‘NUMISNET WORLD’


Volume 15 Issue 12          Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)          December 2010


 

‘NUMISNET WORLD'

INTERNET EDITION

Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2010.

************************************************************

Any comments published in this privately produced - not for profit -  newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor. 

Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, any 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 -  or  - (2) To provide additional important information. 

Some illustrated items - including their designs and packaging -  may be subject to existing copyright restrictions. In such instances, they may not be replicated or their images reproduced or republished - unless prior permission is sought from, and given by, the originator, owner or licensee of such item, design or packaging.

 

Please consider my conditional invitation to make a literary contribution if you feel you have something numismatically themed that may appeal to a general level of interest and fulfils our stated editorial guidelines. 

As Editor, I am always prepared to look at it - and if need be - assist in presentation.  However, please be aware that not every submission will be automatically accepted for publication.  We regret the imposition of 'editorial control' - but previous experience has necessitated the following conditions.

If common courtesy, and normally acceptable moral standards are not upheld, or, the subject matter is considered to contain plagiarized or defamatory content, or, if it is not considered 'generic' enough for this type of newsletter, or, if the subject has already been covered in depth in earlier editions - it may be refused, held aside or selectively edited.  This is, obviously, not a scientific-style journal - our object is to educate, certainly - but, hopefully, in an entertaining way for the average hobbyist collector.  - G.E.P.

 

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. 

Wherever possible - illustrations (*enlarged or otherwise) are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist' -  Internet Edition and the  'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition. © 1996 - 2010.

(Fair 'acknowledged' use of any original scan is allowed for educational purposes.)

*Please note that the photoscans of items are not always to size or scale.

 

PLEASE NOTE - RE-STATED DISCLAIMER: Where on-line web-site addresses are supplied, they are done so in good faith after we have checked them ourselves - however, our readers are advised that if a personal decision to access them is made - it is at your own risk.

 

**********************************************************

 

WOW! - IT'S NEARLY THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN!!

Reflection and Resolution.

To all our faithful friends, readers and correspondents.

 

On behalf of those who are involved in publishing 'NUMISNET WORLD', I wish that all the kindness of the Almighty Presence - and the true Fellowship of Man - be granted to you, our Reader, at the close of this year - and into the future.

 

At this time, we especially cast our warmest thoughts to our own loved ones and dear friends, colleagues and close associates - here, and in distant places. We also remember and, silently, thank those old numismatic friends, who have since left this mortal coil, for all the wonderful memories - and the heritage - that they have left in our care!

 

We look forward to our next numismatic year - and we invite you to join us!

'SEASON'S GREETINGS!'

Graeme E. Petterwood. (Editor).

Dec. 2010.

 

May Santa Claus slip a Proof coin of your choice into your Stocking!

 

************************************************************

AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION

PRE-DECIMAL COINS

Firstly, I must assure readers that this subject is not going to be a purely technical opus - or, hopefully, beyond the scope of most new collectors to understand. A good specialized catalogue is always an asset that collectors should have available for reference.

This brief article is meant to be a beginners basic reference about 'where' small change Australian coins were made from 1910 until c.1964 - with some background of the "why's and how's" of the coin-making system that is now part of our local numismatic history.

Much of the finer detail is readily available from those far more respected, and more thoroughly documented, sources than I plan to present here - but, like any other presenter, I gratefully - and respectfully - acknowledge the work of past researchers that I am drawing from - however, it is always handy to have a simple approach available as an alternative to fall back upon when a simple presentation is all that's needed. 

I hope that this is such an offering - and that it is suitable, within the context of this brief publication, to get the imagination working and, with it, the realization that there is much more to an old Australian coin than what first meets the eye.

 

This article is, purposely, not meant to be too deeply ensnarled within the intricate world of mint errors - or extraordinary varieties that concern some mintmarks - but, obviously, they can and do play a part in the larger scheme of things - nor, do I plan to explain the huge variety of pre-Federation colonial coinage - as those stories have also been told before and will be again.

I have made considered choices that I feel may be relevant - but, to go further, is to venture into another story that will intrigue our new collectors at a later stage of their learning process! 

 

However, the story of 'true-blue' pre-decimal Australian coinage dating from the Australian Federation era shows that it is not quite as 'true-blue' as we may think - it has many old and revered links to various official Mints in Great Britain, India, and even the United States of America - and that is the very complicated story that we will endeavour to relate in a simpler form.

 

THE MINTS THAT MADE OZ COINS. 1910 - 1964.

For ease of relating to the various mints that have produced Australian coinage from Federation 1910 until the onset of decimalisation in early 1966, I have established a set of letters within the table below to signify the appropriate Mint of issue.

