Volume 9 Issue 9 INTERNET EDITION September 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
KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR THIS ONE!
We have now been officially advised that there is a very exciting, and unique, major new release to be made by OZMINT the manufacturing branch of TASMEDALS of Hobart. Scheduled for December availablity, it will be the culmination of the high quality Bicentenary of Tasmania series produced by the premier Tasmanian medallion producer and details will soon be advertised nationally through the leading numismatic media.
THE 'HEART OF TASMANIA' MEDALLION SET
The final OZMINT release for this historical time in Tasmania's development will be in the form of a boxed set that will consist of 12 Tasmania-shaped abstract triangular medallions encased in its own specially-made Tasmania-shaped triangular box and that, as a completely co-ordinated set, they celebrate 200 years of European settlement, cultural development and achievement. It is going to be an absolutely stunning presentation piece to signal the end the Tasmanian Bicentenary year of 2004 - but it also points the way to the future.
This commemorative set will be known as the "Heart of Tasmania" - and, as the "Heart of Tasmania" is beating strongly indeed - it is ideally named!
The total issue will be strictly limited to only 1000 sets covering the 3 different finishes as listed below, so we strongly urge that as soon as the order forms become available, those T.N.S. members and other readers who want to get their own potential 'heirloom' , do not hesitate to get them completed and returned ASAP.
If paying by credit card Tasmedals have advised they will process the payment in two equal installments if desired.
(A copy of the Tasmedals order form is below for those readers and members of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society who want to print it out and use it.)
This is an important Australian release that will be snapped up by the usual national medallion collectors and, once they are sold out, we believe the secondary market price is bound to rise dramatically as the importance of the set is realised by numismatic dealers and other Australian historical memorabilia collectors.
'HEART OF TASMANIA' Medallions - Boxed Set of 12.
The 12 piece Medallion sets will be individually numbered wIth a Certificate of Authenticity and a Booklet explained the significance of each piece.
Medallion size: 48mm. Box size approx. 200mm sides (8" x 8" x 8")
Antiqued Bronze (750 only sets) AUD$195
Silvered Pewter (200 only sets) AUD$225
Goldplated (22carat) Pewter (50 only sets) AUD$280
International orders - please contact TASMEDALS direct for payment methods and delivery details.
Tasmedals Pty Ltd - Retail Outlet:
Tasmedals Pty Ltd - Head Office:
P.S. - A word to the wise - if our T.N.S. members or Internet readers really want to get in early - pre-order right now!
Tell your fellow T.N.S. members, Roger or Chris at TASMEDALS, that 'we' sent you - it just might pull a few strings if you mention this 'Tasmanian Numismatist' snippet - to make sure a set of your choice is placed on order before the rush starts.
Also heard on the grapevine that Tasmedals of Hobart have apparently had to make the decision to broaden its scope of numismatic involvement due to pressure from local collectors who want to have a complimentary and alternative source of supply or selling facilities in that city.
Early days on this one - will keep you posted!
ANDA - APTA SHOW
Wrest Point Hotel Casino - Hobart
Saturday October 9th - Sunday 10th October 2004 (Opening doors 10.00a.m.)
Want to help - and make a few very handy contacts??
We would like to remind T.N.S. members that their voluntary assistance is being solicited and it would be gratefully appreciated if they could aid the T.N.S. and the ANDA-APTA organisation in ensuring the smooth running of the event by chipping in for a few of the tasks. As previously mentioned, we have been advised that T.N.S President, Roger McNeice will be acting as Tasmanian co-ordinator between the T.N.S. and ANDA.
For those T.N.S. members who wish to get involved, Roger should be contacted at either of his usual phone numbers for details.
T.N.S. President, Roger McNeice O.A.M.
Tasmedals' Office - (03) 6227 8825
Tasmedals' Showroom (Hobart) - (03) 6231 5281.
T.N.S. MEMBERS' HOME CORNER
All of us have other interests besides numismatics and the main one is usually our family. Occasionally, we get a privileged glimpse of that side of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society members' lives and it brings home to us that we are, in the main, a pretty standard bunch of human beings after all when it comes to the priority we place on those we love and nuture - and that is how it should be.
Brand new token collector in Choice Uncirculated condition.
