Volume 10 Issue 9                                                 INTERNET EDITION                                                   September 2005.

The name 'Tasmanian Numismatist' is used with the permission  of the Executive Committee of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' however, any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', its Executive Committee or its members. 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. 

Any notices of concern to 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members will be included in the 'Society Snippets' section.

We trust that this issue of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.




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

Hobart. 7001.




5th. January 1942 - 13th. August 2005



As many of my friends and fellow members of the T.N.S. will now be aware, my wife Ailsa, who was also an Associate member since 1991, passed away on Saturday 13th August, 2005. Our wonderful relationship of nearly 47 years has finally drawn to a close.

Ailsa had been diagnosed with multiple soft-tissue cancers a few days after returning from the October 2004 ANDA Show in Hobart and the prognosis was devastating. Originally, only a two month time-frame was estimated, however, after a massive operation and the removal of as much of the tumors as possible, Ailsa embarked on a 6 month Chemo-therapy regime that slowed things down considerably - but she and I both knew it could never alter the eventual outcome.

On Monday 1st. August she started to show signs of relapse, and. on Wednesday 3rd. she was hospitalised for treatment of a blood clot in her leg.

The onset of hospital pneumonia and renal failure occurred after a few days and, in her weakened condition, they were the main contributors to her demise which was very peaceful and virtually pain-free thanks to the excellent pallative care she received at Calvary St. Lukes' Hardy-Wilson Ward.

Her nurses' care went beyond duty and will always be remembered.

My family and I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank those Society members and colleagues from around Australia and overseas who offered condolences by phone, mail and email; those who were able to travel from Hobart to attend the service at the Carr Villa Park Crematorium Chapel in Launceston on August 18th. 2005; and those who personally passed on their sympathy to our extended family. 

THANK YOU!  - Graeme Petterwood (Editor).






The usual  Winter recess is now upon us, so, unless something important breaks into our hibernation we will see fellow members later in Spring......

The 'Tasmanian Numismatist' will be published in both forms - the 'Internet Edition' and the hardcopy 'Tasmanian Edition' - as usual, and the newsletter will advise members and other readers when the Society's Spring/Summer schedule is available. Society Snippets will remain available for T.N.S. members' input.


Accessories do not need to be expensive!

Observations shared by T.N.S. Associate member, Ian Hartshorn.


Recently received from T.N.S. Associate member, Ian Hartshorn - author of 'Australian Pocket Change' - was an interesting observation about the accessories that he considered as an essential part of most numismatists' hobby.  Whilst this is Ian's personal selection, the list will give newcomers to numismatics an idea of the sort of 'tool-kit' that may be of some use. With Ian's permission, we have re-printed the article for the benefit of our members and other readers.

Ian also mentioned details and supplied scans of a few new discoveries he has made that may be of interest to other variety and error collectors.

Any other good ideas or observations from our members or readers are always handy to know about and can be shared with fellow T.N.S. members.

Finding out what other collectors have in the way of tools and accessories, can spark an idea for you to try. There are no hard or fast rules in this area, with a bit of commonsense and some knowledge there are many different ways of doing things. Prices will vary from location to location for obvious reasons but those quoted are relatively average.There are references to several size magnifers and, as any collector knows, ascertaining an accurate grading condition or even the identity of an item depends of being able to scrutinize it thoroughly.

