Volume 9 Issue 7                                                   INTERNET EDITION                                                             July 2004.

We trust that this issue of the Internet Edition will continue to provide interesting reading. The name of this Internet based newsletter is in keeping with the content so, bearing in mind our disclaimers, the Internet links selected are usually complimentary to the featured article in regard to: (1) illustrations and, (2) additional important information. Please also bear in mind that many Internet links are of a temporary nature.



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.




Wrest Point Hotel Casino - Hobart

Saturday October 9th - Sunday 10th October 2004

Many of our members will already know, from the 'Calendar of Events' segment published in the May edition of the 'Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine', that ANDA and APTA are scheduling a coin and stamp show at Wrest Point Casino Hobart for Saturday and Sunday, October 9th - 10th October 2004, and, as usual, the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' has been approached with a request to assist in the successful organisational efforts that have been a feature of past shows.

Our T.N.S. Committee has asked that the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' alert those members, who have not previously known that the ANDA/APTA Show was on the way, so that we can start organising our resources and roster out the ANDA requested tasks to any of those members who are able to volunteer for brief stints of service at the information booth, distribute brochures and share the various other jobs that will facilitate the smooth running procedure at this prestigious event.

"The more the merrier" and "more hands mean light work" are two phrases that spring to mind - and it will give us a chance to renew old friendships at an event that most of us will make the effort to attend anyway.  This is the type of event we, as a Society, should want to get  actively involved in - so let's make the most of it! 

Our members have always been 'treated right' by official ANDA dealers, and those who attended and assisted at the last ANDA-APTA Show in 2001 will remember the great bargains that were available. We will also have the chance to introduce any uncommitted collectors to the Society.

Of special interest is the fact that the Royal Australian Mint will be in attendance again this year - with a special 'H' mintmark product.

For those T.N.S. members who wish to get  involved in the ANDA Show, the Tasmanian Co-Ordinator, can be contacted at either of his usual phone numbers.

T.N.S. President, Roger McNeice O.A.M.

Tasmedals' Office -  (03) 6227 8825

Tasmedals' Showroom (Hobart)  - (03) 6231 5281.


The last ANDA-APTA Show that most of us had the pleasure of attending was on Saturday and Sunday March 17 - 18,  2001, and it was held at the Derwent Entertainment Centre on a wettish weekend that didn't deter the crowds one iota.

Besides having Australia's top ANDA-APTA dealers available to us, the Royal Australian Mint was in attendance and, besides the usual top of the range Mint products in precious metals, they had two or three 'minor' releases for sale including the popular Centenary of Federation 50 Cents and Dollar.

The prize acquisition for that weekend, however, was to obtain one of the Australian Flag-cased .999 silver 2001 Centenary of Federation Holey Dollar and 'State Tribute' Dump coin sets - with a limited release of only 1500 with the Tasmanian Dump centre they were very eagerly sought after at A$99.00 per set..

Since issue, these sets have achieved a 50% mark-up in the secondary market and to buy one today would set you back somewhere about A$145.00



2001 Centenary of Federation Holey Dollar and Dump Set featuring enamelled Tasmanian Blue Gum Floral Emblem.



ANDA Show - Derwent Entertainment Centre - March, 2001

(a) T.N.S. member Frank Hrinkow (back to camera) talks with T.N.S. member-dealer Stephen Cole - Salamanca Rare Coins.

(b) Early Sunday morning visitors - late T.N.S. Life member Tom Williamson (fawn cardigan) is in the background.

(c) The perennial Tony James of John Pettit P/L Rare Banknotes - getting ready for action - and the editor's dollar!



Our current T.N.S. membership has suffered a few blows lately with Time and Fate taking their inevitable toll on some of our older mentors and colleagues - and we are painfully aware, from the gradual decline in attendance at some of our functions, that Internet access and the eBay system of purchasing coins is also having an effect on active participation. We need you, our loyal members, to get back to our informal meetings and to take the obvious advantages of connecting directly with the other hobbiests in our Society. We cannot hold worthwhile meetings with just a handful of participants, no matter how enthusiastic we are.

