Volume 18 Issue 3      Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)     March 2013



Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2013.


All or any prices quoted in articles in this free newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Wherever possible - illustrations (*enlarged or otherwise) are from the authors' own collection - or the extensive picture library of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist' -  Internet Edition © 1991 - 2007.  and the  'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition. © 2007 - 2013.  

Krause-Mishler (KM) Standard and Specialized World Catalogs (also including 'Pick' banknote numbers) - and McDonald and/or Renniks Australian catalogue numbers - are used where applicable.

*Please note that the photoscans of items are not always to size or scale. (Fair 'acknowledged' use of any original scan is allowed for educational purposes.)


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

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

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



Where on-line web-site Links or addresses are supplied, they are done so in good faith - however, our readers are advised, that, if a personal decision to access them is made - it is at your own risk.



.... commemorating the events of

26th. January 1788


No matter what definition is placed on the day that European settlers (or invaders) arrived in the land 'down-under'- it's now just over a quarter of a century since Australians first saw our original polymer currency note, with its Ten Dollar denomination, 'magically' appear to commemorate our national Bi-Centenary in 1988. 

This was a note that was so different than our usual paper notes - with its 'one-off' innovative design and see-through holographic window (OVD-Optical Variable Device) - that it still holds a special place as a 'must-have' definitive piece in every Australian note-collectors heart as well as their accumulation.


However, due to its design uniqueness - and the pressure to have the new note released at this most propitious time in our nation's history - it was found to have some inherent production flaws in regard to the special OVD that bore the likeness of Capt. James Cook - a modern update of the previous image used as a watermark on our old paper currency.

Instead of the dated low prefix and serial number variety, in a special descriptive folder (shown left and below) and the undated first circulation issue, causing the numismatic public to skip with glee   - a major withdrawal soon occurred due to manufacturing problems.

Shortly after a mammoth effort by Note Printing Australia to get it right, a series of renovated notes were finally released with an extra protective coating over the fragile OVD. 

Although not specifically mentioned in major catalogues, it is also obvious that a residue of dated low prefix notes had also entered the mainstream in considerable numbers to clear out existing stocks..

Some of these obviously came from unused Commemorative packs or designated Staff Presentation Folders.

These unrecorded release details have intrigued and bewildered numismatists and cataloguers to this day.


Found in circulation!

The serial number indicates it is from the series of dated low prefix notes originally reserved for Staff Presentation Packs.


At the time, the use of a plastic-type material, instead of the traditional organic-based paper pulp, was a relatively new aspect for note technology, and, although a similar polymer substrate had been developed in Europe, it was being mainly used for other documental purposes.

However, the race was on, as it was known that these companies were also toying with other plastic-type fabrics for possible banknote use, and some had printed samples and were actively trialling them under various trade-names in some Scandinavian countries.

The technical problems - particularly with ink adherence and note flexibility - were enormously difficult to surmount, and, it would take another few years before Note Printing Australia eventually got it right and to be able to use it for Australian notes. It should be noted that some of the original features that made the original Australian Bi-Centenary note so exciting - such as the OVD - have never reappeared on the polymer notes we now commonly use.

However, the rest of the successful technology has since been marketed over the last 25 years, under licence, to many of our South Pacific neighbours and others and a different style of holographic device is often utilized.

Note Printing Australia currently prints - or has, in the recent past - polymer banknotes for many Australasian area nations such as New Zealand and Vietnam etc. - and is spreading further a-field.


Australian Polymer Substrate $10.00 Bi-Centenary note' - dated 26th. January 1988.

A total amount of 800,000 of these unique design notes were dated and individually packaged in folders to be sold at a premium of AUD$14.00 to commemorate the landing of the First Fleet two hundred years previously.

The current numismatic retail price is hovering at about AUD$50.00 for AA01 - AA21 prefixes.



A good Australian catalogue is essential to differentiate the varieties in the 'fantastic plastic' of 1988.


