Volume 16 Issue 12         Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)     December 2011





Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2011.


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 additional 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 - 2011.  (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.








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The recent successful visit to Australia by popular Danish Royal couple, Crown Princess Mary (nee Donaldson) and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, is still, delightfully, fresh in our minds.

We, the Tasmanian-born Australians, have been happy to learn, that - after all the official pomp and ceremony (and the obvious happiness shown during the couples' more casual 'meet the people' moments) - the Princess, and the twins, have arranged to stay on for a few extra days to visit her former home at Taroona, near Hobart  - the capital city of our island state of Tasmania. 

Princess Mary will catch up with close family and old friends while the Prince fulfils another official 'commercial' duty in Vietnam.

However, Crown Prince Frederik, and the two older children, will join the Crown Princess in Tasmania for a time of relaxation before heading back to Denmark in time for the Royal Christmas. 

Needless to say, this island of Tasmania, and its people, will forever have strong family ties - of the best kind - with the nation of Denmark.

Refer:- http://www.kronprinsparret.dk/english.php


It also seemed totally appropriate to re-edit and re-publish the exploits of another Danish visitor who came to stay and to leave his own indelible mark on our Tasmanian history.

Jørgen Jørgensen



Originally compiled by Graeme D. Nossiter

Additional information and illustrations supplied by the Editor, Graeme Petterwood.  

('Tasmanian Numismatist'©  - Feb. 2000).


In 1766, Jørgen Jørgensen Snr. (1745 - 1811) while touring through Switzerland and Germany - after completing his watch-making apprenticeship - took the opportunity of changing his name to the more Germanic JÜRGEN JÜRGENSEN - and obtained work in Switzerland at the J. F. Houriet factory. He later became their agent in Scandinavia before opening his own workshop, in Copenhagen, in partnership with Izaak Larpent in 1773. The JÜRGENSEN (Jørgensen)* family were a very well respected part of the Copenhagen scene even before their appointment to the Danish Court, in 1785, as official watchmakers. 

*(For ease of local reader recognition, we will continue to use the better-known name of Jørgensen.)


Jørgen Jørgensen Jnr. was the second son in the family of the respected Danish watchmaker and his wife, Anna Leth (or Lette) (nee Bruun) whom he had married in 1775.  An elder brother, Urban - who had been born in 1776 - was only a little over 3y.o. at the time of Jørgen's birth , but, it had already been decided that  he would follow his father's footsteps into the watch-making business.

Jørgen Jnr. was born at home, on the 7thApril 1780, at 59 Ostergade, Copenhagen, Denmark, after his mother had a difficult confinement and nearly died at his birth.  In some fear that he might not survive, the baby was quickly christened at the Church of St. Nicolai on the 9th April 1780,  - according to the rites of the Lutheran Evangelical Church, which was the official State Church of Denmark.. Mother and child survived!
Over the next two decades, the family thrived and grew, and, eventually, several of Jørgen's younger brothers also took up their father's profession. 

Jørgen Jnr. also had a sister Catherine ('Trine') who was born in 1788 and another brother Marcus, born in 1798.

Jørgen's elder brother, Urban (1776 - 1830), was elected to the Danish Royal Philosophic Society in 1815 - and became a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog. Urban, the first to follow in his father's footsteps, also became an accomplished watchmaker - he was appointed as official watchmaker to the Danish Admiralty in 1822 to make and service marine chronometers - essential navigational aids - whilst another brother, Fredrik (1787 - 1843), also became the Danish court watchmaker in 1811 after Jørgen Jørgensen Snr. passed away.

Jørgen Jørgensen Jnr., ended his formal education at age 14, and, at 15, he was apprenticed to Capt. Henry Marwood of the British collier 'Jane' and spent the next 4 years plying between Newcastle, England and the Baltic ports. He later claimed to have served on various vessels including a British man-o-war onto which he had been 'press-ganged'. Whatever he was doing - it was certainly adding to his experience as an adventurer and seafarer!

In 1801 we find him aboard the 'Harbinger' at Port Jackson in Australia, and he was soon to join H.M.S. 'Lady Nelson' - a 60 ton brig, under the name of 'John Johnson'. He was not discharged from her until late 1804 and thus was most likely to have been present in Jan. 1804 at the disbandment of the first settlement at Sorrento on Port Phillip Bay.

He was certainly on board the 'Lady Nelson'  serving as Mate when it brought Lt Col David Collins to Van Diemen's Land (later Tasmania) in Feb. 1804.
He returned to Gravesend, England in 1806 and, some months later, he went back to Copenhagen where he then took command of the privateer 'Admiral Juul' during the Anglo-Danish War.

Jørgensen took three 'prizes' before surrendering to H.M.S. 'Sappho' in March 1808.

After 10 months restriction in London, he made his way to Iceland, returning again to England in June 1809.

Aided and abetted by an English merchant and some seamen, he then went back to Iceland, arrested the Danish Governor, assumed the role of Governor (or 'King' as some records state) and proclaimed Iceland independent of Denmark.
He later commented in a rare moment of objective candour - "I…..fully determined to seize the first opportunity to strike some blow to be spoken of …. It was not love of Liberty …. which influenced me on this occasion … I have in the course of my life been under the malignant influences of other passions besides play".

(Pic. - In 1988, a full-size wooden replica of the 'Lady Nelson' was built and launched at Woodbridge, Tasmania - and commenced operations as a training ship in 1989 (shown above). It has several essential, modern safety features - but, it is an excellent representation of an old 'tall ship' when under sail!)


This situation came to an abrupt end after nine weeks when H.M.S. 'Talbot' arrived on the scene. Jørgensen returned 'voluntarily' to England in August 1810, but in September he was placed in the prison hulk 'Bahama' at Chatham. After his release, he lived on parole at Reading for some time, but, because of his heavy drinking and a serious gambling habit, he fled his English creditors in 1812.
Jørgensen returned to England in 1813 and was soon heavily in debt again and, as a result, he found himself in Fleet Prison. Our next recorded adventure was during 1815 - 16 when he is known to have acted as a spy on the Continent for England.
During the next three years or so, his bad habits of drinking heavily - and gambling unwisely - created a situation that caused him to be arrested in May 1820 for Petty Theft and, from then on, he spent much of his time in Newdegate Prison.
It appears that he was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment but, after 19 months, he received a Royal Pardon from the King.
He apparently ignored the chance he had been given and, on December 4th 1822, he was back in Court - and in serious trouble
He was tried at Middlesex after admitting he had stolen 15 Shillings and, of course, his previous disregard of the law was taken into consideration.

This time, Jørgen Jørgensen was found guilty and sentenced to death - but like many other criminals of the time, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and transportation to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)


He was transported to V.D.L. aboard the convict ship 'Woodsman' that sailed from London on December 6th 1825, touched at the Cape of Good Hope on 12th March 1826 and finally arrived at Hobart Town on 29th April 1826.
The transportation records available from the time describe Jørgensen as follows:
Height: 5ft 7 ¼ in.
Hair: Dark Brown
Age: 46
Trade: Seaman
Native Place: Copenhagen

However, it seems that he was still in favour with some, and, shortly after his arrival, in June 1827, he was granted a Ticket-of-leave to survey the northwest of the island, for the Van Diemen's Land Company, as a possible area for sheep raising..

During the course of this expedition, (in the opinion of some historians) Jørgensen became the first white man to see Lake St. Clair and explore the inland and coastal areas around Cape Grimm in the far North-West.


Modern pic. of Lake St. Clair (by Roger Penny) - and the more manicured farmland now overlooking Cape Grimm.

Right up to October 28th 1833, Jørgensen was in trouble with the law - and his record states that, at various times, he had been found guilty of: - Drunk and Disorderly Conduct ; Riotous Conduct ; Beating Norah Corbett (who had become his wife in 1831.) and, Assaulting a Police Officer

The last offence was quite remarkable because Jørgensen had been appointed to the Field Police himself in 1828 and became the Police Clerk at Oatlands in 1830. It was also that year, on June 3rd, that he received a Conditional Pardon (#161)

The Conditional Pardon was granted after a petition was supplied from the VDL Bank after Jørgensen had recovered forged Treasury Bills valued at £4000 that had been stolen some months earlier.

