his dreams of a wonderful future - sparked the term 'Camelot' when historians looked back at the early years of his presidency. 

Due to the dramatic events that overtook him during his time in office - such as the Cuban missile crisis, his battle to curb organised crime and to nurture civil rights  - as well as his alleged transgressions within his personal life- and, finally, the terrible tragedy of his assassination by a hidden sniper  in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, - we sometimes tend to overlook a far earlier event that needs to be talked about occasionally to put Kennedy's life in perspective.

Even though 'a book was written and a movie was made ' the plain fact is that John F. Kennedy became a genuine naval hero exactly 63 years ago during WWII and no amount of fake political spin was needed to push this young man into the office of the President of the United States of America. He took himself!


During 1943, a military decision by General Douglas Macarthur to use the Solomon Islands as a 'ladder' on the climb northwards from bases in Australia and New Zealand towards Japan was inspired, but the cost in human lives - both American and Japanese - was to be more than costly - it was horrendous.


The circular volcanic cone island of Kolombangara is located at the northern end of New Georgia Group (Kb) 8*S - 157*E

Blackett Strait and Kula Gulf divides the two islands.

The boot-shaped island of Rendova held by the U.S. in 1943 is located to the south of New Georgia  (Kc) 9*S - 157*E


Kolombangara Island, the jungle-clad circular remnants of a volcano, halfway up that Macarthur 'ladder', was garrisoned with 10,000 seasoned Japanese troops commanded by Major General Noboru Sasaki who had arrived on May 31, 1943. Japanese units already based there included the 13th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battaltion of 229th Infantry and Yokosuka 7th Special Naval Landing Force, commanded by Koshin Takeda, but, at that time, the Japanese military and naval hierarchy had just decided to start a strategic withdrawal northwards to other prepared positions in Bouganville, Papua New Guinea, where 400,000 troops were dug in. This whole area was constantly in a situation of movement and bloody conflict as Japanese troops and war materials were moved from area to area in a desperate effort to stop the Allied advance.

The raw U.S.troops assigned to the New Georgia area to the south-east were having an extremely disastrous time of it.

Heavy air and naval bombardments had been expected to make the New Georgia landings easier but, in fact, they had very little initial impact on the well prepared dug-in positions. It was not until the Americans tried to land their amtracks and other craft on the beaches that the true situation became obvious and they paid a terrible price. These island were basically coral and rock and the system of fortifications and tunnels were virtually impregnable until brand-new ways were invented to crack them open.

The U.S.troops had only been given a few weeks basic jungle training in Hawaii - and, after the battle for New Georgia, somewhere in the vicinity of 2500 American troops were diagnosed as suffering war neurosis and 'heads rolled' for sending in ill-prepared young troops against a desperate enemy who were prepared to die to the last man. It was then deemed so costly to try and take that next step up the 'ladder', that the decision was made to 'leapfrog' Kolombangara and stop it being resupplied by air or sea and starve the defenders into a situation where they surrendered or died.

Japanese convoys of transport ships and troop carriers, known as the 'Tokyo Express', were constantly moving through the New Georgia Sound at this time trying to resupply the garrisons. 

Patrols by fast U.S. Navy torpedo boats and carrier-based aircraft were often sinking up to 20 troop-laden Japanese barges in a night - thousands of young Japanese men drowned without ever firing a shot in anger.

However, the fight was not all one way and the supremecy of the waters around the Solomons was not a foregone conclusion.


Lt. Kennedy aboard PT109 - 26 y.o. Kennedy in dress uniform

PT109 being loaded for transport to the Pacific aboard 'S.S. Joseph Stanton' August 1942

(Photographs from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.)


On August 2, 1943, a skinny Lieutenant (Junior Grade) J.F. Kennedy was commanding one of 14 torpedo boats , PT109, based at Lumbaria Island.

The PT109 was patrolling in Blackett Strait between New Georgia and Kolombangara when it was unexpectedly discovered and rammed on the starboard side by the veteran Japanese destroyer 'Amagiri' (commissioned in 1930) which was patrolling and protecting transport convoys from the Americans.


History of 'Amagiri' - Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_destroyer_Amagiri

(Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.)

The plywood torpedo boat was sheared in two and one of the ruptured fuel tanks on PT109 then exploded but, as luck had it, the wash from the Japanese ship dispersed the flames on the water surface before the  boat started to break up - fortunately the bow remained afloat.

During the collision, the 'Amagiri' had damaged her own bow and her propellors and was forced to retire, at all speed, to Rabaul without firing a shot.