One advantage, in being part of an organised group, is having a long-running club newsletter like this and its hard-copy version. However, a successful club should not rely on its newsletter to provide all the information. Publications such as these have been costed, analysed and discussed on several occasions through this newsletter and other coin club journals and the final conclusions still remain relevant - no personal activity in the club means that a need for a regular free journal will probably diminish in this or any other form for lack of members' input - and those dedicated members who are still maintaining their Society attendance may well choose to pick up their hobby and also take it home.

Too much involvement by way of the Internet  appears to be creating a legion of numismatic hermits - are you becoming one of them?

Most major dealers are also very observant and concerned with this technological reliance and some have made note of it in their own commercial publications.

A balance between the two sorts of information access has to be considered - I remember Greg McDonald, the well-known author and numismatist, telling me a story about having a telephone conversation with an expectant seller who wanted an immediate quote  - "Hold the coin a bit closer to the phone" said Greg ...... 

Draw your own conclusion on the moral of that story.



Whilst the ANDA-APTA Show will be an ideal place to do some active recruiting for the T.N.S. there are always everyday opportunities around us if we look for them.

During early June, I attended a meeting of the Royal Australian Artillery Association of Tasmania, which took place at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery at Inversek and during a break in proceedings, a few of those in attendance decided to have a coffee - which had to be paid for by the honour system of donation. One gent fumbled around and produced a lone 1950-ish German Bundesbank (Brass Plated Steel) 10 Pfennig coin, a little smaller, thinner and lighter than an Oz dollar, from his change wallet. A few witty comments were made about foreign coins and metal 'washers' being very handy at times like this so, like any good 'magpie' numismatist, I stepped up, had a look, and gave them the few facts I knew about the coin.


1950D Bundesbank (German Federal Republic) 10 Pfennig - Actual size approx. 22mm.

Mintmark located in wreath above denomination:-  A - Berlin, D - Munich, F - Stuttgart, G - Karlsruhe, J - Hamburg


It is amazingly easy to swing a conversation over to a hobby that you are passionate about especially after you hear the comment, "You know a bit about coins, do you?" - and realise that you probably do know a lot more about coins than most and, what's more, you know where to go to get the extra answers if need be.

The meeting resumed - but, afterwards, I had several inquiries from people who evidently had more than a passing interest in Australian pre-decimal coins and I have made myself available to consult with them and do some quick evaluations when time permits.

One of the inquirers mentioned that he has a full set of ordinary 'old Aussie 1/2d and Pennies' - except for the 1930 - so he obviously knew something about coins, but he is not a member of any coin collecting organisation. Another says he has a beat-up 1923 half-penny (see story below) and has asked me to look at it - so he also must be aware that the coin has some value. Of course, these two coins mentioned are very high profile and have attention drawn to them on a regular basis.

The point I want to make is that there still are many people out there in other community groups who 'dabble' in coin collecting and who may be interested in learning more. They may even take the next step forward by joining another organisation - like the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' - that can give them real knowledge about a hobby they probably don't even realise they have already started. My own involvement with the T.N.S. started in exactly the same way.

Many of our own members are also members of other groups or associations, so, if an opportunity arises to promote our numismatic hobby why not give it a go.

Some associations like the chance to divert from usual business on occasion, to provide a 'show and tell' segment that allows members to become familiar with each others personal interests from a different perspective - so, why not have a little 'coin and note show' to entertain and educate your other mates.

I have already started to try and organise such a brief (?) event with the R.A.A.A.T Secretary for the next Artillery meeting I will be attending.

As a foundation member of this newly amalgamated military group, and already knowing many of their older members' histories, I will probably take along a few notes and coins associated with general militaria or occupation currency of their time and some items that are reminiscent of the military experiences of the few remaining veterans who served overseas. I will also take along T.N.S. contact details as listed on this newsletter header.

With numismatics offering such a broad variety of collecting themes there are items that can be associated with nearly every other hobby and facet of life - so give it some thought if you are also in a similar situation as I am.



"A hobby is an activity pursued in one’s spare time for pleasure or relaxation."  - Collins Australian Pocket Dictionary.







Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

G. P. O. Box 884J

Hobart. 7001.



