Volume 13 Issue 2Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996) February 2008
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 'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition.
Any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor.
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.
We trust that this issue of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.
'NUMISNET WORLD'INTERNET EDITION
by Graeme Petterwood. © 2007.
Australia Day. 26th January, 2008
Here in Australia,
on Monday 28th January 2008,
some of our workers may have enjoyed a holiday to celebrate 'Australia Day'
- which actually took place a
few days earlier, on
Saturday 26th January, 2008. However, some
employers don't give their employees this gazetted national public holiday - no matter
what - because they are either too damn greedy or too scared that they might
It doesn't take much of an excuse for employers to try and put the economic accelerator down.
"They are doing it - so we will have to as well!"
Does a few extra dollars in the till mean more than honouring our nation and trying to preserve our Australian family lifestyle?
Yes, it apparently does - the more rabid capitalists amongst us argue that, with the economy in such a mess, we have to work harder and longer - and just grit our teeth and bear it!
Things are tough in today's economic world - we all know this if we are realistic - but it is not totally unbearable for most of us here in Australia.
However, we must bear in mind why we struggle to succeed - it is to provide sustenance and habitation for ourselves and our loved ones - and, put simply, attain a sense of personal and family happiness.Sadly, a substantial percentage of the public has become so selfish, uncaring - or conditioned - as to allow this attitude to become distorted in recent years by expecting others to work and serve them without thinking that these servants are also entitled to the same considerations that they themselves enjoy..
What happened to the
aspirations of those who fought battles - and won - decades ago, to
protect our Australian people and give them a lifestyle that also included a
fair amount of leisure time together? We don't always want time to
play, but to do things that
relax the spirit as well as the body and, at this time of year, to celebrate the
anniversary of the planting of the seeds of what would eventually become a new nation
of free people. Yes! FREE people!
This 220th anniversary of European settlement is one of the most important amongst our other national days.
It is the anniversary of the day many of our ancestors came to stay, forever - and began to build this nation of ours from the ground up.
Quote - Wikipedia:
"Australia Day is the official national day of Australia, which commemorates the establishment of a settlement and penal colony at Port Jackson by Captain Arthur Phillip, who later became the first Governor. Australia Day is celebrated on 26 January annually, and has been declared as an official public holiday in all states and territories of Australia.
Known also as Anniversary Day or Foundation Day, Australia Day is widely considered to be an important day in the history of Australia. Recorded celebrations date back to 1808, and in 1818, Governor Lachlan Macquarie held the first official celebration of Australia Day."
Bi-Centenary Australian $10.00 Polymer note issued 26th. January, 1988. (Front)
The comment was recently made, on TV, that Australians get too many holidays, and the
commentators debated the issue and drew comparisons with some other developed,
or rapidly developing,
countries. Perhaps we do need to do some adjustments - why not name a few Australian public holidays and, then, honestly ask ourselves
why we were given them in the first place........
Yes! One or two holidays are probably no longer relevant and could go the way of the dodo!
We need to remember, however, that some holidays such as Australia Day were not just given to allow everyone a day off work - they are commemorations of our great achievements - the birth, and consequential coming-of-age, of our nation.
If a day off work is all that Australia Day means now, it would be a sad indictment of our people.
However, if we must, let's look at the comparisons with the rest of the world on a commercial basis.
We are a far better place than some of them due to our way-of-life, including our hard-won freedoms and our values.
In most respects we still have freedom of choice in many aspects of our daily
life. This nation is
no-where near perfect - but ask those who were born here, or chose to come here
- would you really want to emulate those wage-slaves in some other countries -
or worse still, try to actually survive?
Well - some people will say we are now treading on thin ice now with international financial influences and practices being embraced by Australian-based multinational organisations - and the share markets - and we are closer now to being returned to a land of economic serfdom than we have for over 100 years. The recent stock-market crunch proved how fragile the world economy is - and how tied to each others purse-strings we now appear to be.
I tend to pity some of my friends and colleagues, both local and international, when I learn of the woeful, soul-destroying conditions they sometimes must now endure just to keep their jobs. They are often working the equivalent of 8-10 days a week with no rest in sight and their quality of life is going or gone. Psychologically, they are men and women with weights tied to their feet standing on the edge of a cliff - waiting!
Let us hope that our new
Government has the moral fortitude and economic brake-power to stop our slide into a potential third-world
status which appears to be looming as we continue to lose our own manufacturing
muscles and expertise to off-shore competitors at the whims of these overseas
puppet-masters.. We have already given too
much away on the nebulous promise of an 'even playing-field' - so don't sell our national
economic soul to the entreprenuerial devils of
this world as well.
Currently, we are also being carefully manipulated, by some major multinational companies, into accepting the same sort of throw-back to the days of masters and economic-slaves.
Bi-Centenary Australian $10.00 Polymer note issued 26th. January, 1988. (Reverse)
People used to say that the English didn't invade Australia but only filled this 'empty' continent, however, that view has softened in later years as we given thought to the many indigenous Australians who weren't asked about the new military 'owners' who came and saw only what they wanted to see, based on the European attitudes of the era. It has taken a long time but we are starting to understand why they considered they were invaded just like other countries were invaded centuries ago. At least, our Aboriginal people now know that they have the right to make a peaceful lawful public protest. - as long as they realise that once they, too, were strangers on these shores, and those of us who have been born here are now as Australian as they are.
It is only time that separates us and our heritages have given us what we consider are different cultures. We cannot change the past, but Time can also give us harmony - if we allow it to. It is not an easy road to travel.
We still are learning tolerance - and each group must also respect each other if they are to be respected in return..
We have gained nationhood, and we have also suffered through internal conflicts - not in the same ways as some other countries may have - but we have fought the battles against our enemies, despotic laws, and our environment - and even our working-class emigre heritages of recent years have had to be addressed and some of their ghosts laid to rest.
Our battles are not all won yet - but we now better understand our enemies.
For over 220 years - when the first European settlers - convict or otherwise, set foot on this land, we have sweated to build a nation, and we have been blooded in two global wars and several other major conflicts in the last 50 years.
