Volume 13 Issue 7           Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)                   July 2008


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

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

Any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor.

Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, the Internet links selected by the authors of this newsletter are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to: (1) Illustrations and, (2) to provide additional important information. 

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

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.





Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2008.


Please accept my invitation to make a contribution if you feel you have something numismatically themed that may appeal to a general level of interest and fulfills our stated editorial guidelines. I am always prepared to look at it - and if need be - assist in presentation.

However, not every submission will be automatically accepted for publication if common courtesy and acceptable moral standards are not upheld or the subject matter is not considered 'generic' enough for this type of newsletter, nor if the subject has already been covered in depth in earlier editions.

This is, obviously,  not a scientific-style journal - our object is to educate, certainly - but in an entertaining way for the average hobbiest collector. - G.E.P.



Imagine, if you went into the grocery store today and wanted to buy a few bits and pieces and - when you opened your wallet - you found currency from 3 - 4 different countries, but very little of our own.

The grocer says, "OK! I want to make the sale and you need the goods, so I'll accept it - but we have to work out how much you have so both of us don't get short-changed."  Where would you start?


This is really too broad of a subject to cover completely in one article - but, as the majority of Australians are descendants of European family heritages, particularly from the United Kingdom and Ireland, perhaps we can make a start with those monetary items that were to be found amongst our first money-using settlers from these areas. This will be part history lesson - part numismatic journey of discovery - and we will put in a few pictures.

Much has already been written about the shortage of coinage - in particular - in our early colonial days and how ingenuity overcame the problems by 'making-do' with whatever resources were available. 

Highly Recommended Reference: http://www.australianstamp.com/Coin-web/aust/earlyaus.htm#ProclamationAnchor

Of necessity, I also may well be drawing on some information - and illustrations - that have been previously published in our previous newsletter, the "Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition', which still linked through our archives for reference if further information is required. 

I do not intend to dwell too long on the very early days - just a reminder of the sort of metallic - or otherwise - money the average settler might have encountered leading up to Federation.  The edited story is at : http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb04.htm

It is also a fact, that many of our Australian banknote collecting readers also have a tendency to have a 'soft-spot' for the notes that might have been part of their ancestors lives, so, with luck, we might touch on a few of these as well - even if they didn't turn up in great numbers on our shores.

For our international readers, perhaps this is also a reminder of your own rich numismatic heritages, that also originally came from similar sources, that you may also care to investigate if you care to.



In those days - when the 'sun didn't set on the British Empire' -  it would seem that there should have been a preponderance of English coinage around the globe - but, strangely, there wasn't.  Everywhere that the English flag had been planted, outside of the Motherland, the settlers were always crying out for coin of the realm for everyday use during the 1800's.

It appears that the English Government was so sure of its power that it considered actual 'money' was a secondary thing needed for its colonial outposts..

Most of the transactions between the military establishments and the British Home office was done by requisition notes for goods and services.

In Australia, the initial settlement was made up, mainly, of soldiers and convicts and they were supplied with the necessities from the Government Stores - the government could see no real need for cash for the colonies - especially penal colonies like Australia and parts of the Americas.

However, there were more than a few free people - who were the first settlers - and they were used to having money to use in transactions.

Of course, 'beggars can't be choosers' - and that refers to having small value coinage available as well.

Copper or Bronze Pennies were the day-to-day coinage of the majority of common people - but, if they could not get official coins, they had to 'make do'.

Although not everyone dealt in large silver coins there was  still a strong demand for intrinsic value coinage or bullion for larger units of trade.

With ships from all nations now plying the Seven Seas for trade and profit, it wasn't long before coinage from a multitude of places began circulating within the Australian colonies. Much came from other English colonies along the trade routes - but it was disappearing nearly as fast as it arrived.

The colonies needed a regular supply of coinage and the English Government was very reluctant to supply it in quantity.

Recommended Reference: http://www.australianstamp.com/Coin-web/aust/earlyaus.htm

Realistically, coinage was needed - and it was highly sought after. By 1800, the situation had reached the stage where ANY coinage was accepted - the situation needed to be rectified by the local authorities and on 19th November, 1800, Governor Philip Gidley King issued the famous proclamation setting exchange rates for the various coinages.


Unfortunately, I do not have a heap of these polygot coinages on hand to use as illustrations (see list below) - so some other sources have been used.

Excellent Recommended Reference: http://www.triton.vg/proclamation.html


A shipment of 4 tons of machine manufactured 1 oz. Copper Penny coinage (approx. 132,000 coins), produced by Matthew Boulton at the Soho Mint and dated 1797, had arrived in Sydney aboard the HMAV 'Porpoise' and it was an ideal time for Governor King to address the whole issue with some determination.  It was done by artificially inflating the value of all the coinages slightly beyond their accepted exchange rates or intrinsic values.



 1 oz. Copper Penny (dated 1797) designed and produced by Matthew Boulton - Soho Mint, England.

What they look like now!

