Volume 15 Issue 1           Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)            January 2010




Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2010.


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

All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. 

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

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

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


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, any Internet links selected by the authors of this newsletter, are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to:

(1)     Illustrations.

(2)    To provide additional important information. 

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


Please consider my conditional invitation to make a literary contribution if you feel you have something numismatically themed that may appeal to a general level of interest and fulfills our stated editorial guidelines.  However, please be aware that not every submission will be automatically accepted for publication. As Editor, I am always prepared to look at it - and if need be - assist in presentation. 

We regret the imposition of 'editorial control' - but previous experience has neccessitated the following conditions.

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

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





1993 Kangaroo .999 Fine Silver One Dollar NCLT coin.


In 1993, The Royal Australian Mint started production of what was thought, by many collectors, to be a fairly short-lived series depicting Australian's iconic emblem - the One Ounce Pure Silver Kangaroo coin.  They were superbly frosted with polished highlights - and reflective.

Many of us thought that it would be a 4 - 5 piece wonder - but we were mistaken, big time!

The decision to again place the Kangaroo as the reverse on a substantial 40mm. specimen quality One Ounce Pure Silver Non-Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) coin was inspired. Encapsuled on a descriptive card -  within a  protective plastic slip cover - the product and its price, was very attractive - and they sold like the proverbial 'hot cakes'!

That these NCLT coins are still in production is a testament to their desirability and the loyalty of the Australian numismatic public.



As one of those who love large Silver coins - especially the affordable Specimen quality that bore our most iconic emblem  - I boarded the band-wagon and started to accumulated these very well prepared pieces and continued to do so until the Australian artist's trendy versions commenced.

The introduction of an extra Gold overlaid Specimen in 2003,  also alerted some of us that the Royal Australia Mint  had seen the Kanga's potential - and was 'running with it'.

However, there is an old mantra that can be applied to successful coin series  - "If it ain't broke - don't fix it!'  -  but that has never stopped the Oz Mint, has it?!



At the first change, I argued the case to myself - and  accepted the depictions, produced or inspired by genuine Aboriginal artists, as issued in 2001 -2 -3,  but I opted out when the concept changed again in 2007 - this was when the modern Australian painters short series began - not that I do not appreciate the artistic works of greats like Rolf Harris, Reg Mombassa and Ken Done - their efforts were not the reason.

Unfortunately, there were other changes that influenced lots of other collectors to reassess their committment to the series - the expansion of metals and finishes, a new AUD$10 denomination - why? - and the huge increases in the price structure.


The 40mm. Australian 2005 Kangaroo 1oz. 99.9% Fine Silver Dollar (enlarged scan)


The initial Mint issue price, in 1993, was AUD$15 for the $1.00 Specimen coin and over the next 12 years it gradually increased to AUD$24.60 in 2006  - I am not naive enough to realize the price of silver and production hasn't increased - however, the artist's series coins bore the brunt of a sharp inflation that was staggering. Readers will be aware that I'm not an advocate of crass commercialism in numismatics - even though that sounds like an anacronysm.

This is a subject I have mentioned before and - no doubt - will again. The thousands of small customers deserve a fair go or they will back off!


Cupro-Nickel Specimen quality coins were brought into the Artist mix in 2007 - retailing at the  previous price of the Silver coin - which had been selling at  AUD$24.95 in 2006.  If the Mint marketting gurus thought that, by supplying a cheaper C.N. substitute, to cater for the lower end of the scale, it might slip by 'un-noticed' by collectors who had made a committment to the Silver Specimen Kangaroo series, they were wrong - and they were 'persuaded' by the collecting public to re-think their new philosophy once again!

After numerous petitions from the public and dealers - the Mint rethought the proposed withdrawal of the Pure Silver Specimen coin and re-instated it in time for the 2008 Artist's issue - but in unpackaged form. - It will be of some interest where this unwieldy compromise pile will eventually settle but at time of writing it seems it will be card-packaged again..

