Volume 12 Issue 2                                INTERNET EDITION - Established 1996                                February 2007

The name 'Tasmanian Numismatist' is used with the permission  of the Executive Committee of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' however, any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', its Executive Committee or its members. Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, the Internet links selected by the authors of this  newsletter are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to: (1) Illustrations and, (2) to provide additional important information. 

Any notices of concern to 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members will be included in the 'Society Snippets' section.

We trust that this issue of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.




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



Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

G. P. O. Box 884J

Hobart. 7001.




In our previous issue we told T.N.S. members, and other readers, the story about Mirror Tokens and gave a brief mention of the fact that our Texas based Tasmanian Numismatic Society member, Jerry Adams (aka 'Curly' and 'Grizzly' due to his 'luxurious" head of hair - as well as a reference to the famous bear-tamer and backwoodsman, John Capen 'Grizzly' Adams 1812-60 ) and his loyal sidekick, Bob Smith (aka 'Hurricane Bob' - for his occasional oratorical masterpieces and sprightly demeanor ) had decided to issue a few especially custom-produced Mirror tokens and Encased Cents as a fun gesture to their token collecting 'pards' - and I'm glad to say I fell into that category.

Jerry also included a few extremely interesting notes with the items - and I can do no better than quote parts of those in explanation of the details presented on the tokens. - Thanks, Jerry!  (The links supplied below are also very useful for reference).


'Grizzly' Adams.

The TV series entitled 'Grizzly Adams' was a fairly fanciful depiction of John Capen Adams' real life but, in fact, the truth is a bit more interesting.

Born in Massachusetts in c.1812, John Adams was trained and employed as a shoemaker until he was 21. The call of adventure drew him to New England to become a hunter - he was involved in trapping wildcats and wolves for a menagerie. He had a serious brush with death when he was mauled by an Indian Tiger and, as he recovered, he needed an income so he returned to shoe-making - and spent the next 15 years at his trade.

With the start of the California gold rush, he packed his bags, said goodbye to his wife, and went to seek his fortune - unfortunately or fortunately, it didn't happen - or we would never have had 'Grizzly' Adams.

The Sierra Nevadas was still a good trapping area so Adams decided to use the skills that he had learnt in New England to get beaver furs..

After he had trapped and trained a few giant bears - he had gained a reputation as a grizzly hunter - hence the nickname 'Grizzly Adams - he was hired by several zoos to supply them with grizzlies. 

He also hand-reared two grizzly cubs as pets - he named them 'Lady Washington' and 'Benjamin Franklin'. It is said that 'Ben Franklin' saved Adams by taking on a wild female grizzly that had attacked his master. Some reports also believe that Adams was accidently injured by one of his pets while playing with them - and the head injury was probably far more serious that could be imagined

Adams opened his own zoo in 1855 and, in 1860, he went to New York and became a partner of Phineas T. Barnum in his American Museum. Dressed in buckskins he rode one bear, and led two others, during the opening parade, and became an instant celebrity.

He died on 25 October, 1860 at age 48 - from meningitis brought on by the injuries he had sustained over his relatively short life. The tiger attack, the play injury, as well as some bloody encounters with wild bears, had taken their toll. His bears and other zoo animals were sold to provide for his widow.

Depiction of the John Capen 'Grizzly' Adams and his pet bear 'Ben Franklin'.  Painting - by Charles Nahl  c.1858


'Hurricane' Bob Smith - 'Hurricane' Bill Martin.

The moniker for 'Hurricane' Bob Smith came historically from 'Hurricane' Bill Martin, - not the movie character (Billy) 'Hurricane Smith' portrayed by actor Carl Weathers in the 1992 movie of the same name - but the one who had a few run-ins with 'Bat' Masterson, Wyatt Earp and other members of the Texas law  However, it seemed there was a fine line between the law and lawlessness in those days - and they all had worked both sides to make ends meet..

'Hurricane' Bill Martin's real name was William A. Martin. He was about 6 feet tall, and weighed in at about 200 pounds - and like many others at that time he had been an Indian fighter, buffalo hunter, desperado, gun fighter and horse thief during his lifetime. 

He was dubbed 'Hurricane' Bill at an early age, due to the "windies" he told. 

In 1874, he had been arrested in Wichita, Kansas, for his involvement in disturbing the peace and he, and his 12 - 14 Texas  'cowboys' (outlaws and horse rustlers), had been fined $1000. Wyatt Earp was acting as a low paid city patrolman at the time - he hadn't officially been sworn in as a ranking officer, and wouldn't  be until April 1875 -  and the fracas also involved him.

It was reported, by the local newspaper, that Earp had forcibly disarmed one of the cowboys and then took the lot into custody at the end of a shotgun when another policeman, Samuel Botts, couldn't  control the situation - admittedly, Wyatt had the aid of 40 or so local volunteer 'secret police' by then.

By 1875, Bill had become an army scout and was out harassing Indians and stealing their horses -  and he had become a typical Western bad character.

He had been in Dallas, during January 1875, and got himself in more trouble. It was co-incidental that the same Grand Jury, which had indicted him and a couple of ladies for running a 'disorderly house', also admonished 'Doc' Holliday for a couple of shootings and 'gaming in a saloon' -  and both were virtually 'asked' to leave Dallas at the same time..

It wasn't long before Bill showed up at Ft. Griffin,Texas, and his closest lady friend was soon dubbed 'Hurricane' Minnie - and she was described as the best looking 'working-girl' around Ft. Griffin.  He was often arrested in Fort Griffin for gambling, pimping, public drunkenness - and he was also involved in several shootings. The two 'Hurricanes' were wed in holy matrimony in May 1876.


NOTE: It was reported that 'Hurricane' Minnie took up with another dubious character, John Henry Selman (pictured left), after 'Hurricane' Bill disappeared from the scene. (There is a newspaper report of a B. Martin being killed, during an argument, by a blow to the head with a Winchester rifle wielded by  A.H. Webb in Dodge City, Kansas, on September 8, 1879 - whether this was 'Hurricane' Bill is not certain but Bill certainly knew Kansas and might have left Texas in a hurry.)

Selman, who had a wife and child in Fort Griffin , had established close relationships with 'Hurricane' Minnie, who became his mistress in 1877-8, and John Larn, a vicious gunfighter and rustler who served for a time as sheriff of Shackleford County and who became Selman's close friend and business partner.

In Fort Griffin, Selman also came in contact with such frontier notables as Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday, Killin' Jim Miller, Jesse Evans, and Pat Garrett in his position as a lawman. Selman also owned property in Fort Griffin, including a saloon, but increasingly he and John Larn resorted to rustling with a band of up to 80 outlaws known as the 'Wrestlers'.

Texas Rangers and local authorities were pressured to stop Larn and Selman, and bushwhacking attempts were perpetrated by both factions. Larn was arrested in 1878 and then shot and killed by a frustrated lynch mob while he was chained to the floor in his own cells.

Selman, who had witnessed Larn's arrest, fled the country to Chihuahua in Mexico and, on April 6 1896, he died after a drunken altercation and gunfight with Marshall George Scarborough in El Paso.  At that time he had a 16 y.o. wife, who had been keeping him in check to some degree.