 1797 Penny -  36mm dia. - approx 3.5mm thick. Normal condition - very well worn. (Not to scale)

1799 Farthing - 24mm dia. - approx 3mm thick. Normal condition - very well worn. (Not to scale)

1799 Halfpenny - 30mm dia. - approx 3mm thick. Normal condition - very well worn. (Not to scale)



19th November 1800

The Currency.

WHEREAS Representations of the Want of small money, experienced here, has Induced His Majesty to take into His Gracious Consideration the Immediate relief from this great Inconvenience to all Classes of His Subjects in this Colony, a Quantity of Copper Coin has been received in His Majesty's Armed Vessel 'Porpoise', and will be circulated, by being paid for Grain and Animal Food supplied His Majesty's Stores.

A twopence coin.

These are therefore to give notice, that a Copper Coin, weighing One English ounce, and stamped with the profile of His Majesty on the one side, and of Britannia on the other, will be Issued as Above, at the rate of Two pence for each Copper; and that the same shall be paid and pass Current in the Colony, and is to Circulate at the Aforesaid Rate of Two pence.

The legal tender.

And that no one may plead Ignorance of the Rate or Legality of this or any other of the Coins circulating in this Colony, of which it does not appear that any regular Proclamation has ever collectively been issued, I have judged it most expedient herewith to publish the following Table of all the specie legally circulating in this Colony, with the Rates Affixed to each, at which they shall be considered, and be a legal tender in all payments or transactions in this Colony.

Table of specie.

  £ s. d.
A Guinea … … … 1 2 0
A Johanna … … … 4 0 0
A Half-Johanna 2 0 0
A Ducat … … … 0 9 6
A Gold Mohur … … 1 17 6
A Pagoda … … … 0 8 0
A Spanish dollar 0 5 0
A Rupee … … … 0 2 6
A Dutch guilder 0 2 0
An English Shilling 0 1 1
A Copper coin of One Ounce. 0 0 2


When a sufficient quantity of Copper Coin is received in the Colony, of which notice will be given, no private Notes or Cards will be allowed to Circulate.

Copper coin for small amounts only.

This Supply of Copper having been sent to relieve the Inconvenience of persons requiring to make small payments, no persons are to Collect the same for the purpose of making large payments, nor shall it be deemed a legal tender to offer the same in payment for any sum exceeding five pounds.

Coin to be kept in colony.

And it is hereby declared that the Exportation or Importation, except from His Majesty's Treasury, of any sum in Copper exceeding five pounds shall be punished by a Fine of treble the value, and forfeiture of the sum exported or imported.


Given under my hand, at Government House, Sydney, November 19th, 1800.


(It should be noted, however, that whilst some collectors stick rigidly to the above list, there are others who take a more lenient view that smaller denomination coins, that are normally associated with the named items as fractions, and which may have been in circulation in the colony at the time, should also be accorded the umbrella cover as being Proclamation coins - particularly if they are discovered in hoards of coins of this nature.) -

See 'Coin-web' paragraph below and the 'Triton' reference above.

"Collecting and Investing in Australian Coins and Banknotes (2nd. Edition)" by Greg McDonald - is another excellent reference.


However, there always comes a time when the 'neccessities' are not enough for some people and they want a few luxuries or extra allocations - but if you are not eligible for them at the store - what better way to get them than to offer a 'deal' to someone who has them.

It wasn't long before more ships taking advantage of the favorable winds started to call at the settlement at Port Jackson and a thriving trade developed between sailors, soldiers and the few free settlers, however, with just a small amount of coinage available, and restrictions on export of coinage in place, a system of barter developed - first it was for fresh produce and other items for replenishing ship's stores, then alchohol - mainly rum - became the de facto currency.  This created huge problems for the colony and graft was soon entrenched.

The name used to describe the corrupted, alcoholic troops was derogoratory - they were nicknamed the 'Rum Corps' - and the name has stuck throughout Australian history. It became so bad that a new Governor, and his regiment , was eventually despatched from India  to Australia to take control and send corrupt troops and officers back to England.

However, rum was not a very safe 'currency' for seafarers to take in exchange for cargo, so, the request for money for goods was growing more insistent and it was not long before what few coins that were available where disappearing across the waves with the departing vessels.

As the value of the coins had been inflated by the Government - the traders doubled their prices as well -  it meant that a further pressure was placed on the colony resources.


Note - Extract from http://www.australianstamp.com/Coin-web/aust/earlyaus/proclmtn.htm

" On 20 November, 1800, the day after the proclamation was posted on the outer wall of the Government Stores at Sydney and Parramatta, the Royal Admiral arrived at Sydney Cove. On board were boxes of English copper halfpennies and farthings dated 1799.

There is circumstantial, but no confirmed evidence of any official recognition of the value of these newly arrived coins. What is clearly documented however, is that the coins reached the marketplace and traded at twice their nominal value. Most historians and numismatists agree that Governor King hastily added two additional entries to the list of specie in his proclamation -

"A Copper Coin of Half an Ounce £0 0s 1d, and A Copper Coin of Quarter of an Ounce £0 0s ½d".

