Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club

WBCC Newsmail 180, Volume 5, January 22, 2000
Composed with help from members of the Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club (WBCC) and this week published by Cliff Anderson, USA WBCC Public Relations, chander@mciworld.com

Dear WBCC members and non WBCC members,

While Martin cavorts today with Frans Dubois and Jack Hepler in Basel at the International Money Fair, I’ll try to publish this week’s newsmail.  Lots of news!  Enjoy.

1. Bahrain no, but Bosnia Herzegovina YES -- submitted by Paul Baker

Here is my saga in trying to get more information on the new Bahrain 500 Fils bi-metallic coin.  The Bahrain Monetary Authority does have a website, but looking there I found no data on the new 500 Fils, not a word. But I really wanted to find out something new. Looking around the site of the Bahrain Monetary Authority I came across a link to a large (though not exhaustive) list of links to worldwide central banks. I had seen such lists before, perhaps even this one, but that was some time ago. Any new coins and currency for countries such as those in the EU are normally very well publicised so I didn't worry about such places. For some time I looked at the sites of a few other Middle Eastern central banks, the few African central banks listed and several others.

The next day I continued on this list of central banks. The first one I tried was that of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Easy to find from the homepage was information about the current coins, this section mentioned that the first quarter of 2000 will see the release of 1 KM and 2 KM coins (KM= "Konvertibilna Marka" and these are fixed 1:1 with the German Mark). This told me that I'd better look for more details, on this site, about these new coins - after all the trend around the world does rather
seem to be to have the top one or two denominations of coinage in the ringed bi-metallic format.

I checked out the Press Release Archive and hit upon some rather useful information for us all. To find the Press Release that matters - follow this instruction..... Go to the homepage at....  http://www.cbbh.gov.ba/  once there put.... "ENGLISH", then "ARCHIVE", then "PRESS RELEASE LIBRARY" you should now be at.....  http://www.cbbh.gov.ba/english/archive-press.htm
Then read the Press Release dated 9-12-99 (9th December 1999) to see full details.

The main points of interest mentioned in this Press Release are as follows.
The British Royal Mint has been awarded the contract to make Bosnia and Herzegovina's new 1 KM and 2 KM coins, having beaten competition from mints in Finland, France, Germany, & Poland. The coins will be dated 2000. The 1 KM coins is to be of similar size extra to the German 1 DM. The 2 KM is to be a ringed bi-metallic coin. Furthermore this new bi-metallic has a design as such:- Obverse - on the core, a large "2" with smaller "KM" below and on the ring the country name "Bosna i Hercegovina" in Latin and Cyrillic scripts to left and right respectively; Reverse - on the core, a left facing dove of peace with small olive branch in beak and date "2000" behind and on the ring the words "golub mira" (meaning "Dove of Peace") in Latin and Cyrillic scripts to left and right respectively. The one other design element that must be mentioned is one which appears on both pieces. At the top and bottom on both sides of both coins, there are as many inward pointing triangles (at each of these four positions) as the coin's worth in KM. These triangles function as an aid for the sight impaired.  At the foot of the Press Release are illustration of the designs to be used for both of these coins (not images of actual coins I must add and perhaps not to scale).

See item #7 below  which shows that the Royal Mint is also doing the same new issue for another country which has not yet issued anything bimetallic -- Nigeria.  But note that for Nigeria (thus surely for Bosnia) nothing is expected before April 1.

2.  A French 1842 bimetallic coin that might have been -- submitted by Michel Prieur

In 1917, Docteur Bonnet from Dijon gave an article to the Historical Society about the monetary bimetallic project of a pharmacist from Dijon in Burgundy.  It was later published in 1924.

During the first half of the 19th century, the main problem in France was the lack of small copper coins. Since the last strikes of 1, 5, 10 and 20 centimes were from the Revolution and Napoléon, by 1842, copper coins in circulation were at least 30 years old. Several projects had been issued (as can be seen in the Kolsky sale http://www.cgb.fr/monnaies/vso/v06/indexgb.html).

This project from Delarue, the Dijon pharmacist, was to include in each copper coin a silver wire in proportion to the metallic value of the silver and of the face value of the coin (less strike expenses).  Hence, a copper/silver coin would have a real value and  not only a fiduciary one. If one compares the size and weight of a silver 20 centimes (1 gramme and 15 mm) to what would have been a 10, 5, 2 or 1centime, none of these coins, struck in pure silver, would have been usable because they would have been too small.  But if they were struck in copper, they would be easy to handle.  These trial coins were struck in Dijon on July 21, 1848, at the expense of Delarue, in a very small number.  He was going to send them with his proposal of a bi-metallic series of copper/silver coins to the Ministry of Finance and the Mints.