Brought to my attention by an extremely close T.N.S. Associate Member (a long suffering collector's wife), who regularly reads the magazine 'Take 5', was a prize-winning published letter that caught her (now) numismatically adapted eye. It went something like this.......

QUOTE - "I asked my son-in-law what he wanted for his birthday and he promptly said a Coin album. So I went to the record store and asked for an album by Coin. The shop had never heard of anyone by that name so I phoned my daughter and told her there was no record of Coin. She burst into hysterical laughter.

How was I to know he meant an album to put his coin collection in, not a CD" - UNQUOTE.

My wife also bursts into hysterical laughter - usually when I tell her what my 'latest' acquisition has cost.

Cartoon courtesy of token collector and T.N.S. member Jerry Adams - whose wife also bursts into hysterical laughter at times.


After reading in the 'Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine' about the terrific results of recent auctions held by several major dealers,  I was moved to reprise a couple more of Jerry Adams cartoons for our newsletter. They just might strike a prophetic note - even if they are about tokens.

T.N.S. member # 363, Jerry Adams, is a senior draftsman with Arlington - based VLK Architects of Texas, and is well-known in the Society as the 'Token Guy'.

If you are interested in U.S.  tokens, and some of their fascinating history, take a look at Jerry's home page: http://members.fortunecity.com/tokenguy/tokentales/

Amongst Jerry's many talents is that of being able to knock up a good numismatic cartoon as well as some very impressive buildings.





KELLER HIGH SCHOOL - TEXAS - Construction stages early 2002 and nearly complete mid 2003


VLK Architects - Senior Draftsman, Jerry Adams T.N.S. Member # 363.


Hello, My name is Wilfried Mingot, I'm a banknotes collector from France and I search other collectors for exchange banknotes. I'm interested by notes from Oceania but I can study all propositions.I send you my swaplist. Hoping that a member will find some interest. Best regards from France, Wilfried. Email: wilfried mingot



This edition features a broad assortment of what may appear to be items of  'trivia', but they did create their fair share of interest - and a few memories - as each subject was researched. We trust these articles will prove educational and entertaining to you - and remember to 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!



Compiled by Graeme Petterwood (Editor)

As any hobbyist is well aware, half the fun in that hobby is the process of 'search and discover' that goes with every item in all our collections - and the best and most economical time-saving way to find out anything is to ask someone who has already done most of the hard work so, I hope, that I am returning some of the favours of knowledge that were extended to me over the years by my own peers.


I recently received an email asking about the current value of the 'New Parliament Building' commemorative Australian $5.00 coin issued in 1988, and another correspondent has asked for somewhere to obtain prices for Australasian coins and currency. These sorts of questions are the 'nuts & bolts' of numismatics..

(Please note that coin and banknote scans are not to scale.)


"We have a large commemorative $5.00 coin issued when Queen Elizabeth opened the Parliament building in Canberra in 1988. Can you give us an idea what it's value might be these days. Thank you in advance."

Hi D... and M.....,

I'm afraid I don't have great news for you if you were considering picking up a quick fortune.

The 'Hobby of Kings' - particularly numismatics for investment, is very much like any other gamble. - e.g. Horse-racing - the 'Sport of Kings'.

To be reasonably successful at the race track, you need to consider the number in the field, the odds, the length of the race, local stable gossip, the weather conditions, barrier position and the current form of the horse, the ability of the jockey and the colours he is wearing - then ignore the lot and use a pin.

In numismatics, you consider the number minted or printed, the current market value, how many are still available, you also need to consider advice from other experts, the condition of the item - and, if are you prepared to hold the item for its full investment potential to be realised - then, if you like the look of it, you buy it.

Also - bear in mind that the favourites are not always winners in every race - and numismatic price movements are not always rapid nor upwards with every purchase.

The Aluminium-Bronze 1988 New Parliament Building $5.00 coin was not a 'made for circulation' coin in the true sense of the word even though it is listed in catalogues as such. There were two main styles issued - the 'for circulation' coin of over 3,000,000 units - and the specially polished Al-br. non-circulating legal tender 'proof' of 80,000 units plus a few other specially packaged with banknotes and included in collector sets. Some silver proof versions (25,000) were included with other silver coins in expensive 50 cents up to $5.00  'Masterpieces in Silver' 4 coin sets which were issued at $95.00 in 1988 and now retail at about $100.00 for the boxed set.