  1. Cardboard box - 55mm wide by 150mm long by 65mm deep, excellent for 2x2s and can hold approx. 100 coins. A nice size to fit into a safe.
  2. A book on error coins - "Price guide to Mint Errors" by Alan Herbert. If you collect error coins, then information is very important. (Although an American publication the coining process is the same) Cost $35-$40
  3. Box of self adhesive "removable" labels - more about this when we reach No.9. Cost about $5 for 800 labels.
  4. Scales - weighs from 0.05gms or from 1 grain. If it is important to weigh a coin, (and it is essential with a lot of errors) to determine if it is a fake or not. Cost about $35  (If you do not have appropriate scales you can always try your local jeweller on occasion - but don't impose and wear out your welcome)
  5. Plastic vernier measure - for measuring the diameter of a coin. I have found these to be "reasonably accurate" enough for many coins. When a more accurate measurement is required, a quality metal vernier should be used. Cost $3-4 for plastic.
  6. Magnifier - a must for all collectors, this particular one (x3)  This one now resides in the glove box of the car, just in case it's needed unexpectedly. Cost about $3-$4 for the x3.
  7. Magnifier - a great little magnifier (x5) which I use the majority of the time. Helpful for hands free "cleaning" of coins. Also the base and lens folds up to a convenient carrying size of 40mm x 55mm x 8mm. Cost about $8
  8. Magnifier - a jewellers loupe (x12), excellent for a closer look at specific areas. Cost about $12
  9. Press seal bags - small plastic bags 40mm by 65mm, even holds our 50cent coins. There are always those times when you are too busy to thoughly check a coin/s. This is also where No. 3 comes in, a label on a bag, write a brief description on the label, and pop it into a box (No.1) or what ever container you have. Cost 1000 bags for $6-$7
  10. Magnifier - a dual magnifier, one lens is x6 the other x8 together x14. Not one I have come to terms with, I still use it on occasions, but prefer one of the others. Due to its compact size, it is excellent to put in the pocket on a weekend, in case I drop into a trash or treasure market. Cost $12-$14
  11. Plastic flips (just visible) - 2 compartments and folds in the middle, one side to put a coin, token etc, the other side for a description card. Cost about $8-$10 per 100
  12. Stiff paper tags - an inexpensive card to use with the flips. (#12b) the card with the holed section cut off. As the flips are clear, both sides of the card can be used for that extra info. Cost $3-$4 per 100.
  13. Pill bottle (or similar) - 35mm dia. x 50mm high with a screw cap. Great for soaking those grotty coins in distilled water or olive oil. When removing the coin, I use a tooth pick to lift it on its edge, then use my fingers to lift it out. Screw cap? There is less chance of spilling the contents. Again a No.3 label on top of the cap to ID the coin. Cost about 35cents each (chemist)
  14. 20 plastic pocket page - available at coin dealers, the 20 pocket size holds the 2x2s and flips, the press seal bags are a little loose, and the odd one or two may fall out if the album is held upside down. Cost about $1.50 per page
  15. 4 ring binder - from dept. stores, an inexpensive cover for the 20 pocket pages. Cost $4-$5 each.
  16. A4 page inserts - ideal for printing out some information about an item (the coin's story) and placing it in the insert. My way of doing it. Most of the coins/tokens/medals that have been given to me, I place them in a flip and number them (on the card). A corresponding number on No.3 label (they come in handy) and place the label on the page insert, with the story inside. When showing off this collection, more interest is shown by others, much better than say, a page full of 20cent coins.
  17. 2x2s - These seem the most popular way of storing coins, and available from coin dealers. They come in various sizes to suit the different size coins. Also 2 types are available, self adhesive and staple. Note - for error coins, I believe it is better to use 1 or 2 sizes up from the normal. This way the edge of the coin can be veiwed easier. Also if using the staple type, I would suggest keeping the staple at least 5mm to 10mm from the window.
  18. Reference books - Last item in the above image is another book - "Error Coin Encyclopedia" by A.Margolis and F.Weinberg. Another USA publication, again minting processes are the same throught the world. That is, planchets are fed into the press, they are stamped by a pair of dies and ejected, but there are some subtle differences in the way some actions are carried out. Cost $66 inc. p&p from USA  The size of your library is only limited by the size of your wallet but be selective.

A few more comments:

The most important item any collector can have is KNOWLEDGE, and this is one item you can not photograph. This does not mean you need to go out and buy every book, magazine or catalogue about coins, that comes on to the market. Basic knowledge about magnifiers for example, in general the bigger the lens the smaller the magnification. A suggested starting point would be one about x4 to x6. The style of No.7 in the image has an added bonus, where the handle folds so it can be free standing. If you have a magnifier with a handle, you can always place the handle in a stack of books or magazines to have your hands free. To further your knowledge on any subject - LIBRARIES ARE FREE. If contacting somebody by post or phone for information, send a stamped self addressed envelope with your query, don't expect the contact person to return your phone call, redial later if you do not get through. Remember, the person you are contacting shouldn't have the priviledge of "paying" to give you information.

There are many items to store coins in, from paper envelopes to hard plastic containers, the most common are 2x2 holders. I use the 3 types in the image, the press seal plastic bags I do not recommend for long term storage, once checking the coin I place it in a flip or 2x2.

Pill bottles, distilled water, olive oil ? This suggests I clean coins, if that is what you were thinking when you read it, then you were right. I was, and am, very selective on what I clean, and I didn't start until after many years of collecting. I've read many stories and seen a couple of rare items that have been cleaned. I have experimented with different solutions, those little electric tools, even Electrolysis coin cleaning (not recommended unless you thoughly read up on the subject - it can be very dangerous). Be aware that some coins have been cleaned. If you don't know the value, rarity or demand of any piece, then don't clean it.

3 recent surprise finds:

1. Australian 1974 2cent "thin planchet" I purchased some time back - diameter 21.54mm weight 3.17gms - (A little knowledge) RAM produced coins for other countries. (Curiosity) I wonder if the RAM produced coins close to this weight for other countries. (Research) RAM 1974/75 annual report shows 67,640,000 Australian 2cent bronze coins dated 1974 were produced. Western Samoa has 1,000,000 2sene bronze coins produced - weight is 50 grains.
15.433 grains = 1 gram, so, 3.17 X 15.433 = 48.922 grains. This weight is 2.15% under the average weight of a Western Samoa planchet, but I believe just within tolerances. I have marked this coin up as a wrong planchet - Aussie 2c struck on a Western Samoa planchet.


 Has this 1974 Two Cent coin been struck on a Western Samoan planchet?

2. Australian 1966 5cent (London mint) "off centre" I purchased at a recent collectables fair, not because it was slightly off centre (about 1mm), but because it had an unusual edge. The window in the 2x2 was large enough to have a reasonable check of the coin edge. (My thoughts at the time was, that it is a "tilted partial collar") Arriving home, the coin was quickly out of the 2x2 for a decent check. The coin is more unusual than I expected. 35-40% of the edge has no reeding, the reeding on the rest of the coin is only half height, weak towards the section with no reeding. The strongest reeding section has a pinch of metal standing up between the plain half of the edge and the reeded part of the edge. Imagine pinching a bit of skin (parallel with your fingers) on the back of your hand and lifting it, thinking of the back of the hand as the edge of a coin, a better vision of the edge may be imagined. More study of this piece is needed (more surprises?). Indications in other areas along with the edge suggest it may be a "double struck partial collar".