By inference, King's proclamation had the effect of placing values on the various sub- and multiple-denominations of each series. For example, the English Guinea was proclaimed at 22/-, therefore the Half Guinea was 11s, the Third Guinea was 7s 4d and the Quarter Guinea was 5s 6d.

The copper penny  (1 oz), proclaimed at 2d, meant that the halfpenny (½ oz) was 1d and the farthing (¼ oz) was ½d.

An example of a multiple was Matthew Boulton's 2oz copper coin with a value of fourpence.

This inference is disputed by some present day historians and numismatists who maintain that only those coins specifically mentioned in the proclamation deserve to be labelled as 'Proclamation Coins'.

Naturally, dealers and owners of the fractions and multiples, looking for a profit, take a different point of view.


An example of the traps for present day collectors of the so called 'Proclamation Coins' can be seen in the status accorded to Matthew Boulton's copper penny, halfpenny and farthing coins dated 1806 and 1807. There is no record of another major delivery of English copper coins after the arrival of the 'Royal Admiral ' until 1826 when the 'Brothers' delivered £2,010 worth. The following year, the 'Marquis of Hastings' delivered a further £1,000 worth.

It was the practice of the English authorities at that time to consign coins to the colonies which had already been widely used and circulated in England.

A fair percentage of the coins delivered on the two ships would have been dated 1806 and 1807.

This explains why these coins are often found in building excavations and among our forebears carefully hidden hoardings.

Reaching the expanding Sydney Town long after Governor Macquarie's General Order of 1816, the coins are almost certainly not true 'Proclamation Coins' and collectors should be wary of anyone who offers them as such. While all English currency was legal tender in the colony of New South Wales, not all of it was available in the colony during the fifteen years that Governor King's proclamation was in force."


The new Governor, Lachlan Macquarie,  who had arrived in 1810,  was a pragmatic man - with a knack for solving problems -  and, it is said that  he  came up with a scheme of making a shipment of 40,000 Spanish  8 Reales .903 silver coins go a bit further, by punching out the centres, adding the words and date 'New South Wales 1813' onto  the inner ring on one side of the coin and 'Five Shillings' on the other side. The centre piece was called a coin by putting an official crown on one side and putting the  value of '15 Pence' on the reverse - thus making two from one. 

Whether Macquarie's idea came from elsewhere is open to some speculation. Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holey_dollar

Of course these weren't acceptable outside the colony, except as bullion, so they remained to be used as one of Australia's first official coinages - of sorts!

The coins had arrived at Port Jackson on 26th. November,1812, on board the sloop the "Samarang" out of Madras, and Macquarie them centre-punched by an ex-convict and ex-coin forger, William Henshall, to form the two coins which were eventually released in September 1813.

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


Note - Extract from http://www.australianstamp.com/Coin-web/aust/earlyaus/proclmtn.htm

"By late 1816, with Holey Dollars and Dumps having been in circulation for a couple of years, the time was right for Governor Macquarie to institute 'a sterling rating for all moneys'.  Macquarie directed his Secretary to issue the following proclamation:

Government and General Orders

Government House, Parramatta, Saturday 7th Dec., 1816.
Civil Department.


In consideration of the present state and value of the Copper Money now in Circulation, the particular circumstances and periods in and under which the same was heretofore issued, in the necessity of rendering effectual, general and complete, the present establishment and Circulation of Sterling Money, and value only, within this Territory and its' dependencies, His Excellency the Governor is hereby pleased to declare, order, direct and authorize the Deputy Commissary General immediately to receive in payment of exchange for Store Receipts or Government Dollars, at His Majesty's Stores at Sydney, all Copper money now in circulation within this Colony at upon and after the Rate of an advance of 50 per cent on the English Sterling Value, that is to say, to receive or exchange for Sterling and in proportion for and upon the other Denominations of the said Copper Money - provided that the said Copper Money be so tendered for Payments or in Exchange for Sterling Value and amount to the Deputy Commissary General at the stores, between the day for the date of this present Order - and the first day of January next. And provided also that the Copper Money so tendered in payment or exchange be of or before the mintage and date thereon, of the year 1800 when the said Copper Money was so issued by the Government.

And it is hereby further ordered and directed that the said Copper Money shall after the said first day of January next issue, pass current and be paid in circulation within this Territory and its' Dependencie's only upon and at the legal Rate and value of the same specie and coins in England - and further, that it shall not be deemed a legal tender to offer the same in payment of or for any sum exceeding Five Pounds, nor in respect of any Fees or Charges at any Government or Public Office, except at His Majesty's Stores in Sydney, in manner as aforesaid, within this Territory and its Dependencies.

By Command of His Excellency,

L T Campbell, Secretary.

To paraphrase this convoluted proclamation, Boulton's copper coins were to trade in the colony at their English values, after a three week change-over period. This effectively ended the valuations made in King's 1800 proclamation."

