‘NUMISNET WORLD’


Volume 13 Issue 3           Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)                   March 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.

 

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'NUMISNET WORLD'

INTERNET EDITION

Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2007.

 

TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY 

MEMBER'S AWARDS.

On 11 - 12th. May, 1991, while attending our first major coin show in Hobart, Tasmania, my late wife and I decided to take up the offer of membership with the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' who were the local co-ordinators of the show. The fact that we lived 123 miles away up in the North of the island state was of little consequence and we made the effort each year to attend a few meetings and functions and, as the collector in the family, I kept in regular contact by written correspondence and by phone - and my wife handled the social side with the other wives and partners when called upon.

Over the next 16 or so years, we were rewarded in many ways, firstly by the companionship of like-minded collectors who became good friends, and, secondly, by  more tangible forms of recognition as I, personally,  earned 'my spurs'. 

Like most organisations, the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' had an award system for 'Services to the Society'.

The initial awards that new members could win were designed for Encouragement. These were usually presented to novices - of any age - who were obviously dedicated to the hobby and wanted to advance their knowledge and collections within the Society's concepts.

Occasionally, additional Encouragement Awards were sponsored by individual Society members, or numismatic associates of the Society, and could also cover academic or literary achievement within the hobby as well as oral presentations and/or displays.

The consequent awards covered the range from Loyalty to Achievement - with Long Service Certificates presented after 5 years of regular financial full membership and then on specified anniveraries as specified under the Society's constitution.. Extended membership, important achievements or services to the Society could be rewarded with a Certificate of Life Membership - or a number of awards in medallion form - sometimes plaque-mounted. These would normally be in Golden Bronze (as shown left) or the darker Antique-finish Bronze. The generic obverses of the medallions were always representations of the Society's logo - with the name of the awardee, and details of the particular achievement, engraved on the reverse, if the medallion was not plaque-mounted.

 

In July 2001, the late, world renowned numismatist, Jérôme H. Remick III of Canada was awarded the first T.N.S. International Life Membership.

Over a period of nearly three decades, the late Jerry Remick was a great supporter of our small Society, which was on the other side of the world to his home in Quebec. A Canadian tribute (link attached) is well worth a read - it confirms what many of us at the Tasmanian Numismatic Society already knew about Jerry' acutely debilitating, state of health over too many years - but it also shows how dedicated he was that he kept contributing to his two great passions right until the last few months of his life in 2005.  Refer: http://www.canadiangeologicalfoundation.org/Remick.html

 

The first International Life Membership Certificate awarded to Jérôme H. Remick III ( 2005)

(The original was done on Parchment paper and framed in July 2001.)

 

"We have much pleasure in advising that our internationally known Tasmanian Numismatic Society Member # 112, Jérôme H. Remick III of Canada, has been granted Life Membership of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society for Honourable Service. 

A special Executive meeting was held to grant this honour to Jérôme (Jerry) as a member of extreme long standing and one who has always made a positive contribution to the hobby of numismatics and to the Tasmanian Numismatic Society in particular.        

An appropriate Certificate will be forwarded, in due course, to confirm his Life Membership and his high standing in the Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

Congratulations are extended from the Committee and fellow members. "

 

The next level of local awards was for high achievement. These awards were presented for reaching numismatic oriented goals at any level, goals that were recognised by the Society's Executive Committee as being outstanding - these milestones could also be brought to note by other members in the form of a recommendation to the Committee. Nominees would not usually be aware of the honour until it was presented.

These awards took the form of a Society Award for Outstanding Service at a general level - and ranged up to a special President's Award for service that the president deemed was of assistance to his position, in particular.

The rarely awarded Silver Medal usually signified a combination of great personal service and participation, hard work, long service, loyalty and achievement - mainly at Committee level (the sharp end of any group) where serious actions and hard decisions need to be instigated at times. 

However, the Silver Medal could be, and was, awarded to non-committee members if it was deemed to be a suitable recognition for services rendered to the Society.

Over the years, several privately sponsored achievement awards were also made available to Society members, and they included such items as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' Editor's Award Certificate - plus a free membership subscription (or value thereof) for published literary contributions of a high standard - and private awards, such as the 'Lew Kay Perpetual Trophy', that were presented for achieving a goal in literary subjects that appealed to that donor member. All of the privately sponsored items were usually presented at annual functions and under the Society's auspices, however, these were never intended to replace or supercede Society awards and they were, mainly, of a singular, irregular or temporary nature.

Occasionally, Society certificates for unusual activities that benefited the Society, or even a 'fun award', were presented to members who had earned that perceived distinction - as defined by his/her member peers, of course!

The list below is to show the type of scope that could be covered by any T.N.S. member, mine happens to be invesigative - the search for knowledge.