Please be aware that some of these identification letters may have little or no bearing on any actual mint-marks on the coins. Illustrations are indicating locations only and may not include every Mint-mark in the denomination shown.

Refer the text, tables and also the  'Notes' for additional information.

 

Various Bronze Halfpenny coins with Mint-marks - actual size 25.5mm.

Minted in Birmingham, England at Heaton's Mint - 1912 (H under bottom scroll);

Minted in Calcutta, India - 1916 (I under bottom scroll);

Minted in Perth, Australia - 1951 (Dot after Y);  1953 (Dot after A).

 

Various Bronze Penny coins with Mint-marks - actual size 30.8mm.

Minted in Birmingham, England at Heaton's Mint  - 1915 (H under bottom scroll);

Minted in Calcutta, India - 1917 (I under bottom scroll);

Minted in Melbourne, Australia - 1919 (Dot under bottom scroll);

Minted in London, England - 1951 (PL located near rim between date and end Y of Penny).

 

Various Silver Threepences with/without Mint-marks - actual size 16mm.

Minted in Melbourne, Australia - 1917 (M under date);

Minted in Denver, USA - 1942 (D under 2 of date/ribbon);

Minted in Melbourne, Australia - 1943 (no Mint-mark);

Minted in San Francisco, USA - 1944 (S under 4 of date/ribbon);

Minted in London, England - 1951 (P &  L - each letter within the corner bottom folds of ribbon).

 

Various Silver Sixpences with Mint-marks - actual size 19mm.

Minted in Melbourne, Australia - 1919 (M under date);

Minted in San Francisco, USA - 1942 (S above date under 'Advance Australia' ribbon);

Minted in Denver, USA - 1943 (D above date under 'Advance Australia' ribbon);

Minted in London, England - 1951 (PL above date under 'Advance Australia' ribbon).

 

Various Silver Shillings with Mint-marks - actual size 23.5mm.

Minted in Melbourne, Australia - 1917 (M under date);

Minted in San Francisco, USA - 1943 (S under Ram's head in line with N).

Not shown:- 

Minted in Sydney, Australia - 1921 (Small Star above date);

Minted in Perth, Australia - 1946 (Small Dot between large star near Ram's horn and S of Shilling).

 

Silver Florin with Mint-mark - actual size 28.5mm.

Minted in San Francisco, USA - 1944 (S above date).

Not shown :-

Birmingham H mint-marks 1914 & 1915

Various Melbourne M mint-marks 1916 - 1919

 

Australian Mints producing Silver coinage from 1916 onwards, and Bronze coinage from 1919 on.

Melbourne (M) -  *No Mintmark.  Bronze coinage (1919 - 20) do have a 'Dot' under the bottom scroll to indicate Melbourne Mint.

                               The letter 'M' on Silver coins under the date between 1916 - 1920. (Refer notes for post-1938 Silver coinage.)

                              

Sydney (S) -          *No Mintmark.  Bronze Penny (1920) has a 'Dot' above the bottom scroll to indicate Sydney Mint..

                                Silver Shilling (1921) has Star above date indicating Sydney mintage. (Refer notes for post-1938 Silver coinage.)

 

Perth (P) -               *Bronze coinage often bears a strategic 'Dot' placed before and/or after the word -'Penny.' and/or 'Australia'.

                                 Silver Shilling (1946) has small Dot between large star and S of Shilling indicating Perth mintage.

                                 (Refer notes for post-1938 Silver coinage.)

 

English Mints that produced Australian Bronze & Silver coinage between 1910 - 1915.

London (L) -              *Often bears the letters 'PL' on both Bronze and Silver coinage.

 

Birmingham (B) -    *Often bear the letter - 'H' - for the contracted Ralph Heaton Mint in Birmingham.

 

Indian Mints that produced Australian Bronze coinage from 1916 - 1918.

Bombay (BI) -           *Order records are used to ascertain mintage - newer coins with Indian dies have the - I - on the obverse.

                                   Early dates on Bronze coins have the - I -  under the date.

                                  The rim beading on Indian dies (obverse) has one bead more (178) than the London die (177).

 

Calcutta (CI) -       *Ditto.

 

United States of America Mints that produced Australian .500 Silver coinage 1942 - 1944.

Denver (DU) -        *Often signified with letter 'D' above the date, or after the  word  '... Pence' on Threepence coins

San Francisco (SU) - *Often signified with letter 'S' above the date, or after the word  ...Pence' on Threepence coins.

 

NOTES.

1. Bronze coins manufactured in Perth often have a specifically-placed - 'Dot' - after the word - PENNY. or AUSTRALIA.  to signify that Perth is the Mint of origin.