The incident saw two of Kennedy's 13 man crew killed and another three burnt, one badly. Others sustained various injuries from the collision.

The historical facts, and the names of the PT109 crew, are located at: http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/p/PT-109.htm  and should be read as well as the Navy shipping loss report at: http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq60-11.htm

(Parts of the PT109's torpedo tube were found in May, 2002 but left in situ due to the fact that the area is considered a war grave)


After clinging to the wreckage for the night, a decision was made that the 11 survivors should try to swim away from the remains of the sinking ship in case they were spotted by Japanese patrol ships. Although the collision had reactivated a bad back injury that he had sustained when playing college football, Lt. Kennedy clamped the tie-tapes of the burnt man's life-jacket between his teeth and, with some assistance, towed him 5 kilometers (3 miles) through the water as the survivors made a 4 hour swim to the relative safety of one of the nearest islands.

Over the next few nights Kennedy, and some of his men, made arduous swims back and forth to other small islands and out into the shipping lanes with a salvaged lantern  to try and attract Allied shipping. 

They had no luck in that regard, but they did manage to make contact with some friendly islanders who aided them as best they could, and who agreed to go for help. Kennedy scratched their location and their situation details on a coconut husk and trusted the natives to take it to the Americans not the Japanese.

Unbeknowns to the exhausted and injured men, an Australian coast-watcher, Lt. Arthur Reginald Evans, who was stationed in a hide-out on Kolombangara to report on the Japanese shipping movements in that New Georgia Sound area known as the Slot, had also briefly seen the  burning wreckage and had alerted the U.S. base by radio that he had seen something unusual.

The disappearance of the PT109 with all hands was going to be another grim statistic to add to all the others occuring at that time..

When the natives, with the piece of coconut, contacted the American base and confirmed that most of the crew were survivors, a rescue attempt was mounted immediately but, with the situation as dangerous as it was, it took 6 days for another torpedo boat, PT157, to make the rendezvous and rescue Kennedy and his crew who were in hiding on a dome-shaped, very small, waterless and barren Kasolo Islet (now sometimes called Kennedy or Plum Pudding Island) and had been surviving by eating raw coconuts and drinking their milk..

On August 8, 1943,  they again set foot on the American-held island base at Rendova and rejoined the war.


Kasolo Islet (Often called Kennedy or Plum Pudding Island)


The quote on John Fitzgerald Kennedy's inauguration medal reads:

"We shall Pay the Price, Bear any Burden, Meet any Hardship, Support any Friends, Oppose any Foe to Assure the Survival of Liberty".

He had already demonstrated that he could.

In later years, there have been reports that lack of ship's discipline by the young, and rather boisterous,Lt. Kennedy may have seriously contributed to the incident and that he was in danger of being court-martialled but he wasn't - possibly due to influence from his  father, the former U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph 'Joe' Patrick Kennedy Snr. 

'Joe' Kennedy was very wealthy - he became the 9th richest man in the U.S. by 1957 - and he was a man who 'pulled political strings' to get things done - so the wartime rumour about J.F.K. will always be coloured by that possibility of 'behind the scenes' paternal influence.

Whether that was true or not does not alter the fact that, when called upon, John Fitzgerald Kennedy proved his own mettle by his consequent actions - even an unintentional hero is still a hero..... He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.

Despite an operation in 1944, due to the back injury that would continue to plague him for the rest of his life - and severe malaria - Kennedy refused the opportunity of leaving active duty in the Navy and was eventually discharged in 1945. 



John Fitzgerald Kennedy - commemorative Presidential Inauguration Medal January 20th. 1961 (U.S. Mint)

Actual size - Diameter 3" (76mm) Rim Depth 3/16" (5mm) Approx. Weight 7.5oz. (212g)


Of necessity, this numismatic article will not dwell on the political rise of John F. Kennedy to the position of the world's most powerful man, but  some facts and specifications regarding the Half Dollar - the only U.S. circulation coin to bear his effigy - should be provided so that those of future generations of collectors outside of the U.S. can appreciate the details.


Basic Kennedy Half Dollar Design - although there were several slight modifications between 1971 - 1995


1964 Kennedy commemorative .900 Silver Half Dollar.

The initial design was prepared by former Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts who prepared the obverse, while the Chief Engraver of the time, the late Frank Gasparro, did the reverse. A total of  277,254,766 circulation coins were produced at Philadelphia and another 156,205,446 came out of Denver Mint.