The Mint issue price of the One Ounce Pure Silver Artist's Specimen Kangaroo literally bounded like its namesake - from the mid $20 range - up  to AUD$48 in 2007 and the 2009 coin issue was catalogued as retailing at AUD$50.00

According to the historical precious metal tables - the price of Fine Silver at that time was approx US$11.00 per Troy Oz. (about AUD$14.00 at that time) but it was being forecast to rise due to the financial meltdown in the U.S. that was heavily influencing commodity and metal prices. It has - and you can see the details at the 'Kitcosilver' site (below.) The Mint decided to get in early .....!?

With both the Oz and U.S. Dollars reasonably close to parity - at over 90 cents - the current Silver price is now hovering at about US$18.00 oz.

Refer:-  http://www.kitcosilver.com/


Actual Mintage of carded Specimen 1 oz. Kangaroo Silver Dollars.

1993    78031        1998    43398        2003    35230        2007    4000   

1994    45542        1999    30185        2004    19324        2008     9700*

1995    72850        2000    35426        2005    16446        2009     N/A*

1996    49398        2001    45562        2006    18925

1997    43797        2002    32376


Main Reference:-

Pocket Guide to AUSTRALIAN COINS AND BANKNOTES 16th Edition - by Greg McDonald 2009



Graeme Petterwood - Editor  © 2009 -2010

This brief segment was held-over, from our October 2009 Mail-Box, due to lack of information to tell the whole story at that stage.

It does highlight the types of questions that we editors are sometimes requested to find answers to.

We realise that some queries are made by members of the public who have had little or no previous experience in our hobby - so we need to get down to a basic knowledge level to assist - and, keeping it simple is the key requirement - and, of course, there must be sufficient detail pass between the correspondents to get the job done!

The email was originally received on 10th October 2009, from a U.S. correspondent who has now, hopefully, been satisfied by my eventual answer. 

In normal circumstances I would have helped this direct-email correspondent immediately - but the sparse detail necessitated a few follow-up emails and, as  we gradually got to know each other, it got a lot easier. 

The reason I mention this instance is because it is not an isolated case - and I'll hazard a guess that many of our collector readers here also get similar emails or requests such as this.

At that stage - our correspondent had be brief and to the point - he had given me a quantity, denomination and even a date to help with my search - but my first gut reaction was "wouldn't it have been easier to supply me with a few more relevant details - like what country he thought that they were from - or better still - send me a scan."

Early days - so,  let's start at the beginning ......... !


"Hello, I have 6 x 30,000 kronen notes dated 1, Oktober 1929.  They are in perfect condition.  They must have been cut from a page of notes.  I just discovered these ........ They belonged to my great-grandfather.  Are these worth anything.  Thanks! ........"

Pic.1 - Austrian 6% Zinschein (Dividend Warrant Series 048) Coupon against the sum of 30,000 Kronen.

(Received after an eMail request.)

These are common enough problems of ommission that we editors have to patiently accept as normal - the 'obvious' is not always seen that way by the 'uninitiated' - but we are supposed to be the 'experts' - and we should know the way to sort out these things!
Judging from the large 'unusual' denomination mentioned and the description - and a bit of my own knowledge of pre WWII European currency - I thought that they were probably Austrian - or possibly Hungarian - but the implication that they were cut from a sheet prompted the thought that they might have been unissued hyper-inflation currency remainders or even state or town Gutschein emergency money..

After a check of the few nations that  I considered most likely,  I could not find anything listed in that denomination in the normal 'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - General Issues' - nor even in the 'Specialized Issues'

That unusual denomination was a real worry - it didn't seem right for a official issue - and my thought process changed to: "This may not be currency - but private scrip!"

Thus started the brief email exchange - and, thankfully, the correspondent supplied more of the essential missing pieces of information - and the all-important  scan of the object ( Pic.1 ) - and, ultimately, other items that opened a window into a time in history that has always fascinated me personally as a numismatist.

It turned out that they were 6% Interest coupons - 'Zinschein' (Dividend Warrants) against a 30,000 Kronen investment authorized by the Republic of Austria and they were to be drawn of the 'State Central Office' in Vienna.. (Pic. 2)  - Hmmm? Was it Term insurance?

The bonus was to be available in 6 years from the commencement (computable) date and payable on the date stated on the coupon..  I am a bit rusty on my German - and the old-style script from that era doesn't help - but I think I'm reasonably right with my translation of the coupons.