1966 Five Cent off-centre coin with partial rim edging

(Top) This area of the rim is completely smooth

(Bottom) Partial reeded edging is evident on the bottom section of the rim.

3. Australian 1988 5cent found in pocket change - This coin has no edge reeding, a little unusual, as there is not a lot of wear on the faces or shoulder of the coin. The weight and diameter are just within tolerences, albeit the lower end. Indications around the rim tell me it was struck in a collar (You may be able to see where this is heading). Very fine scour marks are on the edge, and in the same direction as normal reeding, which are consistent with 1cent & 2cent coins with approximately the same amount of overall wear. Is this a 5cent coin struck with a plain collar?

1988 Five Cent coin with no apparent reeded edging

(Topscan) Viewed from the '12 o'clock' position.

(Bottom scan) Viewed from the '6 o'clock' position



Inquiries regarding Ian's latest book 'Australian Pocket Change' - which is about identifying and collecting Australian Decimal Varieties and Mint Errors - and any comments regarding the opinions suggested by Ian, regarding the cause of the varieties shown above, should be directed to:

I. Hartshorn

PO Box 6077 Karingal
Victoria 3199 Australia.




A comprehensive world banknote availability list, has been received from Australian dealer, Mr. Leon Morel of Victoria, with a request that T.N.S. members be made aware that he is always ready to assist with current stock at competitive prices for our members - and he can be contacted with your currency 'wish lists' as well.

Leon Morel

5 Duffy St., Essendon North.

Vic. 3041.

Int Ph/Fax: 61 3 9379 1845   Ph/Fax: (03) 9379 1845

Email: leonxm@dodo.com.au


Mr.Yossi Dotan has emailed the following request. He is a member of the American Numismatic Society.

"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 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: yosdotan@bezeqint.net


To give you an idea of the content of the prospective book, below you will find the entries for the first three coins of Australia as prepared by Mr. Dotan

Text reprinted with permission.©  (Scans provided by the Editor - not to scale).


Error Coin - Mule

KM-A72       50 cents 1978 copper-nickel                                                                                                                  

The reverse depicts a takia sailing canoe with an outrigger. This is a “mule,” a coin that erroneously matched the obverse of a regular Australian circulation coin featuring Queen Elizabeth II with the reverse of a 50 cents coin of Fiji, KM-36.


Australian obverse and Fijian reverse 50 Cent coins - struck together they would constitute a "mule" coin.


200th Anniversary of British Settlement in Australia – Ship and Map

KM-99          50 cents 1988 copper-nickel, issued also in .925 silver

The reverse features a sailing ship set against an old map of Australia (then named New Holland) with the five stars of the Southern Cross constellation, and at the top a compass. The records of the Royal Australian Mint refer to the ship as just ‘a sailing ship.’ Numismatic writers consider the ship to represent either H.M. Bark Endeavour in which Captain James Cook discovered and explored the eastern coast of Australia on his first voyage to the Pacific in 1768-1771 (see New Zealand KM-37), or H.M.S. Sirius, the flagship of the First Fleet in which Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Port Jackson in 1788 (see KM-655). The coin commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet (see KM-103).


Australian 1988 50 Cent copper-nickel circulation coin


200th Anniversary of British Settlement in Australia – First Fleet

KM-103        10 dollars 1988 .925 silver

The reverse depicts three sailing ships of the First Fleet anchored in Sydney Cove in 1788, in front of which the landing party led by Captain Arthur Phillip (see KM-115) is rowing to the Port Jackson shore. 'First Fleet' is the name given to the squadron of ships which set sail from Portsmouth in May 1787 to found a penal colony at Botany Bay in New South Wales. The fleet arrived in Australia eight months later, in January 1788. On board were 1,350 men, packed like sardines into eleven ships, mainly 761 convicts - 568 men and 193 women - and marines to guard them. See KM-655 for details of the ships in the fleet. Botany Bay, an inlet on the Australian coast, had been discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770 (see New Zealand KM-37). The botanist Joseph Banks (see South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands KM-9), a scientist on Cook’s expedition, named the inlet Botany Bay on account of the variety of plants he found growing there. The name New South Wales was given to the region by James Cook, as its rocks reminded him of those of South Wales. Through the descriptions of Cook and Banks, the attention of the British government had been drawn to the possibility of using the Botany Bay area for settling convicts, when, after the War of American Independence, the American territories were no longer available for the transportation of convicts from Britain. On arrival at Botany Bay, Phillip considered the place unsuitable for a settlement and he took three long boats north along the coast to search for another site. At Port Jackson (now a part of Sydney) he found a natural deepwater harbor. Continuing north, he eventually landed at Sydney Cove. It had a good natural harbor and a running stream of fresh water. The cove was named after Lord Sydney, Secretary of the Home Office, under whose auspices the First Fleet sailed. It was here that the penal colony was established. The practice of transporting convicts to Australia continued until 1868 when the Hougemount brought to Fremantle in Western Australia the last of the 162,000 that were sent out to the continent.