Grandson JAMES RAY DYLAN DEGRADO b. 8th. July 2004, is the 'apple' of Texan member Jerry Adams' eye.
by Graeme Petterwood ©
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 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.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO J.I.M.?
I have asked the question because I have had several queries regarding Japanese Invasion Money - J.I.M. - during the last few months.
Readers may rember that, only last month, I received an email from a reader in British Columbia, Canada which prompted me publish an article about German Inflationary currency from the 1920's - and the promise of a short reprise of J.I.M. just to 'de-mystify' that type of currency as well.
"I read with interest the article on the Japanese occupation currency. In clearing the estate of a family friend we came across a number of old bank notes. There were 4 of the 10 Roepiah notes shown in the article as well as a 100 Roepiah note."
The Japanese issued Cents and Gulden issues in the Netherlanfs Indies, as well as the Roepiah notes that were featured and illustrated (in part) in "Some Notes from the East Indies Part 1" (Refer: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/may04.htm ) and, whilst I do not have a complete range of J.I.M. from the other countries that fell under the heel of the conquerers, I will offer a sprinkling of illustrations to show the most common types of notes that were being circulated by the Japanese Government - courtesy of their military forces.
Part of Netherlands Indies J.I.M. currency range using Cents and Gulden (N.D. 1942)
Note the Fan Palm, Bananas, Coconuts and Breadfruit designs and other generic obverses and reverses.
By altering colours, language and denomination terms the Japanese printers could adapt these notes to nearly any J.I.M. currency.
There was only a small reference to the Cents and Gulden J.I.M. currency that had been issued in the Netherlands Indies (later known as Indonesia) but, in fact, the Japanese invasion forces that swamped the Asian-Pacific region brought with them many psuedo currencies because they knew well that the money of defeated nations was still a reminder of nationalism and could not be allowed to circulate freely.
The 'fresh off the press' Japanese Government notes had no backing whatsoever except that of the conquerer - and the propaganda value was immense in reinforcing the population's realisation they had been conquered. There are no accurate records of the amount of notes printed and, even now, caches of thousands of worthless pieces of paper bearing the war-time Japanese Government's logos are being found in formerly occupied Asian-Pacific countries and, like the German inflation money, they are not worth the paper they are printed on!
Due to the fact that these notes were churned out in the defeated country as well as in Japan, they also have been found to have various differences and a good world paper money catalogue will identify the major varieties - however, some varieties are still coming to light as 'new' notes are found or old notes re-examined.
If you had a male relative who, as a young man, may have been involved in the deadly Pacific conflict you will probably find a few J.I.M. tucked away amongst his mementos - so, even for that reason, don't just throw them away.
Every denomination of these notes, in all the currencies of the area, are now known and whilst they are virtually worthless in a financial sense, and usually held for their curiousity value, they still are of historical numismatic interest and, as previously mentioned, every self respecting numismatist should have at least some in his/her currency collection.
The conquered countries, at that time, had been mainly under the control of colonial masters such as France, England and the Netherlands and the denominations on the J.I.M. reflected the currencies in use. The term N.D. refers to notes that were actually Not Dated in any way, but records are available that give a fairly accurate time frame - and the majority of the printing and issue dates can be determined in most instances and will be noted as (N.D.- plus estimated date)
Most, if not all, military J.I.M. falls into this category.
BURMA, CHINESE PUPPET BANKS, MILITARY ISSUES (INCLUDING HONK KONG) & INDO-CHINA
The Japanese Government authorised notes in 1942 - 44, that were printed for Burma (now the Union of Myanmar) in denominations of: 1, 5, 10 Cents; 1/4, 1/2, 1, 5, 10, and 100 Rupees; and another N.D.1944 issue was printed and distributed, due to a Japanese initiated directive, by the Burma State Bank in denominations of: 1, 5, 10, 100 Kyats.
Several Chinese banks, including the Central Reserve Bank of China, the Federal Reserve Bank of China, the Mengchiang Bank, the Hua-Hsing Bank, the Chi Tung Bank, Chanan Bank and the Central Bank of Manchukuo had been under the control of the Japanese for a considerable time prior to the war and continued to issue notes bearing the names of those authorities even though they were no more than 'puppet' organisations during the war years.
The Japanese Military also authorised and issued notes in China that were adapted from Japanese 1930 printing plates and bore portraits of Japanese heroes as the obverse and monuments as the reverse. (Notes not to scale).