Pic. 2 - Austrian Zinschein 6% dividend coupons

2 each #'s 13, 14 and 15 - bonuses apparently payable half-yearly

(April and October 1929 - 1930 as dated).

These particular coupons would have been presented within a numbered booklet format - and cut-out as they were surrendered - probably on a regular basis - e.g. quarterly or half-yearly.  That fitted the original detail that had been supplied.

They would have been cashable bonuses against the original investment  amount.


Prior to 1929, American insurance and brokerage companies would have been riding high on the American dream that was soon to become a nightmare - but, the cracks were starting to show. However, no-one wanted to believe the unbelieveable at that time; many obvious signs coming out of Europe were ignored - and important fiscal things were left undone until it was too late to apply the economic brakes.

Investors - even the small ones - had been swept along by the euphoria of the mid 1920's and, then - the world economy went into free-fall.


I will recount the sequence of events - as they are of interest in building the complete picture..

My correspondent had recently discovered hand-written documentation amongst some old family chattels he had inherited - a letter dated May 6, 1930 -  in particular  - that tends to support the case that the original shares - and the bonus coupons enclosed - had apparently becoming virtually worthless to the owner at that time - but he was hopeful he might recoup something!.

How the coupons were originally obtained is a mystery - but that is not relevant..

The letter writer, the late Mr. Edward A. Hale, a manufacturer of Paper Boxes in Newburyport, Massachuestts - was requesting that payment be made, by cheque, for the six only  6% Dividend coupons he was surrendering - and he was also asking - rather forlornly, whether the Bonds would ever attain any value. (Pic.3) 

Mr. Hale's letter, and the coupons, evidently came back to him - and the envelope was marked: "Return to Writer - Moved - Left no forward". (Pic. 4.) and that reflected the dire economics of the era when insurance and brokerage businesses disappeared overnight as the Great Depression crashed down and wiped billions of investment dollars from the world share markets.

The A.W. Lincoln & Company was evidently not able to be contacted to assist in redeeming the coupons, and, ultimately, the matter was put in the 'too hard basket'  by the owner, and the coupons would have been put - 'in the back drawer' - during the Great Depression. - and they would have stayed there.

Mr. E. A. Hale passed away  about 2 1/2 years later - on Dec. 18th. 1932 - at the age of 82 - and the advent of WWII put paid to any sort of  settlement. to his heirs at that time..

Pic. 3 & 4 - Letter to A. W. Lincoln & Co. Brokerage company - and the U.S. Post Office endorsed envelope. (Scanned historical items shown were published with permission of the current owner).


An additional envelope marking (shown below), in pencil, shows the former address of the now famous 'Lincoln Investment Company' at that time, but, in what context - or when that was added, is anyone's guess.

This was within the same decade that German, Austrian and Hungarian post-WWI  inflation had been going hyper-ballistic with reparations and unemployment at staggering levels*  - and, bearing in mind the economic history in the rest of Central Europe at that time as well - and,. the events that led into the maelstrom of WWII - the coupons and Bonds would not have been worth the paper they were printed on. 

However, that is now historical hindsigh!

Refer:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression

The estimated numismatic value of similar individual European coupons from this era usually only ranges from US10c - 50c each - depending on condition and rarity - but, historically, they can be 'worth'so much more because of the stories that go with them to make up the 'whole package'!

They will never be worth a substantial fortune, however, I remember having seen one 'rare (?)' Zinschein (from 1923) advertised with a US$5 starter price tag - but, whether it actually sold I'm afraid I don't know.


The additional historical documentation - or provenance - with items, such as shown here, puts them into a slightly more different, and attractive, category - and that worth can be valued by the 'market-place' of demand - eBay, or similar.


Several illustrations of European items that were precursors of the Great Depression or relate to that era.

10,000 Mark 'Vampire' note of 1922 - if turned to the left, a 'vampire' can be seen drinking the lifeblood from the throat of the subject.

This was taken to be a representation of the victorious Allies sucking Germany dry with the reparations of WWI.

Great Depression era U.S. fund-raiser c.1930 - selling obsolete German currency from the mid 1920's.

Delivering the cane hampers of mid-morning's wages in Germany 1924.


..... and the afternoon's waste collection!