Australian 1988 $10 Silver Coin - Uncirculated in plastic fold-over Wallet.




by Graeme Petterwood © 2005

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 my 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 not to size or scale but - wherever possible - are from the editor's own collection.



The Ten Shillings and One Pound

..... and the occasional Fiver!

In 1982, an international review of the graphic arts as applied to The Bank of England banknotes was compiled by Clive Goodacre, with the co-operation of the Bank of England, and a repeat edition - under the title of "The Search for THE "INIMITABLE" NOTE - was published some years later. It traces the development of the current style of notes forward from the uniface white notes so commonly used prior to WWII to the issues of Queen Elizabeth II.


The Oxford dictionary definition of 'inimitable' is: "incapable of being imitated; unique"

It is a fact that the search for a 'inimitable note' started back in 1797 when One and Two Pound paper notes were first issued to the general public in an effort to conserve England's gold reserves during a period of war with France. As notes were an absolutely new experience for many naive members of the public, the forgers had a field day even with some efforts being nothing short of crude. Their endeavours, however, became more refined as the public became more educated.

The introduction of wavy-line watermarked paper in the first decade of the 1800's brought many a forger undone and the gallows never seemed to be unused for any length of time - but eventually the new technology was mastered, in one way or another by the criminal element, and dud notes continued to come to light.

Due to the instances of counterfeiting that occured because of the relative 'simplicity' of the old-fashioned 1914 - 28  notes, the search for a more secure format of note style was seriously re-embarked upon in 1928 when a brown 10 Shilling and a green One Pound designed by W.M. Keesey were first issued.

They circulated alongside the higher value White Paper notes that featured the 1855 Britannia design of Daniel Maclise. The White paper notes lasted until 1957.

The signatories of the uniface white notes that were issued by various branches of the Bank of England were the Bank's Chief Cashiers at the time, although it was not until 1870 that the title was included on the notes under the signature.

For the purpose of this article it has been decided to concentrate mainly on the designs and designers of the two - now defunct - lowest and most commonly used denominations, the Ten Shillings and the One Pound. At this time, in the decimal age, the only denominations being made for the Bank of England are 5, 10, 20 and 50 Pounds. However, in the need to see the broader picture I will need to take a step back to explain the reasoning for some of the design changes.


During WWII, the German Third Reich Government embarked on an audacious effort to undermine the English financial system by having thousands of counterfeit white paper notes from 5 - 50 Pounds prepared as well as some of the lower One Pound denomination.

Some of these low value notes were even used to pay German agents and to be used as 'working money' that would create little attention when spent.

The agents were unaware that the money was fake.

Large quantities of the white paper fakes actually did get into circulation, mainly through neutral countries, in a plan known as 'Operation Bernhard'

For those who may be unaware, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Pound denomination fake English banknotes were produced by a team of 142 skilled engravers and printers gathered at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp near Berlin, who were promised ‘preferential treatment’ by the Third Reich, in an effort to undermine the English economy. The group also produced counterfeit American notes and other items such as passports and essential documents that might be of use to the Nazi hierarchy if the war outcome was not going to be successful.



Heinreich Himmler and S.S. Sturmbannfuhrer (Major) Bernhard Kruger


The scheme was the brainchild of Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler, but it was named after the man who directed the secret operation, S.S. Major Bernhard Kruger.

The notes were usually excellently prepared on reproduced Bank of England paper and the printing plates were virtually identical - except for a slight dullness around Britannia’s eyes and a little less clarity about the cross on her helmet than the genuine article - the notes were nearly perfect.


Genuine 1931 Bank of England large white paper Five Pounds signed by Basil G. Catterns.

'Operation Bernhard' German forged 1935 Bank of England Five pounds signed by 'Kenneth O. Peppiatt'.


The early batches of up to 100,000 Pounds were distributed by German agents in Lisbon, Zurich and Stockholm and were readily accepted by banks in neutral countries without question after they started to appear in 1943. At first, the Bank of England suspected a gang of local forgers was responsible, until a captured spy in Edinburgh was found to possess some of the finest forgeries that the Bank had ever seen.

It was then apparent that the Nazi Government was involved - however, the Bank and the English Government had no true idea of the scope of ‘Operation Bernhard’ until 1945. English banknotes were found floating in the Enns River in Austria, and then a truck loaded with 21 Million Pounds was handed over to US Military counter-espionage officers a few days after the German surrender in 1944

The German officer, in charge of the truck, told the story of how he had been given the money by an SS man near Redl Zipf in the Austrian Alps.

A search was made and, in a mountain tunnel hide-out, the officials found machinery and presses - but no money, paper, plates or records.

It appears that Himmler was prepared to ‘wind up’ the operation, including the skilled team of Jewish engravers and printers, but Kruger persuaded him to remove them to the Austrian Alps hide-out to prepare forged money and documents for their get-away when it became evident the war was lost.

Major Berhard Kruger, undoubtedly, saved the lives of his workers for whatever reason!

As the American forces closed in on the area, the printing plates were reportedly destroyed and the hoard of already printed money was loaded onto the truck for removal and burial - to be recovered at a later time!

It was rumoured that a deal had been struck between the prisoners and their captors during those last chaotic days of the war.

