Volume 9 Issue 10 INTERNET EDITION October 2004.
We trust that this issue of the Internet Edition will continue to provide interesting reading. The name of this Internet based newsletter is in keeping with the content so, bearing in mind our disclaimers, the Internet links selected are usually complimentary to the featured article in regard to: (1) illustrations and, (2) additional important information. Please also bear in mind that many Internet links are of a temporary nature.
TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY.
Anyone who wishes to apply for membership to the non-profit making organization, and who is prepared to abide by the rules of the Society and its aim of promoting the study and enjoyment of the hobby of numismatics, should contact the following address for an application form and details of subscriptions:
Tasmanian Numismatic Society.
G. P. O. Box 884J
Join us at the ANDA - APTA Show at Wrest Point Hotel Casino
Saturday and Sunday, October 9th - 10th. 2004.
Doors open 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Sat., & 10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Sun.
Admission $7.00 Adults - Children FREE
OMAHATOKEN SHOW - SEPTEMBER 4th. - 5th., 2004
T.N.S. Member # 363 Jerry Adam's prelimenary report of the Omaha Token Show.
"The early tally figures are in for my Omaha trip. As expected, I ended up "in the red" or spent more than I made - which is okay - because I had made allowances for it.
I did sell about 14 of my own duplicated items - all at
reasonably satisfactory prices - and that was a real bonus because they offset
some of the expenses of my purchases. These are the tokens and other exonumia
items I acquired, by number and type:
1 saloon metal figural bottle opener, from a California saloon, car shaped - very nice; 3 "Hutchinson top" soda bottles from Denver Colorado - also very nice
93 tokens of all sorts; 14 metal dog tax tags; 4 heavy nickel pin back badges. I also procured an old hand written document, dated 1868, where W.A. Carter was ordering his famous brass tokens or checks as they called them back then. This is a great "go with" for my Carter Post Trader token.
My incoming and outgoing quantities and finances were somewhat higher than previous years, indicating either a good year, or a higher degree of success in finding good material. Two of the tokens as I told you earlier, were worth the trip had I not found a single other thing. "
Jerry also added to his literary awards when he was presented with the 2004 Gold Literary Award, from his token collecting peers at the N.T.C.A. - the National Token Collectors Association (U.S.A.) - for his contributions to "Talkin' Tokens" where he writes in-depth historical stories behind the tokens he collects.
Jerry Adams (T.N.S. Member #363), receives his2004 Gold Literary Award from NTCA president Paul Cunningham
Jerry closing a mutually successful deal with fellow NTCA collector Ron Lerch
THE TALES THAT TOKENS TELL!
With Jerry's permission, we have featured some of his articles in this newsletter on previous occasions and the reader response has always been great.
Many of Jerry's best articles about tokens of the early West are located on his web-site archives and make absolutely intriguing and educational reading as many are associated with the characters of the era.
Who hasn't heard of 'Butch' Cassidy' and the 'Sundance Kid' - these men and their gang were not just characters in a movie - and they come to shadowy life again as you read the stories of some of the tokens that they may have probably used during their day to day 'more casual' exploits.
'Sheehan's Place' Saloon 12-1/2 Cents token
In December 1900, the gang decided to have a group photograph taken by photographer John Swartz at his second floor studio over 705 Main Street. Ft. Worth..
Downstairs at 705 Main was Sheehan's Place saloon where the boys would have probably had a liquid refreshment or two before braving the camera - and possibly have used Sheehan's unusual scalloped-edge tokens.
Standing left to right: William Carver, Harvey Logan
Seated left to right: Harry Longbaugh (Sundance Kid), Ben Kilpatrick, Robert Leroy Parker (Butch Cassidy)
Read the whole story. This is a highly recommended 5 Star site. Refer: http://members.fortunecity.com/tokenguy/tokentales/
by Graeme Petterwood© 2004
This edition again features an assortment of 'trivia' that I think are of interest and I trust they will prove educational and entertaining to you as well. 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!Please note that all prices quoted in articles in this newsletter are my estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Note - the photoscans are not to size.
"IT'S NOT WORTH A CONTINENTAL!"
We have all heard the sayings, "It's not worth a Continental!" or "Don't take any Wooden Nickels!" or "It's not worth a Plugged Nickel!" and we know from hearsay that these expression are refering to something which was considered to be virtually worthless. The last two issues of the newsletter have featured currency that was not worth the paper it was printed on, and, to continue along with this theme, we have briefly noted a few more items that were deemed to be not worth carrying around in your pockets. In Australia, something like this is often refered to as being "Not worth a Brass Razoo!".
The fictional Australian 'Brass Razoo' story has already been related, on several occasions, so, in this instance, I only intend to elaborate of those other items I have mentioned that achieved their noteriety - or claim to numismatic fame - in the U.S.A. However, in the progress of time, concepts of value change, and. now these items command a bit more as numismatic collectibles than what they were worth when they were contemporary with the U.S. public.
The famous term regarding the Continental currency was coined - pardon the pun - during the period when the American colonists were fighting the British to assert their independence. The fledgling Continental Congress authorised the issuance of a paper currency on May 10th. 1775 that was not backed by silver or gold but only by the expected taxes the Congress hoped to levee once the war was won and independence declared.
The fiat money*, which was denominated in Dollars, was needed to fund George Washington and his Army and was supposed to be redeemable in Spanish silver dollars or gold in due course - but of course there were few precious metal coins available at that time. A giant leap of faith, indeed.
Sample of Continental Currency
One Sixth of a Dollar authorised in Philadelphia February 17, 1776
Like other emerging nations, including Australia a few years later, there was a hodge-podge of privately-printed promissory notes and foreign coin and currency circulating in the American colonies and the issuing of a Congress authorised note series was made in an effort to unite the colonial population 'under one currency'.
