Volume 17 Issue 9       Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)     September 2012



Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2012.


All or any prices quoted in articles in this free newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Wherever possible - illustrations (*enlarged or otherwise) are from the authors' own collection - or the extensive picture library of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist' -  Internet Edition © 1991 - 2007.  and the  'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition. © 2007 - 2012.  

Krause-Mishler (KM) Standard World Catalogs - and McDonald and/or Renniks Australian catalogue numbers, are used where applicable.

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


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

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

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



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



Over the last few weeks, while escaping from the few parts of the 2012 Olympic Games TV coverage that did not hold my interest, I have had some far more intriguing discussions with several Internet readers about various odd aspects of numismatics and exonumia.

As usual, I must stress that whilst the conclusions of all our correspondents are not always, personally, shared with this Editor - most are worthy of general consideration - and, whilst these particular casual dalliances were not earth-shattering, they did make me do a little research - which is always a good thing!

Some of the items shown below may bear little relevance to the initial discussions - or even answer some of the questions that had been posed - but, they caught my eye in passing.

Shooting off on a tangent - a brief trip on the 'wild side' - has always been an adventure that I have rarely shirked - because these paths are usually lined with rich educational fodder to nourish my own imagination. This month's trivia offering is in no particular order - so enjoy!

(P.S. - The scans are not all to scale.)


1993 Kazakhstan National Banknotes.

 5 & 10 Tyin notes. (KM# 3 & 4)

For some of our more geographically-challenged readers, Kazakhstan (the world's 9th. largest republic situated on the shores of the Caspian and Aral Seas between Europe and Asia) was probably 'put back on the map' most recently by  the 6' 3" Welsh/Israeli actor, Sasha Noam Baron Cohen, famous for his extremely imaginative movie portrayal as 'Borat' - in that wonderful spoof - "Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."(2006)

Look carefully! - I only discovered 'it' by accident while checking on the commencement date of these low value Kazakhstan Tyin notes for a reader - but, once you have seen 'it', you can never forget that 'it' is there!

Banknote accumulators - particularly, those who have a slightly warped sense of humour - will have, probably, noticed 'it' already!

With just a little imagination - the Kazakhstan Coat-of-Arms bears an uncanny resemblance to an unforgettable, bulbous-nosed 'Looney Tunes' cartoon character, who was often portrayed with a plumed helmet - and an extremely foul temper -  as he attempted to thwart the heroic 'Bugs Bunny'




Pic.1.  Top (l. to r.) - 1949 Aluminium-Bronze 3 Kopek; 1913 Copper 3 Kopek

Bottom - 1989 Copper-Nickel-Zinc 10 Kopek; 1957 Al.Br. 2 Kopek; 1989 Al.Br.1 Kopek

Pic.2.  Top (l. to r.) - 1860 .750 Silver 10 Kopek; 1868 .750 Silver 15 Kopek

Bottom -  1869 .750 Silver 20 Kopek; 1914 .500 Silver 20 Kopek showing Imperial Coat-of-Arms of Nicholas II.

(P.S. - Various Cyrillic alphabets - some with audio accompaniment - can now be found on the Internet to assist with translation of text.)


With the gradual demise of low value metallic coinage, we tend to forget the days when the smallest denomination coin had real buying power.

The few chosen Russian Kopeks (shown above) range over an issue period of more than a century, and they were made of Copper, Al. Bronze and alloyed Nickel and various grades of Silver. However, by the start of the 21st. Century, the range had been rationalized to 1, 5, 10 and  50 Kopeks so as to more easily comply with the decimal system of other European national currencies - and, they were being made from Nickel-plated or Brass-plated Steel.

The trend, for this type of plated coinage, is now well established in many nations including the U.S. - and - if low value coinage is still produced for circulation despite inflation - it is usually in this more resource-saving form. Mutton dressed up as Lamb!

Over the last two decades, even mineral resource-rich Australia has physically divested itself of its circulating One and Two Cent Bronze coinage.

It still remains as legal tender, and, even when it is 'rounded' in normal commercial enterprise receipts - it still features in computerized book-keeping. 

Gone, but not forgotten!



