Volume 10 Issue 12                                 INTERNET EDITION - Established 1996                                  December 2005

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.





An invitation is extended to all financial members of the T.N.S. and their partner or guest, to attend an informal social event , a BYO- BBQ, at the Taroona residence of our President Roger McNeice OAM., on Sunday 11th December 2005 commencing between 11.00 a.m - 11.30 a.m. to celebrate the Festive Season.


It's that time of year again when life starts to become a little more meaningful - if a lot more hectic. This will be the last Internet newsletter issue prior to 2006 and the Society would like to take the opportunity to wish all T.N.S. members and associates a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Those who have had the chance to expand your knowledge (and collections) are to be commended and congratulated for keeping the numismatic spirit alive in historically difficult times. As Editor since April 1996, I would like to see a few more members' literary contributions coming in for 2006 to celebrate our next birthday.

Regretably, this year has been unkind to some of our members and their families with several bereavements advised - however, please be assured that your friends and colleagues in the Society sincerely hope that better things lie ahead for those of you who have taken a battering of spirit over the last 12 months.

Internationally, we are thriving with a sustained growth in T.N.S. Associate membership and we welcome those who have officially joined our ranks during 2005.

The interest in numismatics is growing at a tremendous pace worldwide and, with that interest, is a need for knowledge. If this Internet newsletter provides a small bridge, in any way, across that knowledge gap for our members and readers, the effort in building it will be worthwhile.


In the New Year, we will need to address our most serious internal problem with more vigour and push harder for success. It is a sad fact of life that the same economic forces (mainly the exorbitant public liabilty insurance) that forced us to become temporary vagabonds without a fixed local meetng venue are still with us and, even though we are coping by reason of our members generosity in making their homes available on occasion, it is an ad hoc arrangement that does not seem to be easily resolved at this time. 

Let us ensure that the forthcoming year of 2006 is filled with positive ideas and enthusiasm. These two things are always welcome in any successful organisation.

No doubt, we will be having an in-depth discussion about our Society's direction and plans during our A.G.M.. Details to be announced.




As most of our members are aware, we, at the Tasmanian Numismatic Society, are a fairly literate lot and we have two IAN's who are passionately interested in Australian coinage Varieties and Mint Errors. This year, both IAN's have produced books to promote their hobby research area.

Earlier this year, associate member Ian Hartshorn of Victoria, self-published a booklet entitled "POCKET CHANGE" which we favourably reviewed in this newsletter.

Refer: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july05.htm

We now have the second great effort from Tasmanian member Ian McConnelly, which has been recently published and released through Renniks Publications.

This newest 96 glossy-paged opus is now available from both the major numismatic dealers in Hobart - Tasmedals in Victoria St. and The Stamp Place in Collins St. -  and will be thoroughly reviewed by the Editor in our January issue due to time constraints for this December edition..

During a 'phone discussion with the enthusiastic Ian McC., we briefly touched on some of the new book's aspects - I believe that the recommended retail price is approx AUD$29.95 and it is titled "Australian Pre-Decimal Coin Varities" and it contains a huge amount of hard won information that every pre-decimal collector will want to know. A scan of the book cover has now been supplied and it appears to be in keeping with other quality Renniks publications.

The 24.5 cm x 17 cm  limited edition book has already been favourably received amongst interstate dealers, so I have been informed, and this 1st. Edition is sure to sell out due to the rapidly growing interest in varieties and error by many collectors. Variety collectors will be pleased that another myriad of acknowledged research - by many well-known numismatists - has been gathered together by Ian McConnelly to supplement his own considerable efforts in this field.  

Those who have read any of Ian's articles, which are regularly published in the Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine, know that, if this book is as entertaining a read as those, they will be sure to have another great reference book to extend their varities and mint errors libraries. Check it out for yourselves!

As Ian always says - "this is just the beginning..... Happy Hunting!"


Renniks Australian Pre-Decimal Coin Varities 1st. Edition (2005)

Compiled, researched and written by Ian McConnelly



Due to the threat of computer viruses that were forecast to hit the Internet system on January 1st. 2000, the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' felt obliged to purge its archives from 1996 - 1999 and placed them on a computer disc for safe-keeping prior to the arrival of the dreaded 'Millennium Bug'.

Unfortunately, due to a now-outdated computer system, some material was lost in the transition to CD - mainly illustrations - which we were not able to readily retrieve.

Whilst we felt that the decision was a very wise one, at the time, the information contained in those initial 4 years of newsletter issues became inaccessible to readers, except by request. Even though Internet links are still directed to the old newsletter pages from various Search Engines they will turn up blank, however, they usually indicate the Volume and Issue Number that the original article had been published in and that will give us an indication of where to access them - if we are asked.

In an effort to satisfy those readers, and some new collectors, who have requested that some of the articles be again made available for research, we have decided to continue to update and re-illustrate a selection of the most popular stories and re-publish them and get them back into the current system.

If there are other articles that you remember and consider worth reprising and/or updating, please let us know and we shall endeavour to do 'Encores' during 2006.



An international publication concerning industrial relations, featured an interesting note in a 2003 issue about problems occuring in organised groups (in their instance, the reference was to trade unions.). Their 10 point list (shown below) highlighted some of the attitudes that could mean the difference between thriving and surviving. 

It was brought to our attention by one of our readers, and, whilst  we have featured something similar, previously, it is always worth re-reading something like this - to keep our own organisation on its toes.

1. Don't come to the meetings when you are able to - and certainly don't send an apology

2. If you do come, arrive late

3. If the weather doesn't suit you, don't come at all

4. If you do attend a meeting, find fault with the work of the officers and other members

5. Never accept an office; it is easier to criticize than to do things

6. Nevertheless, get mad if you are not appointed on a committee, but if you are appointed, don't attend the committee meetings.

7. If asked by the President to give your opinion on an important matter, tell him/her you have nothing to say. After the meeting, tell everyone how things should have been done.

8. Do nothing more than is absolutely necessary, but when others roll up their sleeves, willingly and unselfishly using their ability to help matters along, howl that the group is being run by a clique.

9. Your association may be struggling occasionally from a financial standpoint to maintain services on your behalf, so be sure to muster all the support you can to vote against a raise in subsriptions or any special fund-raising event..