(a) Part of the Burma J.I.M. currency range in Cents and Rupees featuring a Pagoda (N.D. 1942 - 44)
(b) 50 Sen and 5, 10, 100 Yen o/p military notes issued (N.D.1938) in China using adapted Japanese 1930 homeland plates (10 Yen shown below).
Bank of Japan 1930 10 Yen issued note -similar to 1938 military note used in China (above)
The Central Reserve Bank of China 10,000 Yuan note dated 1944 (issued 1945) showing the Sun Yat-sen Mausloleum reverse.
The majority of this 'puppet' bank's notes carried a central portrait of Sun Yat-sen (shown above) as an obverse.
French Indo-China - including the three major countries now known as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia - was also forced to use the Chinese-style military Occupation currency while the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation 500 Dollar banknotes of 1930, plus the 50 and 100 Dollars of 1934 - 37 were issued by the Japanese and the residents of that island colony were forced to use it under duress. The serial numbers of the notes issued has been recorded and, in numismatic circles and catalogues, it is now referred to as 'duress currency'. It is well known that refusal to accept any authorised Japanese occupation currency carried the risk of the direst reprisal imagineable.
MALAYA & THE PHILIPPINES
Malaya, a former British dominated area, which worked with a dollars and cents monetary system, saw the Japanese Government issues of: 1, 5, 10, and 50 Cents; 1, 5, 10, 10, 100, 1000 Dollars paper notes arrive by the crate full. Several printing were made in Japan for the Malayan peninsular and, in a few series, the styles of serial numbers/letters and colour variations are evident.
Part of the Malaya J.I.M. currency range in Dollars and Cents (N.D. 1942 - 45)
Note similarity of generic plate designs to J.I.M. issued in Netherlands Indies and Burma
Typical generic reverse - by altering colours they could be adapted to any J.I.M. currency
However, the previously United States dominated archipeligo of the Philippines was singled out for special treatment - and the notes that circulated in that area are especially worthy of collecting, particularly in the higher denominations. Initially the Philippines was shown a status of partner in the Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere that the Japanese were espousing but eventually the tide turned and the islands were subject to the same sort of brutal treatment as the other conquered areas.
Issued by, and under the label of the Japanese Government, the initial range went from: 1, 5, 10, and 50 Centavos; 1, 5, 10 and 100 Pesos - a second range was issued as inflation started to effect the Philippines economy and serial numbered notes were issued, including higher denominations of 100, 500 and 1000 Pesos
"Most minor (centavo) JIM notes have just block letters - these are the most common, or have fractional block letters (slightly harder to find). The first issue peso notes (1, 5 and 10 Pesos) had block letters as well. The second issue peso notes (1, 5, 10 and 100 Pesos) had a block number and a serial number usually beginning with a zero. Some serial numbered notes begin with the number one. These notes were issued as replacements for damaged notes, much like American 'star' notes (although a lot harder to find!). The block number range of the notes with serial numbers is 1 - 79. On the one peso notes only, blocks 80 - 87 had no serial numbers (they were produced in haste after the Americans landed on Luzon- there were 5 print runs). These notes with just plate block numbers are much harder to find than the ones with serial numbers. Also, after the liberation of the Philippines, the Red Cross came in to help out. They obtained the many of these JIM notes, and punched 2 holes in each one. Then these hole-punched notes were distributed to the soldiers as souvenirs. These notes have no extra monetary value, but do come with a bit more of a story and can usually be found in high grades." Refer: http://www.softcom.net/users/jmarcum/JIM/body_jim.html
Part of the Philippines J.I.M. currency range in Centavos and Pesos
1st. series (N.D. 1942) - Rural plantation scene. 2nd series (N.D. 1943) - J. Rizal monument in Manila. Note various block numbers and serial numbers.
Notes that started with a 1 were replacement notes similar to 'star' notes.
Ink-flawed obverse and poorly cut J. Rizal monument 100 Peso (N.D. 1944) note - but who would dare complain!
After the war, an organisation known as the Association of the Philippines Inc., who alleged they were attempting to get financial redress for those Filipinos who had been forced to accept the highly inflated Japanese currency, gathered up a huge amount of notes with that aim in mind.