He was finally promoted to a Divisional Police Constable at Ross in 1833 and his Free Pardon was gazetted in the Colony on 21st September 1836.


During his term as a field police officer, Jørgensen was engaged the pursuit of Aboriginals - and, in the detection and apprehension of cattle and sheep thieves who were removing stock from as far afield as New Norfolk in the south and Launceston in the north.

(Most of the stolen stock went into the butchery trade because it had two main advantages - relatively good prices and no evidence afterwards.)

After receiving his Conditional pardon in 1830, Jørgensen married Norah Corbett (or Cobbett) at St. Matthews Church in New Norfolk on 25th March 1831 in a ceremony conducted by Rev. H. R. Robinson.
Norah Corbett was reputedly born in 1800, a native of County Cork, Ireland, she was the illiterate, hard-drinking daughter of Patrick and Catherine (nee Fitzgerald) Corbett.  She had been tried at the Surrey Quarter Sessions on the 25th October 1826 for 'Stealing in a dwelling house the sum of 17/6' and sentenced to Life imprisonment and transportation, despite claiming it was her first offence.
She arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 2nd August 1827 aboard the convict ship 'Persian'.

Her description was recorded as being:
Height: 5 ft. 4 ½ in.
Hair: Dark Brown
Age: 22 (?) (*This age does not match-up with her apparent date of birth, but this is not uncommon with old records.)
Trade: Farmer's servant - Dairymaid.


It is recorded that Jørgen became associated with Norah at New Norfolk - after using her as a spy to assist with his field police work.

Their marriage was anything but happy, and, Jørgen Jørgensen was later to write to the local Police Constable J. Price, requesting that Norah be held in custody for about 6 weeks to rid her of her extremely bad drunken habits.

She had appeared in court many times for drunken behaviour and for assaults on other women.

By 1840, Jørgensen and his wife were living at 4 Watchorn St; Hobart, and, whilst he was still addicted to gambling and drinking, it seems that at this time his main income came from writing about religious, legal, political and economic subjects.

Amongst his works was an article, written that year, on the appointment of convicted persons to the Police Force, the abuses of the system and the ill behaviour of the members. (From his own actions - one would think that he would know!)

Jørgensen was a man of many talents, he had an excellent knowledge of English and, besides his native Danish, it appears that he was fluent in French and Italian as well as being able to read Latin and German.

Some of the unconfirmed, recorded details of his life make very interesting reading and are including here for our readers' perusal.

They come from Jørgensen's own testimony and some from contemporary press records:
He was the first to harpoon a whale in the Derwent when he arrived with Commander David Collins in 1803/4.
In 1804, for some months, he sealed and whaled in New Zealand waters aboard the 'Alexander' before returning to Gravesend on June 1806 via Tahiti, around the wild Cape Horn and St. Helena.
It is definitely known that he took an active part in the infamous 'Black Line' in 1830 when an attempt was made by George A Robinson to capture and segregate all the remaining aborigines on the island.

The effort prompted him to write a book about the customs and habits of the Tasmanian Aborigines and his role in the expedition.

Between 1835 -1836, he applied in writing direct to the Secretary of State, Lord Glenelg, for remuneration for his years of services during the 'Black War' but, like all the other colonists who had applied earlier, he was refused.

Lord Glenelg, in turn, wrote to the Lt. Governor, Col. (later Sir) George Arthur, and reported the 'informality of direct appeals from Colonists'.
However, the Home Government did sanction his petition for a Free Pardon, which he had originally submitted on September 17th 1834 - so he also successfully applied for one for his wife, Norah. (She had still been legally bound under the conditions of her Ticket-of-Leave and at that time was beginning to display a suicidal disposition.)

Jørgensen was a deep reader and wrote prolifically to try and produce an income that he just as quickly gambled away.
He wrote his pamphlets on Australian Currency** (see below) and on the Funded System during this time - the latter being eulogised in the press in 1831. Other writings and sermons - some of which were recorded by the 'Hobart Town Courier' of 16th November 1832, soon joined these articles.
It was also recorded, in the press, that he was a speaker at a public meeting that was held in August 1840.

Jørgen Jørgensen died of inflammation of the lungs in the Colonial General Hospital, Hobart, (part of the site of the present Royal Hobart Hospital) on the 20th January 1841 about six months after the death of Norah who had passed away on 17th July 1840.


One contemporary, William Hooker, says:
".. his talents were of the highest order: but for his character, moral and religious, it was always of the lowest order"
"Jørgensen was an averaged-sized man, given to passionate expression and wild gesticulation. Gifted with extraordinary high spirits and unbalancing verve, he was ambitious, diversely talented and appreciably amoral. A measure of discipline came later - with reluctance!

He would merit little attention had not the whole formless, headlong rush of his life been marked by such wild spirit."

His status - according to Marcus Clarke, author of the convict classic 'His Natural Life' (first serialised during 1870-72 and later renamed 'For the Term of His Natural Life' in 1884) - was that of "a human comet."
Jørgen's own words spoken in 1817 were probably closer to the mark -

"After taking a careful study of my own mind, I think that Genius may often be taken for madness!" 



Quoting Jørgen Jørgensen - from an article by Jørgen Sømod, of Denmark ('Tasmanian Numismatist ' - Dec. 1999)

"In the early days of the history of New South Wales, food was very expensive because of the rare deliveries from England. It was not unusual to pay 10 Guineas for one gallon of Rum - undiluted if you were lucky! Tobacco was also very expensive and Tea was never under one guinea for a pound.

Even coins were inflated in accordance with the general high cost of living. The normal penny coins circulated as twopence and the halfpence as a penny. Copper coins were brought to Australia from England by ship's captains who could then make a profit of 100% without any trouble. The colony was eventually swamped with these copper coins. In fact it was worse than when Wood's Halfpence were abolished by Dean Swift*.

Governor King eventually had to ban further importation of that type of coin (tradesmen's tokens) and avoided further speculation by reducing the values of the copper coins back to their original values."
*(The reference may refer to Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745), of Gulliver's Travels fame, who was the Dean of St. Patricks in Ireland at the time Wood's Hibernia copper alloy coinage was released. Because they were unacceptable in Ireland, many of these brass coins were returned and sent to the American colonies and Canada.)

Not all books about coinage were written for or by numismatists.
Jørgen recounts of one old Danish book that he has read which was written expressly for Danish merchants in 1882 to enable them to know the accepted bullion value of coins from around the trading world of those days.

(At the time this book was being published, Australia was undergoing great changes in manufacturing and the mining boom was just about to go into high gear - but the economy was already starting to suffer severe fluctuations.

Land speculation had started to fizzle out and some Victorian banks were collapsing, yet, it would be another few years before the severe depression of the 1890's became a reality. For a decade Australia would languish in the financial wilderness until the growth in rural enterprises, particularly wheat and wool, lifted the country out of the doldrums.)

The text book by R.W. Bauer was entitled " Haandbog i Mønt - Maal -og Vaegtforhold." - which translates as - "Handbook in Coin - Measures and Weight Relations". In the 2nd Edition, on page 329, are references to 'Australia - New Holland Coin'.- the translated text is shown below:-


"Here, as in England, they use a Pound of 20 Shillings and each Shilling has 12 Pence. The value of this coin can be calculated like that of Jamaica (page 244) which uses the Spanish and Mexican Piastre (8 Reales). The Piastre (also known as a Dollar) is also circulating here (in Australia) in large quantities and is taken as 50 Pence under the ruling of 14th September 1838.


1804 Mexican 8 Reales.

(Refer additional article in this issue.)

An Australian Pound (in silver coin) can thus be taken as equalling 18 Kroner 46.15 øre.
In Australia, they have struck special gold one and half Sovereign coins like the English except that they have slight differences.

One thing they do have on the reverse is the word 'Australia'.

