Volume 12 Issue 10Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996) October 2007
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
by Graeme Petterwood. © 2007.
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.
MEDALLIONS FOR TASMANIA
Since 1853, the State of Tasmania - formerly known as Van Diemen's Land - has produced, or had produced elsewhere for use here, a very substantial amount of medallions to commemorate significant local events. Some of these medallions were commissioned by various levels of government and others by commercial and sporting or social groups. In my own personal collection I have managed to gather a few of these 'Tasmanian' medallions - albeit relatively modern - and, in keeping with our recent articles on thematic collections, I could not offer more than to suggest we all should look to our own 'backyards' for some marvellous numismatic items. The samples shown below are only a tiny representation of items available and I suggest that you, our readers, keep alert as you travel about. Sometimes a rare 'gem' of a local medallion may be out there awaiting discovery no matter where you live.
Space forbids me from showing all of my own small accumulation of Tasmanian treasures in this issue, but, hopefully I may correct that situation in the future.
Some special precious metal or limited issue pieces do command prices in keeping with their scarcity and condition, but many are still well within the financial reach of most medallion seekers or those wanting to create an extra facet or theme to interest them.
All prices mentioned here are only estimates and the usual numismatic market forces of 'supply and demand' must be considered.
Where available we have supplied McN Catalogue #'s according to "Tasmanian Commemorative Medals and Medallions - A Collector's Handbook - Volume 2" by Roger V. McNeice OAM., F.R.N.S. This excellent limited edition catalogue (300), originally published in June 1990, is currently out of print and hard to come by, but a recent chat with the author indicates that an update or addenda is not out of the question, however, there is a tremendous amount of research and work to be undertaken. Please remember these illustrations are not to scale but, where available, details will be supplied in the text.
2004 OZMINT - The 200th Anniversary of the claiming of northside Van Diemen's Land.
As the existence of the strait between the Australian continent and Van Diemen's land had not been verified prior to the Bass and Flinders exploration a few years before, the claiming of the northside, of what was now known to be an island, was imperative due to a strong French presence in the area at that time.
To commemorate the year of Tasmania's Bicennential and the official claiming of the northside of Van Diemen's Land on 11th. November 1804 by Col. Wm. Paterson, a series of medallions was commissioned by the Municipality of Georgetown and minted by Tasmanian company OZMINT. The series consisted of - 50mm Pewter (500), 50mm Bronze (300) - not shown, 30mm Brass for Georgetown school-children (free distribution - as many as needed) and 30mm Nickel (300) were sold to the public as souvenir pieces on-site during local ceremonies.
The larger sized Pewter medallion could only be purchased against pre-orders and the Bronze were destined to be Presentation pieces.
The medallions originally cost slightly over AUD$20.00 (plus postage) with the public issue AUD$10.00 - a very economical acquistion at that time.
1998 - 9 TASMEDALS - Circumnavigation of Van Diemen's Land Medallions.
During the period of December and January 1798-9, Matthew Flinders and Dr. George Bass circumnavigated the island of Van Diemen's Land - proving once and for all that it was, in fact, not a promontory. Refer: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/nov04.htm
The stretch of water between the island and the main continent was named Bass' Strait after the adventuresome Dr. Bass but it is now simply known as Bass Strait. During the summer period that the explorers were finding their way along the northern coastine they enjoyed reasonable weather, but, it was found to be an extremely treacherous area for sailing ships of the time during the winter, however, it provided a short-cut that was too tempting.
It is known that hundreds of ships, of all sizes, and their passengers and crews paid the deadly price until modern navigational aids were implemented and light-houses became operational. Even today it is a dangerous spot to sail.
The very limited series of medallions depicting Bass and Flinders obverses consisted of - a basic 70mm cast Pewter style (120), with a generic reverse showing the track of the voyage through Bass Strait and around Van Diemen's, Silver-plated and Gold-plated Pewter versions were in very low numbers (10 each) to satisfy numismatic demand and only allocated to pre-release orders. However, the 70mm Pewter Mt. Wellington reverse was only issued as a presentation piece to dignitaries and members of the re-enactment group who ascended the Mountain on Christmas Day 1998. The obverse is as the original medallion but the flat broad rim reverse surrounds a depiction of Mt. Wellington as it might have looked in 1798. The rim is etched with a text reading: Limit was 80 pieces. "Commemorating the first ascent of Mount Wellington, Van Diemen's Land by European explorer George Bass - 25 December 1798."
All medallions originally cost slightly over AUD$50.00 (plus postage) - still a reasonable price for a prestigious item with a great history.
1982 STOKES MELBOURNE - 150th Anniv. of Organised Cricket in Tas., 1832-1982 /Centenary of Cricket T.C.A. Ground, Hobart 1882 - 1982.