As it occured in other countries, the plethora of notes that were printed - without backing - caused the Continental dollars to devalue rapidly and the public distrust of paper money was justified. (Recommended site: http://aes.iupui.edu/rwise/countries/united_states.html#colonial )
The expression regarding the inflated paper money even spread into official circles and it is reported that George Washington was heard to say, "A wagonload of Continentals will hardly purchase a wagonload of provisions." By 1792, the buying value was about 2-1/2 Cents to the One Continental Dollar note.
The public distrust of fiat paper money was not eased even when issued by prominent Revolutionary heroes and statesmen - and I believe that some of this distrust continues on into modern times after the U.S. currency went off the gold and silver standards.
To me, it appears that most Americans would still like to know that their currency is backed by precious metal even though it is no longer stipulated on the notes themselves. *(Defining Fiat Money - Legal tender, especially paper currency, authorized by a government but not based on or convertible into gold or silver.)
Series 1899, US$1.00 'Black Eagle' Silver Certificate stipulating payment in Silver. (The symbol at end of serial number is common.)
My sample has been repaired, top to bottom, with Rice paper on the Seal side, and would rate as Poor due to an unrepaired centre-fold hole.
(Other low grade examples of this popular note are offered for auction from US$5.00 - $20.00 on eBay)
During the War Between the States (or the Civil War, depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon Line you were born) the United States Government eventually acknowledged that a serious shortage of small change was placing serious hardships upon the business community and the public. The use of U.S. Postage stamps as currency was becoming widespread - but it was only as a last resort as the small stamps deteriorated quickly - and instances of postage stamp forgery were becoming more frequent. As officially prepared and distributed currency notes are deemed to be more secure than odd bits of paper substitutes, the small sized notes that were produced, after the Congress and Lincoln passed the Postage Currency Act of 17 th. July, 1862, were in urgent demand.
Initially, in 1862, they were perforated like stamps and could be purchased by the booklet, but the huge volume required soon saw a decision, made by Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase (1808 - 1873), to produce a more professional series so the notes were then produced in large sheets and hand cut by scissors. By 1863, all were being printed in sheet form.
They also proved to be in great demand, in another sense, by the Civil War infantryman who had worn holes in his boots and they acquired the nickname of 'shinplasters' - a term recognised today by numismatists to describe these notes. Fractional currencies have often been called "shinplasters" in the past.
Actually, this term of derision was first used by American soldiers in the Revolution. Then, paper currencies with a face value of less than a dollar were regarded as being so worthless that troops reportedly stuffed them into their stockings to protect their shins from being chafed by their boots.
Later, during the Civil War, southern soldiers held these small notes, which were issued mainly by the individual Confederate States, with equal contempt and also referred to them as 'shinplasters' and, in Canada in 1912, an issue of 25 Cent notes also achieved the same derogatory nickname.
State of Georgia 10 Cents (dated 1st. January 1863).
Redeemable in $5.00 quantities with C.S.A. Treasury Notes. Red or green Treasury Seal on reverse.
Denominations of 5 and 10 cents have low market values of approx. US$1.00; the 15 and 20 Cents are approx US$10.00 & $25.00 respectively.
Between 1862 and 1865, the U.S. Government issued over US$368,000,000 in small change notes in denominations ranging from 3 - 50 Cents - all of which are still redeemable at face value. As collectables, some are now worth 000's of U.S. Dollars in low condition levels.
Subsequent issues of this style of U.S. Fractional currency occured until 1875 (Fifth Issue) although actual printing had ceased in 1864..
U.S. 10 Cent note issued between February 1874 - 1875, featuring William Merideth, Secretary of the Treasury (1849 - 1850)
The Fifth Issue contains the lowest market valued U.S. fractional currency note (above) - at approx. US$8.00 retail in V.G. condition.
(Actual size 83mm x 53mm) Redeemable only in quantities of US$3.00 and legal
for payments up to US$5.00
The wooden 'nickel' has been around for a long time, over 70 years, and was often used as a token for a 5 Cents discount or given as change at a designated store or service providor and, of late, purely sold as a souvenir of a visit to a particular area. Obviously, they are cheap and easily made - and any sort of message can be imprinted. However, before they reached this mundane level, they actually enjoyed a type of trading legitimacy.
During the Great Depression, many small banks failed and left towns with no source of small change. It is a familiar story, and it is a reflection of earlier times when tradesmen were forced to issue their own token coinage to continue in business. In this instance the Citizen's Bank in Tenino, Washington, failed on December 5th 1931, and the local Chamber of Commerce, out of desperation, authorised the local newspaper to print the very first issue of wooden money. The town was about 30 miles away from another source of money so it was more economical to the traders and the public to accept these wooden 'notes' on trust from inhabitants of their own town and district. The original 'notes' were thin, flat and rectangular, not unlike currency, and bore the Chamber of Commerce authorisation and it was signed and serial numbered and redeemable against assets of the Citizen's Bank of Tenino to the value stipulated on the 'note'.
The first round wooden coins were actually issued in the town of Blaine, Washington, in 1933 when their bank also failed.
Other towns on the Pacific coast followed suit and both sorts of flat and round 'notes' were issued as interim currency for small change requirements e.g. nickels.
The reason for the adage "Don't take any Wooden Nickels!" was created because all these 'notes' had an expiry date and if they were not redeemed by a certain time - and in some instances that meant by the minute - they became worthless or only accepted at a reduced rate. So the warning was made, if wooden currency was offered for a debt, to always check the expiry date and "Don't take any Wooden Nickels!" if the time was running out.
