Volume 11 Issue 12 INTERNET EDITION - Established 1996 December 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.
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We trust that this issue of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.
TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY
Anyone who wishes to apply for membership to the non-profit making organization, and who is prepared to abide by the rules of the Society and its aim of promoting the study and enjoyment of the hobby of numismatics, should contact the following address for an application form and details of subscriptions:
Tasmanian Numismatic Society.
G. P. O. Box 884J
by Graeme Petterwood © 1996 - 2006
Remember - be astute when you are handed change - not all the wonders of numismatics have been discovered yet - and they don't have to be shiny and new! This edition again features an assortment of 'trivia' that I think is of interest and I trust it will prove educational and entertaining to you as well.
All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Please note that the photoscans of numismatic items are usually not to size or scale, but - wherever possible - they are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition.
LESSONS for LEARNERS
Part 4- Tokens and other Exonumia
by Graeme Petterwood © 2006
The easiest way to explain the topic of 'Tokens and other Exonumia' is to show you the pictures of some of the main types of collectables because this area of collecting is so huge - and there is virtually no limit on its variety. Let's start with tokens - which can be represented in metallic or other material forms.
TOKENS - In due course, every coin or banknote collector WILL end up having several examples of these items tucked away amongst his or her numismatic collection. Items of all sorts in this commercially oriented field, are being continually produced, and, as they are not governed by set issue amounts as a rule. - mainly to cater for an idea of the issuer - they are very economic acquisitions. Whilst many - but not all - tokens have some sort of redeemable value in merchanise or a service, they are primarily a form of advertising give-away gimmick or an item to replace the need for coinage for any number of ventures, and, therefore, it would defeat the purpose for them to cost too much to obtain in the first place. Those that are retained by the public usually generate a small additional profit for the issuer due to the fact the replacement cost is less than the customer's purchase price.
Transport tokens, for instance, are prepaid 'tickets-to-ride' which saves the prospect of the conductor or driver having to waste time making change or carry tempting amounts of coinage with him That is not to say that some tokens or other items don't get valuable...........
Some businesses combine advertising with a 'Good For ...." token. These 'Good For' types usually promise a small discount of a stated amount as shown on the token for merchandise or service and can only be redeemed at the address shown on the token. Other pieces are purely distributed as an advertising ploy or to get a message to the public just as 'junk mail' is used. Be aware, however, that because of the interest in 'exotic' sounding tokens a 'fantasy' market has sprung up and tokens are being made and sold that are not legitimate issues. They have become an interesting sideline to genuine tokens.
Saloon tokens and Brothel tokens are produced with risque advertising slogans to cater to the market niche that exists for this sort of stuff.
'Aux Belles Poules' (To the beautiful Chickens) is self-explanatory - the token is actual three pieces and is referred to as a 'shellcard' token.
A centre of heavy cardboard, or similar material, is encased in a thin metal top and bottom to keep the cost down.
The gold foil covered chocolate money shown below is manufactured in a similar way.
Some tokens are cleverly-made to enclose an actual low value coin - and, because of our inbuilt aversion to throwing away money, that type of novelty token will probably be retained to spread its message whereas a plain, cheap aluminium piece may be thrown away by a disinterested member of the public.
Commemorative tokens act in a similar way to their larger cousins - the medallions. They are usually smaller than most medallions and not as carefully made and they are often issued by a community group to publicise an historic or current event.
Some of the buying prices of these can be a little more than you would expect, but they are usually produced and sold to fund the event or preserve an historical site or whatever. As mentioned, the amount of different types of tokens - made from vegetable, animal or mineral sources - is unimagineable.
Many U.S. tokens, in particular, are valuable reflections of that nation's history from the early days of the Wild West up until reasonably modern times.
The countless stories will probably never all be documented - but those collectors who have done the research on a older token- and made the effort to share their findings - are presenting us with snippets of events, and people's lives, that are absolutely fascinating - and sometimes very thought-provoking.