The Proof versions, that also originated from Philadelphia,  numbered 3,950,762 and included some with  'heavily accented hair'. This variation attracts a considerable premium. The 1964 coin had a weight of  12.50g; Composition: .900 Silver and .100 Copper; Diameter: 30.6mm


From 1965 - 1970 circulation - and some 1976 Bicentennial commemorative - Half Dollars were Silver-clad Copper

Weight: 11.50g; Composition: Outer layers of .800 Silver and .200 Copper alloy bonded to an inner core of .209 Silver and .791 Copper alloy, Dia: 30.6mm

The Silver-clad Bicentennial coins dated 1776 - 1976, that were minted at San Francisco Mint, were only included in the Proof (4,000,000) and Uncirculated (11,000,000) Mint sets of that year


Bicentennial Kennedy Half Dollar

1976 Bicentennial Copper-Nickel clad Copper

The circulation version of the one year only Bicentennial Half Dollar continued with the obverse design by Mint Engraver Gilroy Roberts - and Seth G. Huntington submitted the winning reverse design in an open contest to chose an appropriate theme.

The reverse shows the Independence Hall in Philadelphia and approximately equal amounts of the overall mintage of 521,867,248 were produced at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. The other major mint at San Francisco produced 7,059,099 Proof coins

Weight: 11.34g; Composition: .750 Copper and .250 Nickel alloy bonded to a pure Copper core; Diameter: 30.6mm


From 1971 - to date, circulation Half Dollars are Copper-Nickel-clad Copper

Specifications have been maintained as above. The eagle reverse was resumed in 1977 and basic circulation coins are now produced at Philadelphia and Denver, while Copper-Nickel clad Copper and Silver-clad Proofs are made at San Francisco.


References & Recommended reading:

A Guide Book of United States Coins - by R.S. Yeoman and edited by Kenneth Bressett

White House Biographies:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/jk35.html

TIME-LIFE Books - "Island Fighting - World War II" (Published 1978).

Various Internet sources as listed in article.




As I opened my mail box a week or so ago, I must admit I barely glanced at the envelope recently posted from Texas in the the U.S. - I assumed it was a regular letter from my good friend, Jerry Adams.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived home and opened the envelope.

I could see that it was a greeting card but when I saw who it was from (picture below) - I was told that my eyes widened quite considerably.

For a split second I thought all sorts of things - including where did 'they' get my name and address.

Of course, the fantasy soon disappeared as I read the sentiments written on the inside of the card.

It's arrival was, surprisingly, a wee bit premature but, a big "Thank You", to Jerry, Sandy - and your two live-at-home four-legged companions, Tank and Sage - it was a memorable card to say the least, and it will be filed away with care after it leaves its current pride of place - and comment - on my mantle.......... 

I'd appreciate it if you would sent my appreciation to George and Laura - not everyone in Australia gets birthday greetings from a U.S. President and his First Lady.



George and Laura of Texas 2006



If only....................!!

My One Million Birthday Bucks note, from Jerry and Sandy, was from another year - but I thought it might be nice to show again.





As a follow-up to our last newsletter article regarding a rather mysterious Chinese Silver Dragon Dollar coin, I would like to advise that I have received an email from Mr Y.K. Leung of Honk Kong to confirm that the 7 Mace and 2 Candareen coin is a recently made fake.

It is currently retailing at about US$1.00 in China and, as it has noticeable variations from the genuine coin, it can avoid being classied as a counterfeit and falls into that magical area of 'fantasy'. Whatever it is called - it is really still a fake when sold or traded as a genuine coin.



Fake Chinese Silver Dragon Dollar


Considering the item only cost me a few Oz dollars, I consider I received enough value from it in 'research fun' to now be able to file it away under my 'Falsies, Fakes & Fantasies' with a clear conscience. Out of courtesy, I have now advised the innocent dealers, who unwittingly sold me the item, so that they are aware of the problem in case any more turn up at their counter. Even dealers need to do their homework.

However, as previously mentioned, it does highlight the fact that the entrepreurial effort of some Chinese 'coin' manufacturers is of a very high level and that anything of a 'special' or 'unusual' nature that comes from this area should be examined carefully and, a process of consultation with other more knowledgeable collectors should be undertaken, especially if the price structure appears a bit dubious - either way - and the coin falls into the rarer variety.

However, in a fine example of business 'know how', a high profit margin for fakes in not always the goal - nor are all fakes based on scarity of the original - the aim is to establish a high turn-over like a good supermarket and simply concentrate on making a few cents on each relatively 'common coin'.