Supplementing the 1988 'fantastic plastic' (Polymer substrate) $10.00 note, the Royal Australian Mint also produced a number of commemorative coins as 'one-off' releases. The items shown below are the type of official items that were presented to the numismatic public during the Bi-Centenary year.  Several privately packaged sets, similar in style to the official RAM releases - or even using RAM circulation products in private packaging  -  did enter the market to add a little confusion at the time. This has happened on several occasions - and, whilst these presentations are generally excellent in quality and even bear descriptive text mentioning the RAM - they are not official and are rarely - if ever - mentioned or priced in mainstream catalogues.


1988 $10 Silver Uncirculated Coin


1988 Australian Mint Set of Circulation coinage - featuring early scenes of European settlement.




The 1988 Mint Set contains the initial issue of the Aboriginal $2.00 coin - plus a a commemorative 50Cent coin and special issue Kangaroo Dollar reverses.


Main Australian Coin and Banknote Reference

'Australian Coins and Banknotes' 2013 Pocket Guide (12th. Edition) - compiled by Greg McDonald.





A brief review of the direction our basic Oz Decimal Coinage came from ....

....a preview of the way it is heading ...

and a slight digression into the showbiz razzmatazz of commemoratives.


The Arnold Machin, Raphael Maklouf and Ian Rank-Broadley obverse effigies (shown above) of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, are designs that most Australians - and many other members of the Commonwealth of Nations - have been seeing on our coinage for nearly all of our adult lives.   The first QEII portrait was introduced on Australian coinage 60 years ago in 1953.

It is now exactly a decade since our last major discussion, about Australian basic decimal coinage types, was published in the March 2003 Internet edition of the "Tasmanian Numismatist"  - and it is timely that we should revisit the subject.

Whilst some of the more recent changes are obvious to older collector/users - they may not register with those who are new-comers to our great hobby, or, who are under 21 years of age.

As mentors, it is part of our numismatic responsibility that we should not forget that spot in the past - and - the need for our newest collectors to be educated or reminded about 'the what was' in our pocket change over 10 years ago.


In keeping with our practice of reviewing our original common circulating coinage, and previewing the latest trends, this brief report follows on from the in-depth illustrated study presented in 'Tasmanian Numismatist' March 2003.  

Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Mar03.html


The Bronze One & Two Cent coins were withdrawn in 1991.



The 80% Silver round 50 Cent coin - withdrawn shortly after issue in 1966 - was replaced with the Copper-Nickel 12-sided coin in 1969.



Standard Australian Decimal Coinage - original Stuart Devlin reverses.

One Cent 1966 - 91 (Tailed Glider) 17.53mm. 97% Copper - 2.5% Zinc - 0.5% Nickel

Two Cents 1966 - 91 (Frilled Neck Dragon Lizard) 21.59mm. 97% Copper - 2.5% Zinc - 0.5% Nickel

Five Cents 1966 - date (Echidna) 19.41mm. 75% Copper - 25% Nickel

Ten Cents 1966 - date (Lyrebird) 23.60mm. 75% Copper - 25% Nickel

Twenty Cents 1966 - date (Platypus) 28.52mm. 75% Copper - 25% Nickel

Fifty Cents (Coat-of-Arms) 1966 only Round style - 31.50mm. 80% Silver - 20% Copper

Fifty Cents 1969 - date (Dodecagonal style) - 31.50mm. 75% Copper - 25% Nickel

One Dollar (Kangaroos) 25mm. 92% Copper - 6% Aluminium - 2% Nickel

Two Dollars (Aborigine) 20.62mm. 92% Copper - 6% Aluminium - 2% Nickel


The most obvious thing, that our current coinage handlers note, is that we no longer see as much of our discontinued, original Bronze coinage turning up at banks and other money collection points to be surrendered. Despite the natural resistance to change, we, the collecting hobby arm of the public - expects to  see further onslaughts made on the denominations of the nation's unique coins and notes. .

The One and Two Cent coins - first minted for general circulation in 1966 - officially disappeared from circulation way back in 1991 after serving us well for a quarter of a century - but, even if fairly large hoards of these coins do continue to surface - and they probably will for quite a few years - these accumulations will eventually start to dry up. It is noticeable that the condition of early circulation, low value decimal coins coming onto the numismatic market is already lowering - but. that is not to say that all the good pieces have been redeemed or collected.