The majority of the  Al-br. 'for circulation' coins were purchased directly from the Mint and packaged by the Commonwealth Bank in a special labelled cellophane bag and sold singly at face value as specially selected 'uncirculated' coins.. (I have several of these myself). (See more detailed article below)



Five Dollar New Parliament House Commemorative 1988

(Actual size 38.74mm diameter. Metal composition 92% Copper - 6% Aluminium - 2% Nickel)


Of course, all of these are classified as legal tender $5.00 coins and are redeemable for $5.00 at any bank - no matter what they are made of.

To give you an idea of possible value is difficult as it depends on market demand, but, if you went to buy these coins, the loose $5.00 'circulation' coin - which was issued at face value through dealers - would cost you about $7.00 - $8.00, while the NCLT $5.00 'proof' which was issued at $28.00 each now retails about $30.00.

However, some NCLT Al-br. 'proof' market price values are now being recorded at under cost at $22.00 - so they may be a 'bargain' of sorts.

Unfortunately, at present, dealers are not particularly interested in buying these coins only selling what stock they still have on hand and this is reflected in their prices.

As you can see there is not a real profit margin in these particular coins for a dealer and most are now considered to be 'collectors' items only as they really have no considered investment value.


"Please advise as to where I can collect price guides for coin & note collection. Mainly Australian and New Zealand currency. Some bicentennial coin collections and British Commonwealth Games. Please advise, thank you."

Hi D.....,

Quality catalogues are always relatively expensive if you are trying to get 'in-depth' knowledge.

There is no easy or cheap way - you get what you are prepared to pay for.

The extensive 'Standard Catalog of World Coins' published by Krause Publications is acknowledged as a leader in the field of world coin identification, however, of neccessity, it comes in several very large volumes to cover the span of ages and the types of coins and, as it is produced annually, it is rather too expensive to update each year for most hobbyists. Krause Publications also produce another standard set of volumes for world banknotes, 'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money', that also includes polymer issues and notes printed on other mediums than paper.  Both coin and banknote catalogues contain thousands of prices, black/white photos, and essential details such as script identifiers and even superceded items that were issued by authorities that no longer exist.

Each of these 8 - 9 cms. thick volumes will set you back about A$90.00 each - but they cover a huge range of knowledge and offer a multitude of other facts than those I have mentioned - and they are so detailed that they can be used, for years, purely as reference books.

They have large sections devoted to both Australian and New Zealand numismatics.

However, there are several 'pocket-book' sized catalogues (quite comprehensive) on the Australian market - both about A$20.00 each from good bookstores.

The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes 11th Edition. by Greg McDonald.

Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values 21th Edition, edited by Ian Pitt.

These catalogues will also give an indication of current market values placed on the commemorative coins and coin sets as mentioned in your request.

I have also seen a CD-ROM catalogue "COINWEB - A Catalogue of Australasian Currency - compiled by Alan Austin" which is available from M.R. ROBERTS' Wynyard Coin Centre' in Sydney which is very informative and covers some N.Z. issues as well - and retails at about the same price.

This Sydney-based recommended dealer also will provide a monthly NUMI$NEWS newsletter to customers, in regard to new releases as well as his available stock.

M.R. Roberts' Wynyard Coin Centre - 7 Hunter Arcade, Sydney, N.S.W. 2000 Phone (02) 9299 2047 - Fax (02) 9290 3710

These examples of catalogues cover - or touch on - most of the pre Federation English and foreign coins used in Australia plus predecimal and decimal coins and banknotes - including many Non Circulating Legal Tender issues such as the Bicentennial coins and, as a bonus, the Renniks features a section on the old Tradesmen's tokens issued in the mid 1800's. Both also give illustrations of Grading and a thumbnail history of Australian coinage and currency.