However, we have attained and retained freedom, and, as free men and women, we will not be forced to forget our origins and heritages of our ancestors - these are what have melded us together and made us who we are as a nation - but, we don't need to keep looking back over our shoulders, when the forward view has so much to offer to us and our families - if we work at it.
We won't let the old systems return to belittle and enslave us and grind us into the earth!
We now must all stay true-blue to ourselves as AUSTRALIANS - not to the other nationalities that we have now left behind for a better life!
God Bless Australia!
On January 1, 1901, this flag was was chosen from about 30,000 entries in a public contest.
Annie Whistler Dorrington, Ivor Evans, Leslie John Hawkins, Egbert John Nuttal, and Perth and William Stevens were declared winners of the design contest as each had submitted similar entries. It was officially adopted as the Australian national flag in 1953.
1995 - A recognised official flag of Australia - the Aboriginal Flag.
Australia has approx. 25 recognised flags for various reasons. *(See flag notes below).
"The Aboriginal flag is increasingly being flown by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. In view of its increasing importance in Australian society, the Government initiated steps in 1994 to give the flag legal recognition. After a period of public consultation, the Government made its own decision in July 1995 that the flag should be proclaimed a "Flag of Australia" under section 5 of the Flags Act 1953. The flag was so proclaimed by the Governor General of Australia, William Hayden, on 14 July 1995.
The Aboriginal Flag was designed
by Harold Thomas, an Aboriginal artist , in 1971. The flag was designed to
be an eye-catching rallying symbol for the Aboriginal people and a symbol of
their race and identity. The black represents the Aboriginal people, the red the
earth and their spiritual relationship to the land, and the yellow the sun, the
giver of life."
Recommended reading and reference sources:
Australia Day 2008 - http://www.australiaday.gov.au/pages/index.asp
Tasmanian Numismatist - 'Eureka Stockade' - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june04.htm
*Australian Flags - http://www.dltk-kids.com/world/australia/flag.htm
*Australian National Flags - http://www.ausflag.com.au/flags/national.html
THE GLORY THAT WAS ROME!
From an idea suggested by Jerry Adams - compiled by Graeme Petterwood
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
The recent note from T.N.S. member Jerry Adams from Keller, Texas (see last newsletter) - a few questions about his new interest, and the photoscans of a few of Jerry's recent acquisitions - was the catalyst that made me pick up my history books and brush-up on a little bit of Ancient homework.
Explanations of some of terms on Roman coins are complicated by the fact were still don't know all the answers even today.
However, let's see what we do know and then we can start to enjoy a most fascinating part of numismatics as we re-tread some Ancient ground.
The history of ancient Rome has always been scattered with the bodies of its rulers and their families - as well as their enemies - as this short list ascertains.
Pompey the Great. - Murdered in Egypt 48B.C. after splitting with Julius
Julius Caesar. - Assassinated in Rome 44 B.C.
Brutus. - Suicided at Philippi 42 B.C. after he was defeated by Octavian (later known as Augustus).
Sextus Pompey. - Taken prisoner and put to death by orders from Octavian (Augustus) 35 B.C.
Mark Antony. - Suicided in Alexandria 30 B.C. after defeat by Octavianus.
Lepidus. - Became power hungry and was stripped of most titles and exiled. Died 13 B.C.
Augustus. - Died peacefully in 14 A.D. at age 77.
Drusus Junior. - Son of Tiberius - poisoned by his wife, Livilla 23 A.D.
Tiberius. - Murdered while in retirement 37 A.D. - probably under orders from Caligula.
Antonia. - Daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia. Poisoned by her grandson, Caligula 38 A.D.
Caligula. - Assassinated 41 A.D. with his wife Caesonia, after years of personal depravity
Claudius. - Poisoned by his wife, Agrippina Junior (Caligula's sister and mother of Nero) 54 A.D.
Britannicus. - Son and heir apparent of Claudius, poisoned by Agrippina and Nero's orders 55 A.D.
Agrippina Junior. - Murdered by the orders of her son, Nero, 59 A.D.
Nero. - Killed off all his relatives, including his wives, Octavia and Poppaea, he suicided 68 A.D.
Galba. - A strict disciplinarian, he became unpopular and was assassinated 69 A.D. by Otho.
Otho.- Suicided after defeat by Vitellius 69 A.D.
Vitellius. - Killed by a mob in the streets of Rome after defeat by the army of Vespasian. 69 A.D.
Vespasian. - Of humble origin and an industrious ruler, he died peacefully in 79 A.D.
Titus. - Son of Vespasian, he took Jerusalem and subjugated the Jews. Died 81 A.D.
Domitian. - Oppressive, younger son of Vespasian. Murdered by the Praetorian Prefect and others - with the aid of his wife, Domitia. 96 A.D.
Nerva. - Appointed as emperor by the Senate he was a just ruler making many improvements. Died 98 A.D.
Trajan. - Adopted by Nerva and made his heir, Trajan was another good ruler and died in 117 A.D.
Then for 70 years or so - a long period by Roman standards - the emperors died reasonably peacefully, but the final seeds, that would hasten the end, were sown on the evening of 31st. December, 192 A.D. when the meglomaniac Emperor, Commodus (L.ucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus) was murdered - the result of a plot by his friends and colleagues - certainly not by a "Gladiator" named 'General Maximus Decimus Meridius' (played by Aussie star - Russell Crowe.)
It was, in particular, one of Commodus' muscley young men who had been invited over to give him a massage in the bath. No lifeguard! Tut!
Did he slip on the soap or was he pushed? Well that's one story..........!
The following extracts are from: Illustrated History of THE ROMAN EMPIRE.
"Commodus even intended to march to the Senate from a gladiatorial school within the city - dressed as a gladiator.
It appears to have been the Praetorian prefect Quintus Aemilius Laetus who decided it was time to act against the madman on the throne. Carefully a plot was crafted against the emperor. The court chamberlain Eclectus, and the emperor's favourite concubine Marcia added their support to the undertaking.
People who supported the plot were quietly placed into key positions.
L. Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus, African allies of Laetus, were given the governorships of Upper Pannonia and Britain.
Pescennius Niger, another friend of Laetus, was put in charge of Syria and, as the future emperor, the conspirators agreed on Publius Hevlius Pertinax, the city prefect of Rome.
