Volume 13 Issue 5Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996) May 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.
'NUMISNET WORLD'INTERNET EDITION
Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2008.
AUSTRALIAN NUMISMATIC DEALERS' FRATERNITY!
Australia, in comparison with some other areas of the world, is still fortunate to have a numismatic fraternity that, by and large, still knows one another on a relatively personal commercial level. No doubt, this 'hobby' is always in a state of change and, lately, the buzzword is obviously 'investment' - but the 'system' and the number of national coin and banknote shows that are regularly attended by well-respected dealers and the ordinary hobbiests - must also be given their due regard. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to travel to the many interstate dealers that we read about - but don't despair .......!!
For many years, quite a few of this dealers' fraternity of men and women have travelled millions of kilometers over all the states and mainland territories of this rather large island of Australia and made thousands of hobbiests - like myself - wiser, wealthier (occasionally) and certainly happy to be an associated member of a group of usually good honest people. Of course, they are competitive in business - and, like everyone else under pressure, they can have their mad moments - but, as a rule, they're not a bad bunch! The bad ones usually don't last the distance and are soon weeded out..
Sometimes, we might refer to these rolling shows as a 'Circus', but every kid - no matter what age - loves to visit the 'big tent' - and this is no different!
There are the basic merchandise characters, often from interstate, who enjoy a good joke; the thoroughly organised big-money professionals - who also have been known to have a joke; and the local dealers who love the opportunity to get amongst their peers from elsewhere - and also appreciate a fresh joke. To attend a numismatic gathering - even a small one - is a great educational experience, and an excellent opportunity to discover new treasures, and, even make a few good friends.
In the 20 years, or so, I have been working around the mobile dealers - I would say, without hestitation, we have some of the greatest dealer personalities who, once you know what makes them tick, are the best in the numismatic business. Those who have been around for a long-time are the elder statesmen - true professionals - they value a potential customer - and they want you to remember them kindly and look for them 'next time' they're in town.
However, we shouldn't just 'forget the little guy' either - they have to start somewhere - sometimes a lifetime friendship can start with just a single cheap, but appealing, beat-up old coin that you might buy for a child's first numismatic gift.
It worked for me and my young grandson when he came with me to a coin fair for the first time a few years ago. (He's now thoroughly hooked and looks out for the one or two people he knows will cut him a good deal for carefully chosen additions he wants for his growing collection of 'better than average' stuff.)
These days, unfortunately, I think that collectors are starting to rely on the electronic market-place a little too much - in all sorts of instances - when choosing or disposing of our numismatic bits and pieces. Due to the nature of the Internet beast, transactions are always reliant on accurate written descriptions, fair pricing and un-enhanced photoscans - but, sometimes, ignorance or the misunderstanding of terminology or value, or even blant mis-representation (dare I say even some pure dishonesty) - by either buyer or seller - can create problems that leave a nasty bitter taste in participants' mouths.
There is nothing diabolically wrong in using these modern ways - and the other electronic sales tools that are now available to us - but, perhaps, with a large dose of Caveat Emptor for obvious reasons.
However, after years of learning the highs and lows of this hobby, I know - 'absolutely positively' - that it also pays to attend any of the shows (little or large) that come your way, or visit the dealer showrooms to see items at first hand if you can - even if it is just to get an actual 'hands-on' education (but never waste their time if they're apparently busy), learn of the possible pitfalls, and to rub shoulders with a few of those people who really know the business - before parting with your hard-earned cash!
AROUND THE TRAPS
WE LIVE AND LEARN!
The last few issues, in particular, of the 'Australasian Coin & Banknote Magagazine' (CAB) have provided Oz coin collectors with some extremely interesting reading indeed about some of our old Australian predecimal coinage, courtesy of articles by the talented Andrew Crellin and Fred Lever - to name just two amongst many. For those of us who had a few old bronze pennies and half-pennies tucked away in a cupboard, it was also nice to be able to drag them out and benefit from the expertise of others who are dedicated to our hobby.