Each note that was gathered was stamped with a pre-signed oval stamp reading 'The Japanese War Notes Claimant - Received For Safe Keeping - Association of the Philippines Inc.' However, at that time, large caches of unissued notes were being found and it was decided, by the authorities, that the legitimacy of the sources of the gathered currency was too dubious to consider. The claims were refused and the thousands of notes eventually were destroyed or went onto the numismatic market along with the unmarked items. As previously mentioned, the Red Cross gathered many bundles and sold them as souvenirs to returning American troops. There is no additional worth or loss to a collector in having the stamped notes - they are just accepted as part of the times - and notes should be graded under normal guidlines and classified as 'With usual stamp' as an indication.
THAILAND & OCEANIA
In Thailand, about 3 - 4 series were made by authorised local printers, in Japan and by Thai Government departments - all in the style of the legitimate currency of the time and featuring the portrait of the ruling monarch - due to the number of issues, variations etc. I would urge readers to consult a world paper money catalogue. The samples shown below are of Rama IX (portrait shown Fig. 2) and are virtually identical to the early notes of Rama VIII (portrait shown Fig 1.) Denominations ranged from 50 Satangs; 1, 5, 10, 20, 100, 1000 Baht.
Fig. 1 - Rama VIII ruler of Thailand as a child - 20 Baht design Series # 4A originally issued 1939.
(N.D. 1943) Series # 4B, issued during Japanese occupation, was copied from Thomas de la Rue originals by the Royal Thai Army Map Dept.
Designs from these series were updated slightly and repeated in later modern issues from 1945 - 56
Fig. 2 - Thailand 20 Baht notes of Rama IX (N.D. 1953)
Similar to Rama VIII occupation notes with Phra Samut Chedi Temple & Pagoda obverse and Royal Throne Hall reverse
Closer to home for Australians and New Zealanders, the Oceania area that came under Japanese dominance was issued with notes bearing denominations of 1/2 Shilling, 1, 10 Shillings and One Pound. Thankfully, in comparison to some other countries, many of these notes were never called upon to be issued - and none on the Australian mainland.
It needs to be noted that, after the war, many Oceania 'replicas' were belived to have been made in Australia - and, unfortunately, not all were marked as such.
Most of these counterfeits are on thicker paper, in the wrong colours and poorly printed so, if in doubt, check with a reputable paper money catalogue.
In regard to market prices for these types of Invasion currency, with few exceptions, a buyer would look at amounts of Cents per note not Dollars. Most issued notes do show varying signs of wear - but as mentioned, many caches of thousands of unissued notes came to light after the liberation of the Asian-Pacific area so there are pieces of J.I.M. out there that are as fresh as the day they were spewed from the Japanese printing presses.
Part of Oceania range of J.I.M. currency in Shillings and a One Pound note (N.D. 1942)
"Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Volume Two - 8th Edition" by Albert Pick. (Krause Publications) Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer, Editors.
"TIME-LINE VIETNAM - The Tiger That Ate The Fire Base."
A BOOK REVIEW
For those readers and collectors of militaria, and military literature, who expressed an interest in the Australian Artillery token which was in circulation at Nui Dat during the period of the Battle of Long Tan, in Vietnam 1966 (refer: August issue "Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition"), we have managed to obtain a book review of the latest book by ex-U.S. Army, Master Sergeant Ray Bows.
As previously mentioned, Ray, who is an expert on Military tokens - particularly those issued during the Vietnam conflict for use in the different service clubs' gaming machines amongst other things - was also directly involved as one U.S. soldier amongst many during the War and his new story highlights that fact. His story also re-inforces something that most of us already know - that many of our humble numismatic acquisitions have their own background stories that need to be told, and Ray's new book sets the scene for some of them.
Author Michael Kelley calls Ray Bows' TIME-LINE VIETNAM - The Tiger That Ate
"A poignant, heartfelt, personal and soul-searching look back at one man's
war. This effort ranks as Ray Bows' best and most engrosing literary effort to
date. Apart from his remarkable talents as a storyteller, Ray, also delivers
generous portions of his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the Vietnam
War and its military facilities [including the use of tokens] which by
themselves are worth the price of admission." This tribute to Robert J.