The initial plan appeared to be that Marcia should poison Commodus on the evening of 31 December AD 192.
However, Commodus merely became nauseous and vomited, ridding himself unwittingly of the poison - so the plotters used their back-up plan - an athlete called Narcissus.
Narcissus, who was employed as Commodus' wrestling partner, overpowered and strangled Commodus in either his bed or his bath on the same night."
Commodus' mother, Annia Galeria Faustina (Faustina Junior) had died before he became emperor, but the other women in his life, i.e. his sister Lucilla and wife, Bruttia Crispina, had already been banished to the Island of Capri and then had been killed for allegedly plotting against him.
He did like to fight gladiators (who were armed with wooden swords) or spear wild beasts (securely tethered) in the arena.
Commodus believed he was the re-incarnation of Hercules and demanded pay for his attendence. He also had a 'rent-a- crowd to 'worship him' when he made his frequent appearances. He was completely insane and it was for 'the good of Rome' that he was assassinated.
Commodus' successor, the City Prefect, Pertinax, only lasted 86 days - he tried to get the economy into order and was murdered by mutinous guards who didn't want a pay cut.
Other claimants arose, but all met violent ends after one of the original plotters, L. Septimus Severus, was proclaimed Emperor in 193 A.D.
He chased them down, defeated their armies, and killed off these opportunists during 193 - 197 A.D.
However, Severus was a worn-out old man by 208 A.D. when he went and campaigned against the barbarians in Northern Britannia - he spent most of his time trying to maintain the empire outposts, including repairing Hadrian's Wall - and that campaign was too much for him.
Severus' health failed and he died in York, England in 211 A.D.
His two sons, M. Aurelius Antoninus (known historically as 'Caracalla') and L. Septimius Geta, became co-emperors in 212 A.D. but, within 12 months, Geta fell foul of his murderous brother Caracalla - as did many other prominent personages with any sort of claims to the emperor's position.
Caracalla was a bad emperor, extravagant, cruel and treacherous. It is reported he had about 20,000 people put to death.
He lasted until April 8th. 217A.D before he was murdered by his own praetorian troops while travelling..
Then came another era of numerous claims, counter-claims and murders. Many emperors barely lasted a year or two.
In 222 A.D. some stability occurred when M. Aurelius Severus Alexander donned the purple.
Unfortunately, he was a 'mothers-boy' and was disliked by the army although he did restore some order to the Roman state.
In 235 A.D. he had disturbances on both sides of the empire to contend with and was only partially successful. His leadership was questionable and he was overthrown by his own soldiers and both he and his mother were killed in their camp at Mainz in Germania.
One of the army commanders, a giant of a man of great physical strength, C. Julius Verus Maximinus, was then proclaimed emperor.
Maximinus had a son, C. Julius Verus Maximus, who was also a soldier - they had inherited a boiling cauldron of unrest all over the empire due to Severus Alexander's unwarlike approach to problems which had encouraged revolt - even in Rome.
Maximinus became more paranoid about his position and began to purge his troops of likely rivals and others, particularly in the nobility, whom he had cause to dislike and then, finally, he decided to invade Italy, itself, to try and overthrow the acting administrator, Decimus Caelius Balbinus and the general M. Clodius Pupienus Maximus, joint-emperors appointed by the Roman Senate. The action proved to be fatal - both Maximinus and Maximus were murdered by their mutinous troops on June 24th. 238 A.D. during the unsuccessful seige at Aquileia.
The co-emperors didn't last long either, on July 29th. 238 A.D. a period of 98 days after being appointed by the Senate, both were dragged from the palace and murdered by the Praetorian Guards who appointed M. Antonius Gordianus to fill the position. Gordian III set off and suppressed the easten rebellions but fell foul of the treachery of a Praetotian prefect named M. Julius Philippus who undermined his authority. Gordian was deposed murdered by his troops in Mesopotamia in 244 A.D. and Philippus took control, finalized the campaign against the Persians, and returned to Rome
He, and his son - of the same name, were killed in a battle with the rebellios legions of Trajan Decius (C. Messius Quintus Traianus Decius)
Decius was a vicious persecutor of the Christians during his short reign, which only lasted until late 251 A.D. - most of that time he was trying to stem revolts. He was defeated and killed, with his eldest son, (Q. Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius), during a battle against the Goths at Abrittus.
A younger brother, co-appointed emperor and known from his coins, C. Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus, died of the plague that was sweeping the empire the same year. His co-emperor C. Vibius Trebonianus Gallus took over in 252 A.D. and decided to invade Italy to put down another internal rebellion. Like Maximinus, Gallus and his son, C. Vibius Afinius Gallus Vendummianus Volusianus, were murdered by their own troops.
The next emperor was actually a public servant, the Roman Censor, P. Licinius Valerius.
He had been called upon to send up the Rhine armies to assist his predecessors but due to the fact they all were murdered or killed - he found himself 'the last man standing'. He appointed his son, Gallienus as co-emperor while he tried to quell more revolts in Persia. He was captured in 260 A.D. and imprisoned. His fate is not known - but it would not have been pleasant.
Now it is time to take a break and catch up a bit on our numismatic knowledge of Roman coins.
There are lots of little things that new collectors should know before they get too frustrated.
On Roman coinage, names and titles were often abbreviated to fit the planchet - Aurelian may be shown as AVR or AVREL; Antonius may be shown as ANTON., so be prepared to think about what you are reading in the legend of the coin..
Most Roman coins are now between 1500 - 2000 years old, so, give them some respect - many are very fragile and are far more delapidated and hard to read than the samples shown here. Combining things that you can recognise, with the aid of a reasonable catalogue, may be the only way that a poor quality coin can be identified - and there are an awful lot of those brittle pieces of Roman bronze compared to the nice pristine pieces that we see advertised in dealers lists at comparatively high prices - but we all have to start somewhere, and buying a few cheap starters does help us to sort out a few basics.
Firstly, the Roman world was expansive and, wherever they went, the Romans made coinage. The map below, and the mints shown, will be handy when you are trying to put a few facts together about your coins.
Location of Roman Mints
Alexandria (Egypt) - ALE, SMAL
Ambianum (France) - AMB
Antiochia (Antioch, Turkey) - AN, ANT, ANTOB, SMAN.