Buying a Cabbage in the morning with a few Million Kronen from a basketful of notes

 - and the left-over 'cheaper than chips' Austrian banknote fire-lighters fuelling the stove for lunch.


*Worth a read::- http://www.usagold.com/germannightmare.html


A more recent email, received 30th. November 2009, reads:-


"I recently ran across a bank note that is a bit of a mystery to me. Perhaps you can help?  A Communist type bill (Soviet zymology), with Arabic writing from 1983. Georgia SSR perhaps?  Did the Soviet Republics have their own currency?"


This is another instance of being supplied with quite a bit of information - but no scan - however, the email is also lacking enough of the true essentials that are needed to nail this little sucker down!  A value and a brief word-picture description of the actual note could have also be of use, but, as previously stated -

" We realise that some queries are made by members of the public who have had little or no previous experience in our hobby!" - so all is forgiven - and, hopefully, we don't take on an air of pomposity and that try to remember the days when we were just as ill-informed.

 We have a date, comments about Arabic writing, and a mention of something Soviet  (the word used - 'zymology' - actually means 'fermentation') - so I assumed it was meant to be 'symbology' - or perhaps not!


Transcaucasian Commissariat - Banknotes 5 and 10 Rubles - issued 1918

These notes include 'Arabic' style script as well as Cyrllic and other local languages of Turkic Azerbajan, Armenia and Georgia.


Even though these states had declared themselves to be three independent entities, this series of notes - including other denominations (see article below), circulated freely with the notes subsequently issued by each of the states. The rampant international inflation that occured during 1921-2  created the circumstance for Russia to take the lead - and, by 1923, these independent states were all back under the 'umbrella' of the Federation of Socialist Soviet Republics of Transcaucasia - and eventually came under the premiership of Lenin and his successor, Stalin.


Lenin and Stalin


Georgia SSR - Banknotes of 500 and 1000 Rubles - issued during 1919 - 1920

These notes are typical of the 'Babylonian' style of that era - in this instance, with inscriptions in Cyrllic, French and Georgian.


The surrounding republics that were sucked into the Soviet sphere in the 1920's did have their own currency in the pre- Revolutionary days of the 1910's - 1920's - however, by the 1960's, the Russian Ruble was the currency that was being utilised throughout the republics - sometimes it was emblazoned with a local symbol or an inscription in the dialect of the area  to show where it was being used - but the control of the Kremlin at that time was like a steel gauntlet..

Several republics did have an 'Arabic' background but, in 1983, the Ruble (with its Soviet symbology) was being used and none of the major states listed had 'Arabic' script on their local circulating notes.  A mystery arises!


1961 Russian Ruble with typical Soviet 'Hammer & Sickle' logo.


It was not until the shattering collapse of the Soviet Union in late Dec.1991 and its disolution in early 1992 - that the republics again declared their independence - and began to issue their own notes once more.

Whilst many of the new states still continued to utilise the Russian Cyrillic script -  by late 1992, most had discarded the former Soviet 'symbology' that went with it and nationalistic designs were being established - some of which included portions of 'Arabic' or other local script..

The date of 1983 - is therefore, just a bit of a red-herring and, perrthaps, it may even be incorrect - a simple typo perhaps - might it be 1993?

This is something that can cause a lot of fruitless searching - but it does happen.

Presently, at time of writing, I am waiting on a reply to my request for more information - or, preferably a scan.





It's that time of year to wheel out the 'incidentals' once again as 'unusual' New Year numismatic gifts are being considered for those who received a bit of spare (or 'unusual') money for Christmas and, especially, for those who are new at the hobby. To those 'unusual' special people who will devote a lot of their space time to a wonderful mania - here are just a few 'incidentals' to get started with! 

We have shown most of these aids at various times during each year we have been publishing this newsletter - mainly for the benefit of the hundreds of new collectors who are still making this hobby one of the most popular in the world. 


There are lots of 'incidentals' that new collectors will come across as they 'learn their craft' - some are of the more physical sort of toys - measuring aids, such as basic rulers and slide rulers (such as shown below), spring calipers for assisting when measuring large diameters - and those aids to visual  identification - such as the essential mulitude of small magnifiers of different styles and strengths with or without battery-operated lights.

