Volume 12 Issue 1                                INTERNET EDITION - Established 1996                                 January 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.



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.



Found this Oz 10 cent error in pocket change just before Christmas - I haven't 'cleaned' it at all so the Obverse shows a bit of grott that reflects yellowish in the scan  Planchet size is close enough to normal (about) 24mm.

It appears to have been struck slightly lower off-centre giving it the appearance of a double rim for the length of the entire obverse legend - and the top edge has a very thin centred ridged protrusion from the reign number II after the Queen's name around to the A of Australia.

The edge serrations are minimal and do not extend across the width - barely 0.5mm from the reverse side edge - and are only apparent from the top to the bottom of the 1 of 10 on the reverse. All these flaws start narrow, thicken at the centre, then narrow away again thus indicating the off-centre strike and collar problems.


2004 Australian 10 Cents with off-centre low strike and collar problems



 0.5 mm edge serrations on left-side reverse rim - the upper ridged protrusion shown from reverse.



The following article by Ian Hartshorn points out the 'crook' side of collecting coins.


Counterfeits & Forgeries

by Ian Hartshorn © 2007 (TNS Associate Member)

Author of "Australian POCKET CHANGE - Varieties & Errors" 2005


Many people confuse the term counterfeit with forgery, there is a difference, in simple terms -
Forgeries are produced as a one off or a very small number, to deceive the collector. These coins are replicated almost exactly to the genuine coin. A great deal of attention is given to detail including the metal/alloy used.
Counterfeits are produced in quantity and are fed into circulation. The detail on these coins can be very crude and have a worn appearance. The average person may notice a slight difference but pay little or no attention to it.

Australian decimal coins have been with us for over 40 years, during that time there have been a number of counterfeit coins detected. There is a possiblity of some that have yet to be discovered.

Recent finds

 2003 Australian Two dollar coin Obverse..

On the right:
· The effigy of the Queen is different, apart from being smaller.
· The lettering of Australia is longer than Elizabeth.
· The designers initials are at a different angle to the base of the neck.
· The letter U in Australia is in a different position in relation to the hair.


Reverse of a 2003 two dollar.

On the right :
· The stars making up the Southern Cross are closer to the rim.
· Only one eye in the aboriginal.
· The beard stops short near the D in Dollar.
· Overall detail is crude.
The colour of this piece is more yellow in appearance, as opposed to the golden colour as we know it. Also a report of a similar 2002 dated $2.00 coin.


Counterfeit 1992 Australian $2.00


A section of the 1992 edge at x60 magnification.


The coin above has a rough appearance on both obverse and reverse, similar to a porous coin. Designs on both sides are very good compared to the 2003 $2 counterfeit, although it has a worn look (VG/Fine is a comparable grade). The edge has fine vertical striations similar to a coin struck in a plain collar die (in uncirculated condition), the interrupted reeding is very weak. Roughness near the shoulder (where rim and edge meet) suggests that a cast blank has been used. The striations still visible on the edge, suggests that this piece was only in circulation for a very brief time.
Weight 6.49grams, official weight 6.6grams; Diameter 20.57mm, official 20.62mm.
The colour of this piece blends in well with our $2 coins.
A receipt for this  counterfeit 1992 $2 was received by the author, from the Australian Federal Police dated 8th Nov 2006.

Two ways of producing counterfeit coins are by casting and striking. Having handled both coins above, but by no means an expert in this area, I would suggest both coins were produced on cast blanks/planchets, as opposed to metal ingots being rolled and the blanks punched out of a sheet. The 2003 being a cast coin, the 1992 having been struck by dies.


Some other counterfeits that have been discovered or mentioned in other publications:-

20cent (no date mentioned)
Two men were charged with possessing counterfeit coins of extremely high quality and a coining machine.
Australian Coin Review - March 1974
1966 50cent (round)
March 1966, the first counterfeit 50 cent piece turned up in Victoria. (Decimal currency started in February 1966)
Collecting Australian Coins by Tom Hanley & Bill James - Chapter 14, Fakes & Duds
2001 $1
Allegedly found large quantities of counterfeit $1 coins at a unit in Broadbeach, as well as more coins and unpressed gold discs.
AAP - News .com.au Jan 21 2004
1988 $2
The two dollar coins which are very poor.
Australian Coin Review - Dec 1992
$200 Gold Koala released in 1980 & 1981 Royal Wedding Commemorative
The genuine is 10gms, the counterfeit is only 4gms.
Australian Coin Review - Nov 1981, June 83, Jan 91.