Anquileia (near Trieste, Italy) - AQ, AQVIL, AQOB, AQPS, SMAQ.
Arelate (Arles, France) - A, AR, ARL, CON, CONST, KON, KONSTAN. (for a time known as Constantina in honour of Constantine II).
Barcino (Barcelona, Spain) - SMBA.
Camulodunum (Colchester,England) - C, CL.
Carthago (North Africa) - K, PK, KART.
Constantinopolis (Istanbul, Turkey) - C, CP, CON, CONS, CONSP, CONOB.
Cyzicus (Turkey) - CVZ, CVZIC, CVZICEN, SMK.
Heraclea (Turkey) - H, HT, HERAC, HERACL, SMK.
Londinium (London, England) - L, ML, MLL, MLN, MSL, PLN, PLON, AVG, AVGOB, AVGPS. (for a while known as Augustus).
Lugdunum (Lyons, France) - LG, LVG, LVGD, LVGPS, PLG.
Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) - MD, MDOB, MDPS, MED.
Nicomedia (Turkey) - MN, NIC, NICO, NIK, SMN.
Ostia (the port of Rome) - MOST
Ravenna (Italy) - RV, RVPS,
Roma (Rome, Italy) - R, RM, ROMA, ROMOB, SMR, VRB, ROM.
Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) - SMSD, SER.
Sirmium (Yugoslavia) - SM, SIRM, SIROB.
Siscia (Yugoslavia) - SIS, SISC, SISCPS.
Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) - COM,COMOB, SMTS, TS, TES, TESOB, THS, THES, THSOB.
Ticunum (Pavia, Italy) - T.
Treveri (Trier, Germany) - SMTR, TR, TRE, TROB, TRPS.
Tripolis (Tripoli, Italy) -
The letters P, S, T and Q combined with some place name initials stand for the 'officina' (workshop) number that produced that coin. P = Prima (1);
S = Secuns (2); T = Tertia 3); Q = Quatra (4) These letters can precede or follow the main place name.
Some of the Eastern mints used Greek letters in the same way - A (1); B (2); G (3); D (4)
So if you find a coin with a mintmark (normally in the exergue) e.g. GSIS - or TSIS - it would mean that it was made in the 3rd workshop in Siscia.
Some Roman coins also have initials S.C. prominently displayed - these initials stand for Senatus Consulto - 'by decree of the Senate'.
Quote - "Originally the Latin alphabet consisted of the following 21 letters"
Source: - http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/Latin/Grammar/Latin-Alphabet.html
A B C D E F Z H I K L M N O P Q R S T V X
"About 250 BC the letter Z was dropped because, in the Latin of this period, there was not a specific sound that would require its usage. On the other hand, a new letter, G, made by adding a bar to the lower end of C, was placed in the position of Z. After the 1st century BC, when the Greek-speaking world was incorporated into the 'orbis Romanum', a large number of Greek words penetrated the Latin language. At the time of Cicero and Caesar the symbols Y and Z were introduced from the contemporary Greek alphabet and were placed at the end of the Roman alphabet. Their usage was initially restricted to transliterate Greek words only and they do not appear in ordinary Latin inscriptions. Thus, at the beginning of the Christian era the Latin script had 23 letters but not all being used in normal correspondence"
So bear in mind that the Latin (Roman) alphabet at that time only contained 23 letters - all in upper case - and sometimes soft constanants were used to portray the slightly harder sounds. i.e. The name 'Julianus' in the Latin aphabet on a coin would read IVLIANVS or 'Trajan' would probably read TRAIANVS.
There are, also, those infuriating initials - i.e.. A; C; L; M; P; Q etc. - shown in front of Roman names in catalogues - what do they mean?
Why are so many Romans named the same - or very similar - to other Romans? Was it a case of second or third generation family names?
To understand some of these things, you will need to realise the way Romans named their children - and also their family structures and traditions.
The initial is an abbreviation of a 'first-name' that would be normally used familiarly within a fairly elite family circle - it is called the 'praenomen' - and would have been bestowed at birth. Then came the 'nomen' - that is the public first-name(s) normally used - followed by the family name 'cognomen' .
Example: Gaius Julius Caesar - (Praenomem - Nomen - Cognomem). but in public, he would be addressed only as Julius Caesar.
Occasionally, even a personal nickname of sorts - a 'cognomen ex virtue' was tacked on. It might be the name of a country the emperor had conquered for instance, however, it was a name that was totally personal and would not be not passed on.
Not all Romans had a 'praenomen' or a 'cognomen ex virtue'.
When people were adopted as heirs - which seemed to have happened a lot amongst the Roman hierarchy - a complicated renaming structure was in place that combined the person's old 'nomen' with the new family name which included the 'nomen 'and 'cognomen' - taken from the new father.
The addition of the word 'anus' to the original 'nomem' - which was placed at the end of the new name - often indicated the adoption.
The original 'praenomen' and 'cognomem' (and any 'cognomen ex virtue) were discarded. Some adoptees were adults appointed as heirs.
Example: When Lucius Aemilius Paullus was adopted by Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, he became Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus.
(see reference source below.) It's a system that creates a few problems amongst modern day collectors.
Some of the more popular, and often sighted, praenomens are: D. Decimus; C. Caius or Gaius; L. Lucius; M. Marcus; P. Publius; Q. Quintus;
Ti. or Tib. Tiberius; T. Titus; - there are some others of course, and a good reference is:
Roman Names: http://www.musesrealm.net/rome/names.html - * how Roman names are constructed.
PHOTOSCANS COURTESY - JERRY ADAMS (JA) ©
Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.)
Sear #2943 - Denomination 'Antoninianus' (Some of these coins were produced in heavily debased silver as well as Bronze)
(This coin was issued when Gallienus was sole ruler sometime after 260 A.D.)
Obverse - Gallienvs AVG (Radiate head representing Sol)
Reverse - Annona AVG standing , holding corn-ears above tripod brazier and anchor.
Mintmark not shown - damaged planchet -
but probably Rome or Milan
Full name: P. (Publius) Licinius Valerianus Egnatius Gallienus b. c. 218 A.D.