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

It is estimated that fewer than 280 - 300 'Australian' Holey Dollars and about 1,000 Dumps survive - thus making them a real worthy Australian numismatic collectable. Gradings are usually based on the condition of the original Spanish dollar host and the known numbers of dated host coins also determines aspects of price.

Those few pieces that weren't eventually melted down, became numismatically famous and extremely valuable.

 In the April 2008 issue of the 'Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine', it was reported that a Holey Dollar had sold at  AUD$254,150 and a Dump was sold at. AUD$103,500 at an International Auction Galleries record-breaking auction in March. Not bad for a mutilated coin and a remnant.!



Typical Mexican 8 Reales .903 Fine Silver 1804 'Proclamation' coin used as a host - obverse and reverse.

A Mexican coin converted to a New South Wales Holey Dollar (Five Shillings) and Dump (15 Pence)

A 100% alignment was not always attained - the punched coin's new legend is 'upside down' on the reverse.

It is of interest that the Spanish or Mexican 8 Reales coin were also called Piastres as well as Dollars. Various hosts and dates are known.



A few years later on April 8th. 1817, Governor Macquarie oversaw the establishment of the first trading bank in Sydney, Australia and two years later the first savings bank in that colony opened its doors. The advent of banking in Tasmania followed closely on the heels of the  N.S.W. ventures with the opening of The Bank of Van Diemen's Land in 1824. 

Prior to the establishment of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land, the island colony was proliferated with paper promissory notes of all values from Threepence up to cater for the lack of small change.  The issuers of these notes - which could be ordered or purchased from the printers in bundles or tear out booklets of 100 blank forms - promised to reimburse the bearer for the amount stated on the note.

Some were not worth the flimsy paper they were written on but continued to circulate all the same. It was like 'musical chairs' - the last one holding the promissory note often missed out. Sometimes they were sold at less than face value just to reimburse 'something' before the game stopped.

The practice of issuing paper 'money' in the form of official Commissariat bills of exchange had started virtually at the same time the colony had opened up and it was a logical step for the population to use a similar method to address the problem of not having hard cash reserves in those early days.

The  Spanish silver Dollar in those days was accepted as a universal currency and the people of Van Diemen's Land had no qualms in using it alongside the British sterling at a level of exchange that sometimes was more favourable than the official rate. Even promissory notes were often issued in terms of Spanish Dollars but the final book-keeping tallies were always converted into pounds sterling at the going exchange rate. 

Other notes were written up as 'Currency' notes and these were redeemed in any sort of foreign bullion coinage that could be utilised but usually notes issued in these terms were discounted when converted to English sterling for any trade dealings.

In an effort to control the amount of private promissory notes expressed in Spanish Dollars and Currency instead of English sterling some sort of action was needed by the authorities.

By March 8th. 1826,  a Government order had been issued that set a rate of 4 Shillings and 4 pence sterling as the Spanish Dollar's value and the minimum amount value of a promissory note was to be One Pound sterling - and this would take effect as from April 1st. 1826.  

All notes expressed in Spanish dollars were to be declared void. 

An almost immediate withdrawal of the Spanish Dollar and small value Currency and Sterling notes occurred, and, whilst it created a deflationary effect in the short term on an already depressed economy, the opening of four more sterling note-issuing private banks in Van Diemen's Land at that time alleviated  the problem of an imminent cash shortage amongst the colony's traders.

Still the bugbear of small change was a prime concern and whatever foreign coinage that was available still continued to circulate freely. It was still not enough to satisfy the demand, even though more Imperial coinage was slowly arriving to address the chronic shortages that all English colonies had been experiencing.


An updated list of exchange rates had been officially proclaimed in September 1838 to lessen the confusion with foreign coinage - which had achieved Babylonian proportions - and also to disuade profiteering to some extent.  Eventually, when the 'powers-that-be' got the message, much of the foreign coinage was converted to bullion or was returned to the places it originated from - when the price was right - to make a profit..


Another story, from the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' of December 1999, is also worthy of a quick read -  and an additional reference of the life and times of Jørgen Jørgensen can be located at: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Feb2000.htm  - This man had a very interesting life.

Jørgen Jørgensen, the son of a Copenhagen clockmaker, was born in 1780 and, during his early days, he became an adventurer. He arrived in Iceland in 1809, after the Napoleonic Wars, and decided to proclaim himself 'King' - a position he held for about 100 days before moving on. He eventually returned to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)as a convict - who was eventually freed - it is reported he died 20 January 1841 in Hobart, Tasmania.(see Reference above)

Jørgensen had apparently lived in Sydney in 1803, prior to his Icelandic adventures, and included in his memoirs were comments about the Australian part of his life and how things were during those early days of the colony.
Numismatically, Jørgensen made the following observations in his diaries.


" In the early days of the history of New South Wales, food was very expensive because of the rare deliveries from England. It was not unusual to pay 10 Guineas for one gallon of Rum - undiluted if you were lucky! Tobacco was also very expensive and Tea was never under one guinea for a pound.