Further reading on counterfeits and forgeries -
Classical Deception - counterfeits, forgeries and reproductions of ancient coins. by Wayne G. Sayles.
Detecting Counterfeit Coins Book 1. by Lonesome John.
Numismatic Forgery. by Charles M. Larson
Australasian Coin & Banknote Nov. 2004 vol.7 no.10 "Contemporary Copies" by Ian McConnelly



Evasion is another term associated with the counterfeit coin/token, these were prolific in the 18th century and many were sent to and, eventually, between  the USA and Canada as clandestine mints sprang up to 'cater for the demand'  for small change.

The half-penny being common and farthing not as common. These are imitations pieces, and, in America, they are also known as "Bungtown" coins.

The Evasions were produced to deceive and gain a profit along with the Counterfeits. To avoid the severe counterfeiting laws, often the loss of a hand, changes were made to the legends and/or designs, and generally produced to give the appearance of a very worn coin that would attract little attention..
The Evasion below; Obv legend: GEORGE   RULES     Rev: BRITAN  NIAs (exergue) ISLES
Official & Counterfeit; Obv legend: GEORGIVS   III REX     Rev: BRITAN  NIA (exergue) 1773


Evasion farthing (Atkins 461)


Official farthing


Counterfeit farthing

Reference -
'The Tradesmen's Tokens of the Eighteenth Century' -  by James Atkins 1892.

Scans provided by the author - Ian Hartshorn



  • The majority of the following article was originally published in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' in November 1999 - courtesy of Dominic Labbé  who was the editor of  'Le Numismate' at that time. 'Le Numismate' is the official newsletter of L'Association des Numismates Francophones du Canada.

    It was produced with the collaboration of Graeme Petterwood - editor 'Tasmanian Numismatist'

    The earlier article gave an insight into the 'imitation' token and coin trade in Canada from a local perspective.

    Illustrations of Canadian tokens were originally supplied either by the author, or the T.N. Editor, and are not to scale.

    Additional, and newer, notes or information is from various catalogues and Internet sources and is supplied to clarify and expand some parts of the original text 

    Enhancement may have been undertaken on poor scans or 'worn' samples for clarity and identification purposes only..



    By Dominic Labbé (ANFC # 193). © 1999 - 2007

    (With additional notes and illustrations by Graeme Petterwood - T.N. Editor)


  • Like the tale of an early Australian token-maker, Mr. Erichsen of the die-makers, Hogarth, Erichsen & Co., who, reputedly, made an occasional poor quality silver threepence when he felt in need of 'refreshment', an old Montreal story tells us that an alcoholic blacksmith began to make his own money in 1820 or so, to pay for the expense of quenching his thirst.
    What he produced were copies of the used British and Irish regal copper coinage in circulation in Montreal at that time and so, the story goes, the blacksmith tokens were born.
    The blacksmith in question was probably not an alcoholic but a counterfeiter with a good idea to make cheap money. In actual fact, it is known that several sources were probably responsible and the tokens would have been produced over a period of years.
    Back in the 1830's, most of the base coinage available to Canadians was in very bad shape.
    Legal copper coins were well worn, and many tokens (English, Irish or Canadian) had been introduced into circulation - and most of these copper tokens were too light or even made from a cheaper brass alloy.

    We have to remember that in those days money was worth its actual weight - unlike today where money is worth what the government says it's worth - so an easy way to make money was to make lightweight tokens.
    If you took a Pound of copper to make 2 Pounds value of halfpenny tokens, you doubled your money minus the minting costs. As some tokens weighed only one-third of the official standard and were made in brass, the cheaper alloy, you can imagine all the money that could be made by coiners.

    Some reports even state that anything about the size of a half-penny would go into circulation - and this included military clothes buttons!

    Montreal British Militia button (shank removed) used as a half-penny coin.

    Worn (Inverted image of Britannia) imitation Copper half-penny coin (Coins of Canada HW#241)

    The first series of tokens are British coin imitations that can be divided into two groups.
    The first and most popular type is the Britannia halfpenny replicas.
    Looking like English copper coins, many have a special detail that distinguishes them from originals. Their design is inverted!
    The coiner was fooled by the mirror effect and he engraved the die just like he saw the coin - so, when it was used to strike the blanks, the designs were inverted. These tokens show no lettering, few obvious details and overall they have a bad look, as not much relief is present on them and they look like very worn coins.
    Some details are also absent on certain tokens - like Britannia's head, part of her arm or her shield.
    The other type is the Irish harp imitation. Those tokens show the traditional harp but with less details than on the legal ones. Again, no legends are shown. Both groups exist in copper and brass, the latter being the crudest.