Murdered by his own troops at Milan in March 268 A.D.
Full name: P. (Publius) Licinius Valerianus Egnatius Gallienus b. c. 218 A.D.
Murdered by his own troops at Milan in March 268 A.D.
Annona was the allegorical personification of the Corn Harvest. She usually holds corn-ears and a cornacopiae and may be sacrificing. Annona also often had depicted with her, the prow of a galley or some other reminder of the sea - that implied that Rome was also a sea-faring nation that relied on imports from her domains across the water. The majority of the Roman corn supply had to be imported every year from places in Northern Africa, like Egypt..
Gallienus was actually co -emperor with his father, Valerian, and controlled the Western provinces and the Rhine area - but when Valerian was captured by the Persians and eventually died about 260 A.D., he returned to Rome and tried to contain the problems that had been tearing the Empire apart. Unfortunately, he was a better soldier than administrator and he made enemies both civilian and military. He was murdered by his own troops during the seige of Milan in March 268 A.D.
His son, Valerian II and his younger brother, Saloninus, had both been groomed as successors, but Valerian II died in 255 A.D., and Saloninus was deposed and put to death in 259 A.D. by Postumus, the commander of the Rhine legions, who wanted power.
During Gallienus' rule there had been a period of instability with 3 usurpers appointing themselves emperor and trying to muster enough support to make their claims stick. All met the fate that usually befell 'wanabe' emperors - they were killed in battle - or murdered by their own soldiers during 260 - 261 A.D..
Macrianus (Fulvius Junius Macrianus) and his father (also Macrianus) were killed in a battle against Gallienus forces; his younger brother and co-ruler Quietas (Fulvius Junius Quietas) was captured and killed while fighting in Palmyra.
Little is known about another, the governor of Upper Pannonia, Regalianus (Publius Caius Regalianus) except he was a Dracian soldier with political ambitions (Drace was in the Bosnia peninsula area) - and he was killed by his own men.
Postumus (Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus) took full control after subduing his rivals - as well as driving back the German tribes and ruling over Gaul, Spain and Britain for nearly 10 years. However, when he wouldn't give his troops permission to sack the town of Mainz after a campaign against a rival in 268A.D., he was assassinated by his own soldiers.
Aurelian (270 - 275 A.D.)
Sear #3262 - Denomination 'Antoninianus.' (Many newer 'coinage reform' Bronze coins were Silver washed and retain traces.)
Obverse - Imp. Aurelianvs AVG (Radiate head representing Sol)
Reverse - Oriens AVG with Sol (Oriens) advancing holding laurel-branch and bow, treading down enemy.
Letters in exergue - XXI R (Possible
meaning 20 pieces equal 1 Aureus* - minted in Rome)
Full name: L. (Lucius) Domitius Aurelianus b. c.207 A.D.
Murdered by his own generals in Persia early 275 A.D.
Full name: L. (Lucius) Domitius Aurelianus b. c.207 A.D.
Murdered by his own generals in Persia early 275 A.D.
*The Aureus was a gold coin wighing 1/60 lb. of gold.
Aurelian was a General appointed by his troops as Emperor after the deaths of Claudius II Gothicus by plague, and the suicide of Claudius' half-brother Quintillus. He was responsible for restoring the Roman empire to a semblence of glory but was assassinated by a group of his officers in 275 A.D. at a place called Caenophrurium in Thrace when he was heading off to fight the Persians.
His successor, Tacitus, a 75 y.o. senator, was appointed by the Senate 6 months after Aurelian's death and it was he who finished the Persian campaign - but the rigours and stress were too heavy a burden on him and he fell ill and died. His half-brother, Florianus assumed the position - and was accepted by the Senate as a legitimate successor. However, he only controlled the western provinces and, in the East, Probus (M. Aurelius Probus) was the man of power with the Eastern army.
Two months later, the two armies met at Tarsus in Cicilia, but Florianus was murdered by his troops before any great battle took place.
Probus - was also a soldier emperor, proclaimed by his troops when Tacitus died and his heir, Florianus, was murdered by his own men - took full control of the whole Empire. Probus was a good general and he was also an able administrator who attempted to save Rome from disintergrating completely - he could see that the rot had set in - he may have succeeded if he hadn't been murdered in his home town of Sirmium in 282 A.D., by disgruntled troops who were being used as public road workmen instead of professional soldiers.
Probus (276 - 282 A.D.)
Sear #3344 Denomination 'Antoninianus' (considerable remnants of Silver-wash on bronze )
Obverse - Imp. C. M. AVR. Probvs P.F. AVG. (radiate head representing Sol)
Reverse - Clementia Temp. with Probus standing at right receiving globe from standing Jupiter at left.
Letters in exergue - XX 1 (possible meaning 20 pieces equal 1 Aureus*)
Sear #3364 Denomination 'Antoninianus' (minute specks of Silver-wash on Bronze)
Obverse - Imp. C. M. AVR. Probvs P.F. AVG. (radiate head representing Sol)
Reverse - Restitvs. Orbis with standing female at right presenting a wreath to Probus standing left.
Letters in exergue - XX 1 (possible meaning 20 pieces equal 1 Aureus*)
Full name: M. (Marcus) Aurelius Probus b.232 A.D. at Sirmium.
Murdered by mutinous soldiers upset at doing public roadworks at Sirmium in 282 A.D.
Sol - or the Sun God is frequently shown on Roman coins to signify that the Emperor is like the almighty Sun.
Sol is usually shown nude with a radiate head with a whip or globe .He has several titles on the coins - 'Comes' and 'Invictvs' - are two and when Sol is named 'Oriens' it means that he is the rising Sun and that means the Emperor will also have rising fortunes.
In 313 A.D., Emperor Valerian (Flavius Galerius Valerius Licinianus Licinius), in conjunction with his co-ruler, and eventual successor, Constantine I (the Great), had issued the famous Edict of Milan - a letter granting or confirming existing religious tolerance to all subjects of the Roman Empire.
On May 11th. 330 A.D., the city of Constantinopolis, which was formerly known as Byzantinium, was re-founded and dedicated by Constantine after he had transferred the Imperal Government there. This was the start of the eastern Roman Empire and the overlapping of responsibilities for several generations of emperors.