Another alternative is to buy, or subscribe, to the monthly Australian numismatic magazine 'Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine' , which presents updated dealer prices on a regular basis and contains many excellent articles about Australasian coins and banknotes. This particular magazines retails in bookshops and some newsagents at about $6.60  Many major dealers featured in the magazine will provide free pricelists on request but they do hope for some return on their 'investment' so don't  take advantage unless you are serious.

New Zealand coin and banknote catalogues are also available on the Australian market and several well-known dealers also offers comprenshive stocks of these and others. A search of the Internet or dealer's lists will provide a few names without much trouble - but shop around for those that suit your pocket. 

e.g. Australian located and recommended -

Trevor Wilkin Banknotes -  P.O. Box 182, Cammeray, N.S.W. 2062 Ph (02) 9438 5040 (Refer: http://www.polymernotes.com/cat-books.html)

Mark Freehill - M.E.F.Books PO Box 523, Narrabeen, NSW 2101 Ph:(02)9913 3036 or Fax:(02)9913 3804   

Obviously, there are other dealer sites on the Internet that will show you what is would cost you to BUY coins, banknotes and other numismatic items from them.

Many price lists are quoted in US dollars or Euros so keep the exchange rate in mind. To arrive at a 'market value' of your coins it is wise to deduct 50% from their retail price as the market is always volatile and dealers are carrying the high risk of holding 'stock'.

These lists will give you an indication, at least, of whether you have something worth getting commercially appraised.



(a) 1982 XII Commonwealth Games - (b) 1988 Australian Bicentenary 50 Cent coins

Approx. Mintages (a) 23,287,000 - (b) 8,100,000


In the main, most Australian 50 Cent Cupro-Nickel 'made for circulation' commemorative coins have not achieved any considerable retail value - beyond their face value - except in Uncirculated condition and, even then, we are talking in the lower scale from about A$2.00 - A$12.00 absolute tops.

Sterling silver 50 Cent coins, dated 1988 in Proof condition, were included in the 4 piece 'Masterpieces in Silver' collection (with the $5.00 New Parliament House coin) and, as well, both the above pictured coins were available in  the usual Mint and Proof sets in standard metals.

It is interesting to note that, on the current secondary market, the Mint sets have doubled and trebled in retail price while the Proof sets have decreased in value or are just breaking even. As mentioned - it pays to do your 'homework' - so, buy a reasonable reference book.


The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes 10th Edition. by Greg McDonald.

Renniks Australian Coin and banknote Values 20th Edition, edited by Ian Pitt.

"COINWEB - A Catalogue of Australasian Currency - compiled by Alan Austin"



The large Five Dollar (Maklouf obverse - Devlin reverse) coin shown in the article above was issued to commemorate the opening of the new Australian Parliament House at Canberra on 9th May, 1988 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Approximately 3,222,000 singly packaged coins were released for sale at face value through the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and its branches but, while in theory this quantity and its availability to the general public may have put them into the classification of a Circulation coin, they were not used or acceptable in normal business transactions - and therefore might also be rightly considered as Non Circulating Legal Tender (N.C.L.T.) by the average collector. 

Like all N.C.L.T. coins, these are legally redeemable at face value by whomever cares to accept them as coinage for a debt - or at major branches of the Commonwealth and Reserve Banks of Australia - within specified acceptance limits as laid down by the Currency Act of 1965 (revised 1985).

On the positive side - if you are a collector or even a hoarder  - these $5.00 commemorative coins are an essential part of Australia's decimal coinage as they were the first of their kind and they recorded an important part of our national history. As our country grows and expands, the Parliament coin will get harder to obtain and it well may be a worthwhile acquisition in 70 - 80 years time - like the beautiful 1927 pre-decimal Florin (equivalent to 20 Cents) issue that commemorated the opening of the classic-lined old 'temporary' Parliament House that closed in 1988. In uncirculated condition it is now worth every cent of A$120.00


1927 Sterling Silver (.925 Fine) commemorative Florin issued to celebrate the opening of the 'temporary' Parliament House in Canberra.

(Actual size 28.5mm - Mintage 2,000,000)


Betwwen 1954 and 1966, another commemoration of the 'temporary' Parliament House was made when a Ten Shilling paper banknote was introduced that was signed by H.C. 'Nugget' Coombs as Governor of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Roland Wilson as Secretary of the Treasury. It would also bear these signatures when the issuing authority changed technically from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1961.