Simple quick aids, such as a few spring-loaded clothes pegs to hold awkward objects, an old soft bristle tooth-brush for cleaning coins of surface dirt are usually easily obtained - but things like Ultra-violet fluorescent tube lanterns and the higher quality light magnifiers are a little more expensive - but they are a valuable - dare I say 'essential' - asset for a dedicated collector.


A small 'starter-kit' is always handy to carry when going out 'exploring'. 

The make-up of a kit  should be basic 'as needed' - but don't overload it and don't start throwing around your 'expertise' as well - as there is nothing more off-putting to a seller than to see a great heap of professional sort of stuff being dragged out to examine a $2 purchase for the kids..

The small fold-up  x10 magnifier (as shown below) is the most useful pocket-size tool imagineable - and should always be available to you in the informal situations!

The more expansive kits should still be compact enough to carry in a small attache case or shoulder-bag - or, preferably, even a jacket-pocket  - as personal aids at flea-markets and small coin fairs - if you are deliberately going out with the aim of purchasing something decent for your collection.

Not every small market seller - for instance - even knows exactly what  they are selling, or even the condition of their oddments of numismatic merchandise, nor do they always have such aids for prospective collector/buyers to use! 

However - also remember - that numismatics is now headline big business; there are many professional market sellers who will have done their homework and will know a lot about the items in their scratch-boxes. Some of them still don't offer any aids for a buyer to closely inspect an object to confirm their opinion or the prices asked from the general 'amateur' public - for the most obvious of reasons.

The other incidental - and 'essential' - aid we all need to carry with us all the time - is our own intelligence and knowledge! 

If we are ever unsure about any aspect of a deal - we should err on the side of discretion - think thrice - and watch for the hard-sell and the possible rip-off!  Caveat Emptor! (Buyer Beware!)


A few very basic numismatic hand tools - a 'starter kit' that won't cost a fortune.

Powerful illuminating magnifiers - and a hand-held Ultra-violet document scanner.  

'Hands-free' - adjustable size professional Optivisor.


As well as the physical aids - we must also bear in mind that some more 'intellectual' aids also come under the  'essential' definition.

Various foreign language script and numeric identifiers, for instance, are going to save a lot of hassles if you have them filed away for fast reference.

Chose those that compliment your own personal collection to start with - you will find that many are similar enough to aid in recognising  the area of the world that they originate from. The ones shown below are very basic and many can be downloaded from 'free to Internet' sites - such as 'Wikipedia'.

Refer:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page



壱   弐    参    肆    伍    陸    漆    捌    玖    拾    廿     佰    仟    萬


一    二    三    四    五    六    七    八    九    十    二十   百    千    万

  Chinese and Japanese - formal and simplified - numerals

(from left to right): 1 - 10,  20, 100,  1000  and  10,000

multiples are formed by e.g. 2x10 = 20 or e.g. 31 = 3x10 plus 1 etc. 


Kmer Numerals 0 - 9


Various Arabic and Burmese Numerals

Be aware that the most common Arabic symbol for the number Five (5) appears as 0 - whilst the Zero (0) is shown as a dot!




The following is an edited amalgamation of the answers I provided to a number of Internet correspondences I received last November from a  mature U.S. coin collector 'Mike' - who was expressing a serious interest in re-starting his childhood passion of collecting international and local coinages and currency.  I have since added a few illustration of the many things we discussed.

The type of questions that were asked are obvious from the answers - and there has been a lot of 'water under his bridge'.

Some things have changed a lot! 

However, it's never too late to re-start and re-kindle the passion of  numismatic collecting - although those of our readers, who find themselves drawn back into the hobby, now have to be realistic with the times and the 'themes' of any accumulation if they really do want to have a go ... and remember the 'Golden Rule' - which is always remained the same:-

"No matter what theme you start with - get coins that are as near to perfect as you can - with minimum scratchings or edge dings - and be continually on the look-out for even better examples."