The gold coin Sovereigns were originally struck under the name of 'Australian Pound' and the weight was 175/623 (.2809) English Troy Ounce which equals 8.7369 French grams. Its fineness is 916.7 and thus contained 8.0089 French grams of Fine gold. It can be calculated that 32 such (Australian) gold coins equalled in value 35 English Sovereigns or 1 Australian Gold Pound was equal to 19 Kroner 86.20 øre.

Besides the English gold, silver and copper coins are also the Mexican and Spanish silver Piastres (so called 'dollars') South American Piastres, North American gold and silver Dollars and English East Indian Company Rupees. Also gold is used in ingots and gold dust.
The small change (copper) currency has a lower value, as the Spanish or Mexican silver Piastre was fixed at 5 Shillings or 60 Pence, and the value of a pound of small change was 15 Kroner 38.46 øre."


1797 - English 'Cartwheel' Copper Penny

(At one stage, it was valued at Two Pence in Australian colonies.)

The current recognised weight of the Australian Sydney Mint Sovereign 1855 - 1870 is now accepted as :-
Weight :- 7.988 grams.
Composition: - 916.6 Fine (22 carat) 91.67% Gold - 8.33% Silver
Actual Gold Weight: - .2354 oz. Troy
In 1871 the composition of the Sovereign was changed to 91.67% Gold - 8.33% Copper in line with the English Sovereign.
Most of the Mexican and Spanish Dollars circulating at that time contained .903 Silver or .7859 oz actual Silver weight.

Main References.

'A Shred of Autobiography.' by Jørgen Jørgensen.

Official Archival Records.
Newspaper Records. 'Hobart Town Courier' (16th. November 1832).
Family Documents. Nossiter family records*.
(*Graeme Nossiter's connection with Jørgen Jørgensen dates back to when Graeme's great-great grandfather, Charles Nossiter, formerly of Yeovil, Somerset, held the position of a Post Office Messenger in Van Diemen's Land.

On 14th October 1834, Charles was found guilty of 'Embezzling One Pound, the property of Jørgen Jørgensen, and appropriating to his own use the said One Pound'. His sentence was 12 months Hard Labour with the Spring Hill Road Party.

It was more than a little ironic that, at about this time, Jørgen Jørgensen held a land grant of 100 acres at Spring Hill..)




by Graeme Petterwood.

In our last issue, we continued the short discussion series about  the miscellaneous mysteries that some banknotes have presented to us - or, perhaps we should say - items that intrigued us and created renewed interest in what appeared to be a well-known area. 

Occasionally, we encounter notes that appear to be basic issues - traditional and official - only to find various differences that alert us that all is not as it seems. These differences are occurring all the time - and, that is why numismatics is such a fascinating hobby!

In the final part of this article, I will illustrate a few more of those little differences and some of those relatively short-lived pieces of paper we call money. Let them be the stepping-stones into the unknown!


Part 3 Conclusion.

In our Part 3 conclusion, I have decided to include a few edited facts about a Reserve Bank of India 1985 Five Rupee 'D' under-printed note that was last discussed in some depth, in our February 2009 newsletter issue (original pic. and item list - shown below).

Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb09.htm

However, the whole nature of this particular subject is that it always remains in a state of change - and, sometimes, we may even be unaware that a change has occurred!


Since the original article was written in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition" (March 2004) - this Reserve Bank of India 5 Rupee ('D' under-printed) bank-note (shown below) has been re-allocated the numerical designation of KM#80k.

Formerly, this Krause-Mishler number had been designated to another R.N.Malhotra signed note with the E' under-print - and, consequently, other sequential alterations, and some additions, to the old published list (also shown below) have occurred.

That this re-allocation of signature identifications wasn't noticed, at the time, was unfortunate, and, partly my own fault.

(As regular readers and friends of this newsletter will know, I was pre-occupied during 2004-5 when my wife fell ill and eventually succumbed to a terminal illness.)

However, by late 2005, things had resolved themselves after nature had taken its course  - and I decided that it was essential that I get things back in order, including my own collections - and, to do that, I needed to up-date many of my neglected numismatic lists.

At that time, amongst other matters, I also considered that the additional costs of obtaining all of the newest Krause 'bibles' (et al) was too prohibitive - so, the idea languished, and I made use of the Internet to update new numbers as I needed to ....  a slow, often frustrating, process.


In early 2009, an unexpected gift, from a generous colleague, of the more economical user-friendly CD versions of all of the Krause's Coin and Paper Money catalogues, was a 'god-send' - and, even if they were a few years out-of-date - they were far newer than my decade-old, large paper tomes of the late 1990's.

The CD's proved to be the spur I needed - now that I had both time,  and a renewed inclination - to take on the long overdue task of checking the thousands of items in my coin and banknote accumulations. A task, incidentally, that I am still engaged in!

It drives home the old adage about  'getting the catalogue - (even if is electronic) - before you buy the item!' - and, that we do need to up-date these things, every so often, in these changing times!  We don't - of course - always follow our own best advice - for one reason or another ....!


(N.D. 1975) Reserve Bank of India 5 Rupee issue 1985 - with new 'Hindi-English' seal

Under-print letter 'D' - Governor R.N. Malhotra. Kr. #80?* (possibly not listed until c.2002?)


*Earlier list of signatories (with applicable serial number under-print letters) indicated that A. Ghosh was the Governor for the 'D' under-print on KM#80n, but, this listing did not show the 'D' with the R.N. Malhotra signature. (Refer detail in text below.)


  The Governors of the Reserve Bank of India from 1935 - 2003

Governors of the Reserve Bank of India and the duration of their major term in office - as listed by Reserve Bank of India Monetary Museum.


Sir Osborne A.Smith - April 1st 1935 to June 30th 1937; 

Sir James Braid Taylor - July 1st 1937 to February 17th 1943; 

Sir Chintaman D.Deshmukh  - August 11th 1943 to June 30th 1949; 

Sir Benegal Rama Rau - July 1st 1949 to January 14th 1957; 

K.G.Ambegaonkar  - January 14th 1957 to February 28th 1957; 

H.V.R.Iengar  - March 1st 1957 to February 28th 1962; 

P.C.Bhattacharyya - March 1st 1962 to June 30th 1967; 

L.K.Jha  - July 1st 1967 to May 3rd 1970; 

B.N.Adarkar  - May 4th 1970 to June 15th 1970.


Those in office during the issuance of the (N.D. 1975) KM#80 Five Rupee series. (Revised Under-print letters and KM#'s shown in Italics.)


S.Jagannathan  - June 16th 1970 to May 19th 1975; (W/out letter #80a)

N.C.Sen Gupta - May 19th 1975 to August 19th 1975; (No record of this Governor as signatory of this denomination.)

K.R.Puri  - August 20th 1975 to May 2nd 1977; (W/out letter #80b; A #80c)

M.Narasimham  - May 2nd 1977 to November 30th 1977; (A #80d)

Dr. I.G.Patel  - December 1st 1977 to September 15th 1982; (A #80e; B #80f; C #80g)

Dr.Manmohan Singh - September 16th 1982 to January 14th 1985; (D #80i)        

A.Ghosh  - January 15th 1985 to February 4th 1985; (D #80j)

R.N.Malhotra - February 4th 1985 to December 22nd 1990; (D #80k; E #80l; F#80m; G #80n; W/out letter #80o; New Indian-English Seal A #80p)

S.Venkitaramanan  - December 22nd 1990 to December 21st 1992; (B #80q)

Dr. C.Rangarajan  - December 22nd 1992 to December 21st 1995 - (Second term) December 22nd 1995 to November 22nd 1997; (C #80r)

Dr.Bimal Jalan  - November 22nd 1997 to September 6th 2003;  (W/out letter #80s)


The 'Mahatma Gandhi' Rupee series, which was in its planning stages during the early 1980's , was to be totally new with the frontal design format, and it was first introduced in 1987 with the release of a  500R note (KM#87) - however, the other smaller denominations were not authorised until 1996

Issues were then periodically released until 2002, as required.