Wiedemann, killed in Vietnam in March of 1968, during the Tet-Offensive has been
noted by General Joseph Stringham, as "meticulously researched and absolutely
accurate, with a timelessness that will stir the memories of those who served
and leave the reader with bitter-sweet memories and a lump in one's throat. It
is a reminder of the GIs in ones life - living or dead which one may have
This hardbound book is available in the U.S. for $19.95 (US Dollars), plus $5 postage, exclusively from:
Bows & Company Publishing,
PO Box 730183, Ormond Beach, Florida 32173-0183.
For information and delivery details outside of the U.S. Email: Bowsandcompany@hotmail.com
Samples of some 21mm brass 5 Cent Military club tokens used in Vietnam.
(a) Australian / 5 c / Artillery token - used in Nui Dat and elsewhere.
(b) 1st. Marine Division (Rein) FMF (Fleet Marine Force) - Chu Lai, Vietnam 1965-1966
"Chiselled / 5 c / from Chu Lai" (reverse).
The Design of the Texas Quarterby Jerry Adams - T.N.S. Member #363 ©
The release of the new Texas quarter recently, was a long awaited event here in my home state.
Although I had been aware of the actual design for some time, most statehood quarter designs are a result of "design by committee", and the resulting design published pre-release in most numismatic newspapers and magazines here.
Personally, I wasn't too please with the resulting design, but, of course, I had no say. However, the design did seem to "ring a bell" in the back of my mind.
As I have been preparing to make a trip to the NTCA national trade token show in Omaha, Nebraska, I have been sorting through "coffin" (long 2x2 size) boxes of tokens and coins, pulling out items for the bourse in Omaha. Yesterday while thumbing through a box I rarely open, I found a medal that I have had in my collection since March 20, 1976. It was issued by the Mineral Wells Coin Club back in 1967, and one side pays tribute to the old hotel in Mineral Wells. The other side pays tribute to the Primary Helicopter Center at Fort Wolters which was located near Mineral Wells.
Most of the Huey helicopter pilots who served in Viet Nam, were trained at Fort Wolters, Texas.
The Helicopter Center side of this medal, shows a design very similar to the new Texas nickel, in that it consists of the outline of the state of Texas, but with the Texas five point star projecting from a location near Mineral Wells. Even if the new Texas quarter design was inspired by this medal, there is no shame in that.
The saying "Everything old is new again" comes to mind. Coming up with a truly unique design, is almost impossible, and even the one I had in mind for the state quarter would have been based on previous designs of medals and tokens I have seen in the past.
The Fort Wolters, Texas token in comparison with the new U.S. Texas Quarter coin.
(Scan courtesy - Jerry Adams Collection©)
In our last newsletter, we featured the article "The 'Washington Before Boston' Medallion" in which I stated that the source of the replica medallion was from T.N.S. Member, Jerry Adams from Texas who is always generous with sharing or exchanging numismatic material.
Since then, Jerry has contacted me and told me that he had recently found that his identical "WBB" medallion is still safe at home and, even though he had supplied many other bits and pieces over the years, this one was not amongst them. The co-incidence was unusual - as you will learn.
A bit of amateur detective work followed and, by chance, I noticed another medallion with the same characteristic hand-writing on its 2x2 holder.
Lo & Behold! I must acknowledge my error and send my apologies to our numismatic colleague, Larry Nakata, from our sister club - the Anchorage Coin Club - in Alaska, who also did some mutual swapping with me during the last century. It is with scores of generous people like Larry and Jerry that our hobby remains one of the best - but for identical medallions to be so far apart, and both in the hands of two people who I know, is a little uncanny.
WHAT THEY DO TO COINS!
In the May 2004 edition of the 'Australasian Coin & Banknote' magazine (pages 8 -9) was a very interesting article from T.N.S. member, Ian McConnelly, regarding a Coppertone 5 Cent coin that apparently originated from the Mint.
The article concluded with the description of a 'near all Copper' 20 Cent coin that had been reported by a fellow named 'Fred'.
A picture of the 'near all Copper' 20 Cent was supplied to Ian by 'Fred' and that was published as well - with Ian's proviso that he had not seen the actual coin.
In my own collection I'm not quite so lucky to have a genuine coppertone 5 Cent piece, but I do have a 1967 Twenty Cent piece that has the most even darkish copper-toning you could ever want to see - except where the Cupro-nickel is now peeking through on the usual wear areas on the water ripples and the rim edge on the reverse. How the artificial toning was achieved - and I believe it is artificial - I cannot even imagine as I do not have a chemically-oriented bone in my body.