If the truck had not been handed over, the notes could have continued to be fed into the financial market for years - or until the Bank of England cried ‘Enough’ and withdrew or replaced the whole series.The large pre-war white paper notes in denominations from 5 Pounds up to 1000 Pounds were finally superceded in 1957 although production of notes over 5 Pounds had ceased as early as 1944. The Germans had concentrated on producing the 5,10, 20 and 50 Pounds - which were more commonly used - in fact they used to 'age' the notes by various means so they looked like the average circulated issues.

A Bank of England official was flown to Frankfurt after the discovery of the truckload of notes and eventually most of the story was pieced together.

It is believed that most of the notes produced were hurriedly packed into wooden crates and ended up at the bottom of Lake Toplitz, near Ebensee, from where they were recovered by chance by a diving team financed by the German magazine 'Stern' in 1959. The lake is now a popular fishing destination but, from about 20 metres down, the waters are oxygenless, salty and virtually lifeless, except for a newly discovered species of  water-worm.  However, it is ideal for preserving almost anything - but it is very dangerous due to the amount of tangled debris, mainly tree trunks, on the bottom. In places these accumulated  'mats' of trees are up to 20 metres deep. This smallish Austrian lake in the Steiermark region - known as Toplitzsee -  is 103 metres deep, only 250 metres wide and about 1.8 kms long.



Deceptively peaceful, this lake was once a Nazi weapons testing-ground.

Mountain mist adds to the air of mystery that enveloped Toplitzsee at the end of WWII.


While unsuccessfully diving to search for a farm-wagon-load of Nazi gold with an estimated value of US$520 Million believed to have been dumped in the lake, which was used as a naval weapons testing area during 1943-44, the 'Stern' team retrieved numerous pieces of military equipment and dumped documents - and £72 Million in forged sterling currency and a note printing press.

It was then conservatively estimated that a staggering quantity of notes had been produced by the Sachsenhausen forgers - up to 12 million notes with about 150 Million Pounds in face value. How much may still be underwater is anyones guess!

Unauthorising diving in the lake by treasure-seekers in October 1963 claimed a life, but that didn't deter the divers who have been persisting, with some success, since 1978. The Austrian Government has put a total ban on unofficial diving because of the dangers down at the bottom and conducted its own search, which officially concluded in 1983, after retrieving a substantial amount of 'treasure'. However, the salvaged gold bars,coins and gems  is still no-where near the amount that was estimated to have been dropped into Toplitzsee.

The last, licensed, major effort was made in a mini-submersible by the American CBS '60 Minutes' program in conjunction with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in 2000.  Refer: http://www.toplitzsee.at/e_geschichte.htm

The ‘Operation Bernhard’ forgeries now have an average market value of about US$70 - $90.00 in V.F. condition, and they mainly appear to have been drawn up to show London, Bristol and the Leeds branches of the Bank of England.

They are all marked with pre-war issue dates - so, numismatists, be aware that there are still some of Bernhard’s ‘beauties’ out there - some may now be in collections - and it takes an expert to tell the difference. For a time after the war, quantities of ‘Operation Bernhard’ notes were being found on the German black market!


The fate of S.S. Major Bernhard Kruger remained a mystery for some time and even now his exploits, as the Allies closed in, are shrouded in some uncertainty.

In fact, the story of 'Operation Bernhard' has been put through the rumour mill so many times that, in some instances, it comes out as a substantially different story.

Whatever the true facts, the organization had been well established during the war years and, no doubt, he would have made sure that he was also equipped with documents and passports to get to a neutral country where he had contacts. Swiss bank accounts were very popular in those days.....

One source gives a reliable account of his last days at the head of the most competent crew of forgers during WWII.

"It is a quirk of fate that the reason these notes did not get used for disrupting the economies of the Allies was not because the forgers did not have time to produce them, but because the young, handsome blond German major in charge told the forgers that if they worked too quickly they would be executed when no longer needed and he would have to go to the Russian Front.. After bidding his 'workers' farewell.on April 23rd. 1945, Kruger, in almost story-book fashion, was last heard of  driving over the horizon in his Mercedes-Benz sports car with a beautiful girl  - it was actually his mistress, Hilda Mõller - and boxes of American forged paper money. Years later, it was reported that he turned up as poor shopkeeper in a store on the outskirts of Hanover."

Finally, the most probable scenario - as Kruger had a great liking for Paris, and the good things in life, he probably headed in that direction as he had lived there for some time in 1940 at the Hotel de Paris on the Boulevard de la Madeleine.

"After the war, Major Kruger was actually detained by the French for three years, and spent the time forging documents for the French Secret Service. In the 1950's he went before a De-Nazification Court, where statements were produced from the forger-inmates that he had been responsible for saving their lives.

He later worked for the company which had produced the special paper for the Operation Bernhard forgeries." It is reported in many Internet sources that he died in 1989 but, with information so sketchy regarding the where and when or his place of burial, it may be just repetition of a statement that makes that date a fact.

Most of Kruger's Jewish workers survived the war even though they were sent to another notorious Concentration Camp. When Sachsenhausen was evacuated on April 21st. 1945, the day before the Russian Army arrived, the main Operation Bernhard team was transferred to Ebensee, a sub-camp of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria where they were liberated by the American Army on May 5, 1945. Over 100,000 other Sachsenhausen prisoner weren't so lucky.

