Australian Holey Dollar sells for $105,500 with Noble Numismatics

A rare example of the Australian Holey Dollar, one of the first coins produced in the nation, has sold well at Noble Numismatics' August 13-15 auction in Melbourne.

Australia Holey Dollar five shillings
The British colony of New South Wales began to run out of currency in the early 19th century, as much of it left on visiting merchant ships

The coin made $105,500 to lead the sale. However, its price does not come close to the auction record for a Holey Dollar, which was set at $508,266 in Melbourne earlier this year.

2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the coin's production. It was originally created by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1813 as an answer to New South Wales' lack of coinage.

With no mint yet established in Australia, Macquarie used the equivalent of £10,000 in assorted Spanish dollars that had been donated by the British government.

Enlisting the help of convicted forger William Henshall, the centre of the coins was cut out and the remaining sections were stamped with "New South Wales 1813" and "Five Shillings".

The piece cut from the middle, known as the plug or dump, was then given a value of 15 pence and put into circulation.

The example at auction was struck from a Charles IV Mexico City Mint eight reales, and is in good very fine condition, with some dark oxidation at the edge and the central hole not fully punched out in one quarter.

There are just 200 examples of the Holey Dollar known in private collections. Some are rarer than others, depending on the coin that they were originally struck from.

Also selling was a George V 1930 Australian penny, which made $46,473 due to its extremely fine condition. It was estimated at $27,500, equating to a 68.9% increase on estimate.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb collection of rare coins for sale.


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