    Impressions of very worn counterfeit 1820 copper or brass coins passed as genuine in Canada.

    Better quality imitation 1820 Irish Harp copper half-penny (Coins of Canada HW#112) - Editor


    A second series of tokens is the North American imitations.
    These rarer blacksmith tokens are copies of different standard Canadians tokens. There are some imitations of the Ships, Colonies and Commerce series, the Royal Bust, Irish Harps and the Tiffin tokens.
    Collectors should be careful in this case and be able to distinguish between a worn and relatively worthless genuine token and a blacksmith's imitation.


    Genuine - Ships, Colonies & Commerce undated token (Coins of Canada HW#13b - Breton #997) - Editor


    The next group is the uniface tokens. (Unforunately, no scans were available to the author or the T.N. editor at the time the original article was prepared.)
    Like their names imply, these tokens have only one side struck, and generally portray a man's head. Those tokens are generally very rare or unique and not available to basic collectors.

    Finally, the last group is made up of tokens with original designs.
    There are the Anchor & Union Jack token, Peck's tokens and the Riseing Sun Tavern. (Spellings are correct - as shown on tokens. The Riseing Sun Tavern was believed to have been located in Toronto.)
    It is stated that, to avoid the strict laws on counterfeiting, obvious 'mistakes' or garbled inscriptions were made on the blacksmith tokens, particularly those made across the border in the U.S. These tokens were often referred to as 'bungtown' tokens (see previous Article) and, in some instances, it is known that imitations of these replicas were also made - an ironic twist to this unusual chapter in Canadian token history.
    The GLORIUS BITIT (instead of BRITT.) is the commonest blacksmith token and the beginner in blacksmith token collecting should easily be able to get a copy of the 'Glorius Bitit' without breaking his purse. Some say that this token was made in Vermont where many secret mints were located in the 1800's. However, it is listed as being of Canadian origin since a lot of these tokens were found in a Canadian hoard.



    Imitation British Regal Half-penny (Coins of Canada HW#240) - no legend.

    Vexator Canadiensis (lightweight) Token (Coins of Canada HW#123 - Breton #558)


    The most imfamous blacksmith tokens are the VEXATOR CANADIENSIS (sample shown above).

    These are mainly satirical and were designed to protest against some of British rulers.
    The legend could have been translated to 'The Tormentor of Canada', but lack of quality in the strike makes it look like 'Ventor', which means trapper. It may have been a deliberate error, perpetrated as a kind of legal protection, in case the government should discover the token makers.
    Even if they are dated 1810 and 1811, those tokens are antedated because a law, enabled in 1825, forbade the manufacture and further supply of private tokens. These appeared in the mid 1830's, and, in some authors catalogues, these VEXATOR tokens are not included in the blacksmith's category but form a separate group  similar to some U.S. 'bungtown' issues.

    Blacksmith tokens are not graded like other coins or tokens as, generally, only three basic grades are used that are far easier to use than the Sheldon numerical scale. The rule of thumb is that a Fine token is an average one, the Very fine is a bit better and the Very Good is usually a bit worse! The best rule is to look at the coin, evaluate it for yourself and, if you like it - buy it!
    Charlton's 'Standard Catalogue of Canadian Colonial Tokens' and 'Coins of Canada' are also good sources of information.
    The price of these tokens varies considerably, with most common tokens selling for 15 - 40 dollars, other can be bought for between 100 - 400 dollars and you need to negotiate for rarities. Always be very careful when buying expensive pieces and try to be sure that are really what they should be. Many attribution errors are seen in that field.  Also, be aware that some provincial issues were also imitated and some scare imitations have been counterfeited in modern times to fleece collectors.


    Editor's Note.

    In 1832 a large quantity - 800,000 half-pennies (CCHW#53) and 200,000 pennies (CCHW#55) - of George IV copper coins dated 1832 (2 years after that monarch's death) were produced in Birmingham and sent to the Province of Nova Scotia. Very soon afterwards, high quality imitations appeared, probably from an illegal mint in Lower Canada, and began to circulate with the originals. It is extremely difficult for the untrained eye to pick the differences.

    The sample dated 1832 below is a 'genuine' - but corrected - imitation (CCHW#56b).

     An incorrect imitation of the original imitation 1832 half-penny - dated1382 - with the top section of the 3 with a flat top style (CCHW#56a) was briefly on the streets in Nova Scotia before it was noticed and a replacement produced.

    The 'new' imitation has the 3 in 1832 in flat top style as previous but the large serif gives the impression that the  3 is an 8 on worn coins (CCHW#56b)

    The 1382  is quite rare and is highly prized by token collectors in Canada.