2. Coins minted from identical dies for the same issue date in Melbourne and Sydney Mints were usually indistinguishable - and mintage figures are usually combined. Mintage records are the prime source of information on quantity produced - and/or, if a coin was exclusively minted by either Mint - as no official mintmarks were then used to differentiate the output.

However, the letter 'M' was used on Silver coins minted in Melbourne between 1916 - 1920.

3. Coins produced in London during 1951 often bear the small letters - 'P L' (sometimes separated within the design) - Latin meaning either: Pecunia Londinii (Money of London) or Percussa Londinii (Struck at London) - these are usually located above the date and sometimes within the design ribbons or scrolls.

4. Coins produced by Ralph Heaton Mint in Birmingham in the 1914 - 1915 era often bear the letter - 'H' - usually under the date for Silver coins or under the bottom scroll within the design beading on the Bronze coins. Not all Heaton Bronze coins are mint-marked.

5. Many of the Calcutta Mint produced Bronze coins have an obverse Mintmark - usually the capital letter - I - signifying India - under the monarch's head.

6. Silver coins produced for Australia in the U.S. during 1942 - 1944 incl. have the single letters - 'D or S' - above the date. The two mints were Denver and San Francisco.

7. Australian coins usually bear the English designers' initials on both obverse and reverse sides of coins from 1938. The most common are HP - (Thomas ) Humphrey Paget, and KG - (George) Kruger Gray. Other designers, prior to 1938, were Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal and W.H.J. Blakemore - and, after 1952, Mrs Mary Gillick was commissioned to provide the obverse bust portraiture.

Obverse initials are usually discreetly placed under the bust, however the reverse designer's initials, whilst tiny, are often openly displayed.

 

DATE 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933
Halfpenny

*

L

B

L

B&L

B

CI

CI

CI

S

S

S

S

S

M

M

M&S

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

Penny

*

L

B

L

L

B&L

CI

CI

CI

M(2)

M(2) S(2)

M&S

M&S

M

M&S

M

M&S

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

Threepence

L

L

L

*

L

L

M

M

M

M

M

M & (NM)

M

M

M&S

M&S

M&S

M

M

*

*

*

*

*

Sixpence

L

L

L

*

L

*

M

M

M

M

M

M&S

S

M&S

M&S

M&S

M&S

M

M

*

*

*

*

*

Shilling

L

L

L

L

L

B&L

M

M

M

*

M

S

M

*

M&S

M&S

M&S

M

M

*

*

M

*

M

Florin

L

L

L

L

B&L

B&L

M

M

M

M

*

M

M

M

M&S

M&S

M&S

M

M

*

*

M

M

M

Crown

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

                                                 
                                                 

 

In 1938, Australia ceased production of 92.5% Sterling Silver small change coins and opted for the 50% Silver alloy with 40% Coper and 5% each Zinc and Nickel.

 

DATE 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957
Halfpenny

M

M

M

*

M

M

M

M

M, BI&P M&BI

M

P

P

P

M&P

P

P

L&B

P

P

P

P

*

*

Penny

M

M

M

*

M

M

M&P

M& P(2)

BI&P

M, P&BI

M&P

P

M

M&P

M&P

M

M&P

M, P&L

M&P

M&P

*

M&P

M&P

P

Threepence

M

M

M

*

M

M

M

M

M, DU, SU

M, DU, SU

SU

*

*

M

M

M

M

M&L

M

M

M

M

M

M

Sixpence

M

M

M

*

M

M

M

M

M, DU, SU

DU, SU

SU

M

M

 *

M

*

M

M&L

M

M

M

M

M

M

Shilling

M

M

M

*

M

M

M

M

M, SU

M, SU

M, SU

*

M&P

*

M

*

M

*

M

M

M

M

M

M

Florin

M

M

M

*

M

M

M

M

M, SU

M, SU

M, SU

M

M

M

*

*

*

M

M

M

M

*

M

M

Crown

*

*

*

M

M

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

 

DATE 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964                                  
Halfpenny

*

M

P

P

P

P

P

                                 
Penny

M&P

M&P

P

P

P

P

M&P

                                 
Threepence

M

M

M

M

M

M

M

                                 
Sixpence

M

M

M

M

M

M

*

                                 
Shilling

M

M

M

M

M

M

*

                                 
Florin

M

M

M

M

M

M

*

                                 
Crown

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

                                 

 

 

AUSTRALIAN CROWN - actual Size 38.5mm

It must be noted that the 92.5% Silver Australian Crown coin (with a value of Five Shillings) produced by the Melbourne Mint - was originally issued in 1937 as commemorative coin to celebrate the ascension to the Throne of Great Britain and the British Commonwealth by King George VI. The issuing of a second identical silver Crown coin in 1938 - in theory - makes the Crown a circulation coin because of its continuance - albeit brief.