"Dear Mike,

There are dedicated coin clubs all over the place - even listed on the Internet - so I would suggest that you join one near you or online and get retaught all the proper modern ways and means of collecting and storing your assets - it's a huge hobby and it's still relatively easy to get started - but there have been changes!
For instance, it would now be pretty tough to start a full U.S. small change collection unless you have money to burn - those old Wheat Pennies are very hard to come by in change - so I would recommend that you chose something still obtainable and attractive like the U.S. State Quarters and Presidential Dollars and Cents  series as a long term project - and try for the different mint-marks as well.


You may choose to collect only one type of small change coin or even concentrate on large Dollars - it's wide open - but you're the Boss. However, think it over and remember the 'reality check'' message - don't start something you can't achieve comfortably (or financially) otherwise it's big-time frustration!

In the meantime, start putting away 'today's' coins from your small change - start from 2000 onwards - most will still be 'get-able' in reasonable condition. "

"In regard to separate storage - you will also need to remember that coins of different metals can react chemically with each other - and also your own ungloved fingers produces acids and other nasties - some storage materials e.g. older PVC plastics and even some treated paper can  give off damaging fumes that will discolour coins and particularly paper currency - so buy the newer types of inert plastic holders  ....."

"........ and some containers -  like old storage tins, cigar boxes and screw-top glass jars - only encourage trapped moisture build-up leading to mouldy vertigris and rust and are very damaging to coins as they are also chemically inappropriate if used in the long term. Better loose in the bottom of a lined drawer (not directly on the wood - some woods also give off harmful gases) or even in a glass bowl with a piece of paper-towel under - than a bad closed container."

"Do not clean surface grot (hard-set stubborn dirt) from coins with anything more harsh than a very soft bristle tooth-brush and hot water, plain soap (no detergents or metal dips - unless absolutely neccessary) and pat dry with untreated paper kitchen towel  - and don't be tempted to pop them in the microwave to quick-dry."

(Coins sometimes contain microbubbles - and we know what that could mean as the trapped gases expand with microwave agitated heat)


"There's certainly is a lot to re-learn as you go along - and that is why talking to contemporary collectors is essential!

Eventually, even these newer hard alloyed coins of today will be worn - or gone - and we all know that  prices increase when things in a pristine state are hard to get - so, even by doing it now (getting restarted) in a piecemeal manner, you are not going to notice the strain too much and it may prove worthwhile as a small investment. Afford - or at least lessen - the temptation of spending loose change by putting it away from harm's way.

Get all the small change coins each year - with all mintmarks - and store them away appropriately - ASAP!."

"You may need to buy a small fold-up pocket magnifying glass (shown above) and a couple of up-to-date catalogues and guide books - I highly recommend the official 'Red Book' (the economic basic spiral-bound is fine) 'A Guide Book to United States Coins' by R.S. Yeoman that tells about all U.S coinage since the year dot and gives average annual retail prices!  (Bear in mind - those dealer's prices are often misleading if you want to buy and sell privately.)

The other is a bit more specialised - 'A.N.A. Grading Standards for United States Coins' (a soft-cover version is just as good) - which shows how wear and tear can substantially demean or enhance the value of a coin. Try not to over-estimate the grading to suit your own wishes - as other people's opinions might be a little more pessimistic - but once you have given a fair grading to the coin - stick to it - but be prepared to argue your decision and accept the consequences."                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

"Yes! It's obvious that lots of European coins and notes are going to become scarcer and more expensive as the Euro grows in stature - I suggest that intrinsic metal coins from the 'better' major countries like Germany, Spain, Italy and France, for instance, will become very expensive as good stocks dry up and disappear into  investment portfolios.

English numismatics still has a life of its own, as the country has shown no real sign of entering the financial side of the Common Market, by formally adopting the Euro, at this time. However, it is sad to note that, in recent years, a huge amount of  forgeries have been uncovered in the English One Pound series - particularly the Welsh issue  - so much so that a totally new range of small change designs has had to be implemented (shown below) - and no doubt the previous circulating styles will start to vanish into the Royal Mint's melting-pots and numismatic retail prices will rise accordingly."



"Probably, the way to go is to collect some English or other national type sets right now  - try to get one of each lower value spare change coin of each of the different monarchs since milled coinage began in 1799.

As these coins are the 'common' coinage they will be hard to find in really good condition - so therein lies the challenge."