    A modern fake has been made with the 3 rounded top style on the 1382 - a forgery of an incorrect counterfeit.......and still not right.!


    Province of Nova Scotia 1832 George IV Thistle token - Real or Imitation?

    (Coins of Canada HW#53 or HW#56 - Breton #871) - Editor

    Imitation coin with corrected date (Coins of Canada HW#56b - Breton #873) - Editor

    Due to wear, the nearly closed flat top 3 can only be seen under good light and x10 magnification

    Some great Canadian numismatists were blacksmith collectors like R.W. McLachlan, Eugene Courteau and Howland Wood.
    In 1910, the latter published a monograph on the topic, and this work is also still being used regularly as a standard reference.

    However, the original source was basically provided by P.N. Breton in 1894 when he published his 'Popular Illustrated Guide to Canadian Coins, Medals and Tokens' (see below).  A revised 2nd. edition was published in 1912 and several reprints have also been published.


    Main References and recommended reading.

    'Coins of Canada' - by J.A. Haxby and R.C. Willey 1998  (Haxby-Willey catalogue numbers shown as CCHW#...)

    'Popular Illustrated Guide to Canadian Coins, Medals and Tokens' - by Pierre Napoleon Breton (1894, 1912 - reprinted 1963 and 1983).


    The following brief literary biography on P.N. Breton is provided courtesy of the Bank of Canada

    Full details: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/review/rev_winter1996-1997.html

    "The study of currency, or numismatics, began to flourish in Canada in the latter half of the 19th century, particularly in Montreal.

    The Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Montreal was founded in 1862, and in the ensuing decades many significant works on Canadian coinage were produced by authorities such as A. Sandham, Dr. J. LeRoux, and R. McLachlan.

    Prominent among these early numismatists was Pierre Napoleon Breton, a Montreal coin dealer. From his shop on St. Catherine Street, Breton prepared detailed price lists of coins for sale. In keeping with the fashion of the day, he had a metallic advertising piece produced that was stamped with his name and profession. Breton is best known for writing one of the most respected works on 19th century Canadian coins, the Illustrated History of Coins and Tokens of Canada, published in 1894. With its bilingual text and illustrations of over 500 coins, Breton's book was an immediate success among collectors. It was revised in 1912 and was reprinted in 1963 and again in 1983."




    Does anyone know what an Encased Cent Mirror Token is?  Encased coins have been around for over 100 years - but what is a Mirror Token?

    I have only recently found out, so, for those who don't know, I have the following few words of explanation which is gleaned from a handy old book I have used on many occasions previously, 'Tokens and Medals' by Stephen P. Alpert and Lawrence E. Elman 1st. Edition (1992).

    These unusual items are mainly encased U.S. Cents  - but all basic U.S. circulating coins are seen, and occasionally coins from other countries are used.

    The original versions of these tokens were:- Quote -  "Cents encased in advertising or souvenir celluloid pocket mirrors or  pocket pieces." - Unquote.


    This is a bit different than the standard treatment that encased U.S. Cents usually undergo. The first encased cents appeared in 1901 as advertising pieces.

    These modern versions are set into a slightly domed enamelled metal or a plastic-coated outer disc that is printed with a message text of some description.

    The convex-shape holder is to cater for the thickness of the coin which is backed with a small set-in circular mirror as the reverse of the token. 


    Mirror token reverse. Small circular mirror clamped into enamelled tin casing.


    The two examples (obverses shown below) were from a variety of designs produced as fun pieces for several of my U.S. token collecting friends, 'Curley' Jerry Adams and 'Hurricane Bob' Smith, who both specialize in exonumia of the Old West..

    I would like to thank our T.N.S. member 'Curley' Jerry Adams of Texas for the samples of Mirror Tokens shown in this article and the enlightening explanation he has supplied regarding the fictional 'Smoke Wagon Saloon'. (Note the names of the proprietors.)

    The complete story that goes with the choice of name is probably too long for this topic, but a brief explanation - and a bit of firearm trivia - is well worth the space. These modern pieces feature imaginary Saloons typical of the Old West - and there is always a story to tell about that era.. 

    With Colt or Remington 5 or 6 chambered revolvers - especially any of those produced from the late1850's through to the early-mid 1860's - if you look down the barrell, straight towards the bullett cylinder, the result resembles the shape of a spoked wagon wheel  - and, with the black powder used in the early percussion cap and ball loads being prone to create a fair bit of smoke (before metal cartridges and smokeless powder became available), the term becomes self-evident. This was a real term used in the era of the Wild West when a pistol was also often called a 'smoke-pole'.