As this is an area of Roman history that deserves a separate space, I will not go down that path except to say that Constantinopolis was to be the new Christian capital of Europe. - and, although Constantine hadn't actually become a Christian at that point in time (and remained ambiguous about his faith until nearly the end of his life) - he actively allowed the relgion to flourish under his patronage.
History has shown that he was a fairly ruthless character and he had no hesitation in having people put to death if they threatened his power
Shortly before his death in 337 A.D., Constantine hedged his bets - and was baptised a Christian.
Constantine the Great (307 - 337 A.D.)
Sear #3878 - Denomination A/E '3' (18 - 20 mm Bronze)
Obverse - Constantinvs AVG (Augustus), Laurete bust.
Reverse - Providentiae AVGG with camp-gate surmounted by 2 turrets.
Mint initials in exergue STRE - Secunda (second workshop) TRE (Treveri - aka Trier - Mint in Germany)
Full name: Flavius Valerius Constantinus.
Died at Nicomedia in May 337 shortly after being baptised a Christian.
Providentiae, in this instance, was Providence (or Forethought) and, even though she is not shown on the coin illustrated, her very name was supposed to be fortuitous and this representation probably referred to the 'strength, preparedness and security' of the Roman Empire as signified by the walls and turrets at the camp-gate.
As Constantine was undergoing a personal religious upheaval during this period, his coins were often slightly, but very deliberately, ambiguous with many traditional allegorical figures representing different things to different people.
Constantius II (337 - 361 A.D.)
Sear #3986 - Denomination A/E '3-4' (17mm.Bronze) Mint: Siscia (Sessach)
Obverse - F.L. IVL. Constantius NOB. C, Laurete head and uniform bust.
Reverse - Gloria Exercitvs. Two soldiers standing with Standards.
Mint initials in exergue GSIS - (third workshop) SIS (Sischia mint in Yugoslavia)
Full name: Flavius Julius Constantius b. 317 A.D.
Constantius II died suddenly at Mopsocrene in Silicia on Nov. 3rd. 361 A.D.
Not to be confused with his elder brother Constantine II - Flavius Claudius Julius Constantinus b. 314 A.D. - nor his younger brother Constans - Flavius Julius Constans b. c.320 A.D. His brothers both died violently some years prior to Constantius II.
The rate of Imperial murder skyrocketed after Constantine died and it was a very uneasy head that wore the laurete or radiate crown from then on.
After the deaths of all three sons of Constantine - who had all been proclaimed as joint rulers and then fought amongst themselves - self-appointed or popularly acclaimed soldier emperors, and distant family members with a tenuous claim to the imperial purple, were arising across Europe and just as quickly were being killed off by their rivals, their family and their best friends! Who needed foreign enemies ....... although the Empire still had those!
The glory that was Rome had lost most its golden glitter during the 3rd and 4th Century A.D., and, even though it would stagger on until 518 A.D., when the Byzantine rulers assumed power, the old Roman Empire was doomed and would never again regain its dominence of the Mediterranean Sea and Europe.
Later, in 421 A.D., another General named Flavius Constantius, was elevated to Caesar and ruled briefly as Constantius III but he died shortly afterwards. Like Constantius II (no relation) the coins of this soldier Emperor had, in the main, propaganda images of soldiers, camp-gates with turrets, Victory advancing etc. He also had a son naned Constans who was made Augustus in 408 A.D.
This Constans was put to death in 411 A.D. after he was captured by his enemies while in Spain. .
As you can see, one of the biggest problems with keeping track of Roman emperors is that many adopted, or had, the same names as predecessors. - so keep a close eye on the actual busts and designs as well as any dates that go with any written references to similar sounding names - and watch the spelling on the coin as sometimes it may be split into several syllables or even single letters to fit the design spread.
Have a good look at the photoscans above and you will see several good examples..
As the Roman coins themselves are not dated in a way that is easily understood at first glance - and in most cases they not even marked with denominations - it will prove to be a significant challenge to put any collection into some semblance or order, but, the effort will be most rewarding indeed once it's done..
Like Japanese coins, which are dated from the date an Emperor started his reign, many of the early Roman coins are able to be dated from the time that a Caesar was granted the title of:
(a) - Tribunicia Potestas (Tribunician power - the power to do what he wanted without interference from the Senate or assembly) which normally occured on December 12th. Coins bear the inscription TR.P.
(b) - Imperator.(Another name meaning Emperor) Shown as IMP. on coins
(c) - Consul. (High Magistrate) Shown as COS. on coins.
(d) - Pontifax Maximus.(Chief of the Priests of the Gods) Shown as P.M. on coins.
(e) - Pater Patriae (Father of the Country) - Shown as P.P. on coins.
(f) - Various full titles of places connected with military achievements. e.g. BRITANNIA. = Britain, GERMANIA = Germany
As an example - Commodus' coins may be marked M. COMMODVS ANT. P. FELIX AVG. BRIT on the obverse - and - P.M. TR.P. XI. IMP. VII. COS V. P.P.S.C. - on the reverse. The obverse commemorates the time that Commodus defeated the Britains and declared them part of the Roman Empire during A.D. 183 - 185 so it means the coin is later than those dates. (Illustration above).
Reverse translation - In the11th year after being appointed Pontifax Maximus, and during his 7th year as Imperator (Emperor), and also during the 5th term as Consul - and that he had been appointed 'Pater Patriae' some time in the past - this gives us our clues to when the coin was made.
From existing records, we know that Commodus was granted the P.P. in 177 A.D. and his P.M. in 180 A.D, and his IMP VII (his 7th Imperial acclamation) was in 184 AD. - and he embarked on his COS V (his 5th consulship) in 186 A.D., so the coin was made c.186 A.D.
If it had been later, the COS date would have been different. (The initials S.C. at the end of the text mean the coin was issued by a decree of the Senate.)
All these titles were the highest in the land, at various times during the history of Rome, and usually held by the Emperor - although other emminent personages might share the title of Consul.
It must also be taken into consideration that a Roman 'royal' family could have several 'Augustus' -- princes, or 'Augusta' - princesses, at the one time and some of these issued coinage or had it issued on their behalf by fathers, brothers, sons or husbands. However, they would not have the host of titles that the Emperor had - whether male or female, it would be shown on their coin as AVG - so bear in mind that all Roman coins are not of Emperors or their ladies.