If it is not already occuring, a mass produced fantasy item such as this could eventually be marketed at a wholesale price and distributed through vendors - then on-sold as a genuine  'souvenir' coin to unsuspecting members of the public.

Once seen, and accepted by enough people on the fringe of the numismatic community, ithe pieces may be only one step away from being considered a genuine variety and end up in collections. .


A point of interest! - Our T.N.S. member, Jerry Adams from Texas, U.S.A., emailed me regarding the Chinese coin and he also pointed out that many other items - even Japanese military Samurai-style  swords - are being produced in China and are being sold as genuine .

"Last night I was looking at eBay, and noticed the Chinese have entered the military memorablia market here in the USA...as there has always been a huge market for captured Japanese miliatry swords here from the World War 2 era.  Thousands of swords were surrendered to the US by the Japanese, and these were bringing big bucks on eBay just a couple of years ago, i.e. 300 dollars up to a thousand for some.  Now the Chinese are selling swords that look for all the world like the real thing.. The starting bids are typically low, US$25 - with a charge of US$100 for shipping from China.  They have run the honest sword sellers out, as there are scores and scores of auctions of swords from China...all fakes, but they look very very real.  I know swords pretty well and these are real good fakes.  Shows you, that they can and will take advantage of any market they can."


My answer to Jerry was based on several articles I had recently read during the time I was researching the Silver Dragon 'coin'.

"The Chinese see a lucrative market and treat it as an opportunity. I believe that they do not think of the morality - only the opportunity.

I was reading something recently about the Chinese attitude and this was discussed - they do not think it is wrong to do these things. Their fake products  - no matter what they are - are now usually of a high standard which shows 'pride' in their workmanship and that leads me to believe that these are not backyard clandestine operations but far more sophisticated arrangements and, as such, must be known about by 'authorities' and condoned - in one way or another. Most of us will walk into a supermarket and buy a generic brand, that looks, smells or tastes like the 'name-brand' stuff, mainly because it is cheaper. This is the Chinese attitude to 'fantasy issues' (fakes). Make a sale...!

We also knowingly buy replicas - unless we are told and we tell others - no-one would know the difference, and the pleasure of owning and showing off a good copy is nearly as nice.. The Chinese just don't bother disillusioning anyone." - CAVEAT EMPTOR!




I was recently asked to identify, if possible, a 'maverick' token which may or may not be of Australian origin. After a fruitless search I have had to admit I am not sure. If any of our readers can assist I would be appreciative and then I would be able to assist the inquisitive lady who wanted the information.


This token or ‘check piece’ is constructed from Brass - it is approx. 3 - 4g in weight and has a diameter of 25mm. It is a struck piece which has been prepared from engraved dies - not cast. The obverse (front) of the token has the words - CHANCERY HOTEL - in two lines, with a small ornamental scroll underneath. The reverse (back) is shown with the number and symbol representing One Shilling in the Imperial coinage style - 1l

It should be noted that normally this would be written as either 1s or as 1/- with the stroke at an angle and a dash signifying ‘no pence’..

The striking dies were not properly aligned when this piece was made and the rotation of the dies is quite evident when a comparison is made of the obverse and reverse positions of the text and numeral.


Chancery Hotel 25mm Brass check piece struck from slightly rotated dies.


The item is most probably an internal use token or ‘check piece’ for use in the hotel bar as a poker (or lucky number) gaming or cigarette machine piece as these types of machine were in wide use in most Australian hotels and clubs at the start of the 1900's.

They could also be used to purchase any of the services that the hotel provided - such as meals or accommodation. They would be purchased singly, or in bulk, at the bar by patrons to save using scarce silver coinage from the bar till to feed the machine or whatever.

Unused tokens of this type could be cashed in at any time, but many were pocketed and kept until the ‘next time’.

Unfortunately, there is no longer a public house by that name in Australia that I have been able to find - the hotel is now apparently lost to history -  but, after some additional research it seems that it was most probably located in Sydney or New South Wales during the 1890’s or early 1900’s as the style and detail of the token - and particularly the reverse symbol as shown - is very typical of work done by the Sydney-based engraver and token-maker named John Craven Thornwaite or his sons.


Reverse of a token believed to have been prepared for the German Club in 1894-5 by Thornwaites.

Note the similar reverse design features to the Chancery Hotel piece.