The obverse design of King George VI bust was by (Thomas) Humphrey Paget - initials H P between the neck truncation and the text - and the reverse Crown design by (George) Kruger Gray - initials K G  below the Crown.

 

 

COMMEMORATIVE COINS

It would be remiss not to mention the four (4) pre-decimal Florin coins (each with a value of Two shillings) in our Australian collection that can be classified as circulation issue commemoratives. These silver coins were the only ones issued by the Melbourne Mint  to celebrate events of a worthy nature between Federation and Decimalisation - a period of over half a century.

 

Australian Pre-decimal commemorative Silver Florin coins - actual size 28.5mm.

Celebrating the Opening of Parliament House in Canberra in 1927;

Celebrating the Centenary of Melbourne 1934-35;

Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Federation 1901-1951;

Celebrating the Royal Visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1954.

 

The two earliest coins, issued in 1927 and 1934-35, were made to 92.5% Sterling Silver - and the latter two, produced in 1951 and 1954, were a 50% Silver alloy with 40% Copper, 5% Zinc and 5% Nickel.

The size of the Florin coin is 28.5mm - which is slightly larger than its decimal equivalent and replacement -  the Copper-Nickel 20 Cent coin.

 

The preponderance of special coins that have eventuated since decimal 'commemorative' coinage 'seized the reins and bolted'  has now given our older, more traditional, collectors a problem of  'biblical proportions' - particularly in the area of 'non-circulating legal tender' (NCLT).

The Mint is catering for a new market of modern collectors, and, 'variety of choice' is the name of the game!

These, mainly Silver and Gold, baubles are well-made, attractive, very interesting - and expensive - but, the virtual flood is now exceeding the ability of many small 'c' collectors to afford the amounts of investment needed to cover every issue and have a true and full collection of all Australian coins that have been minted.

The available options that are open for mainstream collectors is to (1) deprive themselves - by not investing in NCLT; or (2) be very selective and suffer a 'broken range' - and I've yet to meet a collector who likes to have holes in their accumulation; or (3)  - go for broke !!

 

Main References:

'Australian Coins and Banknotes' - Pocket Guide (Various editions) - Compiled by Greg McDonald.

Renniks 'Australian Coin & Banknote Values'  - (Various editions)Edited by Ian Pitt - and others.

 

 

AUSTRALIAN COIN GRADING

In Australia, we tend to opt for the literal description over the numerical one that is common-place in the U.S. and some other areas. The numerical method has new disciples within Australia as well - however at this stage the 'words' are still winning

The numerical system allocates its numbers in the following way - however, an "Official  ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins"  catalogue should be referred to for in depth definitions.

 

Mint State  MS - (Uncirculated) -  in the range of  MS 60, MS 63, MS 65, MS 67 with  MS 70 being a flawless example

About Uncirculated  AU - in the range of  AU 50, AU 55 and  AU 58 being virtually uncirculated

Extremely Fine  EF - in the range of  EF 40 and EF 45

Very Fine  VF - in the range of  VF 20 and VF 30

Fine  F - starting at   F 12  - additional points can be added for 'fine tuning' up to F19

Very Good  VG - starting at  VG 8 - additional points can be added for 'fine tuning' up to VG 11

Good  G - starting at  G 4 - additional points can be added for 'fine tuning' up to G 7 - however, unless the coin is a rarity, it is rarely done.

About Good  AG -  the lowest collectible level is AG 3 - virtually a hole filler ....

 

The subject of coin 'Grading' is an extremely complex one and not without controversy in the matter of application.

Various major collecting and professional grading groups in the global area of numismatics have made choices over the years that suit their members needs and occasionally a conflict of interpretation occurs between these interest groups.

 

PROOF -   Virtually, the  perfect coin. This is usually struck as an example of the Mint's ability to produce a work of outstanding quality. Every aspect of the detail is considered - and often these coins are 'double-struck' for greater clarity of design and treated as individual pieces of - 'art'!

FDC -         Known as 'Fleur de Coin' (Flower of the Coin or Die) - the description is apt. This is to signify a beautifully minted and presented uncirculated coin that is second only to a PROOF coin in quality and presentation.

 

GEM -          Gem-Uncirculated is another example as close to perfect as can be after the PROOF and FDC coins. Uncirculated, with absolutely no detracting marks - but natural metal patina (an oxidation effect) may be present if the coin has been stored in a less than airtight environment for any length of time.

CHU -            Choice-Uncirculated is just a fraction less attractive than GEM.

