Fred Berson Sought
Ron Abler writes:
I recently ran across a dark Xerox copy of a 1876 article in TAMS written by Fred Berson on U.S. Centennial Die Trials. I would very much like to ask him some questions. TAMS has no record of him after 1977. Does anyone happen to know him or someone who might, so that I can try to make contact?
Notes from Kavan Ratnatunga in Sri Lanka
Kavan Ratnatunga writes:
I wrote a short article for the Lankan Sunday Times of 12th Feb.
Anyone travelling by bus is affected by the shortage of small change. Bus conductors often ask for change, and if you don't have any, often doesn't return any.
They just ignore giving back a rupee or two, but some don't protest if they get a rupee or two less. Then give a conductor Rs 10, for the minimum bus fare of Rs 7, and he may return you Rs 5 or may ignore giving you back anything unless you ask for change. Small shops may give a toffee you don't need.
The number of coins issued is limited, since it costs the Central Bank (CB) more than the face value to mint coins, and CB encourages consumers to return coins into circulation rather than accumulate at home. In India however, customers insist on correct change and unable to get sufficient coins from the banks, traders have to pay a heavy premium to get the coins.
"For one (Indian) rupee coins worth Rs 100 one has to pay Rs 114, while for two rupee coins worth Rs 100 one has to pay Rs 115. For five rupee coins worth Rs 100 one has to pay Rs 118. These rates keep changing. During festivals, the premium goes as high as Rs 125 for coins worth Rs100," according to a Mumbai trader. Fed up with the coin shortage, the traders in the south Mumbai wholesale markets of Masjid Bunder and Bhendi Bazaar have hit upon an idea to use their own tokens which are honoured within their community, virtually like official currency. Such tokens of Rs.1 and Rs.2 denominations minted by the Mandvi-Koliwad Association (MKA) and put into 'circulation' early last month are proving to be an instant hit in the trading community reeling under official coin shortages and black-marketing of the small change.
To read the complete article, see:
Travails of loose change for Lankan bus commuters
India 'issues' zero rupee banknotes
I was also fascinated by the Zero rupee Banknotes. See:
For a video, see:
Novel campaign to challenge India's Bribe Culture: India ‘issues' Zero Rupee Banknotes
And in a final topic Kavan adds:
Today I found a very interesting BBC article. It also has some comments about the card board Tokens from the Tea Gardens of Assam - Just like the Coffee Tokens of Ceylon. IMHO they are technically not illegal as tokens.
It is a type of barter which is legal.
The error by MKA was to call them coins.
I would like to see what happens if RBI prosecutes.
I am still hopeful that I will get some of these tokens.
I am told it is an unsafe area of Mumbai
The article is from 2007. Below is the link. It's about the practice of melting low denomination coins to make them into razor blades at a profit.
To read the complete article, see:
Sharp practice of melting coins
Wayne Homren, Editor
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