J.C. Thornwaite was born in County Cumberland in England in 1820 but emigrated to Australia with his new wife in 1849 after training as an engraver with a company in Middlesex, England. He was lent the money (84 Pounds) for his 6 year apprenticeship by his uncle, John Joseph Thornwaite.

His first Australian business venture was in Bourke St. Surry Hills, Sydney, however, over the next 20 years or so, the business re-located several times in that city. Thornwaite & Co. continued trading on for some years - mainly as a stationary shop - although they still produced medals, medallions and tokens under the control of 2 sons, Peter Spurr Thornwaite and John Sydney Thornwaite. The die sinking business was eventually purchased during the early 1900's by Angus & Coote who were then in the process of building up their jewellery manufacturing works and retail store empire.

Refer: http://www.anguscoote.com.au/about_us/003.cfm


Main References:

Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia - Volume 4 March 1988 - Article by George D. Dean (Pages 38 - 44)

Queensland Numismatic Society Magazine - Vol. 21 Number 6 - Article by George D. Dean (Illustration page 17)



What do we see when we look at these notes? You can see that the reverse on the Singaporean $1.00 has a large parading group of marchers; the $5.00 has a wharf scene with a cable-car above; the $20.00 has the famous Concord Jet flying over the air terminal - but is that all? Not quite!


A part of the Bird Series (1976 - 1980) of Singaporean banknotes.


The denominations in this early series were $1.00; $5.00; $10.00; $20.00; $50.00; $100.00; $500.00; $1000.00 and $10,000.00 and - with the exception of the $10.00 - all subtlely featured the art of dance, or the diverse cultural aspects of Singapore, as well as the main reverse theme.

I regret I do not have a full range of these notes to show you all of these and I have only scanned three of those I do have - but I'm sure you will be able to sense the grace of movement  that has been understated, almost like a watermark, on these examples.  Did you see the dancers at first glance?

Next time you pick up any world note - or even one from your own country - look for the little hidden treasures that are sometimes hidden away in a corner.

Notes are often far more than just a piece of paper or plastic substrate - some contain small pieces of art like the Singaporean series..

Some notes are actually designed to cater for historic events, literature or other famous pieces of art - for instance, there is no subtlety about the Spanish Pesatas (shown below) but -  how many collectors know the sources of the engravers and designers inspirations.

This series could be easily refered to as "The Cultural Series" of 1928.

The 100 Peseta note reverse (shown below) depicts the famous fictional character Don Quixote (Quijote), in his armor kneeling before a Duke and Duchess of Spain, while his faithful retainer, Sancho Panza, holds the horse and mule. The scene is from a painting by L.Memendez Pidal.

The obverse of the note shows the famous author of this classic piece of literature, novelist Miquel de Cervantes (1514 - 1616), and the grand statue in the Plaza de Espana in Madrid that also includes the fictional characters.


Spanish 1928 100 Pesetas featuring Don Quixote kneeling - scene from the story written by Miquel de Cervantes

(from a painting by L. Memendez Pidal). Actual note size 14 x 10cm


Other 1928 notes with denominations of Ptas 25, 50, 500 and 1000 were all designed with the obverse featuring a prominent Spanish landmark or building. A famous personality of the Arts is also featured prominently - and the reverse depictions are of their contributions to Spanish culture, equally historic paintings or  famous scenes from the Spanish theatre.

The 25 Pesetas note reverse (shown below) with all its apparent warlike characters is, in fact, a scene from a religious drama "Life is a Dream".

The obverse features a monument and the effigy of the innovative dramatist, Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600 - 1681). The statue of 'Calderon' de la Barca is actually located in beautiful Plaza de Santa Ana - appropriately - in the heart of Madrid's theatre district.



 Spanish 1928 25 Pesetas featuring scene from religious drama "Life is a Dream" by Pedro Calderon de la Barca

(from a painting by Domingo Munoz) Statue of Calderon de la Barca in Madrid.


Actual note size 12 x 8 cms.


Another note reverse, with a famous piece of art, is that of the United States Federal Reserve $2.00 Note. The painting of the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, by John Trumbull, is recognised as an historic item in its own right and its depiction on a U.S. banknote highlights that fact.

The position of each of the participants at the event was noted at the time, and Trumbull then contacted as many as he could, or used existing portraits as guides, to paint in a recognisable portrayal of each person prior to completing the masterpiece canvas. (Details of all are available on the link below.)


U.S.Federal Reserve 2 Dollar note featuring the signing of the Declaration of Independence


(from a painting by John Trumbull). 