An example can be seen at http://www.cgb.fr/images/monnaies/vso/v06/v06_0545.jpg .  See also the WBCC homepage.

If Delarue’s technique had been accepted, it would have completely changed
the size and look of French small coins since 1850, and would have given bi-metallic collectors a wealth of coins to look for!

3.  Lucky find at the Detroit Coin Show  --  by Kyle J. Mutcher

“At the Detroit coin show recently, I met the owner of the Gallery Mint from Arkansas and in his display case he had an Arkansas Coin Show medal that was made with a copper centre and a brass ring.  When I asked about it, the owner said it was one of a kind and no more like it would be made, since it was just a trial piece.  I figured that he would be wanting to sell it for a hefty price but he said that if I wanted it it would be mine for $5!  Needless to say, I quickly snapped that up.  One side shows the profile of a Native American and the reverse is the logo for the Arkansas Numismatic Society. Ray Lockwood was in attendance and might have been rather envious of my purchase.”

See Kyle’s scan on this week’s version of the WBCC homepage.

4.  “Canada Remembers” -- from Paul Davis’s Arctic Coins

The eye-catching image on the home page is a set of the gorgeous bimetallic commemoratives issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1994.  Note that the six pieces are not ringed bimetals, but are inset or recessed bimetals, just like the RCM’s 1997 polar bear medallion, signed by President Danielle V. Wetherup, and the 1998 RCM’s 90th anniversary commemorative.  This suggests that the RCM was pleased enough with the results of the “Canada Remembers” set that it used the same technology for the later pieces.  The “Canada Remembers” was issued for the 50th anniversary of WWII.  Each of the 6 pieces had a mintage of 29,615.

5.   Edward VIII Isle of Man bimetal crown -- brought to light by Manuel Gonzalez

Manuel found this new bimetallic medal in Coincraft, London.  Then Martin Peeters inquired with Lucy  Clarkson at Coincraft, and received this reply:

“This is a photograph of the Isle of Man Edward VIII Bi-Metallic Pattern Crown. The reverse has a design similar to the famous and rather rare Peel Castle Five Shilling piece. The obverse is the uncrowned portrait of King Edward VIII.  It is in Cupronickel prooflike and the price is £18.95  (code: LIM 4612),  Please note that there is £1.95 towards handling.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.  Kind regards,  Lucy Clarkson”

You can see from the image on the webpage, that this is another of the bimetallic (not trimetal).  Coincraft, 45 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LU, UK, can be contacted by phone 44 020 7636 1188 or fax 44 020 7323 2860, but no email.

6.  Andorra 1991-1992 inlay coins  -- by Jose Luis Ramirez

Jose’s letter of January 19 says:

“Hello, I am Jose Luis Ramirez, member 118 of the WBCC from Spain.  I have two coins from Andorra, that not appear in the home page, I send to you the scanning pictures of these coins.  There are the features of the coins, I seen them in the 24th edition of the Krause Catalog:
20 diners/ECU  Charlemagne - ECU
Date: 1992 (this is the issue year that does not appear on the coin).  The obverse bears this inscription in the Catalan language: “ACORD ANDORRA C.E.E. 1991”,and in English: “AGREEMENT ANDORRA C.E.E. 1991”. This is the date of the agreement of Andorra with the European Union. Diameter: 40 mm. The mass of the coin are 26,5 gr. of silver 925 with 1,5 gr. of gold 917 in the inlay.  KM number 72. Mintage 5000. Plain edge. Medal alignment.
25 diners  20th anniversary of Episcopal Coprince
Date: 1991. Diameter: 39 mm.  The mass are 25 gr. of silver 925 with an inlay of 1,5 gr.of gold 917. KM number 69. Mintage 2500. Plain edge. Medal alignment.”

See both images on the webpage.