As things improved, the wooden 'notes' were adapted to be used as promotional gimmicks and took on the familiar round shape that is still used today - in the main.
At differen times, several very gimmicky wooden 'notes' were issued in both flat and round formats and these are worthy of an individual study if you decide to collect the novelties and "Take a few Wooden Nickels!" for yourself!
'Five Cents of Flat Wood' - a novelty wooden 'nickel' Christmas/New Year 2000 greeting from Canadian T.N.S. Life Member, Jerry Remick
Selection of 38mm round wooden 'nickels' (including an Eisenhower wooden 'dollar') - mainly advertising pieces.
Relatively modern wooden money pieces such as shown above usually have a market value between 5 - 25 USCents each.
Plugged - 'Term used to describe a coin that has had a hole filled, often so expertly that it can be discerned only under magnification' - so says all the glossaries and definition lists. In many instances, they are coins that have been holed for jewellery purposes that are then plugged and redeemed for numismatic use where it is warranted and sold as 'plugged' but those coins are not what we are referring to. We are also not refering to coins plugged officially by the U.S. Mint to bring them up to a specified weight - which sometimes occurred with early silver coins.
We are briefly discussing those items that have been plugged with a base substitute after a small amount of intrinsically valuable metal has been extracted.
The term "It's not worth a plugged nickel!" is the most accepted expression that covers the situation of lessening the worth of a coin - or anything else - by what is seen to be a underhanded method. In fact the term 'plugged nickel' is fairly modern as it was used for the first time in print in 1912.
However, looking at it from our numismatic point of view, plugged coins, including the silver Quarter, the Silver Peso and Spanish Dollar plus any other local or international coins worth worrying about, have been around a lot longer. Many ancient coins are known to have been plugged so it has been a well-established practice - basically from the coin year 'dot'!
In fact, some enterprising American colonists - mainly the early unwilling ones - had been plugging coins even before they landed on the continent. Many examples of old English coins that had circulated in the colonies prior to the Revolution have been found that had been given the treatment - and just because the monarch's likeness was eventually replaced by Liberty, meant little to a private coinage entrepreneur. When you are on to a good thing - stick to it!
The holes were usually strategically placed amongst the coin design and were not huge - just enough to get a bit of the precious metal. Of course in those days, copper, silver and gold were the intrinsic metals and a good plugger could make it into a very profitable - if dangerous - business, if he worked conscientously. Silver coins were the main target of pluggers and the term 'plugged nickel' is really a bit ambiguous in that the 75%Copper - 25% Nickel coins in 3 and 5 Cent denominations - which were both known as 'nickels' in those days - were hardly worth worrying about so, if anyone went to the trouble and risk of fiddling only one or two, it was doubly worthless. Hence the adage!
Major References and Highly Recommended reading.
Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Volume 1 Specialized issues. by Albert Pick. (Editors Neil Shafer, Colin R. Bruce II)
Tokens and Medals - First edition 1992. by Stephen P. Alpert & Lawrence E. Elman
"I DON'T WANT TO SOUND LIKE A NAME-DROPPER, BUT........."
by Graeme Petterwood
from a suggestion by T.N.S. Member #363 Jerry Adams.
In nearly everyone's lives, there is a point where we nearly brush shoulders with, or do briefly meet, someone who is, or becomes, 'famous' enough to have his or her portrait emblazoned on coin, medal, banknote, postage stamp or even a badge. Occasionally, we have the opportunity to mention that occasion in numismatic company and, in our modesty, we often start our conversation with an apology, "I don't want to sound like a name-dropper, but.... "
No doubt, some of our readers will have also be able to say that magic phrase, "I don't want to sound like a name-dropper, but.... " and will really have some very important and famous people on their list of acquaintances. I know from our correspondence that T.N.S. Member, Jerry Adams, for instance, saw the late President J. F. Kennedy, who is featured on all sorts of coins, medals and stamps both in the U.S. and elsewhere. Jerry was also once lectured by the controversial inventor of the Geodesic Dome - the late R. Buckminster Fuller, who was architect, engineer, mathematician, poet and cosmologist, - and, who was recently honoured with an U.S. 37 cent postage stamp bearing his likeness. Refer: http://www.bfi.org/basic_biography.htm
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy - a Half-dollar (.800 Silver) coin bearing his likeness was first issued in 1964.
R. Buckminster Fuller - Geodesic Dome Inventor, portrayed on U.S.$ 0.37 postage stamp.
I recently had a reminder that the longer we live the more chance we have of falling into that category - so I thought I would drop a few names myself while I still can.
Firstly the Royals - during my own lifetime, I have been in some of the same cities and within a few yards of Her Gracious Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh on several occasions. I was just a few yards away from Prince Charles the Prince of Wales at Launceston Airport during a flying visit in 1994 when he arrived to open a few things of importance. He raced into the City of Launceston - after attending the centenary of the consecration of St. David's Cathedral in Hobart the day before - to have morning tea with the local dignitaries and then he raced off again.
I have another blurred picture of the Prince in his motorcade as he left town - but he was moving pretty fast and couldn't stop for a chat.
H.R.H. Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales - Souvenir Investiture Medallion July 1969
Caernarvon Castle, Wales (Enlarged scan) with Prince of Wales' Royal Crest. (Actual size 32mm)
Pewter 63mm. Centenary Medallion of Cathedral Church of St. David, Hobart and the occasion of HRH Prince of Wales visit 30th January, 1994
A limited edition Nickel-plated version of this 63mm. medallion was also produced.