The last prefix issued prior to the 1966 decimal currency changeover was  AH/65 ......



The 'temporary' Parliament House - Canberra, as depicted on the 1961 - 1966 Reserve Bank issue of the Ten Shilling paper banknote



From time to time we all have received change that on a first cursory look does not appear to be quite right. Refer: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/march04.htm
Over the years, I have been fortunate to have discovered - or have brought to my notice - several previously unknown errors and varieties in decimal coinage.
I had been aware of the existence of varieties and mint errors since I bought my first Renniks catalogue - (the 1965 Third Edition - which I still have) - and started to put a few pre-decimal variety coins aside. In those pre-decimal days days the most obvious and desireable errors for an amateur like me were the highly visible ones.
Both the silver and bronze pre-decimal coins were notorious for die cracks, bars and dots caused by filled and broken dies etc. as well as other legitimate variations like wide and narrow dates, various recut sections, as well as assorted privy and mintmarks. Every worthwhile collection had at least a couple of 'varieties' or errors.


Australian Bronze Half-penny 1923  (Enlarged scan)

Fine obverse die-cracks from : (R) EX.F.D.IND: I (MP) :

Revised estimated mintage 15,000


This die-cracked 1923 coin (shown above) came from a very ill friend who passed away during the mid 1990's. The purchase, which I deliberately graded up to full VF and gave him the full market value of the day, proved to be a final gesture of our friendship - now, many years later - I find that the gesture has been well and truly repaid because of the increased market value. It has 6 excellent pearls and the smoothed, but discernable, remnants of a reasonably shaped 4 sided centre diamond, and except for a small shallow gouge on the reverse near the outside edge of the O of ONE and a few tiny edge knicks, it would conservatively grade overall at aVF or slightly better, in my own humble opinion.

Like anyone else, who collected a few pre-decimal varieties and errors, I still possess the common coins with filled and broken dies but there are a couple that also deserve a special mention. I have a wafer-thin rimless thing (less than 1mm thick) that looks like a slightly smaller diameter 1919 Half-penny (a) with even striations covering both front and back which is a mystery. The reverse is relatively easy to see (about VG) and the obverse is 'blurred' (about POOR +) but it is recognisable.

Another coin (not shown), of the same date, has great obverse die-cracks through the E of Commonwealth to the T of Australia - 1919 must have been a good year.

Still on half-pennies, I also have a EF obverse 1934 with at least 80% original bloom that has a 5mm diagonal lamination flaw (shown below) in the reverse legend from the L of Commonwealth to the T of Australia and the fine slice thin crack of another possible flaw, in parallel - approx.13mm further down the coin, from the P of Penny running diagonally through the end of the bottom bar and down towards the top of the bead after the date.

The 1946 shilling reverse (shown below) has a substantial die-crack right through the date and there is also another crack or spur on the first L of Shilling and more die-cracks from the 9 to the rim and also from the last A in Australia to the rim - plus a few small cracks to the rim from various letters. The obverse has one fine crack weaving its way, letter by letter,from the beginning to the end of GEORGIVS VI



(a) 1919 Half-penny. Wafer-thin slightly saucered rimless bronze disc (under 0.5mm) with reasonably well-defined reverse.

(b) 1934 Half-penny. Lamination flaw -  5mm wide single layer strip is completely removed across letters ..TH OF AUS..

(c) 1946 Shilling. Numerous die-cracks through date and crack or spur on the first L of Shilling. Obverse cracks evident in GEORGIVS VI

When the money changeover took place in 1966, the interest in varieties fell by the wayside until Mos Byrnes re-ignited it for the average collector a few years ago and we started to look at our old Imperial collections and accumulations a bit closely once again - and, of course, the 'new' decimal coinage came under scrutiny.
My interest in this area of decimal varieties and mint errors was sparked originally by  just a few coins that made me aware that all our modern technology was still capable of churning out a few pieces of 'funny money'. In the last few years I have been fortunate in corresponding with others, who are far more attuned to this collecting theme than this old magpie collector will ever be, and I have even had the chance to add my two bob's worth to the pot of knowledge.
The scans shown below, of a few of the first major error decimal coins I found, are not as clear as I would have liked but all are as described.(Not to scale)



(a) One Cent 1975 Bronze - Obverse and Reverse Lamination flaws - opposite the Queen's shoulders on obverse. Slightly bruised rim. 