10. Don't bother about new members; let the other fellow do it.


Do any of these negative points currently apply to our local Tasmanian Numismatic Society? 

We may be tempted to answer YES to a few of these issues - if we do, it's time again to do something positive within ourselves.

Firstly, by personally getting actively involved once more we show other collectors that we mean business and, secondly, as a group of individuals who have united themselves into a Society with common goals and strengths, we should be trying harder - or, perhaps, in a smarter way - to address those organisational  problems that most associations like ours are currently plagued by. We realise that it could be extremely difficult in some instances - but within the struggle lies our strength.

Enthusiasm is a wonderful tool - and numismatics is a thriving hobby - so we should be developing these basics if they have been neglected.







"MURRAY VC." by M.J. Maddock © 1997 (Revised 1998)


In January 2004, the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' published an extended article - developed from a brief note written in 1999 - about the military career, and the various medals, of the late Lt. Colonel Henry (Harry) William Murray VC., CMG., DSO and Bar, DCM., Croix de Guerre. 

'Mad Harry' Murray VC., was a great Australian warrior, born near Evandale, Tasmania - a reticent and humble man we are proud to call our own and we have sought to honour him through this newsletter on several occasions.

Of neccessity, in order to establish Harry Murray's background, we had to draw heavily on previously published research, part of which was obtained in good faith from an Internet website, of which there are now many. 

It has recently been brought to our attention that the acknowledgement given in our article was at fault and, in fact, the quoted text we had used and suggested as recommended reading, had been taken directly from another copyrighted printed source and the original researcher had not authorised the information to be disseminated by Internet or any other form of transmission without permission.

The carefully researched and comprehensively illustrated 15 x 21 cm. 28 page booklet "MURRAY VC." had been produced in 1997 as an important historical reminder of a great soldier and part of the proceeds of sales goes towards other historic matters that are important to the Evandale History Society Inc. and use of its information should have been sought from the author by the person concerned.

The Editor has now been in direct contact with the author of "MURRAY VC.", Mrs. M.J. Maddock - the Chair of the Evandale History Society Inc., and she has graciously allowed us to correct our own situation by this belated acknowledgement in our newsletter.

In our newsletter article, a poor choice of words may have also given a misleading impression that Harry Murray had attempted to re-enlist for active service during WWII and had failed, however, - on page 27 of the booklet, the fact is stated that Murray did successfully enlist in the Army from 1939 to 1942, even though he served in a non-combatant role.

The detail of the slight fabrication that Harry employed in regard to his age is also mentioned. Harry was born on 1st. December 1880 but he shaved about 4 - 5 years off his age on his Attestation Form when he enlisted as a mature '56 y.o.'

Lt. Col. Murray VC. CMG, DSO and Bar, DCM and Croix de Guerre, retired due to ill-health prior to the end of WWII on February 8th., 1944.

The booklet relates how Harry eventually established himself in Queensland and went on to serve his adopted community and ex-servicemen in many ways until his death in 1966. Harry never forgot Evandale and only ill-health caused him to forgo a trip back to Tasmania to open the Evandale Memorial Hall in early 1964.


A limited quantity of this fine booklet about a very brave man, "MURRAY VC." (Revised 1998) is still available for AUD$10.00 (plus $1.00 for post and handling) within Australia, so if you wish to obtain a copy please contact the Evandale History Society Inc. for details


Evandale History Society Inc.

C/- 33 High Street, Evandale

Tasmania, 7212.






by Graeme Petterwood © 2005


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 collections or the extensive picture library of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition'.




For those whose geographical knowledge only extends to their own borders, the Iberian Peninsula is that piece of Europe that contains Portugal and Spain as its two major nations. The tiny enclave of Andorra lies between the northern border of Spain and France and the British-held Gibraltar is near the southern tip, however these will not be included in this 'potted history' article nor will the Balearic Islands of Iviza or Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 230,400 square miles (582,860 square kms.) peninsula lays between 3 degrees East and 9 degrees West, give or take a few minutes, and between 36 - 43 degrees North and is the home of over 50 million people. Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberian_Peninsula


The Iberian Peninsula



The smallest of the two major Iberian Peninsula nations, Portugal has an independant history going back to the 12th century.

Like most countries of this area the early domination by the Romans, Moors, Visigoths and many others had left Portugal with a diverse cultural background and a determination to succeed in establishing itself in its own right.

By the 15th Century and for most of the following 200 years, the Portuguese became the explorers of the world but, unfortunately, because of their small population base they were not able to colonise and firmly establish their presence in those areas that would eventually pour riches back into the coffers of Spain, France and England. By the early 1500's Portugal's most prized colonial possesions by been encroached upon or seized by its more aggressive larger European neighbours and Portugal started a slide back into a commercial backwater.

A devastating earthquake and tsunami destroyed the capital, Lisbon, in 1755 with a huge loss of life and infrastructure and this was followed by the loss of Brazil on 7th Sept. 1822 during the independence 'revolution' instigated by Dom (King) Pedro I of Brazil, who had remained and eventually declared himself Emperor  when his father Prince Regent Joao (later Dom Joao VI of Portugal) returned to Lisbon in 1816. When the Napoleonic Wars were in full force during 1801 and Portugal was being over-run, Joao, then the Prince Regent, had retreated to Brazil and established an enclave in that country. Prince Joao's father, Pedro III, had died in 1786 leaving Joao's mother Maria I in control until 1799. The Prince exercised his rights as Regent in 1792 when his mother developed a mental instability and, even though he was in Brazil, he retained that right until her death in 1816.

His son, King Pedro I of Brazil was also legally Pedro IV of Portugal after Joao's death in March 1826 and, of course, that was a recipe for trouble.

With Brazil's independence from Portugal, the cessation in the rich returns from their last major South American colony, spelt the end of the colonial dream.

The nation slipped further into obscurity from the world stage - their golden age was over.

After officially abdicating the Portuguese throne in 1828 in favour of his new rich Brazillian empire, Pedro felt he needed to invade Portugal to rid the country of a usurper - his own younger brother, Miguel - who had deposed Pedro's  7 y.o. daughter Princess Maria da Glória Joana Carlota Leopoldina da Cruz Francisca Xavier de Paula Isidora Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga.