Prince Charles striding from his plane to greet the crowd at Launceston Airport, 1st February, 1994
I even saw King George VI's younger brother, Prince Henry, the late Duke of Gloucester when he visited Launceston in mid 1940's just after the Second World War. (HRH Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, Baron Culloden, KG, KT, KP GCB, GCMG, GCVO, PC had been appointed to the job of Australia's Governor-General from the end of World War II until 1947 by his father King George VI.) He and the Duchess freshened up at the historic old Brisbane Hotel after arriving in the city and were greeted by a huge crowd, including a little boy, who had assembled to show their affection for the monarchy in absentia.
It's hard to believe that this event took place about 57 years ago......how Time flies - and how things change!
The Brisbane Hotel site was developed as a shopping arcade years ago - and some Australians are now talking about a republic.
As a young boy of about 6 or 7, I remember I fell madly in love with a picture of the Queen when she was just Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor.
She was probably aged 12 or so in her picture, which, at that time, was on a fancy biscuit tin that my grandmother had kept from before the War.
That there was actually 11 years difference between our ages didn't really matter when you are a young lad and all you have is an old biscuit tin to look at.
I still think she is a very special person, and without meaning to be disrespectful, in my boyish way, I also thought that the late Princess Margaret Rose wasn't too bad either. I wish I had kept that biscuit tin. They were both fairy princesses to most of my generation of Australians who dearly loved their monarchy in those dark wartime years.
HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester c.1946 - Australian souvenir badge Royal Visit c.1930
Princesses Elizabeth Alexandra Mary and Margaret Rose c. 1937 at about the age of the picture on my grandmother's biscuit tin.
Royal Visit to Launceston March 30th 2000
H.M. Queen Elizabeth II & H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
1997 Five Pounds Proof English coin commemorating 50 years of marriage.
Coats-of-Arms of England and Greece Royal Families.
For Specifications and other details of this coin refer: http://www.24carat.co.uk/1997crown.html
In regard to politicians, I have briefly shaken hands - and even had a few beers - with a few local state premiers and other aspiring front-benchers who one day might appear on a coin or a stamp. As most are not yet famous enough for that honour, I will forego dropping their names except to say that one or two have bent their knee in front of Her Majesty QE II and let her wave a sword around their heads, when it was still fashionable - so they possibly have a reasonable chance.
One of our greatest premiers, the late Mr. Eric Reece, a thoroughly good working-class bloke, was too Labor oriented to accept a 'Sir' - but he did get an A.C.
I remember very well when he and I shared the bar at the old Launceston Working men's Club on a couple of occasions. He could also spin a good yarn.
Eric had the nickname of 'Electric Eric' because of the emphasis he had placed on Hydro-Electric development in Tasmania - and I believe he should be on a coin as well as a medal! Refer: http://www.alp.org.au/laborherald/dec99/reece.html
The sight of the late Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Angus Bethune holding up the bar at the rural Winnaleah pub, while I just happened to be there, was a good indication that here was a premier who was fully prepared to get down from his high office and really talk with other 'men on the land' - who were doing it tough even then - so he also deserves an honorable mention if not a badge or stamp. He was premier from 1969 to 1972. During his short term in office, the ex-pastoralist instigated the introduction of the famous Hare-Clarke voting system, the Hansard recording system to parliament, the Rokeby Police Training College and several other notable reforms that are fully detailed in his biography elsewhere. His list of reforms is remarkable and includes road safety measures such as compulsory seatbelts, consumer protection, ground-breaking environmental laws and the establishment of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
It was a little known fact that he and his opposite number, Eric Reece, shared a mutual respect for each other that actually bordered on friendship
Closer to home, several of my own 'assorted cousins' have graced the halls of the Australian Federal Parliament and the national and international media - but, unless the sky turns emerald green, my lot will never make coin or banknote status. Perhaps, those worthy rellies might get on a postage stamp one day because, being of Irish descent, good talkers with great convict bloodlines, they might hit the pot o' gold - or just get lucky.
Finally, just digressing a little, I used to carry an old, very worn, Irish c. 1823 copper penny with me for a lucky piece - it had been in the family for years - but, after a while, I started to believe that it was too worn out to work and then I realised that the portrait on the obverse was that of the English King, George IV - another 'eccentric' uncle of Queen Victoria, who had been on the throne when my 'lucky' ancestors 'won' a free trip to Van Diemen's Land in 1852 - so I decided to retire it - for good luck!
The history of the Hanover Monarchs of England makes very interesting reading. Refer: http://www.themolloys.net/molloy/the%20hanover%20kings.htm
Whilst I claim no relationship - that I know of - with the nearly regal Molloys mentioned on that Internet site, it would be interesting to go back a few generations in east Connacht , particularly around the Roscommon and East Galway areas, where both our ancestors' families came from and check it out because, as we all know, all the Irish are related........! No need to curtsy just yet!
c.1823 Irish Copper Penny - King George IV obverse - Irish Harp under Crown reverse
Very worn - and all the luck has probably been rubbed away.....!
When we consider the number of famous and not-so-famous people we have met who are represented on an item of exonumia it might actually surprise us.
Just after WWII, when things were pretty tough, I used to sell mainland papers during the late afternoon- early evening on weekdays and local evening newspapers in the pubs when the races and football finished on Saturdays. (I also had a job as a grocer's delivery and stock boy, amongst other things, and earned 10/- for a 15 hour week ($1.00). Everything, from neccessity, went into the family coffers except for my Saturday afternoon movie money (about 10 cents).
I worked for a newsagent named Mr. Boon and I started off by getting One penny per dozen for mainland daily papers - but, for the Saturday evening local papers I sold, I got paid Threepence (2 1/2 cents) per dozen - plus the tips, which weren't too bad in the pubs when the price of a paper was in odd money amounts.