'Hurricane Minnie' had disappeared into Western history by then -  but there were rumours she retired and became 'respectable' in her later years.








"My personal token is this encased 1957D cent which is an echo of an earlier time. The name of Hanrahan's Saloon, which appears on the outer ring of the reverse side of the two tokens shown , was the only saloon at the  Adobe Walls, Texas settlement in 1874.

Adobe Walls and Ft. Griffin are two of my favorite Texas historical sites and, of course, Keller is where I live.

The reference to "Old McBrayer' Whiskey is in honor of the real whiskey of that name.

My maternal grandmother's name was McBrayer - and, indeed, her grandfather and his two brothers were privates in the Georgia Infantry of the Confederate States of America.

The reference to 'Hostetter's Bitters' - which is written on the Hanrahan's Saloon reverses of the tokens - is a reflection that Hostetter's Bitters bottles were found at archeological sites in Adobe Walls and also at other places thru the Old West.

You notice also that the encased cents were chosen to be exactly FIFTY years old, for the time at which they are issued (2007 to 1957). Regards  - Jerry."


Encased 1957D Cent Tokens - Bee Hive and Alhambra Saloons obverses with the Hanrahan's Saloon reverse.

(Fantasy pieces issued by Jerry Adams & Bob Smith in 2007)

Entrepreneur and salon-keeper, James N. Hanrahan in later life.


For T.N. readers who are interested in the encased coin concept, Jerry has forwarded a site address for your perusal. Take a look!




 Hanrahan's Saloon at Adobe Walls, Texas in 1874.

compiled by Jerry Adams © 2007


James N. Hanrahan operated a saloon at the famous buffalo hunters settlement called Adobe Walls in 1874.

Hanrahan was one of the original entrepreneurs of the Old West and he had sold his interest in a saloon in Dodge City to his partner, Mose Waters, and joined his friend Charles Rath in building and operating the saloon at Adobe Walls.  

It was here that one of the last large attacks of Native Americans on buffalo hunters took place.The battle took place on June 26, 1874 with the famous Comanche chief, Kwahnah (Quanah Parker), as one of the leaders of the Kwahadi tribal group of Indians during the fight..


Cynthia Ann Parker, her young daughter Topasannah - and her eldest son, Chief Kwahnah (Quanah) Parker.


Quanah's mother was a kidnapped white girl, Cynthia Ann Parker, the daughter of a prominent Texas family.

Her father had been killed by the Indians and she had been taken away as a 9 y.o in 1836  - she was rescued in 1860, but, by then,  she had become more Comanche than white. She had 3 children, Quanah, Pecos and a daughter, Topasannah and had an Indian Chief , Peta Nacona, as her husband.

Her daughter died in 1864 and, after trying unsuccessfully  to run away back to her Indian family on several occasions, she fell into a state of apathy.

Cynthia died of self-inflicted starvation shortly afterwards.

Quanah, who had been  born in 1845, had the distinction of being blue-eyed like his mother - but he had a darker complexion than his father.

The estimated number of Indians - which included Cheyenne, Kiowa and Arapaho warriors -  attacking the post ranged from about 200 - up to 700 in some reports. Quanah had his horse shot from under him during the battle and was lucky to have survived.

Adopting his mother's surname, Quanah Parker later surrendered to the U.S. Army, in 1875, and went on to assimilate very successfully into the white man's way of life and became a prosperous businessman in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). He spoke reasonably good English and Spanish and became a judge at the reservation court. He died in 1911 after serving as a leader of the Comanche, Kiowa and Apache confederation.


Among the sod and picket structures were the Myers & Leonard Store, Tom O'Keefe's blacksmith shop, the Rath store, - and Hanrahan's Saloon.

There were only the three main structures at Adobe Walls - not counting the blacksmith shop, outhouses, etc, - and the saloon was the middle one, between the Rath store and the other supply store, Leonard and Myers. The saloon was also the smallest building.  As mentioned, all the major buildings were either built with sod, or with pickets.  The sod turned out to be a lifesaver as it couldn't be set on fire, and it also stopped arrows and bullets quite well. 


Adobe Walls, Texas had Comanche Indians fighting in the streets on June 26, 1874


It is reported that the townspeople may have learned of the imminent attack the afternoon before the raid, and Charles Rath and some others wisely left for the safety of Dodge City - but Hanrahan stayed at his saloon and was actively involved in the fight along with some of the hunters and inhabitants - including one woman -  who had gathered there. It appears that there were about 26 or 27 defenders - but, it was Billy Dixon's long range shot that turned the tables.

The Indians believed they had the magic power to avoid bullets and, when one of there number was shot, it demoralized them to some extent.

Afterwards, when Hanrahan decided to leave Adobe Walls, he returned  to Dodge City and thence to Lake City, Colorado.

He later moved to Idaho and represented Custer County in the Legislature during 1895 - 6.

He retired, first to Lost River and then finally to Blackfoot, Idaho where he died about the end of WWI.

(His name is connected with the Empire Copper Mining Company in Idaho and speculative water-works and a large-scale irrigation project in c.1901)

Interesting site: http://www.texaspanhandleplains.com/amarillo-texas.html


Actually there were two battles at Adobe Walls, a decade apart - the first in 1864, involved Colonel Christopher 'Kit' Carson against several thousand Indians. He was fortunate, as he had two howitzer guns at his command,.and just managed to save his troops from destruction.

One of the defenders at the 1874 Adobe Walls fight was the famous marksman, buffalo hunter, Army scout and cowboy, Billy Dixon.

Dixon had come West as a 14 y.o. boy from West Virginia and drifted in the occupation of buffalo hunter and he was soon recognised as having a  'fine eye' with a rifle. It was he who made the famous shot, at the Adobe Walls battle, with his 50.90 Sharps buffalo rifle when he shot and killed an Indian on a rise some distance away - a long, long way away!

Dixon had toppled the hostile rider from a group of 15 horsemen (at a surveyor measured distance) of 1538 yards.The accuracy and distances quoted were always somewhat controversial and 'experts' often stated it could not have been any further than 700 yards - and Billy always stated he was just a lucky shot - but, whatever the truth is, one thing is well-known  - he was a superb marksman with his superb weapon, the Sharps buffalo gun.

In the above picture of the Adobe Walls 'commercial area' - (reputedly, taken the day before the attack) - the hill in the distance behind O'Keefe's blacksmith shop and sheds seems to be the most likely spot for Dixon's shot - (reputedly, fired from the front window of Hanrahan's Saloon) - to have claimed its target.


During the Battle of Buffalo Wallow, Billy Dixon was a civilian scout for a group of  5 other men who fought off over 100 Indians before help arrived.

He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action on September 12, 1874 and, in 1883, he settled back at Adobe Walls as its post-master and stayed at that job for 20 years. He was also the first sheriff of Hutchinson County, Texas.

His journalist wife, Olive, wrote his biography and the first edition was published just after his death in 1913 at age 63.

The book, 'Life of Billy Dixon' by Olive K. Dixon, was re-released in 1927 and again in 1987 - and recently, it has been extensively reviewed once again in its facsimile paperback form. 