It meant that two different designs were in public hands at the same time. The old 5R design (KM#80) bearing the 'tractor' reverse was retained in circulation for some time due to the huge quantities still in use.

It also appears that some of these old traditional design notes may even have been issued under the signature of Dr. Bimal Jalan (KM#80s) in 1997 - and, the 1996 issue Gandhi 5R (KM#88A) - also with the same 'tractor' reverse design used on its predecessor  - but, with slightly altered water-mark guilloche and decorations - was held back and not issued until 2002. 

It should be noted that under-print letters were also printed on some of these newer Gandhi notes.


Dr. Y. Venugopal Reddy  - September 6th. 2003 to September 5th. 2008;

Dr. D. Subbarao  - September 6th. 2008 - Till Date.


Photos: http://www.rbi.org.in/History/Mis_Governors.html



As a numismatist, living in the Australasian region, the 1990's were interesting times for me - however, I must admit - as a collector of Indonesian currency over a long period of time - I did lose a small intrinsic amount of  value on my Indonesian accumulation with the melt-down that started in earnest in 1997.

During the mid - late 1980's, the Republic of Indonesia enjoyed a time of political and financial stability - although it had been in a shaky monetary position since the mid 1970's, with several major revaluations and various new note issues occurring during that previous era. 

Even so, it was to be a fairly brief respite - and, in the early part of the 1990's, the surge of rapid inflation again saw the value of the Rupiah start to plummet, and small denomination banknotes began pouring out of the printers once more, in an effort to save adding even more zeros onto the existing currency notes.  With new note design series appearing - as quantities of the old inflation notes were still being off-loaded  - it was no wonder that an amount of confusion arose among the travelling public.



Various 1984 - 1988- 1992 Series 100 and 500 Rupiah notes.

(Top- KM#122 and 123; Bottom - KM#128 and 127)


(Top) - 1992 (1993 issue) 1000 RUPIAH (KM#129)

Aerial view of Lake Toba (front) - Stone jumping attraction Nias Island (back)

(Bottom) - 1992 (1997 issue) 5000 RUPIAH (KM#130)

This note illustrates woven cloth and a Sasando musical instrument (front) - and the 3 different coloured volcanic lakes of Kelimutu Volcano (back)


In 2000, I had the opportunity to purchase a nice spread of used, various high numbered denominations - with lots of 00's! - all with pretty and unusual pictures. These notes, mainly from the series dated 1992, were brought back from Indonesia by a returning friend who knew of my numismatic passion - so, when they were offered to me, I did the right thing and bought them at the current exchange rate of the day - but, a sudden revaluation, just a few weeks later, caught me with my 'economic pants down'! 

However, my budget, at that time, could bear the temporary pain of my slightly burned fingers - and, as these notes were due to be withdrawn - I considered it a necessity to get my collection of this series of rapidly inflating Rupiah notes in order before they all disappeared and I would be forced into the secondary market and pay the dealers' inflated prices.

I suppose I have 'justified' the expense, and learned by my experience - once again - that buying at the wrong time, particularly on the volatile Asian circulating currency market, is a risk some of us need to take - and accept - to get nice clean note samples at face value! ....... I live with it!



With an original denomination range of - Fractionals (my term) of  0.10, 0.20, 0.50 with centre-text overprint (KM#29, 30 and 31)- and, then, rising through - 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 to 100 Talonas - equivalent to our Cents (KM#32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38) -- these 1991 dated, small change notes were the first emergency issues released when Lithuania re-asserted its independence in 1990 and was suffering from a serious lack of coinage.

Excepting the fractional units (8.5 x 5.25cms) and 1 Talonas (10.5 x 5.25cms), all these notes were of similar size (12 x 7.5cms) and well printed and produced on reasonably good solid paper.




0.50 Talonas 'fractional' note (KM#31) with text over-printed.

3 Talonas (KM#33) with line of text under centre feature.

100 Talonas (KM#38) without line of text.


The notable difference, with these notes, was that some of the 1991Talonas units bore no authorizing text stating that it is 'legal tender' - under the front design  - and, the text-less versions now command retail prices 3 or 4 times higher than the text version (both shown above)- according to Krause Mishler. The 1992 Talonas range, also had similar endemic arboreal-based fronts and wild-life backs - however, the new issue denominations all bore the authorization.

The fractionals, and the 3, 5 and 25 Talonas notes, were not issued in 1992, but, new 200 and 500 Talonas denominations were introduced to the remainder of the full unit range.- which now consisted of 1, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Talonas (KM# 39 - 44)

Similar design 200 and 500 Talonas notes were issued in 1993 (KM# 45 and 46) before the small change series was overwhelmed by inflation and they were finalised and a national metal coinage again became available to Lithuanians.

Although dated 1991, a range of the higher denomination notes - from 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Litu - (KM# 47 - 52) was issued in 1992/3.

These new notes featured famous personalities, national monuments and scenes typical of modern banknotes - whereas, the Talonas small change, issued between 1991-3, had more of a coupon-like appearance. .

Denominations, from that time, were again known by their pre-WWII names of  Litas (single) or Litu (plural)- refer to a good catalogue for the names and design variations.




1994 One Litas (KM#53) featuring Julija Zemaite on front - and an historic Christian Church on back.

Although these notes were printed by TDLR of London (Thomas de la Rue) - they were not imprinted.




 Bank of Mexico 100 Pesos - dated 17 May,1979 and 3 Sept.,1981

(KM# 68b & 74b).

The note design (shown above) started life in 1974 and, like many notes of that era, it has been re-issued on various occasions.

The re-vamped notes have had positional changes to the Series Numbers, colours of ink - and placement - of a variety of new official signatures - they also bear different coloured reverse seals. However, this old-style of design has now been relegated to numismatic history.

So, if one does comes your way - examine it closely for any of the changes mentioned! You may be surprised!

Many of the smaller, new-look polymer Mexican notes (sample shown below) are relatively cheap to obtain - and make a pleasant acquisition and display.


Bank of Mexico (Polymer) 50 Pesos - dated 18 Oct., 2000




In a few days time, 4th December 2011, the Russian people will again be called on to elect the Federal Assembly of Russia - when the 450 seat State Duma (lower house) will be up for grabs once again. Usually, there is not a lot of change from the ruling United Russia Party - which has the charismatic leader, Vladamir Putin, firmly in control of the numbers.

However, as on previous occasions, the economy will probably heave a little - and sometimes, we numismatists, get a surprise!

In late 1995, the Russian Federation was still recovering from a period of inflation created by its new-found 'freedom' and the nation was needing to adjust to world trade on a more open market - it was also election time that year - and promises were made!

In 1996, the decision was made to 'bite the bullet' and reform the currency by the rate of 1000 to 1 - and, of course, new currency needed to be prepared.




1995 10,000 'Old' Rubles (KM#263) - (Library scan)


 Dated 1997(Issued 1998 - 2004) 10 'New' Rubles (KM# 268 - et al)



However, the Russian hierarchy were aware that slow and easy was far better than jumping in 'boots 'n' all ' with a population that had been working within the confines of an artificially sustained economy -  so the decision to use an interim currency was considered.

Slight variations to existing note designs were prepared by 1997 - and one sample of the new 10 Ruble is shown above.

Other denominations in this Bank of Russia series were also devalued, and re-issued on several occasions between 1998 - 2004. (Notes are all dated 1997). Besides showing the obvious difference in the text, and the serial number locations, there were few signs of change other than slight colour variances.


In 2010, due to production cost factors, the decision was made to finalise the 10 Ruble paper note in favour of a coin.




1941 ISSUE - 100 Dinara (KM#23)

Overprinted during WWII on Yugoslavia 100 Dinara dated 1.12.1929 (KM#27)



The Ukrainian 50 Karbovantsiv note (various spellings - shown below) is an unauthorised note printed from legitimate plates after the series sequence was supposed to have been completed at AO 209. (In this instance, the 'O' signifies that it was printed in Odessa - some earlier issues came from Kiev)

It was discovered, in 1918,  that additional notes - from Series AO 210 onwards - which were labelled as false by the 'Red Russian' Ukrainian government, had been printed from seized plates by the 'White Russian' General Anton Ivanovich Denikin,  prior to Ukraine coming under complete Bolshevik control.