    Refer: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/WE-Slang7.html


    A little 'Smoke Wagon' trivia for our Old West fans.

    The metal cartridges and self-cocking mechanisms for modern revolvers were only developed and used during the American Civil War but they weren't perfected until the early 1870's when the Peacemaker of 1871 became Colt's most popular model. This Colt revolver is still being produced for the collectors' and re-enactors' market, but genuine examples from the past are highly sought after - and demand extremely high prices for finer pieces..


    The Remington cap-and-ball percussion type revolver, with a grooved aiming channel over the cylinder, was first made in 1857 and improved models were used in the Civil War but, eventually, they also had to give way to the metal cartridge style in 1875.

    It was a very popular weapon, second only to the Colt, - a .44 calibre was made for the Army and a .36 cal. model for the Navy - even the outlaw Jesse James used one as his weapon of choice - but, by 1894, the E. Remington & Sons company of Ilion, New York, which had been founded by Eliphalet Remington in 1816, ceased manufacturing revolvers in preference to their other lines such as typewriters and sewing machines.


    The third most famous revolver at that time was the break-open tip-down barrel Smith & Wesson which enabled all the cartridge cases to be ejected in one tip-out motion. Designed by Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson, the first model produced in 1857 was a 7-shot .22 Cal.

    Like Colt and Remington, the need for improvement was hastened by the approaching Civil war and a 6-shot  .32 version was introduced in 1861.

    The .44 cal. American Model of 1870  was modified by Major-General George W. Schofield and this improved weapon was issued to Wells Fargo guards. The robber and outlaw Jesse James also used the new version Scofield S & W revolver at times due to the speed with which  it could be reloaded.

    Ironically, Jesse James was murdered on 3 April 1882 by Bob Ford who used a Smith & Wesson and, in December of the same year, Major Scofield used one to shoot himself.


    .44 calibre Remingtom New Army Model 1863



    Colt six shot Revolvers - .36 cal. Navy Colt 1851 and the famous .44 cal. Colt Peacemaker 1873 - often nicknamed 'Smoke Wagons'.

    Smith & Wesson .22 cal. 1857 model and .44 cal. American Model of 1870. The tip-barrel axle can be clearly seen in both models

    Fantasy Mirror Tokens - modern limited editions prepared to order. Actual outer size approx. 56mm (Mirror size 47mm dia.)



     'Curley' Jerry Adams and 'Hurricane Bob' Smith from Texas.


    Standard encased coins.

    (Top) 'Keep Me and You'll Never Go Broke' - Westgate Fabrics, Dallas (U.S. 1977 cent) - Political Advertising piece (U.S. 1972D cent)

    (Bottom) Windsor Canadian Whisky (1970 Canadian Cent)

    Actual size approx 36mm. Outer ring is usually Aluminium but other heavier metals are seen.


    Main Firearms Reference:

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




    I have, regularly, come to the conclusion that I should not reminisce too deeply about the contents of a case full of medallions and exonumia that I refer to as my Magpie's Nest. However, the habits of a numismatic lifetime spent collecting pretty shiny  'baubles' cannot be turned away from just like that.

    Other avid addicted 'magpie' collectors know that we 'specialise in everything' - and, usually, we also don't  accept that our knowledge is just enough to get us into hot-water at times. Does that stop us - of course not?!. We 'magpies' love to live dangerously - or otherwise we feel that we haven't lived at all!

    Those who eat porridge for every meal are quite welcome to it - but we 'magpies' are always looking for the banquet.


    The latest dive into the Magpie's Nest produced a set of four Bass & Flinders Circumnavigation of Van Diemen's Land Medallions.

    These 70mm commemorative pieces would leave an ugly bruise if they landed on your toes - even if they are in their own plush draw-string bags.

    The medallions were produced in 1998 by Tasmedals of Hobart and all the styles (shown below) were relatively limited in numbers. 

    They were made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Bass & Flinders circumnavigating Tasmania during late 1798 and early 1799.

    The basic 70mm cast Pewter style, with a generic reverse showing the track of the voyage through Bass Strait and around Van Diemen's land as Tasmania was known at the time, had a low mintage of 120, and the Silver-plated and Gold-plated Pewter versions were in very low numbers (10 each) to satisfy numismatic demand and only allocated to pre-release orders.

    However, the Mt. Wellington reverse was only issued as a presentation piece to dignitaries and members of the re-enactment group who ascended the Mountain on Christmas Day 1998. The obverse is as the original medallion but the flat broad rim reverse surrounds a depiction of Mt. Wellington as it might have looked in 1798. The rim is etched with a text reading: Limit was 80 pieces.