Jerry 'Grizzly' Adams has been reading the story, and had this to say:

"In the  memoirs of Billy Dixon, the man who made the long shot, I did find out that he ran a general store in the settlement of Adobe Walls in 1902, and the settlement had a population of 38 at that time  He referred to all rifles of the 50 caliber as a "big 50" rather than the more descriptive 50-90 etc. 

It is an amazing story and I can feel myself transported back to the era and the place as I read his memoirs.  

The description of the grass growing higher than the horses backs...the wide open spaces, the fresh air, the herds of antelope, the black mat of bison ..... 

Most interesting is Billy's description of the approaching bison herds in migration.  He said the female and male bison were in seperate groups except in mating season. The approaching bison herds could be audibly heard for miles, due NOT to the sound of the hooves, but the sound of the bull bison snorting their mating calls. 

 Grazing bison bulls.


Dixon wrote, "You could smell the bison - and smell the Indians -  the bison could also smell the Indians, and would get terribly nervous when the Indians approached - but not the white buffalo hunters "


The photo of Billy Dixon is courtesy  of -  HomeOfHeroes.com

The dapper and be-hatted 'Bat' Masterson - 'with rosy cheeks and a grave demeanour'.


Another, was a 21 y.o.buffalo hunter named William Bartholomew 'Bat' Masterson (1853-1921). He later changed his name to William Barclay Masterson as he didn't like his given name.

'Bat' and his brother Edward were originally from Quebec in Canada but had traveled at an early age, with their restless parents, in search of a better life in the U.S. near Wichita, Kansas.The boys got jobs as 'graders; on the railways and then drifted into Buffalo City (later Dodge) and took up buffalo hunting. They became part of the great slaughter of the American bison. It was a profitable, if dirty, enterprise, and the U.S. Army actively encouraged the hunters as a means of destroying native independence. Of course, the Plains Indians reacted violently to the destruction of the herds until, finally, the buffalo slaughter, combined with raids on the horse herds of the southern tribes by thieves - like 'Hurricane' Bill Martin - precipitated the Red River War in 1874 and caused the uprisings.

After the battle at Adobe Walls, 'Bat' turned lawman, as had his brother Ed, and he also had a few further run-ins with Hurricane Bill Martin.

'Bat'.gained a reputation as a tough customer amongst the wrong-doers, and he mixed company with the Earps and other famous lawman of the era.

His brother, Marshall Ed Masterson, was killed in Dodge City in April 1878 and 'Bat' killed the two cowboys responsible.

He was appointed Deputy Marshall - but he made his living as a gambler.

In 1881, a Kansas City newspaper had described him as  being of modest and grave demeanour - and polite to a fault.

It was reputed that he had killed 23 men - a point he denied strenuously - 'though he had experienced many difficulties'.

In 1902, he became a referee and boxing promoter in New York City and, eventually, he settled down as the  feature sports-writer on the New York 'Daily Telegraph'. He died from a heart attack at his desk on 25th October, 1921.


Other 'well worth the read' reference sites:




Main References:

'Story of the Great American West' Reader's Digest Publication. 1977

'The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Old West' by Peter Newark. Andre Deutsche Publication 1980.



In recent years, scientific tests have been carried out on the capabilities of the old  50.90 Sharps rifle, and, it was proven that the carrying distance of the big 50 calibre 650 grain bullet driven by a 90 grain load of black powder was enormous (over 3000 yards), and, in the right conditions, it still had the power to inflict serious damage to whatever it hit..

Different calibre and sized replicas are now being made for American collectors and sharp-shooters.by at least 4 rifle manufacturers.


Replica Pedersoli Sharps rifles are available from the Cimarron Firearms Company.


Tom Selleck in his role of 'Matthew Quigley' in the 1989 M.G.M. movie 'Quigley' (aka 'Quigley Down Under').


The replica double-set trigger rifle shown in the 'Quigley' movie was a "34 inch barrel .45 calibre with a custom load 110 grain cartridge" provided by the Shiloh Rifle Co. It is reported that this movie did for the 1874 Model Sharps rifle what 'Dirty Harry' did for the Magnum .357

The Shiloh 'Quigley' Rifles currently retail at US$3041 - considerably more than other standard replica Sharps models in the range - and some of the accessories now also carry the 'Quigley' label description.

The original C. Sharps Arms, Inc., itself, does not use the 'Quigley' movie connection to sell its firearms, and still advertise their 'Old Reliable' rifles with the traditional model names.


'Sharps' Rifle sites:



http://www.csharpsarms.com/pdf/catalog.pdf   (Catalogue is in PDF Format)



Note from Mike Metras' home page

The Fox Valley Coin Club, once listed here, no longer exists.

With the passing of Clayton Hageman last sping, the Fox Valley Coin Club has come to an end. Clay was the principal driving force for this Yorkville, Illinois, club that had only a few members at its end. Regretably, no one chose to take over and continue the club.




by Graeme Petterwood © 1996 - 2007


Remember - be astute when you are handed change - not all the wonders of numismatics have been discovered yet - and they don't have to be shiny and new! This edition again features an assortment of  'trivia' that I think is of interest and I trust it will prove educational and entertaining to you as well. 

All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Please note that the photoscans of numismatic items are usually not to size or scale, but - wherever possible - they are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition.



Between the U.S.A. and South America are a few nations - large and small - that we did not cover in our story about the history and numismatics of the  'Other America'.

The first of the stories of the nations of South America can be found at: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept2003.htm - and then follow the series through the next few newsletters as directed.

The Central American nations consist of Belize (former British Honduras), Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama - and to their north, lies a very much larger nation, which is actually classified as Norther American - that nation is Mexico.

North America officially consists of three countries - Canada, The United States of America and Mexico - that are somewhat related in terms of their imported cultural heritages of English, French and Spanish. Of course, both Canada and more particularly the U.S. have also the polygot of other cultures - Irish, Jewish, Russian,German, the Nordic cultures plus hundreds of other minority groups who have sought refuge within the boundaries of these great nations.

Mexico still has its strong ties with Spain.

The history of Mexico and the United States has been volatile at times both politically and economically. Whilst Mexico has seen unprecedented economic growth in the last few decades, the lure of the bright lights and perceived financial paradise within the U.S. still continues to cast its spell over thousands of Mexico's poor who attempt to cross the border every year - sometimes with tragic results. That is another story and cannot be given full justice in this article.

In the last few years, both nations have been endeavouring to reach mutually satisfying agreements that may allow illegal Mexican immigrants to remain in the U.S. for economic reasons - and to satisfy a niche in the American labor market -  by granting some selective sort of amnesty.

Perhaps, this is still another facet of the expoitation of Mexican labour.


Map of the United Mexican States (Mexico) - showing the locations of the states.

(Mexico - LIFE World Library)


As our interest is purely numismatic, it is of interest to follow the history of Mexican coinage and currency from the Spanish colonial days when Mexico City was a producer of several denominations of Spanish silver Real and gold Escudos. Virtually no Mexican minted copper or bronze pieces were made during this era although some medallic Charles (Carlos) IV 'proclamation' pieces were produced in 1789 .