An order had been given after their move that the Operation Bernhard personnel were all to be eliminated 'as a group' but, because they had been already scattered within the camp - and with the allies coming closer - the order was never carried out. Refer: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Sachsenhausen/Contents.html


The new 1928 coloured notes, which were the first to be printed on both sides, remained in circulation until 1960.

In 1940, a metal thread was introduced to the 10/- and One Pound and other notes for security purposes and continues to be used up to the present time.

Also, due to the counterfeiting onslaught against the coloured Pound as well as the White paper notes during the war years, a colour change to blue and lilac pink was implemented in 1940-41. The original notes had been printed with a mixture of intaglio and offset letterpress but the offset printing was the main method used from 1940-1948 until intaglio printing was resumed.

Because of the problems that had been experienced with the Keesey notes it was imperative that replacement designs should be considered at the earliest possible time and many promising designs were drawn but not used for various reasons.

During this period the Chief Cashiers were - Cyril P. Mahon (1928-29), Basil G. Catterns (1929-34), Kenneth O. Peppiat (1934-39 and from 1948-49), Percival S. Beale (1949-55) and Leslie K. O'Brien (1955-60).




(Top row) Series A. 1955 - 60 Brown Ten Shillings  (Pick# 368c) with Britannia and Acanthus leaves reverse similar to 1928 issue (Pick# 362)

(Middle row) 1934 - 39 Green One Pound without security thread (Pick# 363c) and 1940 - 48 Blue/Pink One Pound with security thread (Pick#  367a)

(Bottom row) Reverse of the Green One Pound note - colour changed in 1940 to Blue/Pink - features Bank of England and St.George slaying the Dragon.

Colour of One Pound, with security thread, reverted to Green from 1948 - 60


In 1931, line engraver Stephen Gooden had won a competition against the famous coin designer George Kruger Gray with his note designs but, until his death in September 1955, none of his work had been produced by the Bank although he was successful outside of England. Gooden had been working on several impressive effigies of Britannia and other strong designs just before he passed away and his workload was taken up by  engraver, Robert Austin.

In 1956, Queen Elizabeth II gave her permission for her portrait to be used on Bank of England notes and Austin took the opportunity arose to make all the necessary changes that had been 'on the drawing-board" for quite a long time and in 1960 and 1961, the first issues of the Austin designed One Pound and 10 Shilling notes were issued. The Austin 10/- design lasted until it was discontinued in 1969 when the decimal 50 Pence coin was introduced, but the One Pound design held on until 1977 under the signatures of the Chief Cashiers - Leslie K. O'Brien (1960-61), Jasper Q. Hollom (1962-66), John S. Fforde (1966-70) and John B. Page  (1970-77).







(Top row) Robert Austin designed 1962 - 66 Ten Shillings (Pick# 371b) - Series C.

(Middle row) Robert Austin designed 1970 -77 One Pound (Pick# 374d) - Series C.

(Bottom row) Robert Austin's original pen and ink sketches for the 10/- and One Pound note reverses.


From 1971 - 82, the next series of designs for the Bank of England notes were only produced in denominations of  £ 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Pounds. The One Pound note that was issued in 1978 and signed by Chief Cashier John B. Page (1978-82) featured a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II adapted from a drawing by banknote designer Harry Eccleston with a reverse featuring Sir Isaac Newton. Eccleston was assisted in compiling an amalgamation of Newton images, that were woven into the final design, by David Wicks and Roger Withington of the design section. The attention to historic detail was of prime importance and the items shown in the depiction are accurate down to having Newton's book 'PHILOSOPHIÆ NATURALIS PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA' open at the correct page to show the background symbol on the note and the telescope was painstakingly copied from the original instrument held by the Royal Society in London - however, the apple blossom sketch, to signify Newton's observation of the effect of gravity on a falling apple, was courtesy of Harry Eccleston's own apple tree.





(Top row) Harry Eccleston designed 1978 One Pound note (Pick# 377a) with Newton reverse - Series D.

(Bottom row) Designers Harry Eccleston and Roger Withington and the Eccleston master sketch of Sir Isaac Newton.


In 1983, the new one pound coin in base metal, nickel-brass was introduced as a replacement for the Bank of England £1 banknote. The life expectancy of the £1 note was about 6 months, and that of a coin is about 100 years. Like many low value banknotes that are in constant use the £1 note had become too expensive to produce- and replace. The last Eccleston designed £1 note was signed by Chief Cashier David H. F. Somerset (1982-84) and was issued in 1984, it ceased to be legal tender on 11th March 1988.



Bank of England Five Pound notes

(Top) Harry Eccleston designed 1971 Five Pound note (Pick# 378c) with Duke of Wellington reverse. (Series D)

(Bottom)  Series E - Roger Withington's 1990 Five Pounds featuring the steam engineer George Stephenson as the reverse (Pick# 382a)


The next series to appear in 1990 was Series E  in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 Pounds under the signatures of G.Malcolm Gill (1990-91), Graham  E. A. Kentfield (1991-92). A modiefied colour Series E was released in 1993 signed by G. E. A. Kentfield which also saw the Crown design  in the top corner replaced with the value in numerals. Roger Withington adapted Queen Elizabeth's portrait from a photo, taken in 1985, by Bank of England technical photographer Don Ford.