Shown above, is a white cardboard token (dated 1938), courtesy of T.N.S. member, researcher and author Jerry Adams, which originated from the Mt. Carmel Center, which was located in Waco, Texas. The story of what happened at Mt. Carmel on April 19th. 1993 is now written into American history-books and is a good example of how a token - like a coin - can be a catalyst in recalling events.
For those who are interested in all details of this token - and the bloody and fiery tragedy that eventually took place at Mt. Carmel - please refer to the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' illustrated article. http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept2000
A LITTLE BIT OF THIS & THAT.....
Commercially produced 'Good for One Ride' redeemable Transport tokens - Rail, Buses, Trams and Ferries - very plentiful as a rule - but some pieces from obsolete transport (horse-drawn trams for instance) are potentially valuable.
Political 'Funny' Money is usually circulated and distributed by the political party members. Always a bit available.
Commemorative message 'funny money' notes - many similar items are produced with military or novelty themes.
Plastic and metal - current Casino gambling chips are obtainable and redeemable at face value at venues.
Chips from some former historic (or infamous) U.S. casinos - like the Marina, Las Vegas - are very desirable and command high premiums from dedicated collectors.
Departmental Store (short-term) redeemable promotional vouchers are hard to come by in pristine (UNC.) condition.
'Million or Billion' novelty Dollar notes - usually with a patriotic or political theme. Produced in huge quantities.
The famous Wooden Nickels (can be any 'value') often have a redeemable or 'Good For .... ' value.
Usually, the modern versions of round 'wooden nickels' are used as novelty advertising pieces and sometimes promise a small discount off a product or service. Lately, plastic 'wooden nickel' discs have started to appear. Prices generally range from 5 Cents - $5.00 per piece for all styles and materials.
Advertising and promotional tokens can be produced in great numbers - and, even if some early or unusual ones have some historical value, they are still a cheap financial investment as collectibles.
The original wooden nickels were used in the form of emergency scrip - and the first issue was made mainly to relieve an acute shortage of coin in the rural area of Tenino, Washington, during the American Depression of the 1930's when the local farmer's bank went broke and closed its doors.
Some U.S. Wooden Nickels are still produced in the original oblong shape - and these are extremely thin (one ply) just a little thicker than a heavy business card.
'Christmas Greetings 2000' - Oblong wooden nickels from the late Jerry Remick - formerly one of Canada's leading numismatists.
For many years the late Jerry Remick, a geologist as well as a numismatist, commissioned Christmas medallions to send to friends.
The common obverse, with text in French, featured a depiction of a Canadian One Cent, Geologists tools and crystals - the differing annual reverses featured Christmas messages in two or three languages and a traditional scene or icon.
Disney Dollars have denomination values equivalent to U.S. Dollars and can be redeemed at any DisneyLand venue for cash if need be.
No expiry date - just like official U.S. currency. Older series and low Serial numbers are very collectable.
Elgin Coin Club of Chicago $1.00 presentation anniversary voucher - available to members (or friends) only.
These sorts of items will probably never be redeemed due to their limited releases and souvenir values.
Unofficial 'micro-nations' sometimes issue limited ranges of unusual 'coinage and currency' to raise finance - some intrinsic metal items are quite valuable because of their novelty value and low mintages.
Reproduction items used as novelties - like plastic key-ring tags..... or as chocolate coins.
These sorts of items also are collectable - but the 'Chokkie' money usually has a limited life-span. Munch!
'Cruise Adventures' of Queensland- Cruise Currency in various denominations c. April 1989
S.M.N. Amsterdam Steamship Line - Boordgeld 10 and 5 Cents c. 1947
Cruise Currency, in either paper or metallic token form, has been available for many years and is purchased for use on board selected vessels as it saves the neccessity of carrying actual money for use during a trip. The redeemable 'notes' or 'coins' are usually only obtainable by being a passenger.