 

UNC -           Uncirculated coinage, straight from the Mint - a brand new shiny issue just prior to it 'hitting the street' from the agents or banks - is usually the ideal level for the majority of collectors to, economically, attain. An unmarked, uncirculated  coin, it should be free from minting flaws and no show no visible signs of wear.

aUNC -          Just a fraction less attractive than UNC - it may have slight handling marks, and/or faint wear, on the high points of the design - but it still extremely desirable and slightly more affordable as an investment coin. Sometimes shown as (a)Unc.

SPECIMEN -  This coin is a carefully selected special design issue, usually prepared for a Non-circulating Legal Tender purposes. Some newer 'commemorative' packaged coins could be classified as specimens - but none were issued in the time frame 1910 - 1964.

 

EF -         Extremely Fine grading is a level that still can be attained by average collectors from basic circulation coinage off the street. Slight marks are acceptable as these coins have been 'out and about'.

VF -         Most experienced collectors will draw a line at the Very Fine level if they cannot get anything better. These coins are showing a considerable amount of high point wear and some 'flattening' of design features. They are still attractive and have 'eye-appeal' - but these are the coins that need to be closely inspected with a x10 magnifier to ensure that any detracting marks do not push the grading lower.

 F -                 At the Fine grading level, any nasty marks or any wear patterns are easily discernible with the naked eye. Even to an amateur collector this level of grading should be the lowest in his/her collection if nothing else is available.  Heavy wear and numerous scratches are evident from these 'straight from the street' coins. These are truly the well circulated coins we all read about.

 

VG -         Very Good is a slightly misleading description that harks back to a time when coinage was in very short supply and probably not very well made - but, if it was recognisable as a coin of the realm, it was 'very good' - for  the owner.

These days, the term means that it is seen as a coin - and it will fill an empty spot in a collection - temporarily, until a better example is obtained.

GOOD -         The best description that most serious coin collectors would equate to 'Good' - is 'lousy'  Not much is left of the design or the text - usually, a coin in this condition is  nothing more than a smooth disc of metal with mere outlines, the date may be guess-work and virtually no other feature is legible. Another hard-to-decipher space filler that only the desperate will consider.

 

Examples of Australian Florin grading.

Illustration from the ANDA reference brochure

'Collecting Australian Commonwealth Coins'  - Pre-decimal 1910 - 1964.

printed and freely distributed 2005  - courtesy 'Australasian Numismatic Dealers Association'.

 

(a)GOOD * -  Virtually time-wasters as coins - the real 'shrapnel' of coin collecting!. They may have intrinsic metal value but they are usually so badly worn that if they had a centre-hole they could be mistaken for a nut & bolt's washer.

POOR -     Save your cash! You would probably be guessing if you thought it was a piece of money!   

 

*The adding of a small letter 'a' as in aUNC - signifies the word 'almost'  - it can be added to all coin grades to give an extra dimension.

Some dealers and collectors also use the +/- signs after a grade for the same reason.

For example, a collector may receive a coin list with F+ or (a)F, -  meaning an item that is better than Fine or slightly less than Fine.

 

 

AUSTRALIAN GOLD COINAGE

1855 - 1931

As a metal, Gold is classed as 'noble' - it is warm in colour, it is malleable and easily worked for coiners as history has shown - but, it is scarce - and its scarcity makes it very valuable. In Australia, it took some time to discover workable amounts of Gold - but, when it was found the quantities proved to be a bonanza - and this nation is still one of the world's richest sources of the precious metal.

 

Natural Gold nuggets.

In 1853, the Royal Mint passed legislation allowing Gold to be coined in Australia at the new formed Sydney Mint which was located at the old Rum Hospital in Sydney. The first Half-Sovereign and full Sovereign gold coins were struck in 1855 on June 23rd.

Eventually, coins were also struck at Melbourne Mint from 1872.

To differentiate them from the English Imperial gold coins of similar design - but with slightly less pure gold content - a system of small Mint-marks - S for Sydney and M for Melbourne - was incorporated into the reverse design of the coin - usually near the date.

During the next 36 plus years, three reverse designs were used on the Gold coinage issued in Australia.

 

Various Australian-minted Gold coins

(top):- Queen Victoria Sovereign (old head 1893 - 1901); Pistrucci's 'St. George and the Dragon' reverse;.

(bottom):- King George V Half-Sovereign (1911 - 1931) and King Edward VII Sovereign (1902 - 1910).

 

The final reverse was introduced - in 1871, on the Sovereign and, in 1893, on the Half-Sovereign - and  featured a dramatic portrayal, from talented sculptor Benedetto Pistrucci, of "St. George slaying the Dragon".  Refer:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedetto_Pistrucci

In 1899, Perth Mint had also started minting the Sovereign range with Pistrucci's 'St. George and the Dragon' design - and the mint identification letter P was brought into use for the first time at that mint.

 

Perth Mint 1930 Gold Sovereign

Location of the mint-mark (P) above the date (within the bottom of the design).