A limited series of 51mm Silver (100) and Bronze (225) plush-boxed medallions was commissioned and issued by the Tasmanian Numismatic Society in conjunction with the T.G.A. to celebrate the advent of organised Cricket and also the centenary of the Tasmanian Cricket Association in Hobart. The original trial strike of a specimen in each metal was not approved and the design shown is the one that was eventually released.
Medallions were sold against pre-orders and the Silver is fairly scarce and now would cost about AUD$100.00 to obtain but the Bronze is still a good buy at about AUD$40.00. (McN #64 (a) (b)
2001 TASMEDALS - Centenary of Federation Medallion, Tasmania Celebrates 1901 - 2001. (Official design)
As part of Australia's Centenary of Federation celebrations, a 80mm Gold-plated medallions was commissioned by the Tasmanian State Government.
It was for sale to every Tasmanian who cared to own one for a token price of AUS$20.00 at that time.The Official emblem of the Federation Centenary is used for one side and, even though the illustration doesn't really do it justice, it features a nicely enamelled Green/Gold/White sprig of wattle as the reverse.
2004 KEIR (MASTERCRAFT) - 1804 - 2004 Bicennential of European Founding of Hobart.
Commissioned interstate by the Hobart City Council to celebrate the 200th year of the European founding of Hobart (Tasmania's state capital) this attractive 67mm Pewter Antique Finish medallion was originally made as a presentation piece and it is believed that approx. 350 were distributed. The obverse features depictions of past and present views of the Hobart area divided with a leaf from the state floral emblem of Tasmania - the Blue Gum. The reverse shows the coat-of-arms of the City of Hobart.
Whilst this medallion had no retail price as such it is estimated that the secondary market price was about AUD$30.00
1987 HAFNER MINT MELBOURNE - 150th Anniversary of Sir John Franklin in Tasmania.
These extremely interesting 65mm Silver (40) and Olympic Bronze (150 only) medallions have Sir John Franklin as its obverse and his wife Jane (nee Griffin), Lady Franklin as the reverse.
These two fascinating and individually historically important persons who made their home in Tasmania between 1837 - 1845 are depicted with items that related to events that surrounded them. Sir John franklin 1786 - 1847, lost while exploring the Arctic in 1847 searching for the North-West Passage, is shown in stern front-facing bust fashion alongside his sailing ship trapped in crushing ice - whilst Jane, Lady Franklin 1791 - 1875, a dedicated patron of the Arts, is shown, half-figure, clothed in a flowing gown outside her legacy to Hobart - the minature Greek temple she had built in 1842 and that is now known locally as the Lady Franklin Gallery after being saved from disrepair in 1948.
This 3mm thick medallion was another relatively limited issue and, in Silver, it is classed as scarce. A special issue of Copper (30), Pewter specimens (2) polished trials (2) and, I believe, a unifaced numbered run only showing the Sir John Franklin obverse was also prepared (1 - 50) for Tasmanian Numismatic Society members. Prices are always hard to ascertain on items such as these but previous market estimates were Bronze AUD$50; Silver $150; Pewter specimens $80; and the others (Copper, Unifaced and Polished trials) were between $50 - $100.
Obviously, these prices will have risen somewhat over the last 20 years.
(McN #78 (a) (b) - plus special metal issues.
1994 TASMEDALS - Centenary of the Consecration of the Chancel and sanctuary of theCathedral Church of St. David, Hobart.
The foundation stone of the Cathedral was laid in 1868 by Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, upon the site originally occupied by St. David's Church.
The beautiful Gothic revival-style building was consecrated 6 years later, in 1874, as a place of worship - but it was not finished until 1936.
On the 30th. January 1894, the Chancel and Sanctuary of the Cathedral Church of St David in Hobart were consecrated.
A re-dedication of the Chancel and Sanctuary was held on 30th January 1994 in the prescence of His Royal Highness, Charles, the Prince of Wales.
The antique-finish 63mm Pewter medallion signifies the re-dedication. The obverse features a depiction of the Cathedral and the reverse bears an inscription celebrating the event and also shows the Prince of Wales coat-of-arms and heradic plumes with highlights applied with a blue enamel.
The number of medallions issued is unknown but the two I have are both numbered below the 100 according to the Certificates issued with each piece.
I believe some presentation pieces may have been minted in Silver but, unfortunately, at this time I have no verification of that fact.
I have not seen any of these on the secondary market - but I think that they would probably have a current conservative market value of about AUD$30.00
1994 TASMEDALS - 50th Anniverary of the Sydney- Hobart Yacht Race - Commercial Sponsor KODAK.
In 1994, various items were commissioned by major Sydney - Hobart Yacht Race sponsor KODAK to commemorate the event and their involvement.
It was very commercially geared and only a small range of pieces is shown here.
A Sterling silver 63mm medallion was the piece de resistance and it was limited to only 100 units Australia-wide. As its reverse (shown centre), it featured the joint pennants of the Cruising Yatcht Club of Australia and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and racing yachts..
Various other items such as a smaller 38mm Bronze version was sold as encased and a 36mm octagonal highly enamelled key-ring was a popular souvenir item. Mintage figures are not available to me.