Maria da Gloria, as she was known, was born in Rio de Janeiro on April 4, 1819 and would die in Lisbon in 1853.

Pedro had appointed Maria as Queen Regent and she had ruled from 1826 - 1828 but things had remained unstable with Pedro gone and resulted in the reign of Miguel (Michael 1828 - 1834). However, civil war finally erupted between 1832 - 34 when Pedro I abdicated the Brazilian throne in 1831 and invaded the Azores in a gesture that he intended to reclaim his rightful inheritance as the king of Portugal once more.

Miguel had been betrothed to Maria as part of a family arrangement to hold the throne until she 'came-of-age', and it was she who was eventually appointed Maria II of Portugal in 1834 when Miguel was forced to abdicate and go into exile. Maria went on to marry, be widowed and marry again and produce a male heir - after that she was constantly pregnant and she eventually died in childbirth at age 34. She had produced eleven children. Maria II is remembered as a good mother and a kind person, who always acted according to her convictions in an attempt to help her country. She was later given the titles of "The Good Mother" and "The Educator".

A civil insurrection occured in 1846 but was put down 9 months later in 1847. It was during this era from 1826 - the mid 1850's, that the value of Portuguese coinage was flucuating and inflation was starting to bite into the royal Treasury. The Gold 1/2 Peca (3200 Reis) and One Peca (6400 Reis) denominations had been established by King Joao VI in 1805, but, as the nation's fortunes slowly diminished, these gold coins were revalued upwards by approximately 15% to 3750 and 7500 Reis respectively in 1826 when Pedro IV  had taken the throne. The situation in Portugal at that time was probably one reason that Pedro IV decided to go back to Brazil and become Pedro I of the colony that he then cut adrift from the Iberian homeland

During the reigns of Pedro II (Peter 1683 - 1706); Joao V (John or Johannes 1706 - 1750); Jose (Joseph 1750 - 1777); Maria I and Pedro III (1777 - 1786); Maria I alone (1786 - 1799) and then Prince Regent and later King Joao VI (1799 - 1826)  the coinage of Portugal mainly consisted of  Copper or Bronze starting at 1 1/2, 3, 5, 10, 20 and 40 Reis and Silver (mainly .917 Fine with some .835 Fine) some interspersed amongst the 20 Reis but mainly in 40, 50, 60, 80,100, 120, 200 and 400 Reis.

Gold (.917 Fine) was mainly reserved for the high Reis and Escudo denominations but some gold coins as low as 400 Reis were introduced in 1717.

Other denominations in Gold consisted of 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000 Reis and, from 1723, the 1/2 Escudo (800 Reis) , 1, 2, 4 and  8 Escudos.



Portuguese 1812 Bronze 40 Reis of Joao (Joannes) as Prince Regent. Size 36mm x 5 mm thick (Kr #345.1)


A decision was taken during the reign of Maria II (1834 - 1853) to address the monetary situation by having another revaluation. Silver Spanish 8 Reales, that were also being used in Portugal and elsewhere in the world as a 'universal' coinage -  were counter-stamped with the Portuguese Coat-of-Arms and given an inflated value in an act reminiscent of Australia's 1812 Proclamation that revalued all major foreign coinage in that British colony.  The 8 Reals was revalued at 870 Reis.

In 1836 some effort was made to bring Portugal into line with other European nations by restructuring the currency into a decimal form with the Reis as its base.

The old major Gold coin of Joao V, which was known as the Dobrao and made from Brazilian gold and originally issued between 1724 - 1727 with a value of 20000 Reis, was counter-stamped in 1847 and revalued by 50%  to 30000 Reis.

By 1868, denominations of Copper and Bronze  3, 5, 10 and 20 Reis were issued as well as Silver coinage in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Reis - Gold was again used sparingly in reduced size 1000, 2000, 2500, 5000 and 10000 Reis pieces.



Samples of coins issued by Dom Luiz I and Carlos I of Portugal

(a) 1865 .917 Silver 100 Reis - Size 20mm

(b) 1883 Bronze 20 Reis - Size 31mm

(c) 1900 Copper-Nickel 100 Reis - Size 23mm


The following monarchs - Pedro V (Petrus 1853 - 1861), Luiz I (Ludovicus 1861 - 1889), Carlos I (1889 - 1908) and Manuel II (1908 - 1910) - all inherited the problems with inflation and continuing political turmoil which culminated when the last Portuguese monarch, Manuel II, was eventually overthrown during his two year reign, and the Republic of Portugal was established.

A very brief initial flirtation with Copper Nickel occurred in 1900 when a 100 Reis coin of Carlos I was issued in that alloy but it was not until the 4 Centavo coin of the Republic was issued in 1917 that the metal made its re-appearance.

In 1910, a celebratory .835 Silver  Escudo was issued to mark the birth of the Republic on October 5 of that year.

Portugual's political fortunes changed in 1932 when a very astute politician, António de Oliveira Salazar, a former Minister of Finance, was made Prime Minister. Salazar re-wrote the Portuguese Constitution and his regime was basically a dictatorship with Fascist overtones - which Salazar battled to control at times. He often walked a political tightrope with his relationship with Franco's Spanish Government and German-controlled Vichy France but he always managed to maintain Portugal's 'independence' and even offered the Allies some bases during the last years of WWII when the U.S. entered the European conflict. The economic fortunes of Portugal were in Salazar's hands during this period and his experience as an economics professor at the University of Coimbra stood the country in good stead. 


Centavo coins (100 Centavos = 1 Escudo) with values of  1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20 and 50 were issued in various metals such as Bronze, Iron, Copper-Nickel, Aluminium-Bronze and Silver during this period and the coin sizes were rationalised. It took over a period of  20 years to complete the series, in staggered releases, and these coins continued to be issued until 1979 when the lowest value coins had become virtually worthless and the Escudo system became the Portuguese monetary base.


1978 Bronze 50 Centavos (23mm) - 1966 Copper-Nickel 50 Centavos (23mm)

1969 Bronze Escudo (26.5mm) - 1964 Copper-Nickel Escudo (27.5mm)


The Escudo coin design range, which was carried on from the Republican issues of the 1930's, was also issued in various modern metal combinations such as Copper-Nickel, Nickel-Brass, C.N Clad Nickel as well as traditional Bronze and Silver up until the mid 1980's. The Silver content did not remain constant and varied from .500 - .925 Fine.