    "Commemorating the first ascent of Mount Wellington, Van Diemen's Land by European explorer George Bass - 25 December 1798."


    I had the honour of being involved slightly with the last piece as I had a cousin who was acting as Dr Bass (international Journalist Tom O'Byrne) in the replica sloop "Norfolk' on its epic re-enactment of the explorers trip. As things happened, I managed to arrange a meeting with the medal manufacturer, Roger McNeice OAM of Tasmedals, and Tom when the ship docked in George Town, Tasmania.


    200th Anniversary of the Circumnavigation of Tasmania 1798/99 by Matthew Flinders and George Bass & crew

    Mt. Wellington reverse #11 - Standard reverse in Pewter #2

    The special Silver and Gold-plated pieces were not numbered.


    The montage below represents the replica sloop 'Norfolk'  - a close-up of the size of the ship - Tasmedals director Roger McNeice OAM and myself (rather wind-blown in Grey top) with the medal presentation package - and another photo including my cousin Tom O'Byrne, with nautical beard, after his adventurous voyage to George Town. We were discussing the next stage of the trip after viewing the basic pewter medal which was available to the public - until sold out. As mentioned, Tom was playing the part of 'Dr. George Bass' during the more ceremonial sections of the trip.



    Bern Cuthbertson - Captain of the replica sloop 'Norfolk' - which is now housed on display at George Town


    At that time, the crew, captained by 'Matthew Flinders' (Bern Cuthbertson), still had to sail along the North-west coast of the island before heading south down the wild  West Coast into the Southern Ocean and then round South East Cape and then sail northwards into the Tasman Sea before landfall in Hobart.

    To replicate the actual events, Tom had to 'climb' the mountain on Christmas day. He ran and walked up the road to the summit  with a few selected members of the public - a good test of endurance. I wonder how George Bass managed the all day climb in 1798?

    The West Coast sea-time was just enough for Tasmedals to get the special Mountain reverses done on the medal for the worthy recipients of the 'climb'.

    After a short break, the  crew then sailed the little wooden sloop 'Norfolk' back to Sydney to complete the re-enactment of the original expedition.

    A great adventure in its own right!!


    Is it any wonder that 'Magpie's' love the hobby and its 'shiny' bits.........


    Mintage details, courtesy:


    Office - 8 Orana Place, Taroona. Tasmania. Australia.7053

    Showroom - 31 Victoria St; Hobart. Tasmania. Australia. 7001




    Evidently, there are readers of these columns out there - that is a gratifying thing in itself - but it's doubly nice that I occassionally get a note from an old friend or two who bring me up-to-date with their own fates - both personal and hobby-wise. Mike and Mick thanks for the timely notes - and the book plugs.

    In early December, I received a welcome email from Mike Metras - formerly of the Elgin Coin Club of Illinois - who now resides in Kisslegg, Southern Germany with his wife, Petra (pictured below) - and, towards mid-December, Australian banknote guru extraordinaire, prolific author and all-round good guy, Mick Vort-Ronald,  dropped me an end-of-year email and I found out that, like Mike, he also had a new book on the shelves.

    It might be that some of our libraries will gain a few new publications for the New Year. Hey, kids - Hint! Hint!


    Mick Vort-Ronald and his famous Banking and Currency Museum at Kadina, South Australia.


    Mick's new book is hot off the press and should be of interest to Australian private bank note collectors.

    It's entitled, AUSTRALIAN SHINPLASTER & CALABASH NOTES "Australia's outback currency"  these are the private notes issued mostly during the 1840s - 1940s  in remote parts of the country. A bit different from the normal old private bank-notes we sometimes encounter.
    It has a full colour cover enclosing 104 easy-to-read A-4 pages and it contains 135 large black and white pictures.

    The book is also  indexed and cross indexed lists of domiciles and of banks. Last known auction prices are given for many of the items. For direct  enquiries contact Mick at:: vortronald@yp-connect.net

    The retail price puts this handy reference well within the numismatic budget that most of us have self-imposed and, at  AUD$20 each ( post included), it should prove very popular.


    Mike Metras and Petra Wolf - Winter 2005


    I must mention that, in our last newsletter, we featured an illustration of a Elgin Coin Club 500th meeting anniversary voucher that I mistakenly labelled as being from the Elgin Coin Club of Chicago. As Mike pointed out, whilst Elgin is 'technically' a suburb of Chicago - it is very proud of its separate identity, as most suburbs are, and -  'no-one there would own up to living in Chicago !!!!!!'  - and for that I must issue a 'Soooorrry, Elgin!'