The prices at the time of purchase were Silver AUD$160.00; Bronze $2.00; enamelled Keyring $5.00 plus postage.
1976 POBJOY MINT, ENGLAND - 100th year commemoration of the death of TRUGANINI - the 'last of her race'.
Commissioned by the Tasmanian Numismatic Society, this 51mm medallion is, undoubtably, one of the most poignant produced for the Society. It was available in two metals - Silver (100) and highly polished field Bronze (225) with matte finishes. These have become scarce as Tasmanian history has emphasized the importance of cultural loss that occured in the era prior to Truganini's death. The medallion features a depiction of a copy of a line drawing of Truganini as the obverse, and a small family group of 3 near the stretch of water we know as the Derwent River beneath Mt. Wellington where the city of Hobart is now established.
Prices in 1990 were (a) AUD$200 and (b) $100 - even then they were over 6 times their original 1976 issue prices - and, it is obvious, these items would be far more expensive now, if available. (McN #46 (a) (b)
Due to a delay in production the medallion was not available until a few days after the cremation and sea-burial of Truganini's bones - which had been finally recovered from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery after being on display and in storage for 100 years.
You should read the full story: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan03.htm
It is of some interest to note that this success in petitioning for the release of Truganini's remains started a world-wide, and on-going, campaign to recover other Tasmanian aboriginal remains from mainland and overseas museums.
"Tasmanian Commemorative Medals and Medallions - A Collector's Handbook - Volume 2" by Roger V. McNeice OAM., F.R.N.S.
All Tasmedals and Ozmint mintage details, courtesy:
Office - 8 Orana Place, Taroona. Tasmania. Australia.7053
Showroom - 31 Victoria St; Hobart. Tasmania. Australia. 7001
OMAHA TOKEN SHOW 2007 - Part 2
Friday 30th Aug. - Sunday 2nd Sept.
As mentioned in our last 'Numisnet World' newsletter, the Omaha Token Show 2007 was attended and reported on for us by our T.N.S. member and regular literary correspondent, Jerry Adams from Texas.
Token collecting is a part of numismatics that is so broad-based that it should appeal to everyone - and the economic scope is as cheap or as expensive as your desire and your wallet will permit. We have now received additional scans of some of the tokens Jerry acquired or had mentioned previously - but, unfortunately we cannot show them all is this newsletter so we have included whay may prove to be a temporary link.
Jerry also sent me links to a few versions of a 9 min.YourTube amateur video clip he took as the participants were setting up for the show and renewing old acquaintances - and doing a bit of early 'horse-trading' amongst themselves. I hope they work OK - and, if you have speakers turn them on.
Refer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtT2is-PZNc (Musical background)
Refer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J-LxB3P1NM (Normal backround chatter - and a few howdys!)
It also appears that themes in collecting numismatic items, as featured in our newsletters over the last few issues, extends across the spectrum to exonumia and tokens - the following note from Jerry Adams highlights that fact.
In truth, it would probably be nearly a neccessity in these hugely diverse areas of the hobby.
"I had several discussions in Omaha about thematic collecting. A good subject that has not been covered enough in token literature.
is odd value 'good fors", such as - good for 1 brick, good for 1
barrel of soap, good for 1 skiggle, good for 1 hanging, good for 10 barrels of
slop. One collectors tells
me he collects trade tokens that mention specific cigar brands, (don't know
why, but he is from Florida where many Cubans live and Cuba is famed
cigars). Other collectors specialize in tokens made from vulcanite, or
shellcard tokens (samples previously shown), or brothel tokens, etc.
Several other themes
in token collecting that I have done personally include "dated" tokens,
(ones with an actual date on the token - previously shown), and also unusual place names, i.e.
'Good Thunder, Minnesota'.(see below) and 'Bad Axe, Michigan', etc. P.S. - I
hope to do an article on tokens with unusual place names soon." (I'll
look forward to seeing it! - Ed.)
Several other themes in token collecting that I have done personally include "dated" tokens, (ones with an actual date on the token - previously shown), and also unusual place names, i.e. 'Good Thunder, Minnesota'.(see below) and 'Bad Axe, Michigan', etc.
P.S. - I hope to do an article on tokens with unusual place names soon." (I'll look forward to seeing it! - Ed.)
S.J. Wright (vulcanite) Plantation Check 'Good for 50 Cents in
C.Sohre, Good Thunder, Minnesota. (Unusual place name.)
S.J. Wright (vulcanite) Plantation Check 'Good for 50 Cents in Merchandise'.
C.Sohre, Good Thunder, Minnesota. (Unusual place name.)
(Scans courtesy Jerry Adams - Omaha 2007)
Cuspidor Saloon, El Paso, Texas -'fantasy' in the style of an earlier brothel token for 1 Screw (3 Dollar All Night).
Pennsylvannia - Maryland Corporation, Cincinnati - Good for 10 Barrels Slop.