The pre-numismatic history of Mexican exploitation starts with the arrival in 1519 of the first serious Spanish expedition lead by treasure-seeker Hernán Cortés, who was to be the subjugator of the Aztecs. In 1517, Cortés had explored part of the Yucatan peninsula and had been told of the golden riches of the Aztecs, who controlled the interior, and he decided that the possibilities of the tales being true needed to be tested. Again the story of his conquests is documented elsewhere and should be recommended reading for students of Mexican history. He was recorded as being - 'a murderer, destroyer and gold-mad intruiger' - but, by comparison to some of the other 'explorers' of the era, Cortés was relatively humane and did possess a conscience - of sorts.

Besides the mountain of gold ornaments and caskets full of precious stones that were looted by the Spaniards and sent back to Spain were tons of silver.

Famous German artist, Albrecht Dûrer, described some of the treasure he saw in 1520 - "I saw some of the things that were bought to the King from the New Golden Land: a sun entirely of gold, a whole fathom broad; likewise a moon, entirely of silver, just as large .........." (A fathom is 6 feet or 1.83 metres)

In fact, gold was not as plentiful as first imagined and within 25 years most of the metal had been looted and sent back to Europe. The silver was far more abundant and an improvement in processing, in 1557, made way for huge exports of the metal.  In the next three centuries an enormous amount had been mined by slave labour and converted into bullion valued in the billions of Dollars.

By the start of the 19th Century over two-thirds of Spain's revenue was being obtained from Mexico - not so much in precious metal ,although that was still a large factor, but from the results of the cheap costs of forced peasant labour under the control of Spanish masters in a system called 'encomienda' which wasn't abolished until 1720.

The 'Golden Age' of Spain was in fact the 'Silver Age' in many respects as silver coinage poured out of  Spanish-controlled mints throughout the Americas - including the one in Mexico City. It was far easier to transport bullion in the form of coin than raw material, large ingots or bars - especially when the cost of converting it in New Spain was far cheaper than processing it in Europe.


By 1821, Spanish influence in the Americas had become a shambles and, in South America, the majority of Spanish colonial areas had been wrested from them by force-of-arms by local patriots - such as the great Simon Bolivar.(pictured left)

Bolívar earned the title of liberator of Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. He is called El Liberator (The Liberator) and the "George Washington" of South America - and at one time he was dictator of two countries and President of another - a truly remarkable man

With Mexico's first vestiges of independence, after a rebellion starting on September 16 1810. lead by an ill-fated priest Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (shown below right)- who is now regarded as the martyr who first 'liberated' Mexico  -  came the problems of just who would govern the country. There was still a powerful hierarchy of Spanish-born, or those of Spanish descent, who controlled the economic and political strings of the country against those hundreds of thousands who had been down-trodden and treated as slaves for generations who were determined that change was inevitable - one way or another  For hundreds of years, this caste-like difference in the 'haves' and 'have-nots' has gnawed at the innards of Mexico - and it still does. The spilling of blood has been Mexico's heritage from pre-classic times 2000 B.C.

Revolutions have been a backdrop to Mexico's history and, even in today's modern historical arena, there are problems that are so deep-rooted that there are no compromise answers in sight and this has been reflected in the values of the nation's coinage and currency from time to time..

The plethora of official Mexican paper money and coinage, private bank note issues, revolutionary coinage, individual state and even district issues was phenomenal during the decade of 1910 - 20 when opposing factional groups of 'Royalists' and 'Revolutionaries' - and plain old opportunistic bandits - struggled for power. These were the heady days, when the peasant Indian leader, Emiliano Zapata (born c. 1879), who once said "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." and a former bank robber- and cattle rustler - Francisco 'Pancho' Villa (born Doroteo Arango c. 1877 in San Juan del Rio, Durango) formed an unlikely alliance and captured Mexico City.  Both these heroes of the people met untimely ends -  Zapata was lured into a fatal ambush in 1919 - probably by his political opponents led by President Venustiano Carranza.

After years of fighting in Mexico and along the U.S. border, Villa had been offered a pardon by the ruling Mexican government to bring him in from the 'wilderness'. Villa accepted the deal and then had retired to be a rancher - a choice he had always wanted.

However, it is believed he had made powerful enemies amongst some peeved U.S. politicians with dubious Mexican connections and in 1923, when returning from a business meeting with his banker, and, at a time when he had no protective force around him, he made an easy target. for a hired killer.

The political unrest that occurred can be seen from the list of Mexican presidents since 1821.

On Feb 18th 1913, President Pedro Lascuráin Paredes was in power for approx. 43 minutes.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_Mexico


Revolutionary guerrilla leaders, Emiliano Zapata (in fancy jacket) and Pancho Villa (in uniform) ride into Mexico City in 1914.

(Mexico - LIFE World Library)


Due to the fact that the Spanish mints - and the mints in South America and Mexico, were all producing identical or very similar coinage up until the 1820's it is neccessary that some colonial Mexican mintmarks are noted so that coins can be correctly attributed..For those who wish to obtain a full list of Spanish mints it is suggested than a good catalogue - such as the famous 'Standard Catalog of World Coins' - is an essential tool.

In Mexico, the main mints and mintmarks were:

Chihuahua - C, CH, Ch

Durango -  D, DO, Do

Guadalajara - Ga

Guanajuato - G, Go

Mexico City - M, Mo

Valladolid Michoacan - PDV

Zacetecas - Z, Zs

The earliest silver bullion coinage was crude and made for convenience sake not for ascetic appeal.

The Silver Reales of King Philip V who ruled from1700 - 24 and again 1724 - 46,  were - in the main - 'cob' coinage produced by imprinting a royal emblem onto a piece of refined metal and clipping it to weight not caring too much about its shape.

The main denominations were Real 1/2, 1, 2, 4 and 8 - with 16 of the .931 fine Silver Reales equalling One .917 fine Gold Escudo which, being a rounded shape hammered soft coinage, was far easier to handle and therefore better finished than the lumpy cob Reales.


The year 1724, saw the brief reign of Philip V's son, Louis I (Luis 1 of Mexico) come and go.

Reference: http://en.allexperts.com/e/p/ph/philip_v_of_spain.htm

The 17 y.o. Louis had inherited the throne after his father had abdicated due to fits of manic depression and melancholia, however, the new king contracted smallpox and died on 31st August the same year - but his hammered 4 and 8 Real coinage dated 1724 and 1725 are well prepared and attractive at 13.54g and 27.07g respectively.

Philip V was forced to return to the throne as Louis and his 15 y.o. old wife Louise Elisabeth, had produced no children during their 2 year marriage.

By 1729, with all the related royal families' throughout central Europe hovering near, or actively engaged in, hostilities and  under enormous political and financial pressure at that time, the Reales silver fineness was reduced to .916, but the Escudos, which ranged from 1 (3.3800g), 2 (6.7700g), 4 (13.5400g) and 8 (27.0700g), remained unaltered in fineness. This was most likely a political propaganda decision not an economic one.


By 1732, colonial coinage from the Mexican mints had started to be issued in a neater milled form.