Please excuse me for mainly using examples of literary awards that were available to me. Other areas of collecting and display presentation, were also covered by the Society's awards.

 

Plaques & Medallion Awards:

Greg & Jenny McDonald Encouragement Award 1994 - 32mm. Bronze Medallion on Plaque

R.V. McNeice Literary Award 1995 - 32mm. Bronze Medallion on Plaque.

Tasmanian Numismatic Society - 51mm. Antique Bronze Medal for National Literary Contributions. 1996 (Literary Award - not shown).

Tasmanian Numismatic Society - 51mm. Antique Bronze Medal for Outstanding Service 1996. (Literary Award)

Lockwood Medal Award Certificate 1998 for Editorial Excellence (Literary). Medal (not shown) - 51mm. Antique Bronze.

Tasmanian Numismatic Society - 51mm. Golden Bronze Medal for Newsletter Contributions 2000. (Literary Award)

Presidents Award 2000 - 32mm. Bronze Medallion on Plaque.

Tasmanian Numismatic Society - 51mm. Antique Bronze Medal for Newsletter Publication 2003 (Literary).

 

However, the most sought after award was the 'Arthur J. Lockwood Award' - a memorial award - that was later re-named the 'Lockwood Medal'.

 

THE LOCKWOOD MEDAL

This honour has only been awarded to those Australian numismatists, both amateurs and professionals, selected after much private consideration by the Executive Committee of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society for various contributions to Australian numismatics so, consequently, the ‘Lockwood Medal’ - presented by our numismatic peers - is held in very high esteem by recipients (who were usually unaware that they had even been nominated).

The ‘Lockwood Medal’ is not strictly classified as an annual award and it is only presented, at the discretion of the Executive Committee of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’, for outstanding service to our hobby by an Australian, or an international financial member or associate of a recognised Australian numismatic organization.  Previous winners of the ‘Lockwood Medal’ and its predecessor, the ‘Arthur J. Lockwood Award’, include many well-known numismatists or associates.

 

The original award was instigated in 1970, as a memorial award for literary achievement, in honour of the late Arthur J. Lockwood, but, after the death of his widow, Dorothy Lockwood, in 1996, the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' decided that the Award should be expanded to encompass ‘across the board’ services to Australian numismatics in respect for the impressive contributions to all areas of numismatics that both the Lockwoods had combined to provide over the years, and the ‘Arthur J. Lockwood Award’ would be re-named and henceforth the award could be referred to as the Lockwood Award and the accompanying  51mm. Bronze medallion would be known as the Lockwood Medal’. 

Provisions was also made for dual presentations in event of a 'tied' situation between nominees under different categories, but, only one medal  would be given when a joint team effort was considered worthy of the award.
The award’s scope was widened to include all extraordinary services to Australian numismatics, and it has been regarded as one of Australia’s most prestigious numismatic medals for some time now. All medals were engraved with the recipient's name and the reason for the award.

 

 

The Lockwood Award Certificates are prepared by the Secretary of the day, on behalf of the

Tasmanian Numismatic Society Executive Committee, and accompany the Lockwood Medal.

(Illustrations not to scale.)

 

Arthur J. Lockwood Award - for Numismatic Literary Achievement.
1970 Roger McNeice.
1971 Gerald Johnston.
1972 W. D. Craig.
1974 Brian Curtain.
1976 Merv. Bower.
1977 T. W. ‘Bill’ Holmes - Ray Thompson.
1982 Ken Walters.
1983 Roger McNeice - Kevin Hogue.
1985 Noel Harper.
1987 Greg McDonald.
1988 Dorothy Lockwood - Les Carlisle.
1989 George Dean.
1990 Dr. W. ‘Bill’ Mira.
1991 Dr. John Sharples.
1992 Emil Hafner.
1993 Mick Vort-Ronald.
1994 Chris Heath.
1995 Gerhard Reimann-Basch - Jill Pearson.

 

Lockwood Medal - for Services to Australian Numismatics.
1996 Tom Hanley.

1997 M. R. ‘Bob’ Roberts.
1998 Philip Nichols - Graeme Petterwood.
1999 Dr. John Chapman.

2000 Paul and Dianna Keir.

 

FINAL REMINDER

We have been asked, by the T.N.S. Secretary, to publish a final reminder that 2008 membership renewal subscriptions are now due.

If you haven't done so, and wish to continue receiving the Society's hard copy local newsletter, please forward payment direct to the official address:

Tasmanian Numismatic Society:

G.P.O. Box 877J, Hobart.

Tasmania. 7000 

Australia.

 

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CBS '60 MINUTES' - ABOLISHING THE U.S. CENT?
(Sunday, February 10th. 2008).  
Extract - courtesy T.N.S. member, Jerry Adams, Texas.
 