50 Karbovantsiv (KM#6b)

Ukraine was also occupied, during WWII, by German forces of the Third Reich, who also forced an issue through the Ukrainian Central NoteBank in 1941 - 42. Initially the notes were to be in Rubles and Chervonets (Gold Rubles = 100 Rubles) but the ethnic Germans of the Ukrainian area called  'Ostland' rejected the Russian language denominations - so, in 1942, the notes from Ein (One) Karbowanez - Funfhundert (500) Karbowanez (shown below) were issued with detail in both languages. These notes were not originally planned to be an Occupation currency, but - in all respects - they were!




 Authority 8th. MARCH 1942.

Printed in Rowno, during the German invasion of Ukraine.10th March 1942 issue.

One Karbowanez, bi-lingual, small denomination note - with Swastika stamp near serial number.




Extracted from 'Numisnet World' (Volume 15 - Issue 2) February 2009 . 

"Formerly part of the Republic of Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia, the Republic of Zimbabwe is a nation that has had a very troubled recent past. Currently it is a recovering economic basket-case - from once being the 'bread-basket' of Africa.

Independence was a drawn-out, highly political, process - and it was not a successful parting off the ways when Great Britain eventually relinquished its control on April 18th. 1980.

The white-dominated government was eventually forced from office by the political decisions emanating from the Commonwealth of Nations and the U.N. Security Council.

The new African dominated regime - and its political administration, headed by despotic President Robert Mugabe, then commenced to seize assets from the European owners by force or other forms of coercion without recompense - and the level of graft, murder, blackmail - orchestrated at the highest levels - soared to even more epic proportions.

Common Zimbabweans were not immune to this treatment and many thousands have 'disappeared'.

Many Europeans fled the country, thus leaving the national infrastructure without much of the expertise that had made it so prosperous in the past..

The nation was thrown out of the Commonwealth of Nations and became a pariah when the Commonwealth of Nations finally saw the light.

In recent years, cosmetic political changes have allowed the world to ease back from its condemnation of Zimbabwe - but the economy is still a wreck."


Zimbabwe's currency was 'temporarily' suspended in 2009 - and, presently, U.S. Dollars and other more stable currencies - such as the Euro and the South African Rand etc. - are being used.

Diamond production is aiding the economy - but, official graft is widespread - and political unrest is again starting to rear its 'ugly head'.

*At time of writing the equivalent trading rate of the former Zimbabwean Dollar was ZWD100  =  about 28 US Cents or 27 Australian Cents..

It seems unlikely than the Zimbabwean Dollar will be seen again - in its previous grossly inflated form - in the near future. However ....?!

Refer:- http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/




Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe - Hyper inflation currency (Not to scale).

(top) 2007 - One Zimbabwean Dollar

(bottom) 2008 - ZBW$100,000,000 Bearer Cheque.


Main References.

'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - Volumes 1 & 2.' - Krause Publications.

(Various editions compiled and edited by Messrs. Albert Pick, Neil Shafer and Colin R. Bruce II.)

Wikipedia Internet site - 'Zimbabwean Dollar'




I have always tried to practice what I preached about being astute when handling change - and, of course, the idea of always checking any notes that come my way is also included in that mantra. From time to time, I have been rewarded with a note containing interesting number sequences (or combinations) that appeal to me, and I may - or may not - find a 'justified' spot for it in my collection. 

I sometimes step outside the usual parameters where numbers are concerned - but, that is my prerogative as an Australian 'magpie' collector/accumulator.....


A recently obtained AUD$50.00 polymer note (EI 06 180180) caught my attention in such a way - however, it is slightly flawed - in that it has an area on the front of the note (serial number side) bearing what appears to be 3 thin machine-made scratch marks to the left of Edith Cowan's portrait (the most obvious are under her left shoulder and under the group of children), and one other is hidden away on the other side of centre (under the right shoulder of the lady).

These thin 'white' scratches are repeated on the top of the note, but are not as severe - and they could have been missed if the note had not been held up to a light for closer perusal. Whilst the marks can be seen through the polymer - they all appear to originate on the front and the scratches have removed a sliver of the paint  and exposed the shiny 'plastic' - but, they have not scored the fabric.

There are a total of 8 slim marks in all - that extend vertically inwards for a depth of approx. 5mm. on the top and 6mm. on the bottom edge.

At first glance, these marks appeared to be aligned - but, after a closer look, under x10 magnification and the aid of a slide-rule, they have proven not to be.

They are all off-centre, and, those on Edith's left, are all about a centimetre apart and do not extend into the design and are not evident at first glance - but, to the astute examiner, they are first noticeable as thin white lines that could easily be mistaken as part of the design.

Marks made by a counting machine, perhaps?


It's a shame that many modern mechanical note-handling devices are abusive to our hobby mainstays - but, I've decided to keep this one for the double-number - and add it to my other similar non-standard bits 'n' pieces - at least, until something better comes along!


2006 - AUD$50.00 Polymer note with an interesting serial number,

 (Magnified for clarity.)








The classical Spanish (and Mexican) method of defining the fineness of precious metals is something worth knowing about - remembering that some of the terms used originated as weights - or even purity percentages - before attaining their more modern meanings.

For instance, the 10 gram, 1870 2 Pesetas coin (KM#654 - 0.8350 Fine silver - actual Silver weight 7.612 grams - or 0.2685 oz.) has a legend - '100 Piezas en Kilogramo' - showing the relationship between money value and weight.

Even the Spanish 1870 10 Centisemos Copper coins (KM#663) bore a similar weight related text - 'Diez (100) Piezas en Kilogramo.'

Quite often, it required the combined use of two other terms - 'dineros' and 'granos' - to define metal purity percentage values of some early Silver coins. You may encounter these old purity terms on the precious metal coins of Spain or her provinces - and these shouldn't be confused with their denominations.


Twelve dineros equalled 100% fine 'pure' Silver - and that equated each dinero to approx. 0.08333% Silver - remember, think 'percentage-wise - not actual weight'. Each of the dineros was also divided into 24 granos, or approx. 0.00346% Silver - again, think percentages.

Thus - for example - 10 dineros (83.33% Silver) plus 20 granos (6.92% Silver), were approx. equal to the 90.3% Silver fineness of the standard 27.07gram Peso (or eight Reales) coin - which weighed-in with an actual Silver weight of about 22.28 grams - or .7860oz. 

Bear in mind, also, that the earliest refining methods and percentage estimations were, somewhat, cruder than today's - and these purity figures are sometimes shown, in more modern catalogues, as being a fraction of a 'point' out.


*For its Gold, Spain used the quilate, or carat, and, as 24 quilates would be 'pure' gold - a coin of 21 quilates purity would equal 87.5% fine.


If your are specializing, or find the older Spanish historical coinages of high interest, you may need to refer to catalogues written in the national language, so a few basic numismatic terms with their meanings - other than the very obvious ones - may come in handy. A good Spanish-English dictionary is also handy.

Acuñacion - Primarily to mean 'minting'. The actual making or striking date of coinage after authorization.

Ceca - Mint.

Estado de conservación - State of conservation.

Evaluacion - valoracion - Assessment, or grading.  In Spain, coin (and banknote) grading is still done by description, not numbers.- e.g.

MBC - (Muy Buena Conservación) - This means an Extra Fine coin with little wear, perfect legends and good reliefs, dates and stars are legible, without scratches.

EBC - (Extraordinariamente Buena Conservación) - This means the coin is equivalent to an (about) Uncirculated grading. A very pleasing coin.

S/C - (Sin Circular) This means an Uncirculated coin in superlative condition.

En perfecto estado - Mint condition . Proof - this description is also being used more frequently.

F.D.C. - The highest  international numismatic quality term is also used, when warranted.