The coinage retained its finess through the reign of Ferdinand VI. (1746 - 59) until the reign of Charles III (1760 - 88) when, in 1772,  the silver was reduced down to .903 Fine and gold was taken down to  .901 Fine. The weight of the coins remained fairly constant.

The denomination ranges of Mexican milled coinage were Reales, 1/4 (.8450g), 1/2 (1.6900g), 1 (3.3800g), 2 (6.7700g),  4 (13.5400g), and 8 (27.0700g) - the Escudos were in values of  1, 2, 4 and 8 with exactly the same weights as the Reales - but made of .901 Fine gold.

During the reign of Charles IV (1788 - 1808) the quality of the Real coinage produced in Mexico remained at .903 Fine but the Gold was reduced to .875Fine. The denominations of each were: Reales 1/4 ( .8450g), 1/2 (1.690g),  1 (3.3800g) etc. - through to 8 Reales. The weight of the reduced gold coinage was lifted to the same as the previous issues.


A holed 1758 Ferdinand VI of Spain .917 Silver One Real - minted in Mexico

(Actual size 20mm - Weight 3.38g)


When Ferdinand VII was on the Spanish throne between 1808 - 21, he authorised the main Mexican mints to produce three denominations of Copper coins in addition to the silver Reales. They were 1/8 Pilon (equivalent to 1/16 Real), 1/4 Tlaco (1/8 Real) and 2/4 Tlaco (1/4 Real) and most were minted during 1814 - 16 with some extra 2/4 Tlaco made in 1821 and these were meant to be used locally so that more of the silver could be sent to Europe.

Some of the lesser mints had been producing Copper 1/8 and 1/4 Reales and, during the uprising of 1810 led by Father Hidalgo, a few denominations of copper and cast Silver Reales were produced by the Supreme National Congress at Valladolid a in 1811 - 12 and some by insurgent's Generals Morelos and Osorno in South Oaxaca and Puebla during 1813.

It is at this time that New Spain started its slow descent into political chaos as the Spanish Kingdom started to lose control of its Americas colonies and, by 1821, Mexico was wracked by internal  strife as factional groups struggled for power. In 1822, Augustin de Iturbide seized power and established the Empire of Iturbide with himself as Emperor. The Empire only lasted until 1823 but several coinage issues dated 1821,  1822 and 1823 were made bearing the effigy of Emperor August I. There was an 1/8 and 1/4 Copper Real, a 1/2, 1, 2 and 8 Reales in .903 Fine Silver as well as 4 and 8 Scudos in .875 Fine Gold.This extravagance emptied Iturbide's treasury and he was thrown out and escaped into exile.


In the years that followed 1821, the "habit of conspiracy had become well established" and it saw the gradual emergence of the sinister man who seized power, as a virtual military dictator after Iturbide's failure and the early turbulent years of the Republic, and who ruled over tMexico 11 times during 1833 - 1855.

Antonio López de Santa Anna. (picture at left) refered to himself as the Napoleon of Mexico - and he showed an erractic genuis in military matters - but, like his French counterpart, he only led his nation into decades of disaster.

It was during his despotic lifetime as Mexico's ruler that the most fateful events occured that reduced the size of Mexico and drove it into virtual bankruptcy. The repercussions of some of Santa Anna's decisions shaped the history of the U.S. - and indeed the world - forever more.

The original territorial area of the old Spanish-dominated New Spain was somewhere in the vicinity of China, Brazil or Russia for size and it encompassed a substantial part of what is the South-West United States - California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

During 1835 - 36, the ranchers and residents of the Texas area were embroiled in a political disagrrement with Santa Anna and his  hierarchy in Mexico City regarding the loss of constitutional guarantees and essential services - it is to be remember that Texas was part of Mexico at that point in time. Initially, the push for independence was far from the minds of the populace - all they wanted was a fair political representation and economic deal.

However, Santa Anna - saw the disagreement as rebellion and took an army into Texas to stamp his authority on these northern rebels - and their friends and relatives who had crossed the line from further north, when it became obvious that things had become grim and were going to grow even worse.

Many of the residents of Texas were former citizens of the U.S. and had been involved in the independence movement in that country, and, suddenly the fight for constitutional rights became a fight for freedom from despotic rule - and the right of Texan independence became a stand, fight - and die - issue

The Texas Revolution began with the involvement of William Travis, James Bowie, Davy Crocket and Sam Houston

The Battle of the Alamo in 1836 , and another massacre at Goliad, saw a defining moment in history and ensured Santa Anna's name would go down in history as a bloody tyrant. The event has been thoroughly documented elsewhere so it would be better to refer to any of those historical sites for full details.


The Alamo facade (shown above) - built for the movie of the same name - is historically closer in appearance to the ruined remains, after the battle, than the current buiding which had its arched front added during the rebuilding in 1850. (Picture c.1900)

This building was only a small part of the actual compound that was being defended in 1836. (Refer to Map site listed below.)


Interesting reference sites:




http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/adp/history/1836/the_battle/phase1.html (Map site - the three phases of the battle are shown.)


The Mexican army was eventually defeated by a wrathful Sam Houston and his army of U.S. volunteers at San Jacinto and Santa Anna traded his freedom for Texas and then returned south  to the Mexican heartland. Texas became a republic for a while and, in 1845, it was annexed by the United States.

Mexico would eventually be involved in a war with the United States during 1846 - 48 over the disputed borders and Santa Anna was forced to relinquish by force, or sell off, California, the rest of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. He was ousted from power in 1855 by his desperate republican opponents after he had  financially ruined the country - and it would take generations to recover.

During the period from 1833 - 55 while the military dictator, Santa Anna, held Mexico under his influence, the state and Federal coinage issues saw the introduction of more Copper and Brass coins in the smaller denominations. Some years had both Silver and copper/brass coins issued in the same values,.and, although the standard silver Reales and gold Escudos retained their normal weights and intrinsic metal content, the financial reality was that the Mexican Treasury was being bled dry.

Coins issued between  1824 - 64 were Copper and Brass Reales 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 in various sizes; .903 Silver reales 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4 and 8;  .875 Gold Escudos 1/2, 1, 2, 4 and 8. Again in 1867 - 1871 some of these old coin denominations were minted but were being superceded in popularity by the new decimal coinage issues that were appearing all over the world.

With the temporary disintegration of the Republic after Santa Anna's dismissal, French conservatives with vested financial interests in Mexico persuaded Archduke Maximilian of Austria, and his wife Princess Marie Charlotte (known as Carlota), that he had been invited to rule in Mexico as its new Emperor. They arrived in 1864 - accompanied by French troops. Reference: http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/history/jtuck/jtmaximilian.html


Emperor Maximilian - his wife, Carlota - and President Benito Juárez who ordered Maximilian shot.


It was during Maximilian's reign that the first major reform in Mexico's coinage occured with the introduction of the decimal system of Centavos and Pesos. He issued  a Copper Centavo in 1864 and, between 1864 - 66, a series of  .903 Fine Silver Centavos 5, 10, 50 and Peso 1 and 20 which were the same weight and size as the previous 1 - 8 Silver Reales coinage.