Every tiny surface scratch, every minute crack and cranny - including the reeded edge - has an attractive, slightly flat matte, chocolate brown coating that my scan just cannot do justice to. Like Ian, I am not a digital-camera competent user so I am still restricted to scanning objects I find unusual - so please bear with me in my ignorance and accept my description as being as accurate as I can make it.
The obverse, in particular, is hardly marked except for the usual few soft bruises and wear patterns on the rim (shown on the scan) that allow the 'silver' of the C.N. to be seen. Under the tan, the coin would only grade at 'Fine' as the tiny surface scratches are quite evident under x10 magnification - even though they are all nicely coated without any clogging. There is no obvious evidence of pitting or any other reaction caused by strong acidic or alkaline application.
It appears to me that the coin has been dipped in some sort of liquid chemical agent - but that then raises the questions 'Why?' and 'Where?'
After discussing the possibilties with my old mate, Ian McConnelly, we arrived at a few logical - for us - thoughts.
Firstly, that it may have been buried for enough time to elapse that just may have caused the coin to 'age' to its present colouring and secondly, that my supposition about it being dipped in the wrong cleaning agent held some merit. The hardness of the metal alloy means it would resist the action of many dilute acids or alkaline mixtures that are readily available, but are there commercial coin cleaning agents, for instance, that may react with the Cupro-Nickel to give this effect?
One cheeky comment, from a family member, insinuated that it may have been chlorinated - and that it had probably been in one of the Launceston Country Club Casino Watergarden ponds and that I had gone in with snorkel and goggles to clean out the 'lucky' coins one dark night! Hmmmm! Any other feasible suggestions?
1967 Chocolate-brown bronzed Aussie Twenty Cent coin - how did they do it?
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF GAMING CHIPS
For those of us who have ever enjoyed a 'flutter' at the gaming tables in the casinos around the world or even those in our own 'backyard', the gentle sound of gaming chips hitting the table-felt is an alluring one. We are all waiting on that fortune that is just a card-turn or a ball-drop away.
In our mind's eye, we can see the croupier pushing a huge pile of gaming chips towards us - just before we wake up!
Gaming chips, counters, checks or tokens - call them what you may - are many and varied, they can be made of metal, clay composition, ivory, mother-of-pearl or special plastics - or in fact, anything that the 'gaming-house' allows - AND, they are becoming very collectible in a way not originally envisaged by the casinos
Definitions used by the Royal Mint.
CHECK - A form of token given as a means of identification, or issued for small amounts of money or for services of a specific nature
COUNTER - A piece resembling a coin but intended for use on a medieval accountancy board or in gambling. See also jeton
JETON - Alternative term for counter, and used originally on the chequer board employed by medieval accountants. Nuremberg was the most important centre for the production of medieval jetons, often issued in lengthy portrait series. In modern parlance the term is often synonymous with token, though more specifically confined to pieces used in vending equipment, parking meters, laundromats, telephones and urban transport systems in many European countries. Apart from security, removing the temptation of vandals to break into the receptacles, the main advantage of such pieces is that they can be retariffed as charges increase, without any alteration in their design or composition, a method that is far cheaper than altering costly equipment to take larger coins.
U.S. Gaming Token experience.
In the main, however, most modern gaming chips are manufactured - under the same sort of extreme close security as in any mint - in metal or plastic.
At one stage the Franklin Mint was heavily involved in manufacturing 30, 37, 40, 45mm gaming tokens in 'Franklinium', Bronze, Brass, bonded Silverclad, Nickel Silver, Sterling and .999 Silver for casinos in Las Vegas and Reno. The denominations ranged from 1/2, 1, 2 1/2, and 5 Dollar tokens.
There are tokens of 10, 12 1/2 and 25 Cents, made by other manufacturers, as well as tokens now being produced in the hundreds of dollar denominations.
In the early 1960' s, as a result of the rising price of silver (as discussed in our August edition), the traditional silver Dollars in use in Nevada casinos began to disappear in ever-increasing numbers and, by 1966, their circulation had virtually ceased.