In the case of an Emperor's wife, the title REGINA would usually be shown. The terms DIVA (Lady) or DIVUS (Lord) were often used with other titles if a posthumous coin was commemorating a deceased member of the Imperial family.
The posthumous coins could be issued - and often were - by the next Emperor as a sign of respect - if it was politically correct, and good public relations to do so...
A reasonably good catalogue is essential when studying Ancient coins, so prepare to get the best you can for whatever you can afford. These coins will exact a price of their own as you become more interested in them - but the rewards are worth the pain.
Please take the time to read the reference links supplied above and below. The few answers that I have briefly supplied, still leave a lot for you to discover for yourselves. No doubt we will revisit the Republic or Imperial Rome one day - and I may ask questions!
A Catalogue of Roman Coins - compiled by Gilbert Askew - published by Seaby Ltd., London 1948.
Roman Coins and their values - by David R.Sear - published by Seaby Publications Ltd., London 1988.
Roman History & Mythology: http://www.musesrealm.net/rome/index.html
Roman Names: http://www.musesrealm.net/rome/names.html - * how Roman names are constructed.
"NUMISMATIC FORGERY "
Mark William Hofmann at his trial in Dec. 1986
Prisoner # 18186 in Utah State Prison, Draper, in August 2001- unlikely to be ever released.
A BRIEF FOLLOW-UP
compiled by Graeme Petterwood
In our last newsletter, we mentioned a book review done by Jerry Adams on "Numismatic Forgery", by Charles M. Larson - the story of infamous U.S. forger, Mark Hofmann, who killed two people on Oct 15th 1985, as a cover-up to his years of rare document fraud, mainly against the Mormon Church.
His plots started to unravel earlier in 1985 when, under enormous financial pressure, he resorted to murdering those whom he considered to be the immediate threats. In fact, numismatic forgery, as discussed in Charles M. Larson's book only made up a relatively minor part of this fascinating story.
As a follow up, we found that Hofmann's method of murder was with very cleverly constructed electronically detonated nail-filled pipe-bombs and that a third bomb actually detonated accidently on the seat or floor in Hofmann's car, when he bumped it the wrong way, on Oct. 16th. 1985. This bomb badly injured his lower body and he lost several fingers. The question has remained unanswered - Who was the third bomb intended for?
Brent Ashworth, a successful lawyer and businessman who also bought collectible documents and often acted as the 'middle-man', was the ideal target..
It is thought that Hofmann was aware that Ashworth and Christensen had serious doubts about the authenticity of some of the documents that Hofmann was presenting - and for which he wanted to get paid for in a hurry so that he could pay off his debts that had accumulated due to the fact another document was still being scrutinized elsewhere and he hadn't been paid for that. It was a house of cards and it was dangerously unstable.
It is believed that Hofmann had concocted an elaborate plot to kill one person, Steven F. Christensen, and to explode the other two bombs as 'diversions'.
All the intended victims were connected through Christensen's rare book business and, after some well-known financial problems between Christensen and his partner Gary Sheets (whose wife, Kathleen Sheets, was the other victim), Hofmann thought that the suspicion might centre on that scenario..
There are many good Internet reference sites to Mark Hofmann's story and the furore that emmanated from the 'forgeries fall-out'.
Mark Hofmann had been a relatively successful misionary in Bristol, England and it was alleged that he was assisted in the bomb-making by an associate called Shannon Patrick Flynn, who had been a missionary in Brazil. Anarchist books, blasting caps and an Uzi machine-pistol, were found in Flynn's home.
However, Flynn was found to be not directly involved in the murderous plot, but he fled Utah and he now lives in Arizona.
Hofmann was found guilty on 23rd. January 1987, and, eventually, he was sentenced to one prison term of 5 years to life and three other prison terms of 1-to-15 years, for his role in the bombing deaths of Steven Christensen and Kathleen Sheets - and the forgeries and frauds that led to those murders.
Hofmann has attempted suicide twice, and is currently - ironically - a cell-mate of a Mormon fanatic, Dan Lafferty, who had murderered his wife and niece.
Mark Hofmann's life story, until his incarceration, is one of ingenious fraud from the time he was a very clever, scientifically-minded 12 y.o. Mormon boy, in 1966, making a few fake U.S. coins by using electrolysis to add things - like mintmarks - to them and selling them to a local unsuspecting coin dealer.
My 1954 coin collection cost 25 cents!
By Jerry Adams, copyright © 2008
Today my numismatic interests are varied, ranging from my main collecting interests of privately minted trade tokens of the USA, ancient coins, US coins of all dates, foreign coins, some currency, and various other oddball numismatic pursuits. My childhood days some 50 years ago were also touched by a numismatic bent, having started on a cardboard Whitman folder for US Lincoln cent coins, and expanding into US buffalo nickels, Indian Head cents, “Mercury” dimes and various other coins that I could find in pocket change at that time.
About 1954 when I was a lad of about 7, the breakfast cereal companies were in the age of having “premiums” or promotions of various kinds, appealing to the “baby boomer” kids. Most of these premiums consisted of prizes in each cereal box, such as a small plastic toy spaceman, badge, whistle, ring or other various gimmicks to get children to pester their parents into buying a specific cereal.
I still have one of these promotions, which was one of my early introductions of coins of the world. The premium in question was put out by a cereal company called “Wheaties ®”, commonly called “Breakfast of Champions ® ”.
Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheaties and the Official site at:- http://www.wheaties.com/
In 1954 the 'Wheaties ®' cereal had a promotion where you could mail in one box top from it’s cereal, along with 25˘ and, in return mail within a couple of weeks, you would receive a cardboard folder which on the front stated “Wheaties International Coin Collection”.
As the folder opened up, it revealed two pages, which depicted a map of the eastern half of north America, most of South America, all of Europe, Africa, India, the Middle East, and the western portions of China and the USSR. Placed in tight fitting recesses within the folder were 15 coins of various countries, with the name of the country, the denomination of each coin, and a line going from the coin to the country from which it came.