When I started reading these few stories, it struck me that, with the exception of the 1923 Halfpenny, all these coins could still be 'relatively' easy to obtain, but, as the facts are brought to the attention of collectors, that situation could change fairly rapidly.
The fact is, that over the last 60 years or so, Australian predecimal bronze coinage (of the dates mentioned) has been melted down, badly abused, and - with the exception of the few 'royal' coppers like the 1930 Penny and 1923 Halfpenny - they have been lost, discarded or put away and virtually forgotten.
To have a few of the items - in really good nick - that might have fitted the parameters of the articles, lifted the question up a few notches as far as I was concerned. The search was on.......
Lo! and Behold! All the mentioned coins were already tucked away amongst my accumulation.
Of course, my samples weren't quite as good as those illustrations shown in the magazine - but, they weren't too shabby either. The flat-bed scanning - isn't to scale - and it certainly doesn't do them justice I'm afraid - so I hope my descriptve explanations may be sufficient. I really must invest in a digital camera of my own instead of relying on the borrowed one I sometimes use. (See the difference in the photoscans below.)
I diligently re-read the articles and then pored over my samples with a x10 magnification eyeglass and a basic magnifier and - I'm very happy to report that some of the newly published facts fitted in with coins I have.
So those who are looking to do something with your collection now that the days are shortening - drag out those loose coins, albums or whatever, get out your magnifiers - get cracking - and think about investing in a new-age camera !
In these latest CAB instances , the articles were referring to:
'The 1925 Penny' - by Andrew Crellin. - (The Commonweath of Australia's 3rd. rarest coin.)
'Recognition of Genuine and FORGED 1923 Halfpennies' - by Fred Lever (who showed us how to pick the Duds)
1925 Australian Penny - the 3rd rarest coin in our predecimal coinage.
1923 Australian Halfpenny - scarce and expensive to obtain - it's market value is still sky-high for higher grade samples.
My 1925 Penny has a very narrow portion of flattened rim, easily seen, just above the 'MM' of the word 'COMMONWEALTH' on the reverse, otherwise it is a ' 6 Pearler with Centre Diamond' and 'with no other detracting marks' - close to 'XF' overall in the fields, and it is quite attractive despite the poor scan.
The 1923 Halfpenny also is a '6 Pearler etc' but, under x10 magnification, it is showing slightly more general circulation wear on the reverse fields, and there are two very tiny rim dings - the worst above the last 'A' of AUSTRALIA, and one under the centre of the date. Neither extend into the field.
Alongside the 'O' of ONE, there is an old, toned, very shallow, elongated triangular shaped dig mark of approximately .05mm., at its widest point, and about 2mm in length extending into the field above the 'H' of Halfpenny.
(All these faults can be seen on the scans - in this instance from a photo taken with the borrowed digital camera).
My grading - on the cautious side - would have to be - aXF/aF - with marks as described - still quite a nice 1923 Halfpenny coin to have in my collection.
Microscopic diecracks can be seen, in good light - under X10 magnification, extending under the obverse legend - : REX. F.D. IND:I(MP): and, on the reverse from (HTLAEWNOMMO)C . 1923 . - and it has a very hard to see spidery microscopic double crack over the top of 'AILA(RTSUA)' - (reading backwards and upside-down from l. to r.) - and heading gradually toward the rim beading before disappearing.
'The Background to the 1946 Penny' - by Andrew Crellin - (Australia's 3rd rarest Penny - Why is it so?)
'The 1926 Halfpenny die failures.' - by Fred Lever (who breaks down and spends some time with a few die crack errors.)
(Unfortunately, these articles were too detailed and 'educational' to be reprinted, in full, in this newsletter, so, if you aren't a subscriber to the aforementioned magazine, I humbly suggest that you give it consideration and arrange to get copies. Contact details can be found at the end of this article.)
1946 Australian Penny - the 3rd rarest in this denomination.
1926 Australian Halfpenny - both obverse and reverse dies sustained deteriorations over their striking lifetimes. Errors abound.
The 1946 Penny that I have tucked away - has its own little story.