Main Reference and Recommended Reading

Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - Vol. 2 General Issues - by Albert Pick, Colin R. Bruce & Neil Shafer (Editors)

Various Internet sources as detailed in article.



From time to time I receive emails, or other correspondence of interest, regarding some of the articles that have appeared previously in this newsletter.

Of necessity, information in these newsletter articles is brief and is designed to allow individual research to be undertaken to fill in the gaps.

I do not profess to be an expert numismatist - and I do not even specialize in anything particular - rather I am an amateur who collects coins and banknotes etc. as well as writes a little - and my articles are always researched, in the main, to satisfy my own curiousity and for my own enjoyment

I have often stated - and I believe - that half the fun is finding the answer for yourself!

Just like you, I would like to know a bit more about certain aspects within our wonderful hobby and, when I do find an answer, I am prepared to share that knowledge by way of this free Internet newsletter which is prepared mainly for hobbiests.

However, may I please make the point that intensive additional professional research to answer some of the questions I have been asked is not always possible - in most instances all the sources of the article are supplied and it is then up to the reader to personally follow up any query they may have.

However, I will always welcome your questions - and if I have any additional information for you I will always be happy to pass it on - but please, do not expect me to immediately indulge in a major research collaboration into any of the mulitudes of subjects that have been discussed over the last 10 years or so - and, please don't be offended if I have to distance myself from some of those more time-consuming subjects that you may be passionate about.



It isn't particularly pleasant when you find out you, or someone close to you, may have been ripped off by a visiting dealer - but it does happen.

During our visit to the recent APTA Stamp and Coin show in Launceston, Tasmania last month, my 8 y.o.youngest grandson spotted the packaged  Australian  '50 Years of TV' uncirculated Dollar and wanted one as he is just starting his own Australian collection.

Appearance, shape and size - and the desire to own it - is everything to a young boy child......

He was quoted AUD$6.00 - a price which I queried as I overheard it -  the dealer's comment - "I had better put my glasses on and read the sticker properly" - saw a reduction of the price by $1.00 down to $5.00.  At that point I should have been checking on what was happening.

However, I must admit that the uncirculated TV anniversary coin was not of much interest to me personally as, at that moment, I was doing a negotiation of my own  - and I really had little product knowledge about it except that I remembered  hearing, or reading, that the coin with the 'TV' mintmark was attracting a premium as it was becoming hard to get. 

In my ignorance, I assumed that the NCLT (Non Circulating Legal Tender) TV coin being sold was one of those with the 'TV' mintmark, because of the higher than usual asking price for a typical packaged NCLT Dollar, and I allowed the youngster to complete his purchase without checking the packaging detail - so, I also have a sense of retrospective guilt.  The little boy paid his money and was quite happy with his coin. He still is.... but I'm not!

One bad deal - no matter how trivial it may seem - does tend to sour, what should have been, an exciting experience

It was only later, at home, when I checked his 'goodies', I discovered that the TV coin was one of the standard items - a "C' - which, like all the other more common mintmarks, can be picked up for $2.75 each - the Royal Australian Mint retail price - or 10 assorted for $26.00, in unlimited quantity (except the scarce 'TV' mintmark), from a very reputable, well established and fair dealer in Sydney.

I did not tell my grandson and, perhaps, disillusion him at this early stage - and at his very first 'coin show' - with the fact that he could have bought another interesting coin with the amount that he was 'overcharged' by an adult dealer who was, at least. either incompetent - or careless - on the day or, at absolute worst, a rip-off merchant who took full advantage of a little kid and a pre-occupied grandfather. 

I must point out that my grandson was treated very kindly indeed by those other dealers (as mentioned in our last newsletter) who appreciated a young numismatist-in-training - and a possible future customer.

I just hope it was a genuine mistake - but it is not the sort of mistake dealers should make with a new product. A fair profit is acceptable - but a mark-up of 80% is a bit rich - and it could have been more......  Shame!






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. 



The 'Tasmanian Numismatist '(Internet Edition) newsletter complies with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.

Under this act, information about individuals can be stored and published only if: the information is already contained in a publicly available document or if personal information has been provided by the individual to whom the information relates, and if that individual is aware of the purposes for which the information is being collected.

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.

The 'Tasmanian Numismatist '(Internet Edition) newsletter also respects the privacy of our readers. When you write to us with comments, queries or suggestions, you may provide us with personal information including your contact address or other relevant information. Your personal information will never be made available to a third party without permission.



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.


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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au