(b) Two Cents 1975 Bronze - Incorrect metal composition (Too much Zinc?) - very pronounced 'brassy gold' appearance.

(c) 20 Cents 1977 CuNi - Completely consistent (slightly bevelled) collared edge - no reeding. Correct diameter, not filed, worn or tampered with.




It never ceases to amaze me what we can pick up at the local supermarket mall.

Like many collectors, over the years, I have developed a small 'network' of shop assistants/owners ranging from checkout operators to kindly newsagents who work on my 'behalf' in an effort to pick up those few strange bits and pieces that are passed as Australian coinage and end up as an non-redeemable embarrasment in their tills. I have come to an agreement with the store owners that I pay what the coin was passed as - and that mutually suits us - they balance their till and I get another oddment that might - or might not - be a useful addition to my shrapnel collection. The odd notes that sometimes turn up are also bought at face value or at an agreed price. Occasionally, the deal  works out in my interest and, sometimes, it is a really fascinating item that turns up.

The material that comes into my 'network' is nothing short of amazing at times and these few examples, shown below, are evidence that it pays to let the right people know that you are interested in numismatic oddments.

The 1995 Five Dollar note (shown below) was originally thought to have been washed - but when I received it and had a closer look I considered that, besides being polymer and in an uncrumpled condition (although it did have some minor creasing), it did not fit in with the washed theory as only the obverse was affected. Under strong magnification the 'pink' does not appear to have been  brushed or dabbed on. A faulty ink mystery, perhaps? As printed - or as fiddled?





Top row: 1995 Five Dollar note, Serial # BK 95 810769 - with Obverse strong Pink 'ink flaws'(?) Reverse is undamaged. (Supermarket acquisition).

Second row: 1995 Five Dollar note in similar grade - without ink flaws.


My first encounter with a 50 Euro note was courtesy of my friendly newsagent - a great contact - who had agreed to accept it from a 'just -off-the-plane' friend of his, in payment for goods/papers, only a few days after the initial release of Euro currency in Italy.

A quick phone call and I had it in my hot little hands very smartly - probably before the gent even got home to unpack his suitcases and change his Euros for Oz  dollars. This one was really hot off the press considering the short time it took for the original owner to get here.

I consider it to be one of the first personally-delivered notes to arrive in the country after the release of the Euro currency.



2002 50 Euro note, Serial # S 03348465829 - exchanged at a local Tasmanian newsagency a few days after its initial release in Italy.


On another occasion, a great condition Polymer $10.00 note was passed over the local supermarket counter to one of 'my' checkout chicks.

She had previously picked up a couple of the Bicentenary notes for me at her checkout.and thought I might be interested as it was another one of the 'old' ones, as far as she was concerned, and it was dated 26 January 1988.  I certainly was, because the prefix started with AA 00 - but even better still it went on  -  033 380.

On consulting my banknote catalogues, I found a notation that made me believe that bicentenary notes with prefixes AA00 0... were somewhat  more valuable that the normal run of commemorative notes. A further check made me consider the possibility that it may have come from the grey two note Staff presentation folder - however, after consultation with several other noted banknote enthusiasts it appears that remainders of the presentation notes with this low prefix and number sequence were probably released into circulation as not required.  I have yet to find out the sequence of AA00 0... notes that  were actually presented even though the amount catalogued is shown as 499 x 2 note sets. Any information gratefully accepted......



1988 Polymer Bicentenary $10.00 note, Serial # AA 00 033 380 - recovered from a local Tasmanian supermarket.



Of course, there are times when money virtually drops into your hands, like this 1938 One Pound note in virtually UNC. condition (shown below) that fluttered from an birthday card that had been given to me as an early gift from my dear old grandmother who has long since joined the other ancestors. It has a bitter-sweet little story to tell. Back then, probably in 1939 or 1940 with the war already taking a toll on Australian servicemen, it probably would have been obtained specially from a bank and treated as a valuable gift - a financial start in life - if anything happened to my father. Thankfully, he returned home in 1945 - but the card, and the 'quid' inside, had been placed away for safe-keeping during the war years by my terminally ill mother and it had been misplaced prior to her early demise in 1949.