It is a tragic story of a naive man, utterly duped - and then deserted - by the French to face death by a firing squad in 1867 organised by the president of the new-born republic - Benito Juárez.  All international appeals for clemency were turned down and it was reported that Maximilian met his fate bravely as a "Hapsburg should'.

Benito Juárez was an Zapotec Indian-turned statesman, who had been involved in Mexican government during the pre-Maximilian era , and, fervently, only wanted the best interests of Mexico catered for. - he considered the power wielded by private interest groups was not in Mexico's best interests and, eventually, he outraged the powerful Roman Catholic Church, which controlled over 50% of Mexico's wealth, with his egalitarian reforms.

When he eventually died in office in 1872, another strongman, Porfirio Díaz,  seized control of the republic - and again a 'dictator' drove the country.

In a calculated move, Diaz gave back power to the Church and allowed it to own things once again - thus gaining a powerful ally with European connections.. However ruthless and flamboyant he was, Díaz did continue to pursue reform and achieve stability, and more importantly - he was now able to attract financial capital to an almost bankrupt nation.

He brought the bandits under his control by pardoning most of the 'generals', and their 'armies', and by hiring them as a new force - the rurales - who kept the peace in the country. They were still bandits and did what they always did, of course - but in an official uniform and governmental blessings..

For 34 years, the country remained stable - but at a terrible cost in suffering by the common people.

In the end it had to boil over and, in 1910, the new revolutionary period began when the mild-mannered intellectual, Francisco Madero, challenged Díaz for the presidency. Madero was a humanitarian who had often put his money were his mouth was to help the poor farmers in his area - it helped that he also came of one of Mexico's wealthiest families.

The politically threatened Díaz ordered Madero arrested - and it was like putting a match to a powder-keg, as years of resentment exploded and rag-tag 'armies' of peasants formed to fight.for 'freedom. Madero had fled north to the safety of the U.S. but returned when many Federal troops deserted and joined the revolutionaries and won against Díaz's army at a place called Cuidad Juárez (formerly El Pasa del Norte) on the U.S. border.


A few peasant soldiers under the control of a 'General' Macias who helped Francisco Maredo gain power - even if only for a short time

A group of peasant women soldiers who, later, helped overthrow the tyrannical and murderous dictator Victoriano Heurta


Díaz was toppled by the mob in Mexico City and forced into exile, but the idealistic Madero's triumph, or dreams of a better Mexico, were never fulfilled as he was betrayed and murdered in cold-blood in mid-February 1913 by remnants of Díaz's supporters and other opponents, led by Victoriano Heurta 

There apparently was covert involvement by U.S. Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, and his business associates who had been Diaz supporters, as the 'musical-chair' situation of the Presidency started. This unstable situation would continue for the next 20 years and Mexico would have had 12 presidents by 1924. It was a time of great cruelty, murder, political and personal betrayal - and the effects are still  buried deep in the psyche of the Mexican people who are still being exploted today by individuals inside the country - and ruthless business interests, without..


The currency reforms of 1905 and again in 1917 changed the face of the new United Mexican States coinage nearly as quickly as the presidents changed.

The plethora of sizes, weights, metal compositions and designs are an impossibilty to list here, for obvious reasons, so a good reference catalog (as listed below) should be consulted if you wish to learn more of the finer detail about the earlier 20th Century Mexican coinage.


1966 Bronze 20 Centavos - 1956 Bronze 50 Centavos - 1962 .500 Silver Peso


The very low denominations of 1, 2 and 5 Centavos were mainly produced in Bronze or Copper-Nickel  and, starting with the 2 Centavos in 1941, they had all been demonitized by 1976. The 10, 20 and 50 Centavos were originally minted in .800 Silver, but, during the revoluntionary period, they were produced in a reduced size and also degenerated to Bronze before the currency reforms at the end of WWI. They returned to a silver content of .720 for a decade or so and prior to the onset of WWII they again were made in Bronze.

In later years the metal used was Copper-Nickel, Stainless-Steel or various alloys.

The Peso also suffered from intrinsic degradation - it had started out in 1910 as .903 Fine silver, but by 1918 it had dropped to .800 and by 1920 it was being produced in .720. The year 1945 saw the silver content dropped even lower to .500 then .300 in 1950 and in 1957 it was finally down at .100.

Copper-Nickel was used to make Pesos in 1970 and that was followed by Stainless-Steel and currently Bi-metallic coins are being issued.

The traditional gold coins also suffered and the higher denominations above 2 Pesos were being produced in Silver and base metals by the 1950's.

A few NCLT bullion coins and commemoratives are still produced for the numismatic or investment market - but the majority of Mexican coins are now done in alloys.

At time of writing, the U.S. Dollar would buy approx.11 Mexican Pesos.  Briefing reference: http://www.economist.com/countries/Mexico/


1945 .900 fine Gold 2 1/2 Peso Coin - (Actual size 16mm - Weight 2.0833g)

1999 .999 Fine Silver Libertad 1 Onza (Ounce) - (Actual size 37mm. - Weight 31.1000g)

1968 - Summer Olympics Mexico City - .720 Silver 25 Pesos - (Actual size 39mm  - Weight 22.5000g)


Main References:

Standard Catalog of World Coins 1701 - 1800 (Special Edition) by Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler . Colin R. Bruce II (Editor)

Standard Catalog of World Coins 1801 - 1994 (21st. Edition) by Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler . Colin R. Bruce II (Editor)

Standard Catalog of World Coins 1960 - 1988 (25th. Edition) by Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler . Colin R. Bruce II (Editor)

Mexico - LIFE World Library - Time Inc. (published 1970) -  by William Weber Johnson.



The 8 Reales coin, known as the Spanish Dollar, was around for many years in the Australia colonies as the 'universal trade coin' before it gained its most famous connection as the abused 'Holey Dollar' which was centre-punched to produce two coins out of one. We must also remember that similar abuse was undertaken by several other colonies who needed local coinage. In 1813, the Governor of Prince Edward Island in Canada converted 1000 Spanish Dollars into Five Shillings and One Shilling pieces, and, although not known as "holey dollars", several British colonies in the Caribbean used the same method for producing extra coins from Spanish dollars.They included British Guiana, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Tobago and Trinidad.

The holed coins and plugs circulated alongside various other coins made by cutting Spanish and Spanish colonial coins into sections. (Famous 'pieces of 8' came from this method of fractionalizing coins) These coinages were denominated in either shillings and pence or bits, worth nine pence.

This silver coin - many of which were produced in Mexican Mints - also played a pivotal part prior to our commercial history. The Dollar lent its name to denominations of paper Promissory Notes - but deals were always calculated in English Sterling This made a very complicated - and sometimes very argumentive - business when deals were being transacted with these paper notes so a set schedule of exchange rates was conceived by the colonial Governor, Lachlan Macquarie. An official proclamation was issued, to put a set value on all the other major foreign coinages in circulation at that time.

Macquarie was forced to take an even more drastic step in 1813 to address the chronic coinage shortage that had beset the colonies.

The following excerpt was taken from the 'Tasmanian Numismatist -Tasmanian Edition' -  Vol. 3 Issue 4 1998.