"There are large volumes (or three) in most public libraries reference sections entitled - "Standard Catalalog of World Coins" and also "Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - Specialized and General Issues" (shown above) published by Krause Publications each year. These are known by numismatists as the 'bibles' - but they are usually too expensive an investment  to buy for just a beginner or restarter - however, they are a fantastic source of general information and these will give you a good idea of what is out there as far as international coinage and currency is concerned - so visit your library or browse the Internet -  or, better still, ask around at the coin club you may join as many established collectors usually have a copy or two to share."

The best asset you can have at your fingertips - is KNOWLEDGE!"

"Best of luck if you do start playing with old money again - you could do far worse for a hobby."




The Display Case! (Part 5)

Compiled by: Graeme Petterwood  © 2009 -2010


The original purpose of 'The Display Case' - was to occasionally feature a few photoscans - and a little detail -  of those 'forgotten' treasures we all have in our collections. References numbers are from the Krause Publications - "Standard Catalog of World Paper Money" (SCWPM) by Albert Pick and others - both General and Specialized Issues, in the main.

Catalogue numbers will be either designated as - Pick #'s or Kr. # 's -  depending on the involvement of Albert Pick - or other writers or newer editors. Not all of the banknotes illustrated were officially issued - nor are some samples pristine - some were produced in times of conflict by opportunistic conquerors and illegal governments - or individuals - and later repudiated.


In any reasonably expansive collection of numismatic items- specifically banknotes, in this instance - there are those little odd 'bits 'n' pieces' that are not numerous enough to be given a special category - except, perhaps, to have an acknowledgement - or by having a bit of end-space in a folder or an initial in the Index. They are rarely spared much space in this publication either  - because of their singularity - but they are of interest because of their very existence. 


This segment was intended to touch on all these types of banknote anomalies - however, it did not dwell on notes that may have fitted  the category criteria but have already enjoyed a fair showing in recent times - such as some Gutschein, Notgeld, Russian regional issues and, of course, the plethora of unissued notes - from countries that have fallen by political change - and are readily available for a pittance at any numismatic market..

However, we may feature some of these if a perceived need arises.

I had carefully considered the notes I have previously selected - and they were, hopefully, interesting choices from my own collection of oddments - and, over time, I have gradually worked towards the XYZ's - and, in that way  I will have achieved my aim of recording them, in this format, for our own little slice of history. This will probably always be a 'Work in Progress'!


RUSSIA - History tells us that, in 1917, Czar Nicholas Romanoff of Russia and his family were overthrown and murdered by the Bolsheviks and -  after years of civil war -  the huge Federation of the Soviets was formed. Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Aug07.htm

This was also a complicated era in Russia's long numismatic history - in fact, it was not until December 30th. 1922 that the U.S.S.R. was officially declared - prior to that it was a series of provisional governments - often in political turmoil as they struggled for power - that were responsible for issuing a polygot selection of currency that was subject to rampant inflation. It was not until 1923, with the introduction of a new series of standardized Ruble notes - ranging through from denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 250 Rubles - that the financial situation was reigned in and stablilized.

The sample shown is from the 2nd. Series of 1923 and it only differs from notes of the 1st. Series in that it has 8 lines of script instead of 7 on the reverse.

Numerous other articles about Russian currency are available from our newsletter archives. Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/search.htm


Russia - State Currency Notes dated 1923 - Five Rubles - Pick # 164


SIBERIA - Any time we discuss the former U.S.S.R., the notes of Siberia seem to become involved. Siberia was a hotly contested area during the Revolutionary era as both the Red Army and the White Army - opposing each other to the death - vied for control.

Various nations, with vested interests within Russia, also became militarily and fiscally involved in an effort to either topple the Czarist Government or in trying to maintain it.. Financial relief - to 'pay the troops' - and, to purchase supplies - was arranged in various ways.

To maintain a 'cash flow', some 'banknotes' were 'concocted' as emergency money by ingeneously adapting all sorts of official -looking documents such as share certificates, debenture bonds etc.  We have discussed many of these in previous articles.

However, some series of new 'official' notes were printed privately in overseas countries  and imported into some regions of the shattered nation.

It is known that the American Bank Note Company (ABNC) printed undated notes of 50 Kopek value (in 1919) for use in Siberia and the Ural regions - but never imprinted their name on the notes.