The following extract is from 'Numismatic Issues of THE FRANKLIN MINT 1969 Edition' (covering the years 1965 - 1968)
"To replace Silver Dollars on the gaming tables, Franklin Mint Gaming Tokens were introduced in 1965. In the first year of issue, they were issued by 27 casinos and only in One Dollar denomination. Since then, many more casinos have converted to Gaming Tokens, including a number of foreign casinos. Half-Dollar, Two Dollar and Five Dollar denominations were introduced in 1967 and 2 1/2 Dollar in 1968. In all, there are 242 types of 1965 - 1968 Franklin Mint Gaming Tokens...." 1969 Edition
It is of some interest to collectors of numismatic literature that this Franklin Mint catalogue, which retailed at U.S.$2.50 in 1969, is now selling for about U.S.$17.50 - $20.00 in reasonable condition.
Franklin Mint 37mm $1.00 gaming token dated and produced for Marina Casino, Las Vegas in 1979.
The Marina was in operation from 1975 - 1990 at 33805 Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nickel silver with interrupted milled edge - FM mintmark near reverse bottom rim centre.
As mentioned, Franklin Mint also made similar metal tokens for foreign casinos, including many English and Portuguese Macau casinos.
Some were made without a specified denomination for technical legal reasons or so that they could be used at whatever denomination set by the individual gaming-house or casino. Changing technology meant that tokens made from materials other than metal also began to make an appearance - and gain popularity.
In many instances the modern plastic chips, which are now being decorated with laser cut designs, also give off a special electronic signature due to a metallic addition inserted during the making process. The Internet has substantial lists of gambling token manufacturers and several very informative sites, such as Robert Eisenstadt's gambling memorabilia site, that has excellent illustrations available on how chips are manufactured.
Even in this field of numismatics, forgeries occur - or sometimes, during a busy period, a similar coloured but lower valued 'foreign casino' chip is substituted to make a wager. A little bit like using a cheap foreign coin mixed in with our legal coinage to pay for a purchase at a supermarket at rush hour. However the hardest things to deal with in regard to gaming tokens - or coins where they are still used in the cheaper denomination slot machines - is the hi-tech cheat who actually tells machines to 'pay up'. To beat these fraudsters, gaming machine chip manufacturing companies are replying with hi-tech equipment and encrypted tokens.
The normal plastic chip costs about 75 Cents to make and, it is a fact, that a casino doesn't really mind how many you take home as collectibles - because they make a profit on the face value payment you made. It has become a very lucrative secondary market and some chips are now sold at casino retail sales counters.
Chips are becoming so collectible that some U.S. casinos are having 'commemorative' chips produced with such things as holygram finishes etc. as elaborate as any modern coin. They realised, after a short experience a few years ago, that many of these special chips will find their way into pockets as mementos and are now gearing up to make additional profits from unredeemed gaming chips. Gaming chip manufacturers are also reaping huge rewards due to this secondary market..
On the local scene, the earliest chips for $1.00 and $2.00 were metal - an aluminium alloy in 'silver' and 'gold' finishes and were dated. Eventually, a full range of plastic chips was introduced with slightly varying designs that were often being used at the different types of gaming tables for logistic purposes.
All chips were redeemable at face value at the casino cash-desk and continue to valued at face value as long as the casino is in operation.
This is a fast growing area of numismatics in some areas in Australia and the U.S. where there are specialised clubs being formed.
Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club logo (Refer: http://www.ccgtcc.com/ )
Chips from now defunct U.S. casinos (e.g. Marina Casino shown above) are increasing in market value - for the obvious reason of supply and demand - and, if someone famous had a casino connection - like gangster Al Capone or singer Frank Sinatra, the chips achieve even higher commercial status.
A small selection of gaming chips collected from various older Australian venues is shown below.
Selection of assorted low value Australian gaming chips 1980 - 1990's
(Launceston) Country Club Casino - previously Launceston Casino - (Launceston, Tasmania), Wrest Point Casino (Hobart, Tasmania)
Darwin Casino (now Skycity) (Northern Territory) - all in the Federal Hotels Group (at that time) - approx. 40mm metal and plastic tokens.
Hotel Conrad Jupiters Casino (Gold Coast) - 37mm metal and 40mm plastic gaming tokens.
Generic Reverses of Federal Group metal gaming tokens and 'Good Luck' Reverse for Hotel Conrad Jupiters Casino metal token.