 

NBC's Dick Johnson writes:

 

"Alerted by the American Numismatic Association's, 'In the Loop' email, I watched the 60 Minutes program on the current status of the cent. tonight.

Is this the same Morley Safer that hit up the Franklin Mint in 1983?  Twenty-five years has mellowed Mr. Safer.

It (the program) was a 'puff piece' for the U.S. Mint.

 

He (Safer) took his camera to the floor of the press room of the Philadelphia Mint, to show the obligatory freshly-struck cents pouring out of a chute, and (then) to the office of Mint Director, Edmund Moy.

 

   

Morley Safer - CBS '60 Minutes' 

U.S. Mint Director, Edmund Moy, lecturing at the ANA conference 2007

 

On camera, Moy was quoted as saying, in the beginning, when questioned about the cent and nickel costing twice face value, 

"Well, from our perspective at the United States Mint it's unsustainable. You can't sustain losses on pennies (One cents) and nickels (Five Cents) and expect to be a viable organization that benefits the American people,"

Every year, the U.S. Mint turns out eight billion shiny new pennies, using hi-tech presses that operate faster than the eye can see, stamping out Abe Lincoln on blank pieces of metal (5 per second), and, says U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy, "despite inflation, despite their lowly status, eight billion pennies still add up to $80 million. Trouble is, to get $80 million in pennies, the government spends $134 million".
"It's weird economics, when you really come down to it, isn't it?" Safer asks.

 

How did we get in this fix?
"You know, coins are made out of metal, and worldwide demand for copper, nickel and zinc have dramatically increased over the last three years. That's what's primarily driving up the cost of making the penny and nickel," Moy explains.
Pennies (U.S. cents) are 98 percent zinc. On the frenzied commodity exchange, in the last five years the price of zinc has doubled.

Zinc is in heavy demand, and is used in everything from electrical wiring to suntan lotion, so the coins are worth less than the metals (Zinc and Copper alloy) they contain. But, if you're thinking of putting in a backyard smelter and melting down your spare change to make a profit, forget it.

The Treasury Department has declared that illegal.
 

Director Moy stated he has studied other countries which have abolished their lowest coin denomination, and this did not influence his decision to continue striking of the cent. 'Yes, the U.S. Mint is considering other metals, steel most likely, for cent composition.'

It is difficult to overcome the sentimentality Americans hold for the cent and, to quote Safer, 'the  love affair with Honest Abe.'

'But, the answer to the problem is not attacking one denomination and one composition. The answer is to study the entire American coinage system with a view to future needs, not for past sentimentally'.

 

 U.S. One Cent coins - Pure Copper-plated 99.2% Zinc- 0.8% Copper - Weight approx. 2.5g

 

 Between these comments were interviews of Art Weller, a lobbyist for the zinc industry who, not surprisingly, wanted to keep striking cents of the present copper-clad zinc alloy, and, Jeff Gore, a biophysicist, who gave a commentary on the value of lost time in all the transactions in a year by every American.  He calculated $41 billion in lost time every year.

 

Stephen Dubner, one of the co-author of the bestseller "Freakonomics," had a zany look at money and American culture.

He puts the penny in the same category as 'your pesky appendix and other useless relics'.
"It’s like having a fifth and a half finger on your hand," Dubner says, laughing. "I have to trim the nail, I gotta buy five and a half fingered gloves. But wouldn't it be easier just to have the five? And that really is what the penny is about. It’s just not useful."
Dubner concedes the country suffers from "pennycitis" - a love affair with the penny that's hard to shake. After all, who's on it but that true American Idol, honest Abe Lincoln, who, as a young store clerk, walked three miles to return six pennies he'd overcharged a customer.

"I think that the two big reasons to keep the penny are inertia, 'cause it takes a lot of work to get rid of something that’s ingrained, and nostalgia. But you need to put a price on even nostalgia," he says.
David Leavitt, the other co-author of 'Freakonomics,' gave the most intelligent reasons to abolish the cent. - and didn't object to rounding up or down at each transaction. "
It  was unfortunate Morley Safer did not interview Francois Velde, senior economist at the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank and co-author of "The Big Problem of Small Change."  He (Velde) has done more to study the problem, and, he came to the most intelligent decision --  'rebase the existing  cent! ' Call it a nickel and let it continue in circulation, and round off the odd cents in cash transactions."

 

Director Moy's final comments: "Well, as a public official I have no private opinions. But I do know that a lot of people are attached to the penny,. and as long as they continue to being in demand, the mint has an obligation to continue making them."
 

In fact, the U.S. Mint is in the process of redesigning the back of the penny to mark two milestones next year: - the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln penny itself.