"The shortage of small change coinage was addressed by Governor Macquarie who ‘invented’ the Australian Holey Dollar and Dump when he took possession of 40,000 Spanish Dollars which arrived at Port Jackson on 26th. November,1812, on board the sloop "Samarang" out of Madras, and had them centre-punched by an ex-convict and ex-coin forger, William Henshall, to form two coins valued at 5/- and 15 Pence respectively - thus creating an additional 40,000 coins which he had dated and released in 1813.

The holed dollar was stamped with the words ‘New South Wales 1813’ around the hole on the obverse and ‘Five Shillings’ around the hole on the reverse. The dump surface was filed clean and then counter-stamped with the words ‘New South Wales 1813’ surrounding a crown centred on the obverse, and the words ‘Fifteen Pence’ in two lines on the reverse .

By mutilating the coins in this manner, it meant that they could not be spent anywhere else except as bullion.

As the Spanish 8 Real coins only cost 4/9 (57 pence) each, and had been marked up to a total of 6/3 (75 pence) for the two resulting pieces after mutilation, Macquarie had made a profit of 1/6 (18 pence) on each of the 40,000. A tidy 3,000 Pounds - which certainly should have covered incidentals.

Although the Holey Dollars and the Dumps continued to circulate, without legal tender status after September 1829 - for another 20 years or so in Tasmania - they were quickly overwhelmed by English coins when the Sterling Silver Money Act of 1826 came into force.

It is estimated that fewer than 280 - 300 Holey Dollars and about 1,000 Dumps survive - thus making them a real worthy Australian numismatic collectable."


By 2006 the Australian Holey Dollars in V.G. condition were retailing at about A$30,000 and their Dumps about A$5,000 - with coins in V.F condition well over A$100,000 for each Dollar and A$50,000 for the Dump.. Gradings are usually based on the condition of the original Spanish dollar host and the known numbers of dated host coins also determines aspects of price."


1804 Charles IIII of Spain .917 Silver 8 Reales - minted in Mexico City. (Actual size 40mm - Weight 27.07g)

Common type used to host Australia's 'Holey Dollars'.


Main References:

The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes (13th. Edition) by Greg McDonald

Coins of Canada (16th. Edition) by J.A. Haxby and R.C. Willey.


Tasmanian Numismatic Society


The updated and illustrated general Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Tasmanian Edition - and the Internet Edition) newsletter has now been completed to date. We decided to serialize the Internet version update, as we did with the original Index in 2003, and the first instalment was included in the January 2007 issue. The Index will be located at the conclusion of each newsletter issue.

Individual articles are not directly linked to the Index nor have they been cross-referenced by content, at this time, but they can be located by checking the Links listed below and then checking against our newsletter Archives: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aprilnews.html

Articles or information prior to the Year 2000 can be requested by contacting the Editor.

The original Index covered the period from 1995 - 2003 (Volumes 1 - 8).







The complete addendum includes the content details of both versions of the newsletter from Volumes 9 (Issue 1, January 2004) up to Volume 12 (Issue 1, January 2007) but the Internet details only will be published herein.




In a memorandum issued by the Executive Committee in May 1995, was a notification that the format for the Society’s newsletter was to be changed and that the approved name for the publication was to be the ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’.
The following is an update of information first compiled in August 1998, and details the most topical items and articles published, in addition to the usual Society general notices, from September 1995 until the current issue. Several regularly published items are:

Society Snippets –  a gossipy news, Society information, short articles by members, for members or about members column.

Society Notes – items that concern the everyday business end functions of our membership.

Around the Traps – local or national numismatic commercial intelligence.

From the Columns – news items of interest from magazines, numismatic newsletters etc.

Wanted Known – requests from members or readers for contact with others with similar  numismatic interests.

Internet News – specific items sourced from local, national and international Internet numismatic bodies or individual contacts.

Blast from the Past – items that made the headlines years ago – mainly sourced from our Society’s Journals.

Encore - articles repeated by request.

The Story Behind the Story – articles that expand on details of a previously published short item.

Miscellaneous Q & A's - these are the numismatic 'X Files' that our readers want answers to.

All items and articles designated with the author’s name highlighted are copyright – all others were written or compiled by the current Editor and permission should be sought prior to any form of republishing.

Please refer to our Disclaimers at the conclusion of this Index.




(a) The first ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 1 - was produced by  1995 President, Roger McNeice, who was acting as temporary Editor, and it was issued in September 1995.

(b) The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ then lapsed again, for want of a permanent Editor, until April 1996 when Society Vice-President, Chris Heath, acting as temporary Editor and T.N.S. member, Graeme Petterwood as Assistant Editor, revived the publication with club news and meeting programs.

That edition was known as Volume 2, Issue 1 - and was the first issue that  appeared on the Internet with a very short edited version as a trial. From this time onwards, until the end of 2000, both local and Internet Editions were identical in content.

(c) In May/June 1996, the ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ newsletter was labeled Volume 1, Issue 2 by way of a typographical error. It was decided to continue on with the numbering system from that issue, rightly or wrongly, in an effort to establish some sense of continuity with local members and also to cater for the new worldwide Internet audience. The original 2 - 4 page bimonthly newsletter was gradually expanded to supply additional club news, an article or two of numismatic interest and notable trends from interstate and overseas in an educational and, hopefully, entertaining fashion.

(d) Assistant Editor, Graeme Petterwood, was asked in December 1996  to accept the position as full-time Editor and was officially elected to the position at the  A.G.M. on 13th Feb.1997.

(e) It was decided at our Feb. 1997 A.G.M. to expand the newsletter publishing schedule from b-imonthly to monthly for an undetermined period trial basis.

(f) Due to cost factors beyond the reasonable financial scope of the Society – including the imposition of the G.S.T. on raw materials and copier maintenance – it was decided at a special Committee meeting in December 2000 to revert the printed publication back to bi-monthly issues until further notice.. The monthly ‘Internet Edition’ version would not be affected. The local printed edition was sub-titled as the ‘Tasmanian Edition’

Volume 10 – 2005 Internet Edition.

Issue 1.

Society Snippets – 2005 Subscriptions due reminder,  AGM and BBQ reminders

‘Pocket Change’ by Ian Hartshorn – pre-release catalogue preview.

Miscellaneous Q & A’s.

The Notes of Modern China – starting from 1800 to date, some of the more interesting paper money to span changes of Government and conflict issues.

Double Your Money – Coins on coins.

Encore from 1999 – Confederate States of America currency and the faces on the notes.


Issue 2.

Society Snippets – 2nd. reminder T.N.S. 2005 Subs., AGM/BBQ. Reminder.

Beating Our Own Drum – a brief history and achievements of the T.N.S.

The Black Eagles – the Silver Certificates of the U.S. (Series 1899).

A Reminder from the U.S. – the new one year issue Jefferson/Buffalo Nickel is imminent.

Miscellaneous Q & A’s – ‘Buddy could you spare a Dime?’ – German ‘Vampire’ note.

The Great War Children’s Peace Medals – medals issued to Australian school-children.

‘The Decimal Bank Notes of New Zealand’ – catalogue available from Scott de Young.

A Numismatic Household Hint –‘Don’t Touch Wet Paint’.

Just as a Matter of Interest – a list of the Arabic numerals.