All plastic tokens are double-sided but designs are all off-set to some extent.
Wrest Point Hotel Casino, Hobart, Tasmania - oldest in Australia. http://www.wrestpoint.com.au/
Country Club Casino, Launceston, Tasmania - second oldest in Australia. http://www.countryclubcasino.com.au/
Hotel Conrad Jupiters Casino, Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Queensland. http://www.conrad.com.au/
M.G.M Grand Darwin Hotel (now Skycity Darwin) Casino, Darwin, Northern Territory. http://www.mgmgrand.com.au/
...and, we must not forget the best known grand-daddy of them all, the 21mm King George III Card counter, or jeton, dated 1788 that turns up quite often in local market junk-boxes and excites non-numismatists who start to imagine that they might have a gold 'spade' guinea coin. They then ponder about the unusual reverse inscriptions - in this case, 'In Memory of the Good Old Days' and then they ask around to check on whether they have a fortune or not.
As Lady Luck would have it, they haven't....
Like the Japanese Invasion Money J.I.M. mentioned in the previous article, every self-respecting numismatist should have one of these tokens in his/her collection as a novelty talking-point - as well as the famous Reader's Digest Austrian Ducat (but that's another story!)
Base metal gilded 20mm counter or jeton often used as a gaming token. Jetons were originally designed for use as accounting aids.
Various styles exist - including some 20mm Queen Victoria copper jetons which were altered and gilded to deceive as gold coins.
Refer: Additional recommended reading - Interesting sites.
http://www.casino-tokens.com/TokenHistory.htm (Should be read!)
http://www.ccgtcc.com/ (Check auction results!)
'THE IMPERIAL COLLECTION' UPDATE
'The Imperial Collection' is an array of coinage, in particular from self-proclaimed states, empires and principalities that might be considered as 'fantasy' or as 'token issues' - but, no matter what definition is applied, it is an interesting facet of numismatics - and, in some instances, the coinages may even have claims to legitimacy by international law. Many of these coins are available in intrinsic value metals as well as base metals and quite a few are listed in 'UNUSUAL WORLD COINS - Third Edition' compiled by Colin R. Bruce II - published by Krause Publications, 1992.
Compilation of emails received August 1st. - 6th., 2004.
I am pleased to advise the completion of the latest update to the Imperial Collection online catalogue of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, awards and ephemera from "unrecognised states" and related entities: http://www.imperial-collection.net/seborga03.html
This update lists a newly-discovered coin variety (SBC 006A) from the Principality of Seborga, and several other minor corrections to the Seborga listings.
I am also very pleased to announce that the University of Sunderland in the UK will be hosting an exhibition centred on the formation and practices of independent communities, societies and countries - with specific reference to realworld "unrecognised states" (sometimes referred to as "micronations").
Entitled 'We Could Have Invited Everyone', the exhibition will be held at the University's Reg Vardy Gallery from 9 November to 17 December, 2004.
It will largely consist of the currencies, postal systems and designs for living that these countries and societies create and implement. Works on display will include coins, medals, constitutions, living plans, stamps, languages, flags, national anthems and other symbols and practices. The exhibition will also serve as a resource providing information on current systems of sovereignty that have led to successful activist strategies such as those of Medecins sans Frontiers.
A significant amount of the artefacts on exhibit will be drawn from the extensive personal collection of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, awards and documentary ephemera on the above subjects that I have have compiled over the past two decades - commonly known as the Imperial Collection (some of which can be seen online at http://www.imperial-collection.net).
The exhibition opening will be attended by Protocol Director George MacLean, who as the most senior member of the Empire of Atlantium in the UK, will deliver a welcome message on behalf of the Emperor and his colleagues in the Atlantian Imperial Administration as part of the proceedings.
As far as I am aware this is the first time that serious academic attention has been given to the "alternative sovereignty" and "new country" phenomenon - and the first time a public exhibition bringing together numismatic, philatelic and other artefacts from a range of unrecognised states has been attempted.
I hope that those of you in or travelling to Europe in the latter part of the year may consider taking the time to attend.
Regards, George II www.imperial-collection.net
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!
NEXT MONTH: "IT'S NOT WORTH A CONTINENTAL!"
"I DON'T WANT TO SOUND LIKE A NAME DROPPER, BUT...... "
"WHAT IS IT WORTH?"
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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.