Even coins were inflated in accordance with the general high cost of living. The normal penny coins circulated as twopence and the halfpence as a penny. Copper coins were brought to Australia from England by ship's captains who could then make a profit of 100% without any trouble.

The colony was eventually swamped with these copper coins. In fact it was worse than when Wood's Halfpence were abolished by Dean Swift*.

Governor King eventually had to ban further importation of that type of coin and avoided further speculation by reducing the values of the copper coins back to their original values."

*(The reference may refer to Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745), of Gulliver's Travels fame, who was the Dean of St. Patricks in Ireland at the time Wood's Hibernia copper alloy coinage was released. Because they were unacceptable in Ireland many of these brass coins were returned and sent to the American and Australian colonies.)

Jørgen also recounts of one old Danish book that he had read, which was originally written expressly for Danish merchants  to enable them to know the accepted bullion value of coins from around the trading world of those days.  The book by R.W. Bauer was entitled " Haandbog i Mønt - Maal -og Vaegtforhold." - which translates as - "Handbook in Coin - Measures and Weight Relations".

In the 2nd Edition (re-published in 1882), on page 329, is an updated  reference to 'Australia - New Holland Coin'.


"Here, as in England, they use a Pound of 20 Shillings and each Shilling has 12 Pence. The value of this coin can be calculated like that of Jamaica (page 244) which uses the Spanish and Mexican Piastre (8 Reales). The Piastre (also known as a Dollar) is also circulating here (in Australia) in large quantities and is taken as 50 Pence under the ruling of 14th September 1838.

An Australian Pound (in silver coin) can thus be taken as equalling 18 Kroner 46.15 øre.
In Australia they have struck special gold one and half Sovereign coins like the English except that they have slight differences. One thing they do have on the reverse is the word 'Australia'. The gold coin Sovereigns were originally struck under the name of 'Australian Pound' and the weight was 175/623 (.2809) English Troy Ounce which equals 8.7369 French grams. Its fineness is 916.7 and thus contained 8.0089 French grams of Fine gold. It can be calculated that 32 such (Australian) gold coins equalled in value 35 English Sovereigns or 1 Australian Gold Pound was equal to 19 Kroner 86.20 øre. Besides the English gold, silver and copper coins are also the Mexican and Spanish silver Piastres (so called 'dollars') South American Piastres, North American gold and silver Dollars and English East Indian Company Rupees. Also gold is used in ingots and gold dust.
The small change (copper) currency has a lower value, as the Spanish or Mexican silver Piastre was fixed at 5 Shillings or 60 Pence, and the value of a pound of small change was 15 Kroner 38.46 øre."


Most of the Mexican and other Spanish colonial Dollars circulating at that time contained .903 Silver or .7859 oz actual Silver weight.

At the time that this edition of the book was being published, Australia was undergoing great changes in manufacturing and the mining boom was just about to go into high gear but the economy was already starting to suffer severe fluctuations. Land speculation had started to fizzle out and some Victorian banks were collapsing, yet, it would be another few years before the severe depression of the 1890's became a reality. For a decade Australia would languish in the financial wilderness until the growth in rural enterprises, particularly wheat and wool, lifted the country out of the doldrums.


The current recognised weight of the Australian Sydney Mint Sovereign 1855 - 1870 is now accepted as :-
Weight :- 7.988 grams.
Composition: - 916.6 Fine (22 carat) 91.67% Gold - 8.33% Silver
Actual Gold Weight: - .2354 oz. Troy

In 1871, the Royal Mint ordered that the composition of the Australian Sovereign was to be changed to 91.67% Gold - 8.33% Copper- in line with the English Sovereign. Modern Australian numismatists draw their own conclusions about the 'parental' role played by the Royal Mint.


During the early 1800's, the need for coinage was still not being acknowledged or addressed by the English Government, who had a totally blinkered idea of how colonial life could succeed without actual money to trade with internally. The population had grown enormously with the advent of many true settlers and also the number of convicts who had served their term and had no option - in many cases - but to remain in the colonies and make lives for themselves.

It was also the growing disposition of the English Government to send short-term convicts - mainly petty thieves or the destitute - to places like Australia to get rid of them and provide virtual 'slave labour' for rich land-owners.

However, the local people began taking organized action by petitioning the English Government to cease un-neccessary transportation and eventually they succeeded. By this time, the country was being 'opened up' and places like Van Diemen's land (Tasmania) were starting to feel the pinch in regard to the lack of coinage.

In England, the practise of issuing copper and silver tradesmen's tokens of similar style and weight to official coinage to counter the small value specie shortage had been  widespread amongst commercial interests in that country for some time. 

Token coinage had been a progression from the emergency money contrived over hundreds of years by various groups of Englishmen who disagreed, violently, with other Englishmen on how the country should be run. 

If they didn't have access to the legal coin of the realm - they made their own acceptable alternative to finance their causes!

The low value tradesmen's tokens were a more commercially driven enterprise and were often used as a form of advertising as well as to address the small change problem within the business community.