The recent surge in prices of Australian Tradesmen's Tokens has had the side effect of dragging other items - such as commercial souvenir tokens and commemorative medallions - along in its wake. At present, fortunes will not be made in these other genres - but, it is nice to see that the mementos tucked away in the back of the drawer are not just chunks of metal collecting rust or dust..

In many cases, these cast or struck souvenirs and medallions are nearly as well-finished as our coinage - but they remain, more of a curiosity, to remind the owners of some wonderful or historical experiences in times past -  and, sometimes, even if those moments in time far outweigh their intrinsic values - just, occasionally, they have a monetary component slowly gathering strength with age and growing scarcity.

Catalogue numbers are from 'Tasmania's Token Treasures'.




Top row: (l. to r.) - TM03.6a; TM03.7d; TM03.4b; TM03.5a; TM03.3a; Generic Port Arthur reverse.

Bottom row: (l. to r.) - TM11.0a; 06.0b(rev.); 06.0b(obv.);TM07.0a; TM10.0a; TM03.3b

The trial pieces (shown above) were mentioned in the lists published in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - (May 2006).

This selection of aluminium trials only covers some of 'Tasmedals' earliest token designs, prior to 'Ozmint' becoming involved in production in 2003 - all are accounted for, or have since been recycled.


The original issues of the former 'Tasmedals' event and souvenir tokens were made to order from the distributor and local producer from dies prepared in New Zealand and were available directly to the visitor at a Tasmanian tourist venue, or a participant at a special event..


Loose 30mm. Brass Souvenir tokens.

The initial release was made to the 'Hash House Harriers' at their Interhash Convention held in Hobart in February, 2000.

A short series of generic Tasmanian Devil tourist 'dollar' souvenir tokens followed later that year, again in loose form, but it wasn't until early 2001 that the concept took its first major step forward into quality packaging and presentation for Tasmania's premier tourist attraction, Port Arthur Historic Site

Each token was inserted into a sturdy descriptive holder and encapsulated in a plastic envelope. This popular series of machine-dispensed tokens were available to site visitors and some of these were upgraded with more relevant designs as the Port Arthur Authority expanded its tourist educational  program. We were also advised that an extremely limited number of the aluminium test pieces (and one or two other pattern samples in other off-strike metals - see Ellison Hawker Bookshop token shown below), were produced as design trials for 'Tasmedals' and were held for archival purposes or recycled..



(l. to r.) Catalogue # 08.4; 08.3; 08.2; 08.1

Trial $10.00 - in off metal Bronze .... Issued tokens - $20.00 Gold (Brass); $10.00 Silver (Aluminium); $5.00 Copper (Bronze)

(Original Mintage: 250 in each denomination. These gift tokens were intended for redemption and recirculation.)

(Previously published 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - scans courtesy of 'Tasmedals'.) 


*It is of interest that the issuance of modern token coinage - usually in 'closed' communities working in harmony - is still alive and thriving in some areas of the world where the national product is - hard to come by, or where it is deemed to be lacking in credibility, or the cost of banking has become prohibitive, or the local institutions has become so demeaned by poor practice, that alternate means of commerce are being attempted.




Mixed-metal trial casting made for 'Tasmedals' - and the issued 1992 Tasman Festival 70mm. gold-plated pewter medallion. (#23 of 30).

This medallion was also available in two Antique-finish Pewter versions 38mm.(General issue) and 48mm.(Numbered limited edition)


1992 Trust Bank of Tasmania.

The Abel Tasman obverse was also used to produce this limited edition commemorative 48mm. Gold-plated version, bearing the Trust Bank of Tasmania Coat-of-arms as its reverse. (Mintage unknown.)



(Not to scale - re-sized to fit page - these are all standard size - approx. 86 x 54mm.)


Prior to Australia's telecommunication carrier Telecom changing its name to Telstra, the public was introduced to the handy card that enabled us to insert and dial (or press buttons) to communicate with family, friends, businesses and/or complete strangers without the need for cash in our pocket!

For some time, however, these funny little cards remained another curiosity for many who still preferred to put their money in the slot..

The day of plastic money cards was still in its infancy - but, it was thundering down upon us, and - when it arrived,  it changed our lives forever..

The new phone-cards were purchased in values of $2.00; $5.00; $10.00 and $20.00 from Australian Post Offices acting as agents for Telecom..