Mr. Boon had a son named Clarry, who was in the same peer group that I 'grew up' with. Eventually Clarry married and had a son named David - who went on to become a world renowned cricketer. Through commercial circumstances in later life, I encountered David and we knew each other slightly as business acquaintances until my wife - in passing - mentioned that David Boon was her distant cousin. Shortly afterwards we met him at a family reunion and we got on well at a social level. Never friends, mind you - but on more than a nodding basis. Later, I learnt he had attended the same primary school as I had - but a generation after me, of course. It's a small world!
International cricketer David Boon commemorative 'Clashes of the Ashes' medallion (actual size 27mm).
David Boon's Tasmanian testimonial match - 14th November 1996, Launceston Cricket Ground.
I know that, "You don't want to sound like a name-dropper, but.... " - if any of our readers have a memorable encounter to relate that fits in with the numismatic criteria theme that we have established, I would be glad to hear about it - and, if you can provide a jpeg picture scan by email to associate with the story, we might find a little corner to slot it into sometime.
With the exception of the illustrations of the R. Buckminster Fuller stamp, the Duke of Gloucester souvenir badge and the English 1997 Anniversary 5 Pound coin, all other items and photoscans in this article are from the author's own photo-library and numismatic collections. Internet sources are acknowledged in the article.
"WHAT'S IT WORTH?"
Many years ago, before I actually realised that I wanted to know a lot more about collecting coins and banknotes, I struck it lucky when I saw a booklet offered for sale amongst the piles of bric-a-brac on a stall at a country market. This little book, along with my first beat-up second-hand Renniks 1965 catalogue, eventually sent me down a road that I have never regretted travelling. The booklet was "Let's Collect Paper Money" by Neil Shafer, published in 1976.
Soon afterwards, I found a companion booklet called "Let's Collect Coins" by Ken Bressett which had been also republished in 1976 from a publication first released in 1966. These two slim volumes contained a condensed wealth of general information that opened my eyes to the wider possibilities of the hobby - and I still re-read them with interest. At that point in time, the 'magpie' in me was born - and with it an insatiatable desire to own 'something' from 'everywhere' as shown in the booklets.
It will never happen - but I still have a lot of scope to work with! What a great hobby we have!
'Let's Collect Coins' and 'Let's Collect Paper Money' (1976 editions). If you ever see a copy of either - snap it up!
With every hobby, that contains items with a perceived collectable value, there are two major questions that are always asked - "What is it?" and "What's it worth?"
The answer to both of these questions can be as simple or complex as you want it to be - depending on the intensity of your wish to know.
I deliberately mentioned the booklets because they held some very basic truths relating to those questions. Unlike most catalogues that give the cold hard facts in regard to mintages, mintmarks, and the myriad of other technicalities connected with money issues - including a price structure - these are chatty, conversational 'wells of knowledge' written by two great U.S. numismatists for collectors everywhere
One of my original questions was "What's It Worth?" - and that is what is under scrutiny at this time.
This is explained in the booklets in layman's terms for the beginner - but the explanation is also aimed at more experienced collectors as a reminder that there is more to that question than just taking a catalogue price as being 'gospel'. Sometimes we need that reminder!
It is pointed out in "Let's Collect Coins" that there are 4 layers connected with pricing of any metal coin or token - but I now consider there are 5 and that, sometimes, they overlap. It is also wise to remember that most modern legal tender coins are, in fact, a type of 'token' that has been issued by an official authority to facilitate trading purposes and in most cases these 'tokens' are of little value and their indicated denomination usually far exceeds their intrinsic worth.
Those items, normally recognised as coin-like 'tokens', by collectors of exonumia, do also attract similar 'value definitions' as we apply to coins.
(a) The intrinsic value - the bullion value of the metal it contains. The precious metals are usually gold, platinum, silver, palladium, copper and their alloys.
(b) The face value - usually indicated by a denomination or a 'Good For' to indicate its commercial buying or exchange value, even if has little intrinsic worth.
(c) The collector value - depending on its desirability, rarity and condition, this is the price that a collector would be prepared to pay to obtain the item.
(d) The resale value - a dealer's offer price to obtain a coin or token owned by a collector or an accumulator for his own retail stock .
(e) The retail price - the selling price, including a mark-up that a dealer applies to a coin or token in order to run his business at a profit.
To give a brief illustration of all these points I will refer to an item that originated in Australian coinage in 1966 - our round 50 Cent coin - which is now over 38 years old.
1966 Fifty Cent Coin - Obverse bust by Arnold Machin, Reverse (Coat of Arms) designed by Stuart Devlin
Composition 80% silver - 20% Copper
Weight 13.28 grams - Size 31.50 mm - Reeded edge
(Canberra) Approx. Mintage: 36,454,000
Originally made with an 80% Silver content, these coins had unexpectedly attained an 'intrinsic value' of more than their 'face value' by the time they were issued. Before those 50 cent coins in circulation had time to lose their initial bloom, it became obvious that the metal value was starting to surge even higher and would far outweigh the face value so they were quitely and quickly withdrawn from circulation for their bullion worth - at that time, the coins were being bought up by speculators for between US$2.00 and US$4.00 each. Australia's only precious metal decimal coin was being poured back into the melting pot by the thousands - and it is almost 100% certain that this country will never again have a bullion-value low-denomination circulating coin available to the general public for that reason.