Ten years ago, I was asked to value a shoebox of circulated bronze Australian pennies and halfpennies that had been donated to a charity, and, in the process, I graded and listed the lot and kept a duplicate copy. Later, the same shoebox, plus coins, came back to me with an offer to sell them to me at half my valuation (for the voluntary labour I had put in). The amount asked for was not a lot, in the scheme of things, however, the number of coins were far in excess to what few I required for my own collection - but I bought them (as 'a donation' basically) as the proceeds were for a worthwhile cause and I had the means of disposing of any remnants and I knew, given time, I may possibly break even.
The series of bronze coins was first minted in 1911 and were discontinued in 1964, so many were between 30 - 80 years old, at that time, and are now basic fodder on local market stalls for a retail price of about 20 - 40 cents each for the usual average beat-up circulated coin.
When I eventually got around to checking the contents of the box against my own duplicate list, I found that certain quality items were missing and replacements had been substituted by whomever had the box after it had left my hands.
Under the circumstances, I decided to 'cop it sweet' - but ,when I got down to the real nitty-gritty and did a complete and thorough re-sort, I found the 1946 Penny - and that had certainly not been in the box when I had originally sorted it.
That one coin meant that the financial scales were pretty evenly balanced - so whoever put it in the box - I thank you for that!
Fred Lever's story about the die problems of the 1926 Halfpenny will certainly open a can of worms amonst hobby collectors..
His illustrated article shows 11 Obverse die failures and 6 Reverse failures of different degrees of severity - and, as Fred said "I will leave it to other interested collectors to examine their 1926 and see if they can add to my list"
Yes, Fred! - I had to look - didn't I!
The one 1926 that I have in my main collection is a 6 Pearler - with a completely worn away centre diamond and a couple of obverse small edge dings.
The Obverse microscopic die cracks start at the top of the 'S' of (GEORGIV)S then curve down through the lower part of - V D.G. B(RITT)
In comparison, the reverse diecracks are certainly not all microscopic and most can be clearly seen in good light.
The major one starts at the top of the 'O' of the word (C)OMMONW(EALTH) and continue across the top of each letter. However, at the top of the last leg of the initial 'W' the crack flattens and extends upwards into the rim beading. It is definitely not a pretty sight!
Further around the legend - between the 'H' of (COMMONWEALT)H and the 'O' of the word O(F) - another slightly angled, vertical diecrack extends from the rim beading down through the downstroke of the 'E' of (ON)E barely touches the end serif of the horizontal leg of the 'L' of (HA)L(F) and turns microscopic as it enters the top of the second 'N' of (PEN)N(Y).
It still isn't too bad for an average VG bronze coin of its age. However, when I first found it, I was a green as grass collector and things like die cracks never entered into my thought process. The only thing that mattered was the date and after 20 years or so, I have just started to learn a few things about numismatics' finer points. I wonder how many other things I've missed?
The Australasian COIN & BANKNOTE Magazine
P.O. Box 6313
North Ryde, N.S.W. 2113
Phone: 02 9889 3755 Fax: 02 9889 3766
OZ UNCUT $10.00 PAPER NOTES 'PILS'
In our last issue, a small illustration labelling error occured that would have been quickly picked up by any of our readers from Hobart - and it was.
The above-mentioned article was accompanied with a 1991 photo of the venue (and my good old trusty Toyota Corona wagon of the era) - however the now embarassed Editor relied on a faulty fact from his ancient failing memory and did not check and confirm the change of name that had happened during the period between then and now.
Mr Charles Hunt, a long-time friend and member of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society, who actually attended the same function with me at the hotel - and who does live in the Hobart area - dropped me a quick e-mail (below). So, to set the record straight, I'll also pass the corrected name-change on to you, with my apologies. Thanks, Charles!
The last sentence reads "The
Shereton International Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania, which was the venue for the
event in 1991, has since been re-named Hotel Mercure". THIS IS INCORRECT!
This should ACTUALLY read "The Sheraton International Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania, which was the venue for the event in 1991, has since been re-named Hotel Grand Chancellor". - Charles.
Now known as 'Hotel Grand Chancellor' - Hobart
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 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:-
'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.
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.
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