Get rid of it? Not likely.

 

REFERENCES: 
Wikipedia : - 		http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cent_(United_States_coin)
U.S. Treasury : - 		http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/currency/manufacturing.html
*CBS '60 Minutes' : - 	http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/07/60minutes/main3801455.shtml    *(Item may be time sensitive.)
 

*Editorial note:

Additional punctuation marks, and some (bracketed) italics - and all highlighting - within the article above, have been included to clarify, and emphasize, some aspects of the report for international readers of this newsletter. These clarifying additions are not intended to alter the context of the original messages which can be located at the site address shown above. (Editor - G.E.P.)

 

EARLY COLONIAL COINAGES.

by Graeme Petterwood (T.N.S. Member # 332.)

 

It seems that the early Australians were not the only ones to suffer from a plethora of foreign coinage in their colonies back in the mid to late 1700’s.

With the world opening up with ‘new’ continents being discovered, explored and exploited by the English, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese, all sorts of coins found their way around the globe in the pockets of seamen, soldiers, merchants and finally the colonists.

In most of the new countries, coin shortages had soon created problems for people who had been used to having ‘coins of the realm’ readily available to transact their normal day-to-day business and, eventually, anything that could be used -was!

 

New South Wales (Australia.)

We have read, in previous articles, of the ‘solutions’ that colonial Australians took when confronted with the problem - solutions that created far more moral problems than just a shortage of specie. The use of alcoholic spirits as currency, in a complicated barter system, was implemented by a group of influential, but greed-driven, officers of the New South Wales Corps, who made up the military government, and controlled the allocation of all essential resources, in the early days of the New South Wales colony in Australia.

Eventually, after a series of governors had admitted defeat, the financial control of the colony was returned to a more stable and realistic level when Governor King (1800 -1806) and then Governor Lachlan Macquarie (1810 -1821) took drastic actions to control or re-introduce the actual money flow and deprive the military speculators of their ‘evil and degrading’ trade in alcoholic spirits.

The use of rum as a currency had reached into all aspects of Australian colonial life and the example listed, hereunder, give an indication of what it was like in those days when it is reported that one man even ‘sold his wife for 4 gallons of rum’.

The reward for the capture of the escaped convict turned bushranger, West Indian Negro John ‘Black’ Caesar, was posted at 5 gallons of the spirits, when Governor Hunter was forced, by public opinion, to take action to have him brought back into custody.

John Caesar, a gentle and simple giant of a man, had been a slave on the sugar plantations but had escaped and ended up in London where he was reduced to petty crime to survive. He was soon was caught, convicted and sent to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788.

For obvious reasons, Caesar made many attempts to escape - but always gave himself up or was recaptured without a struggle - and even when his food supply ran out, he stole just enough to keep going a little longer- thus he was always increasing his sentence and it appeared he would never be a free man again.

On 15th. February, 1796 near Concord, New South Wales, during his final attempt to be free - at place known, ironically enough, as Liberty Plains - ‘Black’ Caesar was shot and killed from ambush without a warning, by a man called Wimbow, for the 5 gallons of rum reward.

 

It is also recorded that previous profits, made on the sale of rum, enabled the Corps appointed contractors to finance the rebuilding of Sydney’s General Hospital, which was opened in 1816 - and, in payment for their services rendered, they procured the monopolistic rights to import 60,000 gallons of rum.

(Because of the circumstances surrounding this ‘deal’ the hospital has become historically known as the ‘Rum Hospital’.)

 

Quantities of alcohol, however, were an awkward commodity to trade, and eventually the speculators needed to convert their profits to cash so as to be able to replenish their stocks of the imported items needed by the growing number of free colonists.

By the early 1800’s many trading ships were calling into Sydney with cargoes, and, like all speculative traders, they wanted to be paid immediately - and not in rum - so the need for hard coinage was always present.

However, with the departure of the ships so went some more of the limited amounts of English gold, silver and copper, and left behind, in payment for fresh supplies, were some of the foreign coins that the shippers had picked up on their travels or brought with them from their home ports.

Soon the colony had a mixture of gold pagodas and rupees from India, guilders and ducats from Holland, Spanish silver dollars, Portuguese gold johannas, plus quite a few other bits and pieces, which created a confusing situation on what value should be attributed to a foreign coin that might end up in the market place or with the shipping agents.

Imagine, if you were a colonial farmer, trying to buy an expensive, but essential, item priced in Pounds, Shillings and Pence with a mixture of the English coins plus Spanish dollars, Dutch ducats or Indian rupees and getting your change in the form of a few gallons of rum or lumps of salt pork and an odd well-worn penny or two thrown in - and then going on to try to transact further business with your ‘change’.