Sydney (S) and Melbourne (M) mint-marks  were also located in this area on the St. George design.

 

Pistrucci's  'St. George' design was still in use at the time of Australian Federation in 1910 and continued until the minting of a circulating Gold coinage range in Australia ceased in 1931 and the coins were withdrawn when the nation went off the Gold standard.

 

 

PAPER BANKNOTE GRADING

Many years ago, I was reading my brand new copy of Renniks 'Australian Coin & Banknote Values - 13th Edition' by Dion Skinner (that dates it!) - and a very handy set of simple facts was presented regarding the assessing of features needed - or to be detracted - when grading paper banknotes.

As we know, many Australian numismatists work, primarily, with a system of descriptive text to come to a grading that is appropriate for most note accumulations - be they local or international.

This Renniks' system was a combination of numerics used to arrive at the grading terms - it was not as elaborate as the U.S. system, but it seemed to be reasonably efficient to this collector - at the time - and I still mentally use the principles for a quick assessment in situ.

For ease of memory, I applied an easy-to-remember 'formula' to the requirements that were paramount - I shuffled the initials and renamed it .

 

 'CHEFS'

     C - stands for - 'Cleanliness'.

 H - stands for - 'Holes'.

 E - stands for - 'Edges'.

F - stands for - 'Folds'

   S - stands for - 'Surface'.

 

The Renniks' system allocated 20 points to each of the 5 requirements - ranging from 20 for a 'perfect' example within its class - down to 0 for a 'rag' note. The ultimate score was 100 points for an Uncirculated example and deductions were made for every detracting point of presentation.

However,  increments can be further fine-tuned by the use of  5 point additions or subtractions - and, by the use of additional small letters (a) and (g) with the description, we can end up with more accurate  aFine or gFine gradings.

 

The number of steps was rationalised to each requirement - thus:

20 - Perfect. Unfolded, unmarked.

15 - One minor fold or one small pin-prick sized hole or one less than perfect edge or a dog-eared corner, or a lightly marked surface.

10 - Two or more folds including heavy ones, two or more small holes or an edge tear not into the design, wrinkled edges or corner wear, slightly  grubbier or a faded surface - but still must retain a reasonable eye-appeal.

 0 -  Many heavy folds and creases, large holes and major tears within the design, edges torn and corners missing - a dirty 'rag' note that only a shop-keeper or a bank would love and accept.

 

The points totals once calculated - gave the note a worded condition.

Renniks has supplied us with a suggested table that seems to be 'right on the money' after comparing actual notes with the formula.

 

GOOD =  20           

VERY GOOD =  30

FINE =  55             

VERY FINE =  75

EXTREMELY FINE =  90

UNCIRCULATED =  100

 

1934 Ten Shilling note with eye-appeal. Historically desirable.

Dealer's retail price at time of purchase equated to (a)Very Fine condition (70 points) - mainly because of rarity.

Cleanliness - the note is grubby but some marks may be removable - it still has eye-appeal - take off 10 points - now estimated at plus 10.

Holes - there are no surface holes - one repairable edge tear extending into design - deduct half the maximum of 20 - so that leaves plus 10.

Edges - except for the repairable tear (since done - see below) the note has 3 reasonable edges and sharp corners - add another plus 10

Folds - as with most well-circulated notes this has visible wrinkles and light folds - realistic deductions leave us with plus 10.

Surface - little natural sheen remains, but the paper still has some natural rigidity - not totally limp- and that's a minimum plus 5.

 

The edge tear has been lightly repaired with an application of clear rice glue.

The application of the rice glue was to prevent the tear from extending - not to disguise the defect.

My own more conservative grading based on condition - Total 45 = (g)Very Good.

 

These generic grading principles can be generally applied to any paper banknote - not just those from Australia.

However, we must also remember that some notes have historic importance - or rarity - and that some are far more desirable than the grading assessment may indicate.

 

Black Eagle 1899 U.S. $1.00 Silver Certificate notes offered on eBay.

How would you grade these badly torn - folded and scrunched edged - faded and stained, historical notes?

The public perception was that they were too seriously damaged to be collectable - they attracted few bids and were withdrawn.

 

********************************************************

FRIENDLY REMINDER!

TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY.

A Christmas request has been received from Hon.Sec. Chris Heath of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society'

Chris has asked that we pass on a 'Friendly Reminder' that subscriptions for the 2011 T.N.S. membership are almost due - and if members have recently gained email access or changed any of your contact addresses would you also please advise him ASAP -  so that you can be placed on the current email (or postal) forwarding address list for the  'Tasmanian Numismatist' bi-monthly Society newsletters.

 

ANNUAL T.N.S. MEMBERSHIP FEES

DUE 1st. JANUARY  2011.