In April 1974, a modern military coup occurred that stabilised the country somewhat by granting independence to its remaining small colonial holdings and thus divesting the nation of the considerable expenses attached to maintaining them. The resulting financial fillip and this new stability enabled Portugal to apply to join the European Economic Community in 1986. Portugal qualified for admittance, and adopted the Euro monetary trading system in 1998 - 9 and, on 1st. January, 2002, along with the other EU member states, commenced using Euros for everday finacial purposes.

Prior to the Euro coinage, a few attractive commemorative Escudo denominations  were produced in .925 Silver, .917 Fine Gold and .999 Platinum during the late 1980's, in  relatively limited quantities, aimed at the numismatic and investment markets.


Various C.N. and C.N.clad Copper alloy Portuguese coins

1977 2$50 Coat-of-Arms and value (obverse) with Sailing ship (reverse), 1973 10$00 similar to previous

1978 25 Escudos Libertade (obverse) with Coat-of-Arms and value (reverse),

1988 50 Escudos Coat-of-arms and value (obverse) with Sailing ship (reverse).



Republic of Portugal Commemorative 1997 .835 Silver 1000 Escudos - Actual size 40mm

Centenary of Oceanographic Research - (Obverse) Portuguese Coat-of-Arms and various fish.

 (Reverse) Alberto I, (Prince of Monaco) and Carlos I (King of Portugal) and the Yatcht 'Amelia'


However, due to the stiff trading competition with fellow EU states and cheap imports from Asia, Portugal had been facing a constant battle over the last few years to maintain its EU qualifications. At present, Portugal is enjoying an economic upsurge - but the poor educational facilities in the country are responsible for a lack of skilled personnel in many major areas and this 'lack-of-foresight' problem will need to be addressed as soon as possible if the nation is to regain some of its former influence - and then retain it.



Portugal 2002 Euro coin set Obverses (Private packaging)

 Country name and date are arranged in single letters/numbers between various district Coats-of-Arms within the inner circle.


Main Internet References

The World Factbook. Refer: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/po.html

Wikipedia Free Encyclopaedia



Standard Catalog of World Coins (Various editions) Published by Krause Publications



The nation of Spain is gigantic compared to its only other major Iberian neighbour, Portugal, with which it had a convoluted love-hate political relationship for most of the last 100 years. Thankfully those days are fading into history with each year since the death of the dictator Generalisimo Francesco Franco of Spain (see below).

Spain has an extremely diverse area of over 1/2 million sq.kms. compared to 92,345 sq.kms.for Portuga,l and a current population of nearly 40 million against 10 million. Castilian Spanish is the official language of the nation but varoius dialects - including Catalan and Basque- are still entrenched and spoken in the rural areas.

Its early history of being invaded by outsiders parallels that of Portugal and, with all these various influences shaping its destiny, it is not surprising that Spain also developed a will to succeed amongst nations as an equal - or more preferably, as the leader.

From the 16th Century through to the 18th Century, Spain began its climb to the top of the sea-faring nations and became the most powerful in Europe.

This was the time of the famous Spanish Main, which was the Caribbean coastal departure points for the myriads of treasure ships returning from South America laden with gold, silver and exotic spices and woods. It was also a ruthless time, because the more wealth that was accumulated the more that was desired.

Spanish explorers - and exploiters - had scoured the known world, and colonies were established in places like the Philippines, Mexico, the Caribbean islands and various areas of South America - and the riches pillaged from these outposts stretched all the way back into Spain's treasure-houses including those of the church. The Christian religion, as espoused by the Spanish Jesuit missionary priests of the era, was a crushing impost placed on the native inhabitants of the areas that were colonised. Thousands of the 'heathens', from great civilisations that preceded that of Spain, died in the name of Christendom.

During this period of Spanish expansion, it was found to be more economical to transport precious metals in refined form so the authorisation to mint coins and process ingots outside of Spain was granted. Coinage in particular became a necessity to pay Spanish troops and establish a monetary system in counties that had only bartered or used primitive forms of currency. Mints were established in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Manila in the Philippines.

When other nations or individual groups, such as pirates or bucanneers tried to make inroads into Spanish domains or steal Spanish Gold and Silver the action was inevitable and bloody. Spain often went to war against its European rivals over the centuries - their wars were commercially motivated as a rule but often hidden under layers of other 'reasons'. Alliances were expediously made and just as easily broken - but wars were always costly, so more gold and silver would be required at any cost - including human lives. The confrontation with England in 1588 and the loss of the great Spanish Armada was the down-turning point in Spain's major role in European affairs and it would never really recover. Consequently, the rapid rise of other nations'  fortunes saw Spain slowly but surely go the way of Portugal with the gradual loss of its over-stretched colonial empire. Spain consolidated its hold on the most profitable colonies, and succeeded for some time, but the inevitable 'writing was on the wall' no matter how ruthless the administrators became. The Spanish court was always filled with intrigue and abounded with courtiers who were prepared to do whatever had to be done to make sure that their positions and estates were safe and their pockets lined with gold.

The mental stability of the intermarried Spanish and Portuguese royal families was always in doubt and the bureaucracy of both Iberian nations was often in full control with the monarchs, such as Spain's Ferdinand VI and his equally neurotic Portuguese wife, Barbara, confined to their palaces.


1758 Ferdinand VI .813 Silver One Real (Obverse) - Mexico City Mint - (Actual size 20mm)



It would take a few more hundred years but, when the fall of the Spanish Empire eventually came, it was cruel and bloody as history now recalls.

At the turn of the 19th Century, with the forced abdication and exile in France of the ineffectual Carlos IV, who had been  manipulated by his wife and her lover for many years within a 'menage de trois', and the meteoric rise to power of France's Napoleon Bonaparte, the situation posed an unsurmountable problem for the Spanish royalty. This was also the time of the Spanish Inquisition when many thousands were persecuted and cruelly killed - again by the orders of the church, but sanctioned by the crown in an effort to keep a tight rein of a country that was rumbling for the same freedoms that were being won by blood in France.

Spain had initially opposed France in the years after the French Revolution, but changed sides as Napoleon gained strength by his victories - however, it was a big mistake - because the combined French-Spanish Fleet was eventually destroyed at Trafalgar by the English admiral, Horatio Nelson, in 1805.