 

On November 19th.1800, Governor King issued a proclamation, which set a standard value of exchange on the major foreign coinages that were commonly found in circulation at that time, and, as well, he deliberately inflated the value of some English coins in an attempt to hold them in the colony.

The coins listed in the proclamation and their legal values are listed here, in English Sterling Pounds, Shillings and Pence (Pennies), for your perusal

Small quantities of Shillings and Pence could be also written like this - e.g. - 9/6 = 9 Shillings and 6 Pence; 9 Shillings only = 9/- ; 6 Pence = 6d.

Remember there are 12 Pence (Pennies) to a Shilling and 20 Shillings to  a Pound.

(Sometimes written as symbols  - £. (Pounds) - s. (Shillings) - d.(Pence) - two of the symbols were taken from Roman times. The Libra was nearly equivalent to the Imperial Pound weight, so, using the 'L ' was fairly obvious and, by adding the small bar, it differentiated it from a normal letter. The shilling - always an essential coin amongst the English from Norman times - was designated the 's', while the pence were shown as 'd' for the Roman small value denarius

Refer:- http://www.wilkiecollins.demon.co.uk/coinage/coins.htm

                                            £.   s.   d.

English Guinea                  1 -  2 - 0

Portuguese Johanna         4 - 0 - 0

Portuguese Half-johanna   2 - 0 - 0

Dutch Ducat                        0 - 9 - 6

Dutch Guilder                     0 - 2 - 0

Indian gold Mohur             1 - 17 - 6

Indian Pagoda                     0 - 8 - 0

Indian Rupee                      0 - 2 - 6

Spanish Dollar                    0 - 5-  0

English Shilling                   0 - 1 - 1

Inflation had already been growing in the colony prior to the proclamation, and the new, steam-pressed, copper ‘cartwheel’ coinage designed by Matthew Boulton of the Soho Mint, which had arrived in 1799, had been immediately over-valued at :-

 

                                      £.   s.   d.

English Penny              0 - 0 - 2

English Half-penny      0 - 0 - 1

 

1797 dated 'Cartwheel' Copper Pennies produced by Matthew Boulton's Soho Mint -  39mm. (not to scale)

 

The proclamation action was partly successful, in that it cleared up the differences of opinion about values of the coinages, but of course it did not address the real problem of the actual shortage of coins for public use.

(The large governmental expenditures were handled by negotiable British Treasury bills, and in between 1798 -1800 over 94,000 Pounds of these bills were issued.)

 

The shortage of small change coinage was addressed by Governor Macquarie who authorised the productioned of the 'New South Wales' Holey Dollar and Dump when he took possession of 40,000 Spanish Dollars which arrived at Port Jackson on 26th. November,1812, on board the sloop "Samarang" out of Madras, and had them centre-punched by an ex-convict and ex-coin forger, William Henshall, to form two coins valued at 5/- and 15 Pence respectively - thus creating an additional 40,000 coins which he had dated and released in 1813.

The holed dollar was stamped with the words ‘New South Wales 1813’ around the hole on the obverse and ‘Five Shillings’ around the hole on the reverse. The dump surface was filed clean and then counter-stamped with the words ‘New South Wales 1813’ surrounding a crown centred on the obverse, and the words ‘Fifteen Pence’ in two lines on the reverse .

 

1813 'Holey Dollar' and 'Dump' - approx. 37mm. & 17mm. -  made from a single Spanish Silver 8 Reales (not to scale)

 

By mutilating the coins in this manner, it meant that they could not be spent anywhere else except as bullion.

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 incidentals.

To back up his determination to cut out the ‘rum currency’, Macquarie also made life tough for anyone caught exporting any more than 5 Pounds in copper coin out of the colony and, with actual money available and, the realisation by London that the colony could not do without it - the days of the corrupt N.S.W. ‘Rum Corps’ military officers were numbered, although they did not go easily!

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 English coins when the Sterling Silver Money Act of 1826 came into force.

It is estimated that fewer than 280 - 300 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. The ever faithful Spanish dollar and its ‘bits’ continued to circulate, with official sanction, until 1857 and recently the dollar in Fine to Very Fine condition was catalogued at approximately A$175 - A$275 

In comparison, the Holey Dollar and Dump, made from a similar condition coin  commanded approximately A$65,000 - A$110,000 for the Dollar and an additional A$20,000 - A$50,000 for the Dump.

(The Pocket Guide Australian coins and Banknotes - 14th Edition 2007)

 

The first 22mm. silver token coin in Australia’s numismatic history, is reported to have appeared in the Australian colony of Van Diemen’s Land, and it was produced by an unknown English manufacturer for Messrs. Macintosh and Degraves, Sawmillers of Cascades, near Hobart.