There are rumbles, in the corridors of power, that the Australian Cu-Ni 5 Cent may also be looking over its shoulder as the talk of 'rounding' to the nearest 10 Cents is now becoming more than talk. 

Will our 10 & 20 Cents become the inflated versions of our One and Two Cents?

Anyone who pays a bill at the front counter - particularly with cash money - will know that most major businesses and utilities have already 'jumped the gun' and are now readjusting their financial computers from 'stun' to 'lethal'  in regard to rounding from the current 5 Cents up to 10 Cent increments..


There are still thousands of these small value coins stashed away, in  private hands, purely as keepsakes - or, because the effort of cashing them is tedious - or - people think they may be worth a fortune in years to come. Most of these low denomination coins actually fall into the 'shrapnel' category - but, there are a few gems still out there - and, just maybe, one special item could be in our grandma's old side-board. or cupboard drawer awaiting recovery.


2006 Eight Coin Uncirculated Mint Set - 40th. Anniversary of Decimal Currency.


*2006  - One and Two Cent original reverse Bronze coins bearing the current obverse effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, were minted and included in standard Proof and Mint Sets commemorating the 40th. Anniversary of Decimal Currency. (Issue prices for these 8 coin sets were AUD$80.00 and AUD$25.00 respectively.)  A restrike of the round 1966 Silver 50Cent was reserved for a special all Silver Proof Set (AUD$120.00)


The other noticeable trend is that the production of N.C.L.T. (Non Circulating Legal Tender) has virtually 'exploded' in bullion metal items at premium prices. Whether these fascinating - often very appealing - baubles will prove to be a 'South Seas' bubble type of  investment will be proven over time.

The plethoric practices of the Royal Australian Mint in issuing supposedly standard sets containing a special non-standard coin (see sample below) as well as the more decorative sets and individual coins in precious metals - often colour printed and carrying a trendy iconic or non-standard reverse - has continued to grow and confuse archivists as well as the basic collector. A once relatively tidy and healthy hobby now has bits and pieces hanging from it like a parasitic vine.

Advertisements indicate that, currently, these new 'coins' are being churned out in limited issues like pieces of crafted jewellery - to maintain a short supply and an artificial price structure. It has now reached the point that a separate, pretty 'crockery-shop' type of investment culture has been developed.

Active promotion has secured a working base of contemporary investment accumulators - but, in the opinion of many mainstream numismatists, we are entering a new era of collectibles bordering on a blend of exonumia and art.

However - like all hobbies that must undergo some changes to keep it interesting - it's 'horses for courses'!

Check the latest catalogue McDonald catalogue (shown below) for details and prices of these precious metal issues to see if the trend appeals to you!



2013 - Special Edition 6Coin Uncirculated Set - with its non-standard coloured 20 Cent coin.

'Australian Coins and Banknotes' 2013 Pocket Guide (12th. Edition) - compiled by Greg McDonald.

(Actual size)


Australian Silver Threepences - showing original Coat-of-Arms (1910- 1936) and 'Wheat-sheaf' designs (1938 - 64)

Australian Silver Shillings (12 Pence) - showing original Coat-of-Arms (1910 - 1936) and 'Merino' design (1938 - 63)

 Fine 92.5% Silver was used in all Australian silver coins from 1910 until 1952.

An alloy of 50% Silver, 40% Copper, 8% Zinc and 2% Nickel was used from 1953 until 1962 - 1963.

Decimal coinage was introduced in 1966.


Revamped specimen-quality designs from the vaults of the old Imperial coinage range - like the 'Merino' or 'Wheat-sheaf' (shown above) - but with new 'One and Ten Dollar' denominations (details below) - are the latest venture that may actually created a deal of spontaneous general public interest - and, perhaps a little nostalgia  - but, no doubt, some of these will resurface on the secondary market in a few years time when odd accumulations are broken up.

These are not in the pretty bauble category -they have the appearance of honest 'work-horse' coins despite their specifications - and, their bullion value will always determine their worth - no matter what the stated face value.


Greg McDonald's 2013 Pocket Guide to 'Australian Coins and Banknotes' (12th Edition)

Colour illustrations with full details of specifications, mintages, mintmarks, issue and professionally estimated retail prices.