Many private manufacturers of these tokens were firmly established in England when the first Australian colonies at Sydney, New South Wales and at Hobart in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) were first opening up at the beginning of the 19th.century.


Surprisingly, few of the English tokens made an appearance in the colonies but the earliest convicts and soldiers didn't have much call for cash of any description as there was nothing for them to spend it on. However, things change - and, if there is a need someone will fill it - such is the situation that soon arose in New South Wales (as the total area was called at that time). Ultimately convicts - both male and female - were freed, soldiers retired, settlers started to arrive in increasingly larger numbers in Van Diemen's Land by 1815 and enterprises started up to cater for the needs of a growing civilian population and the spread of settlements.

Dated 1823, the first tradesmen's token prepared in England for Australian use appeared in Van Diemen's Land (which was soon to be declared a separate colony by Royal Proclamation on December 3rd. 1825).




A silver shilling piece, which had been prepared for partners Macintosh and Degraves, who operated the Cascade Saw Mill near Hobart, appeared in very small numbers and even today there is some controversy about when and how many were actually released. Some numismatists believe it was issued basically as an advertising piece and later research indicates that they may not have been actually distributed until 1824 -25 due to an argument, then a legal case, that had involved the partners, Major Hugh Macintoish (or Macintosh) and Peter Degraves, and some of the paying passengers on the ship that they had hired to transport themselves and their equipment to the colony. Because of their necessary appearances in a London court to fight the case, the partners and their ship were delayed somewhat, and newspaper records of the time suggest that they did not arrive in the colony until late1824.

With the word ‘TASMANIA’ on the reverse (plus a contemporary idea of a kangaroo), the token prophetically predated the actual official name-change for Van Diemen’s Land by about 20 years.

Only a few of these rare tokens survive, and there is no record of them being extensively used by the general public, so it is considered that most were probably held by the partners for their own use - or as mementoes issued to celebrate the establishment of their business venture.

No mintage details, whatsoever, seem to be available, but, as most examples of the 22mm. (66.5 gram) pure silver token that have been found are in excellent condition, it seems to bear out the latter theory.

Researchers also believe that the spelling of 'Macintosh' on the token was incorrect, and it should have been spelt 'Macintoish'.

Peter Degraves later went on to establish the famous 'Cascade Breweries' in the idyllic surrounds of the area with its pure water supply straight off the slopes of Mt. Wellington.


The following few years saw the start of early entrepreneurial efforts to produce tokens locally in Australia with varying degrees of expertise from terrible to worse but, eventually, the English produced quality half-penny and penny sized imported token pieces with Australian motifs became established in all colonies until a few competent die-makers and manufacturers arrived and set up their businesses.

Van Diemen's Land, or Tasmania as it was becoming better known, had 18 other issuers of copper or bronze tokens, as well as the Macintosh and Degraves silver Shilling. Some were manufactured in England and shipped out by the barrel full and some were made in the new Victorian establishment of Thomas Stokes.

The original Tasmanian issuers were:

L. Abrahams; J. G. Fleming; I. Friedman; O. H. Hedberg; R. Henry; W. A. Jarvey; H. Lipscombe; Marsh & Brother; R. A. Mather; J. Moir; A. Nicholas; R. S. Waterhouse; W. D. Wood - all of Hobart and, Jos. Brickhill, (Campbelltown); E. F. Dease, (Launceston); S. Henry, (Deloraine); R. Josephs, (Newtown - now a suburb of Hobart) and Thos. White & Son, (Westbury).


Recommended Reference:

"Australasian Tokens and Coins" by Dr. Arthur Andrews (First published 1921 - reprinted 1982)








Samples of some of the various Penny tokens issued for Hobart-based traders in Tasmania during the mid 1800's

These Bronze tokens were usually comparable with official English Penny coinage for size and weight.


It appears that quite a lot of other acceptable tokens made their way to Tasmania from mainland colonies, also New Zealand, and were circulated as coinage until the Colonial Government controlled from England gradually managed to get the official coinage problem under control and, in Tasmania during 1876, an Act was passed to declare the copper tokens illegal and the British bronze coin of the realm was to be recognised as the only legal coinage.

Many of the tradesmen's tokens were eventually sold off as bullion and an interesting contemporary Tasmanian numismatic chapter almost came to a close after about 50 years - but not quite!


In 2001, an interesting limited issue token series of three 30mm. metallic gift vouchers (Brass, Nickel and Copper - only 250 of each) were privately produced for a Hobart based company 'Ellison Hawker Bookshop' with face values of $20.00, $10.00 and $5.00. 

Whilst these were never intended to be used as a replacement for lawful circulating coinage they were redeemable at face value at the aforesaid bookshop for purchases or 'services rendered'. 

It is known that the local numismatic market snapped up some of these at face value when they became available - as an example of a modern tradesmen's token. The bust is that of Ellison Hawker, founder of the bookshop.