The imported tokens, dated 1823, were the same size and value as the English Shilling, but 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 grs. pure silver token that have been found are in excellent condition, it seems to bear out the latter theory.

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

 

      

Macintosh and Degraves Saw Mills - One Shilling Silver Token dated 1823 - 22mm. (not to scale)

 

Undated 34mm. Penny tokens ordered from Heaton & Sons of Birmingham by Annand, Smith & Co., Family Grocers of Melbourne and which arrived in 1849, were the first small change copper tokens recorded in the colony that did enjoy wide acceptance and use. (Melbourne ‘Argus’ 20th. October 1849.)

The first dated, locally produced, 34mm. Penny and 28 - 29mm. Half-penny tokens, closely followed in 1852. These pieces, made by J. C Thornthwaite, a seal-maker by profession, for Peek and Campbell, Tea Merchants of Sydney were an Australian first and, whilst several issues were made for this client between 1852 -54, all were rather crude as they were made with machinery that had been adapted for the purpose.

Thornthwaite’s best tokens were made from the copper funnel of an old steam-ship by several trial and error methods, but earlier efforts had included hand-sawing blanks from copper rods and using a press that did not have sufficient power -then over-weighing a drop-hammer stamper to the extent that the blanks were expelled from the machine like bullets.

The variances in quality were very obvious in regard to the finished products.

Thornthwaite perservered, however, and in 1855 he produced 34mm. Penny tokens for General Storekeepers, John Allen of Kiama and William Allen of Jamberoo, New South Wales as well as an undated Penny for Bell and Gardner, Iron mongers of Rockhampton, Queensland.

A later issue was returned by a subsequent purchaser as too shoddy - and that seems to have been the beginning of the end of Mr.Thornthwaite’s endeavours in copper token making, but he did produced some 16mm. silver threepences in 1854 for James Campbell, General Storekeeper of Morpeth, New South Wales, which contained about four pence worth of silver.

Thornthwaite was using seal-makers engraving tools to prepare his dies and without the proper equipment to press them he was always disappointed in the results, and only made very small batches, varying from about 20 to a maximum of about 640 coins, in one instance, for himself and his client.

However, the trend had commenced, and the Australian colonies were soon experiencing an influx of small change token coinage, mainly in copper but with the few silver threepences produced by J. C. Thornthwaite and also a few made from inferior quality silver that were produced by a Sydney jewellery firm, Hogarth, Erichsen & Co. for their own use in 1858 and 1860.

These silver token coins are the only ones recorded that were either made in Australia, or carried some indication that they were made for an Australian colony. (Mr. Erichsen was said to have knocked up a few acceptable threepences whenever he felt in need of ‘refreshment’.)

 

During the next ten years or so, at least thirty-three private businesses issued tokens, and, in one instance (Thomas Stokes) over 50 different dated pieces of different designs were produced - and, as well, copper and the odd silver tokens were being imported or found their way, sometimes in substantial numbers, from England and New Zealand to try and satisfy the demand for small change coinage.

The discovery of gold in Australia brought with it the entrepreneurial characters that tried to ‘make a quid’ the easy way.

One such character, that turns up in Canadian numismatic history as well as on our Australian scene, was William Joseph Taylor, a Birmingham engraver and die-sinker who had set himself up in business in 1829 before heading to Australia in 1853.

Our records give us the sad story of a bloke who tried to make a fortune out of striking gold coin from discounted raw gold purchased from the miners and how the fates conspired against him so that he failed.

His coining-press, which had been on show at the Great Exhibition in London’s Crystal Palace in 1851, proved to be so cumbersome to unload from the ship ‘Kangaroo’, that it had to be dismantled and then re-assembled at his premises, an operation that took six months - in the meantime a large shipment of English sovereigns arrived in the colony and the bottom dropped out of the market as the price of gold rose above the face value of the coins that Taylor had planned to make his fortune from.

Taylor’s business continued on, however, when he started to produce tradesmen’s tokens from a series of dies he had obtained from Boulton’s Soho Mint some years before. By ‘muling’ the dies and making a few strategic alterations, he was able to come up with acceptable tokens, but he continued to lose money until eventually, in 1857, he sold his press and some of his dies to another die-sinker and button-maker, Thomas Stokes, who had arrived in Melbourne in 1854. Taylor had the rest of his dies and equipment shipped back to England and, eternally optimistic he died in 1885, still trying to make a fortune from his coin designs.

In 1863, tokens were declared illegal in Victoria and as ‘coin of the realm’ started to appear in greater numbers from 1860 onwards, they gradually disappeared into the melting pots of history.

 

The American Colonies.

However, Australia wasn’t the only British colony that was caught up in the London Home Office’s years of reluctance to commit a sufficient amount of official coinage to enable colonists to establish a little financial stability in their market places.