Many pieces are retained as 'souvenirs'.
Souvenir tokens are produced in large numbers, and in various forms, all over the world and are very popular mementos of venues visited.
Often dispensed from machines or tourist shops, these are interesting and very collectable - but they will not appreciate too much.
EXONUMIA - This encompassing word covers a multitude of semi-numismatic items such as banking or credit union establishment memorabilia, money-boxes, cheques, primitive items used as money (bartering) - the list goes on and on - plastic telephone cards, direct debit charge and credit cards, numismatic advertising posters etc.etc. etc....... many of these items have their own sub-headings applied by specialists in the subject, but, let us learners look at a few examples before we head down that collectable by-way.
Beads and Arrowheads - an early form of exchange ('money') used in bartering.
Many primitive cultures used artefacts in this way - a very interesting topic - and some big prices are negotiated amongst specialists.
Various phonecards from around the world are classified as 'fringe' numismatic items and are accepted as exonumia.
Typical older Australian Telecom (now Telstra) magnetic strip phonecards - iconic and pictorial.
Many collectors - including the author - are still holding a few of these old 'mint condition' local issue magnetic strip pictorial phonecards - which will probably never reach their original cost price and are even unusable in the more modern telephone systems.There are still phonecard collectors - and even some dedicated clubs - but they are usually on a far smaller scale than originally. The super-heated early popularity of this topic abated very rapidly once the profit-takers had reached their limits, and the prices are now stabilizing to a realistic level.
Collectibles - such as phonecards - have a habit of re-surfacing occasionally, so, keep the earlier Australian pictorial issues in mind.
Plastic advertising card presented to participants at a 1994 Coin, Stamp & Phonecard Show in Tasmania.
U.S. One Cent coin rolled and stretched then re-stamped with a novelty design. Many varieties - but fairly specialised collectible.
You may, or may not, get hooked on any of these aspects of our hobby - but, one thing is absolutely sure, you WILL also end up with bits and pieces of exonumia that will take up that bit of the cupboard space that should be filled with your main numismatic items - and someone will probably growl at you!
Last, but not least, you will end up with heaps of books and catalogues, magazines and assorted pieces of paper, covering nearly every aspect of our hobby - not because you do collect all these things but, because one day you think you MIGHT!
A selection of catalogues which are the sign of a rabid numismatist.
The Confederate Paper Money book is a specialized edition - but the other two are basic Australian and New Zealand essential reading.
A 1952 funny money (cropped) offering from the U.S. state of Texas that is so huge that my home scanner is too short to fit it all in at one go.
Actual note size 13 1/2 in. x 5 1/2 in. (34 x 14 cms.)
JANUARY 2007 Vol. 12 Issue 1.
Counterfeits & Forgeries by Ian Hartshorn Plus much more.....!
A SPECIAL THANK YOU!
This 'thank you' is a bit belated, but I feel that the time is now right to say it. Things have not been easy - I would be lying if I said otherwise.
I, and my family, would like to take this opportunity to pass on our sincere Thanks and Appreciation to fellow Tasmanian Numismatic Society members and those many other good friends within the numismatic fraternity, for the assistance and encouragement that you have been able to provide during the last 15 months since my wife, Ailsa, passed away.
The October 2004 ANDA Fair at Wrest Point in Hobart was to be the last enjoyable event we attended together before her illness was diagnosed, and she and I were so glad, in retrospect, that we had the chance to meet with so many of the people who had touched our lives over the 15 years we had been involved at this level.
Roger and Jill McNeice, Chris Heath, Marion Whittle, Ian McConnelly, John Mulhall, Greg and Jenny McDonald, Jerry and Sandy Adams - are a few names do spring to mind because of their generosity of spirit, either personally or by correspondence, during the hardest of times - but there are just too many extremely kind people to mention all of them individually.
My friends, you are a precious asset to me and worth your weight in Gold! Thank You!
Graeme E. Petterwood (Editor)
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