Additional Reference

Tasmanian Numismatist - May 2006 - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may06.htm




Compiled by Graeme Petterwood - Coins courtesy of Jerry Adams.


The new Presidential  'Golden' Dollar is a clad copper coin, and the alloy layers on each side of the core are Manganese Brass, (a golden-colored material) composed of 77% copper, 12% zinc, 7% manganese, and 4% nickel. Even though many U.S. citizens prefer to stick with their paper One Dollar note - these are very well presented coins and may well prove to be the turning point between the paper and coinage dollar.. With persistence, the coin will be accepted.

Including the copper core, the overall composition of the new Dollar coin is 88.5% Copper, 6.0% Zinc, 3.5 % Manganese, and 2.0% Nickel.

The coin's composite construction provides security features that allow machines to distinguish it from slugs, tokens and foreign coins.

Differentiating it, from many previous U.S. coins, is the fact that it is edge-marked with the date, mintmark and the normal text found on all U.S. coins -  'In God We Trust' and 'E Pluribus Unum'.

The reflectiveness of these nice new coins is not helpful if scanning the items for newsletter reproduction - they are far better than they appear below.

The initial releases in 2007 from Philadelphia and Denver Mints were the 1st president, George Washington followed by John Adams.

The coins of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison  also made their appearance in 2007. All reverses show the imposing Statue of Liberty.

The 2008 releases to date are James Monroe and John Quincey Adams. (The release date schedule is shown below.)

Each President will be honored with a single $1 coin, regardless of the number of consecutive terms he served. Grover Cleveland, the only United States President to serve non-consecutive terms, will be honored on two coins. No living former or current President can be honored on a coin. It is presumed that  if any of those former leaders, who are still alive, do die within the 9 year period of this series -  they would be added at an appropriate time thus, in theory, keeping this Presidential dollar series alive in perpetuity. Worthwhile making a special spot in your U.S. collection for ongoing issues..


A few of the 2007 - 2008 issues of Presidential Dollars - all with the Statue of Liberty reverse.


However,it is an obvious certainty that they will be snapped up by the international numismatic community - and millions of these (as new) presidential coins will most probably go straight into U.S. family 'collections' as they hit the streets - so the prices will never be up in the 'silk department' in later years when the hoards come out of the cupboards. These coins are definitely part of an historical series - patriotic (and educational) enough to make the effort to get the lot. 

That's a lot of coins that won't ever be spent. for a long, long time.



Year President Years Served


1 George Washington


2 John Adams 1797-1801
3 Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809
4 James Madison 1809-1817
    2008 5 James Monroe 1817-1825
6 John Quincy Adams 1825-1829
7 Andrew Jackson 1829-1837
8 Martin Van Buren 1837-1841


9 William Henry Harrison 1841
10 John Tyler 1841-1845
11 James K. Polk 1845-1849
12 Zachary Taylor 1849-1850


13 Millard Fillmore 1850-1853
14 Franklin Pierce 1853-1857
15 James Buchanan 1857-1861
16 Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865


17 Andrew Johnson 1865-1869
18 Ulysses S. Grant 1869-1877
19 Rutherford B. Hayes 1877-1881
20 James A. Garfield 1893-1897


21 Chester A. Arthur 1881-1885
22 Grover Cleveland 1885-1889
23 Benjamin Harrison 1889-1893
24 Grover Cleveland 1893-1897


25 William McKinley 1897-1901
26 Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909
27 William H. Taft 1909-1913
28 Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921


29 Warren Harding 1921-1923
30 Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929
31 Herbert Hoover 1929-1933
32 Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1933-1945


33 Harry S Truman 1945-1953
34 Dwight David Eisenhower 1953-1961
35 John F. Kennedy 1961-1963
36 Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969


37 Richard M. Nixon 1969-1974


Main reference:

The United States Mint - http://www.usmint.gov/index.cfm?flash=yes








http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug03.htm  - 1995 - 1997 (Volumes 1 and 2)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/ept2003.htm  - 1998 - 2000 (Volumes 3, 4 and 5)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Oct2003.htm  - 2001 - 2002 (Volumes 6 and 7)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Nov03.htm  - 2003 - to date Nov. (Volume 8 to date Nov,)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec2003.htm  - Final 2003 Dec. (Volume 8 final Dec.)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan07.htm - 2004 (Volume 9)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb07.htm  - 2005 (Volume 10)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.html - 2006 (Volume 11)

The final Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' (Volume 12 - Issues 1 - 6) as well as the first Index ( Volume 12 - Issues 7 - 12) of the 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition' can now be seen at:

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm - 2007 (Volume 12)

Our Archives can also be accessed (by subject matter) by using the Search Engine on our Internet page.


'NUMISNET WORLD' - Internet Edition.

Volume 13 – Issues 1 - to date, 2008


Issue 1. January 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan08.htm

What do you know about Old Spanish Silver Coinage? - A few 'little' bits and pieces of information about mintmarks and assayers initials.

What did 'Santa Numis' Bring You? - Jerry Adams got two nice prezzies to help him with his new numismatic interest in Ancient coinages...

