Holey Dollar and Dump, cut from Spanish Charles III and IV coinage and re-stamped
Holey Dollar from 1787 Spanish Silver Dollar. Dump Type D2.

SKU SF000849 Category


From 1497, the Spanish government minted a large silver coin which through wide circulation, especially in the Pacific, became known as the Spanish Dollar.
When the colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788, it ran into the problem of a lack of coinage. Governor Lachlan Macquarie took the initiative of using £10,000 in Spanish dollars sent by the British government to produce suitable coins for the colony. These coins to the value of 40,000 Spanish dollars came in November 1812 on the merchant ship the Samarang from Madras. To stop them from leaving the colony, the centres were punched out to create two different issues of coins.
There was a central plug (known as a dump) which was valued at 15 pence and was re-struck with a new design (a crown on the obverse, the denomination on the reverse), whilst the dollars received an over-stamp around the hole (“New South Wales 1813” on the obverse, “Five Shillings” on the reverse). The holey dollar became the first currency produced specifically for circulation in Australia.
From 1822 these coins began to be recalled and replaced by sufficient sterling coinage.

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William Hanshall