Then, the 'powers-that-be' decided to jazz them up by decorating the cards with iconic scenes, seasonal cards, as well as producing sets as collectibles,  - and, also, to make an extra buck by selling advertising format cards.

The smart money got in quick - and some dealers made a killing on rising secondary-market deals and auctions - then moved on.

However, for a glorious time, the iconic scenes version attracted a huge following - mainly from those who gathered the used cards to form a collection.

People used to raid the telephone-boxes at night to 'rat-through' the used and discarded cards.

Catalogues were available, periodically, from Telecom - with 'current' market prices soaring for the lesser produced high value cards..

Older international cards that turned up in Australia were being sourced as well!


Some international versions of prepaid telephone cards.


After a few years, technology had caught up with the original magnetic-strip version, which was only available from the Australian phone company - and swipe credit or charge cards became all the thing.

Initially, some numismatists gave them a legitimacy as exonumia - and, it was the numismatic dealers who took them onboard as an additional line.

I suppose that was to be expected, as they were tokens of money - and had value until expired.

The sheen of the hobby rapidly faded as other telecommunications companies were established - and production of this type of card ceased after  technological changes occurred - now, decades later, the phone-card hobby has stabilized as a separate entity of lesser stature and it has just pottered along. Prices tended to find the lowest common denominator - and, as always, the rarer items still commanded the best prices.

As the pundits said: - 'the bottom dropped out of the smaller end of the market overnight!'

At the time, I had a small batch of more 'expensive' cards awaiting auction and it was lucky that the market held up long enough for me to still make a small net profit.  I am more of a collector than an investor/speculator, so, it was a case of a near nasty finger-burn!!

To many former collectors, who did receive their burnt-fingers, phone-cards are still classed as another folly - or a curiosity residue - in the back of the drawer!  However, be aware - things do change as time goes by! 

The hobby didn't just wither and die - it just went into the doldrums - or should I say 'hibernation' -  for a period of time!

In recent years, the availability of the better quality high value pieces has started to dry up, but, I have noted a small - slow and steady - price rise in some of the more attractive lower value cards that formed part of basic date sets. Watch this space seems like sound advice!


**(I still have a small accumulation of about 70 assorted items tucked away - some unused - just in case phone-cards ever come back!)


Are we seeing a disenchantment occurring with our love affair with our national base-metal coinage?

Has the plethora of fancy issues of Non-Circulating-Legal-Tender (NCLT) dulled the general interest in the more mundane circulation items to the point that the whole aspect itself needs to be re-promoted?  Are we collectors in danger of splitting the hobby asunder?


Numismatic Issues of The Franklin Mint - 1969 Edition

During their collecting lifetimes, it is likely that many numismatists will or already have encountered some of quality items produced by The Franklin Mint.

The Franklin Mint has had momentous changes occur since 1969 - details of which are currently related on the Wikipedia  site by typing in the name .

The current Internet address for the company is : http://www.franklinmint.com/


Recently, I had a query about identifying, and commenting about, a small number of Franklin Mint medallions that had been included in a deceased numismatist's estate that had been inherited by his daughter.

The items were from the Franklin Mint Presidential Series of the 1960's and were 26mm. Proof-like Sterling Silver and weighed about 1.5 troy ounces..

The old 1969 catalogue (as shown above) that I used for reference covers the 1967(32 & 36mm.) - 1968 (26mm.) issues from George Washington to Lyndon B. Johnson - and, whilst I couldn't hazard an accurate guess on their current market values, I have seen some recent eBay offer figures at about US$70.00 each in issued condition - but, others attract few bids except for their current  'melt value'.

I also had some of the other relevant details of the product - which may have been of some use to the correspondent..

The brief Presidential biographies on the reverses of these medallions are of great use for beginners with an historical interest..

These 'coin-medals' (the Franklin Mint's description) were available in various metals and spread over three sizes: 26mm Proof-like Sterling Silver, 26mm.Proof-like Platinum, 26mm basic Mint-run 'Commercial' Bronze - and 32mm and 39mm. Proof Sterling Silver.




or ....

'Always check that old loose change that lurks in the back of Grandma's kitchen drawer!'