Note - When
the Wild West was really wild and saloons had a couple of back rooms for the
cowboys to relax with a member of the 'fairer' sex (figuratively speaking)
the arrangement was they paid in advance so that no money was handled by the
ladies. In some more well managed establishments, tokens were issued to the
customer that had to be collected for services rendered and returned to the
management as a form of
This 'Cuspidor Saloon', token - which is supposed to be from El Paso Texas, (sample shown above) - is a more modern 'fantasy' issue (there is no such establishment) but it is very similar to the type actually used in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
Back in September 2005 we published a note from Yossi Dotan, who has been a member of the American Numismatic Association since 1983, and who was preparing a book on various types of boats and ships depicted on wold coins.
"I am a collector of modern world coins (1800-present) that depict watercraft, better known as "ship coins," and am writing a book on the subject.
Its tentative title is "WATERCRAFT ON WORLD COINS, 1800 – PRESENT - Historical Narratives" ©
Are you aware of any TNS members or readers who are interested in the same subject with whom to exchange information? In addition to information on ship coins and their background, I should also like to request any person(s) to furnish me with the e-mail-address, if available, of any dealer who might sell ship coins of Australia, New Zealand and countries in the Pacific." - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It has taken a couple of years, however, Yossi had recently contacted us again with the confirmation that Volume 1 - Europe, 1800 - 2005 of his book has been finalised and published by Alpha Press. The publisher's review is available at the Internet link shown below. Congratulations, Yossi!
"Many of you know that for many years I have been collecting coins that depict watercraft. In addition I try to find data on the ships featured as well as other pertinent historical and numismatic information. My research has led to the writing of a book that was just published in England by The Alpha Press.
WATERCRAFT ON WORLD COINS. VOLUME I - EUROPE, 1800-2005.
The paperback-book contains, for each of the "ship coins" of the European countries of the last two centuries, a short or longer narrative.
Two hundred coins are illustrated. Further details you will find on the information sheet that has been prepared by the publisher.
It can be printed and used as order form. The price of the book is ₤35.00 plus postage & handling. It is also possible to order the book through the internet.
The page on the publisher's web site is:
I hope that those of you who will decide to buy the book, will read it with interest.
Kind regards, Yossi Dotan
P.S. Yossi is still interested in contacting any reader who has 'ship coins' as part of his hobby. - *(Please note - our disclaimers apply as usual.)*
MISCELLANEOUS Q & A'S
Recently, an interesting patch of correspondence was initiated by a lady who had inherited a very nice legacy and wanted to find out more. Below is an edited version of that correspondence plus some additional information that may be of interest to readers. Any prices quoted in this newsletter are estimates only supplied to set some parameters for possibly valuable pieces, but it is not an offer to buy or sell - professional advice should be sought if items are to be marketed. Note our privacy disclaimers.
Q - How much
would English gold sovereigns be worth these days. I have 150 of them and 50
half gold sovereigns.that my mum has passed on to me. Would it depend on the
weight of gold or the dates that are on them? I am just curious, I would never
sell them as I am going to pass them to my own kids one day. If you don't know,
is there a magazine about that would tell me, or a site? Thanking you
A - Hi ......, Thanks for the interesting note - just as a matter of interest - a lot of 'English' gold sovereigns weren't made in England - Australia made a lot, so did Canada and South Africa. .... Most Oz Sovereigns and 1/2's were minted in Melbourne, Sydney or Perth.
Most have the same generic designs as the English coins but a lot of our earlier Australian coins were Gold with a tiny bit of Silver and they were actually worth more in precious metal value than the English coins which had more Copper alloyed into them..
The English Colonial Office (in charge of Oz at that time) didn't like that as the Australian coins were being shipped to England and being melted for their bullion which was more than coin face value - so they made Oz mints take out the Silver and put in Copper so they were the same as the English standard. Economics aside, perhaps rivalry didn't start with the Cricket!
tell where these generic (mainly the St. George or the Royal Shield
styles that were referred to in the correspondence) coins came from, the back of the coin MAY have a very tiny mintmark -
either S, M, or P - the coins without a mintmark are English. You
may need a magnifying glass to find it - it's always on the bottom half of
the coin on the imaginary perpendicular line from top to bottom.
Value does sometimes depend on date, mintmark and coin condition to get the best price from a dealer. There are some excellent reference catalogues available, however, they are usually published annually - and prices do go up and down with precious metal coins.
As good dealers usually keep up-to-date with these things in their own best interests, don't think that they are trying to 'rip' you off if quotes change from time to time - but be astute and watch the gold prices quoted in the daily press or available from the Internet and 'strike while the iron is hot'
(These precious metals are usually priced in U.S. Dollars so you will need a Currency Converter)
A sovereign actual gold weight is not quite a quarter of an ounce .2354 oz. and a half sovereign is half that weight .1177 oz. so the gold price on the day would be important if the coin was only being brought for its gold value..