The American colonists also suffered from the same lack of English coins as the Australians and also had to make do with tokens and a mixture of coinages obtained from passing trade ships or bought direct from commercial manufacturers.

In a similar effort to clarify the exchange problem they also issued a Table of Coins - however they were obliged to cater for differences within the individual colonies, who all had independent governments at that time. Values shown in English Sterling Pounds, Shillings and Pence (Pennies) of that time

 

                         England      Philadelphia    New York.

                                                 £.   s.   d.              £.   s.   d.            £.   s.   d.

English Sixpence                   0 - 0 - 6                0 - 0 - 9                 0 - 0 - 9

English Crown                       0 - 5 - 0                0 - 7 - 6                 0 - 8 - 0

French Crown                        0 - 5 - 0                0 - 7 - 6                 0 - 8 - 0

Guinea                                    1 - 1 - 0                1 -14 - 0                1 -16 - 0

Spanish Pistole                     0 -16 - 0               0 -17 - 0                0 -19 - 0

French Pistole                       0 -16 - 0               0 - 16 - 6               0 -18 - 0

Moydore                                 1 -  7 - 0               2 - 3 -  6                 2 - 6 - 0

Half-Johannes                       1 -16 - 0               2 -17 - 6                 3 - 3 - 0

Johannes                                3 -12 - 0               5 -15 - 0                6 - 6 - 0

Doubloon                                3 - 6 - 0                5 - 8 - 0                5 -16 - 0

Spanish dollar                        0 - 4 - 6                0 - 7 - 6                 0 - 8 - 0

Pistereen                                   -----------             0 - 1 - 4                0 - 1 - 6

 

By inflating the values, it meant that it was improbable that coins would be ‘exported’ back to their countries of origin where they did not have the same buying power - thus the action achieved the purpose of keeping the coinage in the colonies. This practice of inflating the values of the more useful silver coins, in particular, was termed "crying up", and each of the 13 new American colonies were guilty of "upcrying" their silver coins as the mood struck them.

The coin that bore the brunt during the small change shortage in the Americas was a coin well known to Australian colonists as well, the silver Spanish eight reales (or as it became called by the colonists - the Dollar, after the Dutch ‘daalder’, which itself was a derivative of the German "thaler’).

 

The Spanish dollars, which were gradually finding their way North from Mexico and Peru through the Bahamas, were usually well worn or underweight from clipping, but they were made from good quality silver, about 420 grains of .9350 fine, and, therefore, very acceptable in places where the demand for silver far exceeded supply. To alleviate the lack of small change the dollar would be cut into 8 pieces, or bits, each bit being 1 real which equalled 12.5 cents ( thus '2 bits' - a term still used occasionally in the U.S. - is equivalent to a quarter dollar).

Prior to1642, the value of the Spanish dollar was 4/6 (54 pence), in June that year the price was ‘upcried’ to 4/8 (56 pence) and three months later, to 5/- (60 pence) - and, again in 1682, just before the minting of silver coins ceased in Massachusetts Bay colony (which had been producing a 72 grain shilling - compared to the British sterling coin of 92.6 grains - since 1652, to try and keep the ‘silver’ coinage in the colony) the Spanish dollar was ‘upcried’ again by over 22 percent and was valued at about 6/- (72 pence). By 1692 it was 6/2 (74 pence) and by 1705 it was 7/- (84 pence).

 

Other silver coinages were also dragged up in value during this time of ‘upcrying’, even the British sterling coinage - enough to create concern amongst British exporters and merchants who were finding it difficult to sell their wares to colonists who would rather keep their locally over-valued silver.

In response to these concerns, Queen Anne (1665 -1714) issued a royal proclamation that came into law in 1707 when the English Parliament decided to ratify that the Spanish dollar would be valued at 6/- (72 pence) in the colonies, and that any other silver coins could not be traded at any more than 33 percent above the English Sterling rates for the equivalent coin.

The Americans conscientiously ignored the proclamation in most colonies, except Virginia, until after the Revolutionary War - although rates stabilised to some extent in 1759 with the Table of Coins. From the start of American colonisation, enterprising people were importing copper and silver tokens and making unofficial coinage to try to offset the official reluctance to issue coin of the realm.

 

The first coins were minted by John Hull of Massachusetts Bay Colony after authority was given in 1652 by the General Court of Massachusetts.

Hull produced Shillings, Sixpences and Threepences from West Indies bullion with punches made by Joseph Jenks at his Saugus Iron Works. The original issues of coins were very simply stamped NE (for New England) on one side, and Roman numerals denoting value on the reverse, but eventually more elaborate designs, including the Willow, Oak and Pine trees series, were implemented to deter counterfeiters, and a two-penny coin was added to the range. All coins between 1652 -1682, when the coinage was abandoned, are dated 1652 although we know from the records that the Willow was issued between 1653 -1660, the Oak between 1660 -1667 and the Pine between 1667 -1682.