1804 Carlos IV .903 Silver 8 Reales (Obverse and Reverse) -  Mexico City Mint

(Actual size 40mm) This one of the types of coins that were made into Holey Dollars in some English colonies such as Canada and Australia by cutting out the centre which was then used as a separate coin.


When Napoleon gave his blessing to Carlos' son, Ferdinand VII, to take the throne it was expected that a few years of puppet rule would occur and things would then get back to normal.

However, almost immediately, Bonaparte started to mistrust  Ferdinand VII and the Spanish king was lured to a meeting in France and placed under protective custody but, even though he was forced to abdicate, he continued to hold court and receive guests.

In 1812, the French Emperor's star started to fade when he was turned back from Moscow. With Joseph (Jose) Bonaparte appointed as king by his younger brother, the French stayed on as rulers of Spain until the defeat of the Imperial army at Waterloo in 1814 and only then was Ferdinand was restored to the Spanish throne. While he was in France, Ferdinand had given many indications to his supporters that, whilst he was going to be a reformist monarch, he would not be an extremist - but, unfortunately, but didn't live up to his promises.. Between 1814 and his death in 1833, unrest and civil war erupted on several occasions due to radical amendments Frederick made to the Constitution and also by the alteration of the Line of Succession Act to the throne to allow his daughter, Isabella, to become Queen instead of choosing his brother as the nearest male relative as was the custom under 'Salic law'. It was during this time of internal conflict and civil disobedience that the remainder of the Spanish colonial holdings in Mexico and Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay in South America were finally lost in the independence tide that was roaring through the Americas, led by Simon Bolivar and others.

Refer: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept2003.htm  (Part One) and:  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Oct2003.htm   (Part 2).


Ferdinand's wife, Maria Christina, a Neapolitan niece of France's Marie Antoinette, was to be appointed Queen Regent as Isabella was only 3 y.o. when she became Queen of Spain, but Ferdinand's death heralded the start of the Succession Civil wars, known by history as the Carlista Wars, between Isabella's loyal supporters and her uncle, Carlos, who had expected to inherit the throne as per custom.

Other regents followed the resignation of Queen Regent Maria Christina after the wars and, eventually at age 16, Isabella was married off to a gay French count and had 12 children - it is believed by different fathers - but only 4 survived. It was strongly believed that a handsome captain-of-the-guard, Enrique Puig y Moltó, was the father of one son destined to become Alfonso XII of Spain.

Her marriage to a Frenchman had mightily upset the English who wanted her to marry an English nobleman - a nephew of Prince Albert.

Even though she was responsible for several major reforms, Isabella was not a good ruler and became very disliked by the church and the people to the point she lost the support of her army, and, in September 1868 when Spain formed its First Republic, she went into exile and then she was forced to abdicate in 1870 in favour of her son, Alfonso. The country was being run by a Provisional Government during this period of unrest and the royals were not ill treated.



1870 Provisional Government Copper coinage - 2, 5, 10 Centimos - all coins with seated Libertad obverses and rampant Lion and shield reverses

1870 Provisional Government .835 Silver 2 Pesetas Reclining Libertad Obverse - reverse Spanish Coat-of-Arms

1877 Alfonso XII Bronze 10 Centimos royal effigy obverse - reverse Spanish Royal Coat-of-Arms


During 1871, the ruling military-backed body in Spain, the Cortes, decided to re-instate the monarchy but did not want Isabella involved in any way, so they chose Amadeus (Amedeo), Duke of Aosta, a distant  Italian relation of the former royal family through its Austrian connections.

For centuries, many of the royals or ex-royals of the European nations can trace their ancestry back to a few common sources because of the system of arranged marriages that were usually politically motivated to gain commercial or military allies. Spain was no different, and their royal family had strong ties with Portugal, France, Italy, Austria-Hungary and Germany in particular.

However, Amedeo I lost his main military backer, General Juan Prim, to an assassin and, with that, he found it exceedingly difficult to control those whose wanted power - including Isabella's uncle Carlos (the Pretender) who still wanted power.

He declared himself King Carlos VII and laid claim to the Spanish throne as rightful heir because Isabella had abdicated and Amedeo was only a distant relative.

Amedeo held on until 1872 when the increasingly violent circumstances became impossible to deal with, and on 11th.February 1873 he abdicated.

Another republic was formed late that night and Amedeo immediately returned to his home in Turin, Italy to take up his position as Duke of Aosta.

Meanwhile, Isabella's son, the young legitimate king, Alfonso XII, who had attended Sandhurst Military Academy in England, decided to  return to Spain and raise a popular army to reclaim the throne. In 1876 he successfully set about the task and then went on to defeat and depose his great-uncle Carlos in 1878.

Carlos, under the title of King Carlos VII, had issued  5 and 10 Centimos Copper coinage in 1875 when he was trying to legitimize his claim to the Spanish Throne

Isabella had returned briefly to Spain in 1874 as well but she became involved in political intrigue and was politely requested to leave and not come back.

She died in Paris on April 10, 1904 and her body was returned to Spain for entombment..

In 1878, Alfonso XII married a cousin, Maria de las Mercedes, but tragedy struck and she succumbed to illness after a marriage of only six months.

His second marriage, in November 1879, was to  another distant relative, Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria.

Just after both of his marriages, two different attempts were made to assassinate the king by Carlist fanatics armed with pistols but they were unsuccessful.

The second union produced two daughters and one son, one daughter was christened Maria de las Mercedes after Alfonso's first wife and the other was named Maria Teresa - both married into related royal families of Spain and Bavaria.

The son, born posthumously after Alfonso XII had died of tuberculosis in 1885, was also named Alfonso.

Alfonso XII was always regarded as a benevolent and tactful man who ruled by popular accord not by the sword. It was during his reign that the war between the U.S.A. and Spain may have created an atmosphere of revolt in Spain but Alfonso was too well-liked by that time and he held the nation together.

Queen Maria Christina acted as Regent while Alfonso XIII was growing up and it wasn't until 1906 that he officially became of age to take the throne as king in his own right.