If you do your sums you could work out the minimum value that you should get - but never forget that reputable coin dealers should offer far more for 'good' dates and 'good' condition coins - so read up on them, and don't be afraid to ask questions once you have an idea about the price you expect to get..
Currently, the price of gold is fluctuating about AUD$850+ per ounce and, at present, ordinary average circulated 1/2 Sovs are selling at about AUD$150 and Sovs at about AUD$250 - just above bullion price If you do want to sell - there are several good coin auctions throughout the year that are held by major reputable dealers - BUT do your homework first by getting the coins assessed if you can. Every bit of information you have can be vital.
If there are any
coin clubs in your area they sometimes have a competent member who may do
valuations for a small fee.
A good informative catalogue (available from larger bookshops) will cost about AUD$30 and I can recommend two that I use - bear in mind the prices quoted are guides only and are based on dealers approximate SELLING prices at time of publishing and that all those things I've mentioned happen when YOU go to SELL to them.
"The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes" - by Greg McDonald
"Renniks Australian Coin & Banknote Values'
Q - I think they might all be English.
My late father bought them from a reputable person whilst he and mother were in England and that's how they arrived here years ago.
The dates on the sovereigns with QV on them are 1871-1891-1884-1889-1896-1899 .The others have her son King Edward VII and then King George V on them - the dates are 1908-1911-1912-1915-1925-1927. There also is one of the present day Queen , the date on it is 1974.
I cannot see any S. M. P. stamped on the them, but I have only had a quick look. There are two initials underneath the back of the coins under St George and the Dragon but they are so small I can't figure them out. I will get a magnifying glass and have another look.
I got under a brighter light and the initials underneath the base of King George's neck on the head side of the full sovereign look like R M (?)
A - Mintmark initials you might find on the dates you have listed are M. S. P. C. or SA.. If they are London issues they will not have a mintmark.
There will also be designers initials stuck somewhere on the coins, both sides - in microsize - and that may be what you saw.
Usually they are under the monarch's effigy (head) on the obverse and low on the reverse (back) somewhere near the design.
Melbourne (M) mintmark on 1903 Sovereign reverse.
Perth (P) mintmark and designer Benedetto Pistrucci's initials (B.P.) on 1930 Sovereign reverse.
King Edward VII would have De S. (G.W. de Saulles) beneath his bust. - and B P (Benedetto Pistrucci) is on all the old standard St George's reverses.
Those tiny designer's initials on the King George V Sovereigns could be either B M (Bertram Mackennal) or P M (Percy Metcalfe) as both were designer/engravers at that time- there was one other K G (Hardy Kruger Gray) who designed the Australian Kangaroo on our pennies etc.
Initials you might find on the different portrait Queen Victoria coins are - W W (William Wyon) his son L C W (Leonard Charles Wyon -who also designed the distinctive Sydney Mint reverse Wreath and Crown coin. You have got any of those.), J E B (Joseph E. Boehm) and T B (Thomas Brock).
Queen Elizabeth II's Sovereigns and her other coins have been designed by quite a number of people. Sovereigns are still being produced on special occasions for the monarch. Initials you might find are M G (Mary Gillick), R M (Raphael David Maklouf) - but there were others whose initials didn't appear.
There have also been a couple of new reverse designs - for 'one-off' occasions. There is information in the links supplied if you are interested.
These excellent references regarding the effigy types and the various locations of the mintmarks are worth a read.
Refer: Designs of newer gold coins. Refer: http://www.goldsovereigns.co.uk/
Queen Victoria (Shield back) 1871 - minted in London.
Queen Victoria (St George back) 1871 - minted in Sydney.
Queen Victoria (Shield back) 1884 - minted in Melbourne and Sydney.
Queen Victoria (St George back) 1884 - minted in London, Melbourne and Sydney.
Queen Victoria (St George back) 1889, 1891, 1896 - minted in London, Melbourne and Sydney. 1899 - minted in London, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
King Edward VII (St George back) 1908 - minted in London, Canada (Ottawa), Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
King George V (St. George back)
1911 - minted in London, Canada (Ottawa),Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
1912 - minted in London, Melbourne, sydney and Perth.
1915 - minted in London, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
1925 - minted in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and South Africa (Pretoria).
1927 - minted in Perth and South Africa (Pretoria)
Queen Elizabeth II (St. George back) 1974 - minted in London.
The mintmark (if any) on the Shield back is just under the bow of the wreath around the shield - with the 1/2's it is under the shield. However, if it is a London coin - instead of a mintmark initial - there may be a very tiny number which signifies the die used to strike the coin. The illustration (left) shows an 1871 Shield back with a die number beneath the bow on the reverse. The St. George reverse was also introduced in 1871 and it was in production at the same time as the Shield back .