Many of these silver coins were accumulated and hoarded by the general public as precious 'rarities' for the 'rainy day', however, the silver price slumped nearly as quickly when the initial silver boom crashed - but there were many thousands still in drawers and cupboards as reminders of this unusual gliche in our coinage values. Fifty cent coins were not issued in 1967 or 1968, but, in 1969, an awkward, thick, 12 sided coin minted in low intrinsic value cupro-nickel with the same obverse and reverse designs as the 1966 version was released as a replacement to fill the denomination gap. This Cu-Ni coin is still in circulation as the standard 50 Cent and is often used as a commemorative issue by using the reverse to highlight a particular event. In this respect, it does occasionally fulfill the 'collector value' point.
In the late 1970's, another economic spike of unexpected proportions again occurred in the price of the precious metal due to a commercial gamble to corner the silver market. The price of each silver coin was artificially pumped up to about US$10.00 and the public went 'mad' as they tried to off-load their hoarded silver coins for a huge profit. However, like the previous boom, the bust was inevitable and many commercial speculators lost their 'shirts' when it occurred.
These days, the value to a collector is usually based on the current bullion value - about US$6.00 +/- per ounce - and as it takes the bullion content of 3 coins to make an ounce of Silver, each coin is worth about US$2.00 at 'resale value' - if a buyer can be found who is interested.
With so many coins still readily available, the condition of the coin is now the main numismatic negotiating point while coin dealers usually advertise that they will only buy at the ruling bullion price. Choice Uncirculated coins do attract a premium, but these are usually coins that the dealers had already accumulated years ago.
Like the general public, many dealers gambled on a continuance of the price hike and bought quality stock at high prices to hold for resale.
In this instance, the 'retail value' price has been kept to a bare break-even situation - in fact, it still reflects a loss to many dealers as a proportion of their business capital is tied up in unsold stock.
As readers can see, the values of coins - in particular - do have multiple layers so we must bear all these points in mind when we ask our question:
"What's it worth?"
Paper - and, more lately, polymer plastic - money has always been a token currency with an artificial value applied by the money issuing authorities.
However, whilst it has virtually no intrinsic value, the other 4 points mentioned in regard to coinage still are applicable to this form of exchange.
1938 Series Australian One Pound Note in (a)UNC condition.
As an example, we could expect something like this scenario of values to unravel if we had applied the principles of 5 layer pricing during early - mid 2003 to a pre-decimal banknote in the condition of that shown above. This particular price structure was reconstructed from 'to buy' offers in the market place and from recognised Australian dealers' brochures, national magazines and international world paper money catalogues and Internet sources - but it is still only an estimate.
This year, 2004, with quality banknotes prices rising steeply at auction, the last three estimated price values may have already altered dramatically.
Intrinsic Value - Nil
Face Value - One Pound ($2.00 in decimal currency)
Collector Value - $275 - $300
Resale Value - $250 - $275
Retail Value - $450 - $550
As a relatively normal numismatic purist, in this article I do not refer to plastic value cards as being currency - although in some people's estimation these things do qualify as forms of commercial trade facilitators and therefore should be recognised as having periphery numismatic value.
'Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine'
'The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes 10th Edition'. by Greg McDonald.
'Renniks Australian Coin and banknote Values 20th Edition', edited by Ian Pitt.
eBID Newsletter - http://www.ebid.com.au/custom/newsletters/October%202003.htm#1938
The Right Note - http://www.therightnote.com.au/CATALOG/page1.htm
New York Gold Chart - http://www.kitco.com/charts/livegoldnewyork.html
READERS' MAILBAG - Q & A's
"I am trying to trace the origins and history or any other information regard two coins I possess.
J Andrew & Co Drapers &c 11 Lonsdale Street West Melbourne, dated 1862 (State)Victoria , with a Kangaroo and Emu centre
Auckland Licenced Victuallers Association Established in New Zealand April 4 1871, with (Queen)Victoria centre Born May 24 1819
Any information you could provide me with regarding these two coins would be greatly appreciated.
Kindest regards, R.... N......"
Dear R.... N....
Firstly, the two coins you refer to are, in fact, tradesmens' tokens of a type that were privately introduced in many countries around the world to offset a serious shortage of official coinage, particularly in English colonies or those that were originally influenced by English tradition and still used the Imperial coinage.
Earlier this year, we revisted (Tasmanian) Tradesmens' Tokens, and, in the article, we included a brief summary of why these imitation 'coins' were issued and widely used, for a time, in the major commercial areas throughout Australasia. Because of the very strong New Zealand - Australia trade connection during the mid 1800's, it was not uncommon to find businesses in both countries sharing their tokens across the Tasman. With sea-traffic also calling in to Cape Town on the trip between Australia and England - at least one enterprising South African - Australian family firm, Marsh & Sons in CapeTown and H.J. Marsh & Brother in Hobart, also shared tokens and redeemed them on 'the return trip' to overcome the shortages of coinage in those colonies. Refer: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb04.htm
The two token issuers you are particularly interested in - Jno. Andrew & Co. (dated 1862) and Auckland Licensed Victuallers Association (dated 1871) - actually produced a number of tokens each. THE PRICE IS VERY DEPENDENT ON THE CONDITION OF THE TOKEN - AND WHICH ONE IT IS IN THE SERIES.
Jno. Andrew & Co. tokens were made in London by an unknown manufacturer. The company issued a half-penny as well as the Penny sized token dated 1862 (both classified as relatively common) - prior to that they had also issued an 1860 series as well, with a seated, blindfolded Justice (scarce to very rare).
The Emu and Kangaroo style has the name of the token sales agent 'Coards' and the place of origin 'London' in very small print under each of the animals.