    Long-time readers of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' will be aware that, as well as being a numismatist of long-standing, and the former Editor of the Elgin Coin Club newsletter, Mike is a great walker and, on occasions, he has combined his interests and published several CD books on Ethiopian, Eritrean and Ancient coins as well as his 'pilgrimages' as he calls them - mostly by foot - over thousands of miles in Spain, Sicily - and elsewhere - as he pays homage to the past and contemplates the future.

    We published a series that featured the email diary of one of his Sicilian walks some time ago in the 'Internet Edition'.

    Reminiscences - "Messages from Mike Metras." ©  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july2001.htm


    Mike and Petra's latest effort was a plan to proceed on a 715 mile pilgrimage walk from their home in Kisslegg, Germany down towards Rome - it was to be a nice casual stroll, but, it eventuated, that the walk had to be done in two stages.

    These things are not meant to be an extreme endurance test just an enjoyable experience both physically and mentally..

    Due to walking conditions over the Alpine regions at that time of year, and a nagging tendon injury - and other personal committments - the first stage took place during July-August and then they took a train back to Kisslegg from a place called Fidenza in northern Italy

    Mike and Petra planned to re-commence the second stage in early December at Fidenza, and to complete the walk prior to the end of December or early January - so I hope their plan will be fulfilled as per schedule (which is listed on Mike's web-site at: http://www.WorksAndWords.com/romewalk.htm ).


    A BOOK REVIEW - "Walking Life: Meditations on the Pilgrimage of Life."

    Mike advised me that he had also released a new book in November that is designed to give an insight into the meditative processes that he has gradually developed over the years on these long walks. He has given me the web-site address for a brief preview. For those who like to explore the wider meaning of Life and would like to 'join' Mike - at least in spirit - on his 'pilgrimage' walks, I suggest that you take the time to read his 'blog' and some of the excerpts and learn how to feel a bit better about yourself - "every little helps - doesn't it!". Even numismatists think occasionally - and have lives away from their collections.

    It's well worth giving the preview a thoughtful read at: http://www.WorksAndWords.com/walkinglife.htm - that site also links to the HMTL version, or alternatively try: http://www.worksandwords.com/walkinglife/wlcover.htm

    Any queries - or book orders - should be addressed directly to Mike Metras at: mikem@worksandwords.com


    Other publications by Mike Metras that are all still available at :http://www.worksandwords.com


     Tasmanian Numismatic Society


    An updated and illustrated general Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Tasmanian Edition - and the Internet Edition) newsletter has now been completed to date. As mentioned in our last issue, we have decided to serialize the Internet version as we did in 2003.

    The Index will be located at the conclusion of each newsletter issue and we will commence publishing the installments in this issue.

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

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

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






    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 to know 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 9 – 2004 Internet Edition.


    Issue 1.

    Society Snippets – 2005 Editors Award invitation, Annual Subs. reminder, AGM-BBQ reminder.

    U.S. Quarters Program update.

    Funny Money – Part III.

    Australians Remembering Vietnam.

    ‘Out with the Old – In with the New ‘ the new bank-notes of Iraq.

    Harry Murray VC –Australia’s most decorated soldier, who was Tasmanian born.


    Issue 2.

    Society Snippets -  second AGM-BBQ reminder.

    Tasmanian Tradesmen Tokens revisited 2004 - Part one of a two-part article.


    Issue 3.

    Society Snippets – AGM-BBQ report.

    Terms List Updated by Ian Hartshorn – Variety/Error Glossary.

    Paper Money Varieties

    Tasmanian Tradesmen’s Tokens revisited 2004 -  Pt. II


    Issue 4.

    Vale – Tom Williamson (Life Member T.N.S.)

    Society Snippets – Overdue Subscription reminder.

    Missing a  Family memento -  Military Medal

    Campbell Town Convict Cash – a reminder of Campbell Town’s convict heritage.

    Maria Theresa’s Silver Trade Thalers – the Austrian coin of the Middle East.

    Malaysian Gold Dinar – the introduction of a Muslim Trade coin.

    Chinese Cash coins.

    Warning! – Imitations of valuable coins coming out of China.

    A Bit of a Mystery! –  The fate of explorer, Robert de La Salle and his ship ‘Belle’.

    Coin Club Challenge – an invitation for other Australian coin clubs to index their publications and to investigate ways of cataloguing local exonumia collections.


    Souvenir - Campbell Town Convict Cash



    Vienna Mint - Maria Theresa 83.33% Silver Trade Thaler (dated 1780 – re-issued 1957-75)


    Issue 5.

    Society Snippets – Editor’s annual encouragement Memorandum and members comments.