 

Please remit within 30 days direct to:-

Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

C/- Hon. Sec. C. A. Heath

P.O. Box 12.

Claremont.

Tasmania. 7011.

Australia.


Senior Full Membership (18 years and over) $20.00

Senior email membership (with the Society's e-newsletter) $15.00
Junior Full Membership (Aged up to 18 years) $10.00
Associate Membership/Spouse (excludes voting rights) $10.00
Institutional and International Membership $25.00

 

********************************************************

GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.

'TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST - INTERNET EDITION' 1996 - June 2007

'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2007 - December 2009

The detail of contents of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' and 'Numisnet World' can be seen at the following links. Copies of articles are usually available by email, upon request from the Editor or the original author - or, if directly accessed, subject to those copyright provisions laid down in our current terms of use.  Articles will not be posted by mail services.

Early issues of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition', from 1995 - 1999. were permanently archived in 2000 and articles are not linked directly.

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug03.htm  - 1995, 1996 - 1997 (Volumes 1 and 2) Archived. Content detail only.

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept2003.htm  - 1998 - 1999 (Volumes 3 and 4) Archived. Content detail only.

 

By referring to the 'Newsletter Archives' or 'Search' function located on the Home Page, you can directly access all current Volumes online.

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html  - January 2000 (Volumes 5 - to date).

In January 2006 it was decided to grant each new issue its own URL link. which would henceforth appear in the current Index.

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.htm  - 2006 (Volume 11)

The final Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition'

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm  - 2007 (Volume 12 - Issues 1 - 6)

 

Full details of initial 'Numisnet World' - incorporating 'Tasmanian Numismatist'  (2007)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm  - (Volume 12 - Issues 7 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2008)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec08.htm  - (Volume 13 - Issues 1 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2009)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec09.htm  - (Volume 14 - Issues 1 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2010 - to date)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june10.htm - (Volume 1 - 6)

**************************

'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2010 - to date.

VOLUME 15

Issue 7. July 2010:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july10.htm

Celebrating a Life - The late Audie Leon Murphy -  a genuine U.S. war hero, and a fine actor from Texas, who battled to survive during the peace.

Blast from the Past - A re-play of the Dalton Gang's raid on Coffeyville, Kansas - and the bloody results when things went dreadfully wrong!.

A Smoking Pipe Style Connects to Coins - Jerry Adams gives us a brief reminder that all sorts of things can relate back to our hobby. This time an unusual pipe style tags us to 'Oom Paul' Kruger - the Boer guerrilla fighter who became president of South Africa.

 

Issue 8. August 2010:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug10.htm

Reconciliation - Lalla Rookh 'The Last of her Race'. -  For some years, Truganini - or Lalla Rookh as she was also known - was believed to be the last member of her race of Tasmanian Aboriginals. Her sad death at age 73 or thereabouts - and the sordid aftermath - has since been redressed by the people of this state and the descendants of her people. A prestigious medallion was struck in 1976, by the Pobjoy Mint for the Tasmanian Numismatic Society, that commemorated the ceremony of cleansing, the subsequent cremation of her bones, and, finally, the symbolic scattering of her ashes in the area where she lived as a young woman. In the current surge towards reconciliation, it is appropriate we also remember those who didn't live to see the dream fulfilled.

The Royal Bank of Avram -  A brief email visit by HRH Prince John, the Duke of Avram, was sufficient for me to brush off the Ducals once more and catch up on the latest news of our Tasmanian based iconic non-recognised - (except by the prestigious Krause Publications 'Unusual World Coins') - Duchy .

Grading Tokens and other Exonumia - The recent spate of dealers who are grading tokens as if they were coins is fraught with possibilities of danger for newcomers to this section of the hobby. It is establishing a faux pricing system - that will not hold water across the huge variety of stuff that is available

Experienced collectors, of this sort of exonumia, accept that the materials and processes used to make the majority of tokens etc. are not as strict as officially minted products and therefore it needs to be realized that it's a 'horses for courses' situation - and that comparisons with peer products is the only true way to come to a consensus about 'grading'.

R.I.P. - A Great Lady has Passed! - The widow of Audie Murphy, Pam Murphy, died in April of this year aged 90.  In her own humble, but uncommon, way  she was as much a hero to some veterans as her late husband was.  Sometimes we tend to overlook lives like Pam Murphy's - but let this belated press notice dated 16th April 2010, by Dennis McCarthy of the Los Angeles Times,  be a small reminder of a lady who rose above her own problems to offer a smile and helping hand to those veterans she made 'her own'!

 

Issue 9. September 2010:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/sept10.htm

Determining the Value of British Small Change! - check the back of those old drawers - you may have a small fortune amongst that  loose change.