Jno. Andrew 1862 Emu and Kangaroo Half-penny Token (Design identical to the 1862 Penny)
Actual size 27.5mm (Penny 34mm)
The Auckland L.V.A. produced 3 varieties in the Penny sized token - each, apparently, made by different token makers - which may account for various minor differences. The position of the long curl on Queen Victoria' s head on these three A.L.V.A. tokens in relationship with the number 2 of her birthdate, May 24, is important - as is the distance from the dot that the A of Auckland and the N of Association is located. The different combinations, between 3mm and 5mm have a bearing on their rarity which is from common to relatively scarce. The 'buy from dealer' catalogue prices would be about $10 - $30 so 'the to sell to dealer' prices would probably be about half that - $5 - $15 - if in reasonable unblemished condition (Not corroded, too worn, battered or pitted.)
They would need to be seen by your local coin dealer to be assessed more accurately. As your items appear to be non-rarities, many dealers would already have stock of these tokens and, as the commercial aspect of numismatics is usually a case of supply and demand, they would probably have to hold them for a buyer to come along and express an interest. Several good token catalogues are, or should be, available at your local library or for purchase at a good bookstore if you wish to do your own research. These particular tokens are not worth a fortune, but they are historically interesting.
If you search the Internet or check the eBay auction prices (under Tokens) for similar items you may get an idea for yourself of current market values in that venue.
Australian Stamp & Coin Co Pty. Ltd - (URL: http://www.australianstamp.com/Coin-web/aust/earlyaus/tokens/tokens.htm)
eBay - (URL: http://coins.ebay.com/_W0QQfromZR12)
Auckland Licensed Victuallers Association - (Est. in April 1871) Penny token - (Renniks catalogue number #R36) - as shown
Obverse - Curl points directly to the 2 of 24. (A variation - #R37 - has the curl pointing between the 2 and 4.)
Reverse - The legend is spread to within 3mm either side of lower dot.
(A 'condensed' legend version - #R35 - has the curl pointing to the 2, but the text stops 5mm on either side of lower dot.)
"Australasian Tokens and Coins" (Reprint 1982)* - by Dr. Arthur Andrews. 1921.
"Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Guide" 13th. Edition* - by Dion H. Skinner. 1981.
"Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values" 20th. Edition - edited by Ian W. Pitt. 2004.
(*These earlier editions have been well and truly superceded, but they contain some useful information about English, New Zealand and South African tradesmens' tokens e.g. the A.L.V.A. tokens, that were commonly available in Australia. The Imperial Empire tokens are not shown in Renniks 20th Edition which is currently restricted to those pieces of purely 'Australian' issue - no matter where they were actually manufactured. If you can obtain one of the earlier editions, in reasonable condition, it would make a very handy reference book until such time that something better comes along. - Ed.)
AN INTERESTING NEW SITE.
Courtesy of the 'Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine' (CAB), I have been directed to a very interesting new Forum site, initiated by Scott de Young and designed by Jeffrey Zhang - particularly if you have a question or two about New Zealand numismatics. This site is user friendly and, besides being geared at a broad collector level with its forum content, it is chock-a- block with donated scans in its picture Gallery. It is on the way to becoming a site that will be locked into the Favorites blocks on our Internet connections and it has already expanded to cater for tokens, world coins and banknotes - and it has a very interesting Miscellaneous exonumia section as well to cater for everything else!
Take a look, register, and you will get hooked as I have.
U.S. STATE QUARTERS PROGRAM
Many of our members and readers have seen - or are collecting - the range of U.S. State Quarters as they become available each year. For those who are actively putting together the range of Quarters, we have updated the following check list with proposed issue program and mintage number information from the U.S. Mint
|RELEASE DATE||STATE - DATE of STATEHOOD||
|(D) DENVER||(P) PHILADELPHIA||(S) PROOF|
|JAN 04 1999||DELAWARE (DE) - Dec 07 1787||774,824,000|
|MAR 08 1999||PENNSYLVANIA (PA) - Dec 12 1787||707,332,000|
|MAY 17 1999||NEW JERSEY (NJ) - Dec 18 1787||662,228,000|
|JUL 19 1999||GEORGIA (GA) - Jan 02 1788||939,932,000|
|OCT 12 1999||CONNECTICUT (CT) - Jan 09 1788||1,346,624,000|
|JAN 03 2000||MASSACHUSETTS (MA) - Feb 06 1788||1,163,784,000|
|MAR 13 2000||MARYLAND (MD) - Apr 28 1788||1,234,732,000|
|MAY 22 2000||SOUTH CAROLINA (SC) - May 23 1788||1,308,784,000|
|AUG 07 2000||NEW HAMPSHIRE (NH) - Jun 21 1788||1,169,016,000|
|OCT 16 2000||VIRGINIA (VA) - Jun 25 1788||1,594,616,000|
|JAN 02 2001||NEW YORK (NY) - Jul 26 1788||1,275,040,000|
|MAR 12 2001||NORTH CAROLINA (NC) - Nov 21 1789||1,055,476,000|
|MAY 21 2001||RHODE ISLAND (RI) - May 29 1790||870,100,000|
|AUG 06 2001||VERMONT (VT) - Mar 04 1791||882,804,000|
|OCT 15 2001||KENTUCKY (KY) - Jun 01 1792||723,564,000|
|JAN 02 2002||TENNESSEE (TN) - Jun 01 1796||648,068,000|
|MAR 11 2002||OHIO (OH) - Mar 01 1803||632,032,000|
|MAY 20 2002||LOUISIANA (LA) - Apr 30 1812||764,204,000|
|AUG 02 2002||INDIANA (IN) - Dec 11 1816||689,800,000|
|OCT 15 2002||MISSISSIPPI (MS) - Dec 10 1817||579,600,000|
|JAN 02 2003||ILLINOIS (IL) - Dec 03 1818||463,200,000|
|MAR 17 2003||ALABAMA (AL) - Dec 14 1819||457,400,000|
|JUN 02 2003||MAINE (ME) - Mar 15 1821||448,800,000|
|AUG 04 2003||MISSOURI (MO) - Aug 10 1821||453,200,000|
|OCT 20 2003||ARKANSAS (AR) - Jun 15 1836||457,800,000|
|JAN 26 2004||MICHIGAN (MI) - Jan 26 1837||459,600,000|
|MAR 29 2004||FLORIDA (FL) - Mar 03 1845||481,800,000|
|JUN 01 2004||TEXAS (TX) - Dec 29 1845||TBA|
|IOWA (IA) - Dec 28 1846|
|WISCONSIN (WI) - May 29 1848|
|2005||CALIFORNIA (CA) - Sep 09 1850|
|MINNESOTA (MN) - May 11 1858|
|OREGON (OR) - Feb 14 1859|
|KANSAS (KS) - Jan 29 1861|
|WEST VIRGINA (WV) - Jun 20 1863|
|2006||NEVADA (NV) - Oct 31 1864|
|NEBRASKA (NE) - Mar 01 1867|
|COLORADO (CO) - Aug 01 1876|
|NORTH DAKOTA (ND) - Nov 02 1889|
|SOUTH DAKOTA (SD) - Nov 02 1889|
|2007||MONTANA (MT) - Nov 08 1889|
|WASHINGTON (WA) - Nov 11 1889|
|IDAHO (ID) - Jul 03 1890|
|WYOMING (WY) - Jul 10 1890|
|UTAH (UT) - Jan 04 1896|
|2008||OKLAHOMA (OK) - Nov 16 1907|
|NEW MEXICO (NM) - Jan 06 1912|
|ARIZONA (AZ) - Feb 14 1912|
|ALASKA (AK) - Jan 03 1959|
|HAWAII (HI) - Aug 21 1959|