    Some Notes of Note from the East Indies 1942-1968 – Part 1

    Houston Token Show – report from Jerry Adams

    It Looked Familiar – The use of a Presidential Medal design applied to 2004 Jefferson Nickel.

    U.S. Dollar vs. European Euro – a comparison on performance between the two currencies.


    Issue 6.

    Society Snippets – a note from Mike Nourse of the A.C.C. (our sister club in Alaska).

    Return of the Prodigals.

    2004 Tasmanian BiCentennial $5.00 coin

    Some Notes of Note from the East Indies 1942-1968 - Part 2

    The Harp and the Shamrock – a 1999 article about old Irish coinage, re-visited by request.

    2004 Eureka Stockade Dollar – A famous Australian event of 1854 given a closer look.


    Issue 7.

    Society Snippets – ANDA-APTA early notification of their forthcoming event for 2004

    On the Fringe – a quick peek at numismatics close cousin, Exonumia.

    The ‘Nuts & Bolts’ of Numismatics – an explanation of the broader aspects of our hobby.

    The Imperial Collection – the currency of unofficial micro-nations.


    Issue 8.

    Society Snippets – Celebrating the 101st Issue of the Internet Edition, ANDA-APTA request for volunteers to help with 2004 show.

    A Timely Reminder Token – The Battle of Long Tan August 16 – 18th 1966

    The ‘Washington before Boston’ medallion – a mystery, a search - and a solution.

    The 2004 Jefferson Nickel – featuring themes from Lewis & Clark’s expedition.

    Reader’s Mailbag – several queries from our readers.

    The Money that Wasn’t Worth the Paper it was Printed on – Inflation currency.


    German December 1922 One Thousand Mark

    Overprinted in September 1923 with new value of 1,000,000,000 Mark.


    Issue 9.

    Society Snippets – The ‘Heart of Tasmania’ Medallion Set (not produced), ANDA-APTA final reminder, T.N.S. Home Corner (members’ private lives shared).

    What Ever Happened to J.I.M. ? – a look at Japanese Invasion Money.

    ‘Time-Line, Vietnam’,  by Ray Bows.  – a book review.

    ‘The Design of the Texas Quarter‘, by Jerry Adams.

    What They Do to Coins! – a history of coin abuse, deliberate or accidental.

    The Wonderful World of Gaming Chips. – place your bets please.

    Imperial Collection Update – a few new pieces to be noted.


    The Fort Wolters, Texas token in comparison with the new U.S. Texas Quarter coin.

    (Scan courtesy - Jerry Adams Collection ©)


    Issue 10.

    Society Snippets

    Omaha Token Show – report by Jerry Adams.

    ‘It’s Not Worth a Continental!’ – another study about inflation money history.

    ‘I Don’t Want to Sound like a Name-Dropper, but ….’  The Who’s Who we have met.

    What’s it Worth? – Where to go to find out the answers.

    Readers’ Mailbag Q & A’s.

    U.S. State Quarters Update.


    Issue 11.

    Society Snippets – ANDA-APTA Show report

    Editor’s Award History - and recipients to date including 2005 winners.

    More Than Meets the Eye. – the designs on a coin usually have a story to tell.

    The Medals of ‘Tasmedals’ – the famous explorers Dr. George Bass and Matthew Flinders and their 2004 commemorative medallions and a brief biography of both men.

    French Language Numismatics – the scope of this language in the world of currency.

    Why is it So! – a teasing question about the Canadian 1954 currency notes.



    1941 French 100 Franc note – issued during the German Occupation


    Issue 12.

    Society Snippets – Local Numismatic production and presentations.

    Currencies of Conflicts – International currencies issued during times of occupation or war.

    Tasmanian Treasures – specific coinage of importance to Tasmanian numismatists.

    N.Y. ‘Daily Times’ April 27th 1853 – interesting facts about the Republic of Texas.

    Wanted Known – Items for Sale or Wanted.

    Exchange Rates – periodical update of  comparisons between the cross rates of the US Dollar, the English Pound, the European Euro and the Australian Dollar.



    2004 ‘Tasmanian’ Silver Dollar with removable centre.

     NEXT ISSUE: Volume 10 (2005)




    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.



    The 'Tasmanian Numismatist '(Internet Edition) newsletter complies with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.

    Under this act, information about individuals can be stored and published only if: the information is already contained in a publicly available document or if personal information has been provided by the individual to whom the information relates, and if that individual is aware of the purposes for which the information is being collected.

    All information published by the'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter is either publicly available, or has been voluntarily provided by writers, or members of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', on request from the Editor of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist'  (Internet Edition) newsletter.

    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