This relatively short list of basic Australian pre-decimal coinage (shown below) represents the 'gold amongst the dross!' - and the items it mentions are still being found in the most unlikely of places ....!

Well - the individual coins may not quite be gold - but - some (but not all) of these pieces are worth far more as a numismatic scarcity than their weight of that precious yellow stuff. The illustrated coins* were graded conservatively, prior to scanning - and an estimated price in Australian Dollars (AUD$1.00 is worth U.S.$1.04 at time of writing) is shown for an idea of current worth.

(Scans are larger to scale - approx 1.5:1 in this instance - for ease of viewing.)


Bronze Half-Penny - (1/2d.)

Weight: 5.67grams - Size: 25.5mm.  

1915 H;  1916 I (Mule);  1923* (Very Fine - $4500.00) ;  1924

(The Muled coin was minted in India and has the Obverse (Head) of an Indian Quarter Anna (George V King Emperor) coin and an Aust. Half-penny Reverse.)



Bronze Penny - (1d.)

Weight: 9.45grams - Size: 30.8mm.    

1919 .//. ; 1920;  1920 .// ;  1920 .//. ; 1925* (Very Fine - $425.00);  1930;  1933/32; 

1946* (about Very Fine - $155.00)

The lines represent the two horizontal scrolls on the KGV Bronze coin Reverses located above and below the denomination - and the tiny dots that may be centred above and/or below the scrolls are actually mintmarks, e.g:  Dot below = Melbourne;  Dot above = Sydney.

If no Dots are present. it means coins were minted at all three Australian mints - including Perth. Other Dots are present on KGV coins, but, as these are nor relevant to this article they are not mentioned. (Refer a good catalogue for mintages etc.).


Sterling Silver .925 Fine Threepence - (3d.)

Weight: 1.41grams - Size: 16mm.  

1914;  1915;  1922/1 (Overdate);  1923* (Very Fine - $250.00);  1934/3 (Overdate)


Sterling Silver .925 Fine Sixpence - (6d.)

Weight: 2.83grams - Size: 19mm.

1912;  1916 M;  1923;  1924* (about Fine - $25);  1918 M

(From 1910 - 1915 these coins were minted in England.)

(Some of these Silver coins bear no initial (Sydney) but others have the initial M (Melbourne) under the date.)


Sterling Silver .925 Fine One Shilling - (1/-)

Weight: 5.65grams - Size: 23.5mm.  

1912;  1913;  1915;  1915 H;  1921;  1924;  1925*(type illustration only) (Very Fine - $55.00);  1933

(Some of these Silver coins bear the initial of the issuing Mint - e.g. M (Melbourne) or H (Heaton England).


Sterling Silver .925 Fine Florin - Two Shillings (2/-)

Weight: 11.31grams - Size: 28.5mm.    

1910;  1911;  1912;  1913;  1914 H;  1915;  1915 H;  1918 M;  1919 M;  1921; 

1922* (Very Good - $25.00);  1932;  1933

(Some of these Silver coins bear the initial of the issuing Mint - e.g. M (Melbourne) or H (Heaton England).


Sterling Silver .925 Fine Commemorative Florin - Two Shillings (2/-)

Weight: 11.31grams - Size: 28.5mm.  

1934-35* (Extra Fine - $525.00)


Sterling Silver .925 Fine Crown - 5 Shillings (5/-)

Weight: 28.27grams - Size: 38.5mm.  

1937* (Extra Fine - $65.00);  1938* (Extra fine - $325.00)


 "Collecting Australian Commonwealth coins ... 1910 - 1964"

 Including a learners' Grading Guide.

Examples shown range from: G - Good, VG- Very Good, F - Fine, VF - Very Fine, EF - Extra Fine,

aUNC - about Uncirculated, UNC - Uncirculated, CHU - Choice Uncirculated -  up to Gem.

(Published by - and available from - the AUSTRALIAN NUMISMATIC DEALERS ASSOCIATION.)