On occasion, I have been approached by readers requesting substantial amounts of additional in-depth information about individuals mentioned in previous articles in this newsletter. However, whilst I am often as fascinated as they are to know more, I regret that I am unable to spare the time to do any additional research into subjects - and in some cases families and friends of the individual - that goes far beyond the scope of the numismatic article.
If I do have any extra information to hand that may be of assistance, I will gladly pass it on but, in most instances, I have already quoted the references I have used and recommend for further reading - and, as half the enjoyment is in the search, please do what I have done - enjoy yourself! Good Hunting!
‘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.
‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ (Internet Edition)
provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is
currently presented free on a monthly basis by the member-provider with the
aim of promoting the hobby of numismatics. All matters pertaining to the
re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the
‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’.
(Internet Edition) abides by the same
basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian
literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding
numismatics are always welcome.
note that all opinions expressed in material published in the
are those of the authors, and not
necessarily those of the
‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’
or the Editor.
The 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter, and the
'Tasmanian Numismatist '(Internet Edition) version, complies with the Privacy and
Personal Information Protection Act.
Under this act, information about individuals can be stored and published
information is already contained in a publicly available document or
if personal information has been provided by the individual to whom the
information relates, and if that individual is aware of the purposes for which
the information is being collected.
All information published by the
'Tasmanian Numismatist' and its 'Internet Edition' is either publicly available, or has been
voluntarily provided by writers, or members of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic
Society', on request from the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' and its
While the 'Tasmanian Numismatist'
and its 'Internet Edition' version
may hold writers' addresses and other details for the purposes of communication
and copyright protection, it will never make such addresses or details available
to any member of the public without the permission of those involved.
The 'Tasmanian Numismatist
its 'Internet Edition' version
also respects the privacy of our readers. When you write to us with comments,
queries or suggestions, you may provide us with personal information including
your contact address or other relevant information. Your personal information
will never be made available to a third party without permission.
All details of a commercial
nature, organisations, items or individual arrangement to buy, sell or trade
are provided in good faith as
information only, and any consequent dealings are between the parties
Numismatist’ and its 'Internet Edition' version 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, 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.
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 ‘Tasmanian
Numismatist ’ or its 'Internet Edition' version is required prior to use of that material.
'Tasmanian Numismatist' & 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition).
P.O. Box 10,
Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.
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.
The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ (Internet Edition) version has been provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is currently presented free on a monthly basis by the member-provider with the aim of promoting the hobby of numismatics. All matters pertaining to the T.N.S. are re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’. The Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) abides by the same basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.
Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome.
Please note that all opinions expressed in material published in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) version are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society’ or the Editor.
The 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter, and the 'Tasmanian Numismatist '(Internet Edition) version, complies with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.
Under this act, information about individuals can be stored and published only if: the information is already contained in a publicly available document or if personal information has been provided by the individual to whom the information relates, and if that individual is aware of the purposes for which the information is being collected.
All information published by the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' and its 'Internet Edition' is either publicly available, or has been voluntarily provided by writers, or members of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', on request from the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' and its 'Internet Edition'.
While the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' and its 'Internet Edition' version may hold writers' addresses and other details for the purposes of communication and copyright protection, it will never make such addresses or details available to any member of the public without the permission of those involved.
The 'Tasmanian Numismatist ' and its 'Internet Edition' version also respects the privacy of our readers. When you write to us with comments, queries or suggestions, you may provide us with personal information including your contact address or other relevant information. Your personal information will never be made available to a third party without permission.
All details of a commercial nature, organisations, items or individual arrangement to buy, sell or trade are provided in good faith as information only, and any consequent dealings are between the parties concerned.
The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ and its 'Internet Edition' version 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, 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 ‘Tasmanian Numismatist ’ or its 'Internet Edition' version is required prior to use of that material.
'Tasmanian Numismatist' & 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition).
P.O. Box 10,
Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.