The first mintmarks for the Oz Sovereign coins were located just under QV's neck but it stayed under the shield for the 1/2's Later the mintmark for 'foreign' mints was placed on the ground just under the horse's hoof above the date- you'll need that magnifying glass again - but I think I've covered all the bases and there is quite a lot about them on the internet - but let me know if there is anything you are not sure about..
ENCORE - A BLAST FROM THE PAST
GRADING Whilst reading an
Australian numismatic price list recently, I noticed that several grading
terms - that could
be described as mildly inventive - had started to creep back into the system. I
recollected the furious debate in 1997 that seemed to polarise Australian
collectors into two separate camps - the majority who didn't - and the few
that did - find positive points in various inventive grading terms that appealed to them as investor-collectors.
The debate had also revolved around methods of grading and the vastly
differing interpretations of both the U.S numbering system and the standard
descriptive systems. The debate
over grading reached a feverish pitch amongst some dealers, during November
1997, and is probably still simmering under the surface. Looking back into the
'Tasmanian Numismatist' of April 1997 to refresh my memory, I
came across a short 'tongue-in-cheek' piece that I had written about the
grading subject at the start of the debate - and prior to the furore - and I now re-present
it once more it for your consideration just in case the subject comes off
the back-burner once more. I trust the Australian idioms are not lost in
the translation. AN AUSTRALIAN
GRADING SYSTEM - PERHAPS?! Once upon a time the
average collector was the bloke off the street who did it because he
liked to! If coins or notes looked
good to him- they were! He'd scratch off any dirt
or verdigris from his 'special' coins with a sharp needle or a rusty
nail, and then he'd polish them with steel-wool and 'Brasso' until
they shone like stars and, finally, he'd pop them into an old screw-top
'Vegemite' jar with his old mismatched cuff-links and tie-pins. He would often warm rinse
and steam- iron his old and crinkled banknotes, and throw them into an old
toffee or biscuit tin, with a rubber-band around them for safe-keeping,
before he'd stash them away, (with his 'Vegemite' jar) in the bottom
drawer of the bedroom wardrobe so they would definitely become family
heirlooms and 'be worth a fortune in
years to come!' And if you asked him,
'What condition are they in?' he'd always reply,
'Bonza, mate!' Bearing all this in mind, I
would suggest that we look seriously at devising a grading
system to suit those average Australian collectors who are still with
us. So perhaps we could start
with -'Not Worth a Brass Razoo'- meaning - worse than 'Crook'. (Yuk)
- meaning - real lousy. (AG3) Poor. 'Not Bad' - meaning
- not good. (G4) Good. 'Orright' - meaning
- good. (VG8) Very Good. 'Bonza' - meaning -
pretty good! (F12) Fine. 'Grouse'- meaning -
real good! (VF30) Very Fine. 'Extra Grouse' -
meaning - extra good! (EF45) Extra Fine 'Bewdy orright' -
meaning - excellent! (AU58) aUnc. 'Little Ripper' -
meaning - seen nothin' better! (MS67) B.Unc. 'Wotta-Ripper! -
meaning - sure it's real? (MS70) Proof. These 'accurate'
verbal descriptions have been used for years by true-blue Aussies, at all
levels, to clarify their innermost thoughts on any type of subject
matter, and they should be given the consideration they deserve
when any new Australian banknote grading system is closer to fruition. (The word 'Mate'
after each description is optional, but should be used with discretion for
gradings over 'Extra Grouse'. At this point 'She's a' is a more
appropriate prefix up to, but not including, 'Wotta-Ripper' - which stands
alone, except for a low whistle of genuine appreciation.) In the meantime, at the
average Aussie collector correspondence level, we could use the new
suggested numismatic abbreviations :
BR, C, NB, O, B, G, EG, BO, LR and WR! We might choose to have
'Not Quite' (nq) or 'Better'n' (bn) to cover some of the
'in-betweens' in the middle gradings.( e.g. Coins in bnG
('Better'n Grouse') but nqEG ('Not Quite
Extra Grouse') condition would probably be a rarity, and very
acceptable, to our average collector!) I'm quite sure that,
between us, we should be able to produce something uniquely Australian!
ENCORE - A BLAST FROM THE PAST
Whilst reading an Australian numismatic price list recently, I noticed that several grading terms - that could be described as mildly inventive - had started to creep back into the system. I recollected the furious debate in 1997 that seemed to polarise Australian collectors into two separate camps - the majority who didn't - and the few that did - find positive points in various inventive grading terms that appealed to them as investor-collectors. The debate had also revolved around methods of grading and the vastly differing interpretations of both the U.S numbering system and the standard descriptive systems.
The debate over grading reached a feverish pitch amongst some dealers, during November 1997, and is probably still simmering under the surface.
Looking back into the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' of April 1997 to refresh my memory, I came across a short 'tongue-in-cheek' piece that I had written about the grading subject at the start of the debate - and prior to the furore - and I now re-present it once more it for your consideration just in case the subject comes off the back-burner once more. I trust the Australian idioms are not lost in the translation.