Some of these notes were overprinted in black - along the bottom edges - in 1920, for use by the Far East (Siberia) Provisional Government  based in Vladivostok  - this unlikely group consisted of both Red and disillusioned White authorities - under the brief control of a Chicago attorney named Aleksandr Semyonovich Medvedev (b. 1880 - d. 1928)  who became chairman of the local administration.  They were trying to create some order out of chaos in this far flung region. The Provisional Government of the Local Administration of Primorye Province was only  in existence from  31 Jan 1920 - 11 Dec 1920 but the 50 Kopek banknotes (as well as some small locally produced  5,10 and 30 Kopek notes ) were isssued.


N.D. (1919) Siberian 50 Kopek note - printed by ABNC (no imprint) - Pick # S828


TRANSCAUCASIA - It seems that my broken polygot collection of 'Russian' notes is providing us with a rich feast of items as we again delve into this small pocket of interesting oddments. The short series of Transcaucasian Ruble notes I have are all dated 1918 (denominations of 3, 100 and 250 Rubles were produced  as well - but they are ones I still need) and they were issued on the authority of the Transcaucasian Commissariat.

This body consisted of the Armenian, Georgian and Turkic Azerbajani people - who had declared themselves to be independent group in 1917..

However, by 1918, the group had separated into individual republics - but they continued to circulate these notes within the three areas along with the new notes that each republic issued until they were incorporated into the expanding U.S.S.R. group in 1921.



Transcaucasia Rubles - dated 1918 - Pick # S601 - S605

Obverse text in Russian Cyrrilic and the Reverse central cartouches in the 3 languages of the original Commissariat.


UZBEKISTAN -  The various coupons of the Republic of Uzbekistan with 'Sum' denominations (equivalent to the Russian Ruble at the time) from the Bank of Uzbekistan inital issue in 1992 (post USSR era) are less than spectacular.

They are all the same size and design - and are differentiated only by the various colours, underprints and the denominations.

These ranged from 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 Sum - with all obverse writing in cyrillic script and all reverses featuring a mosque within a cartouche. The values, in numerals, were positioned at each corner of the reverse as well as the large easy-read number on the obverse.. Dated 1992, they were not issued until 1993.

A second - more elaborate watermarked series, in more traditional  banknote style, was issued in 1994 by the reformed Central Bank of the Uzbekistan Republic - with varying local buildings featured on the reverses. I regret I have no samples of that series - another wish-list project.

The new One Sum note, in Series 2, was equal to 1,000 old Sum and it was  slightly smaller in size than the rest of the notes which consisted of - 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 200 Sum.


1992 (issued 1993) Uzbekistan 25 Sum coupon - Pick # 65


Main References - Krause Publications.

'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - Specialized Issues' by Albert Pick - Edited by Neil Shafer & Colin R Bruce II - Volume 1. 1990.

'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - General Issues' by Albert Pick - Volume 2. Krause Publications 1996.

'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - General Issues' - Edited by Colin R Bruce II & George S. Cuhaj. - Volume 3. (3rd. Edition.) 1997.

'A Guide & Checklist to World Notgeld 1914 - 1947' by Courtney L. Coffing - 2nd. Edition. Krause Publication 1988


Next Issue:- From V to Z




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 'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2007 - December 2009

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'NUMISNET WORLD' January - to date 2010


Issue 1. January 2010:-

Is This our Most Iconic Emblem? - The Kangaroo is certainly amongst the most unique of our fauna - and our recognition of this translates to our coinage.

The Questions People Ask ...! - Sometimes our expertise confuses our readers when questions are asked of us. We need to realize that we need to accept a very basic level of understanding - sometimes reader's questions re-open wondrous doors onto aspects of our hobby that need to be re-explored. 

Handy Hints - 'The Essential Incidentals' - Every hobby has its 'incidentals' - time-saving devices or hints that makes a collector's life a little easier.

A Collector Re-kindled! - There are always those who look back at a childhood passion and decide to give it another go - and that's great!

The Display Case! (Part 5) - The few more illustrations - depicting notes that were not quite 'run-of-the- mill' issues - (from R - U)






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