Spain 1891 - 2, King Alfonso XIII .900 Silver 5 Pesetas effigy Obverses - reverses Spanish Coat-of-Arms

(Effigies at age 6 and 7 y.o. - with his mother Queen Maria Christina as Regent)


On May 31st of that year Alfonso married Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, the Scottish-born daughter of King Edward VII of England. Like his father, Alfonso and his bride were victims of an attempted assassination just after their wedding but they escaped unharmed from the bomb blast - even though many others were killed and wounded. The royal family eventually had 7 children but most of the male births were not blessings.

Prince Alfonso Pío Cristino Eduardo, the first child born in 1907, was a hemophiliac (a disease that can cause uncontrollable bleeding) and he eventually renounced his claims to the throne.

Prince Jaime Luitpold Isabelino Enrique, born in 1908, was a deaf-mute who also renounced his claim to the throne.

Princess Beatriz Isabel Federica Alfonsa Eugenia was born in 1909.

Prince Fernando was stillborn in 1910.

Princess  Maria Cristina Teresa Alejandra was born in 1911.

Prince Juan Carlos Teresa Silvestre Alfonso de Borbon y Battenberg, was born in 1913 and destined to become the heir to the throne of Spain.

Prince Gonzalo Manuel María Bernardo, who was born in 1914, was also cursed with hemopilia and not fit to be considered as a suitable heir if need arose.


Alfonso XIII also had 3 illegitimate offspring - all healthy. The first, Roger Leveque de Vilmorin, was born in 1905 to a French aristocrat, Mélanie de Gaufridy de Dortan.

A Spanish actress, Carmen Ruíz Moragas, was the mother of another boy born in 1929 -  Leandro Alfonso de Borbón Ruíz (who was recognised as the son of the King in 2003) and a girl - Ana María Teresa Ruíz Moragas.

Whilst Alfonso was a great supporter of all things Spanish, his reign was marked by the loss of the last two major colonial holdings - the Philippines and Cuba.

In April 1931, the chaotic political situation in Spain saw the formation of the Second Republic which would be followed shortly by the Spanish Civil War and the rise of a commoner, Francisco Franco Bahamond, to the highest position in Spain.


Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo de Andrade, later known as Francisco Franco, was born in the town of El Ferrol in the Galicia State of Spain on December 4th 1892. As a young man he wanted to join the Spanish Navy because his father had been a Naval post-master, but, when the Americans won the Spanish-American War in 1898, the opportunities became distant and he ended up taking on his military career with the Army. Franco was not a brilliant or athletic student but he was single-minded in achieving his objectives by any means.

It was at this time that Spain was combatting the rising of the Riff tribes in Morocco and, in 1915 at age 23, Franco was severely wounded at an incident at El Biutz.. However, his bravery and tenacity brought him to the attention of his superiors and he was promoted to Major.

His new mentors was Lieutenant Colonel José Millán Astray, who would go on to form the Spanish version of the French foreign Legion - the Legion Extranjera - with the same brutal sense of  'Death or Glory' as the French Legion.

Franco was selected to be Astray's Second-in-Command and, it was in the Legion, that he fine-tuned the art of ruthlessness and learnt that the lives of men, women and children were of no importance except to use to futher the cause he was involved in..

In 1921, units of the Legion, under Franco's command, were responsible for saving the Spanish enclave at Melilla after the Riffs decisively beat the regular Spanish Army at a place called Annual.

Again this action did not go un-noticed by his superiors, and he was held in high esteem as a talented rising star, particularly in right-wing military circles.

Franco married in 1923 - his wife, María del Carmen Polo y Martínez Valdés, bore him only one child in 1924, a daughter named Maria del Carmen.

By 1925, Franco had been promoted to Colonel and had been at the head of his troops when they landed at Alhucemas, the stronghold of the Republic of the Riff tribes, in 1925. The eventual victory, which was assisted by French forces that also had interests in the area, was the stepping-stone that Franco needed to become the youngest General in the Spanish Army in 1926. He was also appointed as director of a new Military Academy at Zarrragoza which was designed to teach aspects of modern warfare - in fact, it taught the same murderous doctrine of soldiering that Franco had embraced in the Legion Extranjera.


However, success is a double-edged sword and certain elements within the government  now decided that Franco's military and burgioning political career should be slowed down before they became victims of Franco's ambition. The political climate in Spain leading up to 1931, and the fall of the monarchy, was one of intrigue and carefully chosing sides and Franco tried to keep his career intact by maintaining a relatively neutral stance but the Military Academy was closed, he was passed over in seniority and posted out of Spain to the Balaeric Islands to keep him seperated from other potential anti-Republican dissidents. The Republic at this time was finely balanced between the two extremes of politics.

The wheel of fortune turned a full circle however when the ideals of the Second Republic failed to impress the people and a new right-wing dominated government was formed in 1933. Franco was brought back from the military wilderness to put down a rebellion by left-wing miners in Asturias in Northern Spain - which he did with typical brutality and vigour. His next promotion, with political sanction,  was to the Army's top position as Chief of the General Staff.

It was during this era that Portugal and Spain became engaged in passionate political - and some physical - turmoil with elements of the Communist Party, the Nationalists, and sides had been polarising with deadly resolve particularly in Spain. High level manoeuvring and high levels of intrigue between the two countries was compounded by the desires of other nations in Europe to become involved in the struggles - on both sides of the spectrum. Murders and assassinations were being carried out on a daily basis.

Portugal became secretly subservient to Spain and, even though they publically denied it and spoke bravely about Republicism - the real danger of a Spanish invasion was always lurking just over the border at the whim of the Spanish.

Portuguese volunteers, of both sexes and of all ages, flocked across the border to bolster the Communist cause. Those Portuguese who were caught suffered the most terrible deaths - no trials nor any mercy was shown by the Spanish right-wing Falangists.

Another twist of fate occurred in February 1936 when the left-wing powers in partnership with the more moderate Republicans won power back from the right-wing  Fascists and gained control of the Government. Franco was sent away again - this time he ended up on the Canary Islands - but not for long. With strong Fascists ties to Germany it was not long before German 'volunteers' and equipment also started to pour into Spain, courtesy of Adolf Hitler. By July 1936, Italy's Benito Mussolini sent a squadron of planes and 'volunteers to re-inforce the Spanish Fascist forces and, by September, the country had degenerated into a Civil War that was hideous in its mass brutality.