Emisión - Emission date, or release date, differs in some instances from the ley (authorization) date. This word is more likely to be used with an actual day and date, such as recorded on Spanish banknotes.

Emitidas por Coleccionistas en Tira - Collector coins sealed in plastic strips eg. an annual mint set

Estuche induvidual - Boxed individually. Commemorative or presentation coins are treated with care.

F.N.M.T. - Fabrica Nacional Moneda y Timbre - Spain's national printers for official papers, money, stamps etc. who authorize emission of special numismatic items from Casa de la Moneda.

Fecha - Date.

Gramos -  Older coins with intrinsic value - gold, silver and copper -  often had the weight expressed in grams as well as the denomination. For instance, the 1870 Provisional Coinage 10 (Diez) copper Centimos also had the legend that  'Cien (100) Piezas en Kilo' - 100 pieces in a Kilo - a handy weight check.

Ley - the authorization date - for the coin to be made. This is the date, on the coin itself, that we use as the main recording reference.

Marca de ceca - Mint mark


Metal predominante - Spanish coins have been minted in metals such as - Cobre (Copper); Bronce (Bronze); Laton (Brass); Plata (varying high grades of Silver); Oro (varying high grades of Gold); Hierro (Iron); Niquel (Nickel); Cuproniquel (Copper-Nickel); Aluminio (Aluminium); Aluminio-Bronce (Al. Bronze);  Zinc; and other Copper-Nickel alloys (Cu-Ni-Al-Fe-Mn) and, more recently, the bimetallics.

Milesimas - One Thousandth - usually describing purity of precious metal.  e.g. Oro 999 Milesimas would be equivalent to .999 Gold

Moneda - Coins

Monedas Conmemorativas - Commemorative coins - often N.C.L.T.(Non Circulating Legal Tender)

Nuevo Diseño - New Designs.

Número de piezas acuñadas - Number of pieces minted.

Mintage figures on early Spanish or Colonial coins is virtually non-existent, but, in 1869, some records were started - they are somewhat patchy during times of unrest and civil war but they are better than nothing. Since Franco's regency, and, consequently, the monarchy, figures are much more accurate.

Pagará al portador - Pay to Bearer, this is a term more often applicable on banknotes issued between the mid 1800's up until the early 1970's.

Próximas Novedades - Literally means 'Next new features' and refers to circulating 'commemorative style' coinage (other than the standard design) - a similar concept to the U.S. State Quarters series, as well as the Australian State series and the practice of issuing commemorative dollar coins..

Reacuñaciones Oficiales - Official restrikes. In 1961 and 1962, Spain restruck .900 Gold coins with face values 10, 20 (2), 25 and 100 Pesetas based on coins dated 1876, 1878, 1887, 1896, and 1897.

Series en Cartera - Carded sets of Mint and Proof quality coins, especially prepared for collectors, began to appear in the 1970's.

Variante - Variety.


It is interesting to note that the famous 8 Reales .903 Silver coin, which weighed 27.0700grms, circulated for a very long time all over the world.

It originally was based on the system of 16 Silver Reales to 1 Gold Escudo (approx. 3.3800g).

The quality of both Silver and gold varied occasionally, but was usually maintained in the high end of fineness (between .835 - .903 Fine).

The average weights of Spanish and colonial Silver Reales were 1/4 R (.8450g); 1/2 R (1.6900g); 1R (3.3800g); 2 R (6.7700g); 4 R (13.5400g); and 8 R (27.050g). The Gold Escudos were in denominations of 1/2, 1, 2, 4 and 8 with weight equivalent to the Reals - but, with values based on Gold.

As can be seen, most weights doubled at each denomination increase. A good catalogue will show that  there were slight exceptions at times.

Throughout the 1700's and early 1800's  the coinage system remained relatively stable until a radical change in 1808 saw the Escudos coinage changed completely to Reales and a lighter weight 10 Reales coin introduced and the 8 Reales was dropped..

The system was still clumsy with denominations ranging from 1, 2, 4, 10, 20, 80, 160 and 320 Reales.


In 1850, the decimal system was introduced  - again - in a fashion - probably in an effort to deal with inflation and save precious metals.

The Real denominations started at 1/10, 1/5, 1/2 Real in Copper with  5, 10 and 25 Centimos coins, also minted in Copper, issued and running concurrently, and 1, 2, 4, 10, 20 Reales in .900 Silver and a 40 Reales coin in .900 Gold.

All silver and gold coins of similar previous denominations were much smaller, and about 25% lighter, with the 10 R now weighing less than the former 4 R.

During the last half of the 1800's, some Spanish cities, Madrid, Barcelona and Seville -  again flirted with fractional divisions of the Escudos - this time in .900 Silver -  but the decimal based Silver Peseta coinage was already in production by 1869 and that went from strength to strength until 1925 when the Republican and National Government issued low denomination coinage in base metals such as Nickel and, by 1937, Iron and Brass.

During the Civil War, low value coins were produced by some districts councils, in areas  such as Barcelona, Seville and Taragon, in denominations of 5 Centimos up to 2 1/2 Pesetas - mainly in  Aluminium, Brass , Zinc, Copper, Nickel, Iron and Copper-Nickel.


Gold restrikes from Madrid and Valencia Mints issued during 1961 - 1962. (Catalogue values shown in pre-Euro Pesetas)

The original 'ley' (authorization) coin dates are accompanied by the 'acuñacion' (striking) dates shown in brackets.


Firstly, a few notes about Spanish pre-Euro coins that might be of assistance for those of us who liked the old Reales and Pesetas coinages.

Quite often there are two dates on the coins - the date we normally see - is actually that of the official authorization (ley). This practice commenced in 1868.

The other date is when the coin was actually struck and issued (acuñacion - minting coinage).

This issue date is usually hidden away, incused into tiny stars *(estrellas)* - usually 2 on most coins - and, often, this emission date is split into 2 parts - e.g. 1845 which will be shown as 18 - 45, with a part in each star, or, occasionaly, just the last part e.g. (19) 60,  within a single star on a more modern coin such as a Franco  50 Pesetas Eagle reverse - which has a ley date of 1957  

The ley date and acuñacion dates may be identical - or they could be years apart depending on coin demand.

Precious metal coins usually have identical authorization and striking dates - but there are exceptions - so, if they are vastly different, have a good second look to make sure the coin is genuine and not something cheaper that has been 'treated' to add a lot of extra value. In particular, watch out for gilded or base metal replicas of the type coming out of China and eastern Europe.

Remember, a catalogue check of coin ley dates and those tiny incused acuñacion dates in the 'estrellas' are good clues!

On the restrikes, (Reacuñaciones Oficiales - as mentioned above) the coins were basically identical with the originals -  you may have, for example, an Alfonso XIII (child portrait bust facing left) 32.25g  .900 gold coin with a face value of 100 Pesetas, 'ley' dated 1897, (normally with an 'acuñacion' date of 18 -97 within its  2 'estrellas') - however,  to indicate that you have a restrike,  the 'acuñacion' date on the restrike would read 19 - 61 or 19 - 62..

The originals were minted in Madrid (M) but the restrike issue was minted in Valencia (V ) (Refer mint list below)


1891 - 2 Silver 5 Pesetas of child king Alfonso XIII both minted in Madrid (mintmark M and assayers' initials P.G. on reverse)

Split emission dates in tiny stars either side of coin (ley -authorization) dates.


Other sets of initials usually found on older Spanish national and Colonial coins are those of the Mintmasters or Assayers (Ensayadores) and often two Christian-name initials, signifying two assayers at the same mint, will be employed on one coin  as well as the official mintmarks in initial or symbol form.

Due to the long history of Spain, the Mintmasters/Assayers initials are many, and just to make it more complicated, many are the same.


Some family groups like the Caballeros had several Mintmasters amongst them and they served at all the different major mints in Spain over time.