According to contemporary Australian coin catalogues, and major dealers' published lists, the majority of the lowest grade coins on this short reminder list now retail at - or well over - AUD$20.00 each - and some of the real 'gems' are now into the hundreds and thousands of Oz Dollars for better examples. Correct 'Grading' (the coin's condition regarding normal 'wear and tear') is imperative to get the best market value - so, obviously, you should read up on this important factor - and, a regular check of the latest prices - being quoted in a good catalogue* -  is warranted if you spot any of these items - or if they are already in your family's possession.



Recommended Catalogues.

Australian Coins and Banknotes - by Greg McDonald.

Renniks Australian Coin & Banknote Values - by Alan B. Pitt.






'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2007 - June 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2008)

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

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2009)

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

For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2010)

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

For full details of 'Numisnet World (2011)

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

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

For full details of 'Numisnet World (2012)

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



'NUMISNET WORLD' - INDEX - July on 2012.

 Issue 7. July 2012:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july12.htm

KEEPING BUSY! - The Winter temptation to curl up in front of a nice warm fire, watch a movie or read a book is ingrained within our 'hibernating bear'. Numismatists have a slightly more productive schedule - they sort, they list, they mend - and, any reading is usually from a catalogue relevant to their hobby!

AUSTRALIAN COIN & BANKNOTE GRADING. - This is a subject that is still raging - even if it is done in politely hushed tones. The 'numerists' and the 'verbalists'  (my terms) have both justified their positions and are prepared to go down with their ships. Collectors should be aware that several differences of grading opinion exist - they should study the differences - then independently make their own decision on how they will present their treasures for consideration.  

AUSTRALIAN CURRENCY - A virtual 'hodge-podge' of Australian banknotes has been selected to show the development of Oz  currency since our Federation - as well as to give an idea how different grades appear in circulation. Unfortunately, not all of the notes that have been produced are available for sampling and perusal - some are quite rare now - so that is the reader's chore to discover. This illustrated section is just the bait!


Issue 8. August 2012:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug2012.htm

'YORKIE DOODLE DANDY' - I recently was pleasantly surprised to receive a query from a fellow author regarding the authenticity of a replica item. A correspondence followed and a camaraderie developed that went beyond numismatics.

 William 'Bill' Wynne - a former U.S. air-recon photographer had a real story to tell - and a real job to do - in the 1940's during the allied defence of our nation. Bill's companion, a tiny Yorkshire terrier named 'Smoky', will be well remembered as an official working  'War Dog' with her own set of medals - as well as being a talented entertainer of children and adults during the early 1950's. 

The late 'Smoky', and 90 year old Bill, were also honoured in July, 2012 for their efforts, as a veterans' 'therapy' dog and trainer, by the presentation of a special award, at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, which was accepted on Bill's behalf by the U.S. Consul General.

RECENT CORRESPONDENCE - For those readers who use the Internet to keep up to date with international numismatics - you will be pleased to learn that long-time colleague Serge Pelletier has advised that the journal of the Ottawa Numismatic Society 'moneta' is now freely available on line at:- www.ons-sno.ca.  Another well-known friend, Mike Metras, has advised that he is selecting part of his collection for disposal on eBay. He has supplied us a link to his initial list - arbateasmara - so if you have an interest in getting in early and making an offer - this is OK for our readers.- but get in early!

ALL THAT GLISTERS ...IS NOT GOLD! - The word 'GOLD!' conjures up all sorts of feelings. Mine started at a very young age and never, ever went away. I have selected just a few bits 'n' pieces to show the scope of things that intrigued me because of their association with the most noble of metals.


Issue 9. September 2012:-

RECENT DISCUSSIONS I HAVE HAD! - Readers were forthcoming with quite a hotchpotch of subjects last month. Most of the email chatter was just interesting trivia - and, in most cases, the queries were easily answered.  However, as we all know, trivia is usually the starting point for all sorts of idea development - if we are 'blessed' with an inquisitive nature. It also shows that interest in some items that have been dormant for a time - has not died off!

GOLD AMONGST THE DROSS. - Among our older Australian pre-decimal coinage - particularly that of King George V -  are a few pieces of Bronze and Silver that are equivalent to 'gemstones, chunks of Gold - and some jewels'!. The list shown, has tried to separate these precious tit-bits from the mere items of interest. It is now up to you to do the work and  'cash in' on hard money that is far more than just a few petty low value coins!





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The Editor,

Numisnet World - (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.


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

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