 

 

 

Top row : New England NE' coinage with Roman numerals (1652)

Second row: 'Willow Tree' coinage (1653 - 1660)

Third row: 'Oak Tree' coinage (1660 - 1667)

Bottom row: 'Pine Tree' coinage (1667 - 1682)

(not to scale)

 

In 1659, Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, inherited most of the colony of Maryland from his father and he ordered a very small amount of coinage from England, bearing his likeness and calling him ‘Lord of Mary’s Land’ (in Latin).

Lord Baltimore issued a Denarium (Penny), a Groat (Fourpence), Sixpence and a Shilling all showing his family coat-of-arms and values in Roman numerals on the reverses - however by 1770 most of his coins had disappeared from circulation and only a few patched up or holed examples are found today outside of museums.

 

Maryland - Lord Baltimore's private coinage 1659 - 1700 (Very scare - extremely rare. Very valuable in finer grades)

(not to scale)

 

There were many more issuers, both private entrepreneurs and officially sanctioned businessmen who made coinage for a price for the different colonies.

Mark Newby, from Dublin, brought ‘St. Patrick’ copper farthings and half-pennies with him when he arrived in America. In May 1682 these coins were officially accepted as legal tender by the General Assembly of New Jersey.

"However, since, they did not specify size; only that it would be worth a halfpenny in trade, many more farthing size pieces tended to circulate. A tiny brass piece - known as a 'splash' -  was inserted above the large crown featured on the obverse.. Both size coins can be found with the brass splash (unlike a plug, a splash is only on one side), usually on the obverse where it gave the crown a “golden highlight”.  

Reference:  http://wbcc-online.com/newsmail/news31

 

A Royal Patent authorising a tin token ‘farthing’ to be produced under franchise, was granted in 1688 to Richard Holt and was the first issued for the British colonies in America. Known as ‘American Plantation Tokens’ these nearly pure tin tokens were issued as 1/24th. Part Real - based on the Spanish 8 Real or Dollar coin.

Another patent to make tokens for Ireland and the American colonies was obtained, from King George I, by Englishman William Wood, who issued half-pennies, pennies and twopences bearing an American rose on the reverse and the monarch’s head as the obverse.

The first twopence issue was undated but subsequent issues in other denominations were from 1722 -1724 and a final issue released in 1733, three years after Wood had died. The tokens, made from 75 percent copper, 24.7 percent zinc and 0.3 percent silver, weren't popular and were rejected by the colonists.

Many of Wood’s Irish farthings and half-pennies, dated 1722 - 1724, proved just as unpopular in the Emerald Isle and these ended up in America as well.

The list goes on and on, as each of the colonies endeavoured to address the coin shortages as best they could, by authorising tokens and ‘coins’ to be made locally, buying coinage and tokens from the manufacturers in London and elsewhere, and even utilising tradesmen’s tokens as legal tender.

 

United States of America coinage. (Not illustrated)

The 13 original colonies of Virginia, Carolina, New York(e), New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Kentucky, Maryland, Vermont and Pennsylvania were all active in their efforts to overcome the problem, but it would eventually be solved only years after they had became one nation. Some of the early efforts were beautifully designed and produced - but other’s could only be described as ‘blacksmith’ issues.

The Americans had to put up with this polyglot of coinage until 1787, when the first few decimal cents and half-cents, stating defined values, were manufactured in Massachusetts, and then, the famous Fugio Cents were authorised by Congress on Saturday, April 21st. 1787 and were coined, in New Haven, Connecticut, from copper bands that had once held French-supplied gunpowder kegs together during the Revolution.

Eventually the first United States Mint issues were produced by Robert Birch in 1792.

 

Main References/Highly Recommended Reading*.

The Macquarie Book of Events. - published by Macquarie Library Pty. Ltd. 1984.

*A Guide Book of United States Coins. (50th. Anniversary Edition.) - by R.S. Yeoman. 1997.

*Australasian Tokens and Coins - by Dr. Arthur Andrews.1921. Reprinted by Sanford L. Durst.1982.

 

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GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.

TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST - INTERNET EDITION' 1996 - June 2007

'NUMISNET WORLD - INTERNET EDITION' July 2007 - 2008

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

'NUMISNET WORLD' - Internet Edition.

Volume 13 – Issues 1 - to date, 2008

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:-

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.

************************************************

'NUMISNET WORLD'

(INTERNET EDITION)

 

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.

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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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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.

Australia.

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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au