Chinese Cash - In Passing - Between 1644 and 1911, the Ch'ing dynasty flourished in China and many of the older cast Brass Cash coins from the late 1600's and 1700's came to Australia with the thousands of Chinese miners who used them in Chinese camps and enclaves in preference to Western money. Some of these coins became lost, and were only rediscovered years later, where these industrious miners once worked..

'Made Flat to Stack!' -  Every collector loves to reminisce at times as we pick up an old album or folder with products of - the not so far back - days of yesteryear. Three score years ago - and a few more than ten - I first realized that money was great stuff to have access to. The latest trip down memory lane is designed to educated the newcomers in our numismatic family about the sort of stuff that was around when I was not quite so old - and the memories surrounding it, were not so poignant.

Domingo Sarmiento - Argentinian Statesman & President - Being born poor and exiled on several occasions didn't stop this boy from becoming Argentina's 7th President and being known as the 'Teacher of Latin America'.

Notgeld - Gutschein - Emergency money - A new site - NOTGELD.COM -  is interesting, and gives us another peek at this fascinating subject.

 

Issue 10. October 2010:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/oct10.htm

The Day the Earth Sighed - On Good Friday, March 27, 1964 - in Anchorage, Alaska - one of the world's greatest earthquakes took place over an amazing 5 minutes of terror. That the death toll was not enormous was due to the timing - and the fact that many businesses were closed for the religious holiday.

Alaska Medallions and Tokens - and some 'Anchorage Coin Club' issues - The 48th. state of the U.S.of A. might be detached from the rest - but, it certainly keeps reminding numismatic accumulators, who collect tokens and medallions - of its existence with a steady stream of interesting issues.

How Many Pieces make a Whole? - Small change currency notes are worth far more than the little bit of space they usually take up. It might not be a financial bonanza - but these notes have a real place in numismatic history and well worth the dig for information.

 

Issue 11. November 2010:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/nov10.htm

Armistice Day Remembrance 2010. - An annual traditional reminder of the significance that November 11th. means to the Tasmanian families of those who served - and sometimes fell - during times of conflict.

Alexander 'Alec' William Campbell - The last Gallipoli veteran. - In 2002, the last of the Australian soldiers who had fought at Gallipoli passed away at 103.

Alex 'Alec' Campbell arrived at Gallipoli as a replacement in November 1915, too late for the Battle of Lone Pine and he only had two months of active service an ammunition and water carrier before being repatriated to Australia after being wounded and contracting influenza and a paralysis of the face (Bell's Palsy) that ruled him 'unfit for duty'. He had put his age up by 2 years to go to war - and he was still underage when he arrived home.

Coins & Tokens - from the Front - A small collection of souvenirs and medals from another underage Australian  soldier from WWI - who went from the shores of Gallipoli to Flanders Fields and came home with some battle wounds - and a Military Medal  - to tell the tales that soldiers do!.

 

Issue 12. December 2010:-

Australian Federation Pre-decimal Coins - "The Mints that made Oz Coins" is a condensed version of the coin minting process. It is presented to new-comers to Australian numismatics as a fairly simple aid - for a complicated subject - and, it  is designed, basically, to be a 'first-step' up the ladder of knowledge. It is not meant to be a replacement for a properly constructed Australian coin catalogue of which we are blessed with several each year..

Grading Paper Bank-notes - A quick way to assess a banknote's condition before you start to haggle about price. What to look for to push the price down - if you're game enough to challenge a dealer's grading! At least, you can walk away without wasting money on an over-graded piece of paper.

Friendly Reminder! - If you are a "Tasmanian Numismatic Society" member - your Annual Subs. for the next 12 months (2011) are due in January.

 

***********************************************************

'NUMISNET WORLD'

(INTERNET EDITION)

 

The 'NumisNet World'’ (Internet Edition) newsletter 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. 

The ''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter abides by the same basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.

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. All matters pertaining to the T.N.S. are re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome.

Please note that all opinions expressed in material published in the ''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the Editor. 

ALL comments in linked articles are the responsibility of the original authors.

 

PRIVACY PROTECTION

The 'NumisNet World' (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 ''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter is either publicly available, or has been voluntarily provided by writers, on request from the Editor of the ''NumisNet World'  (Internet Edition) newsletter.

While the ''NumisNet World' (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 'NumisNet World'' (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.

 

DISCLAIMER

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 'NumisNet World' (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.

 

COPYRIGHT

The contents of this Internet newsletter, and all prior issues - included the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' - 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  NumisNet World' '(Internet Edition) newsletter is required prior to use of that material.

 

The Editor,

Numisnet World - (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.

Australia.

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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au

 

************************************************************