7. The hunt for Nigerian 2000 bimetallic coins -- Liu Jian and Martin Peeters

Martin received this from Liu Jian:
“Dear Martin, Have you heard about new bi-metallic from Nigeria.  My friend told me there is new bi-metallic coin issued in Nigeria but I can't confirm this message.  Thanks liu jian”

After inquiring with the Nigerian monetary authority, Martin received this response about the forthcoming Nigerian bimetallic:
“Dear Sir, The Royal Mint in London is in charge of producing the 1 and two KM coins.  We do not expect that they will be ready for release into circulation, as well as numismatic sales before April 1st.  Please contact me again in one month’s time and I will be able to supply you with more details on a release and circulation date. Thanks for your interest and I assure you there will be an opportunity to purchase uncirculated coins in collectors sets.  Thanks again, Chris Simon, Public Relations Director”

See item #1 above about the British Royal Mint probably not being able to issue new items before April 1.

8. Counterfeit French 10 francs  --  by Rod Sell

I recently purchased False 10 Francs dated 1988 and 1990.  The coins had been in circulation and though the design was not sharp, it could have been from circulation as they really looked well made.  I asked Frederic Mur who I bought them from if there were any special areas to look for.  Below is his reply.
“Dear Rod,
The false coins are very well made but in fact you will see than the yellow metal doesn't have the same color of the genuine 10 francs. Moreover, the details of the false coins are not so good. In France, people generally recognize the false coins immediately. Perhaps, the false coins are less heavy than the genuine; I think it would be interesting to verify it.
Nowadays, the false coins are really rare in France. Most of them have been destroyed by the banks. So keep them. I think you must be the first Australian with false 10 francs French coins !!!.
I hope you will contact me soon on http://perso.wanadoo.fr/numismatec because i'm going to add others beautiful photographies of coins.
Sincerely Yours.
Fred (Mur).”

Editorial comment:  Might there be enough interest in counterfeits to make another library page for them?  Paul Baker has indicated that there are fake Israeli and British bimetal as well.  Besides Rod and Cliff Anderson, are there other WBCC members who have known forgeries or counterfeits?

9.  Three New Mexican bimetallic issues -- from Dr. Luis Wulschner

By letter today, Luis Wulschner supplies the following information:

“The Bank of Mexico announced that it will strike during the years 2000 and 2001 three new bi-metallic coins with new designs: one 10 peso coin with the same characteristics as the current coin but with some varieties in its design, and two 20 peso coins that will be composed by a ring of aluminum/bronze and copper/nickel in its center; the first one will commemorate the new millenium according to the Aztec culture tradition, and the second one will commemorate Octavio Paz, the poet, who died last year and won the Nobel Prize of Literature.  In the next newsmail I will provide more information about this topic.  Cordially, Dr. Wulschner (WBCC member 28)”

This week’s new Bi-metallic images......by Rod Sell, WBCC Homepage Provider

See this week’s new pictures in the WBCC Homepage:

* Isle of Man Edward VIII fantasy piece
* Chocolate Portugal Euro image
* Andorra 1992 20 Diners ECU  Charlemagne - ECU
* Andorra 1991 25 Diners 20th anniversary of Episcopal Coprince
* “Canada Remembers” set of 6 commemoratives
* USA  Arkansas Numismatic Society pattern
* Canada 2000 $2 bear behinds with the rarer Winnipeg mintmark
* Latvia 1999 2 Lati.  Image from Martin Peeters
* Thailand’s latest, 2000 10 Baht, for the 100th Anniversary of Army Medical Dept.
* Bahrain 2000 500 Fils Millennium, showing the Pearl Monument in its capital city of Manama.  The monument is also called the Gulf Co-operation Council Monument, and has 6 columns, one each for 6 Gulf States.
* Netherlands 2000 5 florin MTT from Nijmegen (note the Roman figures and Latin word NOVIO, emphasizing the 2000 year stretch of the Millennium.  But the name Nijmegen may have been from the earlier Celtic natives)
And see also the 3 new country pages for Andorra, Austria and Thailand.

Good luck to you all.

Cliff Anderson, Public Relations of the Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club

The Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club
was established September 14, 1996 and is the very first Worldwide
Collectors Club using the Internet. Goal of the WBCC is exchange
Bi-metallics and exchange knowledge about Bi-metallics
WBCC Organisation:
WBCC Homepage Provider: Rod Sell, Australia, Rod.Sell@hlos.com.au
WBCC DoCu-Centre: Frans Dubois, Netherlands, dubois.f@wxs.nl
WBCC Public Relations: Cliff Anderson, USA, chander@mciworld.com
WBCC Research Centre: Paul Baker, UK, 113076.167@compuserve.com
WBCC Focal Point: Martin Peeters, Netherlands, martinp@westbrabant.net