AN AUSTRALIAN GRADING SYSTEM - PERHAPS?!
Once upon a time the average collector was the bloke off the street who did it because he liked to!
If coins or notes looked good to him- they were!
He'd scratch off any dirt or verdigris from his 'special' coins with a sharp needle or a rusty nail, and then he'd polish them with steel-wool and 'Brasso' until they shone like stars and, finally, he'd pop them into an old screw-top 'Vegemite' jar with his old mismatched cuff-links and tie-pins.
He would often warm rinse and steam- iron his old and crinkled banknotes, and throw them into an old toffee or biscuit tin, with a rubber-band around them for safe-keeping, before he'd stash them away, (with his 'Vegemite' jar) in the bottom drawer of the bedroom wardrobe so they would definitely become family heirlooms and 'be worth a fortune in years to come!'
And if you asked him, 'What condition are they in?' he'd always reply, 'Bonza, mate!'
Bearing all this in mind, I would suggest that we look seriously at devising a grading system to suit those average Australian collectors who are still with us.
So perhaps we could start with -'Not Worth a Brass Razoo'- meaning - worse than 'Crook'. (Yuk) Ungradeable.
'Crook' - meaning - real lousy. (AG3) Poor.
'Not Bad' - meaning - not good. (G4) Good.
'Orright' - meaning - good. (VG8) Very Good.
'Bonza' - meaning - pretty good! (F12) Fine.
'Grouse'- meaning - real good! (VF30) Very Fine.
'Extra Grouse' - meaning - extra good! (EF45) Extra Fine
'Bewdy orright' - meaning - excellent! (AU58) aUnc.
'Little Ripper' - meaning - seen nothin' better! (MS67) B.Unc.
'Wotta-Ripper! - meaning - sure it's real? (MS70) Proof.
These 'accurate' verbal descriptions have been used for years by true-blue Aussies, at all levels, to clarify their innermost thoughts on any type of subject matter, and they should be given the consideration they deserve when any new Australian banknote grading system is closer to fruition.
(The word 'Mate' after each description is optional, but should be used with discretion for gradings over 'Extra Grouse'. At this point 'She's a' is a more appropriate prefix up to, but not including, 'Wotta-Ripper' - which stands alone, except for a low whistle of genuine appreciation.)
In the meantime, at the average Aussie collector correspondence level, we could use the new suggested numismatic abbreviations : BR, C, NB, O, B, G, EG, BO, LR and WR!
We might choose to have 'Not Quite' (nq) or 'Better'n' (bn) to cover some of the 'in-betweens' in the middle gradings.( e.g. Coins in bnG ('Better'n Grouse') but nqEG ('Not Quite Extra Grouse') condition would probably be a rarity, and very acceptable, to our average collector!)
I'm quite sure that, between us, we should be able to produce something uniquely Australian!
'TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST' 1996 - 2007 GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.
The updated and illustrated general Index of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter has now been completed.
We serialized the Internet version update, as we did with the original Index in 2003, and the first instalment was included in the January 2007 issue and it was located at the conclusion of each 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.
Individual articles are not directly linked to the early version of the Index nor have they been cross-referenced, at this time, but they can be located by checking the Links listed below and then checking against the newsletter Archives: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aprilnews.html
Articles or information prior to the Year 2000 can be requested by contacting the Editor.
The original Index covered the period from 1995 - 2003 (Volumes 1 - 8). Details can be found in the issues listed below.
The complete addendum includes the content details of both versions of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter from Volumes 9 (Issue 1 - January, 2004) up to Volume 12 - Issue 6, 2007 but, from this Issue onwards, the Internet Edition details and link only will be published herein .
'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) .
Volume 12 – Issues 1 - 6, 2007
Issue 1. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan07.htm
See What I Mean! - a practical explanation about unusual coins found in pocket change.
Counterfeits & Forgeries - a closer look at some Oz duds - compiled by Ian Hartshorn
Canadian Blacksmith Tokens - an article by Dominic Labbe (updated and re-illustrated) showing forgeries come from everywhere.
Encased Cent Mirror Tokens - a look at something different and a bit of trivia to go with an interesting token concept from 1900
From Inside the Magpie's Nest - The Bass & Flinders Circumnavigation of Tasmania Medallion from Tasmedals.
Messages from Mick & Mike - a couple of long-time colleagues and mates have put 'pen to paper' once more.
Index Update - Vol. 9 (2004).
Issue 2. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb07.htm
Society Snippets - featuring the history of Old West characters named on some fantasy encased cents from T.N.S. member Jerry Adams
Hanrahan's Saloon at Adobe Walls 1874 - the story of a battle with Comanches and the incredible rifle shot. by Billy Dixon, that virtually saved the day.
Sharps Rifle Trivia
'Viva Mexico' - the volatile country to the south of the U.S. has had many exploiters. The story of its coinage, from Spanish occupation until pre-Millennium, is as fascinating as the personages who trod the Mexican political stage during this period.