Book Review - "Numismatic Forgery" by Charles M. Larson (2004). - Startling revelations from a world famous forger. (Reviewed by Jerry Adams.)

Around the Traps! - A BIG, BIG year for local medallist, Tasmedals - a bright business forecast by Managing Director, Roger McNeice OAM.

Catching up with Friends! - Greetings from Mike & Petra. - Back in the U.S. Mike Metras tells me that he had written another book.. Details on his website

The Changing Faces of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - The 'parting of the ways' between hard-copy and Internet editions only means that parallel roads are now being traveled.

General Index Update - Where to find previous articles in both the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (1995 - 2007) and 'Numisnet World' (2007 - to date).


Issue 2. February 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb08.htm

Australia Day 2008 - Editorial Comment

The Glory That Was Rome. -  Roman coins are always waiting to be discovered by collectors. A little bit more trivia to make the road less bumpy!

Numismatic Forgery, Follow-Up - The story of master-forger Mark Hofmann is the stuff movies are made of ....................!!

Miscellaneous Q & A's - Trying to provide a correct answer to an interesting query about a blank penny planchet from 1963.

Editors Notification - Previous casual advertising rates offered to 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members and newsletter readers are now null and void. ('Numisnet World' does not intend to solicit paid advertising at this time but will still feature non-commercial numismatic "Wanted Known' requests that comply with our policies and disclaimers.)


Issue 3. March 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar08.htm

The Tasmanian Numismatic Society's Medals & Awards - Like many other hobby-oriented organisations, the T.N.S. presents rewards for loyalty, service, achievement and dedication to the Society's interests.

The Lockwood Medal - One of Australia's most prestigious numismatic memorial medals, the Arthur J. Lockwood Award (now known as the Lockwood Medal) was first awarded in 1970. It is still awarded, when warranted, through the auspices of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society.  Last awarded 2000.

CBS Report - Abolishing the U.S. Cent - Debates, and battle-lines, are starting to form about the logistical importance of retaining the humble U.S. Cent.

Early Colonial Coinages -  The Australian and the American Colonies had many logistical problems with small change.


Issue 4. April 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/april08.htm

Anzac Day 25th April, 2008 - Lest We Forget..

The Remarkable Women of Australian Polymer Currency - A brief profile of some of the fascinating women who have helped forge Australian history.

New Limited Edition Numismatic books, published in 2008, by well-known author, numismatist and collector extraordinaire - Mick Vort-Ronald.

Copies, Counterfeits & Tourist Gimmicks - Roger McNeice OAM. FRNS. alerts us again to the funny things that can get into our collections.

Thomas White and Son - The problem when a replica of an 1855 token, produced for a Tasmanian tourist outlet in 1973, is too good

P.S. - The 'Infamous' 1792 Austrian Ducat - The story of a 'Readers Digest ' advertising gimmick that has gained a place in Oz numismatic history.

Uncut Paper Notes - We live and learn - even if sometimes we need to go back and do a bit of homework - thanks to Judy Shaw

A Few Dates on the Calendar - March - April.  - A reminder of times past.


Issue 5. May 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may08.htm

'Three Cheers - for the Australian Numismatic Dealers Fraternity' -  Where would our local hobbiests be without the 'traveling numismatic Circus'.

Around the Traps - We live and learn. - Since 1996, the 'Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine' has been a powerful tool for all collectors.

Correction - A small error in the name of an old 1991 Coin Fair venue (the Editor's first 'event' experience) was noted and is now historically correct.


Issue 6. June 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june08.htm

The Intrigue and Enigma of World Banknotes - Strange scripts, and languages, on notes often confound a new collector. Hopefully, a few clues might help!

The Pre-Decimal Coinage of New Zealand Checklist - a numismatic tool for collectors who are finding the issue dates of some coins are confusing.

Just a Friendly Reminder - like most newsletters, certain articles - including illustrations - are copyrighted by the authors. Please ask if you wish to use them.


Issue 7. July 2008:-

Monetary Mementos of the Motherland - The First Fleet and early settlement. The earliest monetary problems arose when the motherland, in this case England, held the purse-strings too tight.- and how those problems were overcome with ingenuity - and a fair bit of graft - until the 'penny dropped'!

Tradesmen's Tokens - One of the alternatives to 'coin of the realm' were circulating bronze penny-sized tokens, normally privately produced as 'advertising pieces' - so it was said.They were not legal tender but who cared - they helped address a woeful shortage of small change for many years.

United States Presidential Dollar coins - the new series started in 2007 is planned through until 2016 - but it could go on forever......!





The 'NumisNet World'’ (Internet Edition) newsletter 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. 

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. 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 ''NumisNet World'' (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 ''NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the Editor. 

ALL comments in linked articles are the responsibility of the original authors.



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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 'NumisNet World' (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 - included the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' - 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  NumisNet World' '(Internet Edition) newsletter is required prior to use of that material.


The Editor,

Numisnet World - (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.


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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au