Series 1899 Silver Certificate ‘Black Eagle’ $1.00

Issue 3.

Vale – Jerry Remick III

Society Snippets -  Cancellation of Feb. AGM (due to lack of quorum), the BBQ at Tolosa Park.

Tasmanian Tradesmen Token – H.J. Marsh & Sons additional information supplied by a reader.

Beating Our Own Drums – highlighting our other sister clubs’ achievements.

The Money of Austria 1919 -1922 – a comprehensive in-depth study of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, the onset of WWI and the dire financial ramifications on post-war Austrian money.


Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, his wife Sohie and their children.


Issue 4.

Society Snippets – general Society news - and a bit of gossip.

Early Colonial Coinages – America and Canada.

Canadian Blacksmiths’ Tokens  - a ‘Do-it-Yourself’ saga from Canada’s Dominic Labbé.

A Few Significant Canadian Bank Notes

Canadian Municipal Trade Tokens – a few details of new releases from Serge Pelletier.

U.S. Commemorative Nickels 2004-2005 – the continuing issues from the U.S. Mint.


Issue 5.

Society Snippets – a member’s recent acquisition Rotterdam Porter token.

The Star That Never Shone – the story of the Gallipoli Star.

WWII 1939-45 Remembering the Peace – Australian commemorative coinage of 2005.

The Medals of Imperial Germany 1914-18 – the ‘Blue Max’ and others of importance.

Identifying Chinese and Japanese Numerals.

‘Un Vrai Dur A Cuire’ – the very warm and wet fate of a medieval French counterfeiter.

The Story Behind the Story of Sacajawea – the new US$1.00 coin has honored an unknown.

An Introduction to Numismatics – it’s never too young to learn.

Wanted Known – readers’ advice or requests for information.


Issue 6.

Society Snippets – Ian Hartshorn’s new book and a bit of humour from Jerry Adams.

Basic Circulating Australian Coinage – an illustrated  study of Australian coinage.

Something Different – the fascination of Varieties and Errors.

Encore – ‘The King Who Never Was’ – King Edward VIII and his proposed coinage.



Proposed Silver and Bronze coinage of King Edward VIII


Issue 7.

Australian Pocket Change’ by Ian Hartshorn – a full review of Ian’s booklet on errors.

When in Sydney – take up numismatic dealer M.R.’Bob’ Roberts’ on his offer of a coffee.

Scratchbox Treasure – those little boxes of oddments occasionally contain a treasure.

Jugo ….. Where? – the currency of the Balkans.

The Perpetual Grading Discussion – perfection is in the eye of the beholder.

Encore – The faces on the Aussie paper notes.


Issue 8.

Society Snippets – 2005 T.N..S. Winter Recess, Charles Hunt’s study of Tongan notes.

Encore – The Who’s Who on our Australian Plastic Notes – a biographical study.

Why DO we Collect Bank notes – the fascination with the stories that bank notes often tell.

General George Gordon Meade ........ the Battle of Gettysburg - and other things.


Issue 9.

Vale – Ailsa Petterwood

Society Snippets – 2005 Winter Recess.

‘Accessories need not be expensive’ – by Ian Hartshorn.

Wanted Known – requests from readers to pass on or receive information.

The ‘Inimitable’ Paper Notes of England – A brief study of the Ten Shillings, the One Pound and the occasional ‘Fiver’, the story of Operation Bernhard and the changes that had to be made after WWII.

The Changing Face of World Currency – the radical changes that have occurred in currency since the formation of the new Europe.

The 49th Member of the United States of America – Alaskan Statehood Tokens 1959.



Issue 10.

Society Snippets – Planning for the Summer numismatic season.

The Omaha Token Show, September 2005 – a report from Jerry Adams

The Money of Palestine – the polygot coinages and currencies that currently make up the Palestinian commercial market-place, and a brief look at the a few older items..

Singapore Remembers WWII – the old Changi Prison that some of our P.O.W’s knew all too well has been demolished but Singapore has remembered with a release of a medallion series.  

Encore – ‘It’s All Greek to Me!’- looking back at Ancient Greek coinage.



Palestinian 1934 C.N. 20 Mils and 50 & 100 Mils 1935 Silver coinage


Issue 11.

Society Snippets – The T.N.S. remembers the sacrifices of WWI and WWII.

‘In Flanders Fields’ and ‘We Shall Keep the Faith’. – the poems and lives of those who instigated the thoughts about the Flanders Red Poppy and brought the idea of the Remembrance bloom to fruition – Lt.Col. John McRae and Miss Moina Belle Michael. 

Encore –‘Blast From the Past’ – the story of Tasmanian Gold and the Beaconsfield Mine.

The Aegis of Pontos – the mystery of an Ancient piece of Bronze has been finally solved.

‘R’ Stands for Romans – the coins of the bloodthirsty rulers of the Ancient World’s greatest empire. 

Coins of Commodus – the movie ‘Gladiator’ has re-opened interest in one homicidal Roman Emperor who thought he was a Greek God. His coins are particularly intriguing.

‘Where do I find a Reputable Dealer?’ – the answer to this most important question can be found in quality publication such as the Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine.


Issue 12.

Society Snippets – T.N.S. Invitation BBQ, Editorial Comment for 2005, another T.N.S member, Ian McConnelly, hits the bookstands. Suggestions sought for selected Encores for 2006.

Harry Murray V.C. – Amendment to article and extra information.

Selected Coins from the Iberian Peninsula – Portugal and Spain – and some biographies.

U.S.A. Coins – trivia about little known small value American coins.


A few U.S. coins that all have a story to tell…..



 NEXT ISSUE: Volume 11 (2006)




The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ newsletter is the only official newsletter of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’ and it is published periodically and distributed by post, or hand delivered, directly to members of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society and selected associates and institutions.

The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ (Internet Edition) newsletter is a separate entity and has been provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is currently presented free on a monthly basis  with the aim of promoting the hobby of numismatics. All matters pertaining to the T.N.S. are re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the  ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society. The 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter abides by the same basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter. Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome.

Please note that all opinions expressed in material published in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society or the Editor. ALL comments in linked articles are the responsibility of the original authors.



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While the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter may hold writers' addresses and other details for the purposes of communication and copyright protection, it will never make such addresses or details available to any member of the public without the permission of those involved.

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



All details of a commercial nature, organisations, items or individual arrangement to buy, sell or trade are provided in good faith as information only, and any consequent dealings are between the parties concerned. 

The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ (Internet Edition) newsletter takes no responsibility for disagreements between parties, and also reserves the right to only feature information that it considers suitable in promoting the hobby to our readers. Deadline for any literary contributions or amendment to copy is 7 Days prior to the beginning of the month of publication.

The contents of this Internet newsletter, and all prior issues, are copyrighted ©, but anything herein can be fairly used to promote the great hobby of numismatics; however, we do like to be asked by commercial interests if they wish to use any of our copy. 

This permission, however, does not extend to any article specifically marked as copyrighted © by the author of the article. Explicit permission from the author or the Editor of the  ‘Tasmanian Numismatist ' (Internet Edition) newsletter is required prior to use of that material.


The Editor,

'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.


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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au