For instance in 1706 - 1716, the mintmaster in Madrid Mint was Jose Caballero (J); and during 1728 - 1729  it was Juan Jose Garcia Caballero (JJ); 1730 - 1741 it was the team of J.J. Garcia Caballero and Fernando Vazquez (JF); 1744 - 1747  it was the team of Antonio Cardena and Jose Tramullas y Ferrer (AJ); 1765 - 1782 saw  Manuel de Lamas (M) teamed with Francisco Herrera (MF) and so on.

Hundreds of names over centuries - and in so many mints. Far too many to mention in this brief article, unfortunately.

International cataloguers, Krause Publications - 'Standard Catalog of World Coins'  - has given this a reasonably good coverage, but, even they admit that they have not been able to compile a full - and accurate - list for publication..

It is essential that the coin dates are taken into consideration - a good catalogue should be consulted to match these details together with the Mints to ascertain, if the information is available, who were the Mintmasters - even it is only their initials.


Early mintmarks, from the major colonial mints, most often seen on Spanish coins minted between 1700 - 1830's  include:

C, CH, Ch - Chihuahua, Mexico; D, DO, Do - Durango, Mexico; Ga - Guadalajara; G, GG - Guatamala; G, Go - Guanajuato, Mexico; L, LIMAE, LIMA - Lima, Peru; M, MA - Manila, Philippines; M, Mo - Mexico Citu, Mexico; NG - Nueva Granada, Guatamala; NR - Nueva Reino, Colombia; PVD - Valladolid Michoacan, Mexico; P, PN, Pn - Popyan, Bolivia; P, POTOSI - Potosi, Bolovia; So - Santiago, Chile; Z, Zs - Zacatecas, Mexico.


With independence from Spain, formations of alliances - and then dissolution - of some these new unions, meant that central South American coinage was in a state of flux for some time. Most of the former colonies  counter-stamped  circulating coinages, including that from their neighbours, and often renamed the former Spanish denominations to suit their own national asperations. National mints were established in some of the new independent nations and some coins were even minted in Europe. Some Guatamalan coins, for instance  bear the H mintmark of Heatons, Birmingham. Other old Spanish coins that came to light were counterstamped with the Republican Coat-of-Arms featuring the Long-tailed Quetzal bird (from about 1872). In 1925, Guatamalan coinage was produced with denominations based on 100 Centavos = 1 Quetzal (33.333g .720 Silver).

Krause's 'Standard Catalog of World Coins' covering the years from 1801 - 1900, gives a good idea of this period of upheaval.


At times, a mintmark arises that is hard to decipher - mainly due to wear or damage - and, sometimes the only way we can put some sort of credence to it is by comparing it with others, checking the Assayers initials, denomination and coin date together and hoping we can make a match against an appropriate mint.. The 2 Reales coin shown below - scan courtesy T.N.S. member Jerry Adams, Texas - appears to have a damaged mintmark as well as subsequent wear as well.  On comparison with another undamaged coin (insert below) - and the P.J. assayers initials that are not recorded on any known 2 Reales coins of this date - the possibility that it comes from Guanajuato Mint in Mexico is high..

It must be pointed out, however, that Mexican Silver Reales coins from all mints were counterfeited in contemporary times in fairly significant numbers - and sometimes crudely. It is common to encounter 'chop marks' on old Mexican silver coins where they were tested to ensure they were not just plated copies.


(Compare general set-up - and 'Go' mintmark - of this known 1834 Guanajuanto 8 reales coin with the unconfirmed 2 Reales shown above)



1758 Silver 1 Real minted in Mexico City - mintmark Mo near date - Assayer, Manuel de León (M)

1834 Silver 2 Reales - Damaged (?) mintmark - possibly minted in Guanajuato (Go) - Assayers, names unknown (P. J)

1804 Silver 8 Reales minted in Mexico City - mintmark Mo - Assayers, Tomas Butron Miranda & Henrique Buenventura Azorin (T. H)


The homeland *(refer chart below)mintmarks are - B, Ba, 8 pointed star - Barcelona; Bo - Bilbao; C - Catalonia; CA - Cuenca; G, Flower over G - Granada; J, JA, 4 pointed star - Jubia;  M, MD, 6 pointed star, Crowned M - Madrid; Ma, 5 pointed star - Manila(Philippines) P, PP, P.L, PA - Pamplona; Aquaduct, 3 pointed star - Segovia; S, S/L, 7 pointed star- Seville; Sr - Santander; T, To, Tole - Toledo; V, VA, VAL - Valencia; Crowned C - Cadiz.



'Marks of the different mints who made coins in this kingdom'




A selection of King Juan Carlos 1 coins in various metals - some pre-1982 showing 'estrellas' (emission date stars).


Coins were also issued for the Philippines and Peurto Rico during the late 1800's.

During the time of the Republic (1931-1939) several Revolutionary and some Civil War issues - mainly 1937 (or undated) - were minted in various areas from base metals, as previously mentioned,  some with low levels of design workmanship while others were well presented.

This needs to be borne in mind when checking these.

In 1937, the  25 Centisimos nickel coins were minted in Vienna and released in 1938 when the forces lead by General Francisco Franco controlled most of Spain.  When Madrid Mint was under the control of  Franco's Nationalist Government, it produced all other issues during the period 1939 - 1947.

In 1947, after his victory, Franco restored the monarchy -but, in name only - he retained regency of Spain as its leader (dictator) and he selected the heir apparent who was to be crowned after his death - which occured Nov. 20, 1975.

Juan Carlos de Borbon, the grandson of the former king, Alfonso XIII, was proclaimed monarch as Juan Carlos I - Rey de Espana - on Nov. 22, 1975. 


A series of commemorative coins was authorised and issued in 1957, by the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, that consisted of  5, 25 and 50 Pesetas, (similar to the style shown below with the eagle reverse) to celebrate the fothcoming 1958 event - 'I Exposicion Iberoamericana de Numismatica y Medallistica'. (The  Exposition of  Iberian - American Numismatists and Medallists).

This short series of only 43,000 coins in each denomination was minted in Barcelona with the initials BA replacing the estrella (star) on the eagle reverse.


A selection of base metal coins featuring General Francisco Franco as Gaudillo (leader - dictator) of Spain.

1959 Alumium 10 Centimos; 1953 Al-Br. One Peseta; 1957 Copper-Nickel 5, 25 and 50 Pesetas. (Madrid 6 point star mintmark.)


From 1982 all basic coinage has been produced in Madrid at the 'Casa de la Moneda' (lit. House of the Coin) with the Crowned M mintmark..The practice of placing both ley and acuñacion dates on basic circulation coins ceased in 1982 and, from 1983,  issues only bear the year date and Madrid mintmark..


Casa de la Moneda - Madrid


Spain was one of the first nations to be involved in the acceptance of a commercially united Europe with a common currency and was a charter member of the European Economic Union and began officially using the Euro coinage and notes in 1999.



Modern Spanish Euro Coinage issued from 1999


Main References:

'Standard Catalog of World Coins' - 1701 - 1800; 1801 - 1994; 1901 - 1998. published by Krause Publications.

'Monedas y Billetes Españoles 1833 - 1998' - by Carlos Fuster (Numismatist) 1999.

Various other sources previously acknowledged.





- and other reminders & notifications of interest!


Amongst those e-notes of interest we have recently received, is advice of a new commercial Internet site, and - after careful perusal -  we have decided to add it to our list of useful and friendly places for our readers to visit.  Our normal disclaimers apply.



Australasian Banknotes Pty. Ltd. have commenced a new area of their business, focusing on selling rare Australasian, New Zealand and International banknotes, coins, gold and bullion through their worldwide customer base. The illustrations are of good quality, and - for those with a few dollars to spare - the bargains also look pretty good as well. Their introduction is self-explanatory.... !




Refer:- http://www.australasianbanknotes.com.au

Australasian Banknotes Pty Ltd is a company that has been in the international numismatic market for many years.

Our corporate strategy has been that of education and information.

We are now very proud to be introducing rare, sought after international banknotes, coins, gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Items will include banknotes from the area of Australasia – Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands - focusing on banknotes from the era of British Commonwealth issues circa. 1910-1966.