Basically, a great lesson in both geography and numismatics all wrapped into one small colorful package.
'Wheaties ® ' International Coin Collection - circa. 1954.
The coins from my set included:
1 Markka coin from Finland dated 1954
The back cover of the folder has the monetary units of each country, along with
the area of each country, population, natural resources, principal industries of
each country, and the Capital of each country. Near the bottom is an
advertisement inviting the owners to send another 25 cents and another 'Wheaties
box top, for a new and different set of coins called the “Mystery Coin Set”.
I unfortunately did not splurge the extra 25 cents at the time, as for 7 year
olds, 25 cents was a lot of money in those days! However, I was wise
enough to take good care of the coin set so that all the coins are still
accounted for, and now some 54 years later, I am able to still look back on
this set with nostalgia, and realize that I have been involved in numismatics
since childhood. MISCELLANEOUS Q & A'S
As a rule, we hobby numismatists are a
friendly bunch who will rarely refuse to help out those less fortunate in the
knowledge department - and we will often go to extreme lengths to provide
a correct answer to an interesting query. Sometimes we even learn something that is of
benefit to ourselves.
I have a 1963 Australian Penny, and, from the same roll of Pennies from the
Bank, an identical, but completely un-minted, blank.
coins such as this of any value. Kindest regards. David Email:
A - Hi David, Regretably, because it
cannot be proven that it was meant to be a coin - a plain copper disc is not
going to attract much interest.. Without seeing it it is impossible to really
ascerain authenticity. Has it got a rim? What is its weight and diameter in
grams and mms.?
If you have a local dealer I suggest that
you see him, tell your story and let him examine it for indications it was
part of the minting process.. Graeme.
box top, for a new and different set of coins called the “Mystery Coin Set”. I unfortunately did not splurge the extra 25 cents at the time, as for 7 year olds, 25 cents was a lot of money in those days! However, I was wise enough to take good care of the coin set so that all the coins are still accounted for, and now some 54 years later, I am able to still look back on this set with nostalgia, and realize that I have been involved in numismatics since childhood.
MISCELLANEOUS Q & A'S
As a rule, we hobby numismatists are a friendly bunch who will rarely refuse to help out those less fortunate in the knowledge department - and we will often go to extreme lengths to provide a correct answer to an interesting query. Sometimes we even learn something that is of benefit to ourselves.
Q: - I have a 1963 Australian Penny, and, from the same roll of Pennies from the Bank, an identical, but completely un-minted, blank.
Are unusual coins such as this of any value. Kindest regards. David Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A - Hi David, Regretably, because it cannot be proven that it was meant to be a coin - a plain copper disc is not going to attract much interest.. Without seeing it it is impossible to really ascerain authenticity. Has it got a rim? What is its weight and diameter in grams and mms.?
If you have a local dealer I suggest that you see him, tell your story and let him examine it for indications it was part of the minting process.. Graeme.
Hi, Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I have enclosed a pic. I have also weighed them and the blank is identical to the penny, and diameter is the same. When I was quite young I worked in a family store. I went to the bank to get some change, and it was always the custom to count the coins into the register when we opened a new roll of coins. As I was counting the pennies, one felt smooth , which is why I kept it and the penny next to it, and put a threepence of my own money into the till.
Now, I know my own word would never be sufficient, things always need to be verified, however I have taken them to local coin dealers in Melbourne and they have not even wanted to have a look at them. Regards, David.
Digital photo of Perth 1963 Penny and Blank Planchet as supplied by Q & A's correspondent
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GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.
TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST - INTERNET EDITION' 1996 - June 2007
'NUMISNET WORLD - INTERNET EDITION' July 2007 - 2008
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug03.htm - 1995 - 1997 (Volumes 1, 2 and then renumbered Volumes 1 and 2)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/ept2003.htm - 1998 - 2000 (Volumes 3, 4 and 5)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Oct2003.htm - 2001 - 2002 (Volumes 6 and 7)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Nov03.htm - 2003 - to date Nov. (Volume 8 to date Nov,)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec2003.htm - Final 2003 Dec. (Volume 8 final Dec.)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan07.htm - 2004 (Volume 9)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb07.htm - 2005 (Volume 10)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.html - 2006 (Volume 11)
The final Index ot the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' (Volume 12 - Issues 1 - 6) as well as the first Index ( Volume 12 - Issues 7 - 12) of the 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition' can now be seen at:
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm - 2007 (Volume 12)
Our Archives can also be accessed (by subject matter) by using the Search Engine on our internet page.
'NUMISNET WORLD' - Internet Edition.
Volume 13 – Issues 1 - to date, 2008
Issue 1. January 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan08.htm
What do you know about Old Spanish Silver Coinage? - A few 'little' bits and pieces of information about mintmarks and assayers initials.
What did 'Santa Numis' Bring You? - Jerry Adams got two nice prezzies to help him with his new numismatic interest in Ancient coinages...
Book Review - "Numismatic Forgery" by Charles M. Larson (2004). - Startling revelations from a world famous forger. (Reviewed by Jerry Adams.)
Around the Traps! - A BIG, BIG year for local medallist, Tasmedals - a bright business forecast by Managing Director, Roger McNeice OAM.
Catching up with Friends! - Greetings from Mike & Petra. - Back in the U.S. Mike Metras tells me that he had written another book.. Details on his website
The Changing Faces of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - The 'parting of the ways' between hard-copy and Internet editions only means that parallel roads are now being traveled at slightly different speeds..
General Index Update - Where to find previous articles in both the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (1995 - 2007) and 'Numisnet World' (2007 - to date).
Issue 2. February 2008:-
Australia Day, 26th. January, 2008 - More than just another public holiday! After 220 years what does it mean to you?
The Glory That Was Rome. - Roman coins are always waiting to be discovered by collectors. A little bit more trivia to make the road less bumpy!
Numismatic Forgery, Follow-Up - The story of master-forger Mark Hofmann is the stuff movies are made of ....................!!
My 1954 Collection Cost 25Cents - Jerry Adams recounts his first numismatic encounter - courtesy of 'Wheaties - the Breakfast of Champions ®'
Miscellaneous Q & A's - Trying to provide a correct answer to an interesting query about a blank penny planchet from 1963.
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