Additional information is in abundance within its 544pages - a really great 'handy-size' acquisition to any numismatic library!


**2011  - One Dollar coins in 25mm. Aluminium Bronze (9Grams) at AUD$14.95 issue price - and a 38.74mm. x 99.9% Fine Silver (36.31 Grams) at AUD$45.00 issue price - and a 17.53mm. Ten dollar coin of 99.99% Fine Gold (1/10oz.) at AUD$320.00 issue price were produced bearing the likeness of the (1938 - 63) George Kruger Gray 'Merino' reverse design and the current QE II obverse effigy.

They were also struck and marketed at various Coin Fairs and stamped accordingly.


***2012 - One Dollar coins in 25mm. Aluminium Bronze (9Grams) at AUD$10.00 issue price - and a 38.74mm. x 99.9% Fine Silver (36.31 Grams) at AUD$55.00 issue price - and a 17.53mm. Ten dollar coin of 99.99% Fine Gold (1/10oz.) at AUD$360.00 issue price were produced bearing the likeness of the (1938 - 64) George Kruger Gray 'Wheat Sheaf' reverse design and the current QE II obverse effigy.

They were also struck and marketed at various Coin Fairs and stamped accordingly.


Main Australian Coin Reference

'Australian Coins and Banknotes' 2013 Pocket Guide (12th. Edition) - compiled by Greg McDonald.



Editorial Observation.

Some of us, within Australia's current aging society, may live to see the day of a 'cashless' - or, at least, a 'coinless'  society - as we are actively 'encouraged' to use swipe or scan cash-cards and/or credit-cards to pay our way - or - we lose the ability to function within the system.  Cash money is now rapidly becoming a secondary method 'to pay our way'!

The somewhat insidious, but irresistible, advance of manipulative electronic technology into the financial market over the last few decades - even at street level - has accelerated, and it has permanently changed the way we do business and handle our finances.

Long-standing arrangements are often changed, without adequate consultation or even notice, to suit computer programs - and the old system of 'Net 30 days' has been reduced to a 'Pay in 10 days' demand - basically for computer convenience. We are being forced into electronic transfer technology regardless of our ability to understand or cope - and, machines are heartless to whether it even suits our financial ability to comply or not at any given point in time. 

Many older people still do not have credit card facilities, nor, do they all understand the process of exact compliance in how they are used in self-serve machines - security passwords and access numbers become confusing - and they can get caught in a bind they can't handle.

It is now a big deal to ask for a few days time extension to meet an obligation and it often incurs a cash penalty - and a subsequent loss of loyalty to/from some organizations that rely too heavily on machines instead of human staff.


In a recent discussion about an account, I was blithely told by the innocent young lady operator - " .. but, the computer says ....."  - just as if it were a living personality with ultimate control over the whole procedure.

The public has always been financially controlled by layers of Government bureaucracy, utilities - and big business - but, are we also to be burdened by the increasing authority of an 'infallible' computer - that needs fallible human input!


I definitely do not label myself as a Luddite, but we are in some peril that we could develop into a society of 'haves and have nots' - as is now being seen in other established nations in Europe and in the Americas - by virtue of this increasing dependence on the computer controlled finance system and the ignorance of its fragilities.

Be truly aware! These are the first flights of financial science fiction - and, one day, it's coming home to roost! - G.E.P.





'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2007 - December 2012

The detail of contents of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' and 'Numisnet World' can be seen at the following links. Copies of articles are usually available by email, upon request from the Editor or the original author - or, if directly accessed, subject to those copyright provisions laid down in our current terms of use.  Articles will not be posted by mail services.

Early issues of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition', from 1995 - 1999. were permanently archived in 2000 and articles are not linked directly.

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug03.htm  - 1995, 1996 - 1997 (Volumes 1 and 2) Archived. Content detail only.

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept2003.htm  - 1998 - 1999 (Volumes 3 and 4) Archived. Content detail only.

By referring to the 'Newsletter Archives' or 'Search' function located on the Home Page, you can directly access all current Volumes online.

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html  - January 2000 (Volumes 5 - to date).