Commonwealth protectorates would have then also included Rhodesia, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand & many Pacific Islands.

Banknotes will be a major key focus for our company, however, we always will be available to advice all clients on prospective purchases of our entire integrated product range.






The 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' has requested us to remind any of our readers, who are also currently listed as T.N.S. annual financial members, that their Subscriptions for the next T.N.S. calendar year will fall due on

1st. January 2012.

Your early renewal would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!


Senior Full Membership (18 years and over) $20.00*

Associate Membership/Spouse (excludes voting rights) $10.00

Institutional and/or International Membership $25.00*

Email membership (Group or individual) $15.00*
Junior Full Membership (Aged up to 18 years) $10.00 


Remittances should be directed to:

Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

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

                                            P.O. Box 12.                                           


Tasmania. 7011.



If, after a period of one calendar month, the Annual Subscription has not been received - or, if, any other arrangements - including leave of absence - have not been advised, or put in place, with the T.N.S. Executive Committee - an overdue subscription reminder will be issued to the member by an appropriate method - including, a general notification in the Society's 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.

Please - ensure that all current contact addresses are made known to the Hon. Sec., as soon as possible, to avoid misdirection of notices etc.

It will be deemed that the member be considered un- financial after a non-contact or non-remittance period of one additional calendar month after the reminder advice has been forwarded.

If the full annual subscription has still not be remitted after a period of three calendar months, the Executive Committee of the Society will authorize the removal of the member’s name from the membership list, and any accumulated Society benefits will then be forfeited, and delivery of the bi-monthly ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ (including the electronic version of the newsletter)* - will cease.




NAME:             …………………………………………………………………………..


POSTAL ADDRESS: ………………………………………………




                  ……………………………    Post Code …………….


PHONE:           ………………………        Mobile (Optional): ……………………….


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'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2007 - June 2011.

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)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec10.htm  - (Volume 15 - Issues 1 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World (2011)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jun11.htm  -  (Volume 16 - Issues 1 - 6)


'NUMISNET WORLD' - INDEX - July to Dec. 2011.

Issue 7. July 2011:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july11.htm

T.N.S. RESUMPTION OF MEETINGS & PROPOSED COIN FAIR - A T.N.S. Executive Committee 'NOTIFICATION' has been received, indicating that a general meeting of past and present members, plus any interested guests, will be held on 21st. July at Battery Point Conference Centre in  Hobart.

After the extraordinary long recess, due to unavailability of a suitable venue, the purpose of the meeting is to reactivate existing members' interest, stimulate new membership and discuss plans for a Coin Fair to be held, at the same venue, on 11th. September 2011.

THICK - 'n' - JUST A LITTLE BIT LUMPY! -  A brief study of those 'Things' that don't sit too comfortably in our albums! We will all accumulate oddments amongst our collectibles that take a bit of thought as we seek to store them safely. I don't hope to have all the answers - but I do have a few items of the type that create grey hairs.

AUSTRALIAN CORONATION MEDALS 1937 - Just two of the scores of generic medals issued in Australia and other countries, within the old British Empire, to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI and his Queen, Elizabeth, on 12th.May 1937.

BANKNOTE ORIGAMI - An observation about the ways that banknotes were folded, to suit users' circumstances, in the days before wallets were readily available.


Issue 8. August 2011:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug11.htm

GRADING - At this time of year - our Australian Winter - it is comforting to sit in the warmth of our homes and, perhaps, indulge ourselves by playing with our favourite toys! Each year, I like to remind new readers of the pleasures - and pains - of accurate grading.

This month we will again reprise an older article and revise our expertise with grading local coinage from1910 - 1964.

MAILBOX - The Case of the Morgan Dollar. - Not quite up to Sherlock Holmes, but, a query from a lady in distress needed to be addressed.

CAVEAT EMPTOR! - Collectors need to be always alert when replicas start to appear in numbers. These are always filtering through the system - and the recent improvement in quality is creating concern. The manufacturers make no bones about it - they are serving a commercial demand, and, these are another item with which to make a living.  Unfortunately, their products often end up in collections - and, they can be mistaken for the real thing!

BELATED APOLOGY! - A belated sincere apology, and acknowledgement, are due to 'MASTERCAST' of Hobart for an incorrect attribution on an medallion illustration used several times during the last 5 years. We have only been recently advised, by renowned Tasmanian numismatist, Roger McNeice OAM, that it was actually 'MASTERCAST' who manufactured the impressive Harry Murray Commemorative Medallion, issued in 2006.

Thank You, Roger! The correct attribution has been recorded for future illustration instances.

ANOTHER MILESTONE PASSED! - Our July issue marked the completion of 4 years for the totally independent 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition.'   It is with some satisfaction that this milestone has been passed and that the privately produced publication has been well-accepted by our exonumatic and numismatic readers. The publication was formerly online under the permitted banner of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' for many years - and was seen as a 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society'  production even though it was privately funded and produced. We still enjoy excellent relations with the Society and will continue to work ethically with the T.N.S. Executive Committee and support them in their endeavours.


Issue 9. September 2011:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/sept11.htm

'ROBINSON CRUSOE' BANKNOTES - These lonely castaways are looking for numismatic companionship, but, they are easily forgotten and overlooked.

'THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY!' - We all rue the time when a 'treasure' slipped through our fingers because we just didn't have the means to put down the top dollar to bind the acquisition deal.

MODERN WIDE DATE COIN VARIETIES - These minute differences are hard to spot without some sort of magnification - but they are out there - and some collectors live and breathe 'varieties' - and are prepared to pay a premium for them. Worth a mention in any discussion!


Issue 10. October 2011:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/oct11.htm

THE SLIMMEST TWIG ON THE MONEY TREE! - A broad look at the intriguing world of exonumia. This is the fringe area of numismatics that either captivates or repels many collectors because of the sheer diversity of items involved. However, we need to look at it - to better understand its fatal attraction.

MISCELLANEOUS BANKNOTE BUSINESS (Pt. 1). Another brief study of some slightly different banknotes - or , at least, those worth a second look!

NOW ... IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?! We will try to assist - within our capabilities! - our readers with their queries, so, please, treat our free Q & A section with a little kindness, patience and respect - and, spare the spurs!  We are not professional valuers or dealers - and, we are certainly not infallible.


Issue 11. November 2011:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/nov11.htm

MISCELLANEOUS MYSTERIES (Pt. 2). Continuing our study of some slightly mysterious banknotes - or , at least, those worth a second look!

TREASURES FROM THE SOUTH PACIFIC - 'THE PA'ANGA of the TUPOU KINGS of TONGA'. A decrepit and grubby old Tongan 1/2 Pa'anga note with a missing corner - (that I needed to cross my fingers when I graded it at 'about Good') - was given to this writer at a Coin Fair 2004. It  was the start of my interest in notes from this vast oceanic region of the world.


Issue 12. December 2011:-

THE KING OF ICELAND! - Jørgen Jørgensen - First visiting in 1804 as part of the voyage of discovery - and then returning in 1825 in chains - this intrepid, somewhat rascally, Danish seafarer left his indelible mark on the early history of Van Diemen's Land after a series of personal adventures.

MISCELLANEOUS MYSTERIES (Pt. 3). Continuing our study of some slightly mysterious banknotes - or , at least, those worth a second look!

CLOSER TO HOME - Any hobby has to have a 'fun element' within it to save us from going mad - collecting funny numbers helps me keep sane - at times!

HANDY HINT - Those who collect Spanish coinage may occasionally come across terms impressed on older coins that actually relate to their purity of precious metal. This hint may be useful.

COMMERCIAL CORRESPONDENCE! A new site from an old established friend - Australasian Banknotes Pty. Ltd. - is worth putting on the your Favorites List for frequent referral - and perhaps you may discover a bargain....!

T.N.S. ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION REMINDER. As a favour to the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', we include an early  request for the annual subscription remittance for the T.N.S. year, commencing January 1st. 2012.







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 titles and 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.

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.



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.



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.



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.


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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au