Over the years, Harry Eccleston,OBE, PPRE, RWS, Hon NEAC, Hon RBSA, who was born in Bilston, England in 1923 and has now retired to Essex, achieved great honours as a Member of the Royal Academy. With his fellow engraver-designer, Roger Withington, they have contributed their talents to making the Bank of England banknote Series D and E in all denominations into a memorial of excellence. The notes themselves will disappear from circulation - like the Series D George Stephenson 'fiver' that was withdrawn as legal tender on 21st October 2003 -  but as long as one numismatist has one of Eccleston or Withington's Bank of England notes in a collection, these artisans will never be forgotten.  In fact, it might be said that these people are some the 'inimitable' products of the Bank of England..


Main References

"The Search for THE 'INIMITABLE" NOTE' by Clive Goodacre - Distributed by the Bank of England.

Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia. Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_England#10.2F- (Recommended reading)

Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia. Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bernhard (Recommended reading)

Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - General Issues. Volume 2 (1650 - 1960) by Albert Pick and edited by Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer

Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - General Issues. Volume 3 (1961 - 1997) Edited by Colin R. Bruce II and George S. Cuhaj.

Strange Stories - Amazing Facts. Published by Reader’s Digest.1975.

Collecting Paper Money - A Beginner’s Guide by Colin Marbeth, Lutterworth Press 1968.

p j symes - Publishing and Researching World Paper Money. Refer: http://www.pjsymes.com.au/



Recently, I had the point made to me that many of the traditional styles of currency portraiture have been superceded by 'modern' expressive art representations that showed the subject in a more lifelike 'warts-and-all' manner - or dispensed with a portrait altogether. Along with this trend, which accelerated in the late 1960's, was the flirtation with modern art forms as part of the overall design of the notes. The comment was also made that, sometimes, these abstracts were pleasing but, at other times, they were too bland, too geometric and too meaningless - and, if there was a portrait, it was often too realistic and too ugly to be on a national note.

In all fairness, it must be admitted that some or all of those negative features have been with us far longer than the last 45 years or so but, usually, the designers of bank notes also used to include some depiction of national pride such as a idealised portrait of a notable personage or, perhaps, a monument or building that commemorates human achievement or aspirations. However, some of our more modern note designs have now been reduced to a minimum - with the name of the country or the issuing bank or authority, the denomination - and that's about all except for a nondescript overall design or scene of some sort - sometimes signatures and dates are included but even those are tucked away or disappearing from some national notes as different sorts of security features are implemented.



1990-92 Issue Republic of Slovenia 1, 2, 5, 10 (Obverses) and 50 (Reverse) common-sized (75 x 150mm) Tolarjev notes.

All denominations (1 Tolar, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 5000 Tolarjev) only differed in colourings.

The strobe effect in the sky above the mountain on the obverse is an anti-counterfeiting device caused by fine wavy lines.


I decided to select several 30 + year old Netherlands notes, with strong-faced effigies and vibrant coloured obverses, from my accumulation that highlighted the efforts of some currency designers to impart a 'difference' into an area that  had been rather strait-laced and "dignified' - by combining one of the modern styles with the traditional. Anti-copying devices consist of the fine lines in the geometric designs plus others.

Sadly, the Netherlands currency is no longer with us as the most blandest, over-geometric and relatively meaningless Euro notes have swallowed up the individuality of the Dutch nation's paper money - but, no matter what your taste in numismatic art, I think you will find some of these older note designs though-provoking or nostalgic as some of us bid farewell to the human faces on our bank notes in favour of the imaginary structures and assorted squiggles, lines and dots that are gradually creeping up on us.



The modern 2002 Fifty Euro note with its imaginary buildings and bridges that was designed so as not to offend any European nation's pride.



De Nederlandsche Bank from 1968, 1971 and 1973 showing prominent Dutchmen as the obverse and geometric linear abstracts as the reverses.

(Top) 1973 Vijf (5) Gulden - featuring Joost van den Vondel 

(Middle) 1968 Tien (10) Gulden - featuring Frans Hals

(Bottom)  1971 Vijf en Twintig (25) Gulden - featuring Jan Piertszoon Sweelinck


Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679) was a poet and dramatist who produced some of the greatest works of Dutch literature.

Frans Hals (1582 - 1666) was the great 17th-century portraitist of the Dutch bourgeoisie of Haarlem. most famous for his painting, "The Laughing Cavalier"

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. (1562 - 1621) was a Dutch organist, teacher, and composer. He is widely considered to be the greatest of Dutch composers.


It has to be accepted that bank notes are a functional unit of everday finance and are not produced especially for the likes of numismatists..

As collectors, we need to make sure that the 'powers-that-be' are encouraged to continue producing currency that is vibrant and reflective of the Australian way of life.

However, if that 'life' goes from a banknote so does its appeal to many numismatic hobbiests - and, as a worst case scenario, it could be a process that may curtail note collecting in favour of something more challenging. It may even be possible that all those thousands of basic uncirculated notes, that are currently hoarded by hobbiests as 'investment material' from previous issues, would start to flood back into the marketplace and prices would suffer as they slowly reverted to somewhere near face value.



Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - General Issues. Volume 3 (1961 - 1997) Edited by Colin R. Bruce II and George S. Cuhaj.





Notes from Wikepedia - The Free Encyclopedia (See below).