The war only lasted nearly three years but casualties reached an estimate of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 killed - with a large percentage of the deaths a result of massacres and executions by both sides.  The Spanish Catholic Church was sympathetic to the rebel cause - or was percieved to be - and it was persecuted by the Republicans with full vigour. There were massacres of Catholic clergy and churches, monasteries and convents were burned. It is believed that 12 bishops, 283 nuns, 4,184 priests and 2,365 monks were murdered.

Franco seized the moment after the Civil War ground to a halt in April 1939 with victory to the better-resourced right-wing factions. With an ability to pull together all of these factions in Spain at that time, he was given the title of Head of State and then "Caudillo de España por la gracia de Dios"  - which translates as "The Leader of Spain by the Grace of God". His timing was impeccable as Europe disintergrated into WWII on September 1st. 1939..

During the Second World War, Franco's Spain was officially 'neutral' but, in fact, it was heavily pro-Axis in many ways due to the assistance that had been forthcoming during the Civil War. Spanish volunteer troops fought against the Russians, docking facilities were available for German ships, and some recreational and diplomatic ties were maintained with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. A special deal was struck by Franco and Portugal's Prime Minister Salazar to keep out of the war.


When the Second Republic was formed, King Alfonso and his family had abandoned Spain for the safety of Franc  and even though he favoured a military uprising by the Nationalists (right-wing Fascists) against the 'Popular Front' (the left-wing Communists), he had been advised by General Franco that he had lost the support of the people. The uneasy coalition between the two factions was maintained until the new government was elected in 1933.

Franco had formed a right-wing Republican army, but its majority was made up of 'Carlist' elements who refused to recognise the legitimacy of Alfonso XIII's throne since his father, Alfonso XII, had defeated his great-uncle, the pretender Carlos I, in 1878. However, it was a means to an end as far as Franco was concerned.

The royal family had moved to Italy under the protection of Mussolini's Fascist government and, in 1941, while living in Rome, Alfonso XIII passed away aged 56.

He was officially succeeded by his 28 y.o. son, Juan Carlos, the Count of Barcelona, however  this son was never destined to sit on the Spanish throne.

Juan Carlos had married Princess María de las Mercedes Cristina Genara Isabel Luisa Carolina Victoria of Bourbon Two-Sicilies on October 112th. 1935, while the family was still in exile in Rome, and they had 4 children.

Princess María del Pilar Alfonsa Juana Victoria Luísa Ignacia de Todos los Santos was born in 1936.

Prince Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor María was born in 1938

Princess Margarita María de la Victoria Esperanza Jacoba Felicidad Perpetua de Todos los Santos, born in 1939.

Prince Alfonso Cristino Teresa Angelo Francisco de Asis y Todos los Santos was born in 1941. He was mysteriously shot dead - by accident - with only his elder brother, Juan Carlo, as witness. It was never revealed publicly who accidently pulled the trigger.


After living in Rome, the Count decided to move his residence to Estoril in Portugal to be nearer to Spain, due to the fact that Franco had declared his intention of reinstitutionalising the monarchy. However, the change would be slow in coming and, in Spain, the new Nationalist Government issued a small range of coinage.

This government had been formed as a compromise body and was firmly under the control of the Caudillo de España - Francisco Franco - who was still as ruthless as ever. Secret concentration camps, murders, torture and secret police were methods he covertly used while presenting himself to the world as a benelovent dictator and guardian of the people.


The Spanish Nationalists only issued 3 small denominations in coins between 1939 - 1949

Aluminium 5 and 10 Centimos with man with lance on horseback (obverse) and National Coat-of-Arms (reverse)

 Aluminium-Bronze One Peseta with symbolic designs and value (obverse) and National Coat-of-Arms (reverse)


The National Government had lasted from 1939 - 1947 and little changed in the next few years, even a few coins under the Nationalist banner were still issued, probably through neccessity.

In 1949, Spain was classified as a Kingdom, or constitutional monarchy, although Franco was still in strict control and was now issuing coinage bearing his likeness and his title of 'Caudillo de España'. These dictatorial issues would continue, until 1966, in denominations of Aluminium 10 and 50 Centimos, an Aluminium-Bronze One and 2 1/2Pesetas, and a range of 5, 25 and 50 Pesetas in C.N. (a selection shown below) as well as .800 Silver 100 Pesetas.



A selection of coins issued by the authority of Generalisimo Francisco Franco and bearing his likeness (obverse) with Coat-of-Arms (reverse)

1959 Aluminium 10 Centimos; 1966 Aluminium-Bronze Peseta; 1957 Copper-Nickel 5, 25 and 50 Pesetas.

C.N. 50 Centimos (1949 - 1963 with centre-hole) Anchor and Rope (obverse) Coat-of-Arms (reverse)

All small denomination Centimos had been withdrawn as legal tender by 1980 as being of little use.


In 1969, General Franco was concerned that Juan Carlos, still waiting in Portugal, would turn the Republic back to a political Falangist state so he advised the Government that, in return for the restitution, Juan Carlos was to be by-passed in favour of his son, Prince Juan Carlos de Borbon, (Alfonso XIII's grandson) who had been born in 1938 and who was more amicable to the 'democratic' processes that had been initiated by the government during the 1970's..

With his usual astuteness, Franco ensured that he would still retain some semblence of authority by making himself 'Life Regent' - the power behind the throne.

When Franco died on Nov 20 1975, the decisions regarding the royal family had already been made and the only thing left was the implementation of his will.

It was then nearly 44 years since the Second Republic had been formed in 1931.

Juan Carlos, the Count of Barcelona and the legitimate king of Spain renounced his rights in 1977, two years after his son was declared King Juan Carlos I of Spain by the new democratic government formed after Franco's demise. After assuming the throne, Juan Carlos I proved to be a match for the old guard politicians left over from Franco's regime and he began implementing new freedoms to lift Spain into a truly democratic nation. A new Consitution was established in December 1978. Juan Carlos, the father, was 'officially' recognised by his son, and, the title of Count of Barcelona was confirmed. It should be noted that after his death in 1993 he was buried as the uncrowned King Juan III,  with full honours, pomp and ceremony, in the Royal Crypt at San Lorenzo del Escorial Monastery, which is located near Madrid.