In January 2006 it was decided to grant each new issue its own URL link. which would henceforth appear in the current Index.

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

The final Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition'

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm  - 2007 (Volume 12 - Issues 1 - 6)


Full details of 'Numisnet World' - incorporating 'Tasmanian Numismatist'  (2007)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm  - (Volume 12 - Issues 7 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2008)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec08.htm  -  (Volume 13 - Issues 1 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2009)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec09.htm  -  (Volume 14 - Issues 1 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2010)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec10.htm  -  (Volume 15 - Issues 1 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World (2011)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jun11.htm  -   (Volume 16 - Issues 1 - 6)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec11.htm  -   (Volume 16 - Issues 7 - 12)

For full details of 'Numisnet World (2012)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june12.htm   - (Volume 17 - Issues 1 - 6)

http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec12.htm      -  (Volume 17 - Issues 7 - 12)



'NUMISNET WORLD' - INDEX - January 2013

Issue 1.  January 2013:-   http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan13.htm

DISAPPEARING WORLD BANKNOTES (ROUND 1!) - Over the last two decades or so, the world has become very much smaller, numismatically speaking! The formation of the Euro zone - and the break-up of several major power blocs  - can be likened to tossing a handful of stones into the currency pond. The waves and ripples are still bouncing from shore to shore, and some weaker currencies have been submerged and drowned - or in desperate need of salvation. It is a time for reflection by note collectors, as some prized collectables are being relegated to the 'also rans' sections of our albums - with the knowledge that we will be unlikely to see another national issue - as these states disappear into history.

A FEW 'TAG ALONGS - A few extra interesting pieces of paper that we sometimes overlook in the larger picture.

CASH FROM THE ORIENT! - TASMANIA'S CHINESE CASH - Over the years, the story of the CASH coins has been told on numerous occasions - however, we continue to get regular inquiries - "I have an old brass coin, a bit bigger than a 10 cent coin, with a hole in the middle - it has Chinese writing on it!  What is it?"  The purpose of this newsletter has always been educational - so - we have reprised the archived stories once again for that reason.

WANTED KNOWN - The 2013 schedule for the 'COIN & STAMP PLACE' 'travelling' coin and stamp shop locations  is now available. Contact them if you need to reserve any of the 2013 essentials or need them to bring something special along to the venues.


Issue 2. February 2013 :-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb13.htm

DISAPPEARING WORLD BANKNOTES (ROUND 2) - Concluding our perusal of some of the paper banknotes of 'yesterday' - or from those odd corners of the world that don't always attract a lot of numismatic attention.

A NUMISMATIC HOUSEHOLD HINT! - It's OK to allow non-collectors to touch your coins 'n' stuff - as long as you select the pieces that you hand to them! Be prepared - have a 'goodie-bag' ready to absorb that first impulsive reach and touch before you have a chance to educate them. .

T.N.S. MEETING - A general meeting will be held on 11th.  April  to discuss the 50th Anniversary celebration arrangements and to meet new members..


Issue 3. March 2013:-

A TIME TO REMEMBER - In 1988, something marvellous happened to the way the production of Australian currency notes was heading. The introduction of polymer substrate for use as the material for our folding money burst upon the public with a near unique note for its time. The Bi-Centenary Ten Dollars was as Australian as it could get in depicting our heritage - both Aboriginal and European. It was soon known as 'fantastic plastic' - and, it is still an essential centrepiece - the backbone- of many Oz decimal note collections.

AUSTRALIAN DECIMAL COINAGE - Another periodic review and preview of basic Oz coinage changes - and a brief foray into the increasingly distraction of special coinages being produced by the Royal Australian Mint - plus an 'Editorial Observation'.






The contents of this independent 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 - in writing - prior to use of that material.


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. Whilst the 'NumisNet World'' (Internet Edition) newsletter abides by the same basic guidelines originally suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter, it is a separate, independent publication.

The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ newsletter is the only official newsletter of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’ and it is published periodically and distributed by post, email or hand delivered, directly to financial members of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society and selected associates and institutions.

All titles and matters pertaining to the T.N.S. are re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society


Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome.

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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 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