"Alaska was probably first settled by humans who came there across the Bering Land Bridge. Eventually, Alaska became populated by the Inuit and a variety of Native American groups. Most, if not all, of the pre-Columbian population of the Americas probably took this route and continued further south and east.

The first written accounts indicate that the first Europeans to reach Alaska came from Russia. Vitus Bering sailed east and saw Mt. St. Elias. The Russian-American Company hunted otters for their fur. The colony was never very profitable, because of the costs of transportation.

At the instigation of U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, the United States Senate approved the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 (approximately $90,750,000 in 2005 dollars, adjusted for inflation) on 9 April 1867, and the United States flag was raised on 18 October of that same year (now called Alaska Day). Coincident with the ownership change, the de facto International Date Line was moved westward, and Alaska changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, for residents, Friday, October 6, 1867 was followed by Friday, October 18, 1867; two Fridays in a row because of the date line shift.

The first American administrator of Alaska was Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski. The purchase was not popular in the contiguous United States, where Alaska became known as "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Icebox." Alaska celebrates the purchase each year on the last Monday of March, calling it Seward's Day. After the purchase of Alaska between 1867 and 1884 the name was changed to the Department of Alaska. Between 1884 and 1912 it was called the district of Alaska.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into United States law on 7 July 1958."


Alaska was officially granted statehood on January 3rd.1959 after its very chequered history and, to celebrate the occasion, medallions and some tokens where minted to commemorate the occasion. Large U.S. dollar-sized (approx. 38mm.) "Good For $1.00" brass traders' token were produced as general issues and mementos in several areas including cities such as Fairbanks. An issue figure of 100,000 tokens is mentioned in some sources, and, whilst they did vary slightly in their brassy colour - and some are even reported to have been plated with Alaskan gold - the obverses of all the tokens featured the picturesque Seal of the State of Alaska and the reverses indicated that the medallion was "Good For $1.00 in Trade all Year during 1959.............." 

Depending on condition, the brass versions now have a market value at auction ranging from US$5.00 - $10.00 each but, up until now, I hadn't found any definitive information regarding the (reputedly) Alaskan-gold-plated items so it was worth a second look at the pieces I had.



The State of Alaska showing Fairbanks, Anchorage and Seward.



Many of these 38mm.tokens were kept as souvenirs of the statehood event and about 10 years or so ago a few from Fairbanks came into my possession with other items, forwarded in a coin exchange organised by myself and Larry Nakata (Pictured left) from our Alaskan sister club, the Anchorage Coin Club.

Along with two nice 2 x 2 carded samples, there were a couple that showed some wear and discoloration so they were filed away as spares.

Recently, I had cause to review one in particular due to the fact it had a screw-together removable reeded collar with loop. It had caught my attention when I first viewed it, but I hadn't the time to give it the attention it actually deserved. It slipped into the 'rainy day job' category and then I forgot about it...... recently, I was looking for something else and spotted the loop sticking up re-inviting attention after all these years. It has now posed several questions which will keep me intrigued until I find some answers.

Under x10 magnification, I could make out some lettering stamped onto the top part of the loop - the first two or perhaps three letters need further study (they could be something like initials, numbers or even a jeweller's mark) but then came 12K SEWRD. On checking I have found that the very small city of Seward - south of Anchorage -  is often abbreviated as 'Sewrd' and the 12K may mean that the reeded rim is 50% gold alloy as it shows little discoloration and it does seem to have the appearance of alloyed gold. How could I have missed that..........?!!!!

I have now scanned the two samples side by side and invite comment from any of our Alaskan readers who may have seen similar treatment of such a token - unfortunately, with my current equipment, I cannot enlarge the tiny detail on the loop sufficiently to show it to newsletter viewers.There are traces of gilding around the protected area of the token rim and the letters on the reverse and, now, I tend to consider that this piece is possibly the worn remnant of one of the alleged gold-plated tokens - the jeweller-made screwed and reeded rim would, certainly, have cost far more than a common brass token would have been worth!

The original presentation was made through the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and the tokens were supplied in an explanatory envelope. (Pictured above right).



(1) Fairbanks $1.00 yellow brass token redeemable until 12 noon Thursday Dec. 31, 1959 (Enlarged scan).

(2) A 'bright brass' example of a standard 2mm thick Fairbanks $1.00 token.

(3) The obverse of the non-standard token (4) removable (gold alloy?) 4mm wide reeded rim & loop (5) Reverse with traces of gilt on brass.

 Locking screw is 1mm diameter within 2mm external dia. tube

Scans not to scale - token actual size approx. 38 - 39mm.

Main History of Alaska

The turbulent history of Alaska makes fascinating reading and I recommend that you take the time to explore the sites listed below:








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) newsletter is a separate entity and has been provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is currently presented free on a monthly basis  with the aim of promoting the hobby of numismatics. 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) newsletter 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) newsletter are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society or the Editor. 



The 'Tasmanian Numismatist '(Internet Edition) newsletter 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' (Internet Edition) newsletter is either publicly available, or has been voluntarily provided by writers, or members of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', on request from the Editor of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist'  (Internet Edition) newsletter.

While the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter 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 '(Internet Edition) newsletter 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’ (Internet Edition) newsletter 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 ' (Internet Edition) newsletter is required prior to use of that material.


The Editor,

'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.


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

Email: pwood@vision.net.au