It lay hidden and forgotten for well over another decade after that and it was only re-discovered when I was packing my few belongings, and some family mementos, to leave home and start married life in late 1962. It's sentimental value now far outweighs it's monetary worth to me but, one day, it will surely come onto the market as its meaning becomes lost in time. We are only custodians, after all.



1938 Sheehan/McFarlane One Pound note, Serial # O/72 670311 - found inside a very old and forgotten birthday card.


Refer: "The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes (10th Edition)" by Greg McDonald.



Hands up those who have heard of the 'Imperial Collection'?

Those who have, will have encountered an array of coinage, in particular from self-proclaimed states, empires and principalities that might be considered as 'fantasy' or as 'token issues' - but, no matter what definition is applied, it is an interesting facet of numismatics - and, in some instances, the coinages may even have claims to legitimacy by international law. Many are available in intrinsic value metals as well as base metals - refer sites.(Illustrations not to scale)

Many are listed in 'UNUSUAL WORLD COINS' by Colin R. Bruce II - published by Krause Publications.

Some years ago, we became very familiar with the famous Ducal coin issues and featured the story of Prince John, the Duke of Avram, who still resides in Tasmania.

 Original Ducal series of coins (250 Sets) produced in 1982 - obtained from the Duke on their return from the courts.


Prince John was generous enough  to freely donate a sample set of the Millennium Year 2000 range of his ducal coins (shown below) to the author when interest was expressed in the Duchy's currency. Refer:- http://www.heraldic.org/rba/


Complete set of 2000 Royal Bank of Avram Ducals (Estimated 250 sets)


We then learnt about the huge variey of coins issued in all sorts of base and intrinsic value metals by Prince Leonard of Hutt River Province in central Western Australia. These are very impressive indeed and provide various interesting collecting themes. (Refer: http://www.imperial-collection.net/hutt_river_main.html)


1976 $30.00 Prince Leonard Obverse - Coat of Arms Reverse
1985 $25.00 Kangaroo Obverse -  Automobile Centenary Reverse


During the last few years, we even made contact with Emperor George II of the Empire of Atlantium whose headquarters is in Sydney, New South Wales and have been receiving regular updates from his website. The Empire's 10 Solidi features a likeness of the Emperor - previously known as George Cruickshank.

(Refer: http://www.atlantium.org/)


Gold-plated Copper commemorative 10 Solidi featuring Emperor George II of Atlantium

Issued to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Imperium on 3 Decimus 10500 (27 November 1981)


It was through the 'Imperial Collection' website of Emperor George II that we have access to some facts and figures etc. of these numismatic rarities. Other recent numismatic details from the Principalities of Serborga (Refer: http://www.imperial-collection.net/seborga03.html) and Sealand (Refer: http://www.imperial-collection.net/sealand03.html) have now also been made available on the 'Imperial Collection ' website as well as thumbnail sketches of the historical, political and geographical items and the fascinating biographies of the various Principality founders.


1994 One Luigini (Aluminium) featuring Giorgio I
1994 Silver Dollar Coat-of-Arms Obverse - Killer Whale 'Orca' Reverse


Well-known numismatist and dealer, Joel Anderson of the U.S., has a comprehensive site that has a small section 'devoted' to marketing some of these coins of 'Micro-nations' as he defines them. (Refer: http://www.joelscoins.com/nationsnon.htm).

If you are the sort of collector who wants something different and challenging in a new collecting theme - try coins of the Imperial Collection, by contacting:

Joel Anderson
PO Box 365
Grover Beach, CA 93483-0365 USA
phone/fax 1 805 489 8045
email: orders@joelscoins.com
Next month:
WHAT THEY DO TO COINS! - Some coins get the most fearsome of treatments. 
WHAT IS IT WORTH? - How pricing does not just start at the dealer's counter.




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