Index Update - Vol.10 ( 2005).
Issue 3. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.html
Society Snippets - Jerry Adams' newest encased coin - the Jefferson Buffalo Nickel within a 'Good Luck' token.
Post Traders of the Old West - a brief look at what the local 'supermarket' was like during the early 1800's in the days of the buffalo, cowboys and Indians.
Do Not Disturb! - Sleepers .... - there are many newer coins in Australia that have the potential of appreciating in value at a far more rapid pace than usual - these are the decimal 'sleepers' - watch for them!
Index Update - Vol. 11 (2006) and Vol. 12 (2007 to date.
Issue 4. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/april07.html
Society Snippets - ANZAC DAY 2007
Adams & Smith's Fantasy Enclosed Coin Token - the newest release of their modern Fantasy Post Trader's token
Fantasy Post Traders Tokens ( Part 2) - Why Fort Chadbourne? - the choice of location, for these modern tokens, is always a story in itself..
The Butterfield Stage Coach Connection - John Butterfield's partners Henry Wells and William Fargo founded an empire - from the back of a stage-coach.
Jamestown Commemorative Coins. - U.S. Mint unveils the 400th Anniversary Commemorative designs to celebrate the first English settlement in the U.S.
Percentage Points! - a comparison of percentage differences in the price structure of recent U.S. and Australian Uncirculated silver and gold coinage.
Who was 'Saharet'? - the brief story of an Australian Can-Can Dancer who was once called 'The most beautiful woman in the world.'
NZBANKNOTES.COM - http://www.nzbanknotes.com/first.asp Was established in July 2004, and this is hugely popular international site is growing 'faster than inflation' This is a recommended site.
Index Update - Vol. 12 (2007 to date).
Issue 5. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may07.htm
Slipping through the Cracks? - older listed items are disappearing from the catalogues. Remember how 'Varieties and Mint errors' fell through the cracks?
Australia's decimal coins - What ARE those Animals? - just a reminder of the unique Australian wild-life that graced our own first decimal coins in 1966.
Trivia - The American Prairies - and the Bison - the newest state Quarter from North Dakota reminds us of what nearly was lost in North America.
U.S. Quarters program - Check list update of mintages (where available) and release dates of coins now in circulation
Index Update - Vol. 12 (2007 to date
Issue 6. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june07.htm
From Drachma .... - a brief history of early Greek coinage.
... to the Unica. - a brief history of early Roman coinage.
Item of Interest - Military Payment Certificate
Notification of Name Change - the renamed newsletter is just that! The 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition' is now geared to our international audience.
'NUMISNET WORLD' - Internet Edition.
Volume 12 – Issues 7 - to date, 2007
Issue 7. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july07.htm
Name Change - We have decided to make a small name change due to the international aspect of this Internet newsletter.
Principality of Hutt River - A brief look at the history and new coinage release of a 'close-to-home' micro-nation and its Sovereign and his sons.
Private Currency issues - Another private local currency issue is available in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, U.S.A.
A Nation Always (Nearly) in the News. - A history of the coinage and paper Money of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea).
Issue 8. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Aug07.htm
How Much Can a Collector Collect? - an observation on the number of 2007 commemorative issues being issued from the R.A.M.
Thematic Collecting! - another brief reminder of one of the alternative in collecting - Varieties & Mint Errors. More suggestions in our next issue.
The End of an Era. - It is now just over 89 years since Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his entire family were murdered by the Bolsheviks.
Wanted Known - A segment for passing on readers' requests or information of a reasonable nature. (Caveat Emptor - and our disclaimers apply.)
Issue 9. - http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept07.htm
In Memorium - we are still remembering the loss of life and innocence that happened in New York and Washington on September 11th. 2001.
To Be or Not to Be - Where do 'Trade Dollars' fit into the scheme of things?
Thematic Collecting - Part 2 - Collecting BIG silver coins.
Some Cheaper Thematic Alternatives - interesting aspects of numismatics at realistic prices.
The Franklin Mint - Numismatic Rebirth? - it was lost, but now, is it to be reborn? An encouraging extract from 'Wikipedia' about a famous private mint..
'Late News' Omaha Token Show 2007 - a brief informal report by T.N.S. member Jerry Adams of this years token show in Nebraska.
Issue 10. -
Medallions for Tasmania - a brief discussion regarding a few of the many local medallions available to Tasmanian collectors.
Omaha Token Show, 2007 ( Pt. 2) - featuring a few additional scans of tokens acquired at the Omaha Show by Jerry Adams.
Wanted Known - A segment for passing on readers' requests or information of a reasonable nature. (Caveat Emptor - and our disclaimers always apply.)
Miscellaneous Q & A's - readers questions answered or self-help references supplied. Subject: GOLD SOVEREIGNS
Encore - a Blast from the Past - Grading - a very local look at Grading terms (re-visited from 1997.)
************************************************TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY
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