In 1975, the Spanish Mint was authorised to produce a range of coinage with denominations commencing with an Aluminium 50 Centimos (only two issues 1975 and 1980), a 22mm. Aluminium-Bronze Peseta (1975 - 80) followed by an 22mm. Aluminium  Peseta (1982-89), an Aluminium 2 Pesetas (1982 and 1984) and C.N. coins including 5, 25, 50 and 100 Pesetas all bearing the effigy of Juan Carlos I of Spain. These early coins with the Juan Carlos I  obverse usually had a reverse consisting of the value and a new depiction of the Crowned Coat-of-Arms.These basic styles remained virtually unchanged until 1989.


Juan Carlos I King of Spain

22mm. Aluminium-Bronze and Aliminium 22 mm.One Peseta coins issued between 1975 - 1989

Revised size 15mm Aluminium One Peseta issued 1989 - 1996


In 1989, a radical change was undertaken in the coinage - most coins were reduced in size, metal compositions were modernised and Aluminium, Aluminium-Bronze, Nickel Brass as well as Copper-Nickel became the main circulating coinage materials  The size of the Aluminium 1989 One Peseta was reduced to approx.15mm (shown above), the 2 Peseta was completely dropped, the Aluminium-Bronze 5 Peseta was now 18mm., the Copper-Nickel 10 Pesetas was 19mm., the Nickel-Bronze centre-holed 25 Peseta was 20mm., the 7 scalloped edge Copper-Nickel 50 Pesetas was now 21mm., the Aluminium-Bronze 100 Pesetas had a diameter of 25mm., from 1986 - 89 the Copper-Nickel 200 Pesetas had been approx.22mm. but from 1989 it increased to 26mm., the last of the common circulation coins, the 500 Pesetas, was made from an alloy of Copper-Aluminium-Nickel and had a diameter of 28mm. (shown below)

The edges employed were plain, reeded, plain and reeded with incused lettering or markings, alternate plain and reeded.

Over the later years of the last millennium, the obverses of some issues became very stylised and the reverses of all denominations were usually showcases of commemorative events or Spanish architecture both historic and modern..


Various Spanish coins obverses and reverses (pre 1989 and some revised issues after that date)

The majority of modern pre-Euro Spanish coins in all denominations were designed to be annual commemorative.

l.to r. (Top row) - Old 5 Pesetas; New 5 Pesetas; New 10 Pesetas; Old 25 and New 25 Pesetas.

(Middle row) - New scalloped-edge 50 Pesetas; 100 Pesetas; Old 200 and New 200 Pesetas with Juan Carlos I and Heir Apparent, Prince Filipe (b. 1968).

(Bottom) 500 Pesetas with effigies of Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia


Casa de la Moneda - The Spanish Mint in Madrid 2000.

Picture courtesy of Roger McNeice OAM., Tasmanian Numismatic Society ©


Some higher denominations maintained their .925 Sterling Silver content but the majority of 200 and 500 Pesetas were produced in combinations of the new alloys. Special large value commemorative coins from  5000, 10000, 20,000, 40,000 and 80,000 Pesetas were produced in Sterling Silver and .999 Fine Gold. until the nation became committed to join the European Economic Union and agreed to use the Euro coinage (shown below) and currency.

Spain's economy has remained relatively stable during the last 2 - 3 years due to popular reforms and careful fiscal management.


Spain 1999 - 2002 Euro coin set Obverses (Private packaging)

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, famous author Miguel de Cervantes and King Juan Carlos I


Acknowledgements, Recommended Reading and Main References

Wikipedia Free Encyclopaedia  Refer:



The Iberian monarchies and other leaders. Refer:



Standard Catalog of World Coins (Various editions) Published by Krause Publications.





Between 1851 - 1853, the United States Mint introduced a regular circulation .750 Silver 3 Cent piece and, from 1854 - 1873, they  increased the intrinsic value of the metal content  up to .880 Silver.  However, because it was such a small sized (14mm) coin that showed overall wear and tear very quickly, it was overlapped and eventually replaced by a harder-wearing 17.9mm Copper-Nickel 3 Cent version - with a more substantial deeper engraved design - that was issued from 1865 - 1889 until the 3 Cent denomination was dropped from the range of coins being produced. The small 19mm .880 Copper - .120 Nickel  One Cent often refered to as the 'Indian Head' type Penny was, in fact, designed as Liberty adorned with an Indian head-dress.

It was produced from 1859 - 1909 when Liberty was ultimately replaced with the current Lincoln bust..

Also during this period, from 1860 - 1873, the U.S. Mint felt that a 15.5mm .900 Fine Silver Half-Dime (5 Cents) was called for, as a small value coin with greater flexibilty than the 3 Cent piece within the decimal system.

The .900 Silver Dime (10 Cents) was then being made as a 17.9mm coin and this was another reason that the 17.9mm Nickel 3 Cents had to go.

The Dime appeared in several varieties and a good catalogue should be refered to for details, particulary Varieties 4 (twice) and 5.

The Copper-Nickel Alloy Quarter Dollar (25 Cents) has been a mainstay in  American basic circulating coinage that has had many changes from its inception in 1796.

In 1999, the start of an imaginative Statehood Quarter Series commenced with coins issued in the chronological order that statehood was granted, and this series will continue to be ongoing until the end of 2008 when all the states will have been represented.

The reason that the coins mentioned here is of particular note is that these few denominations are the only basic circulation coins produced by the United States of America that have the national legend on the obverse - all of the myriad of others have either Stars, the word Libery, or some other legend - and the words 'United States of America' are part of the reverse design.




Part selection of 'United States of America' obverse coinage.

1881 19mm (Small) .880 Copper Cent - (J B. Longacre - designer) Liberty with Indian Headress Type

1868 17.9mm Copper-Nickel 3 Cent - (J. B. Longacre - designer) Liberty with Tiara Type

1912 17.9mm .900 Silver Dime - (C. E. Barber - designer) Liberty with Wreathed Head Type

1999 Copper-Nickel bonded to Copper core Quarter - (W. Cousens - modified design) George Washington Type


Main reference.

A Guide Book of United States Coins (The Official RED BOOK) - by R.S. Yoeman (2001 Edition)





wishes YOU our Reader - the Compliments of the Season











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